The Kavanaugh Circus….
When politics get ugly, many people excuse it because after all, they say, “Both sides do it.” The Brett Kavanaugh nomination, however, shows that the both-sides-do-it philosophy may not be strictly true. Cory Booker’s Spartacus moment, Dianne Feinstein’s withholding of information, and the current obstruction of the vetting process demonstrates that one does not become a member of the left simply by believing in certain policies. Leftism, instead, constitutes a way of doing politics. While I have many things that I think are wrong about how things are working, I have reason for hope.
The true leftist believes that government power structures need to be dismantled in order for people to become free. Using that definition, the founders of our nation took a leftist position when they revolted against the King of Britain. For another example, someone who desires democracy in Ayatollah-controlled Iran also takes a leftist position. Anyone who believes that it is necessary to dissolve political bands that connect them to their government assumes the position of a leftist. With the examples just given, it becomes obvious that sometimes it’s a good thing to be on the left.
However, if you overthrow a power structure that actually promotes liberty, democracy, and human flourishing, then you deserve to be called out. The left must answer for the way they have made a mockery of the open and democratic process we have in America for confirming justices.
Infamously, Cory Booker released documents, which had already been cleared. Preparing himself for the blowback of releasing documents cleared for public consumption, Booker declared, “I am Spartacus.” The gyrations and manipulations of the early confirmation process reveal more than just Booker’s desire to run for executive office. It shows that as a leftist he feels the government power structures are so unfair that they must be overthrown if justice is to be realized. However, he paints the image of a Don Quixote. Believing that he is a knight for justice, he opposes an enemy that actually turns out to be nothing at all; he is chasing windmills.
As well, Dianne Feinstein’s withholding of information demonstrates her belief that justice can only come through disruption. Receiving the letter July 30th, Feinstein said nothing to anyone until last week. How would things have been different if she had acted–even behind the scenes–right away? Is it possible that Kavanaugh would have pulled out, not wanting to put his family through a Clarence Thomas style spectacle? Or, could they have vetted the claims through back channels so that the waters would not be so muddy right now?
It begs the question. Perhaps protecting the accuser’s anonymity was not Feinstein’s goal at all. Unwilling to use the normal channels of inquiry, Feinstein used the allegations to blow up the proceedings. If in any measure, the accuser’s allegations are true, the biggest tragedy will have been how Feinstein transformed the victim’s pain into a political cudgel.
Finally, the lack of willingness that the accuser shows in participating in the hearing demonstrates a complete lack of faith in our political power structures. She claims that she will not speak until the FBI verifies a claim which is past the statute of limitations, which took place at an unknown time, which happened in an unknown place, which occured with unknown people, who would presumably be able to affirm that both she, Kavanaugh, and Judge were all at the same place and at the same time. The accuser seems to think that the power structures in place to determine the truth are so corrupt that any participation in it would be counter to bringing about a just end. She does this to her own detriment.
Anyone who fights against a system that is open and democratic does so to their own detriment. I am reminded of the Whiskey Rebellion. After the Revolutionary War, the new congress with their new constitution faced war debts. They taxed whiskey. Believing that the power structure in place was so injurious to their rights and liberty, a group revolted against the fledgling constitutional republic. They revolted against a system that all in all was pretty good and fair. I think history may say the same thing of the leftists in America today; they have picked their enemies poorly.
The conservative response to all of this, however, is absolute peace. There is a reason why the founders wanted a body of decision-makers who would be immune to the political mob. I think if the founders were to look in and see the legislative body looking crazy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg concerned about how much of a circus things had become, they would say things are working out just right. On the other hand, they wanted the Senate to be selected by the states and thereby insulated from the popular vote, so that they would be less of a mob. However, don’t take my nostalgia for the earlier structure of government too seriously; it may just be a symptom of my conservatism.