It is said that Republicans are “the stupid party,” and perhaps so, but we should entertain the thesis that Democrats are the incompetent party. Amidst the justified outrage at the Democratic Party’s actions in the Kavanaugh nomination fight, let us step back for a moment and revel for a bit in the sheer political incompetence of Democrats.
• Democratic voter intensity for the midterm election next month was already sky-high, and it is unlikely that the Kavanaugh vote would increase it by much. But it has succeeded in jumping up Republican voter intensity, such that a number of polls show several key Senate races breaking toward the GOP. Bottom line: the Democrats’ egregious behavior has likely cost them their slim chance of taking the Senate.
• According to most polls, the leading issue on the minds of voters right now is health care. (Wait—I thought we fixed health care with Obamacare? I guess not.) The issue breaks hard against Republicans right now for various reasons. But guess what Democratic candidates are not talking about right now? Health care. They’re talking about Kavanaugh instead.
• The indulgence of Avenatti’s bizarro story of a supposed high school “rape gang” was probably the key turning point, not simply because it was so preposterous that only a Democrat and their media toadies could possibly believe it, but because it proved the tipping point for Kavanaugh himself, whose vigorous attack on the Democrats in last Thursday’s hearing contrasted with his more restrained appearance on Martha McCallum’s show on Fox earlier in the week, and his measured responses to the Judiciary Committee staff inquiries into the new allegations. (That and it summoned up Lindsey Graham’s Incredible Hulk move.)
• Can we send another bouquet of flowers to Harry Reid for starting the process of ending the filibuster for judicial nominees? Democrats did that for the purpose of packing the DC Circuit Court of Appeals (Kavanaugh’s current post) because they knew that a lot of Obama’s executive actions were vulnerable to challenge in that venue. Then, Democrats decided that they had to filibuster—for the first time ever for the Supreme Court—Neil Gorsuch’s nomination, even though he was replacing Scalia and wouldn’t have affected the ideological distribution of the Court at all. There were apparently some cooler heads among Democrats who thought they should not have forced the GOP to nuke the filibuster and kept it in reserve for the next nomination, which turned out to be . . . now. But they couldn’t help themselves, because Resistance! I doubt the Senate Republicans would have had the nerve—or the votes—to abolish the judicial filibuster for Kavanaugh. Once again, Democrats outsmarted themselves.
• The latest Democratic talking point about Kavanaugh is that his righteous indignation at being called a rapist shows that he lacks proper “judicial temperament.” To which I am tempted to reply—I certainly hope so! I used to joke that I wished Democrats would do to every GOP Supreme Court nominee what they did to Clarence Thomas, as it would ensure that they wouldn’t “grow” on the bench and move to the left, as so many GOP justices have done over the decades. It’s not a joke now, but mission accomplished! Nothing like a deeply personal reminder of the true character of the left. To borrow John Kerry’s phrase, I expect that this nature is now “seared” into Kavanaugh’s mind. I had some mild doubts about Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence before. I have fewer doubts now. Thanks, Democrats!
• Finally, in our latest Power Line podcast, I remarked that some of Trump’s defects—his stubbornness, his instinct to hit back hard, his egotism, his “bullying”—turn out to be necessary and useful traits in the face of the Democrats’ outrageous behavior. And sure enough, this episode is having the effect of causing many Never Trumpers to discover Trump’s virtues. Consider Bret Stephens at the New York Times, who last year wrote that he wished Hillary had won. Today he says in the Times “For Once I’m Grateful for Trump.”
For the first time since Donald Trump entered the political fray, I find myself grateful that he’s in it. I’m reluctant to admit it and astonished to say it . . .
I’m grateful because Trump has not backed down in the face of the slipperiness, hypocrisy and dangerous standard-setting deployed by opponents of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. I’m grateful because ferocious and even crass obstinacy has its uses in life, and never more so than in the face of sly moral bullying. I’m grateful because he’s a big fat hammer fending off a razor-sharp dagger.
Read the whole thing; Stephens offers a terrific eight-point indictment of the duplicitous Dems.
This is called “winning” I think.
JOHN adds: The “Brett bounce” is benefiting President Trump, too. The current Rasmussen survey has him at 50% approval and 49% disapproval. More significant, his “approval index”–the difference between Strong Approval and Strong Disapproval–now stands at -3. That is the best I can recall seeing it; Barack Obama’s Approval Index was rarely that high.
For most of the first two years of Trump’s presidency, the people who disliked him really disliked him. His Disapproval and Strong Disapproval numbers were about the same. No surprise there. But there were quite a few people–like me–who would have told a pollster that they approved of Trump’s performance, but not strongly.
That is no longer true. If a pollster asked me today whether I strongly approve of Trump, I would say, Damn straight! The increased GOP intensity we are seeing in Senate races is also showing up as increased intensity in support for the president.