October 5, 2018

It's Disgusting

Today the Senate takes the next concrete step towards confirming Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court Justice.

I wish they weren't doing this for a number of reasons:
  • Kavanaugh's nomination, we know had to be crammed through before the midterms, because the Rs fear losing their majorities.
  • There was a concerted effort to limit documents from his time in the Bush White House and on the bench, materials that would lend senators an opportunity to question him fully on his opinions on critical issues. I know he wouldn't have answered most of them but at least the questions could have been on the table.And not for nothing, but the Republicans pretending that the number of pages being more than was released for recent previous justices means that the relevant pages had been released is absurd. 
  • There were others on Trump's vaunted list of justices who would have been confirmable, easily, even had they had similar opinions; Trump was begged by Mitch McConnell not to pick Kavanaugh, and by others to choose a woman, but chose someone who wasn't on the original list, which was a campaign promise not kept by the man so proud of keeping them.
  • His belligerent approach to the questioning, at both of his hearings, but in particular at the hearing on what I'll call the high school days, and the lies he told during both of them, in particular during the hearing on the high school days. Everyone knows what he lied about, including Kavanaugh himself, and that cloud will hang over his head for the rest of his career.
  • The interview on the Trump News Network, and the op-ed in the Wall Street Journal - both of which seem out line to me, and unbecoming.
But what's really disgusting are the conversations about why senators might vote on the nomination tomorrow, when they'll pull the trigger on the nomination after the debate that'll start today. 

We know many of them will vote based on the hope that Roe will be overturned, or on the desire to prevent that from happening.  The swing of the Court to the right has impacts beyond that case, including on voting rights, corporate rights over the rights of individuals, money in politics, gerrymandering and a whole host of other issues that matter.

We know that many of them will vote because they're ideologically extreme on both fringes, and there's not a lot of room for anything remotely resembling advice and consent.

But what's assumed, by the talking heads, and the writers and bloggers and the rest, is that not a single one of the 'undeclared' senators will vote based on anything other than how best to keep their seat in 2018 or 2020.  According to those folks,
  • a Red State Dem (Joe Manchin is one) has to decide whether going against Trump will ruin their chances for reelection, or if it will mobilize their own constituents, most of whom are not supporters of the Kavanaugh nomination
  • Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have to decide whether it's worth it to buck Trump and suffer the consequences.  
  • Jeff  Flake isn't running for re-election but may want to challenge Trump in 2020, we're told, so he needs to decide whether his vote will help or hurt his chances...
What's disgusting about all of this is that no one thinks any of these folks will vote based on their conscience. No one expresses confidence that these senators will vote for anything other than a selfish reason - their own careers. 

And what's also disgusting?  They're probably right...

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