After Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Brett M. Kavanaugh, Republicans are more enraged than demoralized. More than any other time this year, I think Republicans want to take to the ramparts and man the battle stations.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) has emerged as the leader of the counter-resistance. He set the tone for Republicans in flyover America when he told Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and the other Democrats on the committee, “You all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you knew about it and you held it. You had no intention of protecting Dr. Ford; none.” By calling out the sheer recklessness of the Democrats’ cynical manipulation of the Kavanaugh confirmation for what it is, Graham took on an enhanced leadership position despite never having been a favorite among many of the GOP’s core conservatives. His timing was perfect. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony was credible and sympathetic. It would have been easy to forget that her story was still an accusation without corroboration. Just as Republicans were beginning to think this could be the end, it was Graham who dumped cold water on the Democrats and delivered a shot of adrenaline to the wobbly GOP.
And at the same time, Thursday’s hearing brought about the end of Feinstein’s status as a respected, bipartisan adult in the swamp. She proved herself to be a petty, manipulative part of the problem rather than a wise and measured voice of reason. Her capitulation to the resistance hasn’t been flattering, to say the least.
The latest polling shows that voter enthusiasm is high among both Republicans and Democrats. But according to the Pew Research Center, Democrats are more enthusiastic and prepared to turn out at the polls this year than they were in the past three midterms. That could change. After Thursday, a lot of otherwise marginal Republican voters will be motivated by the Kavanaugh travesty and the Democrats’ disgusting tactics. There is nothing that Republicans could have done that would have motivated their voters as much as what the Democrats have done by their attempt to destroy Kavanaugh.
Democrats’ relationship with the rule of law has reached an unprecedented place. And in addition to what we witnessed during the Kavanaugh confirmation, it is worth remembering that the Democrats are the party that enthusiastically backs making it easier for felons to vote and for illegal immigrants to be granted amnesty in large part because they think it would help them win elections. Now they want a confirmation process, designed specifically for Republicans, in which nothing more than an allegation is sufficient to stop their political opponents from holding office. The Democrats still don’t have a message on the economy or foreign policy. The only thing they can claim to be theirs is a growing but vague flirtation with socialism and the support of the so-called resistance, which has disintegrated into cowardly protests and attempts at personal destruction.
Marc A. Thiessen: Brett Kavanaugh fights back
Megan McArdle: The Kavanaugh-Ford hearing broke the committee
Michael Gerson: The Supreme Court gets sucked into a black hole of partisanship
Greg Sargent: Jeff Flake surrenders
Jennifer Rubin: ‘Conservatism’ seems to have lost all meaning