I know I’m not the only one who likes and has supported Barack Obama and ended up supporting Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a Justice of the Supreme Court.
How could that be you ask. Easy. In politics, hate (or dislike) is a far stronger motivator than love (or like). That’s not my bright idea, it’s the observation of a couple of very savvy political operators, Kevin Phillips and Ed Rendell.
Phillips was a strategist in Richard Nixon’s 1968 successful Presidential run. He helped develop and implement Nixon’s southern strategy. According to Phillips, “the secret to politics is understanding who hates who.” Ed Rendell, a two term Governor of Pennsylvania and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee has said, “In politics hate is a far stronger motivator than love.”
Applying Phillips ideas, say you’re running in a part of the country that is suspicious of the New York Times, the Faculty at Harvard, and Wall Street. The strategy would be to tie your opponent to those so-called “enemies of the people” and tell the world you believe they represent the essence of evil. In case you haven’t noticed, Trump is pretty good at implementing the strategy. And, by the way, none of us is immune from being pulled in one direction or another by what we literally can’t stand. Talk to the people in those three PA counties that gave Hillary less than 20% of the vote. Obama never got blitzed like that anywhere. He even got the votes of people who “knew” he was a Muslim, born in Kenya.
Back to our story…how I learned to like Kavanaugh. I started mostly disinterested. I watched the hearings and was sort of rooting for the Ds, mainly because I wanted to see Trump take a hit. That’s where I was until the saga of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford entered the public consciousness. You will be happy to know that I’m not going to re-litigate that here.
I moved to Kavanaugh’s side (and started watching Tucker Carlson on FOX) based pretty much on the actions of three democrats who I had heretofore held in reasonably high esteem: Diane Feinstein, Richard Blumenthal, and Sheldon Whitehouse.
FEINSTEIN. One must tread lightly here. One can lose their career (which I don’t recall ever having) using stern language critical of an 85 year old Jewish Grandmother who attended Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco…wrap your head around that little factoid. In any event, Diane (I’m starting to get the warm fuzzies) first heard the Dr. Ford Story on July 20. Now, Diane, even though she is the highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is not a lawyer. When she heard the Ford story she should have recognized IMMEDIATELY that this story was going to become public and that fair play REQUIRED that Ford relinquish her demand of confidentiality IMMEDIATELY. We simply don’t do things in the United States of America based on secret accusations from secret accusers. Feinstein’s inability to recognize that fact flipped me from mild Kavanaugh opponent to full throated (four posts and counting) Kavanaugh supporter. Do I hate Feinstein? Of course not. I don’t do hate. To me it’s an admission of powerlessness. I believe if you have breath you’ve got power. But I sure as hell developed an intense dislike for the process the Ds were using to take Kavanaugh down and destroy him personally.
BLUMENTHAL. Richard Blumenthal tried to get cute with Kavanaugh by questioning him about a Latin phrase that translates to “if one is dishonest in one matter that person’s honesty is subject to question on all matters.” The phrase is sometimes used when a judge instructs a jury on the credibility of witnesses. The problem for Blumenthal is that he was the wrong person to ask that question. In his home state of CT Blumenthal has treated the question of whether or not he served in the military IN VIETNAM DURING THE VIETNAM WAR in various and sundry conflicting ways. The correct answer is that Blumenthal was in the reserves during the Vietnam War but never got within 10,000 miles of Vietnam during the war. For the record, neither did I.
WHITEHOUSE. Sheldon Whitehouse is of the manor born. Nobody in the Senate or maybe the country can boast a lineage so seeped in aristocratic “good breeding.” He’s got Mayflower passengers, Episcopalian Bishops, and Ambassadors in his family tree that goes back a damn sight further than yours or mine and certainly further than that scruffy interloper Brett Kavanaugh. Oh, and by the way, the family tree got watered by some serious liquidity (cash) thanks to Railroad Magnate Charles Crocker. So, little Sheldon took his good breeding and serious cash off to super exclusive St. Paul’s Prep in NH, Yale, and UVA Law School. When it was little Sheldon’s turn to question Kavanaugh he showed that all that breeding, money, and education had not been wasted on him. He decided to sniff around in Kavanaugh’s High School Yearbook devoting particular attention to the subjects of flatuence and vomit…all pursued with the studied condescension of the well born. Little Sheldon’s performance has drawn the attention of voters in his home state of RI where he is up for reelection. Wags in RI, playing off on Corey Booker’s taking on the name Spartacus have taken to calling Little Sheldon “Fartacus.”
Before Kavanaugh gave his final presentation, I emailed a friend who knows his family and said he has to show passion but if he cries he’s going to lose. He showed passion, he cried a little, and went way over the top. But, he showed he was willing to compete no matter how unfair the tactics of the opposition. Lindsey Graham sensed the moment required an intervention and stepped up to help a friend he’s known for twenty years. The base got the message and Susan Collins put the frosting on the cake.
The Ds say they’re going to bring impeachment against Kavanaugh. Bring it. I’ve done Impeachment on the Impeach side. It would be fun to do it on the Don’t Impeach side.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.