At this point it seems likely that manifestly unfit nominee “Bart” Kavanaugh will be voted onto the Supreme Court. In the cloture vote in the Senate yesterday–usually a great proxy for the final vote–Susan Collins voted YES, Democrat Joe Manchin voted YES, Jeff Flake voted YES, and Lisa Murkowski voted NO. So Kav moved from cloture to final vote on a 51-49 basis. It’s highly unlikely that one of these votes will change, much less the two needed to reject the nominee. Assuming Kavanaugh is seated, it’s certain his tenure will be permanently tarnished, along with some part of the reputation of the Highest Court, but craven Republicans don’t care. Control of the court is their holy grail.
Reaction to red-state Democrat Manchin’s vote was furious, as Democratic groups and donors began publicly stating that they would no longer support him. But the response to the YES from Senator Collins was even more dramatic, as thousands of Maine residents protested at various Collins offices, and would-be political challengers started to vie for the $2-million fund that has been accumulating for the benefit of a challenger in case Collins betrayed women and voted YES.
The Kavanaugh situation, however, is not an accident nor a last-minute ploy by Trump, but rather the culmination of decades of subterfuge by conservatives. While liberal billionaires were spending their fortunes curing disease or feeding the hungry, conservative billionaires were funding “think tanks”, buying media outlets, paying for conservative professorships and curricula, seeding data analytics firms, backing teams of lawyers to attack and re-write state constitutions, and bankrolling politicians. They’ve been busy spending vast treasure to create a political system ruled by the minority–because Republicans are the clear minority in our country, and the GOP is getting smaller. But thanks to some help from Russia, they were finally able to grab all three branches of power at once. Journalist David Sirota just published an excellent take in the Guardian on the “accountability-free zone” conservative elites have created for themselves as a result of this decades-long project.
It’s easy to feel depressed and betrayed by the Kavanaugh nomination. Not only will he likely help to set back or invalidate many laws and civil rights provisions that we’ve fought hard to establish over decades, but he will also help to continue the ascendancy of corporate power and executive power at the expense of individuals. However, Senator Chuck Grassley’s grotesquely debased confirmation process and its manifestly unfit nominee have unleashed a powerful, raging determination among the left to work for change. Too many decisions have been (poorly) made by old white men, and it’s become obvious that they only care about the perpetuation of power and privilege at the expense of everyone else–which is unacceptable and intolerable.
Now that Kavanugh seems destined to be confirmed, Feckless Faso released a sanctimonious statement blasting Democrats for their hit job on such a pure and noble man as Kavanaugh, calling Dems despicable for daring to get in the way of such a spectacularly qualified MAN. Of course, silent Faso only took a hard stand on the Kavanaugh process once the outcome had become clear, which is yet another example of political cowardice from our invisible Congressman. It’s no coincidence that Faso’s own party once described him as a legislator who “votes against women,” and the Kavanaugh nomination is the latest chance for him to prove it, siding with a nominee who LIED to Congress–not to mention being credibly accused of sexual assault by three women. Faso could have said nothing and continued to lie about who Antonio Delgado is, but instead Faso chose to run with the extreme Trump/McConnell party line on Kavanaugh, which shows that he is desperate to fire up his base rather than fight a losing battle to appeal to NY-19 moderates.
We have to prove Faso wrong. Our district is not dominated by misogynist dinosaurs, nor NRA members, nor racists. But these groups will determine who represents us if we don’t ALL go to the polls in November. Let’s use the fury of the Kavanaugh debacle to recruit more young voters, more women, more seniors, more anybody who wants a decent future for all of our residents, not just the rich white country club set. Let’s keep working to Fire Feckless Faso and elect Antonio Delgado. Phone bank & canvass…