Democrat leaders are a pragmatic bunch. They know as well as anyone that their chance of stopping the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the new ninth Associate Justice on the Supreme Court is less than winning the lottery. Even the fact that President Trump and a couple members of the Judiciary Committee have come down with Covid-19 does not change the equation. Congress has been holding virtual hearings for months.
Senate Democrats have two problems. First is the fact that they are powerless to stop it. They do not have the control of the Senate – and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to have more than enough votes to win confirmation. It is game, set, match.
Secondly, Barrett is going to be a virtually impossible nominee to slander and demonize. In a world composed of imperfect people, Barrett comes close to the human ideal. She has the intellect, the integrity and the moral authority that is virtually unassailable. She is the mother of seven interracial children – one with Downs Syndrome. She has the admiration of all that know her – regardless of political differences. At this point, it is almost inconceivable that there is anything salacious in her past. She is the Mother Theresa of the judiciary.
It is going to be exceedingly difficult – and politically perilous – for Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to attack her without suffering a backlash. Attacking her Catholic faith vis-à-vis the issue of abortion seems to be their only religion-based objection, and that could produce a double whammy for Democrats.
Attacking religion in a nation where more than 80 percent of the people are acolytes of a religion of one manner or another is a dangerous strategy. And the percentage of people of faith who are voters is even higher.
More specifically, attacking felicity to one of America’s most popular religions, in and of itself, is problematic. It would be an attack on the 51 million members of the Catholic Church in America – not counting other Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious groups that oppose abortion.
Judging her based on religion would also cast unfavorable attention on the major Catholic Democrat leaders who support and advance abortion-on-demand. People like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden often refer to their faith as a fact of character. It is a reccurring theme in the Biden campaign. In fact, they are dubious Catholics at best – and by the strictest standards are automatically excommunicated Catholics. You may recall how the Catholic Church banned then Democrat Presidential candidate John Kerry from receiving the holy sacrament of communion.
Hmmm. I wonder whether Pelosi and Biden attend Mass regularly and receive communion. You see how attacking Barrett already has me wondering about Pelosi and Biden – and by extension, every Democrat politician who claims the impossible posture of being both a good Catholic and enabler of abortions.
In the holy spirit of transparency, I feel obligated to put myself on the record. I was raised Catholic and I am pro-life. But it is not the Catholic Church that informs me about abortion. In fact, I often tell friends that I would have to improve a LOT to rise to the level of bad Catholic. I left the Church of Roman right after college. I flirted with Episcopalianism (married twice in that Church) but have spent most of my adult life as a spiritual-based person with no connection to organized religion. I am a secular pro-lifer.
The only potential benefit Democrats can gain from the nomination and confirmation of Barrett is to attempt to get the Party base – and recruit other voters – to see the quick confirmation of Barrett as a reason to vote against Trump. And even that is a double-edged sword.
They can play the hypocrisy card on election year confirmations – and they are doing just that. But the critics have been just as hypocritical. History reveals the real rule. When one party holds both the White House and the Senate, they confirm justices. When there is a difference in party between the White House and the Senate, they do not.
Democrats are fond of saying that the Barrett confirmation would be the second time Republicans have stolen a Supreme Court seat. Such nonsense. The Barrett confirmation – if it succeeds – will be perfectly legal and constitutional.
Democrats say it is not about Barrett’s religion and then express pre-hearing opposition based on nothing but her religion. It they try to character assassinate Barrett as they did Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats are more likely to build public support for the Indiana judge’s confirmation.
So, there ‘tis.