Matthew DesOrmeaux

Recent Posts From Matthew DesOrmeaux

If the Houston debate doesn’t stop Trump, nothing will

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After Nevada, the depression set in.

Trump blew his rivals out of the water in the Silver State caucuses. Rubio, who briefly lived in Nevada and attended a Mormon church, was expected to do well in the sparsely populated state. He didn’t. While he did come in second, Trump still beat him 2-to-1 and got twice as many delegates.

In three of the first four primary states, Trump has either met or exceeded polling expectations. While his delegate lead is already large, it’s still very early, with 46 states and hundreds of delegates left to go. Theoretically, anything could happen. Bill Clinton lost nine the first ten primaries in 1992, but still went on to win the Democratic nomination after surprising in mid-March.

And although Rubio has a very similar political talent to Clinton, this is not 1992.

Trump Voters Weren’t Betrayed by the GOP, He’s Their White Knight

A broken clock is right twice a day, and Saturday night Van Jones was that malfunctioning timepiece. On CNN’s coverage of the South Carolina GOP primary results, he’d had enough of the media’s placating Trump’s antics and the teeming hordes who eat it up.

Jones is absolutely right that the media has “adapt[ed] to the absurdity” of Trump’s campaign. One of the worst ways they’ve done this is by accepting the premise that his popularity is a reaction to the GOP’s failure to enact change or stop Obama over the last 7 years. As Erick Erickson put it six months ago: “The Republican Party created Donald Trump, because they made a lot of promises to their base and never kept them.”

What a load of hogwash. Here’s why.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dies, Unleashing an Election Year Earthquake

Supreme Court associate justice and giant of US politics and constutional law, Antonin Scalia, 79, has died of apparent natural causes in Texas.

According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

Widely considered to be an “originalist”, Scalia actually used a “textual” interpretation of the Constitution, relying on the plain reading of the text as written to rule on cases. This interpretation placed him as one of the most conservative justices on the Court, and his intellect and integrity will make him impossible to replace.

It is no exaggeration to say that Justice Scalia was the most consequential jurist of the past 35 years. A persistent, pugnacious and persuasive advocate for textualist statutory interpretation and originalist constitutional interpretation, he had an outsize effect on his colleagues, the court and the course of the law. More than anyone else, Justice Scalia is responsible for the renaissance of these interpretive methodologies and the displacement of “living constitutionalism” and reliance upon legislative history.

He certainly won’t be replaced by President Obama.

Trump rallies the stormtroopers in Louisiana

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After driving two hours, standing in line for two hours, and catching most of Donald Trump’s hour and a half long sales pitch to a packed Baton Rouge River Center, I have a new, less charitable understanding of the phenomenon he has unleashed on the country.

I am not a Trump supporter, of course. I actually went to the event with the intention of holding up an anti-Trump sign and making my dissent known in person. But as the line nearly reached the door, I witnessed two gentlemen with similar, but more harshly worded signs than mine wrestled out of the building, to the ground, then one of the two tased by Baton Rouge PD after not going peacefully. After hauling away the protesters, the dozen remaining officers at the entrance were on high alert for any shenaningans, and I had a wife and children waiting at home for me. So I quietly tossed my sign in the trash on my way in. I decided to protest silently, then online instead.

The crowd was about what you would expect - almost exclusively white, conservative, polite but cocked and ready for action. When the scuffle ensued with the protesters, many got their phones out and scurried over to record and jeer the detainees. They stopped just short of calling for blood.

Trump was already speaking when I got inside, and the crowd was eating up every word. They weren’t transfixed in silence; there was lots of murmuring between friends and neighbors, going in and out from the bathroom and concession stand. After all, thousands of people were still getting inside as he spoke.

New Hampshire Polls Have Created a Political Narrative Perfect Storm

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Election polling is always wrong. Except when it’s not. And even then sometimes. But especially in New Hampshire this year. Confused yet? You should be.

Every single poll that’s come out in the last week has said something completely different is happening in the first primary, and not even in a linear trending way, with certain candidates ascending or descending. They’re literally all over the place.

The following is a list of all the polls currently included in the Real Clear Politics average for New Hampshire.

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From this data we can tell only three things:

  1. Trump is leading in New Hampshire.
  2. There is a fight for second place between Rubio, Kasich, Cruz, and Bush.
  3. Christie, Fiorina, and Carson should probably have dropped out yesterday.

Second is where the real mystery is. Every poll shows a different person (or tie) in second place behind Trump [highlighted above in yellow]. Rubio comes in second place in one poll and ties for second in two others, but so does Bush in one, Cruz in one and ties in another, and Kasich in two and ties in another.

Some of these individual polls even show trends from earlier data, which usually signal a real change in support. But even here those trends are contradictory. In the CNN poll, Rubio has gained 6 points from the same poll taken a little over a week ago, while the other candidates have only gained 1 point. But in other polls, like the UMass daily tracking poll, Rubio has lost 2 points over the last week.

Sorry, You’ll Find No Rand Paul “Haters” Here

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Apparently explaining the reasons Senator Rand Paul couldn’t connect with Republican voters in his now-suspended presidential campaign makes us here at United Liberty “haters”, according to Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel.

In an interview before the Republican debates in Boulder, Paul told me ruefully that he had more haters than anyone else running for president, visible at blogs like United Liberty; fans of Ron Paul obsessed and condemned any Paul feint to the center-right.

Despite that silliness, the whole thing is worth your time, as is everything Weigel writes. He is among the best political reporters of his our generation. But really, what in the world, Dave?

There is plenty of Rand Paul hate to go around, to be sure, but you will find none of it on this server. Here’s a sampling of some of the Rand Paul headlines on this site since the presidential campaign started last year:

Does Rachel Maddow think Hillary or Bernie would be a mistake?

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During Thursday’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders traded insults, complements, innuendo, and big government solutions to problems created by big government. Although there were plenty of absurd ideas tossed back and forth, perhaps the strangest comment came not from a candidate, but from a moderator.

After the debate had concluded, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow wrapped up with a salutation and a supplication.

We also want to thank our host, the University of New Hampshire, and the people of New Hampshire. You guys get to vote in just five days. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Don’t screw up.

“Don’t screw up”? Huh?

Maddow seems to be implying that New Hampshire voters could “screw up” by selecting the wrong candidate when they go to the polls on Tuesday. But how?

Rand Out: Why the Paul Scion Never Caught Fire

After a dismal showing in Iowa, Rand Paul is dropping out of the presidential race to focus on his Senate reelection campaign.

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Paul had high hopes to coalesce the libertarian wing of the party with a more conservative alliance toward the White House, but as with everyone else’s campaign, it all went to hell when Donald Trump entered the race. Paul was averaging 9-10% in national polls in May and June, until Trump announced and sucked the air out of the race, dropping him down to below 4-5% for the remainder of the campaign.

Although his name recognition was one factor, Trump also exposed a rift within the libertarian faction of the right that helped torpedo Paul’s campaign. Going back to the Ron Paul newsletter days, there has always been a xenophobic nationalist bloc on the right that calls itself “libertarian” but really isn’t. They used to be Paul supporters, both Ron and Rand, but once Trump barged in and explicitly embraced their unfettered id, they quickly jumped ship.

And all the better. Although it won’t help an actual libertarian get elected, it’s better to know who our actual ideological compatriots are than limp along under false pretenses with people who don’t actually care about liberty.

Trumpkins weren’t the only problem with Paul’s campaign, though. While he called himself a libertarian Republican, Rand was far more conservative than his father Ron. Although he called for ending the War on Drugs, he never fully embraced legalization.

Iowadammerung: Where Will We Go From Here?

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Although it feels like it has been going on for nearly 250 million years, today officially kicks off the 2016 presidential primary. The first votes will be cast (but not really) in the Iowa caucuses this evening beginning at 7 pm Central. Voters will hear each candidate’s case from either the candidates themselves or their caucus chairs, then make their preference known.

Because of the personal nature of the caucus process, the results have been notoriously hard to predict by pollsters in the past. On the Republican side, all the polls have seen the recent Cruz bounce fade and return to a Trump lead, but the last few polls have the perpetual frontrunner up only +1.

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In fact, of the top few Republicans, only Rubio actually has an upward trajectory in Iowa polling. He’s risen from an average of 10% to almost 17% in the last week or so, a trend that is eerily familiar.

In 2012, Rick Santorum polled in the single digits nationally for all of 2011 right up until the week before the Iowa caucuses. He would come out of nowhere to win the state on a combination of endless local campaigning, evangelical support, and a few key endorsements. Santorum went on to be the only significant challenge to Mitt Romney for the nomination, winning several other states and amassing a small share of the national delegates.

How Might the Supreme Court Rule on Obama’s Executive Amnesty?

The Supreme Court agreed this morning to take the case of Texas and 25 other states who sued the federal government over the Obama administration’s unilateral executive action to limit deportations of certain illegal immigrants. The program was halted by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in November over the costs to the states resulting from the program, not its inherent (un)constitutionality.

Obama authorized the DAPA program after Congress rejected a similar legislative proposal to defer deportations for children brought here by their parents…and those parents themselves. That separation of powers argument is the main problem with the program, as I’ve argued before.

Although it’s not explicit in the Constitution, the intent of the separation of powers was for Congress to write federal policy and the President to enact it. The President doesn’t get to write his own policy if Congress refuses to do as he wishes. This Supreme Court decision may end up ruling on that very broad issue, or it could rule on the merits of the DAPA program.

Matthew DesOrmeaux

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married, father of two, atheist, libertarian, introvert.

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