Glenn Reynolds reminds us of something we’d all forgotten:
I would have rather he picked one of the more libertarian members of his list: Willett, or maybe Kethledge. And because some sort of trumped-up #MeToo thing was almost certain, a lot of people thought he should have picked Amy Coney Barrett. Kavanaugh was a fine, safe pick, but kinda milquetoasty DC Establishment for my taste.
But that was the reason to pick him. Trump knew he’d been vetted enough that there would be no real skeletons, and he no doubt expected that the Democrats would be so desperate they’d invent some. They would have done that with anyone he put up — but, precisely because Kavanaugh was a milquetoasty DC Establishment type, seeing the Democrats go into full batshit assault mode on him galvanized the other milquetoasty DC Establishment types. You could see the lightbulbs go off in their heads: The Democrats don’t hate Trump because he’s Trump. They hate all Republicans and want to ruin them. Even me! And they always will.
The result is that the Kavanaugh affair has welded the Trump and NeverTrump forces (except for a few sad outliers who don’t matter) into a solid force. And it’s simultaneously galvanized GOP voters around the country, closing the “enthusiasm gap,” as the normals become more militant.
What the Democarats did was dumb. It was monumentally dumb.
Trump nominated someone who was ho-hum. He was ok, but he wasn’t especially strong and favored narrow decisions. We didn’t (and still don’t) know his position on abortion is. Hardly the sort of conservative that would really excite the base.
But the Democrats immediately sounded the alarm. They had things dialed up to 11 even before the decision was made. No matter who it was, they’d have said he was bad for women, gays, minorities and that guy on the corner minding his own business.
But once the hearing closed, and the Democrats realised they’d not landed a killing blow, they bought out the dirty tricks. They came out with one well-coached individual who (eventually – half the point was to sow confusion and delay) told a torrid tale of a vicious assault by a laughing Kavanaugh. Along with this, others came out and laid accusations that were even less believable. But they were snapped up by the Democratic feminist activist base.
But this didn’t fool too many people. Oh sure, even now many Democrats and their activists still act like they believe, and I’m sure many actually do. And some might even think that Kavanaugh’s anger at the tidal wave of false accusations is disqualifying, even though they themselves created that anger.
I’m quite sure there would still be believers if we had literally video showing all Kavanaugh’s weekend activities over the time in question. But we don’t and we just have witness statements to go on. And those witnesses are firm – no one remembers this happening.
But the reality is that these accusations were false. They were lies. They were concoctions that should never have seen the light of day. But they weren’t created to be foolproof, they were created to try to shake a few votes loose from the Republicans. And they did delay things a few days. But they were never going to do more than that.
We’ve seen the video of screaming, hysterical feminists in Washington. These are the woman trying to convince (if you can call screaming in someone’s face “convincing”) senators to “believe the victim” and take these tall tales as true, in spite of all the evidence.
So has the Republican base.
They’ve seen the lies. They’ve seen the lies exposed. They’ve seen more lies, and the liars doubling down even after the lies were exposed. They’ve seen the delaying tactics, and everything else.
The fact is, the House, Senate, Presidency and most states are dominated by Republicans. They are, because people voted for them. There was a real risk that those people might have forgotten the danger of a Democratic senate, or House. People who have what they want can be either discontent or forgetful of what it was like before.
Well, there’s no danger of that anymore. They’ve seen exactly now desperate the Democrats are to gain power. Because if they’re happy to throw such ridiculous accusations at a man like Kavanaugh, where will they stop?
So thanks Democrats.
Update: thanks for this too: Don’t Forget: Kavanaugh Probably Would Have Been Blocked If Democrats Hadn’t Filibustered Gorsuch