I want to say something about political “experience” and “credentials” and “qualifications” in light of Republicans’ repeated refrains about Kavanaugh’s “experience.”
Yes, he’s been an Circuit Court and Supreme Court law clerk; an associate counsel in a major national independent counsel investigation; an associate White House counsel; a White House Staff Secretary; a DC Cir. Judge. He argued before the Supreme Court! Sounds very impressive!
But but but. He clerked for Kozinski (who recently resigned in shame over sexual harassment), who is a feeder to his old boss Kennedy. He was an associate counsel to Ken Starr, where he was the principal author of the infamous Starr Report that gleefully recounted Clinton’s sexual acts and called for his impeachment. His Supreme Court argument was asking courts to disregard attorney-client privilege in relation to his investigation of Vince Foster’s death (he lost), which he spent millions trying to prove was murder. His White House positions were in the GWB admin as a political appointee, where he advanced right-wing policies and judges.
His Circuit judgeship involved such decisions as preventing a 17-year-old pregnant girl from getting an abortion even after she satisfied the state law of Texas – TEXAS! – on parental notification requirements.
He is a career-long right-wing partisan warrior. Every step of his career has been to the next right-wing warrior position. He is smart, yes. Excellent schools. But let’s not kid ourselves that his vaunted “expertise” and “credentials” arose naturally because he is such a brilliant patriotic American. Virtually all of them came because he was being groomed and promoted by a right-wing political cabal to get him to the exact position he is in today – where he can be a decisive fifth vote on the court to limit or eliminate abortion, end affirmative action, end Obamacare, limit administrative bodies’ abilities to regulate the environment and consumer protection, hamper gay marriage and gay rights, end limits on campaign finance spending and donation, restrict minority voting rights, expand executive power (for Republican presidents), and other long-standing right-wing positions. He is there because he’s been groomed for it, for 25 years now. It’s like a super-affirmative-action for right-wing partisan warriors.
Did he ever get hired by a Democrat? Did he ever work for a progressive? Impress a liberal? Outside the one Democratic lawyer who introduced him – and is a regular Supreme Court practitioner, where she will need his votes for her clients – how many prominent liberals have said “yeah, I disagree with his philosophy, but he’s going to be a good and fair judge”?
Kavanaugh is the fruit of a long-term plan to develop “excellent resumes” so that today, right now, Republicans can say “how can you possibly deny that he is incredibly experienced?” He sure is! He was made that way, for this purpose.
He will probably be confirmed, because the Republicans have the votes. But make no mistake: his ascent to the Court is not because he’s “incredibly well-qualified.” It’s because right-wing partisans groomed a right-wing partisan, putting him in ever-higher positions of power, and in a further exercise of raw power, they will put him in the highest position of power they can.
He won’t be the last. Years from now, Republicans up for high positions will be vaunted for their political experience and credentials because they clerked for Kavanaugh / Gorsuch / Alito, worked in the Trump administration (where, naturally, they’ll say they worked as a moderating force to advance conservative goals, while heroically thwarting Trump’s insanity), and all sorts of other similar credentials.
Do Democrats do it too? Sure! I think Republicans have done this more (or, maybe, are just better at it). But the lesson here is bipartisan. Don’t look at people’s *positions*. Look at what they did while they were there. Don’t accept “credentials” without looking under the hood. Don’t hear “he’s so experienced” and think “well then he must be good.” What has he done? What will he do in the next position?
If you’re a deep conservative, you should be thrilled at Kavanuagh’s ascent. If you’re anyone else, his “credentials” are merely the platform on which he will act with great hostility to your interests, for decades, all while right-wingers keep pronouncing, “his decisions MUST be smart and correct; after all, they’re coming from someone who is so well-qualified!”
from Facebook September 08, 2018 at 06:56AM