Diary

The Impending Gorsuch Filibuster (And What to Do About It)

Senator Chuck Schumer is proving himself to be a bigger a-hole than his predecessor, Harry “One Eye” Reid.  Neil Gorsuch, by many accounts, passed the test in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The biggest smoking gun of the Democrats is a letter from an offended snowflake student in a Legal Ethics class Gorsuch taught in which the student felt offended by a hypothetical question posited.

Despite the attempts by morons like Richard Blumenthal, Al Franken and Mazie Hirono to badger Gorsuch, he emerged unscathed and they ended up looking like the Leftist dupes everyone knows they are.  Instead, Schumer stated that Goursuch’s refusal to answer questions to his liking makes him unqualified.  If so, then every nominee since Ruth Bader Ginsberg is equally unqualified since it is SHE to devised the standard, “I can’t answer that question because it may come before me in a case on the Supreme Court.”

Given the failure of the Republican health care plan, a GOP/Trump victory here is important.  Schumer is playing political hardball with this nomination which, if it succeeds, will not upset the balance on the Supreme Court.  It will be the next nomination that will set the stage for a realignment and that is where Schumer has to pray that any of those most likely to retire- Ginsberg, Breyer or Kennedy- either have great health care plans or persevere hoping someone else wins in 2020.

By all accounts, Schumer is whipping his caucus to filibuster.  According to some media accounts, he has a confirmed 16 of 48 Democrats playing along.  Three involve Senators up for reelection in 2018- Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.  There are seven other vulnerable Democratic Senators yet to make a decision.

If a filibuster actually occurs, McConnell would be well served to let it be known that the nuclear option is on the table with respect to Supreme Court nominees.  The nomination will likely be taken up in the Senate in the first week of April.  That leaves Schumer plenty of time to whip his caucus.  But, it also leaves McConnell plenty of time to lay the seeds of the nuclear threat.  A relentless campaign that drops hints at first then, as a vote nears and Democratic filibuster efforts appear successful, he should gear up the process to invoke the option.

But, the Republican response should go beyond the Supreme Court.  As other writers have noted on other websites, the Democrats have a weakness that can be exploited- government money.  If Schumer wants to play hardball on a Supreme Court nominee who, by all accounts, is well-qualified to serve on that Court, then the financial gloves should be taken off and the GOP should engage in a scorched earth policy over things near and dear to the Democratic Party.

They should start by defunding Planned Parenthood.  In fact, all alleged non-profits should be banned from receiving federal funds.  About 17% of all federal funding is assistance to state and local governments.  A large portion of that money is then distributed to third party entities to provide services the governments themselves should rightfully be delivering.  This is how Planned Parenthood gets federal dollars.  This $500 million annual outlay should be going to state or county-run healthcare facilities, not outsourced to Planned Parenthood.

But Planned Parenthood is not the only recipient of money granted to state and local governments that find their way into the hands of Leftist organizations.  The Urban League and La Raza come to mind.  In effect, by allowing the outsourcing of services with federal dollars, the Republican Party is actually funding organizations antithetical to the Republican Party.  While a blanket ban on outsourcing federal funds would likely affect some more conservative organizations, it would be a small price to pay since everyone knows that conservative charity- which could fill the void- far exceeds liberal charity.

If they filibuster Gorsuch, take budget cuts off the table and put on the table budgetary eliminations.  One can argue that the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio are all worthy targets.  While the elimination of federal funding for these entities would be a monetary drop in the bucket in terms of dollars, it is money well-saved.  Hell- they can even score a public relations coup by redirecting some of the money to women’s health care if they wanted to.  Let the Democrats explain why money for these entities is more important than women’s health care.

The Trump administration can direct all federal agencies to start investigating any instances where existing nonprofits have engaged in lobbying activity and start enforcing a 1919 law that has never been enforced.  The Congressional Research Service admits the parameters of the law is unknown territory since the law has never been enforced.  Maybe it is time to test those parameters.

It has been suggested that as part of any tax reform efforts, the deduction for state and local taxes against federal income tax be eliminated.  Here is a perfect vehicle to declare that taxes are being increased on the rich and takes away Democratic thunder and a talking point.  Who does that deduction mainly benefit?  The rich who happen to live in liberal oases like New York and Connecticut.  I would love to see Schumer, Warren and Blumenthal defend a tax deduction that disproportionately favors the rich.

If Democrats want to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia in an effort to influence the outcome, perhaps Republicans should start an investigation into the alleged ties between George Soros and the Democratic Party and his nexus of financial networks which, if viewed objectively, is an even greater threat to electoral politics.  Why the need to cover one’s financial dealings with various outlets if there is nothing nefarious?  They can even frame such hearings around a “campaign finance reform fact finding mission.”  Bringing someone like Soros into the light is something I do not think the Democrats and the Left are willing to risk.

While all these things may seem rather petty and tit-for-tat, Schumer’s threatened filibuster is petty and obstruction for the sake of obstruction because “he can.”  The GOP controls both houses of Congress and the White House and this scenario will not exist forever.  This writer fails to understand why the Republican Party would help fund organizations that stand in opposition to the GOP.

A few less art exhibits will receive funding and your local PBS will run more telethons for donations, as will NPR.  Women can receive basic healthcare at state or county run clinics and Planned Parenthood could continue to be an abortion mill all they want.  The government brings in more money by eliminating the tax deduction that benefits the rich.  Neil Gorsuch ends up on the Supreme Court and Schumer will regret the day he acted like an a-hole.