Will Kavanaugh Be Enough?
By Jeff Knox
The drawn out and contentious confirmation process for Justice Brett Kavanaugh didn’t work out quite the way the Democrats had planned. The 11th hour accusation of sexual assault during high school was intended to derail the nomination in hopes that a new, Democrat majority in the Senate might be able to block all Trump judge and justice appointments for the rest of his term. They also hoped to reinvigorate their base in advance of the November elections, to help secure that Democrat majority, putting Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in control of the House and Senate. But the invigoration of the Democrat base was barely noticeable compared to the outrage the confirmation circus generated among Republicans, independents, and moderate Democrats toward the Democratic senate leadership and the party.
The “Blue Wave” of opposition to President Trump looked unstoppable late last year, and was expected to sweep Republicans out of power in Congress in November. But the wave hit a reef in December, in the form of the President’s tax bill. The Democrat advantage tumbled from double-digits, and has floundered ever since, swelling at times on the basis of some thoughtless tweet or comment from Trump, but receding again with each strong economic report or successful international negotiation, and never recapturing the broad support enjoyed before the tax bill. Even with the good economic news and the successes in foreign policy, by September, the “Blue Wave” was regaining strength, and President Trump’s appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was helping it grow.
Had Democrats stuck to conventional post-Bork tactics of trying to make the nominee look bad by asking him pointed questions they knew he wouldn’t answer, and expressing deep concerns about how such an “extremist” might rule on the bench, all the while maintaining the appearance of decency and decorum, they might have actually defeated the nomination. Even if they hadn’t, they would have almost certainly come out of the process with an energized base and a claim to the moral high ground.
Instead, Democrats went with nasty, smarmy, and whiny in the committee hearing, and then doubled-down with a low blow and faux outrage and indignation. The process was so ugly and so clearly a sham, that all but their most ardent supporters were appalled. So not only did they lose a critical seat on the Supreme Court, they woke up a whole bunch of Americans who hadn’t really been paying much attention. Polling during and after the Kavanaugh inquisition tracked the Democrat lead in House races as it toppled from 14 points to 7 points to a negative 1, putting the expected Democrat takeover of the House into question. On the Senate side, capturing a majority was never a likely option, but there was a real possibility, and had Republicans rammed through Kavanaugh’s confirmation – as many hoped they would do – Democrats might have successfully played that into a broader base and a better chance to hold and capture seats. Instead, the Republicans remained civil, considerate, and showed a commitment to fair-play, while the Democrats went full-crazy with torches and pitchforks. Now their chances of gaining seats is almost nil, and they will probably lose a few.
But will the Kavanaugh debacle be enough?
Many Americans got fired up about the way Democrats abused the process and personally attacked Brett Kavanaugh with nasty, unsubstantiated, and uncorroborated accusations, but the fact that Kavanaugh was eventually confirmed might take some of the wind out of those sails. The attention span of the average American voter seems to be pretty short, and many of them might see Kavanaugh’s confirmation as the conclusion of the matter, rather than carrying it with them into the voting booth. The core Democrat base is still fired up, still stinging with the loss on Kavanaugh, so they are still a formidable force. There are two big questions: First, will the more traditional Democrats, those who don’t support “democratic socialism” and “intersectionality,” choose to send a message to their party that the crazy has gone too far? Second, will traditional Republican “values-voters,” who never liked Donald Trump and cringe at the thought of supporting him in any way, decide that it’s time to get back into the game and put down the radicals’ power-grab.
For GunVoters, everything could be on the line over the next few elections. The current Democrat leadership has committed to anti-rights extremists and bet heavily on infringing on the right to keep and bear arms as a campaign point. That commitment has been repaid with tens of millions of dollars from self-righteous billionaires and their anti-rights foundations. Mike Bloomberg recently made a $20 million dollar donation to the Democrats’ Senate PAC, and has pledged to spend $80 million this year alone to elect anti-rights, Democrat politicians at all levels of government. This “investment” is augmented by California billionaire Tom Steyer, various George Soros front groups, and Gabby Giffords’ money machine.
Campaigning has become more negative and divisive than ever before, and that kind of money can buy a whole lot of negative campaign ads. Meanwhile, the NRA got over-extended in the 2016 election and has yet to fully recover, plus they are facing increased scrutiny over some of their fundraising and spending programs. Even so, as we’ve always said, the real power in the gun lobby doesn’t come from money, it comes from our people. GunVoters could make a significant impact in the coming election – if they’ll get off the couch and go to work for candidates. Republicans could help a lot by following through on their promises and bringing bills like the SHARE Act, National Concealed Carry, and the Hearing Protection Act to the floors of Congress for record votes.
Republican politicians need to hear from their pro-rights constituents. GunVoters need to get involved in campaigns and the candidates need to know who helped them. A couple of hours of volunteer work planting signs or sorting mailers not only helps keep an anti-rights candidate out of office, it will put some starch in the shorts of what might otherwise be a soft or marginally pro-rights candidate. Don’t look for the perfect candidate. They are scarce. Politics is about working with what you have. Make sure you get out to vote, and take someone with you. I’ll see you at the polls.