- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 8, 2018

The countdown is on for President Trump’s big reveal, a prime-time event live from the East Room of the White House on Monday evening. His choice for Supreme Court justice nominee is must-see TV, bolstered by Mr. Trump’s canny and strategic thinking as both president and former reality TV star. He knows how to stage a significant presentation which will command intense global interest. Cable and broadcast networks will clear the decks for the moment — or the moments, as the case may be.

“It is ‘the Supreme show,’” said The Associated Press, noting that the president “has every confidence that on Monday night, the nation’s attention will be right where he wants it.”

Indeed, Mr. Trump holds the trump card, which is authentic, important news. The event itself warrants thoughtful, straightforward and careful coverage — though it will be subject to commentary, speculation and dramatic frills. Journalists and prominent Trump critics have been treating the announcement like a major weather event about to strike the nation.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer has already predicted that a new Supreme Court justice who would overturn Obamacare or Roe v. Wade would be “cataclysmic.”

Mr. Trump’s announcement is also being treated like a sports competition, to the point that three overseas betting houses have set odds and are offering wagers on Mr. Trump’s potential justice. Multiple Democratic and progressive groups are fundraising off the prospect of a new justice, promising to push back in their assorted public pleas.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, for example, has established a “McConnell Rule Fund,” advising potential donors that “Mitch McConnell stopped President Obama from nominating Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court because it was an election year, and now he’s in a rush to help Trump take it over.”

In the middle of all the trauma and innuendo comes a quiet reality check, however.

“It’s worth noting that Trump has already reshaped a large swath of the federal judiciary with much less fanfare. Through May 31, Trump had seen the Senate confirm 21 of his nominees for appellate court judges,” points out Fortune reporter Claire Zillman, citing an analysis from Purdue University. “By comparison, President Barack Obama had appointed eight appellate judges through the same point in his second year in office. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton had appointed nine each.”

SUPREME SENTIMENT

Voters agree with President Trump and Senate Republicans that the time to put a new justice on the Supreme Court “is now,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey which reveals that 51 percent of likely voters think the Senate should move as quickly as possible to confirm a replacement.

Among conservatives, 79 percent want to fill the vacancy ASAP while 81 percent of liberals want to wait for the next Senate to convene.

Voters overall are not disinterested either. The survey found that 87 percent rate the selection of a new Supreme Court as “important to their vote in November,” with 63 percent who characterize the selection as “very important.”

A new Economist/YouGov poll also reveals that two-thirds of Americans say that the choice of a justice is “important to them personally”; 78 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree with that. See more pertinent numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

IT’S ALL THE RAGE

Some political observers say the current state of permanent outrage among left-leaning folk was prompted by their inner fear that President Trumpcould win a second term and that Congress will stay Republican. That’s a possibility.

“Liberal outrage is all the rage,” writes Townhall.com columnist Derek Hunter.

“Every year, without fail, some conservative says, ‘Why doesn’t ‘Saturday Night Live’ make fun of liberals the way they mock conservatives?’ It makes sense on the surface; the show is hopelessly, and joylessly, liberal because it’s written by liberals, and they happen to be in a perpetual state of anger. But there’s another problem. Even if ‘SNL’ wanted to mock liberals it would be nearly impossible to do. Not because there’s nothing to mock, it’s because they’ve actually become a parody of themselves, and it’s very difficult to parody a parody,” Mr. Hunter observes.

“A decade of electoral losses have exposed just how far liberals will go to regain grip on the levers of power. Calls to impeach the president for existing in opposition to them and to pack the Supreme Court are just the beginning,” he adds.

THOSE HISTORIC WATERING HOLES

There’s always room to expand a little on history. The National Trust for Historic Preservation in the nation’s capital has done just that by naming seven “historic dive bars” around the nation, located in historic neighborhoods or noteworthy buildings, serving as beloved fixtures among clientele.

“Dive bars are an integral part of America’s historic character: These careworn buildings emulate the love and energy we put into our communities,” the organization says in their modest new guide to the genre.

And the seven dive bars in question?

They are: the Old Pink in Buffalo, New York; Gooski’s in Pittsburgh; Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar Bar in Washington, D.C.; Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge in New Orleans; Donn’s Depot in Austin, Texas; St. Elmo’s in Bisbee, Arizona; and the Cactus Bar in Boise, Idaho.

Feel free to suggest a favorite dive bar of your own; it is a subjective judgment indeed.

POLL DU JOUR

64 percent of Americans say the next choice of Supreme Court justice is “important to them personally”; 78 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree.

53 percent overall say Supreme Court judgments “tend to favor some groups over others”; 56 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of independents and 58 percent of Democrats agree.

51 percent overall say the Supreme Court gets too mixed up in politics; 57 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats agree.

48 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court; 69 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

25 percent overall say the Supreme Court is impartial in its judgments; 38 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted July 1-3.

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