Trump 2016

Two Cents on Tinfoil (Chief Injustice)

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at New York University School of Law, 20 November 2015. (Photo: Rick Kopstein/ALM)

To the one, who really likes Chief Justice John Roberts?

No, I mean, sure, you know, his wife and all, but still, is there any one of us who not only isn’t disappointed by Roberts’ general unreliability but, also―in counterpoint to the proposition that one must be doing something right if everyone is complaining―comprehends his underlying legal and juristic outlook well enough to properly endorse it?

To the other, there is this:

What explains the rise of Donald Trump? The right-wing blogosphere has a theory: Trump’s success in taking over the Republican party was caused by Chief Justice John Roberts’ contempt for the rule of law.

The argument, put forth in slightly different forms in recent days by Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett and Cato Institute scholar Ilya Shapiro, goes like this:

Roberts knew that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was unconstitutional. He even said so in his majority opinion in NFIB v. Sebelius, the case that upheld Obamacare, with Roberts casting the decisive vote. But, after declaring that Obamacare violated the Commerce Clause, Roberts invented a different constitutional argument under the taxing power to save the law, even though he knew that argument was wrong.

He did this because Roberts doesn’t believe judges should overturn laws enacted by political majorities, even when those laws violate the Constitution. Roberts in effect told conservative voters to go elect their own Constitution-trashing strongman, instead of asking courts to restrain tyrants such as Obama and Trump.

Paul Campos apparently drew the short straw over at Salon, and had to spend enough time picking through right-wing tinfoil to figure out what the hell they were saying. And while we owe him thanks, we also might beg pardon if the striking stupidity he describes seems unbelievable, a word here intended to mean, “pretty much what we expect”.

Here’s the tricky part:

The vast majority of constitutional law scholars don’t believe Obamacare violates the Constitution, but never mind that. The far loopier claim is that John Roberts, of all people, upheld Obamacare because he doesn’t believe in striking down democratically-enacted laws. This is the same Roberts who provided the deciding vote to gut the Voting Rights Act, to overturn decades-worth of campaign finance laws, and to strike down gun control legislation, to name just a few of the many cases in which Roberts has shown no hesitation to overturn the decisions of political majorities.

Er―ah … yeah. I’ll just be over in the corner, muttering to myself. Something about matters of fact and opinion.

That, and a potsherd wrapped in tinfoil wrapped in neurotic crisis.

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Image note: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at New York University School of Law, 20 November 2015. (Photo: Rick Kopstein/ALM))

Campos, Paul. “This is the dumbest Donald Trump theory yet: It’s all about John Roberts”. Salon. 13 May 2016.

Trump-tacular?

Donald Trump.

Is it cruel?

You know, you can see the disaster coming, yet the village idiot just keeps dancing toward destruction. It’s illegal to actually grab him by the lapels and shake him until he comprehends the monumental idiocy he is attempting to commit, so, you know, sometimes you just let things happen because, well, the only other alternative is to look away.

Donald Trump is teasing his 2016 presidential run again.

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said at a press conference during a fundraiser for Iowa Congressman Steve King on Saturday. “We’ll see what’s going to happen, first of all, in the next month because that’s going to be very interesting.”

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Back in July 2013, Trump told the National Review that he was “looking” to run because the country was being “stupidly and foolishly led.” He added that his business and economic reputation could help the United States take on China and put the U.S. back on top. Trump also told Reuters, in January, that running for president is something he “would certainly look at” because he is “unhappy with the way things are going in America.”

So, right. Is it cruel? Is it cruel to actually want to witness such a debacle? Much like last year’s suggestion that Ted Nugent might run for president, it is easy enough to consider prayer: Please, please, please, be there a God in Heaven, let this happen. Please?

It’s not like such campaigns would be without highlights. Watching Chuck Todd try to equivocate until his brain rebels and tries to crawl out his ear would certainly be an unfortunate spectacle, like the time in junior high when two kids from the special education classroom got into a fight in the hallway and everyone just stood around, watching, because, well, yeah, you just had to see it, you know?

But that is also where the question of cruelty arises. It was not enough for some classmates to simply watch the spectacle; they felt some need to labor and set a kid up for embarrassment. And such craven greed is, indeed, a chilling sight unto weary eyes.

Still, though, after watching the media pander to John McCain in 2008—he’s just a bit grumpy for an old man without his morning coffee, and who cares if this icon of foreign policy has no idea who our military is actually fighting against? it just shows how smart he is!—or scramble to keep Mitt Romney in the 2012 race by simply playing stenographer to whatever his campaign wanted to say, watching any number of otherwise respected and respectable journalists destroy themselves trying to throw Donald Trump (or the Nuge, at that) enough bones to keep the race close would be a better end than those reporters and halfwit commentators deserve.

Really, the only downside to a Trump candidacy would be if he actually won, which in turn would still serve a useful purpose in establishing that American society has officially gone “post-society”, and then the everyday working folks who have believed in this American Dream can rest assured that they no longer need to put the effort into a job they have already resigned.

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Taibi, Catherine. “Donald Trump Is STILL Saying He Might Run For President In 2016”. The Huffington Post. 20 October 2014.

Hendrix, Steve. “Shooting from the hip: Ted Nugent rocks politics”. The Washington Post. 2 July 2013.