The Kavanaugh confirmation battle is developing into a strategic error for the left, one of many in a long string of recent major errors:
WASHINGTON,DC – Even before Friday’s explosive developments, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Jon Cornyn (R-TX), top Senate Republicans long part of the establishment, unloaded on their Democratic colleagues during Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, calling it a “circus” and a “disgrace” – the worst since the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) received a great deal of coverage for his outrage over the conduct of this final chapter of the Kavanaugh hearings, which could serve him well in his bid to succeed Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) as chairman of the committee. But Hatch and Cornyn are already in leadership and appear no less outraged than the senior senator from South Carolina about the attacks Democrats were pressing, alleging sexual misconduct.
“Porn star lawyers with facially implausible claims are driving the news cycle,” the Utah lawmaker continued. “I hate to say this, but this is worse than Robert Bork, and I didn’t think it could get any worse than that.”
Prior to the fall of Gingrich and the 2000 elections, the far left had always been careful to work within the existing boundaries of the US political system, making deals where they could and patiently advancing their ideology while trying to change the broader culture of the country.
Starting in 2000, however, the “old left” was replaced with a “new left” which felt that the United States as we know it was illegitimate – its founding, its history, its constitution and body of laws, its culture, and its current system of government. These rejectionists, the product of the 60s boomers radicals taking over the school system, felt and still feel the entire country needed to be torn up, root and branch, and that working with or in the system was illegitimate.
The GOP was also slow to recognize this transformation in the far left. The Bush era Republicans sought accommodation with them. They showed little evidence of spine when faced with the “Bush hatred” movement, did not defend Sarah Palin, pushed back against the Tea Party movement, and gave Obama almost everything he wanted except for gun control.
In spite of this attempt at accommodation, the “new left” kept pushing harder and harder, and imposed their policies by lawfare, lawbreaking, judicial fiat, and sporadic violence. The days when the left engaged in serious debate are long past, because they have morphed from a political to a religious movement. The violence climaxed late in the Obama years with the birth of the social justice warrior movement which attacked Trump supporters during the 2016 campaign, and Black Lives Matter, which created a violent anti-police movement.
Trump’s election was a kind of “Stalingrad” for the new left, and the first big piece of evidence their approach was not working. The kind of tactics they are using are helpful for suppressing dissent in third world dictatorships, but these tactics are much more questionable in a democracy with free speech and at least somewhat free elections.
The kinds of tactics the Democrats are using are repulsive to most normal people. A few months ago, I wrote about the hiring of Sarah Jeong at the New York Times, and how it would serve to yet further alienate moderate Democrats who were unhappy with how the party had been changing.
Evidence of this alienation can be seen in Lindsey Graham’s behavior throughout the Kavanaugh nomination process. Graham, notorious for being John McCain’s right hand man, has been taking a far harsher tone with the Democrats than he usually does. Even liberal Republicans are beginning to slowly close ranks around Trump in the face of the left’s behavior.
Another key factor in this failure of grand strategy is Kavanaugh himself. Kavanaugh was a Bush appointee, so it was not clear how “hardline” conservative he would be on the Supreme Court. It is worth noting that Chief Justice John Roberts, another Bush appointee, was instrumental in rescuing Obamacare.
If Kavanaugh is seated on the Supreme Court, do you think, after what the far left has put him through, he is likely to vote to protect Obamacare? How about Roe v. Wade? The LA Times is tacitly admitting that they screwed up by alienating him… so they’re arguing now that because they alienated him, they should get a do-over with a new judge.
The smart approach by the left would have been to woo Kavanaugh behind the scenes and try to persuade him to see things their way. Instead, they’ve totally alienated him when the actual chances of stopping him are pretty low. He’s liable to move further to the right than Scalia and vote against the Democrats at every opportunity now.
Finally, the left has turned this nomination fight into another “Stalingrad.” The Republicans, despite their vacillating, hold all the cards and are very likely to force him through.
According to NWC, McConnell has already begun the debate process in the Senate in spite of the sham FBI investigation. This means that they could hold the vote in as soon as three days if they want. He is still moving things forward in spite of all the squawking from Jeff Flake. It is probably just a matter of finding the right bribes to satisfy the so-called moderates.
If Kavanaugh is forced through by the Republicans, it will be another shattering defeat for the Democrats, nearly as bad as Trump’s election. They have committed everything to an all-or-nothing battle to stop this nomination when their chances of success are low at best. A defeat could have a major effect on November turnout.
In my opinion, this nomination fight is a disaster for the Democrats. They’re alienating once-friendly liberal Republicans with hardball tactics, they’re turning Kavanaugh into an implacable foe, and they’ve enlarged the nomination battle into a “must win” fight when their chances of victory are low on the eve of a critical Congressional election.
Hopefully the Democrats will wake up from their fever dreams of social justice and kick the looney radicals out of their party, so politics can approach something resembling normal in the country again when they’ve had enough huge defeats.