In the final analysis, it was painfully simple and should have been obvious to any clear-eyed observer, which my preternaturally hopeful self was not: The forces that were able to lie the most, be the most deceitful and the most underhanded would control the confirmation “process” to determine whether Brett Kavanaugh would slither into a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. And so they did and so he has despite an extraordinary outpouring of opposition, including that from more than twenty-four hundred of Kavanaugh’s peers in the form of law school professors.
Then there was Charles Grassley, who acted and sounded more and more like Grampa Simpson as the “process” — actually a textbook exercise in raw power — unfolded travesty by travesty, including an FBI investigation in which none of the key witnesses were interviewed that ended up being a coverup of a coverup.
Smugly brushing aside the concerns of the victims of the perjuriously intemperate Kavanaugh and ad hominem whining about partisanship run amok, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman suffered an Abe Simpson-like memory lapse in forgetting about the insidiously successful Republican plot to undercut a Democratic president’s authority to appoint his own justice. Remember Merrick Garland? I didn’t think so.
Then there was the one person who remained dignified during this carnival of horrors. Her name is Christine Blasey Ford. And the one person who kept outdoing himself for unchecked vulgarity. His name is Donald Trump.
Oh, and a special shout out to Senators Jeff Flake and Susan Collins for their cowardice under fire. You too, Joe Manchin.
Kavanaugh’s lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is especially awful because the beer-guzzling frat boy becomes the swing vote for conservatives on issues such as presidential power, abortion rights and gun rights. (A truly sobering thought, bad pun intended: Justice John Paul Stevens retired from the court when he was 90 years old. Kavanaugh will 90 years old in 2055.)
But while Republicans kept turning up the music to drown out valid concerns about Kavanaugh just as he turned up the music to drown out Ford’s screams, the good fight may not be quite over.
Should Democrats retake the House in the midterms, they can vote to impeach Kavanaugh for his lies.
While stopping short of using the I-word, Representative Jerrold Nadler, the Democrat in line to be the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said on Friday after Kavanaugh’s confirmation was assured and prior to the 50-48 final vote on Saturday and a private swearing-in ceremony, that House Democrats will open an investigation into accusations of perjury and sexual misconduct.
Kavanaugh lied when he said he had no involvement in vetting questions about the rules governing detention of combatants in the War on Terror. He said he’d learned about President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program from The New York Times, when he knew about it much earlier. That’s just for openers, because committee Republicans withheld the vast majority of the documents Democrats had requested and there are indications some of those documents contradict other aspects of his testimony.
This, of course, doesn’t cover Kavanaugh’s most blatant lies about a youth he characterized as one of chaste innocence, which while not necessarily grounds for impeachment will be attached forever to Kavanaugh in the form of a big fat asterisk next to his name that should dog him for the rest of his life.
Lies about excessive youthful drinking and lies about well documented instances of so-called youthful indiscretions, including an attempted rape of Ford that did not succeed because he was took drunk to both hold her down and undress her. About exposing himself to Deborah Ramirez, and about being a ringleader in a prep school gang that put drugs in party punch bowls and then gang raped their inebriated victims.
On the way out the door, let’s cut the crap about this debacle bringing disrepute on the Senate and the Supreme Court. The Senate has long been a dysfunctional retirement home deaf and blind to the needs of Americans, and Democrats share the blame. The high court lost its way in 2000 with Bush v. Gore.
Yet the biggest reason Kavanaugh is unqualified is staring us right in the face: He is an instrument of Trumpism.
Kavanaugh was appointed by a man described by even his closest associations as being unfit for office, a man implicated by his own longtime lawyer as a fraudster, a man so obviously a con artist and congenital liar, a man who should not have been allowed to name people to lifetime Supreme Court appointments. And he went full Trump in his angry and aggressive attack on committee Democrats and indirectly on Ford.
We blew that, America.
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on October 5, 2018 on Kiko’s House, a website featuring commentary by journalist and author, Shaun Mullen. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Mullen.