As we await the vote which will determine whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh will serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, one thing is certain: Americans are disgusted by the Democrats’ efforts to derail his confirmation.
According to a recent Harvard-Harris poll, “a majority of voters believe that Kavanaugh’s confirmation process was politicized and mishandled, with 69 percent calling it a "national disgrace,” according to the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University, which reported on the survey.
That poll showed voters blaming both parties for the heinous process, but from the very first day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s raucous hearings, sentiment began to shift in favor of Republicans.
On September 4, when the Committee first met, Democrats, held a 9.5 point advantage in the so-called “generic ballot”, in which people say whether they would prefer to vote for a Democrat or a Republican for Congress. That number had been climbing, up more than 2 points since the beginning of August – momentum that encouraged Democrats’ dreams of a “Blue Wave” in the midterm elections. Today, the Democrats’ generic edge has retreated to 7.2 points.
On that first day of the hearings, 70 protestors were arrested by Capitol police, and the proceedings in the Hart Senate Office Building were repeatedly interrupted by people screaming hateful disapproval of the judge.
Democrat senators were equally disrespectful, with New Jersey’s Cory “Spartacus” Booker, Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal and California’s Kamala Harris among those rudely disrupting Chairman Chuck Grassley’s attempts to move the hearings along. They complained they lacked the documents they needed to assess the judge’s qualifications, even though they had been given hundreds of thousands of pages of material covering every aspect of Kavanaugh’s career – more than the five prior nominees combined.
It didn’t matter; Democrats wanted to convince the public that Kavanaugh, who had been vetted by the FBI on six different occasions and had been confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee to the D.C. Appeals Court 12 years earlier, was a stealth candidate.
After the first week of hearings, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Democrats, saying they had, “repeatedly interrupted Chairman Grassley, behaved rudely toward the nominee and hauled out one dishonest partisan attack after another to try to distort his record and smear Judge Kavanaugh.”
Little did he know, they were just getting started. The second act of the effort to obstruct Kavanaugh’s confirmation commenced with the revelation that Christine Blasey Ford had accused him of sexually assaulting her 36 years earlier. This unproven charge, which lacked any evidence or witnesses, threw the hearings into chaos and diminished public approval of the judge.
But even as most Americans appeared to believe Ford, who was championed by women’s rights groups and by the liberal media, they were not pleased with the way the accusations had been handled. That Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sat on the information for two months, seemingly orchestrating a “gotcha” moment, and that she had spent an hour interviewing Kavanaugh in her chambers without asking him about the accusations, bolstered Republicans’ charges that the allegations were a political hit job.
According to the Harvard poll, “75 percent of voters believe that Senator Dianne Feinstein should have immediately turned over the letter from Christine Ford to the Senate Judiciary committee in July when she received it.” Americans believe in fair play; Feinstein’s actions were dishonest.
After the dramatic but inconclusive “she said, he said” testimony of both Ford and Kavanaugh, sentiment changed, with more Americans questioning whether uncorroborated accusations were sufficient to sink a brilliant man who had, from all accounts, conducted himself with dignity and decency for nearly three decades, and, who was, in particular, a champion of women.
Against nearly universal accolades and testimony from hundreds of friends, colleagues and students, the public was asked to believe that Kavanaugh was, in reality, a lout who routinely attacked women when drunk, and a man who had successfully hidden these violent proclivities for decades.
It was simply not credible. Such a verdict was rendered even less credible as more charges surfaced, with each new challenge looking ever more preposterous. When attorney Michael Avenatti entered the mix, presenting a woman whose accusations that Kavanaugh was present at gang rapes collapsed almost immediately in an embarrassing TV interview, the nation had had enough.
During this sorry process, other surveys indicated the battle was beginning to hurt Democrats. The so-called “enthusiasm” advantage held by Democrats shrank; a new NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll shows the gap down to two points from 10 in July. Republicans are more fired up to vote; if Kavanaugh is confirmed that excitement will likely grow.
In addition, several key Senate races have shifted in favor of Republicans over the past two weeks. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report just recently moved three Senate races in favor of the GOP candidates, including contests in Montana, Nebraska and New Jersey.
It is heartening that Americans are offended by the vicious attacks on Judge Kavanaugh. It shows our country dedicated to the principle of due process, believing in “innocent until proven guilty” and demanding fair play. Voters know that the attacks on the judge are political, stemming from an angry mob that still cannot accept the outcome of the 2016 election, and they reject mob rule.
As President Obama once so eloquently said, “Elections have consequences.” One of the most important of those consequences is the ability to nominate excellent candidates to serve on the Supreme Court.
That is what President Trump has done.