With President Trump’s selection of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the nation’s highest court, the Left has entered into a stirring battle with the five stages of grief. Their first order of business: conspiratorial denial. Thus, NBC reported on Tuesday morning that President Trump had only picked Kavanaugh because Kennedy pledged to resign only if Kavanaugh replaced him. That report was based on one unnamed source.
Now, none of that makes sense.
Why would Kennedy pledge to step down for Kavanaugh, a far more conservative figure? Why would Leftists be upset about such a deal even if it were true, given the fact that they liked Kennedy, and presumably would favor Kennedy’s pick over Trump’s tabula rasa pick? Furthermore, what kind of stupid deal would this be, considering that Trump could easily reverse course and just pick who he wants? What would Kennedy do, un-retire?
But that’s not the extent of the conspiratorial thinking. Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress posits that Kennedy stepped down because Kennedy Jr. works at Deutsche Bank, which lent Trump a fair bit of money. But how does that logic work, exactly? If my kid lent you money, you’d owe my kid and/or me a favor, not the other way around. And if you really did have leverage over me, why wouldn’t you keep me in place and blackmail me to achieve specific decisions?
Now, it’s probably true that Kennedy liked Kavanaugh — he was a former clerk, and they had a good relationship. And it’s probably true that Kennedy told Trump he liked Kavanaugh. But so the hell what? That’s not corrupt in any way. I would have preferred Trump consult with Thomas or Gorsuch, but Trump can ask for advice from whoever he wants.
As it turns out, Kavanaugh’s final selection took until Sunday night — and within the White House, confusion reigned even into Monday. So the story was false. But the media ran with it anyway. As per the usual arrangement.