Former President Barack Obama recently broke his political silence, delivering a blistering rebuke to his successor’s first two years in the White House.
“Demagogues promise simple fixes to complex problems,” Obama warned. “They start undermining norms that ensure accountability, try to change the rules to entrench their power further.”
Obama then pointed out the obvious: “This is not normal.”
Democrats cried wolf too many times
No one on either side of the aisle would call this political moment “normal.” Even the most enthusiastic members of Team MAGA would call our chief executive’s comments and actions, ahem, “unusual.”
In truth, that’s a big reason they voted for him. After all, undermining norms is a two-way street.
Republicans have seen every party nominee since Reagan smeared as racist, sexist, this-ist and that-ist. By the time those attacks were rolled out against Trump, they had lost their moral impact. The donkey cried wolf too many times.
Trump has proved worthier of those epithets than the other presidential candidates, but GOPers know that any generic conservative would be called the same, deservedly or not. And the unhinged reaction to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is just more proof.
You mean they protested over that?
Kavanaugh is a highly experienced jurist respected by fine legal minds of all political persuasions. With his originalist pedigree and uncontroversial history, he would have been a top candidate for any Republican president, be it McCain, Romney or any of the 16 also-rans Trump defeated in 2016.
If “generic conservative” was a dictionary entry, it would have Brett Kavanaugh’s portrait.
But because Kavanaugh isn’t a liberal in the mold of Ginsburg or Sotomayor, Democrats beclowned themselves in a futile effort to defeat him.
It began with the protests, from silent women dressed as characters from dystopian “The Handmaid’s Tale” to countless interruptions by audience members. U.S. Capitol Police arrested 227 agitators disrupting the hearings, surely a record for what was once called “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”
Senators’ behavior was even worse
But these antics couldn’t compare to what the elected representatives served up.
In the first 40 minutes, Democratic senators interrupted the Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings 44 times, demanding a postponement. This strategy was apparently engineered by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) who led a conference call to “disrupt” the hearings instead of actually questioning the nominee.
The first day was such a circus, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) lesson on how the Senate is supposed to work. It was the only part of the hearing worth hearing.
Likely Democratic presidential candidate and current New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker claimed to release confidential emails from Kavanaugh, in violation of Senate rules. “I understand the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate,” he said, and compared himself to Spartacus for some reason.
A few hours later, it was revealed that the documents were cleared for public release. Just as well, since all they revealed was that Kavanaugh opposes racial profiling.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) decided to one-up Booker in their 2020 positioning. She deceptively edited a video of the nominee saying, “filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objected to.”
This proved Kavanaugh thinks contraception equals abortion, she tweeted, and wants to make it illegal. Of course, she edited out the context, which showed he was clearly talking about the moral position held by a Catholic nonprofit group called Priests for Life, not himself.
What’s the point? To fight more later?
All the silly grandstanding won’t affect Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court. What it will ensure, however, is that the next Supreme Court nominee will face even more histrionics from the opposition, be it Democrats or Republicans.
This is not normal – and it’s no way for our political or legal system to be run.
Jon Gabriel, a Mesa resident, is editor-in-chief of Ricochet.com and a contributor to The Republic and azcentral.com. Follow him on Twitter at @exjon.