NOTE: I actually began writing this when the hearings began, but I got interrupted and then
didn’t bother to finish.
The GOP, especially its consultant and pundit class, are full of people who have bought into the notion that daintily lifting your nose up into the air and delicately furling your lips while airily sniffing that you’re “better” than going down to fight at the level where the battle is actually taking place actually impresses voters.
That and the media’s political partnership with the Democrats has essentially created a situation in which the Democrats can engage in the most horrendous character assassination campaigns with the certainty that they will never be held accountable for it and Republicans will not retaliate (not least because Borking requires media cooperation).
So, for Democrats (and their media partners), Borking is a wholly cost-free exercise.
That should change.
In my dream scenario, Ted Cruz or Mike Lee would say something like the following in an opening statement.
I would like to address my comments to Ashley, Liza and Margaret Kavanaugh. Congratulations. I’m sure you cannot be any more prouder of your husband and father. To be nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States is the ultimate culmination of a career in law.
Be assured that he’s not here for any other reason than he has earned it through a career marked by excellence and a dedication to the rule of law, and that he would be an fantastic Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Second, I want to apologise to you for the shameful spectacle you’re about to witness, both here in this chamber during these hearings, and in the media, in broadcast, print and online. In fact, I believe you’ve already been given a preview.
Since his nomination was announced, I suspect you’ve seen the many horrible allegations and character attacks made against your husband, Ashley. You’ve seen him called a racist, a sexist, a man who wants to bring back slavery, force women out of the workplace, legalize sexual assault, and numerous other horrific, and frankly, insane things.
Unfortunately, you’re only going to see more over the next few days. Many of these allegations will be repeated by my colleagues across the aisle and the people they have invited to testify against Judge Kavanaugh.
These same allegations will be made and repeated in the newspapers, in the news broadcasts, and on news sites by supposedly objective columnists and journalists.
These allegations and attacks will be false in every possible way.
Make no mistake; each and every single one of the people who will be making these allegations – in this chamber, and in every news article and column will know that they are false. But they will repeat them anyway in a bid to defeat his nomination.
I know it will be hard to hear and read people say such horrible things about your father and husband, but I assure you, this will pass.
This, unfortunately, is just what happens every time a Republican President makes a nomination to the Supreme Court, starting from when my colleagues across the aisle, together with the friends in the media, launched their unprecedented character assassination campaign against Robert Bork.
I remember Martha Alito forced to leave this chamber in tears as my colleagues across the aisle and their allies deliberately and falsely attacked her husband as a racist, a sexist, a hater of women and minorities who posed a clear and present danger to his fellow citizens.
I remember the New York Times attempt to sabotage Chief Justice Roberts’ own nomination by trying to access his children’s adoption records in order to find something they could use against him.
And so on …
The shrieks of outrage will come fast and furious at the breach of Beltway protocol (where Democrats get to do what they want while Republicans mind their P and Qs) but I believe that’s exactly what is needed.