The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Confirmation Circus Begins

Posted on | July 10, 2018 | 1 Comment

 

President Trump has announced Brett Kavanaugh as his choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, and the political circus of confirmation now begins, a public spectacle coordinated by the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself). Kavanaugh is “a politically connected member of Washington’s conservative legal establishment,” the New York Times declares in the lead paragraph of its front-page story today, a sort of sigh of relief.

Democrats had greatly feared (and conservatives had hoped) that Trump would choose Amy Coney Barrett, whose pro-life views — she’s a Catholic mother of seven — would have forced Democrats into a battle to defend Roe v. Wade. An open public fight over abortion, with a Catholic mom facing off against Democrat senators, would have been the kind of “wedge” move that conservative strategists like Steve Bannon or Newt Gingrich might relish — excellent optics, as they say, reminiscent of the Clarence Thomas hearings, where a black conservative faced a “high-tech lynching” by Democrats in a confrontation that galvanized the Right.

David French mourns Trump’s failure to choose Barrett, and I suppose many other conservatives will second-guess Trump’s decision to go with Kavanaugh, an “establishment” pick, a “safe choice,” the kind of choice “any Republican president would have nominated,” as French says.

Maybe if French hadn’t cast his lot with the #NeverTrump brigades during the 2016 primary campaign, he would have been able to influence the President’s choice, but hindsight is 20/20, and we can’t let ourselves get bogged down in the wishful thinking of “what if” scenarios.

You go to war with the army you’ve got, and you have to fight the fight you’re in, rather than bemoaning the tactical situation. Despite the “establishment” nature of Trump’s choice — Kavanaugh is a former clerk of Justice Kennedy, and we are unlikely to be blindsided with any shocking revelations in his confirmation hearings — the liberal media are ginning up their predictable demonization campaign.

“Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court Pick, Is Probably the End of Abortion Rights and Same-Sex Marriage,” the Daily Beast declares, labeling the nominee “a hard-core conservative” to whom they attribute opinions perhaps as extreme as my own. The Daily Beast story is nothing but liberal clickbait, of course — political pornography, irresistible to the typical MSNBC viewer who has been in a helpless condition of Fear and Loathing ever since Nov. 8, 2016. This kind of fear-mongering clickbait is entirely speculative, based on the writer’s creative guesswork about how Kavanaugh (and at least four other justices) would rule on imaginary cases that do not yet actually exist, but which might theoretically be appealed to the nation’s highest court in the future, thereby resulting in the reversal of previous rulings.

Such reversals are extraordinarily rare, of course, and exactly how these imaginary cases would make it all the way to the Supreme Court, the media’s liberal fear-mongers do not bother to specify. What they know is that it was the Supreme Court, and not the elected members of Congress, who created the “right” to abortion in 1973. Similarly, it was not Congress but the court which manufactured the “right” to same-sex marriage, and imposed it nationwide over the explicit opposition of voters in more than 30 states which had expressly prohibited such recognition by passing state constitutional amendments. Because this top-down imposition of “rights” bypassed and negated the normal electoral and legislative processes, liberals rightly fear that a backlash could develop sufficient force to reverse these exercises of centralized elite authority.

As much as I might relish the fulfillment of every liberal’s worst nightmares — Oklahoma state troopers being dispatched to shut down the only abortion clinic in Tulsa, while Cecile Richards weeps helplessly on MSNBC — it’s probably never going to happen, but that won’t stop Senate Democrats from conjuring up spectral fears in Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Democrats are obliged to carry on the disgraceful legacy of Ted Kennedy, who led the campaign of character assassination against Clarence Thomas in 1991, as he had previously done against Judge Robert Bork in 1987:

“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.”

It is seldom now remembered, and Americans under 40 have probably never learned, how we reached our current political climate. There was a time when federal court nominations weren’t a 24/7 circus of televised punditry and Judiciary Committee theatrics. But the collapse of the New Deal liberal consensus in the 1960s, during LBJ’s catastrophic tenure in the White House, eventually led to Ronald Reagan’s landslide election in 1980. After Reagan was re-elected in a second landslide, the Democrats who controlled Congress began resorting to increasingly desperate measures to thwart the conservative mood of the electorate. Ted Kennedy wasn’t just trying to stop the confirmation of Bork and Thomas, nor was he merely opposing the Reagan and Bush administrations, rather the senator from Massachusetts was fighting against the American people.

Ted Kennedy was a profoundly dishonest man, whose shameful career left a permanent stain on the Senate and on his party. It was he who bequeathed to us this inheritance of evil, which such immoral monsters as Chuck Schumer are proud to continue. Let us pray that Schumer and his Democrat colleagues go “fully Teddy” against Judge Kavanaugh, and that the American people will reject their hateful lies. Selah.



 

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