The Corner

Law & the Courts

So, Brett Kavanaugh Is Going to Kill People Now?

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh arrives prior to meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill, July 10, 2018 (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

I want to share with you three tweets. These are not from fringe figures or random radicals. They are, respectively, from the former Democratic governor of Virginia; the same Women’s March that mobilized millions of mainstream Democrats to march in the streets in cities across the United States; and the National Editor of the Daily Beast.

Here’s the first:

The second:

And the third:

Look at the rhetoric. “Millions” of lives threatened. A “death sentence” for thousands. And contraception . . . banned?

Keep in mind, this is for a nominee so mainstream — so much a part of the conventional Republican establishment — that it’s easy to imagine a President Rubio or a President Jeb Bush putting him on the Supreme Court. He’s not remotely radical. His jurisprudence is squarely within the originalist tradition, and the main critique endured during the run-up to his nomination (including from me) was that he was too safe, that the Court needed a bolder choice.

Look, I know better than most that Trump has escalated partisan combat and has exacerbated American polarization. Nothing I say should be construed as minimizing his contribution to our political disease, but our politics are still deeply dysfunctional even when Trump behaves no differently than any other GOP president.

Just in the last year we’ve seen extraordinary overreactions against normal Republican tax plans and normal Republican Internet reforms. During the Obama administration, huge sections of the Republican base — and even the future POTUS — obsessed over bizarre birther conspiracy theories.

This kind of nonsense will always be with us, but it’s important to call it out, reject it, and as much as possible confine it to the fringes. But all too often extremist rhetoric is as mainstream as it gets. That’s a problem now, and it will be a problem long after Donald Trump leaves office.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Making Sense of the Iran Chaos

One would prefer that correct decisions be made according to careful, deliberate plan. But a correct decision made impulsively, through a troubling process, is still nonetheless correct, and so it is with Donald Trump’s decision to refrain from military action against Iran. The proposed strike would represent a ... Read More
U.S.

In Defense of Coleman Hughes

Picture the scene: A young man walks into a congressional hearing to offer witness testimony. His grandfather was barbarically brutalized by people who are now long dead. The nation in which he resides built its wealth of his grandfather’s brutalization. The question: Should his fellow citizens pay the young ... Read More
Education

College Leaders Should Learn from Oberlin

Thanks to their social-justice warrior mindset, the leaders of Oberlin College have caused an Ohio jury to hit it with $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a case where the school couldn't resist the urge to side with its “woke” students against a local business. College leaders should learn ... Read More
Elections

Joe and the Segs

Joe Biden has stepped in it, good and deep. Biden, if he has any hope of ever being elected president, will be dependent on residual goodwill among African Americans from his time as Barack Obama’s loyal and deferential vice president — so deferential, in fact, that he stood aside for Herself in 2016 even ... Read More
Film & TV

Toy Story 4: A National Anthem

The Toy Story franchise is the closest thing we have to an undisputed national anthem, a popular belief that celebrates what we think we all stand for — cooperation, ingenuity, and simple values, such as perpetual hope. This fact of our infantile, desensitized culture became apparent back in 2010 when I took a ... Read More