Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: March 2, 2016”

The perfect nominee


Dear Mr. President:

Allow me to suggest respectfully the perfect nominee to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The person I am going to suggest is eminently qualified, possesses the demeanor and deportment of a justice, has served as the attorney general of a western state, has been confirmed by the Senate for an important sub-cabinet post, is a minority, did NOT matriculate at Yale, Harvard, or your alma mater, Columbia, and hales from west of the Misssissippi.

These latter points are not minor inasmuch as you have gone on record saying the Ivy League should not have a monopoly on Supreme Court appointments.

Some would dispute my claim that he is “perfect” in that when he ran for public office, as the Democrat he is, he parted company with the purists who hold that any and all Democrats have to pass the litmus test of being pro-choice. Out of both personal and religious conviction he considers himself to be pro-life.

However, as a jurist he would show great deference to precedence. It would be for the Senate Judiciary committee to question and determine just how much of a strict constructionist he might be. By nature he is taciturn, measures his words carefully and some might consider him to be somewhat of a conservative Democrat.

Others might say that because he is in his 60s he is too old to be a justice. The counter to that is he maintains himself in excellent shape, is a retired officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and neither smokes nor consumes alcohol.

In naming this individual you would be setting several firsts which in and of themselves will make it difficult for Republican senators to refuse to give him a hearing. Who is this perfect nominee?

I am respectfully suggesting you nominate and the Senate hold hearings this Congress to weigh the worthiness of Larry Echohawk. He would, as a full blood member of the Pawnee Nation, be the first Native American nominated, the first member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints nominated; he was elected by the people of Idaho to be their attorney general and in 1994 came within a whisker of being the first Native American to be elected as governor of a state.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 1970 and a law degree from the University of Utah in 1973. He served on the faculty of the BYU law school and was interim dean.

Presently, he serves on the Quorum of 70, the second highest governing body in the LDS Church, and the fact he is a Mormon in good-standing presents a dilemma for Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, a past chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. How can he refuse to give one of Echohawk’s standing in their Church a hearing? How can his Judiciary colleagues, Utah junior Senator Mike Lee, or Arizona’s junior Senator Jeff Flake, both of whom are LDS, not act on this historic nomination?

Or Idaho’s senior Senator Mike Crapo, a former LDS bishop---how can he oppose even meeting with Idaho’s former Attorney General? Even the “shadow shogun” of Idaho Republicans, Idaho Falls billionaire businessman Frank VanderSloot, also LDS, might be motivated to get off the sidelines and urge that Echohawk at least be heard.

How does Mitt Romney (for whom VanderSloot raised a lot of money) react? He almost has to commend you, Mr. President.

If Larry Echohawk gets a hearing, he’ll be confirmed---you can bet the Senate’s most prominent LDS Democrat, Nevada Senator Harry Reid will take care of that detail.

It will be a win for all Americans as the public will fall in love with Echohawk. It will be a win for the Supreme Court and its ability once again to render decisions because there will be nine justices. It will be a win for the Senate as it shows the public partisan differences can be set aside for the common good. Last but not least, it will be a win for you, Mr. President, as it will reflect on your ability to have produced a solution that looked like it was headed for a train wreck.

It will be historic, Mr. President. I respectfully urge you to send the Senate the name of Larry Echohawk to be the next Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Chris Carlson

First take/The supers

"Super Tuesday" was a little less superlatively definitive than it might have been. It didn't really upset, in any big ways, most existing trend lines, but - remarkably - it didn't knock anyone out of the field, either. In both parties, things continue on more or less as they had been.

More or less.

The one candidate who came out of Tuesday with a basis for feeling a little better than previously was Texas Senator Ted Cruz. While the bulk of the Republican nomination events went to businessman Donald Trump, Cruz was teetering on the edge. If he had won no states on Tuesday - and the possibility of his losing his home state of Texas was quite real - he would have been done. A win in Texas was essential to his continuing. Two additional wins, in Oklahoma and Alaska, had to put a little extra spring in his campaign's step this morning. While Senator Marco Rubio did score one win, in Minnesota, it was his first (and Cruz was highly competitive there). Tuesday gave Cruz a reasonable argument for contending he, not Rubio, is Trump's major opposition. Rubio's campaign is going to have to do much harder spinning, though not as hard as if he'd no wins at all. "Minnesota" will probably be Rubio's word of blessing for some time; without that win, he would have been on the verge of folding. As it is, he can go forward, albeit a little weakened.

That said, Trump entered Tuesday as the contender to beat, and he exited the same way. He is now way ahead on state wins and delegates. He's not un-catchable yet, but if he maintains the pace for two more weeks he will be.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton solidified her front-running position. But Bernie Sanders did well enough to justify keeping on keeping on. That would have been a marginal case had he won only his home of Vermont, as many predictors had estimated. But instead, he won Colorado, Oklahoma and Minnesota as well - a respectable haul. The race realistically can go on.

One other comment - a quote.

The biggest winner on Super Tuesday may have been Donald Trump, and his electoral strength is beginning to show in the number of party elected and other officials endorsing him - still a small number, but growing.

Republican consultant Rich Wilson had some pungent words for prospective endorsers in a piece out today. All of it bears reading, but this part needs particular attention:

As a Republican governor, a senator, or member of Congress, or as a Republican candidate, let me remind you: You’re known by the company you keep. By associating yourself with or endorsing Trump, you own Trump’s toxic radioactivity with voters outside his base. You own his economic ignorance, his poisonous stupidity on every consequential matter of policy, and his lack of political and personal discretion. And you own it forever. The Internet—and ad-makers like me—never forget.
There’s a reason Trump’s favorability rating is 2:1 negative, why almost no scenario leads him to victory in November. There’s a reason why women and Hispanics loathe Trump. There’s a reason why conservatives know Trump isn’t one of them. And there’s a reason why smart down-ballot candidates and elected officials who can see beyond the current frenzy are heading for the exits from the Trump circus; beyond the core of his supporters, Donald Trump is a hideous cancer on American political life. He’s an objectively terrible person, and that eventually matters in politics.
If you want to endorse that, you’re on your own. You’ll own it even after the Trump bubble bursts, Hillary Clinton is sworn in, and the Chinese-made red hat he shoved on your head at the endorsement rally is nothing but an uncomfortable reminder of your terrible political judgment.

(photo/Gage Skidmore) - rs