Pelosi’s poisonous ploy and other commentary

Pelosi’s poisonous ploy and other commentary

October 15, 2020

Washington watch: Pelosi’s Poisonous Ploy

Nancy Pelosi’s bill to assemble a 17-member panel prepared to invoke the 25th Amendment is a political scheme that turns “the decision over the president’s health” into a “battleground ripe for partisans fighting for power,” warns The Federalist’s Kyle Sammin. The Constitution allows for laws creating another body (besides the Cabinet) with the power to ­decide that the president’ health requires him to step aside, but “just because an idea may be constitutional does not mean it is good.” Nearly half of Pelosi’s committee would almost certainly be “partisans who already wish the president to be removed from office,” with their party treating it “as a way to remove a president they loathe without using the impeachment provisions of the Constitution.” Since the 25th Amendment concerns “inability, not unfitness,” it’s foolish to shift the decision to “unelected, unconfirmed and likely unknown political appointees.” Rather, “Congress should keep it with the Cabinet, where it belongs.”

Albany journal: Senate’s ‘One of a Kind’ Leader

The tributes after Joe Bruno’s death this week “shined a bright light” on “an American success story that even Hollywood couldn’t have scripted,” reports the former state Senate majority leader’s aide, John McArdle, in his eulogy at Empire Report New York. Bruno was “a force of nature — fearless and indefatigable,” with “that rare ability to connect.” Under him, the Senate functioned with “business-like efficiency,” and he always sought input from members. His “partnership” with Gov. George Pataki was mostly “productive,” and he had a “genuine friendship” with Gov. ­David Paterson — though Gov. Eliot Spitzer “was another matter. It was kill or be killed.” Bruno was “one of a kind,” a “larger than life figure, the likes of which Albany will never see again. He’ll be missed.”

Conservative: Time for ‘Ginsburg Amendment’

To unify the conservative movement’s otherwise divided factions “at the expense of the Democratic left,” Deroy Murdock suggests at Fox News, all Republicans should pledge to support a “Ginsburg Amendment” to “enshrine a nine-seat US Supreme Court” in the Constitution. The left tends to ignore the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s “fervent wish” that the high court remain at nine justices; a pledge would force every politician to decide whether to protect the Supreme Court’s ­integrity or “stand against Ginsburg and leave SCOTUS as vulnerable as a Butterball turkey to being stuffed with new members.”

Libertarian: Beware Biden’s AG Pick

Tana Ganeva warns at Reason that insiders believe Joe Biden may well name Sally Yates as attorney general if he wins. That’s a concern, because while “Biden claims to strongly back criminal-justice reform . . . that’s hard to square with his record.” It’s telling that Yates is favored over “Varnita Gupta, another qualified candidate whose history is far more appealing to civil libertarians.” That’s because “Yates’ Obama-era history at the Department of Justice is troubling, particularly where it comes to carrying out the former president’s clemency initiative.” Deborah Leff, a top criminal-justice reformer, quit over the slow pace of that initiative and “went on to criticize Yates for turning down recommendations and blocking the Pardon Office’s access to White House counsel to contest her decisions.” Among those blocked from clemency was “Alice Marie Johnson, a 65-year-old grandmother,” whose life-without-parole sentence (for a first-time, nonviolent offense) President Trump would later commute.

Election alert: Make Sure Military Votes Count

Active-duty troops have voted absentee for more than a century, but some fear “many of those votes won’t be counted this election,” reveals combat nurse Lynne Blankenbeker in the Washington Examiner. Voting is a chance to honor their “service of protecting and defending the Constitution,” for which they “swore an oath.” So officials must slow down and “commit to waiting for the final count.” “Delays in state ballot preparation and postal delays should not negate a service member’s valid vote that has been submitted through a properly obtained and executed ballot.” Slowing down the process is a way to guarantee “the safety and integrity of our elections.” After all, “every hero’s voice should be heard, and every hero’s vote should be counted.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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