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Brazen Libs Literally Blame Kavanaugh Instead of Schumer for Threats on SCOTUS

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At a protest by abortion-rights groups in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer snarled a threat at the court’s two newest justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

“They’re taking away fundamental rights!” Schumer told the crowd.

“I want to tell you Gorsuch, I want to tell you Kavanaugh: You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

Here’s the New York senator in all his glory, fist a-shakin’:

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That didn’t sit well with plenty of people — not the least of them Chief Justice John Roberts, who issued a rare rebuke to Schumer over his words.

But do you know who was really to blame for a thinly veiled (if wholly impotent) implied threat against two sitting Supreme Court justices, according to liberals?

One of those Supreme Court justices.

Do you think Charles Schumer should be censured for these threats?

Or maybe President Donald Trump.

Or maybe the Constitution.

If you’re confused, let’s start with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, host of “All In.” He explained that Schumer’s quote was OK because this is what Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings, specifically when dealing with accusations of sexual abuse by Christine Blasey Ford:

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He wasn’t the only one to make this connection.

You won’t be surprised to learn a) the quote is not exact and b) the context definitely isn’t. As per the Washington Examiner’s Alex Griswold:

There are plenty of things that Kavanaugh could have been talking about here — the breakdown in political norms through weaponized personal attacks, the encouragement of political trolls to use intimidation to influence the process or the coarsening of the Supreme Court nomination process beyond where it already has been, among other things.

Here’s what he wasn’t doing: threatening anybody.

Meanwhile, Ilyse Hogue of the pro-abortion group NARAL (no horse in this fight) said that since the president threatens his political opponents, it’s OK to threaten individual judges on the Supreme Court:

The problem with bothsidesism here is that these are people who not only have displayed outrage at the president’s political style long before Schumer made his remarks, they’ve done so repeatedly. To say that makes Schumer’s remarks OK invalidates everything they’ve previously said.

Another issue: Trump has never directly threatened a Supreme Court justice.

You can say he’s vociferously disagreed with judges’ decisions (true) and threatened to break up the oft-liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court at one point (also true).

So here’s a bothesidesism of my own:

On the first count, Barack Obama used the power and solemn pageantry of the State of the Union to criticize the Supreme Court from the podium over the Citizens United ruling, which pre-emptively beats any judicial criticism Trump may have offered.

On the latter point, consider the percentage of Democratic presidential candidates this year who were all for packing the Supreme Court because they can’t countenance a conservative majority.

But threatening individual Supreme Court justices? No, that’s all Schumer.

Vox, meanwhile, did one of its unendurable “Here’s a controversial issue of the day, explained” articles on the Schumer threats. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the “… explained” series, what Vox does is take a contentious issue and paints it in the most leftward-slanted light possible for the purposes of “explaining” it. It’s curious because, from the title, you’d think it was more objective than Vox’s usual opinion journalism. It’s a little bit like if Coke shoved a few more globs of high-fructose corn syrup in the regular product and rebranded it Diet Coke.

Vox, too, invoked the “whirlwind” defense. But first, here’s its ridiculous apologia pro-Charles Schumer, in which Schumer’s outrage was righteous because Democratic senators represent more people than Republican senators and Obama won the popular vote and Trump didn’t, or something:

“But even if we accept the most charitable reading of Schumer’s remarks, most of the implications of that reading are the same as the harsher interpretation Roberts gave to Schumer’s statement. It’s the statement of a political leader who believes that the judiciary places partisan politics ahead of the law, and that one of the most powerful institutions in the country is rigged against him and his fellow Democrats.

“Consider the past four years from Democrats’ perspective. Almost exactly four years ago, Justice Antonin Scalia died. The incumbent Democratic president at the time, Barack Obama, won two national elections — winning a majority of the popular vote each time. Meanwhile, while Republicans controlled the Senate in 2016, they did sole solely due to Senate malapportionment. The 46 senators in the Democratic caucus represented nearly 20 million more people than the 54-senator Republican ‘majority.’

“And yet, Republicans refused to give Judge Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy left by Scalia’s death, a confirmation hearing or a vote. Senate Republicans held that vacancy open for a year, until President Trump — a man who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots — could fill it.”

Imagine, a system set up to decide judicial appointments in a Senate that affords two representatives per state and in which the president isn’t elected by popular vote. Imagine our Founding Fathers also realizing this system was a balance between popular, state and regional interests in a vast nation. Imagine the Democrats operating in this system for longer than any political party in existence, and doing quite well in it for most of the time, suddenly thinking it’s “rigged” against them because a few elections didn’t go their way.

Vox explainer Ian Millhiser also notes that “Kavanaugh, during an angry moment where it seemed that his chance of sitting on the Supreme Court was slipping away from him, told Senate Democrats that they have ‘sowed the wind’ and that ‘the country will reap the whirlwind,'” again without providing context for Kavanaugh’s remarks.

To Millhiser’s minimal credit, he’s not particularly enamored of Schumer’s language, yet he stops just short of saying the senator was justified in issuing the threat; he wrote that “Schumer most likely believes that the judiciary is rigged against Democrats because the judiciary is rigged against Democrats. And that entirely understandable perception is a poison that threatens the heart of American democracy.”

I’m glad that the Democrats perceiving something is rigged now represents “a poison that threatens the heart of American democracy.” Even if it were, how is threatening Supreme Court justices the way to solve this?

These are, by the way, the best examples of this “whirlwind” of blame that touches on anyone but Chuck Schumer for Chuck Schumer’s threat. There’s practically a dissertation’s trove of this sort of thing online. Going through any more of it would be supererogatory at this point, however.

I’ve maintained that we should put as much thought into the New York senator’s threat as he put into it, which is none.

Neither Gorsuch nor Kavanaugh is going anywhere. The Supreme Court won’t be packed. There is no whirlwind that will hit the justices or the Republican Party, no matter how the Louisiana case is decided.

This was just an old man who loves the camera screaming at a whole lot of cameras — and revealing his hypocrisy while he was at it.

That said, excusing Schumer’s remarks because of something Brett Kavanaugh said in an entirely different context or because you don’t like the Constitution when it doesn’t shake out in your favor is some pretty high-test intellectual dishonesty.

If the authors of these statements were to review them in a month or two, divorced from the febrile mood in which they were written, I guarantee you every single one of them would privately acknowledge the same thing.

But then, these are little more than assemblages of words constructed as tools designed to defend the indefensible and to disappear into the digital ether once this whole thing has passed.

Judged as such, I supposed they’re workable.

Judged against any other standard, they’re rubbish.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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