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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kind of a Big Week

Yesterday's Comey/Rogers hearing, which is likely part of a process that will continue to take a long time, might overshadow two very important things happening this week.



First, the Gorsuch confirmation hearings -- I really don't have a sense of the whip count at the moment, other than I haven't heard a single Republican Senator openly consider voting against him and I've heard a few (five?) Democrats say they're going to give him a chance. I'd like to see the Democrats hold the line on this, but I don't know what to expect. Most of the exchanges I've seen in the news have been about a couple of issues, particularly Gorsuch's stance on an employer being able to ask about a woman's maternity plans before hiring her. His response to that might sway a few Democrats one way or another, but to me, it's irrelevant. The guy is a doctrinaire conservative; he  wouldn't have been on the Federalist Society's approved list if he weren't. I don't see what good proving that he is one really does. If Trump had won the election fairly and the Republicans hadn't made up new rules to block Obama from appointing Merrick Garland to that seat, it'd be Trump's right to that seat. But Democrats need to make Trump's illegitimacy the central point of their argument against him. Nothing else matters. I echo Charles Blow here:


Democrats need to spike the whole thing, Senate rules be damned. It's what the Republicans would do.

The second major thing likely happening this week is the Obamacare repeal vote in the House. The House Republicans are planning to hold that vote on Thursday.

I think the chances of that bill passing in the House are under 50-50 at this point, but I remain really anxious about it because the stakes are as high as any piece of legislation since the 2009 stimulus bill. The Republicans' entire horrendous domestic agenda hangs in the balance.

Trump knows it, too:


Our country has somehow survived the last two months without *that* much damage. The next couple of weeks will be pivotal in determining whether we survive the next 2+ years intact.

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