Women and people of color have to pay for the mistakes for their whole lives, but rich dudes get to spin between the raindrops
We cannot underestimate how badly Republicans want to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, regardless of what they find out about him.
Sean Trende, the analyst behind the “Missing White Voters” theory, compares putting a conservative on the Supreme Court before the midterms to the Democrats push to pass the Affordable Care Act, meaning getting it done is essential for the party leadership, regardless of the costs.
I agree but I don’t think any conservative would do. It has to be Brett Kavanaugh, even if they don’t have the votes yet. Because this isn’t about sexual assault and it’s not even about Roe. It’s about the thing that makes whatever Kavanaugh has done fine and the thing that unites someone like Mike Pence who can’t be alone with alone with any woman but his wife and Donald Trump who you’d never leave alone with your wife.
It’s about the right to force your beliefs on your perceived enemies, and only your enemies.
To understand how badly they want to confirm this guy, just pretend that the lie Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are telling their voters is true — imagine there is any doubt how Brett Kavanaugh would rule when it comes to protecting women’s reproductive rights.
Imagine the fury on Fox and the rage on Rush. Even at 88 years old, Pat Robertson would be flipping Humvees.
Last weekend Mike Pence spoke at the Values Voters Summit put on by the Family Research Center. In addition to the FRC’s ancient hateful views of gay people and most Americans who have non-marital non-genital-to-genital sex in general, the organization exists to help end a women’s control over her own body. “The Roe v. Wade decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, declaring abortion to be a constitutional ‘right,’ was without foundation in the text of the Constitution and thus was wrongly decided, and we look forward to the day when this grave error will be corrected,” the group’s website reads.
Imagine of there were any doubt at all about how Kavanaugh would rule on Roe or LGBTQ rights, Pence would have been booed into the afterlife. But he was cheered like the Second Coming because he is a human promise that Trump will end Roe and it’s a promise that will be kept with Brett Kavanaugh.
To keep Trump and Pence’s promise to the religious right, Collins and Murkowski have to break their promise to uphold Roe, one they’ve broken over and over again by appointing federal judges who think women shouldn’t even be able to choose their own socks. But this is different. Enough voters are watching that winking is essential. Kavanaugh has to wink to Collins and Murkowski who have to wink back as the Values Voters crowd enjoys the charade knowing it’s meaningless. With Kavanaugh, Roe is gone. Maybe it’s just gutted. Maybe it’s irrelevant as a ban based on the myth of fetal pain grips all 50 states. That’s to be determined, but they consider Roe dead — and they want Kavanaugh to do it.
He wasn’t the first choice of the hard right but as a godfather of conservative movement once said, “I didn’t like Nixon until Watergate.” The disgust the left feels for Kavanaugh makes him twice as appealing for the old right — who in Kavanaugh they see a serial liar and sexual predator who, unlike Trump, reminds them of themselves — and for the president, who already defended two of the vilest sickos in politics, Roy Moore and himself.
I posited that Trump wanted Kavanaugh as a “human pardon” with the kind of views of executive power that only a Richard Nixon could love, but Scott Lemieux pointed out, “If the Supreme Court is going to issue a legally shaky pro-Trump ruling, the four other Republican justices have to be on board, and if they are presumably any member of Team Republican would cast the same vote.”
He points to Michelle Goldberg who noted, “If the Kavanaugh nomination goes forward, it’s because Trump and his allies believe that a certain class of men accused of sexual assault deserve impunity.”
And it’s not just sexual assault. Whoever was going to be the fifth vote to overturn Roe in a Senate that requires the votes of the two “pro-choice” Republicans was going to have to a liar, an unrepentant liar.
In Kavanaugh they have found an exemplar of the species, he’s someone who lies about almost everything from his role at the Bush White House to why he helped sexually humiliate a high school classmate. He even seems to be lying about his virginity.
Helping Kavanaugh get away with his worst lies has multifarious benefits for the right and Trump.
It helps demonstrate dominance and disrespect for process, which is why Mitch McConnell is all in. It helps silence survivors of sexual violence, Trump’s favorite election year activity. And it’s a reminder that a rich white guy can get away with almost any mistake he made when he’s young by lying about it when he’s older.
Meanwhile, poor teen girls can be forced to give birth long before they’re ready, either by the law or their lack of birth control and sex education options, and poor black men can lose their freedom forever over something Kavanaugh and his college buddies would consider a typical Saturday night.
This is now about something bigger than Brett Kavanaugh. It’s about forcing Brett Kavanaugh on us. And this is why we can’t let up now.