• What Kavanaugh Tells Us about the Midterms

    October 13, 2018

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Trump

     

    While Democrats refight the 2016 election, Republicans confirmed their second Supreme Court judge.

    The soiled Kavanaugh confirmation process put Democratic strategy for the 2018 midterms in plain view. The question is will what hasn’t worked to date do any better for the Dems a month from now?


    This week’s FBI investigation was never going to turn up much beyond incomplete recollections. Apart from liberal Twitter, all of whom are apparently trauma memory experts (last week they were scholars of perjury law), most people in Normal America have a hard time conjuring up long ago details. It is even harder to remember things that never happened. The FBI had done background investigations six times on Kavanaugh over a period of decades without uncovering any of what people said this week, so in reality, the investigation lasted 30 years. Democrats knew unless the FBI miraculously turned up a blue dress with semen stains on it, the facts by themselves were never going to be enough.

    The investigation, like Trump’s taxes and Russiagate, was really just a way to turn a scar into a scab to pick at, enough of something to propel the story into another week. Then if no new smoking gun-let drops into the media’s lap, the script says claim the process itself was unfair – Putin stole the election, gerrymandering cheated the vote, the FBI wasn’t allowed to interview enough witnesses.

    The real plan was always to force the confirmation into the mold Democrats think will win them the House, the same gambit they thought would deliver a landslide in 2016. And so Kavanaugh’s complex judicial record was discarded in favor of Clinton-esque, er, progressive, talking points: the election, um, sorry, the confirmation is all about respect for women, fighting misogyny, defeating privilege, too many White Men, Trump is evil, we can’t have an accused rapist in the White House, sorry, on the Supreme Court! Disqualification via demonization. The Kavanaugh hearings were an updated version of what was supposed to be the 2016 game-changer, the “pussy grabbing tape.” The Dems would give America another shot at having had it with the patriarchy.


    It didn’t work. Despite endless bleating the hearings were a “job interview” (imagine the lawsuit after a Microsoft hiring manager pivoted from coding skills to accusing someone of being a drunk) the hashtags were not enough. Judicial temperament problems? The issue never came up in Kavanaugh’s long career. Even so, few courtroom situations turn a judge into a Senators’ punching bag; maybe a little righteous anger was called for? Some may even remember how Democratic voters abandoned presidential candidate Mike Dukakis when he was too dispassionate in his reaction to a question about someone assaulting his wife.

    Things devolved too quickly from concern over Roe v. Wade to an attempt to catch Kavanaugh out on yearbook nomenclature. Dems convinced themselves it was conclusive when Maddow labeled Kavanaugh a liar over what “Devil’s Triangle” really meant in a suburban Maryland boy’s school in 1982. They imagined people would believe wrongly stating the drinking age in Maryland decades ago was perjury and not just a mistake. They thought people would care more if the pool of “victims” (i.e., anyone who saw Kavanaugh with a brewski) increased exponentially. Most everything serious was lost in a cloud of stupid.

    It is a hard ask to get people concerned about health care as a life-or-death issue to take you seriously as a party when all you seem to care about is high school butt sex. Jester Michael Avenatti pushed things further into farce with an “accuser” whose credibility failed sitcom standards. Susan Collins specifically cited Avenatti’s actions as part of her decision to vote yes on Kavanaugh. Yet Democrats still see Avenatti as a useful idiot, a kamikaze working alongside them, without understanding he demeans the seriousness of everything he touches as a tabloid Midas.

    It was little surprise the absurdity of it all was missed by the Dems. One Democratic strategist statedidentity politics has really become the ecology you’re operating in. Economics aren’t as dispositive as they used to be.” That makes sense only to a party banking its midterm strategy on voters not noticing the economy is doing pretty well. It follows pretending constant predictions of trade wars and real wars haven’t all turned out to be crying wolf. It starts to make sense America would go along with the idea a guy claiming he wasn’t a drunk in college means he’s a liar unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.


    There were issues in Kavanaugh’s judicial history worth debating. Concern over Roe runs deep. But the Democrats spent little thought on that, failing to grasp while American demographics may be changing, they haven’t yet changed.

    The only constituency re-energized over Kavanaugh is suburban liberal white women (accuser Ford could not have been more a Clintonite if Murphy Brown was reanimated out of the 1980s via a horcrux from Hillary herself), a group favoring the Democrats anyway. Apparently this group can also be counted on to ignore the likelihood a Democrat Senator outed Ford when she wanted to remain anonymous, and to overlook attempts to slut-shame high school girl Renate Schroeder on the grounds that if she was a pass-around then Kavanaugh was a non-virgin who screwed tramps like that. Same for the tsunami of criticism directed at Susan Collins, labeled a traitor to her gender to the point where people are donating money to her unknown opponent of the future. No one on CNN praised her as a courageous woman who made a thoughtful decision.

    There seems little inside the Kavanaugh fight to specifically drive minorities, already understood as reluctant voters, to the polls. Millennial voters share a low historic turnout rate. If you can’t get a lot more than 1 out of 4 in a demographic to show up things are unlikely to work out (71% of Americans over 65 vote, skewing Republican, and the Kavanaugh saga could easily energize them into an even higher turnout). There seems little-to-no Democratic plan to shift these historical trends other than Trump rage, and the warm feelings of consensual hallucination embodied in social media aside, that failed again this week to affect a #RealWorld event.

    Purple” men moving to the Democrat side? One of the things which damaged the women’s movement in the 1980s and helped the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA; remember that?) to fail was an overemphasis on men as the enemy, a feature of the Kavanaugh process. Many women walked away from the feminist groups supporting the ERA, knowing the mantras “all men are rapists” and “Republicans hate women” just weren’t true.

    This is what is happening now, when people who support Trump based on economics end up labeled fascists, people who support Kavanaugh based on his judicial history are rape apologists (or traitors), and people who support free speech are Nazis. Same as post-Parkland, when people who support the 2A were slandered as child killers. It’s deplorable. No one supports rapists or child killers. But few voters are willing to trust Democrats that see them as people who do.

    The point of politics is to change people’s minds, not declare them unfit to walk among decent folk. Kavanaugh proved the Democrats (and their partnered media) are still unaware while this may be the year of #MeToo in Washington, New York, and Hollywood, it’s still just 2018 in West Virginia.

    The Democrats failed in 2016 when they tried to make the election a referendum on Trump’s behavior. They failed again this week with the same strategy, even after elevating Kavanaugh to a psychopathic POTUS mini-me. With no tailwind from Russiagate, Democrats move toward November with little more than more of the same, throwing in some mumbled threats to impeach Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court (will that be before or after they impeach Trump?) if they take the House.

    It’s bad enough to pick the wrong hill to die on. Even worse to do it three times.




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    Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      “This is what is happening now, when people who support Trump based on economics end up labeled fascists, ”

      Got the first letter right. Fools is more accurate.

      10/13/18 10:06 AM | Comment Link

    • When you fight political battles using, for the most part, gender h… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (罗伊) said...

      2

      […] When you fight political battles using, for the most part, gender https://wemeantwell.com/blog/2018/10/13/what-kavanaugh-tells-us-about-the-midterms/ […]

      10/13/18 1:16 PM | Comment Link

    • chucknobomb said...

      3

      TY PVB. Will the Dems Free Assange and Snowden?!!!

      10/13/18 2:26 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      4

      Obama got to put two on the high court but stumbled on his third. We’ll never know if the Republicans would have pulled a similar vile and pathetic stunt (30 year old uncorroborated sexual assault charges) with Garland. A pox on both parties.

      10/14/18 7:56 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      5

      “The point of politics is to change people’s minds, not declare them unfit to walk among decent folk.”

      The point of politics is to get power and keep it. Until there are term limits – one term for presidense and Senator, two terms for the House- and restrict the corruption of money in our politics, nothing is going to change anyone’s mind. Of course, the chances of that happening are the same as Trump holding the Royal Saudi shitbag responsible for the disappearance of the WashPo journalist. Money talks and decent peoples walk.

      10/14/18 9:35 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      “No one supports rapists or child killers.”

      Really going out on a limb there. What about child predators in Alabama, pussygrabbers in the whore house? You really don’t know what the idiot in the whore house won’t support.

      Trumpie: Probably was rogue killers inside the Saudi consulate.

      10/15/18 9:59 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      7

      About the Hillary photo. If she runs again it may not be generic compulsion. It could be existential dread. Without becoming the first woman POTUS what was the point of the humiliation, exasperation, compromises and suffering that came with being Bill’s spouse?

      10/15/18 3:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      JP,

      It is apparent that Putin must have dirt on the bitch. She just won’t go away and die.

      Trumpie was right about those rogue killers. There were 15 of them.

      10/15/18 3:53 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      And will someone tell Elizabeth Warren to shut up too?

      10/15/18 6:11 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      10

      Bauer- talk about dirt! Mueller’s dilemma. “So what am I supposed to do with all this stuff? If I release it both parties go down followed by the whole system.”

      10/15/18 6:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      Russia, Saudi. Who isn’t this orange clown whoring for the right price?

      10/15/18 10:02 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      12

      Trumpie serves the Saudi oligarchs. The rest of US can pound sand.

      10/15/18 10:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      13

      Breaking news: Saudi gov blames Amanda Knox for the accidental death of the WashPo journalist who did or didn’t leave the Saudi consulate out the back door because he got cold feet about marrying the woman who waited at the front entrance for him for seven hours. Trumpie believes it all…whatever the camel fuckers say cause money talks and its all fake news anyway. So there.

      10/16/18 5:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      14

      Kavanaugh had an alibi: he had passed out at some frat party.

      10/16/18 5:04 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      15

      Bauer: a prescient writer (Phillip Dick) predicted a time when all disseminated information would be suspect to alteration by the ruling elite.

      10/16/18 6:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      16

      And less than ruling elite. Working at the circus that is State for over 30 years, watched the system corrupted at all levels of “management” which tried to spin reality to fit its goals and objectives. Unfortunately, reality came crashing down on the circus and the clowns were replaced by other clowns.

      Meanwhile, the orange clown is spinning the murder of the WashPo journalist. The reality is the Saudi Salmon did it. The fish always rots from the head down.

      10/16/18 9:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      17

      Kavanaugh and his friends turned up the music when they assaulted her.

      The Saudi kill team turned up the music when they dismembered the WashPo journalist…while he was alive.

      New music station on Pandora: music to dismember me by

      10/17/18 8:54 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      18

      Kavanaugh, the new Clarence

      Salman, the new Gaddafi

      Trump, the new Bozo

      10/17/18 5:58 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      19

      Trump, the same old coward

      President Trump has yet to make a trip overseas to visit the troops because he is “very busy.”

      The commander-in-chief spoke to the Associated Press Tuesday, and said that while he doesn’t feel it’s “overly necessary” to pay a visit to a military base in a combat zone like Iraq or Afghanistan, he plans to at some point in the future.

      Golfing, so time consuming.

      10/17/18 6:14 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      20

      Reality came crashing down on the Republican climate change deniers in Carolina after the hurricanes came crashing down on their dumbasses. Triple the number of Repugnicans from a year ago now are true believers…too late.

      10/18/18 12:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      21

      There is a God with a sense of humor

      The series of killer hurricanes hitting Florida primarily affected heavily Repugnicans areas. Climate changers can change their minds but not reality.

      10/18/18 3:36 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      22

      Back to the Blasey Ford accusation and the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing. If you elect to speak truth to power with no backups you end up doing more harm than good. You might as well be standing along side the road clasping a white cane with red tip claiming the king who just passed by was naked.

      10/18/18 6:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      23

      JP,

      Holding Kavanaugh to a higher standard than the pompous asshole in the WhiteHouse is debatable. In the orange clown’s case, sexual assault is a proven pattern. His family value voters didn’t give a shit. If Kavanaugh was smart he would have admitted that he was drunk, that it could have happened, express remorse, and not deny angrily that it happened. Was there evidence he was a repeat sexual assault offender? The deciding factor I believe should have been his partisan history, not his sexual history.

      10/18/18 10:28 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      24

      What Trump tells the world about US

      Kavanaugh may or may not be a moral degenerate, but there is no debate the orange clown is. His call to arms against journalists could have influenced the Saudi sadistic Salmon to take arms and legs of the WashPo journalist. You think he would learn? Right. But what about US? The Orange clown was at it again: Trump in Missoula praising Gianforte: “Any guy that can do a body slam he’s my kind of guy”

      While the Orange Clown and his trained pig Pompeo wait for their masters in Saudi to reward them for their obedience, ain’t it about time to call an end to their circus?

      Anybody country that send these criminals to jail that’s my kind of country.

      10/19/18 8:08 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      25

      Please PVB – move on to Elisabeth Warren. She is ripe material for snarky essays. Andrew Bacevich recently posted an open advisory letter to Warren which smacked of angling for Secretary of Defense in case she runs for POTUS. That makes both of them pretty clueless.

      10/19/18 9:35 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      26

      EW ain’t got a chance. She has the charisma of the Cryptkeeper. People want someone that can identify with, not someone who looks like your third grade teacher who should have retired years ago.

      While I am not supporting Kamala Google Harris, she does fit the Boomerang theory. Intellectual black man replaced by idiot white man who hates women, who is replaced by an intelligent black woman.

      10/19/18 10:01 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      27

      Trump said he could get away with murder on Fifth Ave. The Sadistic Saudi said, Hold my beer.

      10/19/18 8:10 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      28

      So the WashPo guy started a fight and was killed by accident. Gee, these royal camel fuckers aren’t even trying anymore. All that Saudi royal inbreeding really fucks with the gene pool. So Demented, stay away from your daughter.

      10/19/18 9:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      29

      Judge not, less ye be judged

      While the World is rightfully outraged about the Saudi Bonesaw Massacre, except for a few repugnican psychopaths, the Saudis, if they were smart- spoiler: they ain’t- should say Who you calling murderers ? when the murder of a million Vietnamese and Iraqi civilians goes unpunished. So easy on the outrage, boys. We all got it coming.

      10/21/18 9:43 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      30

      The Saudis with their rich and diverse versions of Kashoggi’s death are only following the Arab tradition of One Thousand and One Nights. What’s the harm in that?

      10/21/18 12:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      31

      JP,

      Following the neocon playbook, expect retaliation against Iran in about two weeks.

      10/21/18 6:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      32

      On the bright side, the waiting time for an appointment at Saudi consulates is way down.

      10/21/18 6:26 PM | Comment Link

    • Chuck Nasmith said...

      33

      We need to stop the Nazi’s and Climate Change! BDS… Free Assange and others…

      10/21/18 10:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      34

      And we need to stop those unknown middle easterners traveling in caravans coming to our border. And we need to stop our foreign aid to these poor countries cause their poor people keep leaving. Ungrateful. SAD.

      10/22/18 10:05 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      35

      Two Things you NEVER thought you would see in the same sentence:

      “It is a hard ask to get people concerned about health care as a life-or-death issue to take you seriously as a party when all you seem to care about is high school butt sex. ”

      That is not where you stick your Peter.

      10/22/18 5:31 PM | Comment Link

    • chucknobomb said...

      36

      Head of CIA in Turkey (like he didn’t know what “The House” had planned!)If he told you he would have to kill you. Have a nice day.

      10/23/18 6:55 AM | Comment Link

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