Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Attacks on Judge Brett Kavanaugh Are Setting a New Low

The Senate calls itself the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.” It may have been, but the hearings on Judge Kavanaugh have been an American disgrace, full of defamation, slander, and mud-slinging with little substance or deliberation, mirroring the tone of American politics today. Organized protests filled the hearing room. Absent a glaring faux pas or damaging disclosure, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court thanks to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Senator Reid eliminated in 2013 the filibuster for federal district court and court of appeals judges to stack the lower judiciary with Obama appointees. The Republicans responded in 2017 with eliminating the filibuster for Supreme Court appointees. As long as 50 Republicans voted as a bloc to confirm the Judge, his confirmation was assured. The Democrats knew it. They would have liked to block the nomination, but it wasn’t likely. Instead, many auditioned for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination. Senator Cory Booker had his “I Am Spartacus” moment when he disclosed classified, racist quotes by Judge Kavanaugh. The disclosures were neither classified nor damaging to the Judge. Indeed, the quote showed the opposite. Reminder to Senator Booker: Spartacus was crucified. Senator Kamala Harris released a clip showing the Judge saying “Filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objecting to.” That’s a great cite to show the Judge is pro-life and would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Senator tweeted: “Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control. He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake – this is about punishing women.” The full, unedited clip is “They say filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objecting to.“ Judge Kavanaugh was quoting the argument of the Priests for Life, plaintiffs in the case. Even the Washington Post awarded Senator Harris Four Pinocchio’s. Hillary Clinton was quick to repeat the calumny. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said “Women are going to die” if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed. Senator Patrick Leahy, not running for President, accused the Judge of misleading the Senate under oath. Democrats learned they could defeat Republican Supreme Court nominees by attacking them. Clement Haynsworth and Harold Carswell were rejected in the Nixon Administration after being accused of being anti-civil rights. Democrats controlled the Senate. The first scurrilous, vicious attack was mounted by Senator Ted Kennedy against the nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. The Senator led the charge in destroying Judge Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. He went on the Senate floor 45 minutes after the nomination was announced, and uttered these vile words: “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, and schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censured at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.” His attack, followed by his supporters, created a new verb, “to Bork,” in the American lexicon. The Democratic Senate voted down Judge Bork. Then came the failed attempt on Justice Clarence Thomas’s nomination. He was accused, with graphic details, by Anita Hill of sexual harassment. He called the hearings a circus and a national disgrace. He labeled the hearings a “lynching:” “From my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in an way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the united States Senate rather than hung from a tree.” The hearings on Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, Alito, and Gorsuch had their moments, but none of these four appointments would change the balance on the Supreme Court. Liberals are afraid that Justice Kavanagh will shift a 4½ (Justice Kennedy) conservative majority to a solid 5:4 conservative majority. In short, they view the judiciary as just another political branch of government. The American tragedy is that the judiciary is becoming a third, unelected political branch of government. That was not the intent of the framers of the Constitution and the American nation. The campaign to confirm or deny Judge Kavanaugh to the Court is reaching Apocalyptic proportions. USA Today yesterday reported over 16,200 ads have been run so far. The Kavanaugh supporters have aired over 11,300 ads, mostly in Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and West Virginia, states with vulnerable Democratic incumbent Senators. Democrats are challenging Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. Senator Collins of Maine is considered a possible no vote on the nomination. Her office has received about 3,000 coat hangers. Over $1 million has been raised to support her opponent in her next Senate campaign if she votes to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. Her office has been inundated with calls, petitions, letters, and emails. One call to a 25 year old staffer hoped the staffer would be raped and impregnated. Social media can bring out the worse in some nutjobs. The Democrats lack the votes to deny Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but they can engage in character assassination and antics. Delay, delay, delay is the Democratic game, plan hoping to delay long enough to sabotage the nomination or drag it not only past the first day of the Court’s term, but past election day. Senator Dianne Feinstein disclosed on Thursday that she had received a letter: “I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.” She added: “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.” Leaks show the gist of the claim is that two teenagers, Brett Kavanaugh and a friend, took a high school girl into a bedroom, locked the door and started sexually attacking her. She managed to escape. Judge Kavanaugh has “categorically and unequivocally” denied the charges while his friend has “no recollection” of the incident. The alleged victim may not want to come forward, but her identity is known to many. Inexorable pressure will be placed on her to come forward prior to September 20. Ronan Farrow has flown out to talk to her, urging her to come forward as part of the #MeToo Movement. The Committee vote is scheduled for September 20, followed by Senate debate, and then a final vote before October 1. Her story is already being used in attempting to delay the proceedings. Democrats and Progressives see her as their last chance to block the nomination. Senator Feinstein’s “I have information” echoes Senators Richard Nixon and especially Joe McCarthy and McCarthyism 7 decades ago: “I have here in my hand a list ….”. The last minute disclosure also echoes that of the Clarence Thomas hearings when Anita Hill came forward near the end. A Stanford professor sent the letter last summer to Representative Anna Eshoo , who forwarded it to Senator Feinstein. The Senator then sat on the letter. She did not ask the Judge about it, either in a private conference, or during the Committee hearings. It was not part of the 1,278 questions sent to the Judge after the Hearings. The Republicans may not have known the letter was coming, but they were prepared. They quickly obtained a letter from 65 women who knew the Judge in high school: “We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect. We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the committee at this time.” Some of the judge’s former clerks sat behind him during his testimony at the Committee. The FBI’s response to the Senator’s referral was to place the letter in the background file and forward it to the White House, who then sent it to the Judiciary Committee. The FBI has conducted 6 background checks on Brett Kavanaugh since 1983. Nothing showed up in them. The Feinstein referral is not giving rise to number 7. Senator Feinstein’s act could be viewed as: 1) A last gasp Hail Mary; 2) A last gasp character assassination; or 3) A Senator worried about reelection, trying to solidify her Democratic base. Senator Feinstein is using momentum in her reelection campaign to a young, telegenic, radically liberal Hispanic. She had beaten Kevin De Leon 44.2% to 12.1% in the primary, but her age is catching up to her in this election year with young candidates often defeating long established incumbents. Senator Orrin Hatch said of Senator Feinstein’s ploy: “The claims are wholly unverifiable, and come at the end of a process that was already marred by ugly innuendo, dishonesty and the nastiest form of our politics. The American people deserve much better from the Senate as an institution.” Even Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe of MSNBC, thought poorly Friday morning of the disclosure: “This looks like a cheap last minute trick by Democrats – whether you’re for Kavanaugh or not.” Senator Mazie Hirono asked Judge Kavanaugh during the hearings if he “ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature? as an adult. Judge Kavanaugh answered he never faced discipline or entered into a settlement over such matters. High school attacks are not new for democrats. Governor Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential Election was accused of being a bully in high school. Again, a real cheap shot even if it sorta fit an image being portrayed of him. Perhaps a good rule for the Senate should go back to the Bible: Let he without sin cast the first stone. A question for America: How can we reasonably expect good people of integrity and accomplishment to go through these attacks upon themselves o their families?

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