Do Democrats really care about what may or may not have happened to Dr. Christine Ford about thirty-six years ago? Seem more concerned with delaying the vote on Judge Kavanaugh than with discovering the truth behind her accusation.
“Every woman has a right to be believed…Unless you are raped by Clinton, beaten by Keith Ellison, or killed by Ted Kennedy.” So says a Facebook meme popular at my end of the political spectrum.
This is not to say that the issue of the victimization of women isn’t important. To the contrary, all women, as well as all decent men, should be united in opposing rape and any other means of diminishing or humiliating women who are, after all, made in God’s image no less than men are.
But what this meme means is that Democrats don’t really care about the victimization of women if the victimizers are themselves, powerful Democrats. If Democrats really did care, they would never have allowed Clinton, Ellison, or Kennedy to retain the positions of power and prestige they had attained. To the contrary, had they held their own leaders to the standards to which they seek to hold Judge Kavanaugh, they would have removed them from their positions, given the quality and quantity of credible evidence of wrongdoing against each of them. But congressional Democrats act as if they are only concerned when women are allegedly victimized by Republicans.
And if the Democrats were truly concerned with the alleged victimization of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, then their leader on the Senate Judiciary Committee examining Judge Kavanaugh’s fitness for the Supreme Court, Senator Dianne Feinstein, would have shown Dr. Ford’s letter accusing Judge Kavanaugh of trying to rape her about 36 years ago to the FBI upon receiving it. She would have questioned Judge Kavanaugh privately, or publicly, during the course of the hearings. The matter would have been thoroughly aired by now. Yet Senator Feinstein chose to sit on the letter and keep it secret until recently. Indeed, as of this writing (the afternoon of Sunday, 9/23/18), she’s yet to show anyone a complete and unredacted copy of the letter. Nobody, other than her, Dr. Ford, and the Democratic Congresswoman to whom Dr. Ford first sent the letter, really knows what it says.
So why the delay? Why wait until now to raise the issue of the alleged attempted rape? Why keep withholding the complete letter?
Simple: Because the Democrats want to delay, for as long as possible, a vote by the full Senate on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Both Democrats and Republicans believe, understandably and probably correctly, that Judge Kavanaugh is most likely to be confirmed should the Senate vote before the midterm elections. Both sides know that ten Democratic senators are running for re-election in red states carried by President Trump in 2016, in some instances by ratios approaching two to one. Democrats fear, and Republicans hope, that if a vote on the Kavanaugh nomination is held before the election, than at least a few of those Democratic senators may want to vote for Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to try to appease their Trump-leaning constituents and thereby improve their own re-election chances.
So Senate Democrats want to delay a vote until at least after the election, believing that once the election is held, then red state Democratic senators will feel less pressure to vote for Kavanaugh. And, of course, should Democrats win control of the Senate and delay the vote until January, they can outright kill the nomination altogether—and block any further attempt by President Trump to fill the Anthony Kennedy vacancy or any other vacancy on the high court that might occur before the 2020 presidential election.
But what if there had been no accusation from Dr. Ford? No doubt the Democrats would have found some other pretext to block Judge Kavanaugh. In fact, as I write this, I’ve noticed that The New Yorker has published an article about a party at Yale whereas a drunken freshman Brett Kavanaugh is alleged to have exposed himself to a female student similarly inebriated. Who knows what else will come to light, perhaps even before this article is published?
Or what if President Trump had nominated someone else to the Supreme Court and no hint whatever of sexual impropriety could be found at all? No doubt, something else could be found—or invented. For example, had President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the Democrats would no doubt try to block her because she’s not only a Roman Catholic, but an actual believer in Catholic dogma. And we know this because Senator Feinstein expressed her concern over Judge Barret’s faith when grilling her for an appellate court judgeship.
In a way, one can’t blame the Democrats for their tactics. As I’ve written before, we’ve allowed the Supreme Court to become such a powerful superlegislature, consisting of nine unelected and unaccountable members serving for life, that both Democrats and, to an increasing extent, Republicans will do whatever is necessary to block each other’s nominees from confirmation. Far more rational measures would include the challenging of Supreme Court decisions and perhaps even adopting, through constitutional amendment, term limits for justices.
But as long as the stakes concerning Supreme Court appointments are so high, then no matter how the Kavanaugh case is resolved, we can expect more character assassinations, court blockings, and other strategies and tactics in the ongoing battle to control the Supreme Court.
Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present). He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014. He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.