So Brett Kavanaugh is probably going to be confirmed, which should surprise exactly nobody.
It looks like Susan Collins is a “yes” and Jeff Flake looks like he’s prepared to move ahead as well. The Senate will begin a test vote at 10:30 AM Friday and is aiming to cram this through on Saturday.
Of course Kavanaugh would have sailed through were it not for multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, and even after those allegations came to light, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee clearly had no intention of getting at the truth. They deliberately set up the Ford hearing as a “he said, she said” circus, which should have been a breeze for Kavanaugh. Somehow, he managed to screw it up by launching into a bizarre, conspiratorial rant on the way to breaking down in tears while attempting to describe some calendars he brought along with him as props.
As bad as his opening statement was, his behavior when questioned was even worse. Pressed about his drinking habits in high school and college, Kavanaugh loudly professed his love for beer and, in one particularly surreal exchange, asked Senator Amy Klobuchar whether she has ever been blackout drunk.
The whole thing was worse than nails raking a chalkboard, and by the time it was over, Kavanaugh had perjured himself more times than anyone could count.
At that point, it was clear that Kavanaugh’s nomination should be withdrawn. Irrespective of whether the allegations are true, his temperament is not that of a Supreme Court Justice and he let his partisanship hang out like “Bart’s” penis at a Yale dorm room party.
Consider what Benjamin Wittes wrote, in a rather remarkable piece for The Atlantic on Tuesday:
If I were a senator, I would not vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.
These are words I write with no pleasure, but with deep sadness. Unlike many people who will read them with glee—as validating preexisting political, philosophical, or jurisprudential opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination—I have no hostility to or particular fear of conservative jurisprudence. I have a long relationship with Kavanaugh, and I have always liked him. I have admired his career on the D.C. Circuit. I have spoken warmly of him. I have published him.
Kavanaugh… delivered on Thursday, by way of defense, a howl of rage. He went on the attack not against Ford—for that we can be grateful—but against Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee and beyond. His opening statement was an unprecedentedly partisan outburst of emotion from a would-be justice. I do not begrudge him the emotion, even the anger. He has been through a kind of hell that would leave any person gasping for air. But I cannot condone the partisanship—which was raw, undisguised, naked, and conspiratorial—from someone who asks for public faith as a dispassionate and impartial judicial actor. His performance was wholly inconsistent with the conduct we should expect from a member of the judiciary.
And that’s from a guy who likes Brett.
The supplemental FBI investigation conducted on orders from Donald Trump (who only agreed to launch the one-week probe because Jeff Flake decided, at the last minute, to effectively upend the entire process) was obviously not designed to uncover evidence that would corroborate the accounts of Kavanaugh’s three accusers.
Of course they needn’t have bothered, because the New York Times spent the last three days proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Kavanaugh is misleading Congress and the American public with regard to his drinking and also with respect to how he’s inclined to behave when drunk. When the White House wouldn’t allow the FBI to do its job, the free press went ahead and did the Bureau’s job for it, which underscores how important it is that Trump not be allowed to stifle press freedom.
In any event, Kavanaugh published an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday evening and it reads like what it is: The lament of a man who realizes he’s about to land on the Supreme Court and as such, desperately needs to convince Americans that the Brett they saw haranguing Senators, shrieking about Clinton conspiracies and stuttering about “beer” last week is someone different than the Brett who will be tasked with defending the Constitution and safeguarding the republic.
“The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution. The justices do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle. They do not caucus in separate rooms.”, Kavanaugh says in the piece, before insisting that if he’s confirmed, he “would be part of a team of nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
Here’s what Kavanaugh had to say about his behavior at last Thursday’s hearing:
I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.
Ok, so what can we expect if you’re confirmed,
Bart Brett? Well, this, apparently:
Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good. As a judge, I have always treated colleagues and litigants with the utmost respect. I have been known for my courtesy on and off the bench. I have not changed. I will continue to be the same kind of judge I have been for the last 12 years.
Do you feel better?