Patterico's Pontifications


Thomas Sowell Endorses Ted Cruz, and Other Political Notes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:11 pm

In a sane world, this endorsement from Thomas Sowell would mean 1000 times the endorsement of an ignorant spotlight chaser like Sarah Palin:

If, by some miracle, Trump became president, what kind of president would he be? Do we need another self-centered know-it-all in the White House to replace the one we have now?

Among the other Republican candidates, Dr. Ben Carson is a monumental figure in his field, and he is clearly revered even by people who would not vote for him. But votes are how elections are decided.

The governors among the Republican candidates can at least be judged by how their track record stands up in running a governmental organization. So can Senator Ted Cruz, who was solicitor general in Texas. But Senator Marco Rubio has no comparable experience — and his inexperience has shown up in his abortive attempt to join Democrats in promoting amnesty.

If the Republicans are to avoid having Donald Trump lead them — and the country — to disaster, they are going to have to have the majority of non-Trump supporters get behind some given candidate.

Senator Ted Cruz has been criticized in this column before, and will undoubtedly be criticized here again. But we can only make our choices among those actually available, and Senator Cruz is the one who comes to mind when depth and steadfastness come to mind.

As someone who once clerked for a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he will know how important choosing Justice Scalia’s replacement will be. And he has the intellect to understand much more.


In other political news, Trey Gowdy, endorser of Marco Rubio, jumped the shark today by attacking Ted Cruz as dishonest — based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever. Cruz is not taking it lying down:

Ted Cruz is firing back at accusations from Trey Gowdy that his campaign was involved in creating a fake Facebook account that said the South Carolina congressman had switched from Marco Rubio’s team to Cruz’s.

“Our campaign had absolutely nothing to do with this fraudulent Facebook post,” Cruz tweeted Tuesday night.

“This kind of deception is deplorable and nothing like it would be tolerated by this campaign,” he continued.

Brian Phillips, Cruz’s rapid response director, followed up with an email to reporters questioning if Gowdy was asked to provide evidence that Cruz was behind the post.

“Are there any reporters on the road with Rubio/Gowdy asking Rep. Gowdy to produce a single shred of evidence that anyone associated with the Cruz campaign was behind the fake Facebook account? And if he can’t, shouldn’t that be included in your stories?

Considering the man is a former prosecutor, he should know better than to make unsubstantiated accusations like that without at least some proof,” he said in the email.

Damn straight. I have written Gowdy an angry e-mail vowing to make his political life as difficult as possible if he does not apologize to Cruz. Here is the essence of what I said:

Finally, Patterico pal Morgen uncovered this nugget today:

Previously Schumer was caught saying no more Bush nominees as of July 2007. This takes it back to November 2006. Nice catch, as is usual for Morgen.

President Obama On Filibustering Alito: That Was Different!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Of course it was. Is anyone surprised?

President Obama responded to a question today about whether his decision as a senator to filibuster Alito weakens his current request that the GOP allow his nominee to go through. In typical Obama-fashion, the president embarrassingly claimed that it wasn’t fair to compare the two:

“I think what’s fair to say is that how judicial nominations have evolved over time is not historically the fault of any single party,” he told reporters in California. “This has become just one more extension of politics.”

“And, there are times where folks are in the Senate, and they’re thinking… is this going to cause me problems in a primary, is this going to cause me problems with supporters of mine, and so people take strategic decisions,” he said.

“But, what is also true is, Justice Alito is on the bench right now. I think that, historically, if you look at it, regardless of what votes particular senators have taken, there’s been a basic consensus, a basic understanding, that the Supreme Court’s different.”

And without batting an eye, and without any self-awareness, the president continued:

“The Constitution is pretty clear about what is supposed to happen now,” Obama told reporters in California. “When there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court, the President of the United States is to nominate someone; the Senate is to consider that someone and either they disapprove of that someone, or that someone is elevate to the Supreme Court,” Obama said from Rancho Mirage, Calif., where he was spent two days meeting with leaders of Southeast Asian nations.

“This is the Supreme Court—the highest court in our land,” he said. “It is the one court where we would expect elected officials to rise above day-to-day politics, and this would be the opportunity for senators to do their job.”

Oh really, President Obama?? Because that’s certainly not what you thought in 2006:

On January 29, 2006, Mr. Obama told George Stephanopulos on “This Week” that he would “be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values, you know. When you look at his decisions in particular during times of war, we need a court that is independent and is going to provide some check on the executive branch, and he has not shown himself willing to do that repeatedly.”

Meanwhile, when she wasn’t barking like a crazed dog, the woman who wants to become our next president went on a mad Twitter spree with 11 subsequent tweets attacking the McConnell’s decision, and Republicans in general. Once again she revealed her all-consuming fundamental hypocrisy:


These people.




Get Back, Loretta! Go Home.

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 am

Big Media is starting to take note of Tom Goldstein’s prediction that Loretta Lynch is the most likely nominee for Scalia’s spot.

Goldstein’s post revolves primarily around his well-founded belief that Obama will pander to voters through naked identity politics:

Democrats have two political priorities: motivating turn-out by their own voters and persuading independents to vote for the Democratic nominee. Two Democratic constituencies in particular vote in disproportionately low numbers: young Democrats and minorities.

The youth vote makes little difference here because the age range for a serious nominee (roughly, forty-five to fifty-two) does not directly touch that constituency. There are specific potential nominees who would motivate young liberal voters – Senator Elizabeth Warren, for example. But those nominees are the ones who would give Republicans the opportunity to hold hearings and reject the appointment on an up-or-down vote without serious cost.

Minority voters are a different matter. Traditionally, black and Hispanic turn-out has trailed white turn-out. In the 2004 election, the percentages were white 67.2%, black 60.0%, and Hispanic 47.2%. In 2008, they were white 66.1%, black 64.7%, and Hispanic 49.9%. The 2012 election was the first in which the proportion of black turn-out exceeded that of whites. The percentages were white 64.1%, black 66.2%, and Hispanic 48.0%.

Overall, in 2012, the white proportion of the voting population decreased to 71.1% and the minority proportion increased to 28.9% (22.8% black and Hispanic). For that reason, many attribute President Obama’s reelection to minority turn-out.

The best candidate politically would probably be Hispanic. Hispanic voters both (a) are more politically independent than black voters and therefore more in play in the election, and (b) historically vote in low numbers. In that sense, the ideal nominee from the administration’s perspective in these circumstances is already on the Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor, the Court’s first Latina.

On the other hand, I think the President personally will be very tempted to appoint a black Justice to the Court, rather than a second Hispanic. His historical legacy rests materially on advancing black participation and success in American politics. The role Thurgood Marshall previously played in that effort is inescapable. The President likely sees value in providing a counterpoint to the Court’s only black Justice, the very conservative Clarence Thomas.

For those reasons, I think the President will pick a black nominee.

Goldstein says Kamala Harris probably wants to be a California Senator and then President, leaving Loretta Lynch as the most likely black nominee.

Leftists would howl with delight. Ha ha Republicans will have to reject the first black female nominee! Racists and sexists! But I think such a nomination might be a gift of sorts for Republicans, if they play their cards right. Can you imagine the fun they could have in the hearings, asking her about Hillary’s emails? or about her burning desire to throw people in jail for “anti-Muslim rhetoric” that “edges towards violence” (despite the very different Constitutional standard that applies)?

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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