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Notes on the Senate Democrats' response to Neil Gorsuch

Nationally, there is no motivation for Dems to work with Republicans here. One might claim to be saving one's ammunition for another, hypothetical fight, but the threat of removing filibusters on SCOTUS nominees will remain. Republicans will use it again and again, with impunity, unless and until they actually invoke the rule change or lose their majority. Acquiescing to their bullying now will simply confirm their tactic.
But, as I have said before, politics are local. Senator Joe Manchin of conservative West Virginia, for example, may not have a lot of room to stand with his fellow Democrats in filibustering a well qualified (though creepily dispassionate, and thus not at all compassionate) conservative judge. Local politics, with tough reelection battles looming, is what will keep Democrats from having a strongly united front here.
But Democrats can lose 7 votes on cloture and still continue a filibuster unless and until Republicans in the Senate change the rules. All they need is 41 Senators willing to keep debate open and ongoing. This is really their only means of rebuking Trump, Gorsuch, or Senate Republicans in this matter. They should use it.


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-Calling a person a 'front runner' before votes are counted is just plain wrong.  Calling one a front-runner after some votes are counted is slightly misleading.  The race isn't about who the media thinks is ahead, and it is only indirectly about who gets the most votes.  What really matters is accruing the most delegates.  In the race for a major party's nomination for POTUS, the guy with the most delegates-who-will-actually-vote-for-him-at-their-national-convention is ahead. If no delegates have been awarded, there isn't really a front-runner, no matter what polls might say.

-I doubt the primary process will hurt the eventual Republican nominee for POTUS all that much.…

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Magical Unrealism

The same men who say global warming is a hoax, Obamacare has been failing for eight years, and abstinence-only sex-ed works are also convinced even basic gun control is an impossible and useless approach which would only make us less safe. These are also the dudes most likely to tell you black and brown folk have it too good, Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya, and Sharia law is being forced on American legal systems. I wonder if there's some sort of overarching thread or theme to all this.