It appears that the political battle over Brett Kavanaugh has awakened the beast inside of some GOP lawmakers. Over the past two weeks, the Democrats sank to new lows in their doomed bid to derail the confirmation of the newest Supreme Court Justice.
First, they claimed he was irresponsible with his finances. Then, progressives conjured images of a future that resembles The Handmaid’s Tale to predict how the future would look if Kavanaugh made it to the Supreme Court. When those tactics didn’t work, they attempted to use the same strategy that was used against Justice Clarence Thomas: Deeply flawed allegations of sexual assault. As Christine Ford’s accusations against the judge began to crumble, Democrats resorted to painting Kavanaugh as a violent drunk who committed the capital crime of throwing ice at a bar fight.
Apparently, this was the last straw for Senators Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, and Orrin Hatch, who recently went on an aggressive offense against the left. After years of allowing themselves to be beaten down by the left’s rhetoric, these Republican stalwarts decided to engage in some political pugilism of their own, and it worked; Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed with a 50 – 48 vote.
GOP Strikes Back
When Judge Kavanaugh gave his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he defended himself against Dr. Ford’s accusations, pointing out the many flaws in her claims. He also did something that is rare for GOP politicians, but apparently inspired those who were in the room: He went on the offensive. He excoriated Democratic lawmakers for attempting to smear him for political purposes:
“Since my nomination in July, there’s been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation. Shortly after I was nominated, the Democratic Senate leader said he would, quote, “oppose me with everything he’s got.” A Democratic senator on this committee publicly — publicly referred to me as evil — evil. Think about that word. It’s said that those who supported me were, quote, “complicit in evil.” Another Democratic senator on this committee said, quote, “Judge Kavanaugh is your worst nightmare.” A former head of the Democratic National Committee said, quote, “Judge Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come.”
Kavanaugh’s words set the tone for the rest of the hearing. When it was Senator Lindsey Graham’s turn to speak, he issued a scathing rebuke of his Democratic colleagues. He stated that they were engaged in “the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.” He went on to express his hope that the Democrats do not regain power: “Boy, you all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham.” But he didn’t stop there. Later, at the Atlantic Festival, Graham stated that Kavanaugh “was treated like crap.” This statement elicited boos from the audience, but Graham dismissively responded, “Yeah, well boo yourself.”
During a press conference, Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the committee, channeled his inner Trump and blasted media outlets for their apparent bias against Judge Kavanaugh. “I’ve had demonstrators in my office for two weeks now, both for Kavanaugh and against Kavanaugh,” he spat. “One time, the people that were for Kavanaugh wanted to be interviewed, and they [the press] said ‘We’re only interested in interviewing people against Kavanaugh.’ Now, that’s a bias that none of you should be proud of.”
Then, there was the intrepid Orrin Hatch, who dared to get snarky with progressive protesters who were harassing him about the hearing. One of the protesters asked why Hatch wasn’t “brave enough” to speak with her group. The senator waved her off, prompting the woman to say “Don’t you wave your hand at me.”
Hatch responded, “When you grow up, I’ll be glad to talk to you,” before walking into the elevator at the Hart building.
The Trump Effect?
Are we looking at an Invasion of the Body Snatchers situation here? Who are these people and what have they done with Senators Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, and Orrin Hatch?
For decades, Republican politicians have refused to push back when they are being confronted by leftist smears. Instead of responding, they took their lumps with a self-deprecating smile and hid behind an air of gentility. Now, some of them have decided to take off the kid gloves and replace them with brass knuckles.
Is it possible that President Trump’s confrontational style is rubbing off on some Republican leaders? Perhaps the GOP is finally seeing that it is okay to go on the offensive. They seem to have realized that they are well within their rights to call out progressives for their flawed policies and repugnant behavior. Conservative leaders are finally starting to understand that if they want to win, they have to be willing to give as good as they get, and this time they proved that the best defense is a good offense.