Saturday, August 11, 2018

Is Kavanaugh Really THAT Bad? Even Worse Than That!


Brett Kavanaugh by Nancy Ohanian

I suspect there are a lot of voters, particularly Democratic voters, who shrug when someone talks about confirming a judge nominated by a president. Sure, a judge nominated by a Republican president isn't going to be as good as a judge nominated by a Democratic president, but the Republicans won and they get to pick the judges. Right? How bad could it be? We lived through Reagan's judges and Nixon's judges and Bush judges. And what a ruckus was raised over them all! Why bust a gut over Brett Kavanaugh? Did that other one Trump put on there Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, that terrible?

Yeah, Gorsuch is terrible. Kavanaugh is worse. Many of us feel uncomfortable that Kavanaugh thinks presidents-- or Republican presidents-- are above the law. That's why Trump picked him, of course... and why savages like Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) are willing to put off the impeachment of Rod Rosenstein until after the Senate confirms Kavanaugh. How is he worse? Count the ways. No, wait-- my old friend Jesse Lee already did. "Our rigged political system," he wrote Thursday, "supposedly under siege from all sides, is about to reach the height of its power: locking in control of the Supreme Court for a generation with one of its own shifting the balance. The son of a D.C. lobbyist family, a notorious leaker at the heart of the Ken Starr investigation, a career political operative in legal clothing, will be rammed onto the court while Republican senators keep his damning 'paper trail' covered up." Yes, that's Brett Kavanaugh he's describing.
You can almost hear the champagne corks ready to pop on K Street in a collective toast to President Donald Trump.

What you don’t hear is a lot of speculation about the intricacies of Brett Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy and where that might lead. Because we all know the answers-- he’s spent his life fighting for partisan and big corporate agendas, and he’s been nominated to push that agenda on the court.

On the most profound issues facing all of us, Kavanaugh was chosen precisely because he comes with a guarantee to override the will of the people. His mission is to accomplish what the rigged system couldn’t hope to achieve through the legitimate democratic process.

On gutting and overturning Roe v. Wade, the fix is in. From the beginning, Kavanaugh has forged a career designed for this moment, saying all the right code words to reassure the right-wing lobbying groups dedicated to overturning Roe, paying homage to the dissent against the decision giving women the right to control their own bodies, while being just careful enough to let Republican senators play kabuki theater and pretend his position is mysterious. But there’s no mystery; the decisions are already rigged.

In fact the movement to overturn Roe, from the efforts by the Heritage Foundation to Jerry Falwell Jr., made a bargain: They would defend Trump through every imaginable moral and ethical disgrace, so long as he promised to choose from their pre-approved list of potential Supreme Court nominees who they knew would make the rulings they wanted. Out of that corrupt bargain sprang Kavanaugh’s name-- see if you can find a single one of those lobbying groups complaining now.

On gutting and repealing the Affordable Care Act and health care protections, the fix is in there, too. The manufacturing of cynical political lawsuits to dismantle the ACA has become a cottage industry for Washington-based Republicans and their major donors, and the rigged system has churned out judges they know will play along with the game.

The Trump administration, having failed in humiliating fashion to repeal the ACA in Congress last summer, has already corruptly gone along with a hack political lawsuit to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, and Kavanaugh was chosen to finish the job. No serious legal commentator thinks the lawsuit is remotely legitimate, but no serious legal commentator really has any doubt that Kavanaugh would rubber stamp it either.

Kavanaugh wasn’t nominated to apply his intellect and conscience to weighing the merits of these arguments, he was nominated to push the rigged system’s agenda. Protections for people with pre-existing conditions will likely be one of the first things that Americans cherish to go on the chopping block, but it won’t be the last.

In general, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single person in America who thinks corporations have too little power, and working people have too much. Well, search no more. Before many working Americans even learned of Kavanaugh’s nomination, the Trump White House had blasted out a one-page sales pitch to every major corporate lobbying firm in Washington, citing the 75 times Kavanaugh had sided with big corporations. The obvious suggestion was that they could count on him to do so every time going forward.

It was their pitch for those big corporations and big polluters to pony up for TV ads supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination, and it paid off. Millions of dollars in ads are being aired in a swing state near you as we speak.

Kavanaugh has seemed to revel in crusading for the rights of corporations to abuse their workers. His dissent in the case stemming from the deaths of trainers at SeaWorld reads like a man planting a flag for big corporate immunity. Even in this horrendous circumstance, he would hold that government has no business telling corporations what to do.

It won’t end there, either. With the courts brushing Trump back from immigration policies so inhumane that they shame our country, Kavanaugh auditioned for the president by trying to force a young immigrant woman to carry her pregnancy against her will.

And as Trump and Republicans look to disenfranchise voters of color by the millions, through blatant voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering, nobody wonders whether those efforts will get Kavanaugh’s enthusiastic approval.

Then, of course, there is the most spectacular rigging of justice of all.

We have a president whose entire family and campaign are under investigation for what would be one of the greatest betrayals of our country in history, who wants to appoint his own deciding judge to sort out the constitutional crisis he’s wrought. A president who obstructs justice out in the open, who has declared himself above the law countless times and chooses a nominee who not only agrees, but has taken the appalling position that President Richard Nixon should have been able to shield the Watergate tapes from the Department of Justice.

Far too few have seriously considered the consequences of a scenario, all too possible in the months ahead, in which Kavanaugh could be the deciding vote to shield Trump from criminal accountability and deem him above the law. Faith in our democracy would crater at home, to say nothing of abroad. They’d say our system is rigged, a sham, and what argument would we muster back?

Goal ThermometerMeanwhile, if confirmed, Kavanaugh’s job for the next 40 years will be to ensure that the rigged system continues to abet those same special interests he has spent a career serving, who put him on their precious list, and who are running the ad campaign to push through his Senate confirmation.

There’s one silver lining to all this, though. As of now, we still have a right for women to control their own bodies. We still have health care protections for every American as they make their way through life. We still have a shot for one worker to get justice against even the biggest multinational corporation. And we still have a country of laws, not of Trump. It’s not completely rigged just yet.

Republican senators say that nobody really cares, that they can’t hear you. So pick up the phone, get out in the streets, get down to their offices, and speak loudly so they can’t miss it.

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At 5:11 PM, Blogger Anthony said...

It's becoming clearer every day that the republicans want to turn this place into a wasteland just so they can find some group of people with no power to blame it on.

At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People won't awaken to the threat until all they value has been eliminated. Then they will wail that no one warned them.

Go fuck the Kardashians, you losers! Dance with the Stars and pretend to be free.

At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As of now, we still have a right for women to control their own bodies. We still have health care protections for every American as they make their way through life. We still have a shot for one worker to get justice against even the biggest multinational corporation. And we still have a country of laws, not of Trump. It’s not completely rigged just yet."

Utter horse shit.

80% - 90% of women have no access to control their own bodies. Through threats of violence and "legal" means, there is no access to abortions and little-to-no access to CARE for the poorest.
*ALL* americans still do not have access to health care. Even ACA left 12 million behind and ACA doesn't give CARE, it gives insurance, the profits of which mean that CARE is denied for those who are most expensive. Not to mention the corporations pricing making CARE out of reach for many who have the insurance that is not denied.
It is more prevalent today that a worker has no path to justice against corporations. Threats of firings, mandated arbitration with the arbiter named by the corporation as a condition of employment are just two such firewalls. The evisceration of unions is another.
We are a nation that HAS laws. But they are not enforced against the rich and powerful. Jamie Dimon, Lloyd blankfein, dick cheney and Donald Rumsfeld should be in prison and never will be. Trump should have been in prison for the past 50 years.
All this is bipartisan, btw.

You embarrass yourself with such insipid claims.

At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, Kavanaugh, like the pinhead who nom'd him as directed by the federalist society, *IS* worse than that.

But like the pinheaded simian, he is an inevitable consequence of a binary political system that is owned and operated by the moneyed few and where voters are too fucking stupid to make it work for their own needs.

The refusal (not inability... REFUSAL) of the democraps to affect meaningful altruistic policy when they get windfall power means that ever-worse opposition will be elected to "change" from their horridness. This has proven true in 1980, 2000 and 2016.

You want trump and Kavanaugh to not have happened? You needed to get rid of the 'crap party in '82 and get a true left party to fill that vacuum. As of today, that vacuum is still empty but voters don't KNOW it... yet.

BTW: if the 'crap party was sacked in '82, good chance we'd also have avoided both Iraq wars, Afghanistan, 9/11, torture, the 2008 crash... even money we would now have MFA and the ERA and total marriage equality. Outside chance that the 2nd could have been amended to only include weaponry that existed in 1785 and 'speech' would be sound waves and NOT federal reserve notes.

And taxes would be progressive at JFK levels and laws would actually matter to the rich and powerful and celebrities.

AND we'd still make shit in this shithole instead of paying the Asians to make it for us.


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