AS ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER ONE OPENS……..
UPDATE 2/21 — Friday, Feb 19, the US Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago agreed to hear a challenge to Ted Cruz’s eligibility to become President. Since no one knows for sure how the court will rule, and how messy it could get, the argument set forth in this op-ed is only strengthened as “natural born” is not a qualification to serve on the Supreme Court.
Make no mistake, the events of Saturday February 13, 2016 will be remembered when future histories of the United States of America are written. News of the unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has rattled the nerves of conservatives who see a narrowly divided court shifting to the death of Conservatism for a long time. Monica Crowley, typical of the immediate response, tweeted on learning the news, “The worst possible news. Oh my Lord.”
As the dust settled, an epic political struggle, ahead of a pivotal Presidential election, has been defining itself, with the GOP vowing to block any nomination Obama may put up until after the election and a new president takes office. That the debate will get heated is certain, as Obama quickly announced he will nominate a replacement soon and Democrats claim the Senate has no right to delay, even as the GOP exposes precedent, where Democrats have taken a similar stance. Truth being, it’s politics.
GOP delay is not without risks either, as the cost could mean loss of the Senate; and as evidenced by the South Carolina debate the evening of Scalia’s death, the GOP has their own problems with increased infighting that could lead to Donald Trump walking away with the nomination, then losing the general election to either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. In fact, the GOP was facing a whole lot of potential trouble absent Scalia’s passing.
A February 2-3 poll of 1,236 registered voters nationwide, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) paints the current troubling picture for the GOP. In head to head matchups with either Clinton or Sanders, only Marco Rubio beats either. Considering only Trump, Rubio and Cruz as the Republican likely nominees, Trump loses the worst against either likely Democratic opponent. Plus Trump’s favorable-unfavorable rating, at 63% unfavorable, seriously lags any of the other Republican hopefuls, by this latest poll.
But for the optimist, who believes when one door closes another often opens, or the faithful who may see divine intervention, Scalia’s death, oddly may have presented an opportunity for the Republican party to escape their mess, by a deal that could trump even Donald Trump himself. American history is known for grand compromises in times of crisis, and this one would fit among those of our past, if the individuals can rise to a rare level of statesmanship ahead of their own selfish egos.
Here’s how that could happen, from one who started out favoring Carly Fiorina, then moved to support of Ted Cruz, and never trusted Donald Trump.
National polls from whatever source show Trump between 30-40% approval. This, of course means 60-70% of likely GOP voters favor another candidate or are still undecided, with most of that support either for Cruz or Rubio. Unconventional times call for unconventional methods to deal with the situation, and this solution would certainly be unconventional, as it constructs a unified path to victory in November, quells the toxic circus atmosphere of the last debate, and takes care of the Supreme Court question simultaneously.
With apologies to Ted Cruz supporters, he needs to step aside, throwing all his support to Marco Rubio. Rubio, in return, as his part in this Statesmanship Deal, must commit to nominating Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court, either to fill the current vacancy if not filled, or the immediate next one that arises. Every effort should be made to get the remaining candidates, Bush, Kasich and Carson to support the deal. Both Rubio and Cruz would come away winners, and Donald Trump’s future would become very clouded.
The deal should not be behind a cloak of secrecy, but be made public and defended. As participants, though, both Rubio and Cruz, as Senators, would have to stay out of the effort to delay Obama’s nomination, leaving that job to Mike Lee, Rand Paul, or Mitch McConnell if he can maintain his spine.
To extend this unconventional approach one step further, in an effort to seal the deal for November, Rubio should then immediately name Carly Fiorina as his running mate if nominated, and she should join him on the campaign trail as soon as possible. This demonstration of ability to come together with a unified approach to victory would be a big problem for the Democratic Party.
Finally, on the gang of eight issue, Rubio hopefully is being genuine in seeing the error of his ways and accepting the political realities of the issue, as he has expressed. He still has some other conservative flaws, like support of sugar subsidies, but then conservative plusses also, namely his significant effort to undermine and cripple Obamacare, by restricting bailouts of insurers in the budget deal that Obama signed.
Meanwhile Ted Cruz,
a Catholic also (correction I’ve been informed he’s Baptist), at under 50 years old, could be the ideal replacement for Antonin Scalia, upholding our Constitution faithfully for another 30+ years. One door closes. Another door opens, and the Republic is spared a progressive avalanche.