Norms are dead, and the Democrats killed them. The left’s wailing and gnashing of teeth as President Trump nominates another justice to the U.S. Supreme Court may be sincere, but it is absurd for Democrats to pose as the guardians of civility, norms, and institutional integrity. They care about power, not procedures.
Remember what they did last time? Upon receiving Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats did not work with judiciary committee professionals to conduct a serious, confidential investigation. Instead, they sat on the allegation until after the initial hearings, subsequently leaked it to the press, and set off a frenzy of lies and character assassination. The lowest point of the escapade was when Senate Democrats promoted the tales of crooked lawyer Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick, who alleged that Kavanaugh was a high school gang-rape mastermind.
After that grotesque carnival, Democrats should spare us the pieties. Furthermore, their attempts at intimidation — threatening to retaliate by abolishing the filibuster, adding new states to tilt the Senate, and packing the court — would be more effective if they had not spent years publicly planning to do it all anyway upon regaining power.
As evidenced by their unprincipled “living Constitution” jurisprudence — which is all about getting the results they want, regardless of the text and meaning of laws and the Constitution — power is what it is all about for Democrats. This approach allowed liberal judges to effectively rewrite the U.S. Constitution, inventing new rights they thought should have been included while limiting or ignoring enumerated rights they don’t like.
The peak of this liberal will-to-power was Roe v. Wade, in which the Supreme Court forced a regime of abortion-on-demand upon the entire nation. The Supreme Court assumed this ruling would settle the issue, but those who recognize the illegitimacy of Roe and the injustice of abortion have not given up. For decades, they have fought to reduce abortions and to abolish the legal regime that declares that the unborn have no rights that the born are bound to respect.
At the same time, Democrats became the party of abortion, with no higher priority than protecting Roe. This abortion radicalism explains both Democrats’ continued norm-busting with regard to courts and their abandonment of working-class families.
After Roe, the history of judicial nominations has been one of escalating Democratic tactics to retain control of the courts. From the original Borking to the attempted “high-tech lynching” of Clarence Thomas, to the initiation of partisan judicial filibusters, to the smearing of Kavanaugh, Senate Democrats have been willing to do anything to keep their judicial coup in place. They have had some success in pressuring Republicans to nominate moderates such as Anthony Kennedy and weak men such as John Roberts that the left can intimidate.
Yet Republicans have finally learned to play hardball. Historically, when the president’s party controls the Senate, election-year Supreme Court nominations have been confirmed, and when the opposition party has control, they have not. As such, while declining to confirm Obama’s pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia was well within historical precedent, it showed a new willingness to get tough, as did finishing Harry Reid’s work of abolishing the filibuster for judicial nominees.
Likewise, confirming President Trump’s nominee would not violate historical norms, but would demonstrate that Republicans are not intimidated by Democratic Party threats. If Democrats gain the power to fundamentally transform the United States, they will do so regardless of whether Republicans knuckle under now.
But even if they gain all the power their heart’s desire, Democrats will be disappointed. Political power is a crude tool that, as conservatives know all too well, is often foiled by culture. Nor can politics fill the spiritual void in our souls.
Furthermore, abortion destroys the social justice Democrats claim to seek. The more they fight to protect the regime of abortion on demand that the Supreme Court imposed on us, the more they will undermine any other good they hope to achieve.
Abortion is an attack on the essence of human need and vulnerability, which is instantiated in the developing human person. Abortion brings violence and death instead of the love that should unite mother, father, and child.
Abortion makes us worse individually and as a society. It encourages isolation, irresponsibility, and selfishness in both men and women. This is why decades of abortion on demand have failed to fix the problems, such as poverty and fatherlessness, that abortion advocates promised it would.
Indeed, the social radicalism of which abortion is an essential part is a luxury ideology — the poor and working classes cannot afford its consequences. This is why Democrats are now the party of woke capitalists, rather than working families.
There is more at stake in the Supreme Court than Roe, but the abortion regime it imposed is the cancerous heart of Democrats’ threats essentially to blow the system up if they do not get their way. So, even if Republicans wished to strike a deal, there can be no reliable negotiation with Democrats. So long as they remain committed to Roe, Democrat leaders cannot be trusted regarding the courts.
Roe is the essence of power used without regard for the written law that is supposed to bind us all. It is delusional to believe that such people will keep their word and not seize more power if given the opportunity. Perhaps the few remaining Democratic moderates might check the excesses of their party, but it seems that escalation in the judicial wars will not end until Roe is gone, and abortion policy is returned to the people and their representatives.