Gallup on Wednesday published a new poll showing that Americans just love Ketanji Brown Jackson and want her on the Supreme Court right away: she is supposedly broadly popular, more so than anyone who has been nominated to the court since the 1980s. The far-Left news aggregator BoingBoing is thrilled, gushing about “the first black woman nominated to the Supreme Court and the most popular Supreme Court nominee in modern history,” but Gallup’s poll is really less about Ketanji Brown Jackson, whom nobody had ever heard of before Old Joe Biden nominated her to the Supreme Court, than it is about the lingering power of the establishment media. The Democrat party propaganda organs that masquerade as news organizations still wield considerable persuasive power, and that’s not good news.
BoingBoing provides a breathless summary of Gallup’s poll, which demonstrated, they said, that “Ketanji Brown Jackson is tied as the most popular Supreme Court nominee it’s ever polled. 58% of Americans want the U.S. Senate to confirm her, far more than recent picks like Neil Gorsuch (45%) and Brett Kavanaugh (41%). John Roberts, at 59% before his confirmation 17 years ago, is the only ‘recent’ candidate to perform better. The worst performing candidate in the poll’s history was the comically repulsive Robert Bork (31%).”
What was “comically repulsive” about Robert Bork? BoingBoing writer Rob Beschizza doesn’t say and almost certainly doesn’t know, other than that Bork is someone he has been told to think is bad, and Beschizza, a dutiful Leftist groupthinker lemming, happily goes along. If he were to look into the matter, he would find that public opinion turned against Bork as a result of Ted Kennedy’s appalling smear: “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.”
Joe Biden and the other Democrat senators who sat and listened to this didn’t stand up and say that Kennedy had gone beyond all bounds of decency and that he should apologize to Bork and the nation for such baseless defamation. Instead, they saw it as a useful tactic. Bork’s nomination went down in flames, and when Clarence Thomas was nominated a few years later, out came Anita Hill to debut another new Democrat tactic: without any evidence and actually in the teeth of the available information, charge the nominee with sexual indiscretions.
Given the “high-tech lynching” Thomas received from Biden and others, it’s a wonder that he got 52% approval in the new Gallup poll, tied with present-day Gestapo chief Merrick Garland. Mitch McConnell held up Garland’s Supreme Court nomination in the Senate because it was an election year, while the establishment media hailed Garland as the second coming of Solomon himself and harshly criticized McConnell for his stalling game. Garland was canonized, lionized, and celebrated practically to the extent that Thomas was smeared and reviled. Apparently, Americans saw through the game and realized Thomas’ integrity and acumen despite the intensity of the campaign against him — or perhaps because of it.
Brett Kavanaugh got treated even worse than Thomas, with equally implausible claims of sexual impropriety and even gang rape taken with po-faced sincerity by a media and Democrat establishment that was avid to destroy him. It’s no wonder, then, that Kavanaugh garnered only 41% approval, the lowest of any nominee other than Bork himself.
The Left’s savage attacks on conservative Supreme Court nominees work. That’s why they keep on using these tactics. Their attacks both turn public opinion away from the victim of the attacks, as the Gallup poll shows, and scare away Democrats who might otherwise have supported the nominee, as so many Republicans routinely vote for Supreme Court nominees chosen by Democrat presidents. Then the nominee is confirmed by a razor-thin margin and is forever tainted with the image of being a partisan candidate, a political appointment rather than an impartial judge.
Ketanji Brown Jackson is showing in her confirmation hearings that she is a hardcore Leftist ideologue, more radical than anyone else who has ever sat on the Supreme Court. But she will be confirmed anyway because Republicans don’t play the ruthless hardball that Democrats play. If they did, she wouldn’t have polled so high in the Gallup survey, either. In America today, we have two political camps: one is playing war, and the other is playing checkers.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.