Scorched earth. That’s the tactic the Democrats and their enablers in the media and George Soros-funded hit squads are employing against Brett Kavanaugh. We all know it. We all experienced that sharp intake of breath when it was first reported that Dianne Feinstein had a letter from some anonymous female accusing Kavanaugh of having engaged in sexual misconduct with her when he was in high school. Depending on your estimate of Judge Kavanaugh’s character, you focused either on “sexual misconduct” (“Now we’ve got ’em matey!”) or on “high school” (“Really? You’re going after a guy with a sterling record because he may have hit on a girl at a party in high school?”)
I belong firmly in the latter camp. But of course that was just the beginning of an extraordinary, and orchestrated (I want to emphasize that) effort to destroy a man of exceptional ability and exceptional integrity.
Eventually, we learned the name of his accuser: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Almost three weeks after she went public, we still don’t know much about her. Before her accusation became public, she took great care to scrub her activities from social media and the internet. But have no fear. Even as I write, many people, outraged at her totally unsupported allegations, are piecing together a portrait of a rambunctious party girl who grew up to be an anti-Trump activist. I look forward to inspecting the portrait when it is finished.
Initially, the curious thing was how the letter—sent, Feinstein insisted, in confidence—was leaked. I believe I am correct in saying that only three sets of people had it: Ford’s lawyers (why did she engage left-wing anti-Trump lawyers just before this became public? Who is paying for them?), her local congresswoman, and Senator Feinstein’s office. I am glad that President Trump has asked the FBI to look into who leaked the letter. I’d like to know.
At first, I inclined to the idea that this obviously damaged person (I say that after having sat through her artfully incoherent, wounded-little-girl testimony) was just collateral damage in the Democrats’ effort to destroy Donald Trump’s nominee. She really did, I thought, want anonymity and was terrified at testifying before all those big meanies in the Senate.
Of course, she was treated with fawning obsequiousness. Every Democrat began his panegyric with praise of her “bravery” and “courage” in coming forward to retail her “credible” accusations.
Let me pause here to note that “credible” means “believable.” Would you find it believable if I said that your best friend got drunk at a party 35 or 36 years ago (I can’t remember quite when it was) and jumped on a girl and tried to take off her bathing suit? Unfortunately, I can’t remember where this happened. I can tell you about four people who were there, but, unfortunately, none of the four remembers the event either. The two who I said were most involved strenuously deny that anything like that ever happened. Is my claim credible? Take your time.
The Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, brave souls that they are, declined even to question Dr. Ford (I love the “Dr.”) themselves. They thought that the optics of men asking questions of a women who has brought a career-ending accusation against someone nominated to the Supreme Court would seem mean—isn’t modern feminism wonderful?—so they foisted the job off to a female prosecutor who was only allowed to pose her ever-so-gentle questions in five-minute increments.
Christine Ford did present a pathetic spectacle and, as I say, I at first thought she was someone the Democrats were happy to use and discard to stop Judge Kavanaugh. I now suspect that she was in on the plot, if not from the beginning, then from well before her letter was leaked to the press.
Of course, the Ford theater turned out to be only the opening act. Just a week ago, Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker’s resident sex officer, published a breathless story about one Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Brett Kavanaugh’s at Yale. Ramirez claims that Kavanaugh once exposed himself to her at a drunken party. It was so poorly sourced that not even the New York Times, which of course would just love to broadcast dirt about Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, refused to publish the allegation.
Then we’ve had creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti (I love it that Tucker Carlson ran that epithet in a chyron when he spoke to this lowlife on his show) whose latest client, Julie Swetnick, claims that Brett Kavanaugh was part of a ring that arranged for girls to be drugged and gang raped. How’s that for credible?
If it were possible to step back from this disgusting effort at wholesale character assassination to savor some of unintended comedy that has been part of this immoral kafkaesque charade, then I think Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) deserves some sort of special commendation. His absurd burlesque parsing of an entry from Brett Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook—his high school yearbook, for God’s sake!—from the floor of the Senate really was something special. Except for the fact that he was endeavoring to destroy the reputation and career of a man who has served in the White House and on the bench with distinction for more than two decades, Whitehouse’s ham-handed, obtuse effort to look like Perry Mason would have been laugh-out-loud funny. What a putz. (Don’t miss Julie Kelly’s evisceration of this pompous and malignant clown.)
There have been many efforts to rationalize or explain what it is that the Democrats have been doing with their search-and-destroy occupation of what Judge Kavanaugh aptly describes as “the Twilight Zone.” Yes, it is certainly true that the Democrats do not want Brett Kavanaugh, an ardent constitutionalist, to take Anthony Kennedy’s seat. That would rob the court of Kennedy’s impish interventions on many social issues, especially those issue emanating from the girdle of human experience: abortion, and sexuality in all its florid, increasingly polymorphous manifestations.
It is understandable that leftists—having gotten used to the idea that the court can be weaponized as an instrument of progressive social engineering when Congress, still subject to that pesky voice of the people, is recalcitrant to push ahead to utopia—should be unhappy about that prospect. But, hey, that’s how we run things in this democratic republic. We have elections, elections have consequences (as a gloating pol once observed), and we abide by the processes that have grown up in our institutions and that are the expression of the rule of law.
Besides, Brett Kavanaugh is not a fire-breathing reactionary. On the contrary, although personally conservative, he is a thoughtful, deliberate jurist, the hallmarks of whose practice have been impartiality and a concern to follow the law. The Democrats might—and God willing, eventually will—find the court populated with justices far more doctrinaire in their originalism. Kavanaugh, when he is confirmed (and I continue to believe he will be) will endeavor to uphold the Constitution, not twist it for ideological ends.
But increasingly I have come to believe that the satanic circus the Democrats have let loose around this confirmation hearing is only incidentally about Brett Kavanaugh. They would, no doubt, be only too happy to destroy a man whose entire above-board, God-fearing, fair-dealing career stands in such sharp contrast to their own grubby compromises and squamous, power-seeking behavior. (Did the phrase “God-fearing” bring you up short? Think about that for a moment.) Compassing the humiliation of such a respectable man would be a collateral benefit for such sweaty lilliputian men and women as Sheldon Whitehouse, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris (to say nothing of the ancient matriarch of this party, Dianne Feinstein),
But the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation pertains to something much larger than this seat on the Supreme Court, important though that assuredly is.
In August, pondering the seemingly interminable investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller into anything and everything having to do with Donald Trump, his friends, and associates, I puzzled over the exact nature of the investigation in a column called “Crime and Punishment.” Usually, when you have a criminal investigation, you start with a definite crime. At least, that’s the way we try to do things in this country. Elsewhere—in Stalin’s Soviet Union, for example—one might just as easily start with the desired victim. A crime could always be ginned up later.
There are some cynical folks who have suggested that what we have seen in the deep state’s behavior toward the president and his associates and initiatives has the hallmarks of a Lavrentiy-Beria-like brutality. “Show me the man,” said Stalin’s head of secret police, “and I’ll show you the crime.”
But I think we are seeing something different in this case. There was a precedent crime, after all, but it wasn’t one that appears in the statute book. Rather, as in some common law traditions, it is simply part of the agreed upon and customary narrative of our polity—or at least the people who govern our polity. What is it? In short, the crime was Donald Trump’s election. More precisely, the crime was the fact that Donald Trump was elected without the permission, indeed, over the strenuous objections of that entitled cohort whose members believe it to be part of the natural order of things that they govern.
The implications of this conviction—that the primal crime of Trump’s administration was his election, compounded by his infuriating habit of meeting any attack with a potent counterattack—are huge.
Among other things, it follows that Donald Trump’s tenure is, for these people, existentially illegitimate. And from that conviction it follows that a policy of resistance, obstruction, and illegality is (in the minds of these people) sanctioned. It is OK, for example, for a Justice Department official to boast that he is conducting a guerrilla war of “resistance” behind the scenes. It is OK to stalk Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his wife to their favorite restaurant and scream at them until they are forced to leave. Why? Because Cruz supports Kavanaugh. And so on. (Wouldn’t you like to know what Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said to the spineless GOP Senator Jeff Flake the other day just before Flake announced that he would allow Kavanaugh’s confirmation to proceed to the Senate floor only if there were another FBI investigation authorized into his behavior in high school?)
Here is my thought. The scurrilous attempt at character assassination directed at Brett Kavanaugh is part of a larger war: the war to demonstrate that Donald Trump, though duly elected in a free, open, and democratic process, is fundamentally illegitimate.
The essentially Maoist techniques deployed by the Left—fabricating accusations, denying the accused due process, sabotaging the machinery of government—is all part of that larger aim. Hence the breathtaking viciousness of these so-called confirmation hearings. (Really, they are just show trials.) John Hinderaker got it exactly right in an essay at Powerline called “Why the Brett Kavanaugh Smear?” The Left has descended to tactics hitherto untested, at least in this country, partly as a warning, partly as an earnest representation of their by-any-means-necessary mentality. Noting that Brett Kavanaugh enjoys (or, rather, enjoyed) “one of the most spotless reputations of anyone in American public life,” Hinderaker argues that “[b]y smearing the ultimate Boy Scout, the Democrats signal that they are determined to go lower than anyone has ever gone in American history.” Indeed. But why?
Because “They intend to deter normal people from serving in Republican administrations, or accepting appointments from Republican presidents, or, ultimately, from identifying themselves with the Republican party.” It’s all part of the larger goal of delegitimizing the 2016 election. Given that goal, Hinderaker observes “the fact that they are smearing a man of obviously sterling character on absurdly flimsy grounds is not a bug, it is a feature. The fact that the Democrats’ smears are so patently false is ultimately their main point.”
I think this is correct. I also think that Hinderaker’s concluding two points are correct. First, “If this can happen to Brett Kavanaugh, it can happen to anyone,” and second, the end to which all these histrionics have tended: “You’d better go quietly and cede power to us.”
In the normal course of events, I’d say the situation of the Republicans was nearly hopeless. They are not used to fighting back. Many (most?) of them seem to feel, deep down, that the Democrats are right that only they truly have the right to exercise power, that, at the end of the day, Republicans are really just conservative window-dressing for the real business of government, which is pursuing the transnational progressive agenda. (Not to mention how many Republicans are really just Democratic deep-state actors with an “R” after their name.)
The silver lining in all this is the fact that these are not normal times. Donald Trump won, elections have consequences, and we are seeing the consequences all around us, not just in the astonishing success of the Trump agenda but also in the new energy Trump’s example has imparted to some (not you, Jeff Flake, not you) of the Republican brethren.
Has Lindsey Graham ever given a more impressive performance than he did at the Senate hearing the other day, castigating the despicable behavior of his colleagues for exactly what it was? I see that the Senate Judiciary Committee has begun to pursue people who emerged from the swamp to hurl unfounded accusations at Brett Kavanaugh: lying to a federal officer is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Those whom the FBI is now contacting as part of their “supplemental” background check into Brett Kavanaugh ought to keep that in mind. So, I’d reckon, should Christine Ford, supposing the FBI ever gets around to questioning her. The Democrats wanted all-out war. All-out war is exactly what Donald Trump is going to give them.
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