Tap Dancing with the Donald

Thing happening only at Trump Rallies, not Trump’s Fault.

I watch CNN fairly regularly, and I sometimes think about the election season and what a sweet deal it must be to be on a “panel.” These panelists are recycled daily and often make rounds on several shows during a given week.

Throughout this presidential primary season, Kayleigh McEnany has been on CNN as a regular member of these panels. I’ve read some of her columns here and, while she is frustratingly predictable in her partisanship, she makes a point now and then that is definitely worth contemplating. She often challenges me on my own biases.

What she has been doing lately, has got to be wearing on her. The routine is that the group watches a video of a protester being punched and kicked at a Trump rally and it is her job to explain how the protester is at fault – every time. Whenever it occurs, she is saddled with the job of explaining that even if a supporter might possibly be wrong, it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

The pitch is that these protesters come into Trump rallies to be disruptive; that somehow they are either dangerous to the Trump supporters who are present and must be dealt with severely, or at the very least, they provoked the crowd to become violent against them.

As an individual with two eyes, I can see that these protesters are attempting to make the news, or at least get some attention, but should it really be a predictable outcome that doing so will get you beat up? Doesn’t it say anything about Trump, or the people who love him?

Making excuses for violent Trump supporters just seems to be a bit unnecessary and is kind of harmful to our culture.

Arm Wrestling Over the Supreme Court

Chuck Grassley

I can’t help doing a little back of the napkin calculation about why the republicans have decided to dismiss any notion of a hearing on Barack Obama’s supreme court nominee. At first, I thought that this would surely come back to bite them at some point in the future, but then I thought about it a little more.

There hasn’t ever really been a situation when a president who had an opportunity to nominate a supreme court justice during the first few months of their 8th year in office has not done so. So the question arises, how long before such a situation would likely emerge again?

We’ve had 112 justices since 1789 and that ends up being roughly one vacancy every couple of years. In other words, on average, every eight years, random chance might cause a vacancy during an election year. For one to happen during a president’s 8th year in office, that is going to be less frequent.

So even if the Republicans take control of the white house in 2017, it’ll be at least 8 years, if the candidate gets a second term, but there is only a 50% chance of a vacancy happening in that year, so if they won two successive 8-year terms, they would stand a better chance of seeing the situation, but this seems unlikely for a variety of reasons.

The reality is that we are looking at a whole generation before the shoe would be on the other foot and they might face the same scenario that they see today being thrown back at them. The cold facts are in their favor. They can block the nomination on the grounds of it being the last year of the president’s 8-years in office and they will likely never have to face the music we are now dancing to.