[mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] directly mentioned the need to pick correctly hard liners in a recent debate.
He alone is likely to give us the best chance to not make a critical selection choice by listening to the wrong people, as Rubio did on gang of 8, as as Bush 1 did with Souter.
We cannot afford another Souter.
We have to have someone who will pick a Bork and keep picking only those until they pass the senate. We need a constitutional scholar who is aware of the need to comb records to find only those who are likely to pass muster.
The age of several on the high court means the odds of a real turnover may be quite high this time around, both in replacing our own aging justices and turning the balance with one or so that was held by a leftist judge like Ginsberg.
Since 1960, the left and the Dems have only missed badly with Byron White, a pick of Kennedy’s that turned out more conservative than hoped for who did not help them on issues like abortion.
Meanwhile, the GOP has been positively terrible at getting it consistently right, typically going 1-1 or even negative on pick outcomes in terms of ideological consistency that would please conservatives. And it happens nearly every time, going back even prior to Nixon.
The left hardly ever misses on their selections. They usually go 2-0 at minimum.
In a cycle where Dems are weak, going with the most hard line conservative type, like Cruz, makes sense, since this is where the needle can be moved for generations to come.
Mark my words, someone like Rubio is hard to trust with these crucial picks, and I am predicting right now that any Republican this cycle is likely to get 3 picks. We cannot go 1-2 here. We have to go 3-0, meaning 3 hard core Clarence Thomas level personalities. Even 2-1 is not good enough.
I predict if Rubio wins, and we get 2 picks he “fails” like Bush and goes 1-1 or if 3 it’s going to be either 2-1 or 1-2. He will not run the table and avoid another Roberts or worse as an oops moment. I don’t even want to think about ruining 4 picks.
The only reason Harriet Miers is not there now voting with the liberals was a big outcry from the peanut gallery that gave us the superior Alito, who has been mostly acceptable. Bush cared more about rewarding his loyalists than about fealty to us.
I know many will scoff and call this unwarranted speculation and divining that which cannot be divined, but you were warned.
Of course, Trump is not an ideologue, and his picks would be even worse I expect, though he is likely to lose in November.
The only person we know is likely to really take this as a personal battle for his ideological legacy resume is Cruz.
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Trump’s lack of ideological fealty, changing positions like a man changes suits, with his past statements going back years on a variety of issues preclude him from trustworthiness on selections. He will likely support whatever is expedient politically or for his own personal ends, such as trying to appoint pro-eminent domain flunkies. At his core I suspect he’s a moderate-liberal. There is no reason to believe he will prioritize his picks in order of fealty to all the various hot-button issues, and to keep pace with the left, we have to have appointments that would rule the opposite by temperament on things like Obamacare, etc.
The situation is less clear with Rubio, but almost as alarming though in different ways.
There are several reasons to suspect Rubio will not be as high a higher percentage “correct” picker than Cruz.
First, he did not make correct non-Souter selections a clear point of contention in the debates, Cruz did.
Second, his background, while involving some law, does not seem as heady or ideologically clear as does that of Cruz. The latter is known for his constitutional scholarism.
He clerked for Luttig, itself telling. He additionally did so for Rehnquist. Per Wikipedia: “Cruz has authored 70 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court.” He figured into the famous Heller gun decision, too.
His really big fail was his support of Roberts, but lots of people fell for that one and he seems to have learned from the situation judging by his recent comments. He deserves another chance.
Rubio gives off the impression of more “situational” pragmatism.
That might be because despite their Heritage scores, Rubio does not appear as commited to well-defined conservative/libertarian/10th amendmentism as does Cruz.
Indeed, in 2002 per Wikipedia: “According to National Journal, during this period Rubio did not entirely adhere to doctrinaire conservative principles, and some colleagues described him as a centrist “who sought out Democrats and groups that don’t typically align with the GOP”. He co-sponsored legislation that would have let farm workers sue growers in state court if they were shortchanged on pay, and co-sponsored a bill for giving in-state tuition rates to the children of undocumented immigrants.”
I view him as being more of a centrist, too, who who currently is trying to tack right out of necessity.
During the recent Omnibus affair, Rubio implied he would personally fight against it, but when it came time to vote, he was MIA. He talks well, but does not always back up his supposed beliefs when it’s time to be counted. Rubio was also not a figure in the Cruz/Lee budget fight, where the leadership first grudgingly supported, then allowed the pair to twist in the wind.
Third, what this and other scuffles Cruz was willing to have with McConnell suggest, is that Rubio is a lot more sensitive to the concept of going along to get along, of pleasing the leadership. In short, he wants to have a seat at the cool kids’ table.
That’s not a good trait to have for high court selections.
Cruz has, on several occasions, bucked leadership which he must have known would result in negative consequences for his relationship with them and his perks and a potential place in line on committees, panels, etc. that the Establishment might offer in exchange for a toe the line disposition.
Ergo, when Mitchie M. and other sellouts work with Rubio on a pick, they are likely to claim a pick must not be a hard core believer or should be a cipher, to avoid a bruising confirmation fight and such. Rubio, more willing to please leadership, will be tempted to moderate his picks.
If he goes cipher, that could be a disaster. We nearly ended up, some claim, with a male hispanic blank sheet via Bush in the form of Miguel Estrada. It was unclear what he really believed, but you can assume the worst if you don’t know just to be safe.
I cannot see Cruz being talked into risking his legacy on a blank slate, can you?
Rubio, if he gets a good one on the line in a pool of choices may reject the hardest right selection to avoid conflicts with various elements in the party behind the scenes.
Worse, he might allow moderation *after* the fact to try for consensus in a worst case scenario.
Ironically, Bush 2 responded to such pressure by the BASE with his Alito substitution, while even Reagan permitted the Bork affair to give us Kennedy. Schumer really scored on that one!
Rubio will be less likely to hard vet his picks for fealty to core principles if he’s less ideologically clear and committed than Cruz. He does not have the advantage of having learned from a case like that of Roberts.
Fact is, you have to be as sure as possible and select a person with a clear constitutionalist record for years that meets the smell test. It means you need to be way beyond sure as much as possible. You can never be 100% sure, but you can come close if you only nominate with very demanding criteria met. If Democrats agree with the pick, it’s usually a sign of a moderate. Recall how they approved of Roberts but scorned Alito. They would filibuster a Janice R. Brown, a non-White candidate but would have at least considered a Miers.
We all know why.
I have little doubt which one of these two would be more inclined to fight to the death on his choice from start to finish.
I trust Cruz more to do that now, more than ever of the available picks, because he is well known to a fault of listening to himself first. That is an asset potentially here, if he’s learned from Roberts.
Finally, I argue Cruz simply has a higher IQ than does Rubio. That will matter big time in vetting and side stepping all the possible shoals. I don’t believe Rubio knows as much as Ted does about how to manage the process for maximal returns.
I believe, given his past interactions with the leadership on the gang of 8 as but one of several cases, that he’s more likely to be led astray for all the reasons I have given and that he’s by nature more of a team player, which is not an asset here.
Nobody thinks Cruz is not one of the smartest men in Washington, they just do not like his interference in their current and possibly future gravy train options…