Why is Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) so determined to get this judge confirmed to the Supreme Court? Why is President Donald Trump just as stubborn? The reasons behind it are slightly different but connected at the hip. This is not about a single man that is now facing some consequences. It is about political ideology.
He is all they are looking for in a Supreme Court Associate Justice. Forget for the moment the alleged sexual assault on a woman. Or for the moment we have three on the record and two more who are anonymous. For some in the far right, this is actually a bonus point, even if they will not openly voice it. If your view of women is stuck in 1957, and you believe women should be subservient to men in all respects, there you go. Women who have agency in any form are a threat. This is an ideology where boys will be boys and let’s not ruin his life is coming from. Oh, the woman, she should know her place.
There is more, and an ideology that is toxic for democratic values. What Brett Kavanaugh offers the far right is a belief that the presidency is a unitary executive. At least I suppose, when it is in the hands of Republicans. According to Kavanaugh the powers of the president and his decisions should not be judged or questioned. The president is above the law. Now, think of the current occupant of 1600 Avenue. Trump is facing a potential legal mess, perhaps impeachment, or lawsuits. However, this judge has declared that investigations of any kind and presidencies don’t go together. He also has argued that presidents cannot be sued. In effect, a president is above the law. Does one have to ask the obvious question, given that impeachment requires investigation…and that he is a so-called originalist, what are his views on it? After all, if the president is above investigations, then impeachment is a non-starter. Impeachment is in the Constitution.
Let’s be clear. When the Trump matter reaches the Supreme Court, and it probably will, a Justice with these views is perfect. He already has made his mind on these matters and refused to recuse himself if, or when, this case reaches the Supreme Court. He was asked by United States Senators. This is why he is so attractive to the president. Oh never mind that Kavanaugh was a member of Ken Starr’s team during the Clinton years. Apparently, he reached this epiphany while serving in the George W. Bush Administration as personal secretary. We should be asking why? This has not come up.
So from the point of view of the president, this almost smacks of judge shopping. And yes, it happens in those upper layers of society. If you want a good outcome in the court, you want a friendly person on the bench.
But the president is just one key to this stubbornness.
It is the rest of his political views that make him so appealing to the far right wing. Kavanaugh believes that corporations should be protected. We expect to see the expansion of political speech for corporations, and other rights. He believes in a society that will curtail the rights of individuals and workers. Perhaps he will help kill the weak access to medical care in the country.
We yet to learn what are his views on torture. He was at the center of that maelstrom when John Yoo came up with the torture policy in the aftermath of 911. Nor do we know, because he has not been asked, what are his views on expanded surveillance state powers. These are critical questions. However, not having asked those questions is very telling.
Then there is Roe V Wade. The far right has intended to overturn it almost from the moment it became the law of the land. This is not just the vote they need like it is the vote that will. Roe V Wade is not just about babies or the rights of zygotes. That is just a talking point, a convenient one for a religious base. This is about control. Women who have agency over their bodies are free to pursue careers. Women who don’t, have fewer opportunities because a pregnancy can effectively stop a career. This will remove women from the workplace.
This is what all this is about. It is about returning the county to a golden past when women knew their place.
Christine Blasey Ford threatens at least half of this because she effective reminded the country what this is about. She is a very compelling witness. And at this point, Kavanaugh may not make it to the high court.
However, do not fool yourself. For the second half of the ideological tests that file the president keeps pulling judges from is full of candidates just as radical as Kavanaugh. I believe the president is holding against all hope because he wants this particular judge for the reasons stated. If you are facing potential legal trouble, this judge is made to order.
Usually, most voters do not pay attention to the Supreme Court. But Americans are in this case. Polling shows that moving forward with this is hardly popular with the voters. Independent voters are running for the doors. There is a partisan divide, of course. There always is, and in our highly divided era, this makes sense. More Democrats want him not advanced than Republicans. However, these are historic lows for a nominee for the Supreme Court.
November 6 is Election Day. Midterms have a known pattern, and parties who control the White House usually lose seats. The landscape was already pointing to a blue wave. This matches historic patterns. This is activating even more voters. It may very well lead to a tsunami and the loss of both houses. This would be an unmitigated disaster for Republicans.
Women, many women, have had it. Their own personal stories are reflected on what they are watching and hearing. We are seeing old white men and the President asking why didn’t you report it? Why did you not come out thirty plus years ago?
Of course, we have heard others of the classics. But you will ruin a man’s career! None cares about the woman, or her trauma, or her life.
Then there are the boys will be boys that do this, and then grow up. (No they don’t, in many cases, they continue with a lifetime of assault. They know they are protected, and will not face real consequences.)
In other words, we’ve heard all of this before. This is what women are told regularly. Men are protected by a system that dismisses women and girls, at times boys.
We cannot predict the actual outcome of the election. But this may activate even more voters. We are expecting the House to go to Democrats. This may put the Senate at play. This is the other reason they are in a rush. Why they are fighting on this hill to the last.
This is beyond an election or a judge in front of the Senate. This is a cultural moment. It is coming in the midst of the #MeToo movement. Like women burning their bras in the 1970s, this is a point of assertion. This is pushback against a culture that is toxic for young girls and women. It is sending a message. We are ready to stand up. But the pushback is to be expected. Men are facing real consequences, for the first time.
At this point, women will have to make a choice. Keep pushing, and know the fight is not easy. Or do what some men want to happen…go back to a time women could not own property. Or a time when women had no agency over their bodies. For that matter, a time when women could not vote. and some in the far right, Anne Coulter comes to mind, she believes a woman’s right to the vote was a mistake and needs to be taken away. Realize, she is the chosen voice of this toxic ideology, because her male counterparts would be crucified at this moment.
Sep 27, 2018