The Roots of Anger

The intensity of the anger against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh can be explained by a combination of several factors.

First, as I show in this chart, Republican Senators represent less than 44% of the population of the fifty states.  And, of course, those senators represent an even lower percentage of the U.S. population since neither Puerto Rico, with a population greater than twenty-one of those states, nor the District of Columbia, with a population greater than two of those states, have a vote in the U.S. Senate.  Thus, Senators representing well less than half of the U.S. population have denied to the Senate all of the relevant documents bearing on the nominee’s fitness for the Court, and, in addition, documents which may show that he lied under oath.  And, of course, their votes will be sufficient to confirm his nomination.

Second, as the most famous Op-Ed in history shows, the president who nominated Kavanaugh is incompetent.

Third, the president who nominated Kavanaugh has, in effect, been named as an unindicted co-conspirator in one federal criminal action and is the subject of at least one other criminal investigation.

Fourth, as Michael O’Hare shows in great detail, if Kavanaugh is confirmed:

[H]e will forever be “the guy Trump nominated to fend off his impeachment”; one of his senate interlocutors wisely said “you will always have an asterisk next to your name”, which is right except that the asterisk will be an indelible and devastating blot. No respectable judge or lawyer will be comfortable citing his decisions; his influence will be restricted to hacks and stooges, and he’s smart enough that he will eventually realize this, but alas, too late.

Finally, Kavanaugh is a threat to our most modern of liberties rooted in the decision in Griswold v. Connecticut381 US 479 (1965).  That case held that while the Constitution does not explicitly protect a general right to privacy, the various guarantees within the Bill of Rights create penumbras, or zones, that establish a right to privacy.  The decision overturned a Connecticut law that banned the use of any drug, medical device, or other instrument in furthering contraception.  From Griswold spring Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges.

Now, you might think that, at the least, the precise holding of Griswold, namely that the right to contraception is Constitutionally protected, will never be attacked.  You would be wrong.  Certain forms of contraception such as the so-called “morning after” pill and the IUD, are already under attack.  A Justice Kavanaugh would surely allow such attacks to succeed since he doesn’t believe in the “penumbra” theory that underlies Griswold.

Let me be clear:  It is not the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth item on the list that stokes the anger against Kavanaugh’s nomination, even though any one of the five should be sufficient to deny him a seat on the Court.  The anger is a product of the outrage stemming from the cumulative effect of all five.


10 thoughts on “The Roots of Anger”

    1. We don’t really know that Trump actually won the election. Official information about the Russian intervention in the 2016 election has come out in drips and drabs and only in response to leaks. I can’t help noticing that official Washington has been dragged kicking and screaming from nothing got hacked to, basically, everything got hacked but no votes were changed. My impression is that if Reality Winner hadn’t sacrificed herself to tell us as much of the truth as she knew, the government would still be denying everything.

      It doesn’t seem crazy or paranoid to worry that, in fact, critical votes were changed and Trump didn’t actually win the election.

  1. The op ed says in essence that the author and colleagues have carried out a coup d'etat in order to avert a Constitutional crisis. That is an interesting position to take; I am glad not to have to defend it.

    I figure that we will know the identity of Deep Throated Cough by Friday, so that we can ask him/her to clarify that position.

    1. You may be right about a coup, I need to think about it more. I don’t see though how actively undermining the prez is somehow better for democracy than the 25th option?

      Also, shouldn’t this have been printed in the WSJ, and read aloud once per hour on every right wingy radio station? That’s who needs to hear it, no?

      I suppose it’s possible that if he works in a department in which he is literally preventing wars and deaths, he may survive with virtue intact, which for this administration is quite an achievement. Otherwise, he may be a punk and a coward. And don’t even talk to me about dereg and an unpaid for tax cut. Are conservatives really all this deranged? Still. Poor b*st*rd.

    2. My impression is that he or she is saying that the coup was for the purposes of making sure that traditional conservative economic and foreign policy preferences would be enforced.

      1. Correct so far as I understand also. Nary a peep about Trump's racism or appeals to white nationalism. The author has no issues with all that.

        One of the many hands holding the daggers probably belongs to the smarmiest man in politics. No other man on earth has as much to gain from the Oval Office falling vacant in the near future. Trump is the one thing standing between him and his lifelong dream, to which Almighty God has called him. The Thane of Cawdor can be patient for only a limited period before the time comes in which he must act.

        If Trump knew how to ask "Cui bono?" his paranoia would erupt, and he would have to let his base know about his suspicions. What would be the magnitude of the ensuing conflagration?

  2. Being, um, “thrifty” … and also I wouldn’t have time to read it, I am not a WSJ subscriber. I couldn’t get past the paywall on the pieces they’re doing on the op-ed. I hope they linked to it, at least?

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