Update: R.I.P. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 1936 – 2016. The politics are massive on this and have no doubt, Supreme Court nominations are all about politics.
We believe this helps, if we may be so crass as to discuss politics at this juncture, none other than Donald J. Trump. Others argue this hurts Trump because of the “electability” argument, but Trump is just as electable as any of the other GOP candidates and we think he is actually the only one that is electable.
Why do we think the politics of this issue help Trump? Because Trump is the tough guy. Trump will be the one that can force the GOP senate to grow a spine. As with the Muslim extremist attacks in Paris when many thought Trump would be hurt and we argued Trump would be helped – and Trump was helped enormously – tough Trump will lead the way against Obama.
Grab the sponges! Seize the towels! Stock up on the Brawny, the Bounty, and other absorbent paper! Tears will drip, the laughs will spew, the blood will wash over the stage and you will need everything to keep dry. Yup, the Republicans debate tonight in South Carolina, at 9:00 p.m. ET on the broadcast CBS network!
There will be little to none of the phony “my esteeeeemed colleague and respected opponent” crap tonight. This is to-the-death gladiatorial warfare.
The target of the GOP establishment tonight will once again be Maximus, er, The Donald, as traps and tigers are positioned to destroy the outsider so that the Emperor Commodus, er Jeb, has a chance to “surge” at this last hour. After all everyone else had their phony “surge” why not phony Jeb??? “Where’s my surge mommy? Carly, Carson, Scotty, Bobby, Chrissy, Marky, Teddy, they all got their surges mommy! Even brother George got his surge! Where’s my surge????? Wah, wah, wah, where’s my surge mommy?”
The audience in the hall will be stacked with enemies of Trump but the TV audience will be with Trump, particularly the white working class. The composition of the audience won’t matter as much as the establishment hopes it will, however. Tonight, as in every gladiatorial battle, the warriors will live or die by their own talents and abilities.
Will replicant Marco Rubio acquire new sincerity software to replicate human emotion thereby prevent déjà vu indicator Matrix style glitches that hiccup verbal repetition from the parietal cortex? Or is the Marco Rubio “surge” over and done, along with the vaunted 3-2-1 strategy, currently reduced to a 3-3-0 probability paradigm? Only a blade runner knows for sure.
Will Barbara Bush wheel herself onto the stage and replace her low energy stiff of a son in combat? Or maybe the “mission accomplished” sibling will lack respect and knock Fredo from the tournament list to come on stage himself to rescue the clan from the brother that won’t even use their name in his campaign?
Ted Cruz? Will Ted Cruz get his precious? Ted Cruz thought he could pretend to be Donald Trump’s friend then in the end he would lead Trump to a trap. Gollum, er, Cruz also pretended to be Ben Carson’s friend only to stab him in Iowa. Whither Gollum, er, Cruz?
Oddly, Ted Cruz, wound up helping Ben Carson raise money, due to sympathy for the Cruz stab in the back. Now, Carson bleeds Cruz dry, because Carson takes evangelical votes away from Cruz at the moment Cruz needs those votes the most.
There’s lots of intrigue and questions which will be answered tonight:
Five things to watch for in the CBS Republican debate
Donald Trump versus Ted Cruz: Each candidate has a win under his belt, with Cruz claiming victory in the Iowa caucuses and Trump dominating the New Hampshire primaries.As they head into South Carolina, their attacks on each other are heating up. Trump this week accused the Cruz campaign of using “sleazy and dishonest” tactics in the Palmetto State, while the Cruz campaign is using attacks against Trump in its fundraising emails. It remains to be seen whether their nasty and personal attacks will reappear on the debate stage. [snip]
Can Jeb Bush build on his New Hampshire finish? The former Florida governor has struggled to gain much traction since launching his presidential bid, but after investing a considerable amount of time and money in New Hampshire, he placed fourth there. To keep his campaign alive, he’ll have to take the others down a notch.
Will Bush continue his pattern of taking on Trump on the debate stage? Or will he take on his competitors for the title of “establishment” candidate? Watch for Bush to take on Ohio Gov. John Kasich for expanding Medicaid, Cruz on defense issues, and Sen. Marco Rubio on the question of presidential readiness.
Can Rubio rehabilitate his image? In the last Republican debate, Rubio performed poorly — and it hurt him. After his relatively strong third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, expectations were high for the Florida senator. Yet days before the New Hampshire primary, Rubio let his fellow Republicans knock him off his game. He finished in a disappointing fifth place in New Hampshire. [snip]
How far right does Kasich move? John Kasich managed to take second place in the New Hampshire primaries after focusing all of his energy on that state — and catering to its famously independent-minded, moderate voters.
That strategy, however, won’t be as effective in deep red states like South Carolina. [snip]
Is this Ben Carson’s last stand?
As we have written so many times before, if Donald Trump wins with his strategy, he continues to win. Iowa was a bump, New Hampshire was a huge bump up. Now in South Carolina Trump is so well position that a win there and the nomination is effectively his. Ted Cruz will do everything he can do to prevent that from happening:
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.
“There’s a Himalayan mountain of evidence out there that Donald Trump is not a conservative,” said Charlie Condon, a former South Carolina attorney general and a Cruz surrogate, pointing to Trump’s past positions on issues including abortion, health care and Wall Street bank bailouts. “I’m confident that everything I’m telling you will be discussed at the Peace Center.”
Condon said that the more Trump attacks Cruz on Saturday, the more the Texas senator will come across as the Trump “alternative.”
“It’s a recognition of what we think the reality is: This is becoming a two-man race,” he said. “So if you’re not comfortable with Donald Trump being president, whether for temperament reasons or judgment reasons or the fact that he really is a campaign conservative—he’s been a Democrat almost his whole life…if you’re uncomfortable with that…Cruz is the alternative.”
Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler said the candidate would be “prepared” for Trump, whose campaign he dismissed as unserious. “This is the Seinfeld candidacy,” he said. “It’s a campaign about nothing.” [snip]
In South Carolina, where polls show Trump with a double-digit lead over Cruz, the senator and his supporters are not holding back. “I’ve worked campaigns for long time and I’ve never seen the stuff Cruz is putting out,” said one Trump campaign staffer in the state, referring to mailers that question the businessman’s conservative credentials. [snip]
“As we approach South Carolina, Trump’s competitors will grow increasingly desperate,” said Seth Weathers, a Trump supporter who briefly served as the businessman’s George [sic] state director.
While Ted Cruz tries to supplant Trump, Rubio and Bush battle for third place in a six man race. And they’ll call third place a victory because… desperation. “It’s a cage match. One man wins, one man leaves.”
After New Hampshire, Donald Trump holds the shield and the sword. Trump has all the trump cards:
In cards, you usually can’t hope for a much better hand than pocket aces. Despite a minor speed bump in the form of the Iowa caucus, it would appear after his big win in New Hampshire, those are just the cards that Donald Trump is holding. [snip]
He has managed to become more polished and more refined while still maintaining the attitude so many voters have been getting behind. He projects as a defiant, no-nonsense leader who answers to no one, and his tough demeanor where he won’t give an inch is what has worked for him. It is a breath of fresh air to American’s who are tired of an Obama administration so willing to concede. [snip]
America loves a winner, and throughout the entire campaign process Trump has talked about how America just doesn’t win anymore. He has talked about how he has, in the past, had no trouble getting things done, making tough decisions, and being a winner himself. However, after the results in Iowa, that image Trump spent so much time promoting was in deep danger of being irrevocably tarnished. But now Trump has returned to stand back on top of the mountain, a winner once again. Only time will ultimately tell, but it appears “The Donald” has in fact been holding those pocket aces all along.
Rubio will attack Trump while defending himself against Cruz who will attack Trump while defending himself against Carson who will attack Cruz’ evangelical support while Trump gets evangelical support and will then get attacked by Jeb who will attack Trump while attacking Rubio who will attack Jeb, while the GOP donors in the audience attack Trump who will denounce the audience who will likewise be attacked by the television audience on CBS tonight. In brief, Trump will schlong them all.
Shine on Trump!