What really is the Democrats' endgame in derailing Kavanaugh?

The Democrats are screaming bloody murder and proclaiming the death of democracy over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.  They're pulling crazy televisions stunts, from bizarre protests to Sen. Cory Booker calling himself "Spartacus" (to much merriment) to now the big letter by the Democratic activist, charging Judge Kavanaugh with high school groping.  It's ridiculous, and even liberal Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said such political shows over Court confirmations have gotten out of control.

It's obvious that the Democrats are concerned about the balance on the court – the conservatives could finally outnumber the liberals, or as we see it, the originalists could finally outnumber the activists.  That shouldn't be a problem for Democrats, actually, because all they would have to do to get around it is to pass more laws to their liking, which means working harder at selling their agenda to the American public to win elections.  But they'd rather just have a few judges in their pocket because it's easier.  After all, Roe v. Wade was a classic instance of legislating from the bench, and sure enough, that's the ruling they're most concerned about.  They like to legislate from the bench.  The idea of a small group of leftists ruling over Americans without their consent is perfect for enacting their increasingly radical agenda.

At the same time, they don't have the majority to stop Kavanaugh, nor do they have a president who will nominate a string of reliable leftists, as they did during the Obama administration.  If they manage to get rid of Kavanaugh, courtesy of Sen. Jeff Flake, a bitter NeverTrump Republican on his way out, another conservative name will replace him.  This would seem to be at cross purposes with Democratic aims.  They'd need to cook up a new collection of tricks on the next one, since pulling the same Biden-Kennedy stuff they did on Kavanaugh, similar to what they pulled on Clarence Thomas two decades ago, probably won't work.  In the end, they'd get another Republican.

What is their real endgame, then?  Probably to delay, delay, delay the nomination process so that it spills over into the next term – the one where they think they will finally win the Senate.  It's the anticipation of things, same as happens in the stock market.  And since they think they are going to win, it drives them to keep delaying as their endgame, throwing every crazy thing out there for examination, because they don't even have to win; all they need to do is run out the clock.  You can bet they will use every weapon in their arsenal to derail the next guy who comes if they manage to take down the Kavanaugh nomination, because the endgame is to decide the next nominee under a Democratic Senate.

If this tactic pans out, there probably won't be anyone sitting on the Supreme Court ever again.  While they can probably argue that Republicans started it by refusing to bring President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, to a vote, the difference here is that Republicans ran the Senate at the time, not Democrats.  A second difference is that they didn't assault the man's character with a carefully timed barrage of dirty tricks, grandstanding, and surprises.

The Democrats are doing that, "ruling from below," as the defeated Sandinistas used to say, taking on mob tactics, slander, innuendo, and amazing surprises of timing to get their delay in place.  In running out the clock, they open the gates to any minority party being able to do the same for their nominees.

If so, it wouldn't be the first time they learn that in manipulating the legislative process in Congress, they should be careful what they wish for.

Image credit: Gabriel Jorby via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Democrats are screaming bloody murder and proclaiming the death of democracy over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.  They're pulling crazy televisions stunts, from bizarre protests to Sen. Cory Booker calling himself "Spartacus" (to much merriment) to now the big letter by the Democratic activist, charging Judge Kavanaugh with high school groping.  It's ridiculous, and even liberal Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said such political shows over Court confirmations have gotten out of control.

It's obvious that the Democrats are concerned about the balance on the court – the conservatives could finally outnumber the liberals, or as we see it, the originalists could finally outnumber the activists.  That shouldn't be a problem for Democrats, actually, because all they would have to do to get around it is to pass more laws to their liking, which means working harder at selling their agenda to the American public to win elections.  But they'd rather just have a few judges in their pocket because it's easier.  After all, Roe v. Wade was a classic instance of legislating from the bench, and sure enough, that's the ruling they're most concerned about.  They like to legislate from the bench.  The idea of a small group of leftists ruling over Americans without their consent is perfect for enacting their increasingly radical agenda.

At the same time, they don't have the majority to stop Kavanaugh, nor do they have a president who will nominate a string of reliable leftists, as they did during the Obama administration.  If they manage to get rid of Kavanaugh, courtesy of Sen. Jeff Flake, a bitter NeverTrump Republican on his way out, another conservative name will replace him.  This would seem to be at cross purposes with Democratic aims.  They'd need to cook up a new collection of tricks on the next one, since pulling the same Biden-Kennedy stuff they did on Kavanaugh, similar to what they pulled on Clarence Thomas two decades ago, probably won't work.  In the end, they'd get another Republican.

What is their real endgame, then?  Probably to delay, delay, delay the nomination process so that it spills over into the next term – the one where they think they will finally win the Senate.  It's the anticipation of things, same as happens in the stock market.  And since they think they are going to win, it drives them to keep delaying as their endgame, throwing every crazy thing out there for examination, because they don't even have to win; all they need to do is run out the clock.  You can bet they will use every weapon in their arsenal to derail the next guy who comes if they manage to take down the Kavanaugh nomination, because the endgame is to decide the next nominee under a Democratic Senate.

If this tactic pans out, there probably won't be anyone sitting on the Supreme Court ever again.  While they can probably argue that Republicans started it by refusing to bring President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, to a vote, the difference here is that Republicans ran the Senate at the time, not Democrats.  A second difference is that they didn't assault the man's character with a carefully timed barrage of dirty tricks, grandstanding, and surprises.

The Democrats are doing that, "ruling from below," as the defeated Sandinistas used to say, taking on mob tactics, slander, innuendo, and amazing surprises of timing to get their delay in place.  In running out the clock, they open the gates to any minority party being able to do the same for their nominees.

If so, it wouldn't be the first time they learn that in manipulating the legislative process in Congress, they should be careful what they wish for.

Image credit: Gabriel Jorby via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.