Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Steve Scalise for the Win, Part 2

 

Many months ago, in May 2018, I reacted to Paul Ryan’s announced retirement, while failing to yield the Speakership, with an impassioned plea for Majority Whip Steve Scalise to be immediately elevated to Speaker, leading the House Republicans to midterm election victory. This week’s news has, regrettably, borne out the wisdom of that advice. If the Republicans hold the House majority, it will be despite the worst efforts of Ryan, and thanks to Congressman Steve Scalise and President Donald Trump.

It should have been obvious, to all House Republicans who wished to retain their majority, and the power and perks of office, that:

No professional sports team with serious championship aspirations would accept their head coach announcing at the start of the season that he didn’t intent to stick around after the playoffs. Such a man does not have skin in the game and does not communicate confidence in the winning potential of the team. At best, Ryan communicates doubt in and by the House GOP. At worst, Ryan is postured to passive-aggressively sabotage the congressional majority as he seeks a new path to the presidency with the kind of party he wants to lead. The House GOP must dump Ryan like a quitter coach, replacing him with Speaker Scalise for the win!

Instead, we are where we are, with the government on a knife’s edge. 2018 Midterm House predictions are barely favorable, despite historically good macro and family economic conditions. Facing a historic leftist international challenge to our sovereignty and Constitution, President Trump responded by raising the Constitutional question both parties have avoided, as they both have sold out our sovereignty for political profit. 

President Trump has responded to the Central American leftist controlled “caravan(s),” with every executive branch tool. He has called out the military, engineer units, to erect temporary barriers where the long authorized and promised “wall” should be. He has threatened aid and trade sanctions on the governments allowing this unarmed invasion force to proceed. Now he has finally raised the crucial question: do we get to control who gets to become an American citizen, with full rights to our generous social welfare system, or can a foreigner enter for the purpose of imposing that decision on us by choosing to give birth here, thus ensuring the mother, father, and extended family will all be placed on the path to permanent residency and citizenship? 

Contrary to the left, and the Chamber of Commerce Republicans, like Ryan, this is not an affront to the Constitution. Shockingly, the precise issue has never been addressed by our Supreme Court. There is obvious common sense, and legislative history, in support of President Trump’s position, which he is taking on competent legal advice.

So what did “Speaker” Ryan do a week before the last day of the midterm election, with every House seat up for reelection? He did what the U.S. Chamber of Congress and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops both want. Ryan attacked the President of his party.

The top Republican tells WVLK radio in Kentucky, “Well you obviously cannot do that. You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order.”

[…]

Ryan is retiring but the No. 3 House Republican, Louisiana’s Rep. Steve Scalise, said on Fox that he’s glad Trump is considering options.

The President certainly has it in his power to order the State Department to stop issuing passports to children born to birth tourism mothers and illegal alien mothers who crossed the border while pregnant, claiming it is not in accordance with the actual 14th Amendment, as ratified by the states. That would set up the case for the courts to squarely address the issues.

Meanwhile, Ryan’s silence is collusion with the leftist smear of President Trump and MAGA voters as culpable for the political threats (fake bomber cited, but not anti-Trump fake bio-terrorist) and anti-Semitic mass-murder. David Bernstein, at Instapundit draws the sharp contrast between Presidents Trump and Obama:

This has to be among the strongest statements any president has made on behalf of Jewish Americans. Yet I could find no mention of it in the New York Times, Washington Post, and so on.

Compare and contrast Obama’s reference to Jewish victims of anti-Semitic terrorism in Paris as victims of zealots who “randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris,” with the White House afterwards defending the proposition that the Jews shopping in a kosher market, somewhere that only Jews go, were not targeted because they were Jews, which was obviously untrue from the getgo.

Steve Scalise, in sharp contrast, has used the full weight of his earned moral authority, as I said he would.

Imagine if Paul Ryan had been sent home, as soon as he announced he did not intend to stand for reelection. Imagine Speaker Steve Scalise calling down righteous condemnation on the Democrats, without a quitter weasel subverting him and his message. Speaker Steve Scalise, and President Trump: Make Congress Accountable Again! 

Promises Made, Promises Kept

There are 27 comments.

  1. Kevin Schulte Member

    Paul Ryan, the slightly more photogenic and polished John McCain.

    The Pony edition of the Maverick. ;)

    Good riddance.

    • #1
    • November 1, 2018, at 2:44 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. Fred Cole Member

    Clifford A. Brown: If the Republicans hold the House majority, it will be despite the worst efforts of Ryan, and thanks to Congressman Steve Scalise and President Donald Trump.

    Perhaps you missed this story from two weeks ago:

    Paul Ryan to campaign for 25 vulnerable House Republicans

    That’s 25 candidates spread across 12 states.

    Look, I’m sure that Trump will blame Ryan (and everyone else but himself) if there isn’t a red wave on Tuesday, but it won’t be from lack of effort on Ryan’s part.

    • #2
    • November 1, 2018, at 3:36 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. D.A. Venters Member

    Ryan is exactly right about the birthright citizenship issue, and correct to point out our reaction to Obama’s similar misuse of executive authority. For better or worse, the language of the 14th Amendment is fairly clear on the issue.

    The structural divisions of power in the Constitution, the high bar that must be passed for an amendment, are things that help the conservative cause. Whatever problems you may have with birthright citizenship, those problems will pale in comparison to the ones you will have if the Constitutional structure is further eroded. The Constitution is far more important than the success of Trump and his agenda.

    • #3
    • November 1, 2018, at 5:33 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. Western Chauvinist Member

    I was a Ryan fan back in 2012. He was my second choice after Scott Walker. When he joined the Romney ticket I thought, “Finally, a reasonable, likable pair.” (although, I admit I thought nominating the author of Romneycare was a mistake when the central issue of the day was Obamacare).

    After the debates, I realized, Ryan (and Romney) may be reasonable, but he’s weak. Weak was never gonna cut it against the rising totalitarian Left.

    • #4
    • November 1, 2018, at 5:47 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  5. MarciN Member

    Clifford A. Brown: with an impassioned plea for Majority Whip Steve Scalise to be immediately elevated to Speaker,

    I would be extremely happy to see Representative Steve Scalise elected by the House to be the speaker of the House. He is well liked and respected.

    This is the wonderful speech he made upon his return to the House after he was shot for the crime of playing golf:

    • #5
    • November 1, 2018, at 6:04 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  6. Steve C. Member

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    For better or worse, the language of the 14th Amendment is fairly clear on the issue

    It’s not clear. If it were clear, the sole related Supreme Court case from 1898 wouldn’t exist.

    I’m inclined to accept Andy McCarthy’s opinion.

    First, legally, current practice is not based in specific congressional law. It is one interpretation of the facts and circumstances. The legal argument of those who oppose birth citizenship is stronger than most people credit.

    Second, Congress is supreme in this area. It’s very likely the courts would rule against any President who created such an executive order. Deciding based on separation of powers and not even addressing the citizenship issue.

    Third, this policy has been common practice for decades. There’s a certain aspect of legitimacy to customary practice.

    My interpretation of Andy’s thoughts.

    Shorter McCarthy: Don’t hold your breath!

    • #6
    • November 1, 2018, at 6:09 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. MarciN Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Third, this policy has been common practice for decades. There’s a certain aspect of legitimacy to customary practice.

    This policy doesn’t make any sense to me given how Democrats feel about a lot of other things. I believe they are just being argumentative. It absolutely kills them to agree with the Republicans.

    First of all, Democrats should be seeing that the result is that a baby born to an American citizen anywhere on the planet remains an American citizen because his parents are American citizens. In addition, a baby born on U.S. soil is also an American citizen. Wow. That’s a whole lot of U.S. hegemony for the Democrats.

    Second, the Democrats–who have been telling us “Don’t split up families at the border”–should be seeing that the policy splits up families. It means the kids have an American passport, but the parents don’t.

    Third, the Democrats should be seeing that it asserts an American government interest in the offspring of citizens of other countries. What happens if we go to war someday? Do we get to draft these people who may or may not live in the United States?

    It would take Congress all of five minutes to fix this. It is extreme negligence on their part to leave it the way it is.

    A minor is the same nationality as his or her parents or guardians. End of debate.

    • #7
    • November 1, 2018, at 6:21 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Western Chauvinist Member

    MarciN (View Comment):
    A minor is the same nationality as his or her parent. End of debate.

    And it only takes one American parent to be born an American, no matter where you’re born!!

    • #8
    • November 1, 2018, at 6:30 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    A minor is the same nationality as his or her parent. End of debate.

    And it only takes one American parent to be born an American, no matter where you’re born!!

    Indeed. The argument that Ted Cruz is not an American because he was born in Calgary is complete hogwash.

    • #9
    • November 1, 2018, at 6:41 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. MarciN Member

    And what about the tax issues? If these kids return with their parents to their parents’ country, when they start earning money–which, in this country, would apply even to teenagers–do they owe the United States income and social security taxes?

    And what about divorce cases? Which country has jurisdiction over custody issues?

    Are these kids, if they return to their parents’ country, eligible for a military draft, should the United States ever need to institute a draft?

    This citizenship issue needs to be cleaned up. The way it is written now fails on the issues in both practicalities and principles.

    If an American citizen–State Department or military, for example–has a baby outside our country, that baby is an American citizen. That’s exactly how it should be for all countries, including ours. A child born to foreign parents is the same nationality as his or her parents. That works for us, and it works for every other sovereign country.

    • #10
    • November 1, 2018, at 6:44 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  11. Western Chauvinist Member

    Mike "Lash" LaRoche (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    A minor is the same nationality as his or her parent. End of debate.

    And it only takes one American parent to be born an American, no matter where you’re born!!

    Indeed. The argument that Ted Cruz is not an American because he was born in Calgary is complete hogwash.

    Were his parents Americans when he was born, or in the process?

    • #11
    • November 1, 2018, at 8:22 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. cdor Member

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    Ryan is exactly right about the birthright citizenship issue, and correct to point out our reaction to Obama’s similar misuse of executive authority. For better or worse, the language of the 14th Amendment is fairly clear on the issue.

    And ,yet, Obama still enacted DACA by executive order and a Republican Congress, including Paul Ryan, did nothing but yelp like little puppies. The language and the history of that language is anything but clear. BTW. if Trump had not won, DACA would be in full throat today and no future Republican President would have been able to do anything to stop it.

    • #12
    • November 1, 2018, at 8:43 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  13. D.A. Venters Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    For better or worse, the language of the 14th Amendment is fairly clear on the issue

    It’s not clear. If it were clear, the sole related Supreme Court case from 1898 wouldn’t exist.

    I’m inclined to accept Andy McCarthy’s opinion.

    First, legally, current practice is not based in specific congressional law. It is one interpretation of the facts and circumstances. The legal argument of those who oppose birth citizenship is stronger than most people credit.

    Second, Congress is supreme in this area. It’s very likely the courts would rule against any President who created such an executive order. Deciding based on separation of powers and not even addressing the citizenship issue.

    Third, this policy has been common practice for decades. There’s a certain aspect of legitimacy to customary practice.

    My interpretation of Andy’s thoughts.

    I understand McCarthy’s argument, but I still believe the language, even if there is a cute way to interpret the “subject to the jurisdiction” clause, to be fairly unambiguous. The drafters of the 14th Amendment knew how to write “not owing allegiance to…” or “not already a citizen of another nation,” or “lawfully within the borders…” or whatever. They didn’t say any of that. If folks are still citing to an 1898 case, that actually suggests the language is clear – otherwise the court would have dealt with the issue more often since then.

    I’m not making any argument here on the merits of birthright citizenship. I am making an argument on the merits of textualism. Textualism is a doctrine that, I think at least, is essential to the rule of law. Tossing it out would be a boon to the progressive left. You want to get rid of birthright citizenship – do it the old fashioned way, the same way we tell gun control types to get rid of private gun ownership. If you think the 2nd Amendment is crystal clear on an individual’s right to bear arms, but the 14th Amendment is foggy on birthright citizenship, or vice versa, you may be letting your policy preferences color your philosophy on legal construction. I think they are both fairly clear.

    • #13
    • November 1, 2018, at 10:40 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Mike "Lash" LaRoche (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    A minor is the same nationality as his or her parent. End of debate.

    And it only takes one American parent to be born an American, no matter where you’re born!!

    Indeed. The argument that Ted Cruz is not an American because he was born in Calgary is complete hogwash.

    Were his parents Americans when he was born, or in the process?

    Cruz’s mother was a native-born American. Cruz’s father was Cuban and became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1973, but then renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2005 upon becoming a naturalized American citizen.

    • #14
    • November 1, 2018, at 2:19 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Here is the record of a Congressional hearing on birthright citizenship in 2015.

    Here is the entry page to the birthright citizenship issue at Heritage, and here is a debate sponsored by the Heritage Foundation:

    Claremont has a number of pieces on the topic:

    Here is John Eastman’s latest essay, in response to the responses to President Trump.

     

    • #15
    • November 1, 2018, at 4:41 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  16. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Ryan is exactly right about the birthright citizenship issue, and correct to point out our reaction to Obama’s similar misuse of executive authority. For better or worse, the language of the 14th Amendment is fairly clear on the issue.

    The structural divisions of power in the Constitution, the high bar that must be passed for an amendment, are things that help the conservative cause. Whatever problems you may have with birthright citizenship, those problems will pale in comparison to the ones you will have if the Constitutional structure is further eroded. The Constitution is far more important than the success of Trump and his agenda.

    No, it is not clear that the current administrative interpretation is faithful to the clear language of the Constitution. Reread the OP and notice that President Trump specifically says he is cuing this issue up to be squarely addressed and settled by the Supreme Court. That may not fit your view of him, or those who voted for him and who continue to support him and his agenda.

    There is not collision between the Constitution and “Trump.” He has pushed the other branches of government to do their jobs, where both parties have for too long differed to the administrative state.

    • #16
    • November 1, 2018, at 4:51 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    The birthright issue seems to be consuming all the oxygen. The political violence issue is certainly deserving of discussion, as is the role of legislative leaders in at least controlling their own members’ rhetoric.

    • #17
    • November 1, 2018, at 4:53 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. D.A. Venters Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Ryan is exactly right about the birthright citizenship issue, and correct to point out our reaction to Obama’s similar misuse of executive authority. For better or worse, the language of the 14th Amendment is fairly clear on the issue.

    The structural divisions of power in the Constitution, the high bar that must be passed for an amendment, are things that help the conservative cause. Whatever problems you may have with birthright citizenship, those problems will pale in comparison to the ones you will have if the Constitutional structure is further eroded. The Constitution is far more important than the success of Trump and his agenda.

    No, it is not clear that the current administrative interpretation is faithful to the clear language of the Constitution. Reread the OP and notice that President Trump specifically says he is cuing this issue up to be squarely addressed and settled by the Supreme Court. That may not fit your view of him, or those who voted for him and who continue to support him and his agenda.

    There is not collision between the Constitution and “Trump.” He has pushed the other branches of government to do their jobs, where both parties have for too long differed to the administrative state.

    I agree that Congress ought to be clawing its authority back from the other branches, but I don’t think that their failure to do so clears the president from a charge of overreaching. Again, this is exactly what we criticized Obama for – the attitude that if Congress doesn’t do what the pres wants, he can just start issuing executive orders. 

    This is true even if his main goal is to get a court decision. This is what we criticize the left for doing, i.e. trying to get through the judiciary a policy you can’t get from the legislative branch. Aren’t we the side that opposes legislation from the bench?

    I don’t think it’s wise to cede this argument over separation of powers. The next time a Democrat is president they will gladly take this increase in executive power. 

    • #18
    • November 1, 2018, at 5:58 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Ryan is exactly right about the birthright citizenship issue, and correct to point out our reaction to Obama’s similar misuse of executive authority. For better or worse, the language of the 14th Amendment is fairly clear on the issue.

    The structural divisions of power in the Constitution, the high bar that must be passed for an amendment, are things that help the conservative cause. Whatever problems you may have with birthright citizenship, those problems will pale in comparison to the ones you will have if the Constitutional structure is further eroded. The Constitution is far more important than the success of Trump and his agenda.

    No, it is not clear that the current administrative interpretation is faithful to the clear language of the Constitution. Reread the OP and notice that President Trump specifically says he is cuing this issue up to be squarely addressed and settled by the Supreme Court. That may not fit your view of him, or those who voted for him and who continue to support him and his agenda.

    There is not collision between the Constitution and “Trump.” He has pushed the other branches of government to do their jobs, where both parties have for too long differed to the administrative state.

    I agree that Congress ought to be clawing its authority back from the other branches, but I don’t think that their failure to do so clears the president from a charge of overreaching. Again, this is exactly what we criticized Obama for – the attitude that if Congress doesn’t do what the pres wants, he can just start issuing executive orders.

    This is true even if his main goal is to get a court decision. This is what we criticize the left for doing, i.e. trying to get through the judiciary a policy you can’t get from the legislative branch. Aren’t we the side that opposes legislation from the bench?

    I don’t think it’s wise to cede this argument over separation of powers. The next time a Democrat is president they will gladly take this increase in executive power.

    Except President Trump is not engaging in overreach, and has actually been pushing the ball back to Congress, rather then Congress reasserting its authority after sleeping through 8 years of Obama. So, your concern is unfounded. The next Democrat will simply start from where Obama left off.

    • #19
    • November 1, 2018, at 6:58 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    It is interesting how Paul Ryan and Mitchell McConnell have viewed cooperating with Donald Trump.

    Paul Ryan seems exhausted in the job even though he is about 30 years younger than Mitchell McConnell.

    • #20
    • November 1, 2018, at 7:11 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Steve C. Member

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    It is interesting how Paul Ryan and Mitchell McConnell have viewed cooperating with Donald Trump.

    Paul Ryan seems exhausted in the job even though he is about 30 years younger than Mitchell McConnell.

    Political maturity. Ryan as Speaker had much more extensive power, but not the determination to use it. McConnell makes the best of what he has. He’s also aware that presidencies end. The Senate abides.

    • #21
    • November 1, 2018, at 7:32 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Petty Boozswha Member

    Edited: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.

    • #22
    • November 3, 2018, at 2:50 PM PST
    • Like
  23. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):

    Edited: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.

    • #23
    • November 3, 2018, at 7:12 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Fred Cole Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Except President Trump is not engaging in overreach, and has actually been pushing the ball back to Congress, rather then Congress reasserting its authority after sleeping through 8 years of Obama.

    I don’t know as that’s necessarily the case.

    Donald Trump has repeatedly demonstrated that he doesn’t really (even after almost two years on the job) have any idea what the President actually does, how the Constitution works, or the limits of his power.

    • #24
    • November 4, 2018, at 2:51 AM PST
    • Like
  25. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Except President Trump is not engaging in overreach, and has actually been pushing the ball back to Congress, rather then Congress reasserting its authority after sleeping through 8 years of Obama.

    I don’t know as that’s necessarily the case.

    Donald Trump has repeatedly demonstrated that he doesn’t really (even after almost two years on the job) have any idea what the President actually does, how the Constitution works, or the limits of his power.

    So he’s as good as Barry, then, you’re saying.

    • #25
    • November 4, 2018, at 5:48 AM PST
    • Like
  26. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: If the Republicans hold the House majority, it will be despite the worst efforts of Ryan, and thanks to Congressman Steve Scalise and President Donald Trump.

    Perhaps you missed this story from two weeks ago:

    Paul Ryan to campaign for 25 vulnerable House Republicans

    That’s 25 candidates spread across 12 states.

    Look, I’m sure that Trump will blame Ryan (and everyone else but himself) if there isn’t a red wave on Tuesday, but it won’t be from lack of effort on Ryan’s part.

    Perhaps a quitting Congressmyn campaigning for other Republicans isn’t the help you think it is. Isn’t he supposed to do these things? Part of the job?

    What Trump will or will not do is irrelevant to Cliff’s comment – and tacking on something that Ryan’s doing to help Republicans now (weeks before the election) ignores the failures and misses of the last several years of his “efforts”.

    • #26
    • November 4, 2018, at 5:54 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  27. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Third, this policy has been common practice for decades. There’s a certain aspect of legitimacy to customary practice.

    This policy doesn’t make any sense to me given how Democrats feel about a lot of other things. I believe they are just being argumentative. It absolutely kills them to agree with the Republicans.

    First of all, Democrats should be seeing that the result is that a baby born to an American citizen anywhere on the planet remains an American citizen because his parents are American citizens. In addition, a baby born on U.S. soil is also an American citizen. Wow. That’s a whole lot of U.S. hegemony for the Democrats.

     

    This is sort of the crux of it, to me. Reverse the argument – if an American couple abroad, pregnant, has a baby in Switzerland, does that give automatic Swiss citizenship to said bay-bee? Does that make sense? See if other countries would agree with this. If the answer to the last question is “no”, then why should it be different for the US?

    Else I think a lot of pregnant Americans should fly to France immediately, to have their children, and take advantage of that swell universal health care that Americans travel abroad to enjoy so much of, so frequently.

    • #27
    • November 4, 2018, at 5:58 AM PST
    • 4 likes