Not everyone lost

Some good came out of this dumpster fire.
[Kavanaugh's] statement was variously dismissed or praised as “Trumpian” in its bluntness and disregard of convention. My friend Frank Cannon, in a column for The Hill, went a step further by observing, “For Republicans, Sept. 27, 2018, should be remembered as the day when their party became, clearly and unapologetically, the Party of Donald Trump.” And it is true that there was something about the scene that clarified, for anyone who needed it, the logic of Donald Trump’s ascension in American politics.
The judge, after all, was there in the first place courtesy of a president who has unequivocally kept his word on judicial appointments, sparing conservatives even the suspense that used to precede Supreme Court nominations by Republican presidents. And if the tone in which Kavanaugh addressed Democrats on the Judiciary Committee reflected the influence of Donald Trump, by displaying no respect for connivers who deserved none, then, yes, we could use more of it. Sometimes presidential words of conciliation and uplift are called for, and sometimes we can do without the gloss. I have never felt more attuned to the rhetorical style of our different kind of president than when, on first reaction, he called the smear campaign against his nominee the “con job” that it is.
As Bill McGurn notes in the Wall Street Journal, the worst part of all this for Kavanaugh is that it’s not even about him. His travails have nothing to do with some dark event in 1982, and everything to do with a disastrous event in early 1973, the act of “raw judicial power,” as Justice Byron White called Roe v. Wade, that smothered good will in American politics like nothing else could, corrupting everything it touches.


Grim said...

That's the real fear, I think: that "raw judicial power" will be turned against them, as they have so often and so gleefully used it against our traditions and laws.

Grim said...

Sometimes, it ought be added, in ways for which I am now grateful; we are better off without segregation, I agree wholeheartedly. But I think that problem, the heritage of slavery, was sui generis. The courts should not have used the tools forged for that task on lesser issues.

Texan99 said...

Exactly. I find myself so often in the position of reminding people that human laws are not self-effectuating. They are not like the Law of Gravity. Human laws can't improve anything if the social system isn't behind them. If the social system consists of hundreds of million of free people, as I assume we would like to be the case, then we can't fix problems with laws that lack popular support.

If you can believe it (I'm still shaking my head), a neighbor posted on my site this morning her disappointment that we "now" have a politicized S. Ct., so "goodbye fair and balanced." Oh, honey, that ship already has made it to the freaking Moon. Remember Scalia and his "dumb but Constitutional" stamp? We need more of that.

E Hines said...

A "fair and balanced" Supreme Court would be an especially insidiously politicized one. And here's Justice Elena Kagan on the matter:

It's not so clear, that I think going forward, that sort of middle position—it's not so clear whether we'll have it[.]

No. A Supreme Court--any American court--can only rule, legitimately, on what the law or the clause(s) of the Constitution before them in a particular case say. That's the only fair--and apolitical--thing possible, and it's most assuredly not "balanced." Further, no judge can rule on a middle ground for the sake of having a middle ground without violating his oaths of office.

Eric Hines