Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Republican Field Update - End of June (well, at least the end of the newt)

Bachman officially in and it will be interesting to watch her make the play for the Sarah crowd. She's only made a few official gaffes like mixing John Wayne with John Wayne Gacy. And she in under increasing scrutiny for farm income from the family farm taking farm subsidies, her husband's counseling practice that qualified for Medicare patients, and questions about any government support of her foster-care parenting. Not that any of these things are bad. They're not. But they are part of the evil government she wants to be President of.

Sarita Palinista is not in (and won't be) but she continues her celebrity events when she feels like it. Josh Green at the Atlantic points out that her popularity could take a severe blow when she does announce that she is not running. I still think she'll be able to pull off some kind of speech from the balcony of the Casa Rosada.

I know I have my issues, but every time I see Mitt on TV or a picture in the news, it makes me feel uncomfortable. Whenever I see Huntsman Jr. he just seems so poised and "cool." There is an interesting analysis of Huntsman Jr. and Sr. from the Daily Beast. Sources aren't named and it seems a little gossipy. The most scandalous revelations are that Huntsman Sr. supports his son politically and he yelled at some guy once. Not exactly a Vitter/Weiner/Ensign/Edwards/Craig/Clinton . . . moment. One tantalizing rumor is that the Huntsmans "schemed" to split their support between Romney and McCain in 2008. Maybe.

Pawlenty blew his chance to take on Romney in the last debate dodging his Obomney-care line. He's supposed to be coming out swinging. Waiting, waiting . . . .

Slap some butter and jam on the newt. He's toasted.

Cain is only newsworthy for playing the "race" card against Jon Stewart, of all people.

Santorum still playing to the the culture wars. Eew.

Christie still not in and less likely than ever as his popularity plummets in NJ for yelling at citizens on call-in shows about where their kids go to school.

Gary Johnson seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Except that every now and then we hear about him palling around with tea-partyists.

Ron Paul is auditing Ft. Knox gold as he reinvents the monetary system in the mode of  Ayn Rand, the Libertarians' favorite elitist.

And locally, more and more tea party types, including King Kirkham, are turning against Sen. Hatch to the benefit of Jason Chaffetz (or Scott Jim Matheson).

And in the White House, the President is moving from Eisenhower back to Truman taking civilian control of the military and givin' Congress He--!!

Oh, and this just in. The Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals upholds the ACA's health insurance mandate. Remember, if there is no conflict among the Circuits, the Supreme Court will likely have nothing to hear.


  1. Oh, and here's the part I like of that 6th Cir. decision from the concurrence & partial opinion of Judge Sutton (all three judges on the panel had to have their say, but still a solid 2-1):

    "No debate in the forty years after the country’s birth stirred the people more than the
    conflict between the federalists and anti-federalists over the role of the National
    Government in relation to the States. And no issue was more bound up in that debate
    than the wisdom of creating a national bank. In upholding the constitutionality of a
    second national bank, not a foregone conclusion, the Supreme Court erred on the side of allowing the political branches to resolve the conflict. Right or wrong, that decision presented the challengers with a short-term loss (by upholding the bank) and set the platform for a potential long-term victory (by allowing them to argue that Congress should not make the same mistake again). There was no third national bank. But see Federal Reserve Act, ch. 6, 38 Stat. 251 (1913).

    Today’s debate about the individual mandate is just as stirring, no less essential to the appropriate role of the National Government and no less capable of political resolution. Time assuredly will bring to light the policy strengths and weaknesses of using the individual mandate as part of this national legislation, allowing the peoples’ political representatives, rather than their judges, to have the primary say over its utility."

    (Yay, Constitutional History beyond 1789!!)

    Sounds like language a conservative should love even if from an "activist" judge ruling against them as he challenges the people ultimately to solve it through the political process rather than the courts. If the Republican/Tea-Party truly reached their high-water mark in 2010 winning the House (but not the Senate!) then it seems the political contest may be over. The conservatives need to hold the House, throw out the President, and net a 60+ seat majority in the Senate. Not impossible. But looking pretty unlikely at present. I think the ACA is here to stay. We can work together to make it better. And I think a generation from now, many who now oppose it, will look back with historical perspective and be a little embarrassed - not all, but some. Or they'll just pretend they never were opposed like so many have with the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, Social Security, etc.

  2. Thanks for the quote from the opinion. I remember, back in law school, reading Supreme Court cases discussing the extent to which federalism should be judicially-enforced. Back then I thought that it was clear that the Supreme Court should police the boundary between the states and the national government. I suppose I still think that should happen when the transgression is clear (otherwise, what is a written Constitution for, right?). But these days it's kind of hard to think of that type of clear case (as the Constitution is written in a way that, on its face, confers broad authority on Congress to legislate in many different respects, should it so choose), and therefore, the best course of action is usually to have the boundary policed via the political process.

    It's important to remember that when we're talking federalism and states "rights," it's not the same as individual rights. What we're really talking about is the allocation of political authority to governmental entities. The Constitution was created for the people, not for the states. And the two aren't the same, despite those who suggest that all of our national problems are the result of declining state sovereignty.

    I've posted elsewhere on this point:

    I suspect we may hear from the Supreme Court on this issue regardless of whether there is a circuit split. It just seems like that type of case. Whatever they say, it will be very interesting to follow.

  3. Thanks, Chris. I read that post and found it quite interesting if beyond what my feeble legal mind could produce. I get so overly philosophical and maybe off point that I see it as kind of a "chicken and egg" problem. Have Congress and the Courts stretched the Commerce clause beyond any possible recognition or limitation to complicate and burden our lives? Or has modern, interstate commerce become so much more complex than the founders ever imagined that we can be grateful they left the people's government in charge of that complexity? Of course the way I just "laid" that out is much easier than solving the chicken and the egg problem.

    And, as you so well point out, arguments about "states' rights" are really about jurisdiction. And as I've said before - states don't have rights, people do.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to disagree as many do. You can even be passionate (in moderation). Comments that contain offensive language, too many caps, conspiracy theories, gratuitous Mormon bashing, personal attacks on others who comment, or commercial solicitations- I send to spam. This is a troll-free zone. Charity always!