The confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh was an opportunity for the Democratic Party to make significant gains in both houses of Congress. Bonehead gambits by exuberant political hacks backfired, resulting in a great win for Trump, Kavanaugh and Republicans on the ballot this year.
The most obvious blunder was to depict Kavanaugh as Donald Trump reincarnated. The confirmation battles were really about the president, not the nominee. Democrats were intent on dealing Trump a loss, and it didn’t work out.
Fact is, Kavanaugh is a “boy scout” and is in no way a Trump sycophant. In fact the justice was not Trump’s first choice in the vetting process because he worked in the Bush administration.
Moreover, Kavanaugh’s personality and demeanor, prior to the onslaught by Democratic hit men and hit women, was far removed from Trump. Even as Kavanaugh fought back his tormentors, and his tears, he, in no way carried himself like Trump would under the same circumstances.
In a nutshell, Democrats were more interested in dealing a blow to the Trump administration than being mortified by Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual exploits 36 years ago as a 17 year-old knucklehead.
The interrogation of Kavanaugh before and after the Ford revelations was far too aggressive. The contention that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would immediately threaten Roe v. Wade was totally blown out of proportion. The nominee spent a great deal of time expressing his support of legal precedent, which Sen. Collins (R-MA) eloquently detailed in her endorsement speech.
The Democrats said that Kavanaugh would singlehandedly bring down the provision of Obamacare dealing with pre-existing conditions. This is ludicrous. Nobody, in either party, wants to roll back this aspect of health law.
And to suggest that Kavanaugh would blindly protect Trump in a constitutional crisis relating to an impeachment was unfounded. The justice, during his vaulted career frequently sided against conservative politicians.
Democrats had Kavanaugh on the ropes after Dr. Ford testified. The opposition made a number of mistakes handling Ford prior to the hearing and after it. Most important is that the accuser demanded anonymity. Her letter to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) was leaked. Many speculate that someone on the senator’s staff was responsible for doing so.
But it didn’t matter. Kavanaugh’s accuser had him in her crosshairs, and she performed credibly. Note: I had serious concerns about Ford’s motives, loss of memory regarding times and places. Yet, I was sure Kavanaugh’s nomination would fail after the end of the accuser’s testimony.
Instead of allowing the alleged crimes to slowly sink in, and give Republicans a chance to stew over the allegations, Democrats doubled down and ravaged the accused with inane questioning. Moreover, their criticisms of a teenage boy were out of line.
Democrat’s scorched earth inquisition enabled Kavanaugh to switch gears and to become a sympathetic character being brutalized by liberals who really wanted to bring down the president. He morphed from a sexual harasser to political victim.
Someone must have encouraged Kavanaugh to play this part. Evoking tears, outrage and indignation were Kavanaugh’s only chance to save his nomination. “You [Democrats] ruined my life,” he said to his tormentors. It was a family affair, when Kavanaugh spoke of the pain of his wife and young daughters.
How did Democrats respond? They began to ask him even more irrelevant questions about passing out while drinking and the number of beers he drank at parties 36 years ago. Kavanaugh thought the questions were inappropriate and told Democrats so.
Effectively, Kavanaugh felt he had a pass to treat his oppressors disrespectfully and with venom. He mocked the senators, interrupted them and turned the tables on them. In short, after believing Kavanaugh was dead meat, I thought he was back in the game.
Regarding the upcoming elections and the presidential election in 2020, Democrats suffered a tremendous defeat. A young conservative was confirmed to join the Supreme Court. Republicans, specifically Sens. Charles Grassely (R-IA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pulled a rabbit out of the hat on the wings of unfair and inappropriate actions by their opposition.
The most memorable Democrats for me were the presidential aspirants on the Judiciary Committee, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Corey Booker (D-NJ). Their vicious rhetoric was embarrassing. Sen. Richard Blumenthal also deserves mention for his aggressive questioning of Kavanaugh’s integrity, after lying about his own military service.
And finally Democratic leadership should be singled out for conducting the worst campaign against a Supreme Court nominee ever. How could their caucus say no to a candidate before hearings begin?
Americans want more leadership, comity and fairness from their elected officials.
Democrats failed in their assessment and questioning of Brett Kavanaugh. For this, they will suffer at the polls on Election Day.