Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism
“I have been to hell and then some.”
When Brett Kavanaugh showed up for his confirmation hearing, he was affable and cheerful. He made a joke about his daughter’s television debut. He complimented senators from both parties. He was a non-controversial nominee looking to go through the process and then move on to the Supreme Court.
But now Judge Kavanaugh, the sober calm jurist stayed home; instead Mr. Smith came to Washington.
The Kavanaugh who showed up to the Senate hearing today had been through 10 days of hell. He came in holding his wife’s hand, and holding the anger and pain inside until he was ready to speak.
Those were the 10 days that Kavanaugh described in a fierce opening statement as having destroyed his family and his good name. Those 10 days were the product of calculated delays by Senate Democrats, by the larger Democrat establishment. Christine Blasey Ford, it emerged, could not only fly, but had flown to Maryland in August, and who did fly to the hearing. It wasn’t a fear of flying that was the problem.
Those 10 days of nonsensical claims of being unable to fly bought the Democrat allies of Ford’s legal team and their media collaborators more time to drag a good man’s name through the mud.
And now Kavanaugh had his turn.
He could have played it safe. Any political advisers he had would have told him to read a measured denial, to express respect for the procedures of the Senate and a humble willingness to serve.
Brett Kavanaugh did neither. Instead he angrily denounced the confirmation process as a “national disgrace”, and called out the left-wing activists, the billionaire donors and the media activists behind that disgrace. And he made it clear that no matter what they did to him, he would never withdraw.
“Your coordinated effort to destroy my good name and destroy my family will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit. Never,” he declared.
Kavanaugh’s behavior was a dramatic departure from what any nominee had done before. He started out by saying that his statement had not been written by anyone else. And he departed from it more than once to make some additional point. He didn’t just defend; he went to war against the left.
Supreme Court nominees avoid the appearance of partisanship. Kavanaugh certainly had before. But this time around he was not afraid to condemn and to call out the tainted motives of the opposition.
"This whole two week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked abut judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups,” he told a roomful of people who knew it was true.
Kavanaugh did what few people who appear before the Senate do. He told the unabashed truth. He didn’t mince words. He denounced the political calculation of the Senate Democrats who had reserved the assault smear as their final attack, the eagerness of the left to destroy him for the sake of destruction.
Senator Lindsay Graham, usually a bipartisan pussycat, told Democrat colleagues, “What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020. You’ve said that. Not me.”
"Boy, y'all want power, God I hope you never get it," Graham acidly told Senate Democrats. "I hope the American people can see through this sham."
Graham, Grassley, Kavanaugh: mild-mannered figures whom no one would have accused of political extremism a month ago, had been pushed to the edge by the sanctimoniously ruthless corruption of the Democrats. Their forceful comments punctured a day of testimony in which Senate Democrats had alternated between congratulations for Ford with phony demands for a meaningless FBI investigation.
Senate hearings are notorious for being a sham, a circus and a farce, all ways that this hearing was described at the hearing, but the toxic political cynicism on display here was an entirely new low.
Senators repeatedly asked a 53-year-old man about his high school drinking. Senator Dick Durbin demanded to know if a 53-year-old man’s yearbook reflected his character. Senator Whitehouse closely scrutinized the yearbook.
Kavanaugh called poring over the yearbook of a Supreme Court nominee, a “new level of absurdity."
Kavanaugh described the events as a circus, but the real circus was happening outside where Senate Democrats posed with lefty protesters, and the media eagerly showcased lefty activists crying fake tears while Christine Blasey Ford apparently couldn’t keep very basic facts about the attack in her head.
Like the time, date, location, number of people, and other facts about the party.
Those 10 terrible days that the Democrats deliberately delayed allowed the media to play up a barrage of bizarre accusations, combining hearsay, false allegations and random smears. A retracted allegation by a man who had called for a military coup claimed that Kavanaugh had raped someone on a boat in Rhode Island in 1985. Another letter, reported by NBC News, accused Kavanaugh of having pushed a woman he was dating in an “aggressive and sexual” manner. The letter did not come from her.
The woman, now a federal judge, came forward to deny the smears.
Ford, when asked why her best friend at the time, Leland Keyser, along with three others at the party, had given statements denying the existence of the party, replied, "Leland has significant health challenges, and I am happy that she is focusing on herself." Some women have to be believed.
But not others.
This was the entire basis for the 10 days during which the Democrats destroyed Kavanaugh’s life.
Senate Democrats rolled the dice on Kavanaugh. Under pressure from their extremist base and big donors, they decided to do everything possible to destroy Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
If they succeed, then they will notch a victory. But if Kavanaugh survives, there will be a price.
The last time the Democrats put a Republican nominee through hell, he became the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court. Looking at Kavanaugh’s anger, it’s hard to believe that he’ll forget.
Even if he forgives.
Kavanaugh would have been a moderate. He’s replacing a moderate. But forged in the fires of a lefty hell, Democrats may have just created the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court.