How the GOP Made Obama One of America’s Most Powerful Presidents [Zachary Karabell – Politico]
Republicans over the past seven years have come to view Barack Obama not just as an ideological enemy but as a “dictator”—an accusation hurled most recently by both Chris Christie and Glenn Beck—a president who has unconstitutionally abused his executive power with an array of unilateral actions.
But Republicans are hardly passive victims of an overweening executive; they are, in fact, paying for their own unilateral surrender of power. The GOP-dominated Congress has sought to weaken and undermine Obama and instead has achieved the opposite. Unable to pass significant legislation after the Affordable Care Act, the Obama White House filled the vacuum by creative use of executive authority, setting a potentially risky precedent for the future balance between the branches but spurred, ironically, by the very opponents who were trying to contain him.
Out of anti-Obama pique, Congress has also relinquished much of its primary tool, the power of the purse. Congress and the White House have not agreed on a budget since 2009, and only at the end of 2015 was an actual budget passed by the House. So while it is technically true that even the most controversial military programs of the Obama years have had de facto congressional support, Congress has failed to use its constitutional control of the budget as a check on executive action.
And whatever powers Obama takes, with Republican complicity, can be used by President Trump or President Cruz.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says he just asked someone to bring him his wallet. He didn’t know they were going to send a helicopter to do it.
Bentley is facing impeachment over a sex scandal.
Brought to you by the Republicans – the party of fiscal responsibility and family values.
Slate’s Whistlestop podcast is a lively discussion of Presidential campaigns throughout history. The latest installment:
In 1968, Alabama Gov. George Wallace appealed to segregationists and blue-collar workers during his presidential bid as a third-party candidate.
Wallace set the state for the Republicans to peddle racism and ignorance for nearly 50 years.
And Donald Trump owes a lot to the Wallace playbook.
Andrew Kaczynski, BuzzFeed News:
Donald Trump said in a radio interview on Thursday that his favorite teaching in the Bible is the Old Testament punishment of an “eye for eye.”
“Is there a favorite Bible verse or Bible story that has informed your thinking or your character through life, sir?” asked host Bob Lonsberry on WHAM 1180 AM.
Trump responded, “Well, I think many. I mean, when we get into the Bible, I think many, so many. And some people, look, an eye for an eye, you can almost say that. That’s not a particularly nice thing. But you know, if you look at what’s happening to our country, I mean, when you see what’s going on with our country, how people are taking advantage of us, and how they scoff at us and laugh at us. And they laugh at our face, and they’re taking our jobs, they’re taking our money, they’re taking the health of our country. And we have to be firm and have to be very strong. And we can learn a lot from the Bible, that I can tell you.”
Trump talks tough for a guy who runs away from fights.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Given Donald’s past statements about his daughters, I’d think the Bible passages about incest would be his favorites.
Ted Cruz knows he can’t win the primary, but he’s got a good shot at the nomination if the Republican National Convention can’t decide on Trump on the first ballot. And he’s got a good shot at making that happen.
As a Democrat, I like Cruz as the GOP candidate. He has all of Trump’s problems without Trump’s charisma and appeal to working people.
I see a good chance that Trump and Cruz might unite. The name-calling and dirty politics would be forgotten. These men are pros, they know it just goes with the game.
On the other hand, I don’t see either Trump or Cruz settling for the vice presidency.
‘Bathroom law’ puts North Carolina governor in crossfire of GOP civil war [James Hohmann – The Washington Post]
The bathroom law isn’t just unfair to trans people. It’s ridiculous, and its supporters are insane. Trans people aren’t preying on children or anybody else in women’s bathrooms. It doesn’t happen. It’s an imaginary threat.
And that’s why I’m a Democrat. The Democrats are wrong but the Republicans are fucking nuts.
Ted Cruz’s Wife: ‘I Love the Smell of New York’ [Will Bredderman – Observer]
If the Senate refuses to consider President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, Obama has the Constitutional authority to declare that the Senate has failed to exercise its right and declare the appointment done, says Gregory L. Diskant, senior partner at the law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler and a member of the national governing board of Common Cause, writing at the Washington Post.
The Senate would most likely sue.
It would break the logjam in our system to have this dispute decided by the Supreme Court (presumably with Garland recusing himself). We could restore a sensible system of government if it were accepted that the Senate has an obligation to act on nominations in a reasonable period of time. The threat that the president could proceed with an appointment if the Senate failed to do so would force the Senate to do its job — providing its advice and consent on a timely basis so that our government can function.
I love this idea just in anticipation of hearing the Republicans scream.
Details emerge about former US speaker Dennis Hastert’s history as a sexual predator of teen-age boys. [Letitia Stein – Reuters]
From the party of family values.
Perhaps they ought to spend less time worrying about the imaginary threat of trans people using the ladies’ room, and instead ban Republican congresspeople from boys’ locker rooms?
At least that’s the impression I get skimming the news. I take it with a grain of salt.
It’s not surprising. Trump has been playing Russian roulette. A guy playing Russian roulette might get lucky for a while and dazzle onlookers. But eventually he’s going to blow his own head off if he keeps going.
I’m trying to remind myself that it’s better for America – and the world – if Trump is stopped sooner rather than later. Part of me wants him to take the Republican nomination, which would open the door for the Democrats to win the White House and sweep all the way down the ballot, including both houses of Congress and state houses.
Not that I love the Democrats much. But they’re better than the GOP. It’s a step in the right direction.
The Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove, and Marco Rubio denounced Trump, but they’re now extending olive branches, says Fareed Zakaria at The Washington Post.
The modern GOP espoused free markets, free trade, social conservatism, an expansionist foreign policy, and fiscal discipline, particularly on social spending Zakaria says. (What he doesn’t say is that the Republicans were always hypocrites on these issues, particularly spending.) Now, the Republican leadership are turning their backs on those beliefs to avoid being shut out of power.
Elsewhere, a friend suggests a nasty scenario: Trump and Cruz make a deal and unite. This seems likely.
Sure, Trump is a putz, but he’s only incrementally different than most of the Republican leadership for the past 15 years at least. And the Democrats are no prize either.
Trump isn’t the next Hitler. He’s your blowhard uncle, if your blowhard uncle drove a private helicopter with his name on it instead of a rustbucket Dodge Neon.
He’s not saying stoning gays should be written into Oklahoma laws. But he’s ok with it. Because it’s in the Old Testament.
The Kentucky Senator backed Greg Brannon in the Republican primary for North Carolina Senate; Brannon finished a distant second.
Paul had put his growing party clout on the line at an appearance on Monday with Brannon, whom he praised as a “hero” despite his history of provocative statements like calling President Barack Obama a fascist and contending the constitutional right to bear arms extends to nuclear weapons.
Paul has problems with social conservatives because of his view that abortion laws shouldn’t change until public opinion shifts. And foreign policy hawks are uncomfortable with his opposition to foreign intervention.
Because that worked so well for them in 2012.
There are actually legitimate questions about the White House handling of Benghazi. The recent Carney memo is disturbing. But it’s by no means the smoking gun the Republicans think it is.
And the American people are sick of hearing the Republicans rant about Benghazi. The American people hear about Benghazi and it just sounds like more birther/Muslim/socialist rubbish.
American needs a party to oppose the Democrats. Instead, we have an embarrassing uncle who gets drunk and says inappropriate things at the Thanksgiving table.