The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh is a confluence of many issues, underhanded tactics and history. Unfortunately, the process was circus-like and a low point for the Senate.
Some senators were brave and respectful, and some were conspiratorial and willing to destroy a well-qualified nominee for political gain.
Democrats, in particular, showed what they stand for during the deliberations. The party is at sea and fraught with partisanship and skullduggery. In the end, Republicans got their man. But his life has been turned upside down by a political party that doesn’t know how to win, or lose, gracefully.
Susan Collins (R-MA) summed up the state of affairs in the Senate eloquently in her speech prior to endorsing Kavanaugh. It was a seminal moment, and one that will be lauded by some and lambasted by others.
Collins is a moderate Republican a dying breed in this day and age (as are moderate Democrats). She risked her political career and legacy in a 45-minute speech, in which she justified her vote for the beleaguered candidate for the Supreme Court in a lawyerly and well-researched fashion.
Collins is known as a staunch advocate for all things important to women, including abortion rights, the proliferation of sexual harassment and health care benefits, to name a few. She transcended these important issues in favor of the rule of law.
Liberals will deride Collins mercilessly as a traitor to the basic rights of women. But really her actions benefited Americans of all sexes, races and religions.
During her speech Collins took the time to congratulate Dr. Christine Blasy Ford for coming forth and telling her story of sexual harassment. She also complimented and appreciated Kavanaugh for being a great judge over several decades and for being a scholar, father and husband.
Collins announced that she could not condone or be a part of any more attacks on Kavanaugh’s reputation based upon uncorroborated, thirty year old accusations of misbehavior. She clearly pointed out that although the confirmation process is not bound by finding irrefutable proof of wrongdoing, it should nevertheless strive to attain that ideal. Evidence has not been presented to support a no vote. Even a supplemental FBI investigation did not surface any damaging information.
The senators are victims of the Constitution they swear to protect. Supreme Court justices are confirmed for life, so the process rightly must drill deep into the lives of nominees. But Collins believes the opposition to Kavanaugh went too far and unfairly tarnished the nominee, thereby ignoring the most basic elements of the rule of law.
Democrats were enthusiastic about destroying a highly qualified man for political revenge. Kavanaugh personified Donald Trump in their minds. A loss by Kavanaugh would be a loss for the president.
The fallout from this sordid process is multifaceted. Many women are outraged even though the confirmation is more symbolic than they believe. Collins indicated that the new justice would not challenge Roe v. Wade. The pre-existing conditions in health care laws will persevere. And Kavanaugh has not been, nor will he ever be, shy about challenging sitting presidents including ones in his own party.
The unhappiness related to this confirmation could have significant ramifications moving forward. For one thing there will be a lot of noise, protest and sour faces. But it just might backfire and energize the Republican base in the midterm and subsequent elections. Pundits are debating this right now.
Moving forward, it would be shocking if Kavanaugh did not bear a grudge against those who slandered him. But, the other eight members of the court will dilute this.
Most importantly Collins implored politicians on both sides to temper their rhetoric for the good of the nation. This is doubtful in the near future.