Last night, in a bit of expertly crafted reality TV that showed President Trump’s mastery of the medium, he announced that he was nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the DC Court of Appeals to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.
While not the pick many staunch conservatives were hoping for (Kavanaugh’s rulings include finding that the government's mass gathering of metadata doesn’t violate the Fourth Amendment and that abortion rights are settled law under Roe v. Wade; and one study ranked him the fifth-most conservative judge on the 11-member DC Court), he was widely considered the safest pick. Kavanaugh has a long history of reliably non-activist rulings that were upheld by the SCOTUS. Trump read off his sterling resume (educated at Yale; teaches law at Yale, Harvard and Georgetown, former law clerk to Justice Kennedy, etc.) He also gave examples of Kavanaugh’s sterling character: his mother was both a teacher at an inner city minority school and a pioneering female prosecutor and judge; and he tutors children in public school, coaches his daughter’s basketball team and helps his priest serve meals to the homeless.)
Kavanaugh's telegenically-perfect family was also on hand to support him: his highly-accomplished wife and his two appealingly spunky daughters. He talked of his love of family, his devotion to community and the Constitution, and his goal of giving all cases a fair hearing. He even had bipartisan support in the past: he was appointed to the DC Court by George W. Bush (who issues a statement strongly praising Trump’s choice) and was hired to teach law at Harvard by then-dean Elena Kagan. You couldn’t have created a more perfect scene if you’d gotten Kavanaugh and his family from Central Casting and let Aaron Sorkin script it.
And what was the Democratic response? It reminded me of the “Simpsons” episode where the town of Springfield unveils a statue of Jimmy Carter and the citizens scream, “He’s history’s worst monster!” and riot. The gap between the overwhelmingly qualified, picture-perfect jurist, family man and community leader and the worse-than-Hitler demon depicted by the screaming left was enough to make your head spin. But then, as comedian Dennis Miller tweeted earlier, Trump could have nominated either Amy Coney Barrett or Vladimir Putin, “and the headlines would be exactly the same.”
In fact, the utterly predictable, over-the-top, end-of-the-world denunciations of this man by Chuck Schumer, MSNBC talking heads and all the other usual suspects (bear in mind, the Democrats stalled his DC Court nomination for three years before he was finally approved by the Senate by a 21-point margin) provided a perfect example of why it’s so hard for conservatives to do comedy these days.
Liberals would have you believe it’s because they’re the only ones with a sense of humor, a fallacy they disprove on a Daily (Show) basis. Actually, it’s just impossible for anyone on the right to make up a humorously exaggerated cartoon version of the left that they don’t surpass in reality almost as soon as the joke is made. Case in point: two days ago, I suggested with tongue-in-cheek that they’d already written the “Trump’s nominee is Hitler!” press releases and were just waiting to “insert name here” before sending them.
Not only did that turn out to be literally true, but someone at the Women’s March actually sent it out without remembering to fill in all the blanks first. They distributed a fire-and-brimstone denunciation of Trump’s “extremist” nominee, referred to in the opening paragraph as “XX.” One wag on the Internet said he couldn’t figure out why the feminists at the Women’s March hated the female chromosome so much.
In short: Grab your popcorn, the Grand Guignol political theater has now begun.