The madness surrounding Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing leapt into overdrive this weekend with news that an “anonymous” accusation of sexual improprieties from 35 years ago became all of a sudden much less anonymous:
After allegations of decades-old sexual improprieties first surfaced last week, it looked as if Kavanaugh would easily surmount this obstacle. But we have to give the Democrats credit: They have lined up their dominoes perfectly. And on Sunday, they set their plan in motion when the Washington Post published an in-depth interview with Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. The story detailed a blow-by-blow accounting of Ford’s allegations, as well as her explanation for why she neglected to share her experience until decades later. Tellingly, the story also noted that Democrats have been sitting on the story since July, and that Ford only decided to out herselfafter some unscrupulous members of the Judiciary Committee shared her identity with the press – or at least that’s what California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office alleges.
This last minute “Hail Mary” attempt to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation is eerily similar to what was done to Roy Moore – an “anonymous” accuser came forward shortly after Moore won his primary with salacious (and unconfirmed) allegations from over three decades ago about alleged sexual assaults by Moore. Feinstein must have figured – if it worked then, why not try again?
However, Kavanaugh’s record is virtually unassailable, while Roy Moore had a long list of strikes against him, as I previously covered:
It is important to note that Roy Moore himself deserves a lot of the blame. He was suspended from the Alabama Supreme Court twice; after his removal from office on ethics grounds in 2004, he was re-elected in 2012, only to be suspended again in 2016. He refused to debate Jones, a cowardly maneuver in any campaign. And there were clearly plenty of people in the state who despised Moore enough to undermine the “Christian” credentials which won him the primary, regardless of the merit of the accusations against him.
And it is important to have some context on the accuser herself, Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who appears to be intimately connected with the “Never Trump” movement:
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 17, 2018
Kavanaugh accuser checklist:
-Protest Trump's immigration policy
-Donate to the DNC
-Donate to the DCCC
-Donate to "Friends of Bernie Sanders"
Who do you think she likes less – Kavanaugh, or Trump?
— FMShooter (@fmshooter) September 17, 2018
Now we know WHY Ms. Fords
Memory improved after 30 years
Kavanaughs mother was the judge who presided over the
Foreclosure of Christine Fords
Mother and Fathers home. pic.twitter.com/1iLpxEGCZw
— Ellis Sanctuary (@EllisSanctuary) September 17, 2018
This delay is not likely to matter – I expect Kavanaugh to get confirmed, even if Feinstein is somehow able to delay his nomination. However, I think their ultimate goal has less to do with Kavanaugh than it does with the upcoming midterm elections, for one reason:
Any vote on Kavanaugh prior to the midterm election is a lose-lose for vulnerable Senate Democrats in “Red” states.
(Note: I had hoped to publish part two of FMShooter’s midterm election coverage this week, but Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing is essential to describe first – at the very least, Feinstein will get one delay.)
For Red state Democrats, a vote on Kavanaugh is a disaster waiting to happen. A “nay” vote angers Republicans and motivates them to get to the polls, and a “yea” vote is disheartening to the Democratic base, likely causing poor turnout in the states in question. Which is extremely pertinent, when a closer look is taken at these specific “at-risk” Democrats:
- Bill Nelson, Florida
- Claire McCaskill, Missouri
- Joe Donnelly, Indiana
- Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota
- Jon Tester, Montana
Ultimately, I don’t expect the Democrats to come anywhere close to the 51 required votes to control the chamber, with or without a confirmation hearing delay. However, the Democratic party is clearly doing everything it can to cover for the races it needs to win if they have any hopes of being able to continue to obstruct President Trump‘s agenda.
For the time being, at least, it appears they’ve accomplished their goal:
BREAKING: President Donald Trump says "a little delay" may be needed on an upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. https://t.co/jZHBGb6ENq
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 17, 2018
President Donald Trump says “a little delay” may be needed on an upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. But the president is predicting that it will “work out very well.”
Trump says he wants a “full process” to investigate the allegations. But the president says Kavanaugh’s nomination is “on track. I think he’s very much on track.”
Trump is praising Kavanaugh as one of the finest people he’s known. And he called a question about whether Kavanaugh should withdraw “ridiculous.”
From both a judicial and a personal perspective, there is nothing disqualifying about Kavanaugh as a SCOTUS Justice – the man has an impeccable record, authoring hundreds of opinions, and has been highly regarded by his colleagues for decades. The Supreme Court would likely have no one sitting on the bench if unconfirmed, uncorroborated allegations 30+ years in the past from a nominee’s high school days could derail a confirmation.
The same can be said about nearly all of the justices serving on the Supreme Court for the last 30 years – all with impeccable judicial records, years of experience judging cases on US Circuit Courts – with one notable exception.
Justice Elena Kagan’s most extensive experience as a judge was as a clerk for appeals courts judges. In the 20 years proceeding her nomination, she was the Solicitor General, and before that, she was the Harvard Law School Dean, worked as counsel to the Clinton administration to defend it from its many scandals, and was an assistant in several “Domestic Policy” roles.
No judicial experience anywhere.
The same cannot be said about Merrick Garland, who was passed over for Kagan in 2010 in spite of his decades serving on the same court as Kavanaugh. While he is a left-leaning judge and I don’t agree with many of his rulings (especially regarding the 2nd amendment), there was nothing disqualifying about his nomination – he was simply nominated at the wrong time. The truth is, he should be sitting on the SCOTUS bench, not Kagan.
Kavanaugh could indeed suffer the same fate as Garland, succumbing to politics and possibly having his nomination denied if Republicans lose control of the Senate. However, Trump likely understands the gravity of the situation, and how important it is to have a Kavanaugh confirmation hearing on the books before the elections.
While I expect to see Kavanaugh sitting on the Supreme Court sooner rather than later, the possibility has to be acknowledged that he could face Roy Moore’s fate (in spite of his far stronger record), and become the latest casualty of the #MeToo movement.
If Kavanaugh’s nomination is throttled, the precedent will effectively be set for the nation that no one is off limits to baseless allegations, even our nation’s best and longest-serving.