What to make of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s most recent referral to the FBI? Feinstein has said, according to CNN, "’I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,’ Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. ‘That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities,’ she added.”
There was not much “there” there in Feinstein’s media release. The “matter,” according to other reports, concerns alleged inappropriate behavior on the part of Kavanaugh when he was in high school; whether a freshman, average age 14, or a senior we are not told. It’s a juicy tidbit, particularly in the era of me-tooism, but the tidbit is too little and perhaps too artificially enticing.
Feinstein’s media release days after the Senate’s Judiciary Committee had concluded its lengthy interrogation of Kavanaugh did not contain necessary information, even though Feinstein had custody of the information since July and may have known far more than she was telling. Had the information in Feinstein’s custody been brought forward during the hearings, Kavanaugh might have been able to defend himself in a forum open to the public from the amorphous, highly titillating accusations that had flooded every news outlet from sea to shining sea. That did not happen, we are to suppose, because Feinstein was committed to protecting the confidentiality of the complainant who “declined to come forward or press the matter further.” Feinstein has now – pressed the matter further. Hours after the amorphous mud ball had been released, Kavanaugh’s accuser had second thoughts and came forward.
The tactic, whether honorably motivated or not, reeks of McCarthyism. This writer thought he was being amusing when, commenting on the hearings, he joked that the Democrats, who ought to have been satisfied with a close examination of the 300 judicial decisions that bore Kavanaugh’s stamp, had not yet examined the judge’s third grade records.
Now this: a complaint made by an unidentified source who did not wish to “come forward or press the matter further” about an event that putatively happened when the judge was attending an all-male high school. Was the complainant a boy or a girl?
Even McCarthy in his cups might have steered a course around this one. And, we are told by Senator Chuck Schumer that there is an important difference between information gleaned from judicial decisions and extraneous detritus. The Hill reports: “In 2009, [US Senator Patrick] Leahy chaired the hearing for President Barack Obama’s nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Leahy said that her ‘record on the federal bench’ means that ‘we do not have to imagine what kind of a judge she will be because we see what kind of a judge she has been.’
“The current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D. NY) agreed, saying that ‘everybody knows’ that a nominee’s judicial record ‘is the best way to get a sense of what your record will on the bench in the future.’ In fact, Schumer said that other kinds of information do ‘not even come close to analyzing the cases as to what kind of judge you will be.’ An extensive judicial record, Schumer said, means that the hearing ‘will matter less’ than for other nominees.”
This all happened before Democrats – who, one supposed, were not in their cups – decided to oppose by any means necessary all appointments to the Supreme Court made by a president they wish to impeach. Connecticut’s two U.S. Senators Dick Blumenthal and Chris Murphy have pressed the issue of President Trump’s unfitness to serve as president, arguing at various times that Trump may be touched by madness.
The strategic opposition to Kavanaugh’s appointment to the high court -- by any end every means necessary – should be precedent setting. If it were, Democrats would quickly abandon the precedent as soon as a Democrat president and a Democrat chaired Judiciary Committee had come to power.
Abraham Lincoln used to say, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”
The shameful treatments of Kavanaugh by Democrats – including the highly choreographed organized protests that served as a prelude to the hearings – is a vivid illustration of the dictates of power overcoming the imperatives of common sense and right behavior. One may hope that Kavanaugh’s ordeal may be the end parenthesis that began with Senator Edward Kennedy’s shameless treatment of Robert Bork. Borking presumptive justices to the high court is low behavior one should tolerate only in a snake pit. Blumenthal, among others, should take note. He is up for re-election in 2022. By that time, Democrats hope, power will have passed hands from Republicans to anti-Joe McCarthy Democrats.
Note: A day after this blog was posted, the accuser had uncloaked herself. A line has been added to the original piece to reflect this important additional information.