April 12, 2021– The Briefing, Vol IX, Issue 15
- Biden placates the Left, alienates the nation with court-packing talk
- Trump backs Mo Brooks
- Alan Grayson is back!
Court-packing commission: The Biden administration’s most sinister act so far has been the creation of its new court-packing commission. The 36-member panel will be looking into arguments for and against expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court. It would also look into whether to scrap lifetime appointments and replace them with limited-term appointments.
No one should be fooled by the idea that this is being done out of solicitude for good government. It is the Left’s angry reaction to former President Donald Trump’s successful replacement of three Supreme Court justices and the resultant conservative majority on the court today.
Using ludicrous and totally disingenuous arguments, liberals have tried to downplay this commission’s significance, or even to pretend it is some kind of conservative triumph. In fact, it represents one more reminder that the Left insists upon the rules only when they give it an advantage, as during the last 70 years on the Supreme Court. When they find themselves on the losing end, their immediate reaction is to try to change the rules.
After playing by the rules for decades and working toward a more sound Supreme Court that would respect the laws as written and understood through the Constitution’s process of representative democracy, conservatives see their fairly and hard-won victory under assault by extremists who refuse to be governed by their own rules.
Fat chance: Fortunately for the nation and for national unity, Supreme court “reform” is highly unlikely. Too many people oppose it. Biden lacks the large majority and Democrats lack the electoral mandate to make it happen. Court-packing cannot overcome the hurdle of the filibuster, which too many Democratic senators have said they will not support. The votes simply aren’t there in the U.S. Senate. Provided they win the House next year as is at this point vaguely expected, Republicans will be in a position to prevent any sort of court-packing bill, which would be necessary.
For now this is really just the Biden administration’s way of placating left-wing activists who believe they can tweak the machinery of government to the point of giving themselves permanent power. Years ago, they demanded (and received) the abolition of filibusters for certain appointments, including judicial appointments. That turned out to be something of an own-goal when Trump unexpectedly won the presidency in 2016.
But it’s rather scary to think that, if the Democrats had just two more senators, or if the voters ever do give them a clear majority again, they will probably go right ahead and pack the Supreme Court. They miss the rigged judicial system they once enjoyed, which for decades ruled in favor of progressive laws and policies and arbitrarily overturned whatever conservative advances were made in the legislative arena.
Biden’s commission and Democrats’ open discussion of court-packing is currently designed to placate activists. But an important rule in politics is never to threaten to abuse power before you actually have it. Democrats broke this rule in 2016, when soon-to-be-vice-president Tim Kaine promised to abolish the filibuster for soon-to-be-president Hillary Clinton’s Supreme Court justices. They are doing it again.
This is almost certainly a misstep. Along with the border crisis, this could easily become part of their party’s soft underbelly in an already adverse 2022 midterm election.
Georgia: Democratic favorite Stacey Abrams tried to talk MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred out of his much-criticized decision to move the All Star Game from Atlanta — a decision very damaging to local businesses and workers. Her imprimatur would have given him plenty of cover not to do it. But she was just that ineffective in convincing him to ignore her earlier lies about the state’s new election law.
From MLB’s perspective, it is a simple question. Given that the organization is so ridiculously desperate to appear woke, why not just move the All Star Game to a mostly white city and thus avoid additional hassle from the social justice crowd, all in one blow? It is a cynical move, and it evinces no concern whatsoever for the wellbeing of black business owners, but from a pure MLB business perspective, it works.
National Democrats, and especially President Biden himself, have basically thrown the Peach State under the bus, and Abrams is left holding off an angry mob of her own creation.
New York: As was widely expected, eastern Long Island’s Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., is entering the fray to run for governor. The primary is not yet a settled matter — both Rep. Elise Stefanik and former Trump administration Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison Andrew Giuliani have been making noises about running as well.
But the bigger question is probably whether the Republican who gets the nomination will be fortunate enough to face off against Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In that event, Zeldin is a formidable and respected candidate who might be able to win back the very sort of disaffected wealthy suburban Democratic voters who might be turned off by Cuomo’s dire COVID failures and sexual harassment scandals.
It’s a tall order for any Republican to win statewide in New York. The good news for Republicans is that Cuomo evidently has so much muscle within his own party that he might even now be able to force his nomination down Democrats’ throats.
Alabama: As expected, President Trump pulled the trigger and endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks, R, for the Senate seat of the retiring Sen. Richard Shelby. Former Ambassador Lynda Blanchard had a real chance of getting the endorsement, but her team was caught exaggerating just how close her relationship with Trump was. He didn’t take well to it, and Brooks, who supported his challenge to the Electoral College result, was the easy choice from there.
Florida: Former Rep. Alan Grayson, D, the oft-unhinged left-wing candidate of ages past, has filed to run against Sen. Marco Rubio. He probably won’t win the Democratic primary, but that would surely be Rubio’s preferred outcome. A Grayson comeback could be seriously entertaining for everyone.
Rubio’s more serious potential opponents include Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D. At this point, Rubio has both Trump’s support and the backing of the state party establishment, putting him on a glide path to renomination.