In Federalist Paper 78, Alexander Hamilton famously discussed “the natural feebleness of the judiciary” as he argued for the new Constitution’s Article III branch of government. In Hamilton’s view, the Constitution provided for a judiciary that “may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment.” The concept of unelected judges imposing their will and policy choices, while declaring the elected branches powerless to legislate otherwise, was not one that Hamilton thought realistic.
As the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election came into focus in the hours and days after election night, happiness and relief among Democratic voters over Joe Biden’s victory was increasingly tempered by dismay that Americans had not repudiated Donald Trump’s presidency in the dramatic, 400+ electoral vote landslide that many had hoped for. Now that the dust has largely settled with the vote counting nearly complete, it is worth reevaluating the breadth of the President’s repudiating defeat.
Imagine an alternate universe where the COVID-19 pandemic is occurring under a President Hillary Clinton. President Clinton, eager to prevent the resulting economic collapse from spiraling into a second Great Depression, asks the Republican-led Congress to approve a $2 trillion emergency spending package. Can there be any doubt that Senate Republicans would insist on extracting a heavy ransom in return for their cooperation?
We know from experience that Mitch McConnell would undoubtedly seek to exploit his good fortune of finding a Democratic President faced with economic catastrophe in an election year. The Republican Senate would pass a spending package filled…
Political strategist, sound policy enthusiast, and indelible believer that the latter requires the former. Guided by faith, facts, and the art of the possible.