Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Susan Collins

The Supreme Court Post-Kavanaugh: A Grand Strategy for the Left

Now that it’s become clear that we’ve failed to stop Brett Kavanaugh, a fascinating debate is brewing about what the American left’s position ought to be with respect to the Supreme Court going forward. There are two big, radical proposals vying for people’s attention and support:

  1. Gather the senate supermajority necessary to impeach and convict Kavanaugh over the next several election cycles, then replace him with a Democratic Party nominee in 2021, 2023, or 2025.
  2. Gather a simple majority in the senate and a Democratic president and revive Franklin Roosevelt’s court-packing plan, increasing the number of Supreme Court justices until the court is forcibly shifted to the left.

I want to discuss the merits and demerits of both approaches and propose a long-term strategy that I think will be more effective than immediately picking up and running with either.

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It’s Not All Bad: The Political Upside to the Kavanaugh Confirmation

I’ve been picking at Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for a while now. I emphasised that if the midterms weren’t coming, the Republicans would have bailed on Kavanaugh long ago. I pointed out how Kavanaugh trafficked in emotional manipulation to survive his hearing. I noted that in the past, Americans would have been much less tolerant of the lies Kavanaugh told while under oath. But despite my efforts and the efforts of many other people, it seems just about certain that Kavanaugh will be confirmed tomorrow. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has aligned herself with the Republican leadership, and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has followed suit. Many will write long lamentations about this. Others will rip Collins and Manchin for failing to align with us. You can read those pieces elsewhere. But I’ve been watching the numbers this past week, and I’ve come around to the view that in the long-run, the left will benefit from Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Here’s how.

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There’s a Good Chance Obamacare Won’t Be Repealed

The CBO has released its report on the senate’s version of Trumpcare and the numbers are once again pretty grim–22 million additional Americans would be without insurance by 2026. 15 million of the 22 million would already be kicked out by the 2018 midterms. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thought he could get Senate moderates to vote for the bill by delaying its Medicaid cuts, but the cuts are even larger than the House bill’s when they do come. There is deep opposition to this bill within the Republican ranks, and I seriously doubt whether the Republicans are capable of passing this bill, or any other major healthcare bill, for that matter. Read the rest of this entry »

Trumpcare Probably Won’t Get Past the Senate

Today a new, more conservative version of Trumpcare passed in the House, by a vote of 217-213. All the Democrats voted against it, with 20 Republican members defecting to join them. This might be concerning for some, but the changes the Republicans made to get the bill through the House will make it even harder for them to get a bloc of moderate Republican senators to cooperate with them.

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How Obama Can Replace Scalia

Today Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly in his sleep after participating in a quail hunt. I extend my sympathies to his family and to the conservative movement, which has lost one of its titans. Nevertheless, I am a political writer, and my role is to write about politics. So what are the political implications of Scalia’s death?

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