I was on the road all day yesterday (and again today) and missed all of the Kavanaugh hearing in real time. Scott and John have already offered up solid observations, especially about Senator Lindsey Graham’s finest moment. I’ll bet Rush Limbaugh lets him off the hook today from his usual label as “Lindsey Grahamnesty.”
Some other time perhaps I’ll explain why I think Rachel Mitchell’s performance in the hearing was actually very effective, even if most of us thought she didn’t go for a Perry Mason-like smackdown. My historian’s eye tells me that Graham’s speech will rank as one of the top five Senate moments ever—full stop. It reminds me of nothing so much as the 40-second speech of Joseph Welch in the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings that effectively ended McCarthy. That, too, was about an act of bad faith. I’m going from memory here and don’t have time to check precisely, but as I recall by prior agreement with Roy Cohn, McCarthy was not going to ask about youthful membership of his attorney colleague in the National Lawyers Guild—a Communist front. But McCarthy did anyway, which is what prompted Welch to go off in famous fashion—”At long last, have you no decency?”
Graham’s moment is easily the equal of this. Graham very skillfully called out the indecency of the Democrats in this whole affair.
But do not think this matter is over. The left is not going to give up on Kavanaugh. I’m sure Jane Mayer is already working on Strange Justice 2, a sequel to her egregious and mendacious book on Clarence Thomas, Strange Justice. If you think what happened to Ted Cruz in a DC restaurant last week was bad, just consider that soon-to-be Justice Kavanaugh will now have to travel everywhere with security for the rest of his life, and probably can’t dine out peacefully in Washington DC with his family. Meanwhile, Dr. Ford is going to become the newest celebrity on the left. By some accounts she already has $900,000 pledged to her in various GoFundMe accounts, and I’m sure a book deal and an HBO movie are already in the works. She’s certain to be a celebrity on Nation magazine cruises, a poster-child for NOW, and so forth. How long before she starts doing joint appearances with Anita Hill? (By the way, it is only morning as I write: what are the chances Michael Avenatti or some other apparatchik floats a new accusation before the end of the day?)
I expect that Democrats will promise to impeach Kavanaugh (and maybe Thomas, too) if they can gin up more stories. Failing that, expect that if Democrats win the White House and Congress in 2020, they’ll move to expand the Supreme Court to 11 justices, on grounds that Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Thomas are illegitimate members.
Final irony: When Neil Gorsuch was appointed, some cooler heads among the Democrats said they ought not to filibuster Gorsuch and prompt McConnell to finish what Harry Reid started, but instead save their filibuster for the next nominee to replace Kennedy. But they couldn’t help themselves. If the filibuster for the Supreme Court was still in place now, I doubt Republicans would be willing to go to the “nuclear option” in this circumstance. That would be one step too far. So once again, hats off to Harry Reid, and to Democratic intransigence.
Needless to say, Week in Pictures tomorrow is going to be epic, and you can guess the theme.
UPDATE—Well, this didn’t take long:
Liberal activists and journalists Thursday predicted a push to impeach Kavanaugh if he is confirmed and Democrats retake Congress. . .
ADDENDUM: A number of commenters here and on Twitter are after me because they think I concede to much to the standard liberal McCarthy narrative about the Joseph Welch moment. To which I reply simply, does no one remember the ending of “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” or ponder the utility of using the liberal narrative against them? As Judge Kavanaugh and Sen. Graham both said, “What goes around comes around.”