As we watch the political desecration of the "advise and consent" role of the United States Senate, it is not a secret why it is happening -- but it also is one, at least to some extent.
The left had talked and tweeted itself into some kind of fury, at the notion that the approval of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would lead to the immediate overturning of Roe v. Wade and the illegalization of aborting the unborn across the USA. Since apparently aborting babies is the most important legal issue we face, even though the judge has testified that he regards it as "settled law", the left feels the need to destroy the man before he can be allowed to take his seat.
We get that. The left is an amoral bunch, akin to 1930s brown-shirts in pre-WWII Germany. They will do whatever they want in the defense of their right to kill unborn babies, and that includes hounding Ted Cruz out of a restaurant in DC.
Unfortunately, it also includes concocting hazy (at best) or fictional (at worst) tales of Judge Kavanaugh's associations with women from high school. It includes, as Dianne Feinstein did, holding back the existence of the tale from the Senate Judiciary Committee for two months, and from the accused, Judge Kavanaugh, even though she met with him to assess his qualifications.
But again, that's what they do, and why.
However, there is a far more insidious outcome that no one is mentioning, and it is incumbent on us to address before it is too late.
Recent elections for president and other high offices, and hearings for appointments to Cabinet positions have been utterly brutal -- and personal. One thing we constantly hear is that "No one will want to run for, or apply for, senior public service jobs if they have to have their entire life, even the least relevant years, dragged through the mud."
They're right, of course. I've never really contemplated running for public office, but in idle thoughts where I imagine myself doing so, the one thing that immediately switches my thinking to something like sports is the notion that my life would be an open book.
Now, I've never been charged with a felony, never been in jail, never appeared in my defense in court. I managed to get through high school without a day's detention, and through college without whatever MIT's student government would have been empowered to charge me with had I actually done anything.
And yet the last week's events have made me think back to my relationships with women in college and before I got married (I didn't actually have any relationships to speak of in high school). We don't actually know what Judge Kavanaugh supposedly did to or with the now-college professor, lawyered up with a virulent anti-Trumper. We don't know, because no one will say, lest there be something tangible to deny or even to prove fictitious.
But even the things that have leaked out, true or not, seem to be things that young men often do at that age -- because young men do them. If the young lady chooses, she can go along, and if not, the young man should be decent and find a way to lessen the stress of the interaction. But the point is that if it were a requirement that no male candidate for office have ever made a pass at a woman in his life, well, that might have changed the course of history a bit.
Yet that is what the left has done here.
They are taking a brilliant and accomplished jurist with literally hundreds of published opinions and a thirty-year legal and judicial career, with a squeaky-clean reputation and the unanimous approval of the Bar organizations that vet such candidates, and trying to destroy him based on an as-yet-unpublished and completely unverified accusation of something in his teens that 99% of non-nerdulent boys have done.
So let's say that a few Republican senators decide to bend to absurd pressure and declare they will not vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, and the Democrat senators in Trump states facing reelection then don't have to vote to confirm because there's now not a majority. Say that the judge withdraws his name, even though he is arguably the most qualified American to hold that post and has a 30-year record of excellence.
Who is next?
That's the part that is indeed a secret, because we're not thinking that far ahead. If Brett Kavanaugh can possibly be rejected by the Senate, on the flimsiest of accusations from his teens -- literally -- then who is going to allow themselves to be subject to that kind of abuse voluntarily? Would you? I know that I wouldn't, and I've already mercifully forgotten most of my teenage years.
Are we not better off having the most qualified jurist on the Court? Are we not afraid that the abuse heaped on this man is going to scare off the most qualified judges going forward, as long as they are appointed by a Republican (the Republicans in the Senate don't practice that kind of character assassination)?
Yesterday I asked what Democrat in the Senate would be willing to speak out against what is happening to the judge. So far none has, of course. But I will ask again, because the real danger to our democracy is hardly what happens if Judge Kavanaugh is approved by the Senate -- it is what happens if he is denied.
This needs to end. Now.
Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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