一言九鼎, 四年輝煌, 佛光普照, 特郎称皇!
(Source: cnn.com)
[N.B. Credit to CNN when it's due - which is not very often]

Here, a quick throwback to September four years ago, again in the thick of the last Presidential elections, where our noble political analyst hamsters switched to Mandarin for some comparative punditry. Upon review, I gather that it's fair to state that the train of reasoning presented that year was largely on point, and concluded with the correct prediction, as opposed to the mainstream media experts nearly all giving the current POTUS a (ridiculous) less than 10% chance of getting elected.

One could be forgiven for assigning him long odds once again, given the tired dodge of oversampling in polls; yes, the usual excuse is that this allows for appropriate reweighing of certain demographics, but to put it bluntly - why then is the same party nearly always favoured, and why are the poll results further highly correlated with the initial assumptions? Put it this way, when Gallup's latest estimate of party allegiance is 29% Republican/30% Democrat/40% Independent (among whom GEOTUS appears strongly leading, especially as some of these "Independents" are essentially supporters that don't want to run the risk of cancellation or worse) - one might get slightly doubtful when a national poll samples something like 23% Rep/40% Dem/27% Ind - but that's just me.

Anyway, all that undercover fiddling with improbable turnout priors couldn't hide GEOTUS's massive convention bump, which appears to have had establishment polling firms and pundits getting more than a little concerned. One doesn't often hear about how his job approval's hovered over 50% despite the pandemic - and oft higher than his predecessor at the same point in their presidency, not to read too much into the comparison - but as more worldy-wise voters are saying on Reddit, the only poll that matters is November's... assuming no hanky mail-in panky. The FAKE NEWS has made a huge meal about GEOTUS's take on such mischief, but IMHO, this has only furthered my conviction that he has much the same indomitable spirit as the late, great LKY, who famously warned of having the army move in, if there were a freak election result in Singapore. 一代神帝特朗普的顽强气概, 与当年全盛时期的李资政一模一样!

Peace Is The Prize... Not

Just an old peace hippy
(Source: thedonald.win)

Fine, the guy might be unruly with his Twitter shitposting at times, but he's also made greater inroads into genuine peace in the Middle East than the previous few Presidents - probably the yugest breakthroughs since 1978's Camp David Accords - and brokered a historic Kosova-Serbia peace agreement in much the same week, for which he got nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize a second time in a month. To these great achievements for humanity, the reaction by Pelosi was that these peace deals were "a distraction" (more of them if so, please); and then you have The Atlantic cancelling the Nobel Peace Prize in response, which might be enough salt to rival the Dead Sea. Well, they could perhaps look into their own FAKE NEWS problem, and leave the Elf-Dwarf conflict to history's greatest peacemaker.

A President's work is never done, however, and a bedraggled TRUMP's sincere sorrow at hearing of Ginsburg's extremely unfortunate, if not entirely unexpected passing would be expressed in his prompt discharging of his constitutional duty, to duly nominate a qualified replacement to the Supreme Court of the United States. Whatever one's ideological leanings - as exemplified by Ginsburg's abiding friendship with a very conservative Scalia - it is impossible not to respect RBG as a legal titan, champion of gender equality (refer corpus studies of her confirmation hearing and Rathbun Lecture), and possessor of old-school values on respecting the flag and anthem. Given this, who better to honour her legacy, than avowed female supremacist TRUMP? Not only has he outright stated that he likes women much more than men, he's proven it by marrying three of them, which is like two more than any lad should have to take responsibility for, in these modern and less heroic times.

Now, let me be straight with ya, the times be a-changin' quick now-a-days; it wasn't all that long ago that straight-laced Mitt Romney got chastened unendingly for referring to "binders full of women", but it sure seems like candidates would be trashed for not implying that today! Biden, recall, had one such binder all but forced upon him by his party, and as such one might understand GEOTUS going the same route on his pick. This might, alas, have complicated matters for the dirt-diggers on the other side, although they might take some consolation at him not getting even more creative with his nomination.

Guess what, they love him too in return!
(Source: danchimviet.info)

Do Unto Others

It's fairly amusing to watch how supposedly-immutable opinions and principles can flip depending on which side one is on. Recall, when the staunchly-conservative Scalia died during the last year of Obama's second term, the Democrats were all for replacing him with the more-moderate Merrick Garland as soon as possible, thus tilting the Court over to the liberal end; the then POTUS was adamant about fulfilling his constitutional responsibilities, and Democrat leaders argued that not filling the seat would be shameful and dishonourable, while the Republicans took the line that the people should have a say - through the election of the next President.

With RBG's death, however, the shoe's on the other foot, and now we have the current GEOTUS no less adamant about constitutional responsibilities, and Republicans very eager to make the Court whole again by raising a new justice with all due haste - one that will probably just happen to be rather more conservative than RBG was, so it happens. In contrast, it's the Democrats' turn to appeal to the people's voice, with the previous POTUS now contending that "...four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn't fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in... a basic principle of the law - and of everyday fairness - is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what's convenient or advantageous in the moment".

Very unfortunately, if there's one thing Congress has an overabundance of, it's former lawyers and extremely-practised word-pickers, and the Republican Senate Majority Leader - the self-dubbed "Cocaine Mitch" McConnell - has explained that the two scenarios are actually completely different. In 2016, Obama was a lame duck who couldn't be re-elected, as TRUMP will most probably be this year; moreover, while the opposing party held the Senate in 2016, the Republicans hold both it and the Presidency today, which can be interpreted as Americans' implicit approval - and as such, no delay is warranted.

Judges though, whoo boy, gotta bumper crop there!
[N.B. Also: the Turtle's Revenge, or why nuking the filibuster is a bad idea]
(Source: r/trump)

Yeah, you might say that this reasoning's kinda self-serving and insidious, and I'll probably have to agree. However, it is also entirely true that it historically comes down to this: if the POTUS and Senate are of different parties in an election year, the Senate blocks the nomination; if they are of the same party, the nomination goes forward and gets approved. That's all there is to it, Republican or Democrat - pure realpolitik, which I think we'll be seeing a lot more of in the international arena too. Anyhow, it seems that a healthy majority of the populace is indeed supportive of confirming RBG's successor without delay, and the timeline shouldn't be a problem either.

Here, it might be considered that Ginsburg herself affirmed that "The president is elected for four years not three years, so the power he has in year three continues into year four" back in 2016, with reference to his duty of nominating a successor, which makes the Dems' temper tantrum on impeaching GEOTUS again to prevent the nomination, really quite pathetic - but honestly, even Pelosi can't be that clueless (not sure about AOC, but you've got to give it to her, she's entertaining)

Likely nominee Amy Coney Barrett seems comfortably in the clear, and with their usual lines of attacks (i.e. sexual assault, beer) rendered mostly toothless by her gender, some Democratic elements have zeroed in on Barrett's Catholic religion, specifically on abortion. However, with both Biden and Pelosi - and five current SCOTUS justices besides - being of the same faith, this hardly seems tenable either. And if TRUMP goes for Lagoa instead as a tactical choice, I'd like to see how they're going to explain voting down a Latina woman, who was moreover confirmed by an 80-15 majority just a year ago. Well, it looks like the left's final resort is yet again violence, but let's be honest here - I'm not sure they know what they want...

"A compressed firehose stream of naked unadorned truth", man
(Source: thedonald.win)