Live Blog: Six Men Standing (and one dead Justice) for Tonight’s Republican Debate

128175_600Well, tonight’s Republican Debate will surely be a lively matter. CBS gets the honorsat 9 p.m. EST.First, there are only six candidates left and we’ve determined they pretty much hate each other.  Also, we’ve got the issue of one dead Supreme Court Justice.  Antonin Scalia–perhaps one of the most evil men I’ve had the displeasure of reading–died in his death in a Texas Hotel while joyously killing small animals.  According to our Constitution–which is the thing that Fat Tony did his damnedest to rewrite–President Obama will appoint a new justice with the advice and consent of the Senate. Currently, the Republicans are no longer a party that wishes to govern under our Constitution and SCOTUS with Scalia has become their enabler.  They’re a party of insurrection and some of the worst of them will be up on that podium tonight trying to impress the voters in the home state for the nation’s historical insurrectionists.  So, the rhetoric will be amped up as they compete to eulogize the dead man in black.

The six remaining Republican presidential candidates will be on stage in Greenville, South Carolina Saturday night for the CBS News Republican debate.

The stakes are high for the remaining candidates, as they head into a period of the primary season that relies less on retail politicking. A strong debate performance could be crucial as the candidates try to reach the voters who are next in line to cast their ballots — in South Carolina and Nevada.

South Carolina will determine the survival of Jeb Bush among some of the others.  It seems clearly to be in its historical insurrectionist corner with the xenophobic narcissist Donald Trump.  However, there are 1455347302412.cachedother narcissists on the stage.  The Punditry is betting on a Trump-Cruz slugfest.

After splitting the first two votes, the New York billionaire has relentlessly hammered away at Cruz on everything from his campaign’s tactics to what Trump sees as the Texan’s character flaws. And on Friday, Trump warned that he has standing to sue Cruz over questions of his birth and constitutional eligibility to serve in the White House.

“If @tedcruz doesn’t clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen,” Trump tweeted of his rival, born in Canada to an American mother.

Asked about the threat, Cruz did not back down. “There’s more than a little irony in Donald accusing anybody of being nasty given the amazing torrent of insults and obscenities that come out of his mouth on any given day,” he told reporters. “Suddenly every day he comes out with a new attack.”

Trump is expected to carry these attacks onto the stage on Saturday at the final candidate forum before South Carolina votes. It’s a fight Cruz’s allies say they are ready for, as they prepare to assault Trump’s Republican credentials with an eye on the conservative, religious and security-focused voters throughout the south.

The dynamics on Fat Tony’s demise will likely mean a group orgy of ass kissing.  The Republicans have already promised to to block any potential nomination by the President. McConnell indicated that the next 128340_600president should pick the new SCOTUS.  This seems like a dead end argument to me.  The Election math is clearly behind the D’s this time and any obstruction would likely create an avalanche of Obama Supporters to the Polls.  I’m not the only one who thinks this.

Just 18 days ago, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked about nominating President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court and she said, “That’s a great idea!”

Politico reported:

Asked by an Iowa voter at a town hall event here what she thought of appointing President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court if she were to become president, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton seemed delighted by the prospect. “I’ll tell you, that’s a great idea!” a beaming Clinton told the crowd of 450 packed into a theater, noting that she’d never heard the question before.

Well. It’s an even greater idea if it is something that would happen immediately after the election, effectively motivating the same turnout as surprised the beltway for Obama in 2012.

They may posture for awhile, but they will also have to avoid going on any recess to avoid a recess appointment that would likely sail through a Dem-controlled Senate.  Again, the math indicates this a statistically likely outcome.  Also, if the Republicans manage to nominate one of their more obnoxious candidates, it will bring record numbers of minorities and women to the polls in states that aren’t safely red.

The 2016 elections are the Democrats’ best shot at wresting back control of the Senate for the rest of the decade, given that the 2018 off-year elections will force Democrats to defend 25 of the 33 seats on the ballot (including the two seats held by independents who caucus with them).

In a recent interview, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus acknowledged the steep challenges Republicans face in 2016. When asked how Republicans will overcome the Democrats’ huge Electoral College advantage next year, Priebus summed up his party’s chances for the presidency this way: “[W]e have to be about perfect … and the other side can be about good. And so the fact is that we do have the higher burden.” In a year like 2016, their burden will extend beyond the presidential to the Senate as well.

Scalia's ExcuseSo, go ahead Rethugs, pick a fight!   Sounds really good to me. As for the Scalia death, I couldn’t be more celebratory.  It’s difficult for me to read anything the man wrote without seeing the face of evil. He was an “originalist” only when it suited his politics and theology.  He didn’t die under any kind of tragic circumstances other than he’s rotting in hell right now by his own religious beliefs since no priest heard his last confession.  Ironic that.  This does impact the election and we can only hope and pray that it removes that 5th vote that seeks to maintain white male, christian hegemony in all aspects of life.  Next month, a huge abortion case is on the docket.

This would be the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

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Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
15-274 5th Cir. Mar 2, 2016 TBD TBD TBD OT 2015

Issue: (1) Whether, when applying the “undue burden” standard of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a court errs by refusing to consider whether and to what extent laws that restrict abortion for the stated purpose of promoting health actually serve the government’s interest in promoting health; and (2) whether the Fifth Circuit erred in concluding that this standard permits Texas to enforce, in nearly all circumstances, laws that would cause a significant reduction in the availability of abortion services while failing to advance the State’s interest in promoting health – or any other valid interest.

Again, I believe that the Republicans should hope Obama appoints a moderate and just go with it because a Clinton appointment with a Dem majority senate would rock their world.  Well, see if POTUS takes the in your face or practical route.

 Here are some reactions from SCOTUS blog.

The most immediate implications involve the presidential election.  President Obama of course has the power to nominate a successor, with the consent of the Senate.  In the ordinary course, because the opening was unexpected, the nomination would not be forthcoming for a couple of months and then the confirmation process would take several more months.

Theoretically, that process could conclude before the November election.  But realistically, it cannot absent essentially a consensus nominee – and probably not even then, given the stakes.  A Democratic president would replace a leading conservative vote on a closely divided Court.  The Republican Senate will not permit such a consequential nomination – which would radically shift the balance of ideological power on the Court – to go forward.

There is the related question of the Court becoming an issue in the election.  Before today, it was unlikely that many voters would choose a presidential candidate for this reason, given the importance of issues like the economy, terrorism, and immigration.  But the fact that there is an immediate vacancy – and a vacancy that could tip the Court’s ideological balance – makes the future of the Court much more concrete.

In the political primaries, the Court is not an issue that divides candidates of the same party.  Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, for example, are clear that they would want to appoint a more liberal successor that would oppose decisions like the Citizens United campaign finance ruling.  The leading Republican candidates would all make clear their support for a nominee who would oppose the Court’s rulings upholding the Affordable Care Act.

In the general election, the Court is also an issue that tends to drive the base of each party, so it may be most relevant to turn-out rather than to changing voters’ minds.  In general terms, conservatives have been more focused than progressives on the Court as a presidential legacy.  But both parties have groups of voters – on the left, supporting abortion rights, and on the right, supporting gun rights and opposing abortion, for example – for which the Court has outsized importance.

Because there remains almost a year in his Term, President Obama is likely to feel an obligation to put forward a nominee rather than completely accede to Republican objections to confirming anyone.  That may also be good presidential politics, as Democrats seek to paint Republicans as obstructionists.  Three potential nominees are easy to identify from among current appellate judges:  from the D.C. Circuit, Patricia Millett and Sri Srinivasan; and from the Ninth Circuit, Paul Watford.

But tonight we live blog the sound and the fury from some of the most extremist candidates the Republicans can offer.  Then, there’s Jeb Bush who is just more of the same old same old.2008-05-05-scalia-old-news

Let’s dig in!