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Kavanaugh must not be allowed to get on the Court!

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I hear a lot from Democrats that they’re disappointed in officials like Dianne Feinstein and others because they [the Democratic officials] don’t fight back against Republicans with the same hardball, dirty tactics the GOP uses against them. You can call them “DINOs”—Democrats in name only.

That’s not a fair characterization—I’ll take any Democrat these days to any Republican. But Republicans long ago threw civility aside, as far back as the 1980s, when Lee Atwater and his ilk used every lie they could muster against Democrats, mainly to turn white people against Dems. Willie Horton was the outcome of that: it was sleazy, racist fearmongering at its worst. And then, with Whitewater and impeachment, they drew out the long knives and went for the gut.

Democrats throughout the 1990s predictably kept their gloves on. Keep it nice and civil, politicians like Feinstein preached, in a foreshadowing of Michelle Obama’s “When they go low, we go high.” Bill Clinton could be tough on Republican policy, but he never stooped to the kind of guttersniping by reprehensible creatures like Newt Gingrich. Ditto with Barack Obama, whom people called “no-drama Obama” because he was so temperate, even as the Republican attack machine ratcheted up the lies against him: foreigner, terrorist, Muslim.

And then came Merrick Garland.

In my political memory—and it’s a long one—I’ve never seen something as disgusting, blatantly partisan and, frankly, sickening as what that toady, McConnell, did. I don’t know how that resonated with Senate Democrats, but I can tell you how it resonated with the Democratic base. We were absolutely revolted. And more: disgusted, shocked, dumbstruck at the audacity of it all. And more: mad as hell.

That single action by McConnell was the shot fired across the bow of the Democratic ship. It sparked our version of the tea party: The Resistance. All the energy fueling the activism on the Democratic side can be traced to that historic act of political violence, the middle finger McConnell gave us.

Yesterday, McConnell had the nerve to stand in front of the Senate and give a petulant little speech about how Democrats are obstructing the will of the people—as if there’s some kind of popular mandate for Kavanaugh. There is not. He’s the most unpopular SCOTUS nomination in decades. Even if Kavanaugh were a popular figure, Mitch McConnell is hardly in a position to lecture Democrats on how to be civil about Court nominations. This is a man who shat on Obama’s Court nominee, on his fellow Democrats in the Senate, on longstanding Senate procedure, on Democrats from coast to coast, on the American people, and, ultimately, on our democracy.

Now he expects Democrats to do nothing to stop Kavanaugh. Is he out of his mind? I’m as representative of the Democratic base as anybody, and I can tell you what Dems should do: fight, fight, fight. Obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. Keep this damn nomination on hold, anyway they can in the Senate. There must be something in the rules they can use.

Even if Kavanaugh ultimately withdraws (which he hadn’t as of Monday night), Trump will just replace his name with another rightwing Republican stooge. But we have got to stop this process from going forward until after the election, which I totally expect will return the House to the Democrats, and increasingly likely, the Senate also. Then, Democrats could use McConnell’s own logic against him: it would be wrong to vote on a Republican SCOTUS nominee just months before the Republicans lose their majorities.

This is a big fight, folks, maybe the biggest yet of this Trump regime. We’ll have bigger ones down the road—when Mueller charges Trump with crimes, or when Trump pardons Manafort, or when Trump refuses to obey a subpoena, or when Trump does something completely insane after Jared and Junior are indicted. But right now, Kavanaugh is the biggie. This is where the rubber hits the road: either we let the Trump-McConnell regime steamroll the American people once again, or the American people—that’s us—stand up and say, No more!

Look, I am sick of these old white Christian men, including the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, lecturing us on “justice.” We need diversity in the upper echelons of the power structure. We’ll never have true justice as long as bitter dead-enders like Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley are running things. These are the same haters who told me all my life than I, and tens of millions of other Gay Americans, were unfit to be citizens. These are the same nasty old white men who have tried for years to keep people of color from voting. These are the same tired old white men who have enabled Trump’s crimes and stupidity. And now, they’re the same angry white men who are trying to blackmail the Senate into sliding Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court. I hope and pray that this coming election will be the beginning of the end of their tyranny.

  1. You wrote:

    “. . . I’ll take any Democrat these days to any Republican.”

    No even RINOS?

    There are elected officials in the House of Representatives and Senate who put country before political party.

    (I can think of two GOP female senators you are putting your faith in to not reflexively rubber stamp along party lines any U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee.)

    ~~ Bob

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