Are Conservatives Tired Of Winning Yet?

 

 

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised Republicans that “We are going to win so much that you may even get tired of winning.” Over the past year, I’ve noticed that the president’s supporters and conservative critics don’t seem to share the same definition of “winning.”

A few times recently the different views of winning have come to the surface. When Donald Trump tweeted, “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen,” Trump supporters erupted in cheers and celebrations on social media. Several lists of Trump’s accomplishments making their way around the internet, such as this one on Conservapedia, point out the areas where Trump supporters believe he is winning.

From my analysis, President Trump’s accomplishments seem to fall into three main categories. First is the appointments of conservative jurists to positions throughout the judiciary. Second, Trump has used his executive authority to enact a number of promised reforms. Finally, Donald Trump uses his “bully pulpit” to fight back. The duration and effect of these accomplishments varies wildly.

In my view, President Trump’s most important and – so far – only lasting accomplishment has been his effect on the federal judiciary. The appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is only the tip of the iceberg. Working with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who many Trump supporters view as an establishment foe, Trump had appointed 44 federal judges and had eight confirmed by August. These conservative judges will have a lasting effect on the judicial branch.

The same cannot be said of Trump’s executive actions. Many of President Trump’s executive actions overturn President Obama’s executive actions. A successor could erase President Trump’s executive legacy just as easily.

The quality of President Trump’s executive actions varies as well. His executive actions range from the excellent, such as cutting bureaucratic regulations and reinstating the Mexico City policy to ban federal funding for abortions in other countries, to the ineffective, such as his travel bans that would likely have no effect on fighting terrorism.

Some of Trump’s executive actions, though they fulfill campaign promises and are applauded by his supporters, are actually harmful to the country. In one of his first acts as president, Trump withdrew from the Trans Pacific Partnership. The lack of American participation did not kill the trade deal, however. Other parties to the treaty are continuing to move forward on the agreement. If the deal goes forward without the United States, it will be American businesses, workers and consumers who lose.

The third category of Trump accomplishments is the most meaningless and illusory. Trump supporters love his snarky tweets and insults. They like the fact that he fights back and consider this an accomplishment. Essentially, Trump’s tweets and insults make Republicans feel good about themselves.

The problem is that Trump has the opposite effect on the rest of the country. An ABC News poll found that 70 percent of the public thinks that Trump does not act presidential and 68 percent don’t see him as a positive role model. The president’s behavior is now directly linked to electoral losses in which voters say that they are voting for Democrats specifically because they oppose Donald Trump.

Another commonly cited accomplishment is the surging stock market. While stocks have hit record highs under Trump, they did the same under Obama. In fact, a look at the stock market over the past 10 years shows that the market has been climbing since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. Supporters have difficulty pointing to any specific Trump policy change that could explain the surging market since Republicans have scored so few victories on fiscal and economic policy.

On the other hand, my definition of “winning” relies heavily on legislative victories that would be difficult for Democrats to reverse. As the Trump Administration prepares to close out its first year and enter a midterm election year, it has not scored a single legislative victory.

The repeal or reform of Obamacare would have been a major legislative victory since Republicans had been campaigning against the federal health law since 2010. Donald Trump campaigned against Obamacare as well, but when the chips were down, the president’s erratic behavior and attacks on Republican senators almost certainly contributed to the reform effort’s demise.

Likewise, Trump began the tax reform effort with a war against Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate budget committee. Trump insisted that, in contrast with conservative fiscal doctrine, that the tax reform not lower the rates of the wealthiest taxpayers. The top 20 percent of taxpayers pay 95 percent of taxes per the Office of Management and Budget, but taxpayers in the top bracket won’t get a lower rate, if tax reform actually becomes law, thanks to President Trump.

While Trump supporters may argue that the president has accomplished more than any president except FDR, most Americans understand how little has been done in the past year. Without the passage of a single piece of legislation that is part of the Trump agenda, Republicans seeking reelection have few accomplishments to run on. As a result, many Republicans are deciding that 2018 is a good time to retire.

Donald Trump has not ushered in an era in which conservatives have grown tired of winning. In fact, winning has been in short supply over the past year. What President Trump has lacked in winning, he has more than made up for in whining, but that makes a poor substitute.

Few Lasting Achievements From Trump’s First 100 Days

As the Trump Administration passes its 100-day mark, the most striking thing is how ineffective the new president has been thus far. In spite of a plethora of Executive Orders that undoubtedly please most on the right, President Trump has put few lasting marks on the country at this early point in his presidency.

Even though President Trump has signed many bills in his tenure as president, most have not been laws that have lasting significance. For conservatives, passing laws is not an end unto itself. Laws should roll back government and make it smaller and less intrusive on the American people. Politifact notes that several of the bills that Trump has signed are business-as-usual type laws that designate memorials and name buildings, for example.

Not all of Trump’s new laws have been trivial, however. About half of the 28 bills signed by Trump so far were passed under the Congressional Review Act. This law allows Congress to review and rescind last-minute Obama-era rules by federal agencies. The law provides for a 60-day window to review bureaucratic rules that begins when Congress is notified that a rule has been finalized. The Daily Signal has a list of Obama-era rules that run the gamut from gun control to environment to education that have been rescinded by President Trump and the new Congress. Nevertheless, the laws merely preserve the status quo and do not break new ground in shrinking government or rolling back Obama’s legislation. Additionally, the window is now closed to rescind other rules from the Obama Administration.

The most notable legislative story of Trump’s 100 days is the failure to advance a bill repealing or reforming Obamacare. For seven years, Republicans have railed against President Obama’s trademark health entitlement yet, under President Trump’s leadership, Republicans in Congress have failed to advance even a watered-down version of bill reforming Obamacare.

President Trump’s answer was to pivot from health care to tax reform, but he is likely to have the same result and for the same reasons. The Trump coattails left Republicans with tiny majorities in both houses of Congress. The Republican Senate majority cannot defeat a Democrat filibuster and the House Republicans are too divided between Tuesday Group moderates and Freedom Caucus conservatives to pass a health reform bill. Tax reform is likely to be no different.

In order to avert a government shutdown, President Trump even had to give in and omit funding for construction of his wall and crackdown on sanctuary cities from the spending bill that will carry the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. Trump said repeatedly that Mexico would pay for the wall before asking for taxpayer funds.

Trump has done better with Executive Orders. The president has issued many orders that will slow the growth of government and streamline government regulations. An early Trump Executive Order reinstated President Reagan’s Mexico City policy that banned federal funds from international groups that promote abortion. President Obama had rescinded the policy in 2009. Other Executive Orders, such as the travel ban, seem poorly conceived from the beginning.

Good or bad, Executive Orders are limited. The president cannot legislate from the Oval Office with an Executive Order in place of Congress. Executive Orders may also last only as long as the president who signed them. An incoming president could sign Executive Orders rescinding Trump’s orders as easily as Trump reversed Obama’s.

On foreign policy, President Trump, whose views in the campaign ranged from promising a plan to destroy ISIS within his first month to neo-isolationism in other regions, launched what is largely considered to be an ineffective attack on a Syrian airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack before turning his attention to North Korea.

For several weeks, Trump suggested that he would make trade concessions to China in exchange for help in dealing with North Korea. As recently as April 30, Trump suggested on CBS News that he was open to dealing with China on trade, saying, “Trade is very important. But massive warfare with millions, potentially millions of people being killed? That, as we would say, trumps trade.”

Today that has changed. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross seemed to walk back weeks of diplomatic overtures in an interview with CBS, saying, “I don’t think he [Trump] meant to indicate at all that he intends to trade away American jobs just for help on North Korea.”

One hundred days into Trump’s presidency, there is also still no detailed plan to defeat ISIS.

To date, the Trump presidency can be described as lurching from one crisis to another. Some of these crises have been self-inflicted, such as the president’s tweets about wiretapping by the Obama Administration. Others, such as North Korean missile tests and Syrian chemical warfare, have been outside the president’s control. Still others, such as the division among congressional Republicans, reflect a lack of leadership from President Trump.

The one unqualified success that President Trump has had is with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch seems to be as solid a conservative jurist as anyone could possibly have picked. Nevertheless, the confirmation came at the cost of the filibuster. This was necessary due to unreasonable Democratic obstructionism, but may haunt Republicans in the future.

To have a lasting and positive impact, President Trump is going to have to develop a cogent and consistent worldview on both domestic and foreign policy. So far, the president has been inconsistent on numerous issues in both realms. He needs to make up his mind as to what his goals are and concentrate on those items.

The president also needs to learn to work with Congress. Donald Trump was elected partly on claims that he is a world-class dealmaker. His deal-making skills are sorely needed in hammering out compromises on Obamacare and tax reform, but so far President Trump seems to have little interest in the details of policymaking. The president should realize that the qualities that made him the Republican nominee and that enabled him to win the election don’t necessarily make him a natural leader and statesman.

None of this means that he will have a failed presidency, however. President Trump has assembled a very qualified and capable team. With a few exceptions, the Trump cabinet can truly be called a “conservative dream team.” President Trump should listen to their advice and consider it carefully.

As someone who was a Never Trump conservative and a third-party voter during the election, I must admit that Trump, with all his foibles, has not been the worst-case scenario that I feared. So far, he has undoubtedly been better than President Hillary (shudder) would have been. Neither has he been a valiant, steely-eyed, conservative leader. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

So far President Trump has been erratic and ineffective, but he has trended toward the right. In some cases, such as backing away from his plans to terminate NAFTA, his flip-flops have even be reassuring. In other cases, such as his saber-rattling against North Korea, his actions are downright scary.

After 100 days, the jury is still out.

Donald Trump Just Hands Conservatives Another Appointment in the Mold of Neil Gorsuch

President Trump handed conservatives a solid appointment to the United States Supreme Court with Neil Gorsuch. He alleviated much of the concerns conservatives had with his election. Now he is doing it again.

The President has nominated former New Jersey congressman Scott Garrett to lead the Export-Import Bank. Garrett has long been a critic of the bank, claiming it fosters crony capitalism. And it does. The institution has gotten corrupt over the years and has frequently structured sweetheart deals that put American industries in disadvantageous positions against foreign competitors.

CNBC is noting that “no one is happy” about this, but that simply is not true. If the President is not going to kill off the Ex-Im Bank, which he should do, the next best thing is to put people in charge of it who are skeptical of it and willing to reform it.

There is no question the Ex-Im Bank needs reform and there is no better person to do it than Scott Garrett. He is, without a doubt, a strong conservative who is unwilling to sell out his principles just to save himself. He will be a leader.

Gorsuch on the Court and Garrett at the Ex-Im Bank are two very, very worthy appointments. Ajit Pai at the FCC is another. These appointees are making incursions into the permanent bureaucratic state and fighting necessary fights or us.

Media Bias 101

After the November election last year, a friend of mine asked how many reporters know people with a pick up truck. It seemed a reasonable question. The pick up truck makes up the top three most popular vehicles in the United States. How many truck owners do political reporters know? You would have thought he had accused the American political press of prostitution. Members of the American political press were livid he would dare ask the question.

The American political press is one of the most insular institutions in America and hate being exposed for their insularity. They are mostly coastal, secular, if not flat out atheist, overwhelmingly liberal, and have nothing in common with nor want to have anything in common with the average American.

This past week has been a case study in that media bias starting with Susan Rice, President Obama’s National Security Advisor. I have fond affection for CNN, having gotten my start in television there. Yes, I have seen firsthand liberal bias in their newsroom. But I think it often comes more from worldview and being inside a bubble than it does from aggressive partisanship. I think most of the anchors at CNN, particularly the further in the day one watches, do their absolute best to be objective, fair and cover all sides. If the network would abandon the Democrat Governor of New York’s more dimwitted brother for their morning show, the network as a whole would be improved. The people at CNN are some of the best and most professional in the news business.

But CNN did a real disservice this past week. Two weeks ago, Susan Rice denied unmasking any Trump transition team members. Her denial came as Republicans found more evidence that Obama Administration officials did seek the names of Trump transition team officials talking to foreign governments.

But just this past week, she reversed course but claimed it was not illegal and said she was not the leaker. Rice, however, has a sordid history with truth. She is the one who blamed the Benghazi terrorist attack on a YouTube video, which we all know was not true.

This brings me back to CNN. The network’s national security reporter is Jim Sciutto. After reports circulated Rice was behind the unmasking, Sciutto claimed sources close to Rice told him, “The idea that Ambassador Rice improperly sought the identities of Americans is false.” He was personally dismissive of the allegations. Remember, though, Susan Rice subsequently admitted she had names unmasked.

Jim Sciutto used to be an Obama Administration official who left the Administration for a job at ABC News working with Susan Rice’s husband. Sciutto is one of many Obama appointees who went back into the media with the veneer of objectivity. Sciutto should have been conflicted out of coverage on this story, but he was not.

The Rice story comes as Republicans in Washington blow up the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. On this story, CNN has been intellectually honest and one of the few to be honest. Read most any major newspaper or any news network other than CNN and Fox and you would never know Democrats actually scrapped the filibuster for Barack Obama’s nominees. All the GOP is doing is finishing the Democrats’ job.

Reporters who, when Democrats scuttled the filibuster for nominees, said it was no big deal, now argue that the Republicans are fundamentally destroying what makes the Senate unique. Of course, it is not just them. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who campaigned on destroying the filibuster to advance her liberal agenda, now claims destroying the filibuster is a national travesty. The intellectual dishonesty is amazing. That the media is as intellectually dishonest on this issue as partisan Democrats is not surprising, but should be disturbing.

If the American media wants to restore its reputation, perhaps it could both relate better to the American people and stop giving partisan political appointees the veneer of objectivity. The American people need a media they can trust and instead have a political press that not only does not relate to them, but holds the people in contempt.

Congratulations! Justice Neil Gorsuch To Be Sworn In Monday

The Senate has voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch as the newest member of the Supreme Court. This is the cornerstone of President Trump’s legacy, turning the country from liberal, bench-legislating justices.

The final vote was 54-45. In the end, three Democrats voted to confirm: Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin and Joe Donnelly. Every GOP senator voted along party lines. The pointless filibuster was–well, pointless.

Gorsuch will be officially sworn in Monday.

While conservatives rejoice…

Leonard Leo, adviser to President Trump on the Supreme Court, on leave from the Federalist Society:

“Throughout his career, Judge Gorsuch has demonstrated his commitment to judicial independence and to deciding cases according to the law instead of political preferences.  I applaud President Trump for choosing such an outstanding nominee, and Leader McConnell and his colleagues for defeating an unprecedented partisan filibuster.  A year ago we lost Justice Scalia, a giant, and today we are one step closer to seeing the preservation of his legacy on the Court.”

Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy adviser, Judicial Crisis Network:

“Congratulations to Judge Gorsuch on his confirmation, and to President Trump and Leader McConnell on this extraordinary achievement.  Because of their leadership, and because of Judge Gorsuch’s commitment to judicial independence and the rule of law, Justice Scalia’s legacy will continue on the Supreme Court.”​

Jenny Beth Martin, president and co-founder, Tea Party Patriots:

“This is an outstanding achievement for President Trump and Senate Republicans who overcame the Democrats’ gridlock strategy and confirmed Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.  With this confirmation vote the torch has been passed from the late Justice Antonin Scalia to an exceptionally well-qualified jurist in Judge Gorsuch. We welcome his addition to the court and look forward with confidence to his upholding and honoring the legacy of Justice Scalia.”

Liberals mourn…

Weasley Worded News Reports That Neil Gorsuch Committed Plagiarism Are Fake News. Here’s Why.

BuzzFeed is the first out of the gate with a weasley worded headline designed to accuse Neil Gorsuch of plagiarizing without actually doing so because BuzzFeed knows it is not true. Why? Because they and Politico, which is also planning to run this story, both knew from the alleged victim that it was not plagiarism before running the story.

BuzzFeed’s headline is “A Short Section In Neil Gorsuch’s 2006 Book Appears To Be Copied From A Law Review Article” with the subtitle “The section is just two paragraphs and accompanying footnotes, but it repeats language and sourcing from another work, a 1984 law review article.”

Notice “appears to be” in the headline. Notice “repeats language and sourcing,” which means Gorsuch used the same primary sources instead of relying on someone else’s work.

Democrats have been shopping this story around for a week. They claim Neil Gorsuch committed plagiarism. The allegation is that in a body of written work that amounts to over literally 7,000 written pages, Gorsuch plagiarized two paragraphs. The allegation is crap and the reporters who are pushing this out are Democrats masquerading as objective reporters. Don’t believe me though. Believe the people who are the supposed victims of the plagiarism.

BuzzFeed’s reporter is a gay rights activist who has been openly contemptuous of conservatives and conservative legal scholars over the years as he has advocated for the gay agenda. The Politico’s reporter, once he drops his work that will sound like BuzzFeed’s and thereby meet both organizations’ definition of plagiarism, is a Democrat hack.

You need some background for this attack.

A lot of law review articles and legal articles in general cite each other. They reference each other. But the longer a topic goes along, the more and more often a lawyer and law student is citing the second hand recitations instead of the first hand documents and case law.

Gorsuch ran into that problem when writing about an Infant Doe case that originated in 1982. In his 2006 book, The Future of Assisted Suicide, Gorsuch did not cite a 1984 Indiana Law Journal article written by Abigail Lawlis Kuzma. Instead, Gorsuch went to the original materials. He referred to an unpublished declaratory judgment that formed the basis of the case, a text book, and an 1983 newspaper article. He is being accused of plagiarism for using the original sources to give the facts of a case instead of relying on someone else’s second hand account, which means that the publication that claimed Gorsuch committed plagiarism after another publication did the same has committed plagiarism.

Basically, Roe v. Wade involved a plaintiff in Texas who sought an abortion and was denied the ability to have one. She sued. According to the standard being laid out for Gorsuch, what I just wrote would be plagiarism. It is, however, journalism and English writing 101 that recitations of facts are not plagiarism.

Again though, don’t believe me. Believe Abigail Lawlis Kuzma, the supposed victim of Gorsuch’s plagiarism. She has released a statement, after reviewing the accusations, and states:

I have reviewed both passages and do not see an issue here, even though the language is similar. These passages are factual, not analytical in nature, framing both the technical legal and medical circumstances of the “Baby/Infant Doe” case that occurred in 1982. Given that these passages both describe the basic facts of the case, it would have been awkward and difficult for Judge Gorsuch to have used different language.

Kuzma’s position is straight forward. Gorsuch wrote about the same topic she did, using the same sources she did, and relayed the same facts similarly to her because those were the facts conveyed by the original sources. Gorsuch doing his own homework, relaying the same objective facts, is not plagiarism by any standard other than the left’s hysterics.

Even more ridiculously, the Democrats assert Gorsuch plagiarized Kuzma’s definition of Down Syndrome. In his 2006 book, Gorsuch described Down Syndrome as “chromosomal disorder that involves both a certain amount of physical deformity and some degree of mental retardation.” Kuzma, in 1984, described it as, “an incurable chromosomal disorder that involves a certain amount of physical deformity and an unpredictable degree of mental retardation.”

Why is that not plagiarism? Every definition of Down Syndrome contains those phrases. It is common to the definition.

That’s like accusing Dictionary.com of plagiarizing Merriam Webster on the definition of blue. Here is Dictionary.com:

the pure color of a clear sky; the primary color between green and violet in the visible spectrum, an effect of light with a wavelength between 450 and 500 nm.

Here is Merriam Webster:

of the color whose hue is that of the clear sky

For that matter, here is the OED:

Of a colour intermediate between green and violet, as of the sky or sea on a sunny day.

Heck, for that matter, here is Dictionary.com on Down Syndrome:

a genetic disorder, associated with the presence of an extra chromosome 21, characterized by mild to severe mental impairment, weak muscle tone, shorter stature, and a flattened facial profile.

Merriam-Webster:

a congenital condition characterized especially by mental retardation, short stature, upward slanting eyes, a flattened nasal bridge, broad hands with short fingers, decreased muscle tone, and by trisomy of the human chromosome numbered 21 —called also trisomy 21

And the OED:

A congenital disorder arising from a chromosome defect, causing intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities including short stature and a broad facial profile. It arises from a defect involving chromosome 21, usually an extra copy (trisomy-21).

There are certain phrases that must come with a definition. It is not plagiarism to use those definitions.

It is worth noting that even the outside reviewers of Gorsuch’s book, related to his PhD. dissertation, is calling b.s. on the plagiarism claim. John Keown, the Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Christian Ethics at Georgetown University, one of the outside examiners for Judge Gorsuch’s dissertation, wrote in a statement:

“The allegation is entirely without foundation. The book is meticulous in its citation of primary sources. The allegation that the book is guilty of plagiarism because it does not cite secondary sources which draw on those same primary sources is, frankly, absurd. Indeed, the book’s reliance on primary rather than secondary sources is one of its many strengths.”

John Finnis, Emeritus Professor of Law at Oxford University, who was Gorsuch’s thesis Supervisor for his Oxford Doctoral Thesis that underlies his book has gone on record this evening saying

“[I]n my opinion, none of the allegations has any substance or justification … In all four cases, Neil Gorsuch’s writing and citing was easily and well within the proper and accepted standards of scholarly research and writing in the field of study in which he was working.”

This is another reason the GOP needs to scuttle the filibuster immediately. Democrats and partisan members of the press have gone beyond honest objections to character assassination. They are trying to rewrite definitions to things like plagiarism to destroy an honest man’s reputation.

Their arguments are in bad faith and the GOP should stop humoring them and scrap the filibuster immediately.

And why am I not surprised it is BuzzFeed and Politico running these stories. Neither is really interested in facts. They just want to generate controversy and clicks. See e.g. BuzzFeed’s running of the unsubstantiated allegations against President Trump. But we can tell which of the two has even less ethical and journalistic standards — BuzzFeed, which rushed out the story with the weasle headline of “Appears to be copied.”

Perhaps, considering the victim says this is not plagiarism, Politico will decide to not print the Democrats’ hit job.

SCANDAL: John Bresnahan and Burgess Everett at The Politico Appear to Have Plagiarized From BuzzFeed

John Bresnahan and Burgess Everett, two reporters at Politico, appear to have copied the work of BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner. In a Politico story that peddles easily refuted Democrat attacks on Neil Gorsuch, Bresnahan and Everitt write:

The documents show that several passages from the tenth chapter of his 2006 book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” read nearly verbatim to a 1984 article in the Indiana Law Journal. In several other instances in that book and an academic article published in 2000, Gorsuch borrowed from the ideas, quotes and structures of scholarly and legal works without citing them.

But earlier, BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner covered the same topic and wrote:

The section at issue in his book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, is a brief one: It is a summary of the facts and ruling in the 1982 case of Baby Doe, a baby born in Indiana with Down syndrome. It takes up only two paragraphs and seven endnotes in a book that covers more than 300 pages, including endnotes. The book came out of his 2004 Doctor of Philosophy dissertation from the University of Oxford.

Ruh-roh. Not good. It looks like Politico relied on the Democrats’ talking point sheets they sent over earlier to both BuzzFeed and Politico and did not cite BuzzFeed, which published first.

Oh wait! That is exactly what Neil Gorsuch did. In fact, as if subconsciously admitting their story is bulls**t, the Politico reporters include this:

Yet a review of the documents provided to POLITICO shows Gorsuch parroting other writers’ prose and sourcing without citing them. Instead, Gorsuch often acknowledges the primary sources cited by those writers.

In the most striking example, Gorsuch, in his book, appears to duplicate sentences from an Indiana Law Journal article written by Abigail Lawlis Kuzma without attributing her. Instead, he uses the same sources that Kuzma used: A 1982 Indiana court ruling that was later sealed, a well-known pediatrics textbook, “Rudolph’s Pediatrics,” and a 1983 article in the Bloomington Sunday Herald.

What?! Gorsuch provides citations to primary sources that might have provided the original wording used by someone he did not cite?! How dare he!!

This is such a crap story. The attack on Gorsuch is that he did his own research and cited the original, primary sources, instead of just copying what someone else did.

The reason this is a big story in the press is that this is what the press does. Normally, BuzzFeed runs a story and then Politico runs a story citing BuzzFeed because they are too damn lazy to do their own work.

The outrage here is really that Gorsuch is not a lazy Washington millennial reporter with no sense of history, but actually put in the time to do his own research and cite original sources.

Meanwhile, reporters at Politico and BuzzFeed were both spoonfed the story from Democrats. In fact, Politico even admits they were too damn lazy to do in depth work.

POLITICO did not conduct a full examination of the federal judge’s writings.

So in documents spoonfed by Democrats with talking points supplied by Democrats, it appears Neil Gorsuch failed to cite someone who had previously written about a topic. He had the audacity to, instead, do his own work relying on original sources.

By the way, it is worth noting that the purported victim of the plagiarization denies being plagiarized. She too notes that Gorsuch simply looked at the same primary sources she looked at and there was really only one way to describe them.

Maybe if reporters would actually do what Gorsuch did, they wouldn’t get duped into spoonfed stupidity. John Bresnahan and Burgess Everett did not actually plagiarize BuzzFeed. But using the standard they are holding Gorsuch to, they did. That is why this is a crap story. No one committed plagiarism. They just want to generate controversy, damn the facts.

Democrats Should Save The Filibuster

The Democrats cannot prevent Neil Gorsuch from taking his place on the Supreme Court, but how they decide to handle their opposition to his nomination will make or break the Senate’s filibuster tradition. If the filibuster, which has endured in the Senate for more than a century, is eliminated, it will be nobody’s fault, but their own.

The filibuster dates back to at least the 1840s. The early tradition of the Senate was to allow unlimited debate on legislation. In 1917, Senate rules were changed to allow for a cloture vote, in which a two-thirds majority of senators could stop a filibuster. The requirement was later lowered further to the current 60 votes.

The history of the filibuster of judicial nominees is more recent. According to the Washington Post, the filibuster of qualified judicial nominees began when Democrats held up George W. Bush’s nomination of Miguel Estrada to the Court of Appeals in 2003. After seven failed cloture votes, Estrada withdrew his name from consideration and a new Democrat tactic was born.

In 2005, a bipartisan group of Senators called the “Gang of Fourteen,” many of whom are no longer in office, compromised to allow a vote on several of President Bush’s nominees and averted a threat by Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to end the filibuster for nominees. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) told CNN that the group agreed that filibusters of nominees would only be used in “extraordinary circumstances” and would “try to do everything in our power to prevent filibusters in the future.”

When Republicans used the tactic under President Obama in 2013, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) changed Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster of most presidential nominees, but left it intact for Supreme Court nominees. “The American people believe the Senate is broken, and I believe the American people are right,” Reid told the Washington Post at the time, “It’s time to get the Senate working again.”

At the same time, Reid also changed Senate rules to require only a simple majority vote to amend Senate rules rather than the traditional two-thirds vote required for major rule changes. Reid’s precedent makes it much easier to Republicans to change the Senate rules today.

Fast forward to 2017 and Democrats are threatening to filibuster another well qualified nominee. The Democrats do not have enough votes to defeat the Gorsuch nomination, but they do have enough votes to block the Senate from voting on him under current filibuster rules.

A Democrat filibuster would be an exercise in futility that would change the Senate forever.

Appearing on Fox News, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Sunday, “We’re going to confirm Judge Gorsuch this week.” Implicit in the remark is the promise that there will be a vote on the Gorsuch nomination, regardless of whether Democrats attempt a filibuster or not. McConnell will invoke the so-called “nuclear option” and change Senate rules, which require now only a simple majority vote to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.

For years, the policy of the United States has been one of “no first use” of nuclear weapons. Harry Reid’s decision to invoke the nuclear option in 2013 shows why. It becomes easier for other countries to use their own nuclear option when the situation warrants.

By eliminating the filibuster for most nominees, Harry Reid made it likely that the filibuster would be erased for the few exceptions that remained as well. There is little doubt among Republicans that, if the roles were reversed, the Democrats would eliminate the filibuster because they have already done so. McConnell and the Republicans feel that they have nothing to lose.

Some conservatives were even ready to trash the filibuster while Barack Obama was president in order to end the Democrat filibuster of Obamacare repeal legislation. At the time, this would have been pointless since President Obama would have vetoed the bill anyway.

If the filibuster is eliminated for judicial nominees, the next step in the escalation will be to eliminate it entirely. If this happens, the Senate will lose a valuable protection against a tyranny by the majority.

The Democrats can prevent this and save the filibuster simply by being reasonable. They should admit defeat and allow a vote on Judge Gorsuch’s appointment. They can vote “no” to appease their constituents and assuage their consciences.

In the end, a vote will be held and Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed. The only question is whether the filibuster will be a casualty of the confirmation fight.