I would like to make one thing perfectly clear: I believe Christine Blasey Ford. She came across as authentic, credible, and truthful. It’s hard to think anyone would subject themselves to the intense media scrutiny she’s currently experiencing if she were lying about the alleged incident of sexual assault committed by current Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
That being said, there’s something else going on here that deserves to be discussed. There’s a narrative that suggests Democrats are behind this whole thing. That it’s purely a political “hit” job, intended only to hijack the nomination, delay it beyond the mid-term election, and deliver a defeat to President Trump.
To that I say, so what? If true, what it means to me is that the proverbial gloves are finally off. Yes, the Democrats may have finally decided that with the election of a bombastic and combative president of the United States, the final straw has been drawn. And it could not come at a more pivotal time in our history.
The Republicans have been fighting dirty for a long time. It goes back to the days of Newt Gingrich when he became Speaker of the House during the Clinton era. And we see it now with how they are handling the current situation with Kavanaugh. But there’s one instance where the utter gall and political dirty tricks of this party stands out above all others. And it happened on January 20, 2009.
Let’s see, on that particular date was there anything going on of note? Of course, the inauguration of the first African-American as president of the United States was in progress, just down the road from the Caucus Room Restaurant in Washington D.C. At the restaurant, a group of Republicans was meeting to discuss the way forward. Present and former members of Congress such as Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, and Newt Gingrich were there as was Republican strategist Frank Luntz. For some reason, they were a bit concerned about the election of Barack Obama.
Yes, he was a minority. But beyond that fact, the coalition of voters he brought along terrified the Republican leadership. African-Americans, Latinos, and a massive surge of younger voters signaled that the Republican Party may soon find itself on the outside looking in. The demographic makeup of the country was changing, and the policies of the party itself were not resonating. Something drastic needed to be done.
Several years have passed since that day but we now know what it was they decided to do: Prevent and obstruct everything the new president wanted to do so he could not establish a lasting legacy. True to form, the filibuster was used at a record pace, judges and administrative heads sat unconfirmed, and while the rest of the country was reeling from the Great Recession, the Republican Party sat on their hands and complained about Obama and his “socialist” agenda.
The line in the sand was now embedded in concrete.
The truth is, the Caucus Room meeting is just one of many instances of where the Republicans have resorted to drastic measures to ensure they stay in power one way or the other. No more kid gloves. No more bi-partisanship. Power is the only driving force … how to keep it and cultivate it remains priority number one.
We’ve seen them hold a Supreme Court vacant seat open for over 400 days. We’re now told confirming Kavanaugh is of paramount importance and delay tactics are out of line. They say and do things which are provably false, yet they stick their chins out and dare Democrats to throw a knockout punch.
Well, perhaps the Democrats are doing just that. Maybe the leadership has had enough. Maybe someone did leak Professor Ford’s confidential letter alleging sexual assault by Kavanaugh. Maybe it did come from Senator Feinstein’s office. Maybe all of the obstruction … all of the voter suppression … all of the failures to reign in Donald Trump … have finally hit a nerve that will compel Democrats to fight the good fight … by any means necessary.
For those of us who have been clamoring for a more assertive Democratic Party, it’s music to our ears. For those who wish the two parties would get along better, I get it. But these are different times. These are not normal times. Sometimes fighting for what’s right is more important than fighting by the rules. And we have the Republican Party to thank for that.
Once again, I have no reason to doubt the veracity of Professor Ford’s allegation. But if the Democrats had an agenda that delayed this thing to make it tougher on Republicans? So be it. Who needs gloves anyway?