September 5, 2018

Kavanaugh’s Senate Hearing Begins

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

Chaos engulfed the U.S. Senate confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, as Democrats on Tuesday complained bitterly about Republicans withholding documents about the nominee’s past White House service and shouting protesters were arrested in droves." Reuters

See past issues

From the Left

The left is condemning the lack of transparency, and has many concerns about Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

“The last-minute release of the 42,000 pages of documentsappeared to be an attempt to counter criticism of the secrecy that has surrounded this nomination. But, as Senate minority leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) has noted, the release of some but not all of the needed documents on the eve of the confirmation hearing only ‘underscores just how absurd this process is.’”

The Nation

Dated but relevant: “If it were the American Civil Liberties Union that put together a list for Hillary Clinton, you could bet the Republicans would demand every scrap of paper and demand its officials appear for testimony under oath. Republicans are making this much harder than it needs to be. Get the documents, put them out and take the vote."

Washington Post

On the issues:

“Republicans are on the brink of achieving their long sought-after goal of abolishing the constitutional right to abortion access.” Slate

“As an appeals court judge, he relentlessly pressed forward a Republican agenda favoring business and religious interests.” New York Times

“Kavanaugh's assertion that categories of guns are equivalent to categories of speech may be the surest mark of gun culture's influence. Break the claim down to essentials, and bullets equal words.” Bloomberg

“Kavanaugh’s nomination for a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court raises troubling concerns about our right to be free of unwarranted government oversight in an age of expanding capacity to engage in surveillance without our knowledge.” The Hill

Finally, many are noting that “never before has a president made a Supreme Court nomination with so many matters of deep personal importance to that president poised to come before the court... [If the Senate] pushes forward with the nomination under these circumstances, it will exacerbate the dangers for our democracy already posed by Trump’s attacks on the rule of law and on those charged with neutrally implementing it.”

Politico

Trump's “goal, it seems, is to put so much pressure on Tehran that it has no choice but to completely change its behavior — but he could end up leading the countries to the brink of war in the process… Now is typically the time when cooler heads prevail, but it’s unclear if there are cooler heads around… It’s hard to overstate how avoidable this situation was.”
Alex Ward, Vox

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right supports Kavanaugh’s confirmation and dismisses Democratic objections as delaying tactics rather than good faith efforts to evaluate Kavanaugh’s qualifications.

From the Right

The right supports Kavanaugh’s confirmation and dismisses Democratic objections as delaying tactics rather than good faith efforts to evaluate Kavanaugh’s qualifications.

“Expectations were low for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, and Senate Democrats on Tuesday wasted no time meeting them... Democrats portray Mr. Kavanaugh as some Trumpian legal gargoyle, but he’s the epitome of a mainstream legal conservative that any GOP President would have had on his short list."

Wall Street Journal

“The Supreme Court has adopted Kavanaugh’s reasoning more than a dozen times. This gives him one of the most impressive records of any federal appellate judge and hardly places him outside of the ‘mainstream.’"

Billings Gazette

Regarding the documents, “the Senate did not demand that the Obama administration provide the tens of thousands of pages from Elena Kagan’s tenure as Solicitor General. And the Obama administration would surely have invoked executive privilege in rejecting such a request. Never mind that Kagan, in stark contrast to Kavanaugh, had zero judicial experience and that her SG records would have been the materials most probative of her legal thinking."

National Review

Furthermore, “[Sen. Kamala] Harris has already said she won't vote for Kavanaugh. Those last remaining documents won't change her mind, or any of the others [who have] promised to vote no."

Investor’s Business Daily

A number of Democrats refused to take a meeting with Kavanaugh during his visits to Capitol Hill in recent weeks. If Kavanaugh’s record is ‘immensely troubling,’ why not meet to confront him on it?... It couldn’t be clearer. Senators like [Cory] Booker and Harris aren’t interested in vetting Supreme Court nominees, they’re interested in running in 2020 against Trump."

The Hill

“Democrats are engaged in nothing more than a desperate effort to delay a confirmation vote on Kavanaugh until next year, when they hope to control the Senate by winning a majority in the November midterm elections. Their stalling tactics have nothing to do with Kavanaugh’s qualifications – they have everything to do with the anti-Trump resistance and turning out the Democratic base to vote in November."

Fox News

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

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