by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Confirming Brett Kavanaugh was the best outcome at the end of a hellish decision tree that left the country with no ideal option.
Reasonable people may differ on that. But what seems more obvious: It’s all going to get worse. Because everyone is taking the wrong lessons from the Kavanaugh debacle. …
… The president’s comments mocking Ford, meanwhile, were singularly unhelpful. Collins called them “Just plain wrong.” Flake: “It was appalling.” Murkowski: “Wholly inappropriate.” Even Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said he thought the president should “knock it off.”
Nor did Kavanaugh’s nomination “sail through” after that. Instead, the headwinds got stronger, the water choppier, and the sharks hungrier.
As Trump chummed the water, his nominee was rescued by a team of RINOs. It was Flake’s FBI gambit, Collins’s sense of decency and decorum, and the steely determination of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that got Kavanaugh confirmed. (Remember when Steve Bannon was declaring McConnell Public Enemy No. 1 of MAGA Nation?) …
… Ryan Williams, the president of the Claremont Institute, argues that the Kavanaugh battle retroactively vindicates Michael Anton’s famous “Flight 93” argument of 2016: that the presidential election was a “charge the cockpit or you die” moment for American conservatives. Now, Williams says, the middle has collapsed, the parties are pulling farther apart, and it’s Flight 93 for as far as the eye can see.
The Left largely sees the situation this way, too. In the wake of their failure to destroy Kavanaugh, Democrats and liberal activists insist they must “fight dirty,” as political scientist David Farris argues in his book, It’s Time to Fight Dirty. Liberals have convinced themselves that Democrats lose because they are too nice.