Justice Kavanaugh’s First Day Hearing Arguments On The Supreme Court Is Tomorrow


Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his first, easier round of testimony


And That’s Only Because Today’s A Federal Holiday: Republicans And The President Wasted No Time Getting Him Sworn In


In the end, those in opposition to Kavanaugh faced the same obstacle as they did on the day he was nominated: simple math. They didn’t have the votes.

Yes, that’s oversimplifying it. And lots of things changed in the past couple of weeks and lots of people and institutions were changed and maybe broken. But what didn’t change is Republicans have more votes in the Senate, and that’s where who gets to be on the Supreme Court gets decided. (And that’s why it’s so important to vote next month, and make sure you’re registered right now, since in many states the deadline is in the next day or two. We’ll have more on that tomorrow.)

We don’t think the “why” is overcomplicated either. In many ways the best explanation we can find is from Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana who tells the Washington PostIt has to do with the pace of change more than anything else. There are some Americans who would like to see our country change quickly“. We guess there’s a possibility he means Liberals don’t want to see the dramatic changes Trump is bringing. But most likely he’s talking about Republicans looking to have vast social changes happen at a much more leisurely pace. And now they’ve gone from having say, an election cycle or two to hold back some of those progressive ideas, to decades, possibly.

Because Kavanaugh’s appointment is above all else an insurance policy for Republicans. Now, even if they lose control of the House, the Senate, and/or the Presidency, they’ve still got a pretty good shot at knocking down things like “Medicare For All” on the grounds of constitutionality.

With that in mind, this piece in the Atlantic really resonated with us because it describes growing up seeing the Supreme Court as a “unifying, national institution”, willing to guarantee the rights of ordinary citizens to demand change from their government. Now it seems the Court is being specifically designed  to stifle that.

And Kennedy’s quote also implicitly answers the question posed by ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd on Twitter:


Because Republicans know all they’re doing is buying time. Change is inevitable. Self-preservation–for a little longer at least–is the only thing they can hope to achieve. And they can really get people to fight for that if those people feel they’re backed into a corner; putting them in a constant state of anger.


Republican Judiciary Committee Member John Kennedy questioning Brett Kavanaugh about 10 days ago


We’re not going to spend a lot of time analyzing who made what right or wrong move when, or what the impact is going to be on the midterms. Or even if Trump is right that the “game-changer” was when he made fun of Christine Blasey Ford at a rally because “I thought I had to even the playing field.” The President is a genius at messaging and far smarter about those things than we are, so if he says that’s why, it probably is. Even so, that doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Ever.



On Any Other Day This Would’ve Been Our Lead Story: Two Journalists Appear To Have Been Murdered Overseas, And One Could Really Put Trump To The Test


Both the Washington Post and Reuters report authorities in Turkey believe Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by a special hit squad sent there for that purpose. Khashoggi’s been extremely critical of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He lived in D.C., and his writings appeared in the Washington Post; here’s a link to some of them.


Jamal Khashoggi during an appearance in Washington, D.C. last year


Of course, President Trump has mostly praised the Saudi Prince and his father King Salman since his visit to the Kingdom last year. And relations between the U.S. and Turkey have frayed during that same time. Only recently has Trump spoken somewhat negatively about the Saudi royals, because they haven’t heeded his call and lowered oil prices to his liking.

Meanwhile in Bulgaria, the body of journalist Viktoria Marinova was found in a park in a city near the country’s Northern border. She was investigating corruption in the form of misuse of EU funds.