by Jeffery Rendall
After you’ve finished snickering at the notion consider the reason Trump’s so-called loyal opposition (a.k.a. Democrats and #NeverTrumpers) hate the outsider president so much – isn’t it because he’s so different from most other Republicans? From the beginning you could tell Trump not only didn’t want to be like the “standard” GOPer, he sought to mold a new party in his confrontational style – one that takes popular/majority issues, describes them in simple but brunt terminology and then bludgeons Democrats with them until they capitulate – or are vanquished.
Do you think you would’ve heard “Lock her up!” from Mitt Romney’s biggest fans?
The GOP establishment’s distinguished gentleman candidates of the past – George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain and Romney – all looked and acted as though they belonged at the head of a boardroom table somewhere.
These stiffs had manners, too. With maybe the exception of Dole, all cut their teeth in privileged environments where good boys don’t rock the boat or the family might be shamed. Whereas the Kennedy and Roosevelt families equaled American “royalty” for the Democrats so did the Bush and Romney clans for the GOP. Though not quite as wealthy as the others, McCain descended from military brass, so he counts as gentry too – put it this way, Johnny-boy never wondered where his next meal would come from growing up.
Trump was different from his predecessors. Though certainly privileged and conditioned to the finer things in life the brash talking Queens-born real estate developer didn’t quite fit that staid GOP stereotype. He had infamous combed over longish hair, an orange skin tinge and his taste in decor is, let’s just say, on the gaudy side. It was even rumored Trump had a solid gold toilet seat, though the story turned out to be false. Nonetheless he enjoyed solid gold sink fixtures.
Trump’s manner of speaking wasn’t all that different from a longshoreman’s either – take the microphones and cameras away and the “locker room talk” wasn’t far off. Tactful? No. Want your kids to emulate Trump in that respect? No…except for maybe his drive for success.
But the greatest thing that distinguished Trump from the rest was his willingness to fight. Trump jumped into the mosh pit of politics early and didn’t shrink from its nastiness. Instead of deferring to party rivals he mocked them. Rather than taking punches from the media he returned them and threw some more. If you brought a proverbial knife to a scrap with Trump he’d bring a gun. As his Republican primary rivals soon discovered, don’t brawl with The Donald and expect to be the last man standing.
The same style is seen today and it’s one reason why Trump is so heavily criticized by Democrats and his own party’s establishment figures as being “unpresidential” and unfit for the office. But the voters felt otherwise. 90% Republican approval rates for Trump prove it.
At the same time all Democrats show a Trump-like readiness to fight. As amply demonstrated by their atrocious behavior concerning the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats never hesitate to dredge up sleaze and then bathe in it to get whatever they’re seeking. Some Republicans opposed Democrat judicial nominees in the past but it never got undignified.
And if Republicans now allow Democrats to take down Kavanaugh using these kinds of repugnant underhanded tactics there’ll never be a decent conservative originalist nominated for the Supreme Court ever again. The wretched genie’s been sprung from the Democrat bottle – it’s time for us to grab for the cork and stuff it back in.
Andrew C. McCarthy wrote at National Review, “If Democrats get away with what they are trying to do to Kavanaugh, the only decent people in politics will be decent progressives; people who reflect the broader range of opinion and civility in the country will not participate in or pay much mind to our politics because it is too savage. The cut-throat operators who do not believe in the Constitution, pluralism, and civility will be running the country, until they inevitably push too far and provoke ugly pushback.
“That’s what our politics is supposed to prevent. But you can’t go on forever under circumstances in which only one side of our politics gets the benefit of decorum and the presumption of good faith and rectitude. We can’t continually have judicial nominees — and everyone else — treated under different sets of rules depending on whether they’re Democrats or Republicans.”
McCarthy’s right; Democrats are solely responsible for dragging the senate confirmation process down into the primordial ooze. As McCarthy pointed out in his excellent article, it all began with the “Borking” of Judge Robert Bork in 1987 and continued through to the public shaming of Clarence Thomas in 1991. More recently it was Samuel Alito (in early 2006) and Neil Gorsuch (last year) to feel the sting of the Democrats’ lash. Republican nominees now understand going in that Democrats aren’t out for a Sunday stroll, a slap on the back and a good laugh among equals during confirmation – they’ll just as soon rip your arm off as shake your hand.
Now Democrats are after Kavanaugh. We’ll find out within a matter of days (weeks?) whether the supremely qualified Trump nominee joins the Supreme Court (will Sen. Susan Collins do the right thing?) or if Kavanaugh’s name will be mentioned in the same breath as Bork and Thomas (though Thomas was narrowly confirmed) in the future.
Trump will do his part. The question is whether Republican senators will take this atrocity as a sign Democrats aren’t just after Trump – they intend to burn down the whole building if they don’t like the entranceway. In all of this it’s apparent Democrats don’t fear reprisal from Republicans or consequences at the ballot box. If anything, it seems like they thrive on tabloid skullduggery and innuendo. The more salacious the charge the greater Democrats’ excitement at the prospect of ruining another conservative’s life.
A rush to judgment doesn’t accurately describe Democrats – they judge before there’s even a criminal charge.
Perhaps Democrats should be careful what they wish for, because their over-the-top antics could easily backfire. Curt Levey wrote at Fox News, “The most immediate risk to Democrats comes from raising the hopes of their base by yelling ‘gotcha’ while armed only with an accuser who waited more than three decades to come forward, can’t recall many pertinent facts, and recently signed a letter denouncing President Trump. Even if Ford can satisfactorily address the resulting doubts, Democrats can do nothing to stop Kavanaugh without the cooperation of Senate Republicans, who, among other concerns, may be wary about making the examination of a nominee’s teenage years a precedent.
“That’s not to say that Democrats have no chance of using Ford’s allegation to defeat Judge Kavanaugh. But the odds of falling flat on their face are greater.
“Nonetheless, failing to deliver might be a risk worth taking for Senate Democrats if they had a reasonable chance of preventing what they say they most fear – the replacement of Justice Anthony Kennedy with a solid conservative. Headlines suggest that if Democrats can delay confirmation then win control of the Senate on November 6, that goal could be realized. However, a close analysis of the ways in which the new Democratic strategy could play out says otherwise.”
Democrats dug themselves quite a hole here. By willingly throwing in with an avowed leftist professor (with a demonstrated Trump grudge at that) they’ve shown it isn’t even about Kavanaugh anymore – it’s about “resistance” and ideology. If it wasn’t evident before it’s crystal clear now — they’ll settle for nothing less than Trump’s head on a platter. The days of calling for “bipartisan cooperation” are over. There’s no middle ground left – it’s been squatted on by soulless leftist politicians with agendas.
From Trump’s perspective the choice is easy. If Democrats win the battle over Kavanaugh he should pick the next most solid conservative from his list of potential nominees and keep sending them up to Capitol Hill until one of them gets through. Should Democrats continue this stupid stonewalling process charade over and over the public will quickly grow restless. If Supreme Court nominations were an important campaign concern in 2016 they’ll be the issue in 2020.
The last thing Trump – or any Republican — should do is back down here. For the multitudes of haters who incessantly gripe about Trump’s behavior, this is a perfect opportunity for him to act “presidential” as a calm and collected chief executive. Let Democrats be the ones to grovel on the ground like spoiled imps without a cause.
This isn’t a fight Democrats want either. At least if Kavanaugh gets through now Americans might forget about the Democrats’ tomfoolery by the time the presidential campaign starts. The longer the minority party drags this out the more likely voters will be to remember who damned up the process in the first place. A series of 4-4 Supreme Court cases will only make the dilemma more visible.
The Kavanaugh affair demonstrates how the Supreme Court and Senate have become outsized in importance largely through the actions of those who expanded federal power well beyond its constitutional bounds in the last century. The Founding Fathers never intended for the judicial branch to act as a super legislature and they definitely didn’t anticipate the Senate would devolve into a sideshow tug-of-war over executive nominations and appointments.
The Democrats broke the system. Can it ever be fixed?
Jay Cost wrote at National Review, “I will stipulate gladly to progressives that it makes little sense for a body constituted like the Senate to be choosing justices who wield such vast power. However, that to me is proof that the government has acquired authorities that were never originally granted to it by the people — either through the original ratification process in 1788–89 or in subsequent efforts to amend the Constitution.
“For my part, I am ready to have a constitutional debate over the structure of our government — including whether equal apportionment of the Senate makes sense. But in return, I demand a constitutional debate over the powers of our government. For too long, federal authority has grown quietly, without explicit public sanction. And if we have come to a point where our institutions no longer can responsibly wield the power they have acquired, then everything should be on the table — nationalizing our institutions as well as reinforcing the constitutional limits to their power.”
By making a grand spectacle over the eminently qualified Brett Kavanaugh Democrats are conducting a clinic on how badly our system is broken and why it desperately needs reform. Lately, Democrats have complained a lot about the iniquity built into the Constitution’s framework – that it grants outsized power to small sparsely populated states and undervalues the views of voters in big liberal metropolises within blue states like California and New York.
Boo hoo to them. Conservatives don’t care much for being held hostage to the whims of Senator Bernie Sanders (from Vermont, 2017 population 623,657) or Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (from Rhode Island, 2017 population 1.06 million) either but we accept them as duly elected senators from their respective states. Needless to say, the Constitution’s system isn’t 100 percent equitable to everyone but it represents a compromise that works in practice.
Let’s not distract from the fact the system would function properly if every state sent representatives and senators of good and honest character to Washington. Judging by the current sorry collection of Democrats, however, we’re not even close to that standard.
Cost’s point about reforming the system is a good one and the movement to call a constitutional convention could gain steam once this is all over. We can only hope – but the same Democrats who’re clogging up the senate now would likely attend such a convention to “fix” the system. Looks pretty hopeless, doesn’t it?
Even worse, a number of #NeverTrumpers openly advocate for Democrats to takeover Congress next year. Is that really wise, considering what we’ve recently witnessed? Heather Wilhelm of National Review isn’t buying the argument, writing, “[One] argument you’ll see for voting for Democrats in November is what I’ll call the ‘adults in the room’ thesis. Under this argument, if Democrats take the House — please read the rest of this sentence in a serious and imposing professor voice — the current ‘chaos’ in Washington, D.C., will fade, a mature ‘check’ on the executive will emerge, and a new sense of calm will prevail. I don’t really have much to say about this except to refer you to watch the video of the Kavanaugh hearings again, which might make you laugh until you cry.
“Or take a look at the cynical cloak-and-dagger tactics displayed this week by Senator Dianne Feinstein, who sat on a letter from an anonymous woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in high school, refused to address it fairly during the confirmation hearings, and then leaked it to the media after turning it in to the FBI, promptly setting the Internet on fire.”
America is on fire because of Democrats’ zeal to trash the reputations of good people just to preserve judge-made “rights” like abortion. The United States was supposed to be a government of laws, not fools. That’s impossible to accomplish in today’s unhinged political environment.