The Washington Post has joined the chorus of anti-Brett Kavanaugh critics who say he cannot serve on the Supreme Court because, among other things, he expressed anger last week when he defended himself from unverified and uncorroborated allegations of sexual misconduct, including attempted rape, gang rape, and indecent exposure.
It’s not a great argument, and it’s not the only reason the Post opposes Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but this is the best they got and, by God, they’re going to stick to it.
“As senators prepare to vote this week on Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, they, and the rest of the country, must wonder: Which Brett M. Kavanaugh are they evaluating? Is it the steady, conservative jurist he was reputed to be before his confirmation saga? Or is it a partisan operative harboring suspicions and resentments about Democrats, with possible misdeeds in his past?” the paper’s editorial board asked Friday.
“Unfortunately — and unnecessarily; it didn’t have to be this way — too many questions remain about his history for senators to responsibly vote ‘yes.’ At the same time, enough has been learned about his partisan instincts that we believe senators must vote ‘no,’” it added.
[Also read: Kavanaugh's final plea: Admits was 'too emotional' in Senate, vows to be 'even-keeled' justice]
The editorial continued, noting it hasn’t participated in the railroading of a Supreme Court nominee since the last time it participated in the railroading of a Supreme Court nominee, which was in 1987 during the fight over the late Robert Bork's confirmation.
The Post’s editorial board is careful to include a handful of additional reasons for why it thinks Kavanaugh is unfit to serve, including that senators haven’t had a chance to view all the documents from when he served in the White House counsel's office during the Bush administration. The board also alleges that there hasn’t been a thorough enough investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations Kavanaugh tried to rape her when they were both in high school. The board also grouses that Kavanaugh was nominated to take a seat that should’ve gone to Judge Merrick Garland. In short, the board’s list of grievances matches up exactly to everything Democratic lawmakers have been saying since Kavanaugh was first nominated in July. Imagine that.
At the end of it, though, the Post’s biggest objection is that Kavanaugh had a few outbursts last week when Democratic senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled him on whether he was an alcoholic gang rapist by age 15.
“If Mr. Kavanaugh truly is, or believes himself to be, a victim of mistaken identity, his anger is understandable. But he went further in last Thursday’s hearing than expressing anger. He gratuitously indulged in hyperpartisan rhetoric against ‘the left,’” the Post tut-tutted, adding that he “provided neither evidence nor even a plausible explanation for this red-meat partisanship, but he poisoned any sense that he could serve as an impartial judge.”
Kavanaugh didn’t appear before the committee as a judge. He appeared as the accused, defending himself from flimsy and uncorroborated allegations pushed by Democratic lawmakers and their more-than-willing accomplices in the press.
If the Post was genuinely interested in determining whether Kavanaugh had the judicial temperament to sit on the Supreme Court, it could always look at his 12 years serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
But, no, rather than examine the judge as a judge, we're going to make our determination based on how he behaved the afternoon he defended himself from thin and uncorroborated allegations pushed by the same people who have called him “evil.”