Given Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and as we turn to consideration of other issues facing us, a few thoughts linger:
- Judge Kavanaugh’s unseemly partisan performance during his second appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee ripped away any remaining façade of high-minded impartiality attributed to the Supreme Court by the general public. Judge Kavanaugh’s legacy, perhaps more than any vote he will cast during his tenure, may be the stain he has cast upon the image of the Court. More on the potential ramifications of this in Part II.
- A liberal talking head recently made a point with which I entirely agree: faced with the choice of getting conservative judges seated on the Supreme Court, or maintaining Senate comity, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opted to force through judges of his stripe without regard to the damage it would do to the fabric of the Senate. I would add: Sen. McConnell may hold an august office, while I’m just a Midwest retiree, but somehow it is he who has forgotten that the accommodation of competing views is what has made our form of government work. His Senate leadership has been a gross disservice to our nation.
- While some Senators apparently believed Judge Kavanaugh and others apparently believed Dr. Ford, it’s hard to accept that every Republican believed Judge Kavanaugh, or that virtually every Democrat believed Dr. Ford. Any Senators of either party that voted party lines despite their own respective inclinations are unworthy of the offices they hold.
- A few Senators, in my view, deserve praise: Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, and Lisa Murkowski for not supporting the Kavanaugh nomination, although it was probably in their respective best political interests to do so, and Sen. Jeff Flake, for insisting that an FBI investigation be undertaken before the confirmation vote (the right thing to do, which I submit that citizens of all political persuasions should applaud although the outcome ultimately redounded to Judge Kavanaugh’s benefit).
- A few Senators, in my view, deserve severe criticism: in addition to Sen. McConnell, Sen. Joe Manchin was clearly a Profile in Cowardice – not declaring how he would vote until he saw how the political clouds were parting … and, obviously, Sen. Lindsey Graham. Sen. Graham’s tawdry rant at the Judiciary Committee’s Ford – Kavanaugh hearing makes clear that he should immediately demand that Sen. John McCain’s remains be exhumed; it’s clear that Sen. Graham’s sense of decency and backbone were accidentally buried with his late friend.
- Although I had thought that President Trump no longer had the ability to disappoint me, I was — of course — wrong. Earlier this week, he indicated that the campaign against Judge Kavanaugh “was based on lies and deception,” that Judge Kavanaugh faced … “[f]alse charges, false accusations, horrible statements that were totally untrue,” and that the opposition to Judge Kavanaugh “… was a disgraceful situation, brought about by people that are evil …” [My emphasis]. The President of the United States has essentially called Dr. Ford evil, and a liar. Anyone that saw her demeanor during the hearing should recognize the President’s comments as loathsome cheap shots.
- Perspectives color perception. “Outraged activists” to one citizen constitute an “angry mob” to another. I remain stunned by each group’s inability to see its own excesses.
Part II this week; and we will put 007’s skills as a political prognosticator to the test 😉