The new Supreme Court nominee

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to take the late Antonin Scalia’s slot on the Supreme Court.  Garland is a well-regarded Appeals Court judge, clearly well-qualified and with a reputation for moderation.

Republicans in Congress are refusing to even consider him, insisting that any appointment should wait until after the presidential election.

But couldn’t we expect Hillary Clinton to nominate someone even more liberal?  And who would Trump nominate?  His pro-abortion sister, as he said he might?  Also, pundits are now saying that there is now a good chance that in an anti-Trump landslide Republicans might lose the Senate.  Republicans might do a lot worse than Garland.

Obama is obviously proposing Garland as a safe choice and a way to coax Republicans into allowing him his appointment.  And to look pettily partisan if they oppose a well-qualified candidate with the full panoply of opposition research and personal attacks, as is planned.

Republicans should just praise the nominee but stand on the principle of letting the next president choose.

[Read more…]

Democrats don’t trust the government either

A Pew Research study of people’s attitude towards the government has found that 89% of Republicans seldom trust the government.  But neither do 72% of Democrats.

Back in 1958, a similar study found that three-quarters of Americans did trust their government.  What happened since then, that both liberals and conservatives have become disenchanted with their government?  Has the government changed that much, or have Americans become more savvy about their leaders?  [Read more…]

Should we continue the Syrian immigration program?

The United States has committed to accepting 10,000 immigrants from Syria.  That’s far less than the European nations are faced with, but the attack on Paris has many Americans calling for a halt to that program.  To be sure, most of the immigrants are fleeing ISIS, but ISIS has boasted that it will mingle with the immigrants as a way to invade the west.  Stringent screening is supposedly in place in the U.S., but people are nervous.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has called for a “pause” in the settlement of refugees here.  The GOP presidential candidates are agreeing (except for Jeb Bush).  Twenty-six mostly Republican governors have asked that Syrian refugees not be settled in their states (though they have no authority to stop it).  Republican congressmen are introducing bills to stop the immigration.  One idea being put forward is to settle only Christians, who certainly are fleeing persecution, but the administration is indignant at the prospect of “religious tests.”

What is your opinion?  Are Republicans falling into the Democrats’ stereotype that they are mean and lacking in compassion?  Or are their proposals simple prudence?  What do we Christians do with the teachings in Scripture that we should welcome “the aliens”?  Does that apply here? [Read more…]

If Trump wins the GOP nomination. . .

Republican insiders are realizing what they once thought was unthinkable:  Donald Trump could win their party’s presidential nomination.  This, despite the fact that he violates nearly every tenet of their constituency:  he is not small government; he wants to increase taxes on the rich; he is not libertarian; he is not a free marketer; he is not evangelical (though he has support among some Prosperity Gospel pentecostals); and he is not recognizably conservative (except for opposing immigration).  And yet he strikes a strong chord among ordinary people who do not care all that much for ideology, and he may well get the nomination.  In fact, he may well get elected president.

Walter Hudson asks Can You Remain a Republican with Trump as the nominee? , implying that the answer is “no.” Evangelical blogger Thomas Kidd writes of Donald Trump and the Coming Christian Political Realignment, saying that conservative Christians cannot and will not support him.

So it’s time to ask of you Republicans out there the question that kicked off the Republican candidate debates:  Will you support the Republican nominee for president?  If it is Donald Trump?

Ironically, Trump was the only one back then who said “no.”  The other candidates said that they would.  I wonder if they will stick to their pledge if they all get beaten by a man they consider to be an unqualified demagogue.

But what about you?  Even if you don’t like Trump, would you vote for him over Hillary Clinton?  If you would not vote for him under any circumstances, like Prof. Kidd, will you vote for the Democrat (Clinton? Sanders?), an Independent (Jim Webb?), a third party candidate (who?), or just stay home? [Read more…]

Why Democrats hate you and Republicans are lousy politicians

Conservative satirist P. J. O’Rourke has written a devastating take-down of Democrats, though Republicans do not emerge unscathed.  You have got to read it.  Sample:

Democrats are in favor of abortion and against the death penalty. How could anyone possibly arrive at that pair of moral judgments? Republicans can, sometimes, understand the majesty of death—abortion as a matter of private conscience and evil paying the ultimate price. Republicans can, sometimes, understand the sacredness of life—each fetus as a being and how we must not take what we cannot give from any person, however bad. But no Republican understands the virtue of killing a baby too innocent to be born while sheltering and feeding a murderer until he gets fed up and tunnels out of Dannemora.

Read the whole thing, linked after the jump. [Read more…]

The Trump of doom?

Despite all of the outrage he is provoking, to the point of losing his TV shows, Donald Trump as a presidential candidate is soaring in the polls.  One poll has him leading the crowd.  Polls in the early primary states New Hampshire and Iowa have him second to Jeb Bush.

Is this due to the anti-immigration passion of the Republican rank and file?  Is it due to a populism that is veering to extremes, as the Democrats are experiencing in the unexpected popularity of socialist Bernie Sanders, the Republicans counter being a stereotypical wealthy capitalist?  Is this Trump a herald of doom for Republicans?  Or is it a bugle sounding the charge to victory?  (Sorry about overdoing the wordplay figure of speech.) [Read more…]