Of all of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have come away looking like craven opportunists, few have distinguished themselves in this category quite like Sen. Mazie Hirono.
The Democrat from Hawaii has a long list of questionable statements over the past few weeks, including asserting the Supreme Court nominee is essentially guilty of whatever Christine Blasey Ford accused him of doing 35 years ago in sketchy detail unless he can prove himself innocent and saying that men ought to “just shut up and step up” when it came to defeating Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Oh, and once they shut up and/or step up, don’t expect another nominee, either.
“I think we’ve had those kinds of vacancies before, and we certainly had over a one-year vacancy with Merrick Garland,” Hirono has said. “So the world does not come to an end because we don’t fill all of the nominees.”
In short, Hirono is using moral blackmail to run out the clock on the 115th Congress because, well, she doesn’t want another conservative judge on the top bench. And also, it can make her campaign a lot of money.
You may think I’m being a bit cynical on that last one. “That ol’ Cillian,” I can hear you saying. “He’s got some good ideas, and I know he’s one heck of a writer (and I hear he’s relatively handsome for his age, too, which is really very young) — but when it comes to judging politicians’ motives, he’s gotten rather crotchety. You know, for someone so clearly young.”
Well, please don’t believe me on this. Believe Mazie Hirono, who sent out a fundraising blast to her supporters just 30 minutes into opening remarks on Thursday.
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) September 27, 2018
Here’s how to tell if “too soon” really is too soon: Is the event in question still going on? In that case, yes, it’s “too soon.” Also, if a CNN correspondent is tacitly criticizing you and you’re a Democrat, definitely too soon.
“I’m about to ask you to make a donation to support my re-election campaign before the FEC fundraising deadline on Sunday,” Hirono wrote in the email. “Can you give me a quick second to explain why this request is so important, especially today?
“Here’s the main reason: I am spending every minute of my day fighting the Republicans who are desperate to rush Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and deny a fair investigation into the credible sexual misconduct allegations against him.
“This has to be my focus. I’m going to continue to prepare and demand a thorough investigation into these claims – and I am going to fight to make sure Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and any other woman who courageously steps forward to tell her story isn’t smeared by conservatives ready to walk over these credible claims against Kavanaugh,” the email continued.
“What that means is I have limited time to campaign for our re-election or to fundraise — making us particularly vulnerable to right-wing attacks. So, while I’m focused on stopping Kavanaugh’s nomination and finding the truth, I’m asking you to step up now and ensure my team in Hawaii has everything they need to win our campaign in November. Can I count on you?”
It didn’t take long for Hirono to realize her staff had made a mistake in one way or another and issue an apology.
“A fundraising message was sent this morning in error. We apologize sincerely for the error. All contributions made on this page will be donated to organizations helping survivors of sexual assault,” a second email from Hirono read, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
But of course, this email was eventually going to be sent, and it was written before either Christine Blasey Ford or Brett Kavanaugh had said a word. In other words, what the outcome was going to be was predetermined.
While I’m sure this was true for politicians on both sides of the aisle, few can lay claim to something this craven or opportunistic. In whatever race there may be to come out on the Senate Judiciary Committee in terms of their conduct regarding Brett Kavanaugh, I’ll say this much: Hawaiians have certainly mastered the art of undersea diving.
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