Waking Up After The Brett Kavanaugh Nightmare

The Brett Kavanaugh nomination nightmare is over, but the torturous hellscape in which we currently find ourselves is as terrible as it's ever been and it's indefinitely going to get worse. To say our system is entirely dysfunctional is an understatement. Brett Kavanaugh lied his way to the Supreme Court. (how we know Brett Kavanaugh is lying). The mask of meritocracy has been removed. The idea that our leaders are in positions of power because they have the merit to be there has been shown to be a complete charade. Instead, our leaders are in their positions because of their proximity to wealth, power, social status and whether or not they will protect the current hegemony of the few. Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court was an exercise of power and show of force. It was a display of dominate political power designed to humiliate and dispirit the opposition.

The Republican Party had many other options to choose from when the credible allegations against Kavanaugh came out. They could have withdrawn Kavanaugh and nominated some other clean-cut right-wing ghoul with identical judicial philosophies, but that would have been an admission of political weakness. Mitch McConnell wants to show you that the Republican Party can do whatever it wants and that there are no consequences. The hearing was a sham. It was a coverup process. The committee only released 4% of the documents it had on Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh lied under oath multiple times. The “limited scope” FBI investigation was a faux. Both Ford and Kavanaugh were not interviewed by the FBI along with more than 20 other witnesses who had issued statements with relevant information requesting to be interviewed by the FBI. Furthermore, the investigation only looked at the sexual assault allegations and not the near dozen times Kavanaugh lied under oath, a federal crime that a true hearing and investigation would find to be disqualifying for a Supreme Court Justice. The limited FBI investigation had been used as a tool to provide political cover for Republican Senators.

The mask of  our Democracy has been fully removed to reveal an undemocratic system that falls somewhere between an oligarchy and aristocracy.  Brett Kavanaugh, a nominee with record low approval ratings (36%), will be the first Supreme Court Justice, backed by 'dark money, nominated by a president who lost the popular vote and confirmed by 51 Senators who represent just 44% of the population. The Republican party does not care about popular opinion. All they care about is power and rewarding their big dollar mega-donors. If the Republican party has the power and the votes they will force through a nominee who is a perjurer and misogynist so long as he is in their “club”.

The “club”, of course, is those with money and power. It is also those who are committed to making sure that the power of the current national hegemony (namely wealthy white Republican men) is undisturbed and reinforced (enter Brett Kavanaugh). If you are in their “club”, there are no consequences for lying or breaking the law. For many of us who understood that lying to the Senate was illegal, it was incredibly shocking to witness that these laws do not apply to a nominee for the Supreme Court as we watched Kavanaugh brazenly lie to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Brett Kavanaugh violated the laws that he, as Supreme Court Justice, would be swearing an oath to protect. There wasn’t a single person on the Judicial Committee that believed Kavanaugh’s lies about the meanings of his yearbook writings or his denials of excessive drinking in high school and it did not matter.  All that mattered was that Kavanaugh, despite the subject of credible sexual assault allegations, was in the “club”.

With the confirmation of Kavanaugh, there is appropriate rationale to question the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. During his testimony, Brett Kavanaugh revealed himself to be a highly partisan individual with deep grudges against the Democratic Party. He claimed to be the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy as revenge on behalf of the Clintons and funded by dark money. All of these claims made by the next Supreme Court Judge without any evidence at all. The court, which was once the neutral arbiter of constitutionality, is now controlled by right wing partisan operatives dedicated to remaking the country’s laws in order to favor the wealthy and the powerful. 

Even before the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme court has slowly been eroding the protections of the meek in favor of the powerful. Under the Janus ruling, the funding of unions has been devastated. Under the Citizen’s United ruling, corporations have been able to buy our politicians and corrupt our elections. Under the Bush v. Gore decision, the Supreme court in a partisan split halted the recount of contested ballots in Florida and handed the election to George W. Bush. Under the Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker decision, the Supreme Court overruled the $5 billion in damages that Exxon was finally held responsible for in the aftermath of one of the greatest environmental disasters of all time, the Exon Valdez oil spill.  

What we can expect from this now radical right-wing court is even worse. Expect abortion rights, economic regulations, environmental protections, affirmative action and LGBTQ rights to all be rolled back. Currently, the Trump administration is arguing a case that the Affordable Care Act’s protections of people with pre-existing conditions is unconstitutional. Expect more rulings in favor of large powerful corporations and their right to pollute and exert force on the less powerful. We will begin to see a lot of cases being brought to the Supreme Court that have been lying in wait for a strong conservative majority.

Republicans have been waiting for this moment for decades. It was the Supreme Court that legalized abortion, outlawed racist voting laws and ordered the integration of schools. Republicans and their donors know the power of the Supreme Court and it is why Mitch McConnell was willing to use any means necessary to take control of it. Now it's in their hands. 


Popular Posts