With the action by the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday afternoon sending the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the full Senate for a vote in coming days, we can no longer focus simply on the details of the moment.
Instead, we need to evaluate the true implications of the events that have transpired over the last two days, culminating in the Judiciary Committee’s 11-10 vote in favor of confirming Kavanaugh. Every Republican on the committee voted in favor of confirmation, while every Democrat voted against the judge.
In the days of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment hearings, I would frequently go toe-to-toe with Democrats on TV news shows, arguing for the president’s removal while they rehashed well-worn talking points that toed their party line in support of him.
Yet once we returned to the green room, my counterparts on the left would sometimes tell a different tale. Their words were not seriously meant, they said; their retorts and barbs were simply attempts to deflect blame and quell public outrage through to the next election cycle.
In effect, they told me I was right and that President Clinton should go.
At the time, I was appalled. It reminded me, literally, of the biblical story of Esau selling his birthright for a mess of pottage: a grave miscalculation of petty ends justifying even shallower means.
America’s birthright principles – fairness, equality, the presumption of innocence, truth – are at stake.
Over the past two days, however, I have been struck with an even greater sense of outrage as I have witnessed Democrats’ response to the impassioned remarks of Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ben Sasse of Nebraska – and even the remarks of Judge Kavanaugh himself.
I had expected I might see in today’s Democrats the same chastened response that I once observed from my TV sparring partners years ago. But I saw no such indication of shame or remorse from senators on the left.
On the contrary, I saw the shared principles that had once provided an undercurrent of inter-party unity overtaken by Democrats’ entirely cynical, shortsighted willingness – if not enthusiasm – to abide by whatever practices necessary in order to ensure an ideological victory. They have called out the dogs, and the dogs are doing their nasty work.
Democrats will stop at nothing to humiliate President Trump – and to keep a pro-life justice off the Supreme Court.
Whatever disingenuous remarks the Democrats may make about victims’ rights, or however many traditional catchphrases they employ to rally their base, those words are just window dressing.
When that artifice is stripped bare, the American people can see the left’s morally bankrupt tactics for what they are. We see that Democrats are clearly not interested in pursuing truth or justice, and are not interested in due process.
Instead, Democratic senators seem far more interested in accomplishing three things: ruining Kavanaugh’s reputation; destroying the hopes Professor Christine Blasey Ford – the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault – of ever again regaining her privacy; and placing the lives of the Kavanaugh and Ford families in jeopardy.
Kavanaugh has firmly denied all allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.
What ends could the vindictive, cowardly means employed by Democrats possibly justify?
Democrats are trading their own birthright as one of the formative parties of our nation’s history for the pottage of becoming the resistance party of the moment.
I regret to say that the party of Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt has now devolved into the party of publicity-seeking anti-Trump attorney Michael Avenatti, who says he is considering running for president as a Democrat in 2020.
Ours is an important cultural moment. As historian Allen Guelzo wrote recently, this is the greatest period of bitter division America has seen since the Civil War.
Surveying the wreckage of the past two days’ events, it saddens me to realize that Guelzo may well be right. Friday’s opening statements from Judiciary Committee Democrats before they cast their vote in opposition to Kavanaugh – each one laced with hypocrisy – throw Guelzo’s analysis into particularly stark relief.
The small hope of redemption Guelzo offers – his reminder that America did, after all, rebuild itself after the Civil War – is muted somewhat when we reflect on the several chilling differences between then and now.
Today it’s almost as though we’re operating with entirely different sets of people, bound not by any overarching sense of principle or narrative but tied only to garnering as many votes as possible. No moral guardrails govern the left.
America’s birthright principles – fairness, equality, the presumption of innocence, truth – are at stake, and it behooves us all to ask the Democrats directly what was asked of Esau: what are you prepared to sell your birthright for?