Look. The presumed approval of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is enormously disappointing. I believed Christine Blasey Ford when she accused him of assault, and in the brouhaha that followed, I found his flight to anger consistent with someone who’s been privileged all his life finally getting busted–a de facto admission of guilt.
I thought his angry eruption accusing “the Democrats” of a plot ought to have precluded him from serving on the highest court in the U.S.
In general, I find so-called textualist legal interpretations–corporations are people, the Constitution doesn’t confer privacy rights (i.e., Roe v. Wade is bad), the Second Amendment confers an individual right to firearm ownership, and so on–to be disturbing, and Kavanaugh is a textualist. Not that it matters, but Kavanaugh’s vetting felt incompetently handled, and that incompetence resulted in a stinking match. Get in a stinking match with a skunk, and you come out smelling just like he does, and all parties to this circus emerged with a new stink–including the Supreme Court.
Susan Collins delivered a cogent and forceful speech on why she decided to support Kavanaugh. Most of her reasons had to do with her confidence in his future rulings, and I can’t dispute that. But she also said, “The allegations (against Ford) failed to meet the ‘more likely than not’ standard.” I most viscerally disagree with that statement.
But here’s the thing. She came to the Senate to do a lot of things. She has been pretty good for both Maine and the nation, I’d wager, and I’m sure she has an agenda going forward. If you were her, would you allow one yea or nay vote to derail what you hope to accomplish down the road? It’s an assessment every politician has to make, and while I don’t agree with her vote, I honor her right and responsibility to do her work as she sees fit.
While Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, among others, have expressed discomfort with Trumpism, I don’t expect them to suddenly turn into Democrats. The whole drama, in my view demonstrates the only tried-and-true way to pick Supreme Court nominees to one’s liking: Win elections.