Refusing to see their bitter campaign against new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a losing hand, Democrats are vowing to keep the fight alive. Energized by the clash, Republicans have met such talk with open arms.
With leftist activists already calling for Kavanaugh’s impeachment, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), announced she will file a Freedom of Information Act request on the FBI’s investigation of the new justice. But she is not the only one still hoping to win the war, despite losing the battle. Protestors made themselves heard both inside and outside the Capital building during the final vote on Kavanaugh, and evidently have no plans to back down notwithstanding the judge’s confirmation. But for once, the GOP may well be ready for the fight.
Not Backing Away
An online petition to impeach Kavanaugh has already amassed over 125,000 signatures. It’s a sign that the hard-left activists who make up more and more of the party’s grassroots base with each passing day will not let Democrat politicians move on from the battle so easily.
“We will particularly focus on making sure House Democrats know that progressives expect them to use their full power to get Kavanaugh off the bench if they gain control of the House,” said Heidi Hess, co-director of the group CREDO Action. “A majority of Americans opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court and we believe a majority will ultimately support his impeachment as well.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who dropped the Christine Blasey Ford accusations of high school sexual assault as a last-minute Hail Mary attempt to derail the Kavanaugh nomination, reacted to his confirmation with a tweet squarely aimed at this leftist grassroots base. Feinstein listed a litany of causes dear to the left that she says will now be threatened by a “far right” Supreme Court:
The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh shifts the court far to the right, putting women’s reproductive rights, civil rights, environmental protections, worker’s rights, the ability to implement gun safety rules and the ability to hold presidents accountable at risk for a generation.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) October 6, 2018
Her fellow California Democrat senator, Kamala Harris, took the therapeutic approach so often seen with mourning leftists after a political defeat. In a pair of tweets, Harris framed Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a health threat to sexual abuse survivors:
My message to sexual assault survivors: Thank you for your courage. Your voices have mattered. pic.twitter.com/nOwUEklBW8
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 6, 2018
No one should silently suffer. If you need support after what has been a difficult week, please call (800) 656-HOPE or chat online at https://t.co/5WXaJSUp2z.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 7, 2018
Harris has been mentioned as a potential 2020 presidential candidate. Another youthful potential Democratic candidate is Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. In an Iowa speech that the Associated Press reports often resembled an evangelical minister preaching a sermon, Booker urged Democrats to take their outrage to the polls. “I ask you how long until we turn the tide of division and despair,” Booker exclaimed to an enthusiastic Democrat audience. “I want you to know, not long. Because it’s not long until November.”
On the Republican side, President Trump had harsh words for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the lone Republican to oppose Kavanaugh. “I think she will never recover from this,” Trump told The Washington Post in a phone interview. “I think the people from Alaska will never forgive her for what she did.” He noted that Murkowski is not up for re-election until 2022, yet warned her that Alaska voters “will not forget. They will never forget. What she did was unacceptable. Really unacceptable.”
Trump’s comments signal that, fresh off another glowing victory, he believes he will be able to use the disgust felt by many Americans at the ugly personal campaign against Kavanaugh to further remake the Republican Party in line with his agenda. Trump is already being given major credit for his tough offensive in support of Kavanaugh. By forcefully speaking out for Kavanaugh, the president helped Republicans stand tall when they have so often before shrunk back in fear over attacks bearing the dreaded “sexist” or “racist” labels.
Indeed, GOP leaders seemed to positively welcome the over-the-top outrage dispensed by Democrats, displaying a new-found sense of grit and glee for the fight. “The mob didn’t win,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said just before the confirmation vote. “Justice will be done,” he told Fox News, “We protected the presumption of innocence in this country. It applies in all walks of life and certainly in Supreme Court confirmations.”
With Trump whipping congressional Republicans into fighting shape and Democrats heeding the progressive siren call to keep lobbing bombs instead of practicing pragmatic politics, the GOP may reap even more political hay out of this vicious battle than they have already with their confirmation victory.