The Corner

Law & the Courts

Are Democrats Sure They Want to Re-Fight the Kavanaugh Nomination?

Supreme Court associate justice Brett Kavanaugh speaks in the East Room of the White House, October 8, 2018. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo)

As mentioned in today’s Morning Jolt, our Kyle Smith is probably right that the sudden re-litigation of Brett Kavanaugh’s reputation is, in addition to book promotion for two New York Times reporters, battle-space preparation for upcoming Supreme Court decisions that progressives won’t like.

But you have to wonder if re-hashing the Kavanaugh fight is going to be wise politics for the Democrats, particularly if this becomes a new fall tradition and returns again in September 2020.

As Trump brought new blue-collar whites into the GOP column, he repelled other demographics like suburban soccer moms. That demographic trade worked out well for the GOP in 2016, and awful for the GOP in 2018.

In the year since Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Trump has given right-of-center Trump skeptics plenty to grumble about. He keeps enacting more tariffs, he’s created a new entitlement for farmers affected by those tariffs, he’s going nanny state on vaping, the deficit is hitting a trillion per year again, he obsessively fumes and rages on Twitter, he seems endlessly optimistic about chatting with Kim Jong-un, we wants Russia back in the G-7, he had that nutty idea of inviting the Taliban to Camp David right before the 9/11 anniversary . . . er, where was I going with this?

Ah, that’s right; Trump and right-of-center voters who could vote for him in 2020 but who aren’t thrilled with what they’re getting. What’s the one area where Trump has pleased just about everyone on the right side of the spectrum? Judicial nominations. Where’s the one area where just about everyone on the right side of the spectrum believes the Democratic party and its numerous media allies have become malevolent, shamelessly dishonest, reckless, cruel, and a menace to good government and the Constitutional order? Judges, and in particular, the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh.

Remember, this is the issue that unleashed Lindsey Graham’s inner wildebeest and turned Susan Collins into the iron fist in the velvet glove. Millions of Americans who don’t particularly like Trump watched the Senate Democrats — including many of their presidential candidates — demand Kavanaugh prove a negative, against an allegation with no specific time or place — the perfect nightmare scenario of being considered guilty until proven innocent. When Michael Avenatti showed up with Julie Swetnick and her wildly implausible tales of 15-year-old Kavanaugh organizing weekly drug-fueled, gang-rape parties for three straight years, few if any Democrats or prominent media voices had the guts to say, “wait a second, these claims sound ridiculous, we may oppose this man’s nomination, but we’re now hearing smears with no supporting evidence.”

President Trump is vindictive and dishonest, is quick to accuse, is obsessed with winning at all costs, and has all kinds of bad traits and habits . . . but he’s got the mainstream media checking him, calling him out, and fighting against him every step of the way. Democratic lawmakers are also vindictive and dishonest, are quick to accuse, are obsessed with winning at all costs, and have all kinds of bad traits and habits . . . but they’ve got the mainstream media cheering them along every step of the way.

Which circumstance strikes you as more dangerous?

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