A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Tag: John Cornyn

Super Scholar to Primary the Thomas Jefferson Out of John Cornyn, for America

by evanmcmurry

Wait for it………………..wait for it………………………Here we go:

Texas tea party activists eager to send another firebrand in the mold of Ted Cruz to the Senate have launched a movement to draft evangelical historian David Barton to run against Sen. John Cornyn.

Barton, who hosts a daily radio broadcast, has wide name recognition and respect on the religious right as a Constitutional scholar dedicated to restoring the America the Founding Fathers envisioned, though his scholarship on that point has been widely discredited in the world of academia.

Political analysts doubt he could take down a candidate as well-funded, well-known and widely endorsed as Cornyn. But they’re not willing to count out an insurgent from the right — not after watching Cruz come from nowhere two years ago.

Oh, and this launched today:

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 8.20.46 AM


Update, via Texas Tribune:

A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in Texas finds Greg Abbott (R) leading Wendy Davis (D) in the race for governor, 40% to 34%. 

In a three-way race against Davis and Libertarian Kathie Glass, Abbott’s lead shrinks to 5 points, 40% to 35%.

John Cornyn Is Going To Kill Immigration Reform, Cuz What Does He Care?

by evanmcmurry

We’ve had seven months of talk about the Republican party “rebranding” itself, and just as many months of people like me saying the problem is not with how they talk about issues (“legitimate rape”) but their actual policy positions. It’s hard not to say stupid things when those stupid things a direct expression of your beliefs.

These two are about to come to a head. John Cornyn—now Texas’ more responsible and reasonable Senator!—has found a way to poison immigration reform: he’s insisting on a whole slew of border security triggers* that must be met before any pathway to citizenship begins, or GOP senators walk. The border security threshold would be impossible to ever satisfy, which is exactly Cornyn’s intent: they would render the entire pathway to citizenship moot. Democrats won’t vote for a bill that doesn’t do any of what they want it to do. There goes immigration reform.

This puts Marco Rubio in a tight spot. If he sticks with the Gang of Eight compromise (that he helped write!), Cornyn and the entire conservative press will hang him out to dry, the bill will likely die in the Senate, and the GOP will get credit for killing it; if he goes toward Cornyn, he loses Democratic support, the bill will be dead on arrival, and the GOP will definitely get the credit for killing it.

There’s nothing here that’s a branding problem. Cornyn doesn’t care how immigration reform plays (though he should); he’s against it, and if these border security triggers don’t kill the bill he can always take one more step to the right. This is what he and a lot of the GOP believes. It’s not a matter of selling, or marketing, or messaging, or anything. It’s a direct expression of the beliefs of the party. And this is on the one issue, immigration, the GOP was supposed to cede to electoral realities.

Marco Rubio had, for a while, been laudable in his efforts to promote the Gang of Eight compromise and smack down misinformation from his own side about the bill, to the continuing consternation of conservative purists who thought he was selling out the party. But in the past week or so, it appears the constant pressure from the right has gotten to him, and he’s started talking about stricter border enforcement standards.* That’s not a messaging problem: he’s losing the policy argument, and if he loses it, no amount of “rebranding” will change it. This is the moment when the GOP either becomes a modern party theoretically capable of winning national elections, or one that plays eternal spoiler to basic governance. Their public statements and messaging and the rest will be purely a result of which path they choose.

* We’re leaving aside for the moment that America doesn’t have a border security or illegal immigration problem.

John Cornyn Forgets How To Do Job, Maybe Never Knew

by evanmcmurry

Apparently it’s Texas Senators’ day to shine. John Cornyn, the elder statesmen (!!!) of Texas’ upper chamber representation, threw a tantrum Thursday over the judicial nominations he himself has been holding up:

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) ranted Thursday that President Barack Obama hasn’t put forward judicial nominees for vacancies in Texas, some open and without a nominee for more than 1,000 days. But he got schooled by his Democratic colleagues, who reminded him he’s responsible for recommending nominees to the White House in the first place — something he hasn’t done for years.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Cornyn was arguing for more immigration judge slots in Texas when he got called out by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) for gumming up the district court nomination process. Immigration judges are different from district court judges, but Whitehouse questioned why the Senate should add more immigration judgeships in Texas if Cornyn isn’t trying to fill empty district court slots there.

[snip] That’s when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) stepped in to remind Cornyn what he already knows: that if he wants to see movement on district court nominees, he needs to make recommendations to the president.

“Based on 38 years experience here, every judgeship I’ve seen come through this committee during that time has followed recommendations by the senators from the state,” Leahy said.

Ted Cruz, the junior member from the Lone Star state, has been using his rookieness to excuse his impertinence to senior senators, but suddenly it was his first day:

Cruz tried to absolve himself of the matter altogether, saying he just got to the Senate in January.

“Although it might feel like it, at least for me, I haven’t been here anywhere nearly close to 1,000 days,” Cruz said.

In the end, lessons were learned:

Cornyn said Thursday that he’d met with White House officials on the matter and told them he is “happy to work with them” to review nominees and fill some of the vacancies. He didn’t have much response, though, when Leahy asked if the commission has made any recommendations yet.

“Well it’s uh, we’re working on that,” Cornyn said. “What is this, May? And we’re trying to, we’re trying — we’re working on that.”

“I would be happy to help you,” replied Leahy.