The nightmare of a national debate is finally over. Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed and sworn in to the Supreme Court. Conservatives are rejoicing, liberals are mourning, and the country is more divided than ever.
If you ask Democrats to play the blame game about who they think is responsible for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, they may point their fingers at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for holding the vote amid the allegations of sexual misconduct, or Republican Sen. Susan Collins for her thoughtful, articulate speech assessing her decision to support the nominee.
The truth, though, is that the real blame belongs to the Democrats. There are only three people who have paved the way for Kavanaugh. Just three. For all intents and purposes, you can refer to them as the Ghosts of Democrats Past, Present, and Future. They are Harry Reid, Dianne Feinstein, and Michael Avenatti.
Let’s begin with the Ghost of Democrats Past, Harry Reid. Back in 2013, as Senate majority leader, Harry Reid eliminated the filibuster for all presidential appointees, with the exception of the Supreme Court. In short, he changed the threshold for appointees to be approved in the Senate from 60 to a simple majority. At the time, this was widely supported among Democrats and widely condemned by Republicans.
Fast-forward to 2017, when President Trump announced his first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Fortunately for Gorsuch, he never faced accusations of being a drunken gang rapist. Nonetheless, he was demonized by the left for his conservative judicial record. Schumer led the opposition, which forced McConnell to go nuclear. He expanded Reid’s rule so that only a simple majority is needed to confirm Supreme Court nominees. That resulted in Gorsuch’s confirmation 54-45.
Had Reid kept the filibuster, Gorsuch wouldn’t have been confirmed. Kavanaugh certainly would have never been confirmed, as his vote was 50-48. His decision invoke the nuclear option on presidential appointees was arguably the biggest political miscalculation of our generation.
Now let’s transition to the Ghost of Democrats Present, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Back in late July, Feinstein obtained the letter written by Christine Blasey Ford accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault. The responsible thing the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee should have done is come forward with the allegation immediately, while respecting Ford’s privacy.
Instead, she and her Democratic colleagues sat on it throughout the entire confirmation process. She never addressed the letter to Kavanaugh during their one-on-one meeting, she didn’t mention it at his public hearing, and she didn’t even bother to show up at the closed-door session. They waited until one week before they were set to vote on Kavanaugh to leak Ford’s letter to the press.
Feinstein blamed the media for outing Ford, but it is simply logical to conclude that a Democrat leaked the letter, since the only people who had a copy of it were Ford’s legal team and the offices of Feinstein and Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, whom Ford sent the letter originally. Feinstein used Ford as a pawn in an 11th-hour smear campaign, as a last-ditch effort to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
What’s ironic about Feinstein’s hit job attempt is that, had she publicized Ford’s allegations back in July, that would have allowed ample time to conduct the (unnecessary) FBI investigation, and frankly, there would have been a better chance that Kavanaugh would have withdrawn his nomination. But because the Democrats leaked the letter so late in the game, it came off as a politically motivated attack on Kavanaugh instead of a mission in search of the truth. Feinstein proved herself to be dishonest, calculating, and manipulative.
Finally, we look forward to the Ghost of Democrats Future, Michael Avenatti. The outspoken attorney for Stormy Daniels revealed on Twitter that he was representing a third Kavanaugh accuser, Julie Swetnick. She alleged that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge spiked the punch bowl at a party and suggested he was a gang rapist. Shortly thereafter, Swetnick sat down with NBC News. Not only did she walk back key portions of her allegation, she came off as non-credible. Her interview was so disastrous that even Feinstein omitted Swetnick from her Senate floor speech last week.
If Avenatti and Trump have one thing in common, it’s that they both love seeking attention. When Avenatti injected himself into the Kavanaugh debate, he turned it into a circus. But he also ended up casting doubt on allegations from both Ford and Kavanaugh’s second accuser, Deborah Ramirez.
Don’t underestimate Avenatti or the effect he had on this confirmation. Avenatti was initially taken seriously, until it was known that his accuser lacked any seriousness, especially since Swetnick failed to accuse Kavanaugh of violating her directly. He spent days hyping up his client, and she turned out to be a bust. Yet he likely won’t face any repercussions.
He won’t be shamed out of the public eye, he won’t lose his law license. This episode will simply be forgotten due to the ever-evolving news cycle. If anything, the Resistance probably values his efforts to take down Kavanaugh, despite the fact that the ridiculous narrative that Kavanaugh is a “gang rapist” ultimately helped him get confirmed.
Democrats have a lot to think about after this nasty confirmation battle. It’s easy for them to blame their political enemies for their own problems, but in reality, they shot themselves in the foot over and over and over again. Reid, Feinstein, and Avenatti are far more responsible for Kavanaugh’s confirmation than any speech given by a Republican. So if they are going to pull out their pitchforks and torches, Democrats should get revenge on those who sabotaged their party.