This Is a Test

 

shutterstock_95619505Were Justice Scalia to have died earlier, our case for having the next president select the his replacement would have been much more difficult; the longer the seat remains vacant, the more time the Left has to use its influence and muscle to pressure the Senate to do its bidding. But were he to have died later, our case would have been strengthened; the shorter the length of the vacancy, the more plausible our arguments in favor of waiting would appear to the general public.

Regardless, he was taken from us when he was taken. We have a winnable fight on our hands, but it will still be a fight. The obstacles in our path are formidable, but not insurmountable. With conviction, shrewdness, and fortitude, we can win this battle; without them, the last fragile barrier shielding us from despotism may well disintegrate before us.

Thus, I can’t help but suspect that the Almighty called His servant home when He did to see if we have the strength and conviction to preserve what remains of our republic. For our leaders in Washington who always seem content to postpone the battle until some magical future day, the fight is now and we must fight hard now.

The only substantive question regarding Obama’s pick is whether it will be used to show us as racist, sexist, Islamophobic, or hateful and unreasonable in some other way. The president’s strategy may consist of an aggressive full-frontal assault or clever behind-the-scenes political maneuvers and deals, but he will undoubtedly exploit it to maximum political advantage. And even if we succeed in blocking the nominee, he will do everything in his power to leave us so wounded that we’ve no hope of winning the presidency or even holding the Senate.

So, our test is not only holding firm on the nomination, but convincing the American people we’re right to do so. Bush held firm and won in Iraq but, domestically, he failed so horribly that we lost Congress in 2006 and the presidency two years later, while the “Bush lied, people died” caught on such that it even carries weight in Republican debates. Such could be the damage inflicted if we hold firm on the nomination but let the Democrats wreck us for it.

Will Democrats be called to account for their allies’ dancing on Scalia’s grave and hoping Justice Thomas follows him, or will we be content to let the media distance mainstream Democrats from their extremist allies in ways Republicans are never permitted? Will those that defile the Constitution at every opportunity get away with accusing us of shirking our Constitutional responsibilities, or will we attack unconstitutional Democratic power-lust with righteous fury? Will Sen. Lindsey Graham be threatened with Cruz-like ostracism in the Senate if he eagerly expresses his desire to “work with Democrats” on the nomination, or will we let the media leverage him against his party as a supposed Republican “voice of reason?” Will non-hyphenated Americans find themselves as inspired by Republican adherence to principle as racially-obsessed Democrats are inspired by Obama’s power grabs, or will our milquetoast retorts to Leftist accusations convince even more conservatives that the GOP is useless, weak, and uninspiring? Will the disaffected right find new reason to support a vigorous and newly-energized Republican Party, or will they continue to drift into the arms of the militant and unprincipled?

Yes, it’s important to ensure that the next president appoint Scalia’s replacement and a necessary first step, but if the next president is Clinton or Sanders, what good does it do? No victory, whether military, legislative, or judicial can hold for long if we don’t bring the American people along with us.

Unfortunately, I’ve lost faith in our ability to do that.

Fortunately, my opinion on the matter isn’t what counts. What counts is that both the conservative public and conservative “leaders” hold firm and fight in ways we rarely do: not only to win the immediate fight before us, but also so that we set ourselves up to win the public relations battle before us.

This is a test, but not only a test. This is perhaps our final chance to demonstrate to ourselves, the America public, and our opponents that the battle for our great Republic is not yet over, to prove to the Almighty that we see the noble principle of His word as a cause worthy of eternal vigilance and devotion instead of an excuse to disguise cowardice as virtue.

This is our moment. God help us if we let it pass us by, if we underestimate the forces arrayed against us, if we fail to exert the requisite tenacity in either the nomination fight or concurrent public relations battle.

Then again, if we seize this as an opportunity, if we treat this with the urgency it requires, if we actually fight to win, if we dedicate ourselves to our Truth and Constitution, if we prove ourselves deserving of our inheritance, perhaps God will help us then as well.

There are 21 comments.

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  1. Pilgrim Coolidge
    Pilgrim
    @Pilgrim

    The test is the 3D chess game this sets up: Block a reasonable nominee, lose the Senate, elect Hillary and get the worst possible choice or play the obstruction game so skillfully that Rubio can appoint Cruz with confirmation by a Republican majority Senate (filibusters disallowed).

    I suspect that merely trying to run out the clock will be as popular as “government shut-downs” and cost us both the Senate and the White House.

    The comments coming from the candidates and Mitch McConnell, “No one will be approved period” are just unbelievably stupid.

    The proper, and politically useful, position is “The President should do his job and select a jurist in the highest traditions of the Court.  We will do our job and insure that any nominee is thoroughly vetted and has demonstrated the highest degree of respect for our constitution and traditions.”

    Smile sweetly, and then bork the SOB.

    • #1
  2. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Yes, but to concede any tactical advantage is already a concession to  Democrats and liberal Republicans.   They are not capable of naming a justice that believes the constitution is the law of the land.  They are disqualified.  They have no standing.  We can wait and must never concede to media and liberal pressure and that includes if Hillary, Biden or Sanders win.   Some will say that stopping it could cost us the election.  That is exactly the same as believing that calling Islamic terrorists Islamic will make it all worse.

    • #2
  3. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    “Thus, I can’t help but suspect that the Almighty called His servant home when He did to see if we have the strength and conviction to preserve what remains of our Republic.”

    Please,  everyone, click on the “His Servant” link and read the remarkable and moving story. That link alone is worth the price of admission to Ricochet. Thank you, Martel, and I wholeheartedly agree with this, which perfectly captures the eleven months ahead:

    “We have a winnable fight on our hands, but it will still be a fight. The obstacles in our path are by no means insurmountable, but they will be formidable. With conviction, shrewdness, and fortitude, we can win this battle; without them, the last fragile barrier shielding us from despotism may well disintegrate before us.”

    May the good Justice now intercede for us!

    • #3
  4. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    The most important part of the fight will be to hit hard back at the mass media for every time they allege racism or sexism or any other base motive for the Republican opposition to a Leftist nominee for the Court.   Media complicity with Team Obama needs to be the big issue that dominates this story.   Media partisanship must be exposed, ridiculed and condemned at every turn.

    • #4
  5. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Martel:So, our test is not only holding firm on the nomination, but convincing the American people we’re right to do so. Bush held firm and won in Iraq but, domestically, he failed so horribly that we lost Congress in 2006 and the presidency two years later, while the “Bush lied, people died” caught on such that it even carries weight in Republican debates. Such could be the damage inflicted if we hold firm on the nomination but let the Democrats wreck us for it.

    Yes. If we win on the immediate fight (delaying the nomination) but lose on the bigger one (the presidential election) then we’re going to be in very bad shape.

    That’s why we should try to win on both.

    • #5
  6. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Charles Cooke offers a partial answer regarding how we go about this:

    Especially given that the Senate was elected more recently than the president. Moreover, Obama himself set a precedent for rejecting nominees on ideological grounds with Roberts.

    • #6
  7. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    A relentless add campaign illustrating the threat to free speech by the liberals on the court might do the trick. Showing how the publication of books could be prohibited, as the Obama lawyers admitted could happen before the Supreme Court. Showing police telling people they can’t advocate this or that…. This might work, if it’s done well. This would be a novel and unexpected approach. But it’s a long shot.

    Otherwise, Republicans lose either way. Either they will energize the Democrat base before the elections, or piss off their own. They’ve already screwed up by stating publicly that they will not allow Obama to appoint anyone, before they even know who it is. The optics of that are not good. It looks like bad faith. I mean… Do it, by all means. Just don’t SAY that you’re doing it.

    • #7
  8. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    I don’t see why this is difficult.

    Mr McConnell, may he grow a pair, controls the Senate calendar.  He can set a vote for November 9, 2016 or January 21, 2017 if he likes.  Interminable hearings, vettings, etc can play a part too.

    Really, this late in the term of an obviously anti-American president, is there any excuse for ANY of his appointments being confirmed? Obama is fulfilling his fundamental transformation through the bureaucracy whenever he can.  Deny them all, and keep the Senate in session 365 days a year to avoid a recess appointment on anything.

    Just keep smiling and promising full cooperation while you do it. The current statements out of Mr McC border on bad faith and can’t be helpful to us.

    • #8
  9. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Doctor Robert:I don’t see why this is difficult.

    Mr McConnell, may he grow a pair, controls the Senate calendar. He can set a vote for November 9, 2016 or January 21, 2017 if he likes. Interminable hearings, vettings, etc can play a part too.

    Really, this late in the term of an obviously anti-American president, is there any excuse for ANY of his appointments being confirmed? Obama is fulfilling his fundamental transformation through the bureaucracy whenever he can. Deny them all, and keep the Senate in session 365 days a year to avoid a recess appointment on anything.

    Although I’m sure that Obama and Reid (with the help of weaklings like Lindsey Graham) will make it as difficult as possible, I can see your point regarding the nomination itself.

    Regarding the PR war, not so much.  The GOP has this remarkable knack of simultaneously appearing spineless and unprincipled to its supporters yet intransigent, bigoted, and unreasonable to everyone else.  No matter how many seats we have in Congress, Democrats always control the narrative.

    It’s absolutely imperative we finally hold fast while convincing the American public we’re correct in doing so.  Otherwise, the “next president” to appoint a justice will be a Democrat.

    Democrats know how to manipulate this stuff to their advantage, and if we let them, they most certainly will.

    • #9
  10. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    (Your hammer avatar pointed towards a photo of the Supreme Court makes me nervous…)

    • #10
  11. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Bob W: A relentless add campaign illustrating the threat to free speech by the liberals on the court might do the trick. [….]

    Good idea.

    The Republican party would gain more by running non-election ads throughout every year than they gain by focusing exclusively on campaign ads during election season. If they can persuade more voters that a generic Republican is nearly always preferable to a generic Democrat, convincing voters of specific candidates won’t be as necessary. Maybe *gasp* candidates could even pitch themselves!

    At the very least, Republicans should regularly produce non-election, values-focused and history-focused YouTube videos like the ones Paul Ryan made to explain the need for budget reform.

    • #11
  12. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Pilgrim: The comments coming from the candidates and Mitch McConnell, “No one will be approved period” are just unbelievably stupid.

    Agreed. They have already confirmed the Democrat’s accusation of partisanship. Whatever Republicans argue now in regard to President Obama’s selecting bad candidates, Democrats need only replay those soundbites.

    By the way, this is being shared on Twitter right now by Democrat voters. It reads: “In fairness it’s rare for a SCOTUS appointment to be made in an election year, wait, no it isn’t. Here is a list.”

    CbIeQasUUAAZlFD

    Do Republicans already have a response? If Republicans don’t win public opinion in the next month, it will be difficult to win back the voters they have lost.

    • #12
  13. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Aaron Miller:

    Bob W: A relentless add campaign illustrating the threat to free speech by the liberals on the court might do the trick. [….]

    Good idea.

    The Republican party would gain more by running non-election ads throughout every year than they gain by focusing exclusively on campaign ads during election season. If they can persuade more voters that a generic Republican is nearly always preferable to a generic Democrat, convincing voters of specific candidates won’t be as necessary. Maybe *gasp* candidates could even pitch themselves!

    At the very least, Republicans should regularly produce non-election, values-focused and history-focused YouTube videos like the ones Paul Ryan made to explain the need for budget reform.

    Conservative big money people are inclined to put all their golden eggs in the two baskets of winning the next election and think tanks.

    Yet there are dozens of great ideas out there that can’t get off the ground.  Glenn Reynolds suggests buying women’s magazines (and with SJW-dominated ESPN, I say we also get into the sports press).  They could sponsor stand-up comedian or screenwriting contests, form creative networks so that somebody with a great YouTube video idea with no technical ability could hook up with someone who could actually make the video.

    In outreach, the left is persistent and creative, we’re endlessly repeat the same efforts hoping this time it finally works.  It’s no wonder who controls the cultural narrative.

    • #13
  14. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Aaron Miller:

    Pilgrim: The comments coming from the candidates and Mitch McConnell, “No one will be approved period” are just unbelievably stupid.

    Agreed. They have already confirmed the Democrat’s accusation of partisanship. Whatever Republicans argue now in regard to President Obama’s selecting bad candidates, Democrats need only replay those soundbites.

    By the way, this is being shared on Twitter right now by Democrat voters. It reads: “In fairness it’s rare for a SCOTUS appointment to be made in an election year, wait, no it isn’t. Here is a list.”

    CbIeQasUUAAZlFD

    Do Republicans already have a response? If Republicans don’t win public opinion in the next month, it will be difficult to win back the voters they have lost.

    If Republicans are anything, they’re sssssslllllllloooooooooooooooowwwwww       to             respond.  By the time of the GOP convention, unanswered ads portraying Romney as a vulture capitalist had already been running in swing states for months.

    We think about the next election, they think about every angle, every battle, every front, every approach, every way to spin every event.  By the time we recognize we need to respond to an attack, they’ve already made it central to the national narrative and come up with four more effective ones.

    They’re aggressive, we’re passive.  That’s why although I’m fairly confident we’ll keep Scalia’s seat vacant until after the election, I’m also pretty sure holding fast will mortally wound us.

    • #14
  15. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    The fact that Iowahawk doesn’t have a well-paid, prominent, and influential position in the conservative movement proves we don’t know what the hell we’re doing.

    • #15
  16. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Martel:Democrats know how to manipulate this stuff to their advantage, and if we let them, they most certainly will.

    Yes, they seemingly convinced the wet-behind-the-ears voters that Mitt Romney was going to ban tampons, so absolutely anything is possible.

    • #16
  17. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Sometimes it pays to be paranoid.

    “Given that the Senate is currently in recess, we don’t expect the president to rush this through this week, but instead will do so in due time once the Senate returns from their recess,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

    Republicans would be fools to assume Schultz is being honest and that “we don’t expect…” doesn’t deliberately leave wiggle room for President Obama to make a recess appointment. This statement could be intended to discourage McConnell from immediately calling a pro forma session.

    Perhaps that is extremely unlikely. But the stakes are too high to needlessly take chances.

    Rick Moran at PJ Media says “as a practical matter, it would have been impossible to thoroughly vet a candidate in a few days.” But it’s safe to assume that Democrats, and Republicans, have a short list of preferred judicial candidates at any given time. President Obama doesn’t have to vet any candidate because various groups have already done that for him.

    • #17
  18. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    9thDistrictNeighbor:

    Martel:Democrats know how to manipulate this stuff to their advantage, and if we let them, they most certainly will.

    Yes, they seemingly convinced the wet-behind-the-ears voters that Mitt Romney was going to ban tampons, so absolutely anything is possible.

    I’ll admit that I was among those who thought the “war on women” narrative was so unbelievably stupid it could never possibly work.

    • #18
  19. Layla Inactive
    Layla
    @Layla

    Aaron Miller:

    By the way, this is being shared on Twitter right now by Democrat voters. It reads: “In fairness it’s rare for a SCOTUS appointment to be made in an election year, wait, no it isn’t. Here is a list.”

    CbIeQasUUAAZlFD

    Do Republicans already have a response? If Republicans don’t win public opinion in the next month, it will be difficult to win back the voters they have lost.

    My response would be that all of these were nominated and confirmed before WWII. The sole exception is Anthony Kennedy, confirmed *unanimously* in 1988 after Reagan’s two previous nominations for the vacancy were, ahem, NOT confirmed (Bork, anyone?). The seat had been vacant since 1986. I just don’t see it as analogous to the current situation at all. Not that that ever stops the Left from clutching its pearls and reaching for the smelling salts.

    • #19
  20. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Layla:

    Aaron Miller:

    By the way, this is being shared on Twitter right now by Democrat voters. It reads: “In fairness it’s rare for a SCOTUS appointment to be made in an election year, wait, no it isn’t. Here is a list.”

    CbIeQasUUAAZlFD

    Do Republicans already have a response? If Republicans don’t win public opinion in the next month, it will be difficult to win back the voters they have lost.

    My response would be that all of these were nominated and confirmed before WWII. The sole exception is Anthony Kennedy, confirmed *unanimously* in 1988 after Reagan’s two previous nominations for the vacancy were, ahem, NOT confirmed (Bork, anyone?). The seat had been vacant since 1986. I just don’t see it as analogous to the current situation at all. Not that that ever stops the Left from clutching its pearls and reaching for the smelling salts.

    Unfortunately, that’s too complicated for most people to grasp.  Instead, I’d just focus on Kennedy, that the only reason he was confirmed in an election year were that the Democrats rejected the first two nominees.

    It makes it specific and draws Democrat hypocrisy into sharper focus.

    • #20
  21. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    This list is also objecting to a straw man.  We’re not saying the Senate shouldn’t confirm anyone in “an election year” in general.  Those occur every other year.

    This is a presidential election year.  Another Ricochettier (I’m not sure of his pen name here) has pointed out that of these listed, only Brandeis (1916), Cardozo (1932), and Murphy (1940) were confirmed to seats that opened up in presidential election years.  Then Kennedy (1988) was confirmed for a seat that had opened up in 1987, but he was the second pick after they Borked Bork, and that whole mess took over a year.

    But more than that, this is a presidential election year in which the president is term-limited.  A lame duck.  He can’t run again, so we know we’ll have a new president in a year.  Only Kennedy was confirmed in a president’s lame-duck term in a presidential election year, but it was for a seat that opened up much earlier.  1916 was Wilson’s re-election race.  1932 was Hoover’s.  1940 was FDR’s ego.  If he had had any sense of honor, 1940 would have seen him declining to run again.

    I don’t object to confirming a nomination in a lame-duck election year in principle.  But we can make the “moral” case for delay.  And we have this legitimate tool on our side.  Sell our case to the People, and use it!

    • #21

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