It's fair to say that the process by which justices are confirmed to the Supreme Court is now irreversibly damaged. What started out as a routine, albeit partisan, undertaking ended as an abnormally vicious showdown between competing political parties.
While Republicans were victorious in the end, in many ways, the country as a whole lost. An already divided nation has grown further apart.
Immediately after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by a Saturday afternoon 50-48 Senate vote, the talking points emerged. A common theme from both sides? Women and girls, and how the vote will affect them, their futures, and their rights as Americans.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., while making a desperate pitch to voters, made it clear that she believes confirming Kavanaugh to the high court is bad for females.
Besides sending a terrible message to young girls and women, Kavanaugh's confirmation puts the Affordable Care Act, Roe v. Wade, and many more of the things we value at risk.— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) October 6, 2018
We *need* to vote — and win in November.
Meanwhile, counselor to President Trump Kellyanne Conway insisted that millions of women are "thrilled" with the final result.
Congratulations to Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh, and to his family.— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 6, 2018
Your refusal to quit amidst the bullying, harassment, insults and lies is a great lesson to our children.
Millions of women are thrilled you are on the Court. #metoo 💃🏼 pic.twitter.com/eitmyQ8cZh
From my perspective, as a female and a conservative, both miss the mark as they lament defeat or celebrate a victory.
Democrats are of the mindset that Kavanaugh's confirmation is a declaration that sexual assault is acceptable. Nothing could be further from the truth. His win is an acknowledgment that a man who was accused of sexual misconduct, with no corroborating evidence, was found to be a fair-minded and competent jurist. That's the extent of it. This is entirely separate from the concern for Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and similar issues.
Pelosi and others are unequivocally stating that a sexual predator will now sit in Supreme Court chambers, looking to harm females around the country through judicial decisions. This blatant dishonesty does nothing for the women and girls Pelosi and colleagues claim to care about. The truth would serve them the best, but she is happy to use them as pawns and to grow that powerful gender divide.
Conversely, Kellyanne Conway, in her excitement, brings women and children into the mix as both benefiting from the result and glad for it. I don't doubt that millions of Kavanaugh and Trump supporters share the joy she exclaimed in her tweet. I am pleased with Kavanaugh's confirmation as well. But if Republicans are to carry this winning momentum through midterms and beyond, and actually gain converts, they must be mindful that some of their gender-focused celebrations will not be received well. Despite the truth, there are those who view the entire saga as nothing more than advancing misogyny from an administration led by a man who has his own questionable history with women.
As was evident toward the end of the confirmation process, the wrong questions are being asked. At that time, the focus centered on drinking habits and immature teenage behavior, not judicial qualifications. Now, a good portion of the focus is on whether women and girls are merely happy (or not) as a result. It's almost as if we as a nation have learned nothing of substance in the preceding weeks.
In political defeat, a prudent Democratic approach would be to admit disappointment while waiting to see how Justice Brett Kavanaugh will rule. After all, he is not nearly the most conservative of all who were included in the administration's final selection list. And while proclaiming yet another victory, Republicans should concede that many women and yes, even girls, are actually terrified of what the future holds. There is no better time to educate them using facts as they're being bombarded with an avalanche of emotionalism and lies.
In the midst of the aftermath and the noise, women and girls are being let down again. We truly deserve better, and that consideration must start with the truth.
Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog and a senior contributor at RedState.com.