I thought I had seen it all. I was wrong. Of all the oddities in the Donald Trump administration, the historic occasion upon which Trump nominated, for a second time, someone to the Supreme Court brought with it a sight previously unseen.
This strange occurrence may or may not portend the Apocalypse after a Jesuit trained judge, Brett Kavanaugh, affectionately known as “Coach K” by his daughter’s CYO basketball team he coaches, accepted the nomination to become a member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Jesuits, whose saying is “a man for everyone" and is considered the liberal wing of the Catholic Church (Vince Lombardi was a notably trained Jesuit), produced a noticeably non-liberal in Kavanaugh. His nomination came at 9 p.m. on a Monday before Trump left the country for a NATO meeting and a summit with his boyfriend, Vlad-The-Impaler Putin. It came amid pomp and circumstance featuring the Marine Corps band and complete with finger foods, canapés and libations following a reality show event featuring most of the major players in the Republican Party.
He praised the president and Trump’s search high and low for a justice qualified to sit on the sacred seat of power vacated by his mentor, Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh most decidedly didn’t say how as an attorney, he helped draft the Starr Report, which urged the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. A partisan of some renown, he led the investigation into the suicide of Vince Foster, worked for George W. Bush, served as the White House Staff Secretary during Bush’s presidency and at one point served as a clerk for retiring Justice Kennedy.
He brushed by most of this to talk about his even-handedness and how much he cares for all Americans—which may or may not prove to be true. Kavanaugh is widely seen by partisans getting the nod because it is believed he would vote against a sitting president being criminally prosecuted, a consideration that could be more than rhetorical for Trump.
McConnell gloats about stealing a Supreme Court nomination and urges the Democrats to confirm Trump’s nominee, which may cement the Court’s swing in a manner that would make Ronald Reagan scream in maniacal laughter.
I counted at least four “excellent choices,” during his exchange with reporters. Sarah Hucakabee Sanders kept her comments to “He’s a great choice” and saying with confidence Kavanaugh will be confirmed by early October. KellyAnne Conway merely smiled and said, “I recognize you from television” when asked about Kavanaugh.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions cruised and passed through a throng of reporters with his ears flapping in the breeze while his lips did the opposite. He grinned admirably and scooted away. He even buzzed past Rosenstein with little more than a grin and a handshake.
Newt Gingrich, appearing like a fat, aging bullfrog, showed up for the after-party and let loose with a Jabba the Hutt look through sanguine eyes as reporters peppered him with questions and the wild banshees from the press wrangler corps shouted at journalists to keep it moving. Sounding more and more like White House tour guides these days, at decibel levels guaranteed to peel paint, as they shout “Move along. We’re moving!”
The wranglers have devolved into a subset of professional species whose sole responsibility seems to be to disrupt reporters whenever possible – even to the point of shouting over the president when Trump speaks. On that note, I had my own little dustup with a young wrangler by the last name of Sunshine who is anything but a ray of that fun.
The White House, not content with relying on regular White House press passes, made members of the Fourth Estate who wanted to attend Monday’s smack down jump through another hoop and get an additional day pass made of paper. We all of course complied and Sunshine’s job was to spread some sunshine by making sure we all had our day pass. I presented mine when asked, but then was further asked to produce an email saying I had actually been cleared to attend the event, implying that somehow I’d stolen the day pass I had to go through a gauntlet to obtain. I produced that and was admonished not to make a silly face when asked for my credentials in the future. “This is the only face I have,” I replied.
The president leaves the country nominating a right-leaning justice who will solidify Trump’s legacy no matter what happens to him going forward.
“This is the only administration I’ve ever seen that thinks when you tell the truth, you’re trying to ‘put one over’ on someone,” I replied.
That much is glaringly true. The Trump administration is so used to lying to us they believe anyone telling the truth must be trying to put one over on them. No one was more indicative of the garbage spewed by this administration than Senator Mitch McConnell at Monday’s fete. Like most everyone else, he had little to say about the guy everyone seems to love, Kavanaugh, and was more about dodging everyone in the press corps. This came after protesters chased and confronted him at the Bristol Bar and Grille in Louisville, KY in the last few days.
It comes after McConnell has waved his fingers at Democrats and admonished them about playing nice and fair with Kavanaugh. A more hypocritical man does not exist on this planet and moreover, he doesn’t care. He gloats about stealing a Supreme Court nomination from Barack Obama and urges the Democrats to swiftly confirm Trump’s second nominee, which may cement the Court’s swing to the right in a manner that would make Ronald Reagan scream in maniacal laughter. The fix is in, folks, and that’s why the Republicans smiled and grinned Monday night while saying little in public.
The president gets to leave the country to denigrate our allies and elevate our enemies on a high note, nominating a solid right-leaning justice who will more than likely be confirmed by a divisive Senate prior to the November election and solidify Trump’s legacy no matter what happens to him going forward.
On that note, there are many who are not only fearful of the reprisal coming against Trump, but betting on it, which is why Rosenstein is trying to mend fences, McConnell is so anxious to quickly confirm Kavanaugh and why the president nominated someone so quickly. With the House of Cards quickly tumbling, Trump is moving with the speed of Sessions’ vibrating ears to make a difference with his base and go out as a martyr.
Civility is not in the president’s playbook. He cares little for dead journalists. He admonishes the poorest among us to stay out of our country. He antagonizes hapless Democrats who think they’ll win in November’s midterms by merely saying they are against Trump. He insults women, African Americans, LGBT people and anyone who isn’t a rich, white male with impunity.
It matters not. He can forever rest on laurels if he gets two conservative judges voted onto the Supreme Court who want to overturn Roe v. Wade. Say "goodnight, Gracy." The Mueller investigation continues.