I Will Not be Cowed into Voting for Trump this November

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Roughly eight percent of the Republican delegates have been doled out thus far, but evidently it’s all over but the shouting. We might as well make piece with GOP nominee Donald Trump, we’re told. Whether or not one is ready to so readily concede, I’ve already seen the message pivot on various social media platforms. Despite the fact that a majority of Republican voters do not like or simply loathe the man, the quadrennial ritual is about to take place. Yes folks, it’s time for another lovely round of “Vote Republican in November or else.”

Oh I’m just as guilty as anyone as playing this game before. I almost made it through 2012 myself before regretfully folding and pulling the imaginary lever for Mitt Romney (more on that later), and I did the same for McCain in 2008. I’ve made the same arguments now being put forth by Team Vote GOP or Die, so I understand them. I personally find it rather amusing that the same people who have kvetched the most about this strategy in the past are now the ones wielding it, but so be it.

There are two core arguments being put forward as to why we need to get in line for Trump: the courts, and “OMG! Hillary!” (Yeah, Bernie too, but establishment Democrats are ironically better at putting their thumbs on the scale to thwart grassroots sentiment than the not quite so Machiavellian GOPe, so forget him for the time being).

Normally I’d fall in line with this way of thinking, but not this time. Let’s address the courts first.

Antonin Scalia’s death has made the Supreme Court, and the corresponding presidential appointment power, even more pressing of an issue than it normally is. Assuming Senate Republicans actually hold the line – and to their credit, I think they will – then the next president will not only choose his replacement, he or she might get to fill two other vacancies, if not more. Do we want Hillary to make those appointments? Donald Trump may not be counted on to make suitable choices, but at least with him we have a fighting chance. Sure he hasn’t demonstrated any familiarity with constitutional law, or a deep understanding of originalism, and on several high profile cases (such as Kelo) he took the anti-Constitutional side. But he will surely have the best men and women advising him, and we can trust that he will pick good people to pick good people.

To which I reply: The infinitesimal chance that Donald Trump will astutely nominate jurists whose philosophies echo Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, or – dare a girl dream – Clarence Thomas, does not counter all of the other negatives associated with Donald Trump. When speaking of constitutional issues Trump seems barely more coherent than a high school kid who has not done his social studies homework. It’s easy to make too much of his comment that his radically pro-abortion sister would make a “phenomenal” Supreme Court justice, but it underlines his fundamental lack of seriousness on the courts and constitutional issues. He may mouth platitudes about appointing “pro life, conservative” justices, but even when he’s trying to say things he knows his supporters want to hear, he still betrays his complete lack of understanding of what the courts are about. I don’t want “pro life, conservative” justices, I want constitutionalists who will adhere to the document as written and originally understood by its framers. Such justices would naturally decide in a manner that would overturn the social justice engineering wrought by the courts, but would also consistently vote so as to keep the courts out of other areas that are not their concern.

It’s also folly to count on Trump picking excellent advisers to assist him with these picks. We’re left hoping that he picks the right person to pick the right people. Hey, I have an idea – let’s cut out the middleman. Maybe instead of Trump we could have a president who, say, has argued (and consistently won) before the Supreme Court and thus might actually know a little but about constitutional law. Oh, I know, that’s crazy talk. Better to roll the dice, cross our fingers and pray that Trump picks the right person to pick the right person.

Even assuming Trump hits the jackpot and chooses a suitable replacement for Scalia, guess what – he’s likely gonna have to repeat that process multiple times. I would be surprised if Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy don’t resign during the next Republican administration. Ruth Bader Ginsburg might try to hang on for another four years in case Trump wins, but even she might walk away. So not only are we relying on Trump getting it right to simply hold the line, we might need him to make the right call when it comes to appointing someone who could switch the court’s basic composition.

Wait. There’s more. While we focus obsessively on the Supreme Court we forget to scores of lower court appointments that will be made. As Danel Horowtiz details, less than one percent of cases make it to the Supreme Court, meaning that most cases are decided on the appellate level. And as Horowitz shows, President Obama has completely remade the lower courts.

While most people focus exclusively on the Supreme Court and how that institution has reached rock bottom with some of the decisions of the past term, the situation in the lower courts is even worse.  And remember, only 1% of this country’s cases ever make it to the land’s highest court.  Obama has now appointed 54 active appeals court judges, which represents 30% of the appeals court benches.

As of 2016, nine of the 13 circuits are comprised of majorities of Democrat-appointees.  In totality, there are 92 Democrat circuit judges, 77 GOP judges, and 10 vacant seats.  The all-important D.C. Court of Appeals—the second most important court in the land on constitutional issues—is now 7-4 majority Democrat-appointees, with four judges appointed by Obama alone.

On the district level, Obama has now appointed 260 judges, 39% of the federal district bench.

Even if we trusted to Trump to somehow have a better batting average of appointing constitutionalists to the bench than Ronald Reagan and the Bushes, it probably won’t matter. The courts are so fundamentally broken that even appointing the right people – which we can’t even trust Trump will do – won’t solve anything.

Which brings us to the final point. The judiciary has usurped the legislature’s role in deciding social issues. It has become a super legislature, far beyond anything imagined by the framers of the Constitution. Even if the courts decided rightly on these major social issues, we should question why they are even deciding so many of these issues in the first place. Major judicial reform is necessary, including such ideas as jurisdiction stripping. While I wouldn’t expect even a President Cruz to succeed in this arena, at least not as thoroughly as one would hope, there is no chance in Hades than a President Trump will get behind any initiatives to reform the judiciary. In the end, the courts are simply too far gone to think that electing Donald Trump can make any difference whatsoever.

Which brings us to the “but Hillary” argument. Yes, Hillary Clinton is a sociopathic, charisma vacuum who would almost literally (maybe not almost) kill someone who stood in her way of obtaining office. She has no scruples, would say anything to get elected, lies as easily as any of us breathe, and is a doctrinaire leftist.

But I also kind of just described Donald Trump (except for the charisma thing – I’ll give him that).

Phillip Klein laid out a pretty exhaustive list of Trump’s political failings. It’s hard to see in this list precisely where he’s markedly better than Hillary Clinton. In fact both are political chameleons who seem to thirst after power, and will do and say anything to attain that power. In the end, President Clinton or President Trump will do nothing to repeal Obamacare, and both seem to be fine with ideas to further socialize health care. Neither is going to reign in the judiciary, nor are they going to halt the expansion of executive powers. And on and on.

As mentioned above I held out for much of 2012 before finally succumbing to the “he’s better than Obama” argument as applied to Mitt Romney. The thing is, Mitt Romney is Edmund Burke, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan rolled into one compared to Donald Trump, not to mention his clearly superior moral character. Mitt Romney, for all his faults, truly was a superior alternative to Barack Obama. I cannot say the same about Donald Trump as compared to Hillary Clinton.

So that is why no amount of pleading will ever get me to vote for Donald Trump. If it makes you feel better I live in a state that has zero chance of going Republican in a general election, so it also won’t matter. As I said in my previous post, Donald Trump actually could and maybe even likely will defeat Hillary Clinton. God help our nation that this is our choice.

NB: If Tuesday goes as poorly as I fear it might, this will be my final post on presidential politics until election day in November. I don’t think I can stomach eight months of coverage of these two fundamentally loathsome human beings.

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  1. “Vote GOP or Die”, eh?
    Well work hard for a decent candidate, Paul Zummo, else you’ll have no GOP candidate to vote for this fall. Trump isn’t Republican, he’s Fauxpublican–not even enough of a Republican to be RINO. Work very hard because your time is running out.
    P.S. I’m glad Paul Zummo repented of his Romney’s Not Good Enough For Me attitude. But now he gets to experience a weakened Republican Party as his penance.

  2. An Article V convention is a horrible idea. Once called the Convention could not be limited to a single topic, everything, including the Bill of Rights would be up for grabs.

  3. There are so many issues that it can be heard to see where to begin. Our Republic looks to me like a town flattened by a tornado.

    If one were serious about restoring the Republic, one would begin with the Separation of Powers… No one but Rand really talked about that. (Cruz test floated that issue but America yawned.)

    Everything else is irrelevant in comparison.

    Trump wants a facade as fake as Rock Ridge’s in Blazing Saddles. Clinton wants to rebuild a mansion for her to live in and look down on the huddled masses. Bernie wants to give up and borrow tents forever.

    Not one of the candidates is interested in the Constitution or, if they are, have the courage to say so.

    Long ago, we gave up education to the Left. They stripped it of Civics and we are now an ignorant people… Regular Eloi.

  4. That great social conservative W. Bush declared during his presidency
    abortion is settled law and part of the U.S. Constitution. The social conservative
    phonies control the Republican Party. They will never overturn Roe vs Wade.
    Not long ago 7 of the 9 justices on the Supreme Court were appointed
    by Republicans. Most of them were appointed by the liberal pro-abort
    Bush family. And still the Republican Supreme Court refused to overturn
    Roe vs Wade. American conservatives are the most manipulated group of
    human beings on the planet, which explains their rage and support for Trump.

  5. I’ve worried about opening that pandora’s box myself, Thomas, but as I was reminded when I expressed those concerns, 3/4 of the states would have to ratify any amendments or wholesale changes. If three-quarters of the states are willing to scrap the Bill of Rights, well, we’re in trouble regardless. That’s not to say I’ve fully signed onto the Article V convention quite yet, but it’s becoming more palatable idea.

  6. “That great social conservative W. Bush declared during his presidency
    abortion is settled law and part of the U.S. Constitution.”


    Bush senior appointed Clarence Thomas, perhaps the most ardently pro-life member of the Court. Earlier in his career he had not been pro-life, but as President he was quite pro-life.

    Where Republicans control state legislatures a steady stream of pro-life legislation has emerged. In regard to the Supreme Court, blame Ted Kennedy. He began the Democrat Jihad against Republican Supreme Court nominees, beginning with Judge Bork. If Bork had been confirmed, Roe v. Wade would now be an ugly footnote. To get nominees through the Senate Republican presidents, when the Democrats control the Senate, have resorted to stealth nominees like Kennedy and Souter who have been immense disappointments. All the foes of abortion on the Supreme Court have been Republican nominees, with the exception of Whizzer White who was appointed by JFK.

  7. W. Bush and phony social conservatives like him believe abortion
    is part of the U.S. Constitution. So when these slick phonies declare
    their support for the constitution they also mean abortion. Thomas is
    a great pro-life justice of the Supreme Court and so would have Bork were
    he confirmed.

    However, that does not deny the fact that not long ago 7 of the 9 justices
    on the Supreme Court were appointed by Republicans and Roe vs Wade
    is still the law of the land.

  8. “But we must remember that Cabinet officers, including the U.S. Attorney General,
    serve at the will of the President of the United States. In this instance, George W.
    Bush has never said that he would, or even wanted to, overturn Roe. To the contrary,
    he has said he thinks the American people aren’t ready for that yet. He certainly
    made it clear that respect for the sanctity of human life is not a requirement for his
    nominees to the federal bench and the Supreme Court.” Republican National Coalition
    For Life – January 19, 2001

    Also, that other great social conservative H W Bush recently attended a gay marriage.

  9. “Bush senior appointed Clarence Thomas, perhaps the most ardently pro-life member of the Court.”

    And probably the most originalist member of the Court.

  10. “But we must remember that Cabinet officers”

    Still waiting for that citation Franco where George H. W. Bush declared during his presidency that abortion is settled law and part of the constitution. Since you have been unable to support that claim with a citation I will assume that your statement was a false assertion by you.

  11. Paul Z.:
    Play it as it lays. Make the best of it. Be part of the game. It’s not over till it’s over.
    All the cliches oppose folding your tent and going home.

    Considered in it’s best light, Trump, despite his loathsomeness, is doing a great service for the country by inaugurating what amounts to a new Independent Party that will encourage more folks to participate in a presumably less corrupt political process which Trump is attempting to blow up. The subversiveness of it all is what appeals to me along with the hope for an eventual better government where the will of the tax paying public is acted upon.

    Heady days are ahead Paul. Go for it. We need your contribution.

  12. My “Mortal Sin Vote Democrat” creed does not translate to “Therefore vote for a GOP candidate.” The creed applies to the entire Devil’s Brigade, all the members of the Party Of Death; each and every candidate and office holder of The Party Of Intrinsic Evil in simple terms – ALL DEMOCRATS; but also to some individual independents and some republicans. Sadly, you can always not vote; and you can always write in someone. Bill-comment above-what you say applies to ALL DEMOCRATS even those hypocrites “personally opposed.” This Party of Death and of Evil is the Satanic Choir of Abortion. No stronger message to follow. Guy McClung, San Antonio TX USA

  13. but Guy, not voting IS a vote for Billary Hussein – and this issue of POTUS is much larger than Trump himself- it is the complete removal of the immoral incompetent circle of black wrong doers … Rice, Holder,Jynch, Jeh[sic] Johnson, black wannabee’s Mcdonough,dreese, murray, Sunstein,stern, holdren,axlerod and of course Queen Jarrett- imagine all this wasted human flesh replaced with competent leadership in their own fields…. Energy being focused to heal and bind the nation and her people rather than divide as these folks do?

    appointments to the Supreme Court is a crap shoot regardless – I and many of you have been amazed at how ‘ learned judges ‘ can become so obtuse and unable to resist embracing judicial legislation ….. but the current vacancy AND at least 3 more, not with standing any decision by the Supreme Being to bring more of these people to Justice , will be crucial to any significant period of religious revival and a return of this wayward people to the One True God. I still await any listing of particular in this blog as to what’s wrong with Trump- adulterer ? yes, crude and direct? yes ? a baby killer who calls on Gods Blessing for Planned Parenthood? no – objects to the amount of debt we carry -yes? – believes in strong borders- yes- 2nd and 4th amendment – yes- where is the objectionable part that would force you to not vote at all and thereby vote for any Democrat ? all purveyors of death?
    as Guy so accurately points out

  14. I’m with you, Paul. If Trump wins the GOP nomination, I will find a third party to support or not vote in the Presidential contest. I absolutely will never vote for him, and a GOP that nominates him deserves to lose.

  15. Paul Z. You did the right thing in ’08 and ’12. In a previous comment on your previous post about Rubio I said I did the same think.
    You’re feeling disenfranchised…like you have no real choice. Well, you do. You can do what millions of voters did in ’08 and ’12 and contribute to a 3rd term of continued socialism boarding on communism, or vote for someone that might do the right thing. We all know what Hillary will do.
    Please do stop posting on politics if your goal is to dissuade your fellow Catholics.

  16. I’ve been praying that God influence the election outcomes, and I choose to trust that He is bigger and more powerful than either candidate, and can certainly use them and circumstances according to His plan. That said, I don’t have the stomach for the circus either.

  17. “You can do what millions of voters did in ’08 and ’12 and contribute to a 3rd term of continued socialism boarding on communism…”
    A vote for Bernie Sanders is an outright vote communism (otherwise called socialist democracy) wherein one is equal in poverty and misery except for the elitists in government and academia.
    A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote feminist socialism that masculines females and emasculates males – androgyny on steroids.
    A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for corporate socialism that enriches politicians and corporate executives while impoverishing those who work to earn.
    Question: What exactly is the substantive difference?
    Answer: In how fast you the lobster want to be boiled while alive.

  18. 2 comments here- Donald – your shot on Kennedy and his assault on Bork was a bullseye – the Chapaquiddick kid had no shame as he assaulted a man so far above him in talent, morals and intelligence – i recall Kennedy berating while questioning Bork for why he left the bench to go into private practice for a short time and then returned to public service- Bork for the first time, revealed that his wife at the time was dying of cancer and the Judge had to go earn money to pay her medical bills- yet the disgusting likes of theodore Kennedy, the abortionist and adulterer who abandoned his wife joan when she needed help the most, gets a pontificall send off from the church upon his death , with the good cardinal in attendance……
    2- ahhh… Lucius, “there you go again”… to quote that certain actor.

    ‘A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for corporate socialism that enriches politicians and corporate executives while impoverishing those who work to earn.’

    He won 46% of the Latino vote in union strangled Nevada/ clark county! That speaks volumes of the down troddens’ view of being pillaged by that Socialist –
    – i fear less the robber baron than i do those who are committed to killing the weakest , the youngest and oldest in my community. I can deal with the captains of industry’ i think. – i cannot stop people in power who find rights in our Constitution where there are none.and make them ‘ laws of the land ‘ – “decided law” my God, have mercy on us….

  19. Christie is like a hired hit man for Trump. What an ugly attitude.
    Many, maybe most, Democrats don’t like their front runner, and many, maybe most, Republicans don’t like theirs. Both parties are broken really.
    The Democratic party is already split – democrats /socialists. The Republican electorate has to decide not to split – in other words Not To Choose Trump.
    A few months ago people were worried about Trump forming a third party– but he and his supporters may actually force a third party if things keep going his way.
    I know regular rank and file Democrats and Republicans who are sick about their apparent (so far) nominees. Unless Republicans coalesce around Rubio- the one who really can unite the party as well as bring in disaffected democrats who love America, Trump may be the nominee. What an embarrassment.
    There are some voters who love the idea of “sticking it to” their respective party leaders more than they love their country…they will go for Trump.

  20. Don,

    You may view my statement about W. Bush’s comment as false. But I did hear him
    state that abortion is settled law and part of the constitution. This happened about
    12 years ago. I believe W made this statement during an interview on CNN or Fox News.
    W. Bush gave me the impression that he considered pro-life advocates as single
    issue voters, whom he dismissed as eccentric.

    To me there is very little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans,
    except the Democrats will tell you their evil intentions if elected while the Republicans
    engage in deception.

  21. If he had made such a statement Franco it would be all over the internet and easy for you to find. That you can’t find it indicates that your memory is faulty. I disagree with you profoundly regarding the Republican party. There are certainly elements within it that actively oppose a conservative agenda, but there are many more people within it who support that agenda, unlike the Democrat party which is simply beyond hope from the point of view of conservatism.

  22. Pray without ceasing. Trump threatens to kill the Republican Party by dismemberment and Hillary threatens to kill the country by suffocation.

  23. Don and Paul

    I found the citation. The following quote is from the “Presidential Campaigns, Slogans,
    Issues and Platforms,The Complete Encyclopedia, Volume I”, copyright 2012, by Robert
    North Roberts, Scott John Hammond and Valerie A. Sulfaro

    “In the campaign of 2000, the Democratic Party and their nominee, Al Gore, spent
    millions of dollars to highlight Gore’s strong pro-choice position. The success of
    this effort helped Gore to win a popular-vote majority. (Republican nominee, George W.
    Bush, on the other hand sought to avoid discussions of abortion, referring to Roe v. Wade
    as “settled law”).”

  24. Don,

    I was up until 3 AM last night looking for the quote. I knew I heard W. declare
    abortion settled law. And there it was in some obscure political encyclopedia.
    I doubt that W. made this statement in a speech. However, he did use the
    terms “settled law” and “part of the constitution” when discussing abortion
    during an interview on either CNN or Fox News.

    At least my memory is not faulty.

  25. People like Franco disgust me. George W Bush was a GOOD President and Barack Hussein Obama is a traitor. EOM.

  26. I deleted your cut and paste wall of text Franco since it did not contain a link to a speech where President Bush said what you have claimed.

    Oh, and the doofus organization you quoted from is so extreme that they regarded Antonin Scalia as a pro-abort, indicating that they completely misunderstand the Constitution and have no clue why Roe was an unconstitutional usurpation of power by the Court:


    They also regard National Right to Life as being pro-abort:


    Such CloudKuKoo nuts do nothing to help the pro-life cause.

  27. Lucius, you’re in the penalty box and way out of bounds. I’m declaring a personal foul and assessing a 15 yd penalty. Franco – I applaud your tenacity and share your sense. I’ve often thought the republican congress and executive could have ended abortion- how else do you read article III sec 8 of the constitution- In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, ” with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make””.

  28. “how else do you read article III sec 8 of the constitution- In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, ” with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make””.”

    Actually no one knows. There has been no definitive court cases on the issue. Of course taking away abortion from the Supreme Court would have no impact unless Congress took abortion away from the entire Federal judiciary. Then the state courts would still have to be contended with. In any case it isn’t going to happen until the Republicans have control of Congress and at least 60 votes in the Senate to break a filibuster. Since Roe a Republican Congress and a Republican President have existed for a whole 4.6 years. In the .6 year portion the Republicans had a majority due to Vice President Cheney until Jeffords went over to the Democrats and established a Democrat majority by one vote. From 2002-2004 the Republicans had a two seat majority, and from 2004-2006 a ten seat majority, in neither case close to enough votes to break a filibuster by the Democrats.

    A handful of bills including jurisdiction limitations have become laws, while hundreds have been proposed and languished in Congress.

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