Tag - Sen. Chuck Schumer

For Dreamers – DACA is a Pipe Dream

Much has been written about President Trump revoking the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Order put into action by the Obama administration.

An equal amount, or more, has been written about the meeting in the Oval Office with Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. After conflicting reports of what was agreed upon during the conversation, and after a few days have past, it appears the President agreed to only continue conversations.

A careful study of the stakeholders involved seems to show any sort of DACA-Dreamers success to be remote at best. There appear to be simply too many obstacles for compromise to take place.

Left alone, President Trump, and both the Democrat and Republican leadership could probably come to a deal. While there are differences those are manageable.

Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Schumer would like to see immediate amnesty for the Dreamers, but would settle for a path to citizenship. They are content to leave out the vast majority of illegal aliens in this DACA bill. They are happy to throw money at “border security” as long as specific funding for the border wall isn’t included.

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Paul Ryan would ideally like an overall more comprehensive immigration bill, but will settle for Dreamers. They can’t agree to immediate amnesty, but are more than willing to work on language about a path to permanent status if not citizenship. Given the fact they don’t want to fund the border wall either, they are more than happy to fund increased undefined “border security” and call that a victory.

The President first and foremost wants this off his desk, with something that can be considered a win. He’s seems fairly flexible, but is quite cognizant that his base will be watching this very closely. If Sen. McConnell and Rep. Ryan give him cover on a bill, and if that bill doesn’t have immediate amnesty, he’ll undoubtably sign it. He has already indicated border wall funding doesn’t have to be in the bill.

But…there are three other stakeholders in this quagmire, and it is those three who will ultimately doom passage.

Progressive socialist Democrats do not want Democratic Party leadership negotiating with the President at all. From their perspective, “no” isn’t good enough, “hell no” might not be either. (Townhall)

Despite reports indicating President Trump’s positions on amnesty and DACA are shifting to the left, many in the progressive movement recoil that any discussions are occurring at all. Campaign Director Justin Krebs at the far-left group MoveOn.org maintains that “nothing Trump has done should change the fact that he’s pursuing a toxic agenda” and that “Democratic leaders should not forget that.” Murshed Zaheed, of CREDO  Action, went further claiming that the California and New York representatives were often “out of touch with the zeitgeist of the progressive movement.” Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia cautioned Democrats dealing with Trump. “Let’s not fool ourselves, he is this person we know, and I just think there must be both political and moral limitations with how far we’re willing to cooperate with that.”

But, that’s not their only reason, and it is this reason around which their 2018 campaign theme revolves. (Townhall)

Progressives are furious at  Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. In the far left’s minds, the two are “normalizing” President Trump as they continue to negotiate immigration with the Republican president.

Think about that for a moment, having learned nothing from Hillary Clinton, the entire Democratic campaign theme is “We’re not him!!”. Which is why they can’t abide leadership allowing the Oval Office to claim victory for any deal, no matter how weak the claim.

The California liberal combined with the various hispanic organizations and hispanic Democrats are adamant that they will not sit still for any half-measures. They don’t want a stand-alone DACA bill at all. Rather, they are insistent having a place at the table, with their demands being given priority.  (Politico)

Democratic leaders are facing fresh trouble with their left flank after cutting their latest deal with President Donald Trump to protect Dreamers. Hispanic lawmakers were blindsided by the Wednesday night announcement from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that they’d support legislation to help the nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants in exchange for an unspecified boost in border security. And immigration activists were frustrated to see Democrats claim victory only days after calling for a stand-alone vote on a path to citizenship for Dreamers. The concerns are particularly acute in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, where some members worry Democratic leaders — despite getting Trump to drop demands for a border wall in the talks — have already given away too much in the nascent negotiations and say their members are being shut out of key talks.

What do they want? First of all a clean bill without border security (Politico)

“This is bulls**t,” said Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas). “If what we’re going to do is address DACA, we ought to do that on its own and we ought to address border security on its own.” Some members want to draw up a list of 10 or so border security provisions the caucus won’t accept as part of any bipartisan deal.

For these open border devotees, only a guaranteed path to citizenship will suffice. (Politico)

Immigration groups want to see more than just a fix for the nearly 700,000 individuals affected by DACA; they want a path to citizenship for more than 1 million that would be provided under the DREAM Act.

Some of these activist are so energized, they disrupted an event last night where Rep. Nancy Pelosi was speaking (Wash Post)

Protesters angrily confronted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday — and she tried in vain to quiet them — about her emerging agreement with President Trump to provide legal protections to young undocumented immigrants. The protesters demanded “a clean bill” — meaning that the Dream Act would get an up-or-down vote on its own without any language regarding border security attached. They “demanded” that Pelosi show a commitment to protecting “all 11 million” undocumented immigrants believed to be in the country. “We are not a bargaining chip!” the protesters chanted, according to local reporters. “All of us or none of us,”

These enraged protestors have evidently turned on Democratic leadership, and consider them to be part of the problem (Wash Post)

“We demand accountability. Democrats are not the resistance of Trump. We are!” they shouted.

Then there are the conservative border security hawks who consider President Trump’s campaign promise to build a border wall and to stridently enforce illegal immigration to be sacrosanct. (Townhall)

For President Trump’s part, his own base is just as angry. Many are claiming the president is betraying his promises. Many Trump voters are worried that border wall, the cornerstone of his campaign, will not happen. “The base will leave him. They can’t support him anymore,” said Rep. Steven King if a wall is not completed.

In particular Rep. Steve King and Ann Coulter was loudly vocal about their displeasure with President Trump negotiating with the Democrats. (Townhall)

“The base will leave him. They can’t support him anymore. I am talking about my constituents in Iowa that will say you need to be behind trump. I am. I support his entire agenda. I support the agenda Trump had when he went into office and I support almost every piece of the agenda, except the amnesty piece being dangled, and that’s so destructive to a first world country,” Rep. Steve King, an early supporter of Trump on the campaign trail, said during an interview with CNN Thursday morning. “If you do not have the rule of law or respect for that law, the people writing the immigration laws are the people breaking them. We had a protest here, DREAMers coming up demanding we give them amnesty. What right do law breakers have to make demands from the citizens of the United States of America. If anything, they should be pleading for it and not demanding.” “This was a straight up promise throughout his campaign,” King continued. “It looks to me like he’s preparing to keep Hillary Clinton’s campaign promise rather than his own.”

Ann Coulter was even more harsh with her condemnation, tweeting: (Townhall)

“At this point who DOESN”T want Trump impeached?”, and “If we’re not getting a wall, I’d prefer President Pence.”

These border security hawks will be very upset if a DACA deal includes any path to citizenship. They consider that de facto amnesty. They also do not want legislation without funding for a border wall. These conservatives have been burned far too often by “future funding” promises by the Democrats, and are going to insist on border funding first. Also, any discussion about “chain migration” is not on the table. Lastly, they will not ever allow those to morph into a general amnesty bill. That would be a craven Rubio-esque betrayal in their mind.

So, there you have it. The problem for those who would be willing to compromise in order to make a deal happen is they do not have the numbers to get the deal done. Conservatives in the House would revolt if Paul Ryan brought up a general amnesty deal, or agreed to DACA legislation without border security and wall funding.

Likewise on the left, there are far too many liberals who don’t want to see any deal with the White House, who along with the open borders advocates make up a sizable voting bloc opposing Schumer and Pelosi.

It’s hard to see how DACA moves forward, whether its this year, or first quarter 2018. There are too many players with disparate views, and while there might be other obstacles, these alone appear to make Dreamer legislation a pipe dream.

 

O’Care Repeal and Sen. John McCain – A Transactional Betrayal

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.                                                           “Farewell Address to the Nation” January 17, 1961 President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Failure to repeal Obamacare was a huge fail for the Republican Party. It’s easy and somewhat popular in certain circles to ascribe primary and ultimate blame for this fail on the President.  To be sure, the White House handled the lawmaking process poorly and in some cases, terribly. But for all of that, at the end of the day a bill calling for repeal did make it to the floor for a vote. It failed by one vote.

A careful reading of the news both before and after that vote appears to point to a transactional betrayal by Sen. John McCain R-AZ.  Some of the evidence is factual, some is circumstantial, but there does appear to be a smoking gun which could be interpreted as collusion with Sen. Chuck Schumer D-NY. The facts and circumstances lay out like A-B-C.

In early July, the Senate was struggling with healthcare while the House approved a huge funding increase for 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. (Independent)

The National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) would allocate $696bn for defence spending in fiscal year 2018, blowing past Mr Trump’s  requested $603bn budget – a budget the White House had previously touted as a “historic increase in defence spending”. The proposal also exceeds long-standing caps on defence spending in Congress. Since 2011, the legislature has capped its defence spending at $549 billion. For the new funding plan to work, Congress would need to strike a deal to increase or repeal those caps.

The bill then moved to the Senate: (Independent)

The bill now moves to the Senate, where the Armed Services Committee has already passed its version of the legislation. The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill later this year.

The Chairman of the Armed Services Committee? None other than John McCain. The final tab for the annual defense appropriation was around $700 billion, and the senior senator from Arizona fully expected to take it to the floor for a vote, and shepherd it through the approval process. Given that fact that both the White House and true conservative senators were opposed to the price tag, Senator McConnell made it clear he expected McCain to shepherd it through the final floor voting process.

Then tragedy struck. Sen. McCain was diagnosed with cancer, which necessitated his return to Phoenix for treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Given the complications of senate scheduling, it appeared the NDAA bill was going to be delayed until the fall: (Washington Examiner)

McCain is planning to return to Washington after Senate’s August recess. His office indicated the Armed Services chairman will continue working remotely, meaning he could stay involved in the details of the NDAA process such as preparing for conference negotiations with the House after the Senate passes its version of the bill. But the chairman is unable to represent the bill on the Senate floor from Arizona, which is the job of the Armed Services chairman. Senate Republican leaders have signaled they won’t advance the bill in McCain’s absence.

Sen. McCain knew this appropriation would require careful strategy: (Washington Examiner)

The Arizona senator’s committee has proposed a big hike in its $700 billion bill but Senate appropriators, who actually write spending legislation, are proposing to stick closely to much lower 2018 funding caps imposed by the Budget Control Act, Cancian said. That has created an $80 billion difference in proposed defense spending in the chamber, he said. Lawmakers may try to hammer out an overarching budget deal later this year that includes some defense spending figure within that range. “McCain’s strategy has been to get on the boards first and to drive the discussion,” Cancian said. “I think that was his strategy with the NDAA, that he would get it passed quickly and his higher number would be in there and then everyone else could react to that.” If the NDAA is delayed until the fall, Senate appropriators could get their lower spending proposal passed first and make McCain “much less relevant,” he said. (Emphasis added)

This uncertainty provided the impetus for the senator to attempt to bring it up for a vote before he left for treatment: (Washington Examiner)

Just before he left, McCain tried to bring the bill to a floor vote after returning to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a few days of work, but was first blocked by the Democrats over the Obamacare debate.

At the time it didn’t seem strange that Sen. Schumer and Company had blocked the floor vote, by then they were obstructing all things Republican. Which makes it even more curious when later on, they appeared ready to support it.

Bear in mind, during this process President Trump and the Republican senate were scrambling to find a final solution to Obamacare. After many iterations, Skinny Repeal seemed to be the one solution that could capture enough votes for passage.

Meanwhile, Sen. McCain had returned to Phoenix for surgery, which evidently was successful. Following that surgery, McCain had a few days free to return to the nation’s capital to vote on whatever healthcare bill Sen. McConnell was able to get to the floor. His return was predicated on one issue,  the Majority Leader had to agree to bring the NDAA immediately following the healthcare vote while McCain was still in DC. (Daily Caller)

As CNN noted, the fact that McCain is leaving Monday helps to explain why GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell would let the NDAA vote occur in the midst of a heated debated on health care reform.

During the final days leading up to the fateful Skinny Repeal vote, it became evident Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Collins would be a nay vote. The unknown was how Sen. McCain would vote. What was known was the curious way in which he spent his time: (WaPo)

Schumer had apparently been working McCain for days. The Hill’s Peter Sullivan: “Schumer says he’s been talking to McCain four to five times a day for three or four days.” (Emphasis added)

Obviously Sen. McCain knew he had no chance of turning Schumer & Co into a yes vote for the Skinny Repeal legislation. Ironclad party dogma is always a no vote on Obamacare repeal. Given that obvious fact, why was Mr. McCain meeting so often with Chuck during this turbulent time, especially since McCain had such a small window of time in DC and whipping Republican votes for the defense bill should have been his first priority.

Or was it? By now, it was apparent the White House wasn’t happy with McCain and the level of his NDAA funding appropriation. A presidential veto was a distinct possibility. Reversing that veto would require a 2/3rd majority by both Houses of Congress. A great way to head off that potential veto would be to garner more than that necessary 2/3rd vote for the initial vote, sending a message to the President. “Don’t veto this, We have the votes to override your veto.”

But in order for that strategy to be successful, McCain needed Schumer and Pelosi to bring in enough Democratic votes to achieve the veto override vote total. What was the quid pro quo? Senator McCain’s actions and words on the day of the vote appear to show the quid to Schumer’s quo. Simply put, McCain votes no on the Skinny Repeal, then Schumer and party support McCain’s NDAA vote.

Finally, July 27 arrives, the day Sen. McConnell had scheduled votes on healthcare. Not even McCain’s allies knew what he was going to do: (Politico)

Senators had no idea where McCain would land throughout much of Thursday, saying he vacillated in his position as the chaotic day unfolded. They had heard rumblings of three “nos” as early as Thursday afternoon, and one Republican insisted that the GOP could have secured McCain’s support had the vote been held earlier in the day.Many entered the chamber for a vote, unprepared for what would happen. “I thought he was a ‘yes’ and had been told he was a ‘yes’ when I came to the floor,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) recalled in an interview early Friday morning.

Early in the morning, a bit before 1:30 a.m., McCain finally voted (Politico)

Friday, McCain strode to the well of the Senate, and gestured his hand downward to vote “no.” Stunned gasps echoed throughout the chamber.

This fact has to be noted: John McCain is a party loyalist and wouldn’t take this vote lightly. Obviously he knew the significance of his no vote. Obviously he knew how important this was to Republican leadership, men and women who were and are his friends. It is almost unthinkable he would cast the deciding vote against his party purely because of animus against the President, or due to his overarching concern about healthcare legislation.

As a matter of fact, Mr. McCain’s actions prior to his vote and immediately thereafter seem to prove he knew exactly what he was doing. Prior to the vote: (Politico)

McCain walked over to a gaggle of Senate Democrats and told them that he would be voting no on the Obamacare repeal measure.

Why would McCain tip the opposition to his voting decision?  His comment is a clue:(Politico)

McCain walked over to a gaggle of Senate Democrats and told them that he would be voting no on the Obamacare repeal measure. His mind had already sped ahead to what was next: the National Defense Authorization Act, a top priority for the Armed Services Committee chairman. “Let’s get this over with,” McCain told the cluster of Democrats, according to senators. “I really want to do NDAA.”  McCain embraced Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

“Let’s get this over with”?

“Let’s” as in let us. Or to paraphrase: “Let us get this thing we’ve agreed upon over with.”  This seems to smack of a previously agreed upon compromise. Quid meet quo.

After his no vote, his compadres celebrated: (WaPo)

But when the time came to cast his ballot, McCain was a firm “no.” Take a look at the body language in the room. Democrats look positively giddy (several audibly gasp, while others clap). Schumer immediately waves at his caucus to stop celebrating.

But quo never met quid. Amusingly enough, like a phoenix arising from the libertarian ashes, he put the kibosh to the best laid plans: (Daily Caller)

GOP Sen. John McCain criticized GOP Sen. Rand Paul for blocking the annual defense budget bill from moving forward for a quick vote Friday, as now McCain is expected to leave for cancer treatment Monday. Although the National Defense Authorization Act was a key item on the agenda for McCain, Paul stepped in to block the bill by requesting two amendments be added to the legislation, namely one on prohibiting indefinite detention and one on the authorization of the use of military force to fight the Islamic State.

Sen. McCain is back where he started:

The Senate NDAA is now likely to be pushed back as far as September.

This viewpoint concerning John McCain’s Skinny Repeal vote is admittedly circumstantial. However, it beggars the mind to come up with any other viable solution for McCain’s duplicitous betrayal of the party and his friends. It is well known the senator is a cats paw to the military complex, always conflating his NeoCon worldview with the absolute necessity for more defense funding.

While the “thumbs down” gesture was the knife in Trump’s back, the vote wasn’t. It was either a vote of conscience as Mr. McCain insist, or an act of brazen betrayal in servitude of his true masters. Fortunately, in the end, the voters get to decide. I know I have.

Schumer’s Anger Calculation

The Resistance organism must be fed. Similar to other non-organic rage based protest, it will burn itself out without leadership from the Dems and their Press Secretary-MSM. It needs constant updates about the latest Presidential malapropism, tweet or administration decision.

To facilitate the care and feeding of the Resistance, and to provide the requisite talking points, they skillfully adjust the outrage d’jour on almost a daily basis.

Yesterday on CNN’s State of the Union, Schumer kept up his anti-Trump diatribe. As CNN reports, Sen. Chuck Schumer D-NY Minority Leader is now making threatening to attempt to halt the new FBI Director confirmation process without the appointment of a Special Prosecutor: (CNN)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday that the Senate should refuse to confirm a new FBI director until the Department of Justice appoints a special counsel to lead a probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Schumer said both he and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have asked for a “thorough, thorough” inspector general investigation into any interference with the Russia probe and called for public testimony from Comey.

Not content with this inflammatory line of attack, the the Brooklyn Bombaster has ratcheted up his indignation to squawk for additional demands:

The Democratic leader also repeated his call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, saying that Session’s involvement in Comey’s firing might have violated his recusal from the Russia investigation in early March and that he has asked the inspector general to look into Sessions’ role in Comey’s ouster.Schumer said Sunday that if Trump is taping conversations, he must either submit the tapes to investigators or, if no tapes exist, apologize for misleading people about the possibility. “To destroy them would be a violation of law,” Schumer said. “He should turn them over to Congress and to the investigators. If there are no tapes, he should apologize to both Jim Comey and the American people.”

This isn’t just feeding The Resistance, it’s giving them a Vegas style buffet. These talking points alone should last them most of the week.

It appears Schumer realizes he must keep the outrage meter pegged in order to achieve his long-term agenda: control.   This looks to be a three step process:

  • Steadily increase anger and resentment in his base
  • Decrease the President’s public support, thereby weakening Republican Congressional support.
  • Hope for a major Administration misstep or scandal then engage in a full-force demand for impeachment.

The obvious goal is dominating the 2018 election, and regaining Senate control.

Lying liars lie. This goes for Schumer and ditto for the rest of his congressional allies, and even more so for the MSM cesspool. They lie about President Trump, they lie about the Republican Congress, and they lie about their true agendas.

What the Beltway pundits miss is the fact that flyover country Trump supporters are angry as well. If possible, they are even more livid than the small band of progressive Resistance.

There was a real concern about Republican voter complacency, with commensurate worry about 2018 voter turnout. Absent The Resistance, this might be a legitimate concern. Now? Not so much.

Sen. Schumer can twist his base into pretzels every day if he so chooses, but in the end; the law of unintended consequences is going to bite him in the derrière.

Conservative voters will continue to stiffen their resolve to maintain Republican majorities and unify their voice calling for their President to Make American Great Again. For all of his Brooklyn bombast, Sen. Schumer isn’t leading his ragged group out of the desert, he’s just leading them in circles.

 

Is Chuck Schumer Too Weak To Lead?

Sen. Chuck Schumer D-NY has announced a planned filibuster in an attempt to stop the vote approving SCOTUS nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. (USA Today):

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., made it clear Wednesday that Democrats will filibuster President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, saying it is important that the Colorado judge be “mainstream” enough to appeal to at least some Democrats and attract 60 votes. Under Senate rules, the minority party has the power to insist on a procedural vote known as cloture that requires the approval of 60 senators to end debate and proceed to an up-or-down vote on a high court nominee. Republicans have 52 seats in the Senate. “We Democrats will insist on a rigorous but fair process,” Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor. “There will be 60 votes for confirmation. Any one member can require it. Many Democrats already have, and it is the right thing to do. On a subject as important as a Supreme Court nomination, bipartisan support should be a prerequisite. It should be essential. That’s what 60 votes does.”

Either Sen. Schumer is whipping his members, or he is allowing them to vote their conscience and/or political necessity. This is the definition of “whip” per Wikipedia:

The expression whip in its parliamentary context has its origins in hunting terminology. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term whipper-in as, “a huntsman’s assistant who keeps the hounds from straying by driving them back with the whip into the main body of the pack”. According to that dictionary, the first recorded use of the term whipper-in in the parliamentary sense occurs in 1772. However, P. D. G. Thomas in House of Commons in the Eighteenth Century cites two examples of the use of the term that pre-date 1772.  It was within the context of such summonses to members out of town that the first known Parliamentary instance of the use of the term “whip” occurred. In the debate of 8 May 1769 on a petition from some Middlesex freeholders against the seating of Henry Luttrell instead of John Wilkes, Edmund Burke mentioned that the ministry had sent for their friends to the north and to Paris, “whipping them in, than which, he said, there could not be a better phrase”.

When the leader along with senior members decides to “whip” their members, they can use threats, political inducements, or call in favors. Regardless of their method, the whole idea about whipping their members is to get the required vote count. If leadership cannot successfully whip their members, they should be and would be considered too weak to continue in their leadership roles.

If Sen. Schumer is indeed whipping this vote, then why did this article appear yesterday in The Hill:

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is signaling that he could buck Democratic leadership and help President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee clear a 60-vote threshold in the Senate. “I am not inclined to filibuster, even though I’m not inclined to vote for him,” Leahy — a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee — told a Vermont news outlet.

Sen. Leahy D-VT is not chopped liver. He is a senior ranking Democrat both in the party and in the Senate. Even as importantly, he is a former Judiciary Committee Chairman.

Inside of a high octane scenario such as the upcoming SCOTUS vote, one with 360 degree visibility, if Schumer really were whipping this vote, then the MSM would be rabid with the Leahy defection. The far left would be foaming at the mouth issuing threats and promises to primary. Mika would be sighing and acting like she had just been overcome by the vapors. CNN would die happy being able to issue “Breaking News” alert banners every hour on the hour.

But strangely, none of that is happening. Its not happening to Sen. Leahy, or to Sen. Manchin (Roll Call)

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III on Monday became the first Democratic senator to commit to at least voting for limiting debate on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Manchin’s office confirmed the senator announced he would vote to limit debate on President Donald Trump’s nomination of the federal appeals court judge for the seat vacated by the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, even if Manchin ultimately decides against voting for final confirmation.

What is so curious is the fact neither of these two senators really need to vote against Sen. Schumer. Sure, Sen. Manchin would face some heat back home if he supported Schumer over Trump. But would it mean his downfall? Probably not. To say that Sen. Leahy’s position is safe is a gross understatement. Regardless of his vote, the Vermont liberal is going to be reelected until he retires. There are at least 8-10 Democratic senators that could be in jeopardy if they backed Schumer’s announced filibuster. You can imagine that conversation:

“So Chuck, let’s see…you allowed Patrick and Joe to go off the reservation and vote against you even though they are safe at home, but you’re asking me to risk my seat supporting you? Come on Chuck you know better than that, go get their vote then come back to me if, and only if you absolutely need my vote.”

This fact is bankable; if a senior Democrat such as Sen. Leahy is even publicly considering a vote against Minority Leader Schumer, and if Sen. Joe Manchin is already on record as a no vote in support of the filibuster, Democratic leadership is not serious about whipping this vote. Sen. Schumer is just too wily to allow his name and reputation to be attached to a failing effort especially so early into his tenure in the leadership seat. Failure on this scale would render a leader far too weak to lead, and the questions surrounding just how weak he is, and the process stories of his failure would dominate for at least one or two press cycles.

It is another effort by the MSM to paint Democrats in the best light possible all the while rejecting intellectual honesty whole cloth. It is the height of cognitive dissonance to both trumpet Schumer’s whip efforts while at the same time downplaying what could only be construed as out and out rebellion.

This is another situation where Schumer talks tough but that’s just what it is, talk.

 

 

On Gorsuch – What is Schumer’s Endgame?

Thursday, Sen. Chuck Schumer D-NY announced he would filibuster the SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch, and urged his fellow Democratic senators to follow suit: (WaPo)

“Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ended Thursday on a confrontational note, with the body’s top Democrat vowing a filibuster that could complicate Gorsuch’s expected confirmation and ultimately upend the traditional approach to approving justices. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he will vote no on President Trump’s nominee and asked other Democrats to join him in blocking an up-or-down vote on Gorsuch.”

The Hill actually reports Sen. Schumer will be whipping his members to uphold the filibuster (The Hill):

“Schumer vowed Thursday that he will whip his members against the nominee.”

On the Republican side, some clarity came about yesterday (Weekly Standard):

Sen. McCain:

“Arizona senator John McCain hinted Thursday afternoon that he’s ready to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch with a simple majority if Senate Democrats take the unprecedented step of filibustering a Supreme Court nominee. Asked what Republicans should do if 41 or more Democrats try to block Gorsuch, McCain told THE WEEKLY STANDARD: “I think we’ll address it when it happens. None of us want to do it, but we’re going to confirm Gorsuch.”

Sen. Lindsey:

“Earlier Thursday, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also signaled that he’s willing to confirm Neil Gorsuch with a simple majority. “Whatever it takes to get him on the court, I will do,” Graham said when asked on the Mike Gallagher radio show about eliminating the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees, a rules change sometimes known as the “nuclear option.”

Sen. Flake: 

“Arizona’s Jeff Flake told TWS: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but I think we’ll get him confirmed.”

Sen. Murkowski: 

“There’s no reason for anybody to filibuster,” said Lisa Murkowski, a moderate from Alaska. “Gorsuch is a good guy.”

The pressure is mounting on the Democrat senators to stay firm (The Hill):

“Liberal activists, such as filmmaker Michael Moore, warn that Democrats who vote for Gorsuch will face primary challenges. Heidi Hess, senior campaign manager at CREDO Action, a liberal advocacy group, criticized Bennet Monday after he introduced Gorsuch and “contributed to the lighthearted tone” of the first day of the Judiciary Committee hearings. “A vote for Gorsuch is a vote to hand the court over to Trump,” she said. “In the same way the vote to hand the Iraq war vote to George W. Bush was a stain on Democrats’ record, we see a vote for Gorsuch as a stain on their record and progressives will hold them accountable.”

And there’s more (WaPo):

“Gorsuch’s approach “reflects a narrow view of civil rights and a deep skepticism of protecting those rights in the courtroom,” said Kristen Clarke, head of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “

What is Sen. Schumer’s end game? In the end, is he going to force his members to join him in a filibuster? If so, to what end?

It appears Schumer is keeping his own counsel about his ultimate strategy, but there are only so many options available.  The most reasonable understanding is this is really just a head fake on Schumer’s part. (NPR):

“Democratic sources say the leadership would not mind losing the cloture vote, but they would have to lose eight of their 48 members to do that.”

Essentially the NY senator and his coterie of liberals raise the roof in protest of the good justice, all the while giving 8-10 red state senators leeway to vote to kill the filibuster, then moving on to a simple majority up or down vote. This allows the Dems and MSM to act like they were all-in against allowing the vote, while allowing vulnerable senators the ability to placate voters back home.

This is a bit of a risk for the Democrats. By continuing the threat of a filibuster, they might trigger Sen. McConnell into a rules vote eliminating the filibuster altogether. It is a tight wire act for the libs to be sure.

Right now, the safe bet would be a Democratic filibuster promptly followed by a successful cloture vote overriding the filibuster ending in a successful vote approving Judge Gorsuch. Expect a lot of empty rhetoric, threats and a multitude of prophecy about the senate being ruined by both parties, and various prognostications based on the latest tidbit being fed the press. All good fun. No worries. Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed next month.