He’s right. Incomprehensible though it may seem, he’s right.
Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation was more than attempted character assassination, it was the liberals’ warning shot. Intended to be lethal, it also signaled the next one will be worse. No group is more dependent on the Supreme Court’s power than America’s left and they will stop at nothing to prevent losing further ground there.
The left’s anti-Kavanaugh strategy was clear. An accretion of accusations, rolled out to roil the press, was meant to sink a nomination they could not outright defeat. Timed to coincide with the calendar’s closing and punctuated by increasing demands, it was meant to bleed the nomination to death, not down it with a single blow.
That liberals’ orchestrated effort took both Congress and Court to new lows was not their concern. Their one and only goal was in not seeing the Supreme Court move any more to the right. Yet, the left’s effort also served notice: If they have their way, the process will only get worse.
That such an effort would be expended on this pick may seem surprising. After all, Kavanaugh was replacing Kennedy, another Republican nominee who often voted with conservatives. Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Court would not so much quantitatively change its 5-4 conservative majority, as it would qualitatively change it.
Looking ahead, the left’s reasoning becomes clearer, though. The Court’s next two oldest justices are liberals Ginsburg and Breyer. At 85 and 80 respectively, they are 15 and 10 years older than the next oldest justice, the conservative Thomas.
Liberals could easily see the Court move quantitatively to the right quite a bit — potentially going to a 7-2 conservative majority — before having an obvious chance to swing it back to the left.
Looking backward, liberals’ fear is understandable. America’s left have a long history of dependence on the Supreme Court. The Court has been the primary means of advancing their political agenda for decades. Unsurprisingly, they have a sentimental attachment to the Court.
The Court’s lack of dependence on a political majority has been crucial to liberals, America’s smallest ideology. Lacking the thick edge of the political wedge, America’s left have sought the thin one of the Court to advance issues for which they could never have constructed a public majority.
Of course, nobody ever went far wrong expecting more and worse from the Left. But they seem to have found another tack to take now that the Court is slipping from their grasp:
In 2016, Harvard Law professor Mark Tushnet urged liberal judges and justices to abandon “defensive-crouch liberalism” and remake legal precedent in their image. Two years later, he told Vox it’s time to “abolish” the Supreme Court by reversing the idea of judicial review — giving the Supreme Court a say on whether or not laws are constitutional.
“Do you think we’d be better off if we abolished the Supreme Court in its current manifestation?” Vox’s Sean Illing asked. Tushnet responded, “Yeah, I do. I’m a big fan of the dialogic approach.”
Tushnet also argued that judicial review would prevent the American people from debating constitutional issues on their own. “Judicial review may actually impair the public’s ability to engage in serious thinking about what the Constitution means…In a way, the Supreme Court simply takes on this conversation for itself, and leaves the citizenry as bystanders.”
Discussing the rejection of judicial review, Tushnet insisted, “I’ve felt this way for my entire career, regardless of the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court.”
The Harvard law professor even suggested that Supreme Court justices should be subject to 18-year term limits. “I think there is some enthusiasm among Democrats about alternative constitutional designs, but they can’t do anything about it now. But if they win in 2018 or 2020 or beyond, who knows?”
I do like that sneaky little “alternative constitutional designs” subterfuge, don’t you? Weasel-wording rarely gets more slippery than that construction, and my hat’s off to this oleaginous tyranny-pimp for it. Most scrumptiously delicious part of the whole grease-pie, though? This:
Despite Tushnet’s insistence that he has always “felt this way,” in 2016 he argued something entirely different. In an article published in May 2016, the Harvard Law professor argued that liberals should abandon “defensive-crouch constitutionalism.”
Among other things, the professor argued that liberals should embrace the idea that “The culture wars are over; they lost, we won.” He boldly compared the conservative “losers” to the defeated Axis powers from World War II.
“My own judgment is that taking a hard line (‘You lost, live with it’) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all,” he argued. “Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.)”
To quote Treacher yet again: they’ll say anything they think will get them through the next five minutes. Absolutely anything at all. And they’ll directlt contradict themselves eighteen times before lunch each and every day, and never bat an eye over it.
Ahem. You lost. Live with it, fuckface—every last sobbing, squalling one of you. Or go lie down in the tub and open a vein, for all I give a shit.