The political atmosphere in America – the lines of conflict – after the announcement of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court are remarkably like they were in the days prior to the announcement. That is because the leadership of the Democratic Party and the forces of the left, including the elitist media, have been waging the battle against the Trump nominee in absentia of a real person for several weeks already.
The Trump administration gets high marks for the staging of the announcement. It was nothing like the pre-event predictions set forth by the #NeverTrump resistance movement. It was not the television game show they had hoped to be able to criticize. The President’s introduction was dignified. The audience was impressive, with a certain level of nostalgia induced by the presence of Maureen Scalia, the wife of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and Ed Meese, the former Attorney General under President Reagan.
There was great enthusiasm – one might even say jubilation – expressed by the audience. Nominee Kavanaugh gave a warm and inspiring biographical speech, introducing his background and his family to most Americans for the first time. He pledged his devotion to the rule of law and the Constitution … as written. Of course, all of that was a partisan and philosophic homecoming. The audience was mostly composed of cheerleaders.
Once the cameras were returned to the various news outlets, the analyses of Kavanaugh’s appointment took on predictable partisan tones based on preconceived narratives. FOX News was obviously the most upbeat and laudatory of the appointment. CNN shifted from a negative lean – with some representation of supporting views – during the Chris Cuomo hour. It shifted to total negativism when Don Lemon took over.
Rachel Maddow set the tone for MSNBC with her not surprising mendacious negative narratives supported by the usual parroting panelists – most notably Senator Cory Brooker, of New Jersey. Booker’s assessment was so brutally negative, one might believe that Trump had nominated the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. For a man striving to take Trump’s job in the Oval Office, Booker came off as anything but presidential. His screed was something we are accustomed to hearing from political hacks, not presidential aspirants.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm were put before the cameras to repeat their thread bear arguments against a Kavanaugh confirmation. They and the rest of the chorus of anti-Trump talking heads said the confirmation had to be stopped at all costs. For lack of a feasible plan for how that might be done, they called on their political base to rise up and … well … do something. Sure, they will have their people in the streets with placards and chants – blocking traffic, disrupting commerce and making a general nuisance of themselves. Some of it may even get violent in keeping with the traditions of left-wing protests.
Outside of stamping their feet in frustration, what exactly are the issues over which they will demand the defeat of the Kavanaugh nomination? The left’s answer is an extra dose of identity politics.
Like Chicken Little, they see Roe v. Wade as their number one falling-sky issue. Though it is not likely to be overturned in the short run, if at all, it provides the best fearmongering tactic to stimulate the ladies of the left.
They also did their best to scare the gay community with the ridiculous argument that with Kavanaugh on the bench, gay marriage will again be made illegal – even though 37 states had already legalized gay marriage BEFORE the Supreme Court acted. That is just not going to happen.
To appeal to blacks, the #NeverTrumpers threw out an unspecified attack on voting rights. One must assume that they are again trying to convince America that having some form of identification to prove you have a legal right to cast a ballot is akin to poll taxes, literacy tests and all those other obstacles the Democrats used to prevent blacks from voting.
The left spent a good deal of the post-announcement coverage illogically claiming that Kavanaugh will be the needed vote to kill Obamacare – or what is left of it. Since Justice Kennedy voted against Obamacare, and it was Chief Justice John Roberts who provided the fifth vote to save it, replacing Kennedy with Kavanaugh will make no difference at all.
Apart from the issues, the anti-Kavanaugh folks dragged out their rather pathetic academic arguments. Since McConnell did not allow a vote on Merritt Garland in an election year, the Republicans should wait until after November, they say. The fact that the Garland nomination came in a PRESIDENTIAL election year, and this is not, is intentionally unnoted by the opposition.
Also, there is a bit of hardball politics. Senate Republicans held up a nomination they opposed because they could. The people of America gave them that power. They will not hold up the Kavanaugh appointment because they do not have to do so. Senate Republicans enjoy the power of having a majority because the people decided to keep them on top. One should not be surprised to find politics being carried out in … politics.
The Democrats argue that Trump should not be able to exercise his constitutional power to make the appointment because he is under investigation. That is an interesting, if not peculiar, academic argument. But it has no basis in law. Trump has the power, has made a nomination and the Senate is likely to confirm Kavanaugh. The best the left can do is to pout.
Kavanaugh has argued that a president must not be subjected to lawsuits or indictments while in office – but can be slapped with them once out of office. This is because the job is just too important. We have already seen out a myriad of lawsuits are filed for the sole purpose of hampering a president for political reasons. Kavanaugh’s opinion is not out of the mainstream. In fact, it is the current opinion of the Justice Department that a President cannot be subjected to a subpoena.
Since Trump is the subject (not the target) of an investigation, the anti-Trump crowd say that any justice he appoints is conflicted on any questions that may come before the Court stemming from the investigation. Since Kavanaugh would have a lifetime appointment, he would not be subject to pressure from Trump and if he felt conflicted, Kavanaugh could always recuse himself from cases involving Trump. Furthermore, virtually every justice ever appointed had to rule on cases generated by the president who appointed them.
What Kavanaugh does bring to the court is an impressive record of professional accomplishment (drafting more than 300 decisions), a fine legal mind and a reputation for impeccable integrity. That should hold him in good stead against what will most surely be an onslaught of vicious character assassins on his left flank.