Finding it mind-boggling to watch academics and lawyers of varying flavor twitting nonsensical predictions about who would be named last night to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, I did something. I’m not exactly proud of it, as it was less than dignified, but I enjoy a good joke as much as the next guy, providing the next guy enjoys humor over a life of abject misery, but it turned out far funnier than I imagined. I twitted this:
Jeanine Pirro spotted walking out of Reagan National Airport in new shoes to a waiting black SUV.
— Scott Greenfield (@ScottGreenfield) July 9, 2018
My timeline blew up, with some getting the joke and others losing their minds. On the right, there were people thrilled at the prospect. On the left, there were people beyond outraged. The “tell” that it was a joke was the “new shoes,” since Pirro’s obsessed with shoes and it’s obviously impossible to tell, and irrelevant in any event. Watching the blithering idiots going nuts over the “new shoes” was my favorite part.* How they breathe remains a mystery.
But the point of the twit was that some people will believe anything. Granted, I’m a very credible person, but there was nothing in there about how I knew such a thing or what it meant. I gave people the rope. They hung themselves. Over and over and over. They did so not because of me, though I obviously am a gangsta, but because they no longer need any connection to reality to believe whatever it is they’re going to believe.
At 9:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, President Trump announced District of Columbia Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh would be the nominee for the Supreme Court. Even so, people kept retwitting my Pirro twit and replying to it. For people so deeply concerned, one might think they would realize that Pirro wasn’t the nominee after Judge Kavanaugh was named the nominee. Nope. Even as I type, people are still retwitting and replying. Sharp as knives.
The New York Times has an editorial about why the nomination of Kavanaugh is the end of times, not so much because of anything wrong with Judge Kavanaugh, but because reasons. Yale lawprof Akhil Reed Amar has an op-ed entitled “A Liberal’s Case For Brett Kavanaugh.”
Although Democrats are still fuming about Judge Garland’s failed nomination, the hard truth is that they control neither the presidency nor the Senate; they have limited options. Still, they could try to sour the hearings by attacking Judge Kavanaugh and looking to complicate the proceedings whenever possible.
This would be a mistake. Judge Kavanaugh is, again, a superb nominee. So I propose that the Democrats offer the following compromise: Each Senate Democrat will pledge either to vote yes for Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation — or, if voting no, to first publicly name at least two clearly better candidates whom a Republican president might realistically have nominated instead (not an easy task). In exchange for this act of good will, Democrats will insist that Judge Kavanaugh answer all fair questions at his confirmation hearing.
There is no serious argument that Judge Kavanaugh is unqualified for the position. That he’s not the judge whom a liberal president might have chosen isn’t a serious argument because a liberal president wasn’t elected. Nor is it a serious argument that his confirmation hearing will be conducted in good faith, as it will be a Kabuki theater as was Justice Gorsuch’s.
But serious people will realize all of this and, as they watch the senators on the judiciary committee speechify in lieu of questions and bemoan the potential fate of Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges, they know the judge sitting before them, one they voted to confirm on the D.C. Circuit just as they were fully supportive of Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Tenth Circuit, is the real deal.
Had Darth Cheeto nominated Jeanine Pirro, the nation would have blown up. She is not qualified, not even a little bit, and such an absurd nomination would have been more than anyone with a modicum of intelligence and integrity could take. But he didn’t. Even if some wag on twitter trolled the masses hungry to believe anything, whether to love or hate, or just to obsess about shoes because they didn’t get the joke.
Before anyone starts crying in their green tea, remember that even Darth Scalia, who brought such gems to his decision-making as the “new professionalism” of police, also brought back the Confrontation Clause in Crawford. The empathetic Latina was a major hump when she sat on the Second Circuit, rarely seeing a criminal defendant who didn’t deserve his sentence of life plus cancer. And Ike’s biggest regret was nominating Earl Warren as Chief Justice. You never know.
The one, the only, thing you need to know is that Brett Kavanaugh will, and should, be confirmed by the Senate.** Until he’s confirmed, people will say all manner of terrible things about him, all of which will be nonsense designed to taint a judge to compensate for the fact that he was chosen by Trump rather than Hillary. No matter how much you believe he’s going to end life as we know it, he’s not. He is not evil. He is not unqualified. He is not the monster he will be made out to be by people whose lies you prefer to believe.
And if that doesn’t bring you comfort, then consider that Trump didn’t do the most insanely absurd and horrifying thing he could have done, nominate Jeanine Pirro in her new shoes.
*If you have absolutely nothing useful to do today, check out the responses to the twit. If ever there was proof of no intelligent life on earth, this was it.