Whiffed.

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AP Photo/David Goldman

AP Photo/David Goldman

Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 10/20/16

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Trump did OK Wednesday night. There were times in the debate – most particularly on the subjects of Syria, ISIS, Russia, et. al. – when he displayed his best grasp so far of policy and issues. He was able to pivot away from the kinds of questions that bogged him down in the first two debates.

But he could have done much better starting with the very first question. Moderator Chris Wallace asked both candidates about their criteria for nominating Supreme Court justices. Wallace phrased the question by asking where the candidates “want to see the Court take the country.”

Hillary went first and offered the usual boilerplate on women’s rights, Citizens United, upholding Roe v. Wade, etc., etc.

Then it was Trump’s turn and he whiffed. The “where you want to see the Court take the country” line was a hanging curve ball. Trump should have crushed it.

It was a real opportunity for Trump to remind us that the Supreme Court is perhaps the number one reason to choose him over Hillary.

He should have said something like;

I don’t want the Supreme Court to take the country anywhere. Why do we want the Supreme Court taking us places? That’s not their job. The Supreme Court’s job is to keep lawmakers and judges and executive order-issuing presidents in bounds.

The people that I appoint – and I’ve already provided a list of candidates – all understand that. My appointees will all defend the Constitution as it is written. They won’t decide on their own that the words can be ignored or that they mean something else. The Constitution means what it meant on the day it was written. My appointees will respect that and they won’t be taking the country anywhere.”

That’s what he should have said.

Most of what the Left has accomplished it has accomplished through the courts. Nowhere did voters – acting through their elected representatives – get legislation passed legalizing same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage worked its way toward legalization through the courts.

Abortion on demand didn’t become legal through the legislative process. It became legal via the now infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

Arguments can be made for and against both of these things. But those arguments belong in the legislative chambers of Congress and the 50 state houses. The people are entitled to representation in those debates.

When an activist court steps in and “takes the country” in one direction or another, the people forfeit that representation. They lose their voice.

Trump should have said this instead of getting bogged down in the second amendment. Trump should have defended Constitutional originalism. Had he done so, he would have helped educate those who don’t know better while reminding reluctant Republicans that they should vote for him anyway.

If President Trump were to fumble on everything else but get his Supreme Court appointments right, it would more than justify having elected him.

That’s because the next president will shape the Court for a generation. As Trump would say, “That’s yuuuuge!”

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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4 Responses

  1. Great minds think alike.
    Reports: Roger Ailes has bailed.
    Irked that Trump can’t focus, wouldn’t prep.

    Biggest whiff-of-the-night?
    Another unforced error:
    Won’t commit to accepting election results.
    GOP “names” immediately distanced.
    Another 36-48 hours off-message.

    Republicans deflated by Trump asking same thing Dems-who-settle-for-Hillary moan:
    “300 million Americans and THESE two are who-we-came-down-to?”

  2. Yes, your Supreme Court reply would have served Trump and the country well. Another question that Trump could have answered much better was the one on jobs. Hillary has said, and this is a word-for-word quote, “We need higher taxes on the wealthy so we can invest in economic growth.” In saying that, she’s just delivering the same tired old liberal solution–tax, spend and “create” more government jobs via more training programs, more education programs for toddlers (really free child care), and the like. Trump should have cut to the chase and said, “Government never creates meaningful jobs in any number. Only the private sector can create jobs in the numbers we need to make our economy roar again. Obama and Hillary are strangling our economy with still more taxes and a never-ending flow of regulations. I’m the only one who will lower taxes and roll back needless regulation.”

  3. Linda E Montrose says:

    Neither one really did well. clintons lies were old news, everyone KNOWS she is no second amendment supporter, everyone knows she wants open borders. Trump should have hammered her on a number of things but let himself get sidetracked. No matter, I feel HE is the best choice by far. This country can NOT survive just more of the same that obama has heaped on us.

  4. Richard Anderson says:

    Donald Trump performed at a Presidential level, proving that he is indeed READY and QUALIFIED for The Oval Office. On the contrary, Hillary Clinton is NOT and would be a disaster. She is WRONG on…. taxes, U.S. sovereignty, the Constitution, foreign policy, healthcare, the Second Amendment, abortion, and jobs.

    At present, we have two democrats or more accurately, “two alinsky-ites”–one in the WH – Obama, and one who desires to be in the WH – Hillary.
    The ONLY way to break their corrupt grip on Presidential power over our Constitutional Republic is to vote FOR Donald Trump.

    No matter what else is going on, between now and until the polls close on Tuesday evening November the 8th, “get out and vote for Trump,” because our country, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, as founded, is on the line.

    And if you are a person of stature, or of means, and have a “VOICE” that reaches many of our citizens of goodwill across America, “RAISE IT FOR TRUMP!”

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