The most powerful segment of the Fox interview of Judge Brett Kavanaugh came when he was almost on a breaking point, on the verge of tears, defending his name and integrity. Here’s a lifelong family man, with a stellar judicial record, supported by his clerks and hundreds of other colleagues, highly recommended by the bar associations, facing Kafkaesque charges and concerted character assassination from Democrats, media, and activists.
Imagine yourself in his position. Anyone with even an ounce of dignity, who has worked all his life to reach this point, now faces charges that would lead any weaker man to near-fatal depression. I have been covering politics and elections since 2008, in three different continents, and writing for American publications ever since January 2011, and I have never seen such craven Senate Republican leadership cowering under Democratic skulduggery.
It reminds me of a political story that goes around in the United Kingdom. A young conservative member of Parliament enters the House of Commons, the lower house of the British Parliament for the first time. Excited, he finds an old conservative veteran and sits next to him, and says “Sir, I cannot express how excited I am to finally see the enemy on the other side of the bench!”
The old veteran conservative smiles and says, “My dear chap, that’s the opposition. The enemies are the fools and cowards on this side behind you.”
Nothing could be truer than that. Consider the Democrat game. As Andrew McCarthy pointed out in his superlative essay, in the history of recent judicial nominations it has been only Republicans showing bipartisanship for Democrat-nominated judges. Why? Because conservative instinct dictates judging a person by merit.
How was that paid in return? Robert Bork was blocked, Miguel Estrada was blocked (which led his wife to suicide), and Samuel Alito was filibustered. What did Republicans give in return? Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor sailed through, until Merrick Garland was finally stopped, and then not based on his judicial philosophy but timing.
Even then, the process was within the letters of the law, unlike the coordinated character assassination against Kavanaugh, or the public humiliation of Judge Amy Coney Barett during her circuit court confirmation. As McCarthy writes, “Republicans have defeated Democratic nominees, but they never Bork them. They never demagogue Democratic nominees as sex offenders, racists, or homophobes. There are no ‘Spartacus’ moments.”
This is common sense, but something Republican leadership apparently fails to understand.
The less said about the second “accusation” against Kavanaugh, the better. It is, as Charles Cooke pointed out, one of the worst journalistic travesties in recent times, a coordinated hit job after six days of deliberation with a lawyer, arguably worse than the Rolling Stone article on campus rape that was later proved an utter hoax in a defamation lawsuit.
The only thing that these new Kavanaugh allegations have done is to unite the right, including some of the Never Trump faction. That is, unite everyone except the Senate Republicans, who still seem not to comprehend the Democrat playbook.
Unfortunately, a section of effete bow-tie libertarian-conservatism would still rather commit suicide honorably than fight back. These bunch, which contains a section of prominent Never Trumpers, would rather sit with their afternoon Chardonnay, lament the corrosive public discourse, and harrumph a lot on Twitter instead of trying to understand the incredible soft coup that has happened under their noses.
This Kavanaugh nomination proves no good conservative will ever be respected by the left. None has been during my living memory, since George W. Bush won Florida. It’s a myth that if only conservatives nominate a nice guy, the left will be cooperative. The myth needs to die. Conservatism isn’t just about politely sticking to principles to be at the mercy of culture warriors to slow down the path of history towards progressive utopia, but about promoting conservatism. It does not just oppose the means, but also the progressive end.
The Kavanaugh nomination battle of course is the culmination of this leftist Kulturkampf. The soft coup didn’t happen in one day. The Obama era metastasized a massive bloating of public bureaucracy with liberal extremists and ideologues, the spread of campus kangaroo courts, activism, and aggressive public movements and marches, the replacement of news with social media controlled by amoral technocrats and shadowy edited algorithms, and the cultural battlefield totally ceded to the neo-Marxist left.
The right controls the House, Senate and White House, but they are represented in a minority of the “neutral” gatekeepers of society, the media and the academia. What if the umpire is biased? Vladimir Lenin once said that if you control the means of propaganda you have paved the way for the revolution. Well, the neo-Jacobinism that has happened in the campuses and media houses and tech companies is not limited to those platforms anymore. It has spread in daily life.
Is there anyone who believes now that the leaks, every new uncorroborated allegation every single week, the protests, the fliers, the posters and placards, the coordinated media line, and the coordinated social media tweets are not premeditated? What do Republicans think is the goal and motive of the oppose Kavanaugh party here? Do they think there will ever be another opportunity to tilt the Supreme Court towards an originalist majority, or do they think if only Kavanaugh is replaced by anyone else, the Democrats will be all bipartisan?
For the record, Coney Barrett was not just humiliated by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein for being a Christian, but also invited a hit piece claiming she was a member of some cult, again from a rumored hearsay.
The method here is simple: find an allegation related to race or sexual deviance, with or without proof, let it blast through the media echo-chamber, then use that leverage to deal policy changes. What’s baffling is that the Republicans, the party that actually holds all the major branches of government, is cowering and acting like a minority party. What is the purpose of winning elections if one cannot pass one’s flagship policies, and why would people trust Republicans if they cave in and cannot defend a man from uncorroborated character assassination? What is conservative about tolerating hooliganism and chaos?
There’s no greater sin than condemning an innocent man without evidence. There’s no greater cowardice than caving in to mob pressure. Nothing is conservative about either of those two, and if the Senate Republicans cannot hold their line, be stoic and disciplined, and confirm Kavanaugh, they deserve every public wrath they will face.