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Joe Biden’s Half-Baked Political Gimmicks

Joe Biden knows what you’re thinking. He has seen the stories, too. He knows that, as a senator representing Delaware for nearly half a century, his extensive ties to the banking, credit, and financial industries are liabilities in an increasingly populist Democratic Party. The other is to name Stacey Abrams, a black woman 31 years his junior, as his running mate early in the race. Such a “big play,” in the New York Times’ words, “would send a signal about the seriousness of the election, and could potentially appeal to both liberal activists and general-election voters who are eager to chart the safest route toward defeating President Trump.” But the fact that Biden is even considering these moves only underscores his innumerable flaws, rather than addressing them. Biden’s age, like that of the 77-year-old Bernie Sanders, undoubtedly would be a concern for some Americans, given the erratic and seemingly cognitively impaired septuagenarian currently in the White House. He bragged that one Democrat-backed crime bill in 1992 did “everything but hang people for jaywalking”; two years later he would be a principal author of the 1994 crime bill that exacerbated mass incarceration. I know we haven’t always gotten things right, but I’ve always tried.” Biden also recently suggested that he owes an apology to Anita Hill for his handling, as chair of the Judiciary Committee, of her accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas. I wish I could’ve done more to prevent those questions and the way they asked them,” he said on the Today show last year. And if you’re a career-long politician who can’t run on your record, then why are you running at all?

9th Circuit gets another Trump-picked judge, after White House bypasses consultation with Dems

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Trump's nominee to be a judge on the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a party-line vote -- and, in a historic snub, the White House ignored the input of the judge's two Democratic home-state senators in the process. Miller was one the 51 federal judicial nominees left over from the previous Congress whom the White House re-nominated last month. Miller, currently the appellate chairman of the high-powered law firm Perkins Coie, will replace Judge Richard Tallman, a Bill Clinton appointee who assumed senior status March 2018. Miller represented the government before the Supreme Court when he served from 2007 to 2012 as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. Among those objecting to Miller's nomination were Washington State's two Democratic senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray. Aides say Miller's confirmation marks the first time the Senate has strayed from tradition and confirmed a judicial nominee over the dissent of both home-state senators. “This is wrong. The White House has previously signaled it will also plow ahead with other 9th Circuit nominations in other states without using the "blue slip" consultation process. “Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges,’ and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country,” Trump tweeted. “It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an ‘independent judiciary,’ but if it is why are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned,” Trump continued.

Six women running for election today on changing the face of politics

“And yes, there are a lot of women who are running across the country. This is fun, and I’m getting out there and talking to people. Cristina Osmena, candidate in California’s 14th congressional district On being relatable: I’m a Republican and I’m wearing the scarlet “R.” So I deal with the stigma and then people meet me, and they’re like “Oh, well there are Republicans that are okay.” People are reluctant to call themselves Republican because it has such a bad brand. On how her background influences her approach to politics: I realized that we need to educate our communities more with civic engagement, to make sure that our residents understand that politics are involved in their everyday lives. So often people say we don’t have time for politics. A lot of conservatives have said, “I’ve been a Republican my whole life.” But they see that I’m offering real solutions, and that I mean it—I’m someone who always keeps my word. On how her background influences her approach to politics: We hosted a bilingual event, and I think that was great because people who speak Spanish only normally don’t engage with politics or vote . I will hold to my word when it comes to conservation of our public lands and our air and water quality. Whenever I’ve worked on campaigns and wanted to get candidates elected, I felt like the most important thing to me was that I identified with them . It’s our time to speak up—for our environment, for our public education system, for people who have been sidelined by the billionaire class.

Jonathan Bernstein: Confirmation shows brutal politics

The big two lessons of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation are that U.S. politics right now is party politics – and that the Republican Party has fully absorbed the style and principles of Newt Gingrich, the Tea Party, and other influences that tell it to never compromise and always exploit all short-term advantages as much as possible. Parties are (among other things) networks of individual partisans, and that means that within specialized areas – such as the top lawyers and the politicians who work with them – strong personal relationships develop. That helps a lot when things go wrong. That explains why Democrats, including several up for election in Republican states, almost unanimously opposed Kavanaugh (and the only exception, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, was widely thought to be an available “no” vote if needed). On the Republican side, meanwhile, things are the same as with the Democrats, except more formalized with the role of the Federalist Society as the arbiter and protector of Republican orthodoxy in judicial selections. George W. Bush and Donald Trump have nominated people from the most conservative edge of the conservative mainstream. That’s why his nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court was bitterly opposed by Democrats when George W. Bush was president. Faced with a Republican majority in the Senate in 2016, Obama sought to compromise – nominating an older moderate liberal, Merrick Garland. We’ll know more after the 2018 and 2020 elections.
Brett Kavanaugh Vote Will Drive Political Backlash If History Is Guide | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Brett Kavanaugh Vote Will Drive Political Backlash If History Is Guide | Rachel Maddow...

Rachel Maddow looks back at the political fallout from the treatment of Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas confirmation process when a wave of women candidates were inspired to improve their representation in the Senate. » Subscribe to MSNBC:…

The politics of grievance

This is the editor's letter in the current issue of The Week magazine. Brett Kavanaugh's indignant warning to Democrats last week may be the defining ethos of this political era. As I write this, the fate of Kavanaugh's nomination remains undecided, but there is no doubt that the outcome will trigger howls of outrage among tens of millions of people — and vows of vengeance. This is our politics now: No uplifting rhetoric about "hope" or "a shining city on the hill." No poetry. No norms. No decency. It is grievance, revenge, and identity, all the way down. Furious Democrats cite the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton (in which Kavanaugh played a prominent and censorious role), the 2000 Bush v. Gore ruling, and last year's refusal by Senate Republicans to even consider President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. The Kavanaugh nomination now goes on the bonfire.

Tom Baxter: Politics is now permanently parked on the bench

In 1994, I traveled to Texas to write about George W. Bush’s challenge to incumbent Gov. Rove was happy to talk about the governor’s race, but what he really wanted to show me, a political writer who covered races across the South, was the ad he’d just cut for Perry Hooper, a Republican candidate for the Alabama Supreme Court. They have tough ads in Alabama, but nothing like this had ever been seen in a judicial race. An actor portrayed a lawyer with a thick Southern accent, questioning Democratic incumbent Judge Sonny Hornsby over the phone about a campaign contribution request he’d received while he had a case before the court. This is a long way to get around to talking about what everybody else is talking about, but many threads connect the Brett Kavanaugh nomination battle and last week’s Senate hearings with that moment years ago. Bush’s victory over Richards that year was his first long step toward the White House, where Rove and Kavanaugh worked together on a number of issues. Last week, former President Bush was making calls to senators on Kavanaugh’s behalf. The Hooper race and its dramatic aftermath was a brash announcement to the rest of the country that races which until then had been only mildly political could now be intensely political. Last week on Fox News, Rove worried that the politics of the hearings weren’t going Republicans’ way. What seems without question is that the hearings produced as clean a cleavage between red and blue as any news event in memory.

The Guardian view on US politics: no hearing for women

It was evident long before Thursday’s senate judiciary committee hearings addressing Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual assault – which he denies – and indeed before Dr Ford first accused him. Donald Trump put him forward having promised to appoint judges who would reverse the Roe v Wade abortion ruling, pleasing those who do not believe that women can be trusted to control their own bodies. Before the testimony, more voters – especially female voters – believed Dr Ford than Mr Kavanaugh. But it is evident that they still regard this as a matter of optics. Despite these circumstances, no prosecutor could have hoped for a more credible, compelling or sympathetic witness than Dr Ford. Mr Kavanaugh faces no charges, let alone a risk of conviction. The question is whether he has earned the privilege of a lifetime seat on the highest court, ruling on voting rights, presidential power – and the rights of women to control their own bodies. Women who speak out and are smeared and attacked – as Dr Ford has been. Thursday’s hearings failed to treat the allegations adequately. But in these elections, and the years to come, they should know that women, and the men who respect them, will certainly remember.

On Politics: An Emotional Hearing, With the Supreme Court at Stake

Good Friday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today. [Read the story] • The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was part trial, part theater, part therapy. [Read an analysis of their testimonies] • “I’ve had to relive this trauma in front of the world.” Surrounded by her lawyers, publicists and a sisterhood of friends, Dr. Blasey said her piece. [Read the story] • “What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020.” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina let loose on the Democrats. [Read the story] • “He does not to me sound like he’s lying, and neither did she.” In Maine, whose senator Susan Collins will cast a crucial vote, women watched the testimony and came away torn. [Read the story] • A GoFundMe campaign set up on behalf of Dr. Blasey drew hundreds of thousands in donations after she mentioned it during her testimony. [Read the story] • Echoes of the Anita Hill hearings in 1991, which ended with Clarence Thomas on the high court, were unmistakable. [Read the comparison] • Mr. Trump’s meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose future at the Justice Department is in doubt, was pushed back to next week because of the Kavanaugh hearing. Check back later for On Politics With Lisa Lerer, a nightly newsletter exploring the people, issues and ideas reshaping the political world.

Voices: Americans grapple with emotional, momentous hearing

Alexander, a 25-year-old law student at the University of Pittsburgh, identifies as a Democrat but said he began watching Thursday's proceedings as neither a supporter nor a detractor of the nominee. That changed with Kavanaugh's testimony. Alexander found Ford's account of Kavanaugh and a friend laughing after the alleged attack the hearing's most moving moment, and he wondered if that detail might sway Republicans. Both seemed believable, Jacobs said, but she felt convinced toward the end that Kavanaugh was not guilty. "When you're a true victim, you remember where it happened, you know who was in the room, you also remember every single detail," she said. Almeida said she doesn't doubt Ford was victimized, but believes Democrats convinced her to wrongly blame Kavanaugh for what happened. "I remember one of the questions asked of Anita Hill was something like 'Are you a woman scorned?'" "You aren't going to hear that in this hearing. Jacobson, a first-year law student at Mitchell Hamline School of Law who identifies as a Democrat, watched the hearing with colleagues in a classroom. One of Jacobson's close friends was sexually assaulted in high school, an experience the friend said would scar her for life.