Commentary

Medved: Exploiting The Immigration Issue

Some GOP presidential candidates have recently tried to exploit the immigration issue by accusing their opponents of supporting “amnesty.” As a matter of fact, none of the Republicans backs amnesty the way Reagan did in 1986—granting quick legal status to those who had entered the country illegally, inevitably encouraging more illegal immigration.

Today’s Republicans, even those endorsing immigration reform, demand improvements in border security first, and they would impose a long, hard path on all those who sought permanent legal status—including payment of fines, back taxes, full background checks, demonstrated fluency in English and a return to the back of the line before any application for citizenship.

The real division among Republicans involves mass deportation, not amnesty. Like most Americans, most GOP candidates reject the idea of deporting 11,000,000 illegals and their families as practically inconceivable and politically impossible.

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Hewitt: The Stakes Could Not Be Higher

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The contest for the GOP presidential nomination is now a four-plus-one race. Dr. Carson is the plus one, a man without a path to the nomination but with a powerful message.

Each of the remaining four can beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but only if they hang together after a winner emerges.

If the GOP not only unites but rallies around the nominee, the Supreme Court vacancy created by the tragic loss of Justice Antonin Scalia will be filled by an originalist.

The stakes could not be higher. If the former secretary of state names the next Supreme Court justice, the “living Constitution” theorists will have triumphed. And not just for the proverbial “next generation.” There will be no return from the land of a left-far left five member majority on the court.

So whoever carries the day—Cruz, Kasich, Rubio or Trump (or even Dr. Carson in some scenario I cannot yet foresee)—the GOP must rally to their banner or forever forfeit the right to proclaim their upset with any or all Supreme Court decisions.

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Medved: The Year Of Authenticity, Not Anger

The surprising strength of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in primary campaigns of both parties leads today’s leading commentators to describe 2016 as the “Year of Anger” for the electorate.

But a closer look at recent returns suggests that voters actually care more about another A-word—authenticity, not anger. Whatever their faults in ideology or substance, both Sanders and Trump seem genuine and sincere. They defy political correctness by advocating socialism, or calling for a ban on all Muslim immigrants, rather than playing the cautious, inoffensive role preferred by most politicians.

Their authenticity, rather than their anger, appeals to the wary, weary populace. But analysts shouldn’t get the wrong idea: voters won’t respond to angry appeals if they are perceived as phony, while they will (I’m convinced) rally to an optimistic, pragmatic agenda if its advocates seem authentic.

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Thornbury: The Founders Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way

Greg Thornbury

Following the tragic passing of Justice Antonin Scalia pundits have been pontificating on what is shaping up, no doubt, to be a nasty confirmation process that may (or may not) happen.

Talking heads in the media are lamenting the forthcoming battle. They longingly note that Scalia himself sailed through the confirmation process unanimously in 1986, while subsequent hearings in recent years have become far more politicized.

But wait! The Constitution never promised smooth sailing or lopsided approval processes for Justices. What it does say in Article Two is that the President shall nominate a candidate, and here are the crucial words—with the “advice and consent” of the Senate.

Right now, we have a Republican majority. Will the President seek the advice of Majority Leader McConnell and his colleagues on a choice? If he doesn’t, then he needs to be prepared to be denied.

The Founders wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Thornbury: Millennials And The Appeal Of Bernie

Greg Thornbury

One of the leading stories coming out of the New Hampshire primary was about how well the relatively elderly … let’s call them “mature”…  Democratic Presidential hopefuls fared among young people.

Exit polls revealed that Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton by an astounding margin of 85 to 15 percent among voters under 30.

Now why is this happening?

It all goes back to something Cicero once said: “To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child forever.”

Today, we have a generation that can barely remember Bill Clinton’s presidency, let alone the terror of how socialism turned (variously) into absolutely horrific forms of fascism and communism in the twentieth century.

And so, they will remain children (easily manipulated by politicians like Sanders) forever.

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Hewitt: The Scalia Seat

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The death of the great Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has opened what is sure to be one of the great political battles of recent years.

Whatever you’re political persuasion, one point needs to be understood: lame duck presidents don’t get to make successful nominations for lifetime appointments in an election year. Not in 2016. Not, in fact, for the past 80 years.

It’s that simple.

And the recent precedent was not started by Republicans.

It was started by the senior Senator from Vermont—Patrick Leahy—and his colleague, the current minority Leader Harry Reid. From 2001 to 2005 they led a blockade of dozens of President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees who had the votes to be confirmed if Leahy had allowed them. And their blockade of judicial appointments began during the first year of President Bush’s first term, not at the end of a second term.

All of those stretching the facts today have to confront the Democrats undoing of all past practice with the 2001-2005 blockade.

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Mohler: Antonin Scalia (1936-2016)

The nation has lost the most influential justice to sit on the Supreme Court in many decades.

I’m referring, of course, to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia this past weekend. The loss of his influence, as well as his crucial vote, is monumental.

Even before his nomination to the Supreme Court in 1986, Antonin Scalia was known for his brilliant defense of reading the Constitution as it was written and as its Framers intended it to be understood. He called this “textualism” or “originalism” and he argued that it was essential to a government by the people—the American experiment in representative democracy.

As he often said, his concern was not necessarily what policy the people should adopt, his concern was who decides. It should be the people, he argued, through their elected representatives, not an elite of justices, not—in his words—“nine superannuated judges.”

He will be greatly missed.

And the implications for the 2016 presidential race are urgent and explosive.

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