A Note From Rod
We have a lot for you at RodMartin.org and in the articles below my note, so don’t miss those: they’re important. But now, to it.
There is every reason to believe that Obama’s Supreme Court pick is DOA. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley have been uncommonly rock-like, and the grassroots is adamant that Obama must not be allowed to replace such a towering figure as Antonin Scalia. That’s the good news.
The bad news, of course, is exactly what we expected. Merrick Garland is a so-called “moderate” Democrat, which means he’ll only vote differently from Scalia 95% of the time instead of 98%. He’s extremely pro-abortion and anti-Second Amendment, just for starters.
But that’s really the least of it. Handing Obama even a 50-50 justice would change the nature of the Court and its rulings for a generation. No one can know the outcome of this year’s elections, but that’s the sort of thing the voters ought to decide, not a lame-duck President hoping to drive wedges between members of the Senate GOP.
More than 100 conservative leaders (including yours truly) released this Open Letter yesterday advocating exactly that. Take a look! And join us in taking a stand. The future of the country truly depends on it.
As you know, last night was all Donald Trump, as the real estate mogul won everywhere but Ohio and amassed a 646-397 lead over Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio is finally out, but not before his continued windmill-tilting cost the anti-Trump movement a great deal indeed: while Rubio plus Cruz still would not have defeated The Donald in Florida (though a unity ticket might have), Rubio plus Cruz would have won Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina (though not the 9 delegates from the Northern Mariana Islands, which Trump won with 73%).
Marco says he stayed in so his mama could vote for him for President. Lamer words have never been spoken, not least because he also promised pre-primary that if he lost his home state, he won’t run for Governor in 2018. He should have sent mama some chocolates.
Marco is a smart, capable inspiring guy. Liberals have deserted him for Kasich (whose promise to legalize every illegal alien in his first 100 days makes Obama look tame: he also said God requires this of him, for those of you who’ve told me you’re afraid conservatives like Ted Cruz will make policy based on disembodied voices). The more conservative Establishment types have largely deserted him for Cruz. In pursuing his white whale, Rubio has put a serious dent in his otherwise promising future. He’s also put a very big hole the case for his own vice presidency, for Ted, for Trump, or for an open convention.
Even so, with Marco out, Ted Cruz has an outstanding shot to consolidate the party and catch up. This has never been more important than today, with Obama seeking to fill Scalia’s seat (see my article “Why Ted and Not Trump?” below). Late last week over 60 conservative leaders (myself included) released another Open Letter urging conservatives to unite behind Ted. We believe in him, and Trumpmania aside, his task is difficult but yet doable.
That said, Cruz clearly screwed up by diverting attention toward Florida and Ohio. A campaign known for its brilliant focus lost that this week, and lost badly needed delegates in the process. Utah and Arizona should be good for him, but he’ll have to tighten up his game.
Oh, one last note on this: David Plouffe may be right that Trump “could lose by 16 points” in the fall. But it’s more likely — as I’ve been telling you for almost a year — that Donald Trump brings about a realignment, with huuuge numbers of union voters and other non-traditionals joining the Republican coalition come fall. What this does to the conservative movement is anyone’s guess (I’ll guess more about it in a future note). But from where I’m sitting, Trump is far more likely to blow Hillary out than the other way around.
As to Hillary, she had a good night too, but not as good as the media would have you believe. Yes, she won everywhere. But the Democrat races are proportional, and Hillary’s big wins remain in decidedly blacker primaries. In Illinois, for instance, she won the state, but picked up only 68 delegates to Bernie’s 67; in Missouri, she came out ahead on raw votes but actually lost to Sanders in delegate count, 31-32.
As things stand, Hillary’s elected-delegate lead (as opposed to superdelegates, who can switch all the way to the convention floor) is just 1,132 to 818, not at all inspiring as we leave behind the states with strong African American voting blocs and head toward distinctly whiter — and in some cases, distinctly more leftwing — territory.
For Sanders’ part, his chances would have been helped a great deal by closing the sale in a couple of yesterday’s races: the more Hillary and the media can convince people he’s a no-hoper, the more it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
But even ignoring the email scandal (which would be a mistake), Bernie is far from out of this. Yes, Hillary is certainly the frontrunner. But she was also the frontrunner when, two months before Iowa in 2008, she was leading Barack Obama by 20 points. And if Bernie can pull ahead of her in elected delegates, it’s hard to see the Democrat superdelegates stealing the nomination from him and his supporters.
I want to stress: this election has already swept the old order away. The Republican Establishment could not possibly have been more repudiated, and whether Trump or Cruz wins, the order of business in Washington will look far more different afterward than it has after any election in memory.
But the same is true for the Democrats. It doesn’t matter whether the nominee is the self-professed Socialist or the other socialist. The MoveOn revolution is now complete: unless a McGovern-like wipeout forces the rise of a new DLC, post-2016 Democrats are going to be a true European socialist movement, more like Labour or the SPD than any Democrats we have known.
What does this mean? It means that what you’ve thought of as “culture wars” is going to look like a cocktail party. For years to come, there will be no consensus. Every aspect of everyone’s life will be up for grabs at every election, for a very long time to come. And this year’s Republican primary is likely to decide whether one of the two principal choices is the sort of Constitutionalist conservatism many of us have been working toward since before I was born, or a new nationalist populism that might well morph into anything.
There may be some overlap. There always is. But the choices are likely to be very stark on the whole, divergent to a degree with which Americans are historically very uncomfortable.
You can read about the world anywhere. You come to RodMartin.org to understand it. Do your friends a favor and pass it along; and remember, there’s a lot more we publish each week that doesn’t make the newsletter.
P.S. Oh, you may have missed this, but it turns out that I completely predicted Trump’s strategy almost six years ago! There’s a reason his words work, and you need to understand it.
by Rod D. Martin
Long before anyone else, I told you why Donald Trump was anything but a joke, and indeed, why he was likely to be a strong contender for the nomination. But despite that, I strongly support Ted Cruz. Here’s why; and it has nothing to do with The Donald’s antics.
by Morton Blackwell
You’ve heard a lot about “brokered” and “open” conventions of late. Five-term RNC member and conservative movement founding father Morton Blackwell explains the mess that Mitt made: the 2012 rules changes that could burn the July convention — and the Republican Party — to the ground.
by Patrick Cox
The ever-brilliant Patrick Cox shows why biotech makes longer lifespans virtually inevitable, and how Obamacare is making that a lot more costly than it needs to be.
by George Friedman
If Russia can’t make money on oil and gas exports, it can at least count on arms sales. Right? Well maybe not. Fellow BRICS-member India may hold the key. It’s looking elsewhere.
by Rod D. Martin
A lot of Evangelical leaders, like ERLC President Russ Moore, are caught between fretting about “the politicization of the pulpit” and why a third of their flock is chasing after a candidate of whom they don’t approve. Rod has a somewhat…different answer.
You can read about the world anywhere. You come to RodMartin.org to understand it.
Do your friends a favor and pass it along; and if you’re one of those friends and would like to subscribe, please click here.