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Mid-point of 2016 Primary Season


At some point this morning I realized I could easily spend an hour or two trying to tweet out my reactions to the state of politics right now. Then I remembered - I have my oft neglected blog for such impulses.Basically one thing strikes me at this point in 2016. The Republican Party - all of it - has no business being in government. If the best the GOP honchos can do is suggest Ted Cruz is the lesser of two evils than we are looking at an institution that has reached and passed its sell-by date. Cruz is not fit to be president. As demonstrated by his shut-down scheme, he is not fit to be a senator. His suggestion that patrols should be conducted of Muslim neighborhoods is exactly the kind of policy proposal his father left Cuba to escape. 'Nuff said.That said, Trump has been able to do the one thing I thought impossible - make me mildly sympathetic towards Ted Cruz. So, here I go: comparing the relative hotness of candidate wives, threatening to expose information about said spouse, and just generally going after loved ones of a candidate's family is wrong. Simply wrong. It's the kind of thing that should relegate The Donald to the same dark, windowless room Mel Gibson currently inhabits.
Instead the carnival continues.I glanced through an article yesterday suggesting Trump, if elected president, would outsource his Supreme Court nomination process to the Heritage Foundation. That's his 'oh-so-sly' way of getting establishment types to his corner, I suppose.  I imagine his pitch as going something like this:"Okay, you don't like me. You don't trust me. But I know what you folks like, okay? Conservative judges. Very, very conservative judges. I'll get my best brand development - er, vetting committee - on this ASAP. I'll have the best words for whatever judge I pick. Tall. Conservative. Hates women. Conservative.  Loves the constitution. You're going to love him. Trust me."Does anyone seriously think Trump's approach to nominating a Supreme Court Justice will be in any way different than how he chooses any other part of his branding empire? You love Trump steaks, you'll love Trump Scalia!Bigger question. Why exactly does Mitch McConnell think he's going to get a judge he likes from Trump rather than Obama?For the moment the Garland embargo holds, even as McConnell's levy keeping the waters of reason from reaching the U.S. Senate continues to crumble. This whole episode - however it turns out - reminds me of how much I'm going to miss President Obama when he leaves office. Another president, confronted with McConnell's intransigence would fume, throw a tantrum, or give up. Obama simply presses forward.

In general, I feel like that's nearly always the right approach. Confronted with the insane, the boorish, the irrational, you can't join the tantrum. You make it clear what's going to happen and then you start walking ahead.

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