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March 29, 2017

The Pete Kelly Lisa Murkowski Surreality Show

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State Sen. Pete Kelly, a Republican from Fairbanks, has introduced a bill to allow University of Alaska students to carry guns on campuses and into dorms. That’s public policy even more harebrained than putting pregnancy tests into bar bathrooms.

Did Pete go to college? Did he live in a dorm? If so, he apparently didn’t notice that dorms aren’t exactly hothouses of good judgment. Adding firearms just increases the opportunity for adolescent bad judgment to become truly tragic. I sure wouldn’t send my kid to live in a dorm populated with gun-toting teenagers.

I haven’t figured out what Kelly does best, but I’m quite sure it has nothing to do with crafting smart policy for our state. Whoever came up with the phrase, “Oh, for Pete’s sake,” must have known Kelly.

Has anyone seen Sen. Lisa Murkowski lately? Is she okay? Is she wearing a neck brace? I’m no doctor, but she must have suffered some sort of whiplash after getting jerked back to the party line on the appointment of a U.S. Supreme Court justice. As you know, Justice Antonin Scalia died while on a fancy-pants hunting trip in Texas. The court is now a justice shy of a full bench and, according to the U.S. Constitution, the sitting president has the duty to nominate a replacement.

First, Murkowski said it was important the U.S. Senate hold a hearing on whomever the president selected. She told reporters, “I do believe that the nominee should get a hearing.”

Well, how about that? Murkowski was a voice of reason among the chorus of crazies. But then she got her talking points emailed from the Koch brothers. That prompted a perfect backflip — on Twitter, of course, the place where politicians say things when they don’t want to be asked about backflips by pesky reporters.

 

“I urge Pres. Obama to follow a tradition embraced by both parties over the last 80 years and allow his successor to select the next Supreme Court justice,” she said. That line comes straight from the D.C. script passed out to every lockstep Republican bot. She tweeted further, “If POTUS ignores precedent I believe extraordinary circumstances give the Senate every right to deny the nominee an up or down vote.”

Of course there is no “tradition” or “precedent” for a president to skip appointing someone to an empty seat — in an election year or any other year. To say otherwise is a baldfaced lie. You can look it up.

I realize Murkowski is seldom mistaken for a constitutional scholar — it took her several tries to pass the bar exam — but this is serious business. And it isn’t rocket science. If she was interested in tradition, or precedent, or truth, she could have consulted Google.

In which case she would have learned: “The historical record does not reveal any instances since at least 1900 of the president failing to nominate and/or the Senate failing to confirm a nominee in a presidential election year because of the impending election. In that period, there were several nominations and confirmations of Justices during presidential election years.”

Let’s see, what else is in the news this week? Oh, yes. Our best-known Republican presidential candidate and reality TV star decided to go after the pope. That’s something you don’t see every day.

After spending time in Mexico, including along the U.S. border, Pope Francis said a Christian builds bridges rather than walls, although he was willing to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt. But that was enough to prompt Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr., two of Jesus Inc.’s major stockholders, to rush to defend the faith of the pretend-Christian, thrice-married billionaire bigot. You can’t make this up.

Thank goodness for Twitter and the hashtag #maketheVaticangreatagain, which mocked Trump with suggested tweets:

“He wasn’t even born in Vatican City, how can he be pope? I’m just saying, we should be looking into this.”

And, “He washes poor people’s feet? If I was pope, it would be the other way around!”

It’s tough to tell what’s real and what’s a joke these days.

When the Francis was chosen as pope in 2013, Trump wrote, “The new Pope is a humble man, very much like me, which probably explains why I like him so much!”

Well, at least he’s consistently inconsistent. That’s something we can count on.

So good luck this week, Alaska. Find the funny if you can. Laughing at the mess is better than crying about it.

 

This article is cross-posted at The Alaska Dispatch News.

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2 Responses to “The Pete Kelly Lisa Murkowski Surreality Show”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    And one notices wingnuts use the same irresponsibly false talking points about traditions that never existed to feed their base. Saying the same lie over and over does not make it true, unless one happens to be a right wing nutter. Head of the Sinate Judciary Committee is my Sinator Chuck “the lying scumbag” Grassley. Prolly butt biddies with troll Shane Holt.

  2. I always figured the Senate has a responsibility and a constructive role to keep the President honest, to insist on competent candidates, and perhaps even to insist that those candidates not place ideological orientation so high on their priorities that legal reasoning suffers in the process. I would welcome the Senate doing exactly that. But of course expecting the current Republican party membership in any house of Congress to play a constructive role in government is the height of insanity at this point. Only a commie-pinko fascistic terror liberal would suggest such a thing!

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