To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin: nothing in this life is certain, except death and taxes and the cowardice of Republicans.
Indeed, this whole Kavanaugh circus could have been avoided from the start, if not for GOP cowardice. President Trump was advised to nominate Brett Kavanaugh rather than Amy Barrett because Republicans were concerned that Barrett’s social conservatism might upset Democrats. Of course, Democrats have no power, so it doesn’t matter what upsets them. Yet Republicans still decided to go with a milder figure in hopes of avoiding any nasty altercations with the powerless opposition party.
What they don’t understand, somehow, is that Democrats will be nasty no matter what. They will treat every Republican measure, legislation, or appointment, as the end of human civilization. They are permanently stuck on the DEFCON 1 setting. So, if they’re going to panic regardless, you might as well give them something to panic about. And, as I said, it doesn’t matter if they panic. Republicans have the power to shove whatever they want down the Democrats’ throats. But they are too scared to use that power. They compromise even when there is no reason to compromise, and even though the other side will not accept anything but complete surrender.
That’s what brought us to the current Brett Kavanaugh debacle. Republican cowardice made it all possible, and Republican cowardice has sustained it. Leftists complain that GOP leadership has been “bullying” Kavanaugh accuser Christine Ford, but the truth, as usual, is the opposite. Republicans spent the past week groveling at her feet, making concession after concession, begging her to come to DC and tell her unsubstantiated, uncorroborated story on national television. But the back and forth was in bad faith. Democrats were simply stalling as they rooted through Kavanaugh’s closet for any skeleton, real or imagined, they could find. Republicans generously gave them the space and time to conduct the search. Now, predictably, they have come out with a second skeleton, with rumors of a third on the horizon.
Republicans could put an end to this at any time. All they have to do is confirm Kavanaugh. They could have confirmed him last week. They could confirm him today. There is nothing to be gained by waiting, unless the continued character assassination of Brett Kavanaugh is a gain. And it is a gain — for Democrats. It’s a gain not only because it destroys this particular Supreme Court nominee, but also because it serves as a warning to other conservative judges. Democrats are severing Kavanaugh’s head, putting it on a spike, and saying, “This is what happens when you try to get on the Supreme Court.” And Republicans are allowing them to do this.
A party with no power is manhandling, bullying, and intimidating the party that currently owns the legislative and executive branches. To call this mere cowardice is an understatement. I’m not sure if there is a word that accurately captures the craven, shrinking gutlessness of a Republican party that huddles submissively in the corner while liberals incinerate a Supreme Court nominee and toss his ashes in the air like confetti.
Do you know what Democrats would do in this situation? Do you know how they’d respond if they controlled Congress and it was their Supreme Court nominee being slandered? They would flip a middle finger to the Republicans and confirm him without hesitation. They would say, “Don’t like it? Try and stop us. Oh, you can’t stop us. Well, too bad. Deal with it, suckers.” And Republicans would cry and stomp their feet, and conservative talk show hosts would be sent into spittle-flecked rage, and conservatives everywhere would complain about how unfair it all is, and Democrats would just laugh. They wouldn’t care how we feel. They got their guy on the Supreme Court. That’s all that would matter to them. They would see the hysterics and the outrage as entirely irrelevant. And they would be absolutely right.
It’s time for Republicans to take a page from the Democrat playbook. The play is very simple. It’s called “Use The Power You Have Been Given.” It works every time because there is no way for the opponent to stop it. You have the ball and they aren’t on the field. All you have to do is run to the end zone. But Republicans are afraid that it may hurt the other side’s feelings if they score a touchdown, so they run in circles and wait for the clock to expire.