Saturday, April 8, 2017

Neither ‘Justice Gorsuch’ concept, nor Donnelly's Dem vote, a surprise

We’re in a particularly partisan era of our society politically. We have a federal government that is determined to impose its will upon us all, and let the opposition know its irrelevance!
DONNELLY: One of 3 Dems to back Gorsuch

So anybody who thought there was a chance that Neil Gorsuch would be denied the Supreme Court position to which President Donald J. Trump appointed him was seriously kidding themselves.

THE ONLY REASON that the federal healthcare reform program imposed during the presidency of Barack Obama remains in place is because of the incompetence politically and socially of the current government leadership in Washington, D.C.

The will to do away with the Affordable Care Act was just as intense as it was to approve Gorsuch’s appointment. In fact, if anything, the failure to successfully repeal Obama’s health care reform only strengthened the resolve to ensure that the Senate approved the appointment to the high court.

Republicans were sick and tired of looking inept and incapable of governing. After all, what’s the point of having the White House AND complete control of Congress if you can’t strong-arm issues into public policy?

So it was inevitable that the Senate leadership would use their “nuclear” option to eliminate the rules that allowed an outspoken minority from preventing a final vote on Gorsuch’s appointment. It was also a “done deal” that when the issue came up Friday for a vote, the Republican majority in the Senate would approve him.


From the perspective of a political observer, the question I had was how many Democrats would wind up casting votes in favor of the appointment because they don’t want to give Republicans the opportunity to “tag” them as flaming liberals, subversives or whatever other cheap rhetoric the GOP dreams up for the 2018 election cycle.

It turns out three of the 46 Democrats wound up siding with the 51 Republicans who voted to approve Gorsuch (Johnny Isakson of Georgia was absent on Friday).

GORSUCH: That's 'Justice' Gorsuch now!!!
One of those three was Joseph Donnelly, a senator from Indiana (the South Bend area, specifically, and a guy who takes great pride in being a Notre Dame alumnus).

DONNELLY ISN’T EXACTLY a wild-eyed radical (although many GOPers do think that of everybody who isn’t in complete lock-step agreement with them). He’s certainly no Jan Schakowsky – as in the oft-outspoken Congresswoman from Evanston.

But he’s progressive enough on many issues, and he certainly has been willing to set foot in Chicago to take political support from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and campaign contributions from many of the same people who fund the political aspirations of our own state’s Democratic leadership.

So is Donnelly a sell-out?

Or is he just someone who’s thinking strategically about his vote. Knowing there’s no way his own caucus is going to be able to kill the Gorsuch appointment, he wound up siding with it so that a “no” vote on his part couldn’t become an issue to be used against him when he seeks re-election in the 2018 cycle.

IN FACT, THE Reuters wire service pointed out in their story that all three of the Democratic senators who voted for Gorsuch are up for re-election next year and come from states (Indiana, West Virginia and North Dakota) where Trump won the Electoral College in 2016.

There are those who think this kind of strategic action rings false. Politicians should vote what they think (or what they think their constituents think), rather than what they think will help their preservation. But it does happen.
OBAMA: Acted similarly on select issues

Let’s not forget Barack Obama from back when he was a U.S. senator from Illinois – his voting record includes an “aye” vote for a measure related to supporting construction of a wall along the U.S./Mexico border. For that matter, so does the record of Hillary Clinton when she was the junior senator from New York.

Does anybody believe either of them is in agreement with Trump on that issue, or any other? Nor does it lessen the impact that Gorsuch (who at age 49 becomes the first Supreme Court justice younger than myself) can potentially have if he chooses to put the “Trump” brand on the court and so many aspects of our society.


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