The rubber is about to meet the road for Senate Republicans. They have a simple choice: they can vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, thereby ending the baseless and unsubstantiated Democrat- and media-fueled smear campaign against him, or they can kiss House and Senate majorities goodbye for the next decade, if not longer.
In case the election of one Donald J. Trump was not enough to compel the D.C. Republican establishment swamp creatures to wipe the muck from their eyes and see what’s happening with their own constituents, Republican voters have had enough of feckless do-nothings whose careers consist of little more than not doing everything they promised to do.
Give us the House, the Senate, and the White House, they said, and we’ll repeal Obamacare. Give us power across the major elected branches, and we’ll secure the border, they promised. With a Republican president in the White House and a Republican majority in the Senate, we’ll confirm the most conservative Supreme Court nominees you can imagine, they claimed.
Yet here we are. Obamacare is still on the books, and a wall is still not on the border. The only compelling reason left for Republicans to continue voting for Republicans is the confirmation of conservative jurists to fill the federal judiciary. The confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was nice, but it changed nothing, as he replaced the staunchly conservative Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch’s appointment merely maintained the status quo.
Anyone who thinks pulling the Kavanaugh nomination after a last-minute smear campaign whipped up out of thin air by the Democrats would be anything but an extinction-level event for the GOP is not a serious “political analyst” and is probably trying to engineer that outcome.
— John Hayward (@Doc_0) September 24, 2018
Republican lawmakers have to understand that their voters have zero patience for their excuses for not doing what they promised. It’s why they elected Trump in the first place. Republican senators failed to repeal Obamacare after promising to do so for years. That was strike one. They’ve steadfastly refused to secure the border, let alone build a barrier along the most porous sections of the nation’s border with Mexico. That was strike two.
A refusal to vote to confirm Kavanaugh in the face of a blatantly obvious Democrat smear campaign, orchestrated in concert with a compliant and obscenely partisan national media, will be strike three, and there will be no more at-bats. I have spent a career working in and covering politics, and I have never witnessed the kind of anger among rank-and-file GOP voters generated from a combination of the unsubstantiated Democrat attacks on Kavanaugh and the flaccid response of emasculated Republicans.
The stakes of the current battle over Kavanaugh are far bigger than a single Supreme Court seat, and Republican voters understand this, even if their elected lawmakers don’t. It’s bigger than Roe v. Wade, Obamacare, or Second Amendment rights. Democrats are trying to turn the rule of law on its head, to destroy the presumption of innocence — not for themselves, mind you, but for anyone who dares to oppose their totalitarian political agenda.
Sen. Mazie Harono (D-Hawaii) made clear on CNN on Sunday that Kavanaugh does not deserve to be presumed innocent, notwithstanding the lack of any corroborating evidence of any of the allegations made against him, entirely because his political ideology and judicial philosophy do not align with those of the Democratic Party.
When asked whether Kavanaugh is entitled to the presumption of innocence, Hirono said, “I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases.” Translation: he is guilty because of what he believes, not because of anything he’s actually done. Laverentiy Beria, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s most trusted police inquisitor, who famously declared, “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime,” would surely applaud the totalitarian sentiment underlying Hirono’s statement.
If Kavanaugh is not safe from reputation- and career-destroying smears, no one is. Not you. Not your husband. Not your son, father, or brother. If they can destroy Kavanaugh, they can do it to anyone you love and trust, regardless of any mountains of facts or evidence to the contrary.
The Republican base understands this to its core. But do Republican lawmakers? It’s not clear that they do, especially given the way they allowed themselves to get played by nakedly political activists who hijacked Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings over the weekend.
The Democrats have one goal: to prevent the nation’s elected Republican government from doing what it was elected to do. That’s the whole purpose of the Robert Mueller probe, which to date has not produced a shred of evidence that Trump treasonously conspired with the Russian government to steal an election from Hillary Clinton. It’s the reason for the lawless and anti-democratic “resistance” within federal agencies, which gleefully uses its power and total lack of accountability to the electorate to wreak havoc on our nation’s institutions.
Democrats refuse to accept that they lost the election fair and square, and they refuse to accept that Trump and Republican lawmakers have the right under the U.S. Constitution to nominate and confirm Supreme Court justices. The last week has proven that Democrats will do anything, whether it’s spinning up federal investigations on false premises, sabotaging legal processes within federal agencies, or cooking up vile smear campaigns to prevent the confirmation of the next Supreme Court justice, all the way to 2020 and perhaps even beyond, if necessary.
Republican voters know exactly what’s happening right now, and they’re out for blood. The only question left is who they’re going to punish. If Senate Republican leaders don’t immediately end this entire charade and schedule a floor vote for Kavanaugh, their heads will be on the chopping block.
An electorate already disgusted with consistent GOP failure to honor its promises is not going to lift a finger to keep the same do-nothings in power. If they’re going to stand by and allow to Democrats to do whatever they want, there’s simply no point in electing Republicans again.
Conversely, if GOP lawmakers show that they do have a spine and are no longer willing to let the other side get away with reputation murder, they might actually keep both their House and Senate majorities in November. As Trump as shown, even discouraged Republican voters are willing to stand behind somebody who’s willing to stand up for them.
It’s time for Senate Republicans to stand and be counted. If they do the right thing, they will be rewarded at the polls. If they continue to cower and allow themselves to be bullied by tinpot totalitarians like Chuck Schumer and Mazie Hirono, then they’re going to deserve everything that’s coming to them in November.
Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.