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Talking Nonsense


Rumors that Ted Cruz is being considered for the Attorney General’s position, or to soak up the urine stains left in Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court chair, ought once again to settle the ridiculous notion that Trump is somehow “friendly” to gay rights. Given the widespread credulity shown in recent days over Trump’s insistence on 60 Minutes that gay marriage is “settled,” it’s worth remembering that Donald Trump has literally no idea how the various branches of government operate. His insistence that anything is “settled” is a reflection partly of his baseline intellectual deficits, partly of the time lag since his last bump of dexedrine, and almost entirely because he is an arrogant buffoon who believes his will — empty of content or consistency — governs all.

But as your high school friends keep pointing out on Facebook, Donald Trump hoisted an LGBTQ flag a few weeks ago, so it’s pretty much a wash.

In the meantime, I’m wondering what the odds are that Trump — choosing the path of true loyalty — taps Scott Baio for AG. He’s likely to need him in the coming years.

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  • Denverite

    Please please please let Cruz be appointed to the Court. That’s where he can do the least damage, and it takes him out of the running for a future presidential bid.

    • vic rattlehead

      Fuck that- at least the AG can be fired. And we all know how much Donald loves firing people. It would be beautiful. He has to give up his Senate seat and then Don gets sick of him after 6 months and shitcans him.

      • mds

        Sure, he couldn’t be (easily) fired from SCOTUS. But how differently would Ted Cruz vote than anyone on Heritage’s list? Senate Republicans aren’t going to allow any squishes.

        • Denverite

          Yeah, this too, plus his non-politically-charged opinions likely would be pretty good (sort of like Thomas — his opinions on things like tax or administrative law are generally excellent).

          • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

            Admin? Isn’t Cruz part of the school trying to kill Chevron and the delegation doctrine? I think worst-case he’d like to undo admin law as it stands.

            • Denverite

              Is he? In any event, given Roberts’s tack in King, I’m not sure that’s avoidable under any circumstance.

        • liberal

          Exactly. It’s the differential that matters.

          The only caveat would be if he were an amazing consensus builder. Come to think of it…LOL.

          • vic rattlehead

            That would be hilarious, Cruz as a sort of reverse-Brennan. He so turns off even Alito that they refuse to sign off on his opinions. That would just be hysterical. His odious personality keeping him in check.

            • This is the best argument for a Cruz appointment.

              • The Lorax

                That and maybe Senate Dems could call his college roommate to testify.

        • Cruz is to the right of Scalia and closer to a Rufus Wheeler Peckham.

          • mds

            (1) Who do you think is on Heritage’s list?

            (2) How many decisions that mattered had Scalia as the swing vote in a good way? How many awful decisions were lessened because Scalia wrote the majority opinion?

            It’s all moot, anyway. Ted Cruz still wants to be President someday. 2024 isn’t all that far away for a young(ish) Bug.

            • Thom

              Exactly. Or 2020.

            • vic rattlehead

              I’m trying to think of what our best case scenario for scotus would be and none of it is good. Maybe he’ll ask his sister to recommend a sane republican. I can only hope. Obama needs to encourage Trump to ask his sister.

          • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

            Scalia at least had some decent opinions on a few crim. pro. matters. I think Cruz would be a young, more reactionary Alito.

        • Ahuitzotl

          OTOH, given how widely loved Cruz is, what are the odds of him showing up within the year, in the SCOTUS bathroom dead, with 8 styluses stuck in his back? (obvious suicide, of course)

    • delazeur

      Do you think the Senate would confirm Cruz? They all hate him, so on the one hand it would get him out of their hair but on the hand they probably don’t want to throw him a bone.

  • ochospantalones

    Yeah, the answers on abortion rights and gay marriage reflected Trump’s ignorance rather than his policies. Even if he cared enough to try to do effectuate that outcome, who would he appoint who could be reliably counted on to rule that way? How many anti-Casey, pro-Obergefell judges are there in the federal judiciary?

    • delazeur

      Probably at least a few, but they might not match up to the other conservative criteria. Pro-life and pro-marriage certainly isn’t a widespread combination, but it’s not exactly unheard of either. I’m not sure why people are acting like such a person would be a unicorn, especially in the federal judiciary where people don’t toe the party line as much as politicians do.

    • sneezehonestly

      Maybe we get Justice Rand Paul?

      • sneezehonestly

        And yes, it has occurred to me that Rand’s not a lawyer. Appointing a non-lawyer to the Court would be a very Trumpy thing to do.

    • Moondog von Superman

      Trump’s new friends are gleefully explaining “state’s rights” to him right now and gay marriage will be the next thing that he tells us the states can decide.

  • Actually this is simple. He’s going to appoint a Justice with an implant that will compel him to vote to overturn Roe, but uphold Obergefell, then get the Senate to confirm the cyborg. I don’t see why you’re so skeptical.

    • rea

      So, there really is a constitutional right to privacy that protects gay sex but not reproductive choice? Well, I guess you’ll have to get Roberts to write the opinion–who else is capable of such a tour-de -force of constitutional reasoning?

      • Actually they were decided on different grounds. Obergefell depends on due process and equal protection. However, actual legal reasoning is beside the point. Conservative jurisprudence is defined as whatever it takes to get to the desired outcome.

        • rea

          Obergefell depends on due process and equal protection.

          Due process and equal protection don’t get you gay marriage if the Legislature has the power to outlaw gay sex. Lawrence is the necessary precondition to gay marriage.

          • Just_Dropping_By

            Roe and Lawrence can be disentangled by determining that the State has a more compelling interest in regulating pregnancy/abortion than it has in regulating consensual adult non-reproductive sexual activity. That’s not even really that hard an argument to make.

      • pylon

        I suspect what actually happens is you get a Justice who will uphold all of the impingements on abortion without having to actually outlaw abortion entirely. Abortion is way easier to restrict (to the practical point of outlawing it) than marriage.

  • so-in-so

    Is he convinced that his Supreme Court appointee can’t be fired? Or at least negotiated to follow Trumps’s will? This is not a man who has had to deal with people acting independently all that much in his adult life, and evidence suggests he really isn’t used to it (and thinks that the President really runs everything).

  • liberal

    Given Trump’s stated aversion to abortion during the general, has anyone tried to guess how many abortions this monster has paid for?

    • Denverite

      Probably zero. My guess is he tells the women that he’ll reimburse them for it but then stiffs them.

      • liberal


    • delazeur

      Slate’s home page currently has an open request for info on any abortions he has paid for.

  • MPAVictoria

    It is just amazing to me that anyone, even a little shitweasel like Cruz, would have such low self-respect to take a job from someone who called his wife ugly and his dad an assassin.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      What does self-respect have to do with accepting what is arguably one of the most prestigious and powerful legal jobs on the planet? It would be foolish not to take it if offered, regardless of how much one dislike the person offering it.

      • Rob in CT

        Agreed. He wouldn’t be working for Trump. Accepting a cabinet position would be different.

      • MPAVictoria

        Really? If someone said that about my partner and my father I would never deal with them again. Ever.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Except that in accepting a SCOTUS nomination you don’t need to deal with that person again because, as Rob in CT pointed out, the President isn’t the boss of the SCOTUS justices. In fact, being appointed to SCOTUS would give you the power to mess with that person as long as they were in office because you could vote against their preferred outcomes at the Court. Isn’t the Sicilian saying, “Revenge is a dish best served in a strongly-worded concurrence”?

    • Nobdy

      I am not at all surprised. After all, Cruz endorsed Trump. He caved.

      Watching him be rewarded for that odious cowardly act would be hard to stomach though.

      Welcome to Donald Trump’s America, where the best lack all conviction and the worst are placed on the Supreme Court as payment for their rank cowardice.

      I do like the idea of John Roberts having to spend the next 30 years hanging out with Ted Cruz though. That is a just reward for his various horrible decisons.

    • NBarnes

      I would take a Supreme Court seat if Trump offered me one, and I’m pretty sure that my hatred for Trump is more white-hot than Cruz’s.

  • sleepyirv

    What’s interesting is Donald Trump simply doesn’t care about LGBT issues and no one would mistake him for caring. Ross Douthat makes a great deal of hay out of the argument that liberals moved too fast on cultural issues. But on the issues Douthat cares about, it’s clear that most voters weren’t focused on them. Peter Thiel spoke at the Republican Convention without it being a problem and it looks like McCory is going to lose in North Carolina — a state Trump won.

    • vic rattlehead

      McCrory losing, in addition to being good for NC, should be good news for 2020 re stopping voter suppression. Not having a republican governor in a close, winnable state is good news.

    • He doesn’t personally care about abortion either, he just said he did because he knew it was necessary to run for the Republican nomination.

      • liberal

        Yeah…the guy is a hypocritical monster.

    • Nobdy

      Bashing gays is fun and all but it is not the pure primal pleasure of stomping on the racial other.

      I mean even the most stout hearted Republican has to feel a little twinge of sadness when their kid moves to Miami and refuses to have any further contact with them, or hangs herself after a brutal year at a re-education camp.

  • postmodulator

    Wouldn’t we rather run against Cruz in Texas in 2018 than someone who, I don’t know, might actually be liked by some human somewhere?

    • I actually wonder if the right candidate running the right campaign in the right conditions could knock him out.

      • postmodulator

        I mean, any given Sunday or whatever. If Trump can win you have to figure basically anything is doable with the right tailwind. At the very least, make the RSCC defend it.

      • mds

        Maybe, if there were going to be any penalty for flouting a federal court order about vote suppression. But just like in Wisconsin, there’s no hope of follow-up now.

      • science_goy

        If Trump manages to make himself widely despised by conservatives, that photo of Cruz miserably manning the Trump phone banks should do the trick.

    • efgoldman

      Wouldn’t we rather run against Cruz in Texas in 2018 than someone who, I don’t know, might actually be liked

      There were rumblings during the presidential primaries that Tailgunner Teddy was in trouble and would be primaried in the next cycle. I don’t know enough about Texas politics to have an opinion; apparently he has some fences to mend.

  • I wonder when dunking witches will be coming back in vogue.

    Onward Christian soldiers.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      Cue Monty Python scene.

  • Joe_JP

    Cruz was promoted as a grand principled independent choice here:


    Cruz sucked up to Trump all during the campaign, except for a few months when it was too late, then went back to endorsing him. Part of the reason his own party hates him is that he is a self-aggrandizing schmuck who doesn’t care about institutional concerns over and above his own interests. And, yeah, he has promoted conservative views for years.

    Blah. Then again the alternatives are the like of Kris Kobach.

  • djanyreason

    There is basically zero chance that Trump gives a plum job like AG or SCOTUS to Ted “Vote Your Conscience” Cruz. It would be 100% out of character for him to reward the guy who dissed him at the convention, no matter that he came around in the end.

  • Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb

    I might need a new handle….

  • Excitable Boy

    I read Ted Nugent instead of Ted Cruz. For 10 seconds I went spiraling from WTF>of course>makes sense>might not be so bad. Then I realized I misread Cruz and immediately started missing AG Nugent.

  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    I don’t understand all of the people arguing about Trump’s positions on various issues.

    The man doesn’t have positions, with rare exceptions. What he has is words that he thinks his current audience will like. When he’s in front of another audience, he’ll have no trouble contradicting himself because he literally doesn’t care what he’s saying, just what the impact of his words are.

    In the campaign he said he would keep Medicare, at last check he was now going to phase it out, tomorrow he could just as easily say he wants universal Medicare regardless of age. I can’t wait til he tries to welch on a law that he signed. That will be “interesting”.

    • Excitable Boy

      If that helps you sleep at night more power to you.

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