Following Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, Republicans can no longer paint themselves as the moral party.
The Senate confirmed the embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite accusations of sexual assault from five sources. The debate raged across the nation as Americans questioned the validity of the rape claims, Kavanaugh’s behavior and the actions of their representatives.
I consider that Saturday a tragedy; not because I’m a liberal snowflake who hates when conservatives win (although guilty as charged), but because we failed every sexual assault survivor in America on Oct. 6, 2018.
I don’t have any consolation to offer anyone. The conservatives possess a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, and several paramount issues will find themselves at the forefront once again. Justices Kagan, Sotomayor and Ginsburg will stand alone against ideologically identical conservative men on cases ranging from immigration, campaign finance, abortion and, most relevant to Kavanaugh’s appointment, Trump’s impeachment. It is more than possible that the conservatives will win on every issue, and we will watch together as minorities’ rights are stripped away one by one. If you wanted to pick a moment when America looked darkest since Lincoln’s death, it’s this one.
This sounds melodramatic, but it remains imperative to recognize historic moments when they arrive in our lifetimes: 9/11, the Great Recession, the 2016 election, the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing and now this confirmation will etch themselves into our generation’s collective memory. Events dictate our story, not time periods, and we cannot understate the significance of Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
However, what we also learned from Saturday’s confirmation vote is the extent of the Republicans’ cognitive dissonance. What does the Republican Party stand for? Christian values? I don’t remember Jesus preaching about trickle-down to the poor from the top one percent, about how we should dishonor and degrade women or that we should lie about the size of our inauguration crowds. Fiscal responsibility? Massive tax cuts combined with colossal increases in military spending equals budget deficits and trillions of dollars in debt. That’s just math. Small government? Sorry, conservatives, you aren’t allowed to construct a national apparatus of mass incarceration devoted to indiscriminately putting minorities in jail and then preach about law and order for the sake of supposed individual liberty.
Above all, Republicans can no longer pretend that their moderates are the sole moral agents left in American government. Jeff Flake, with nothing to lose, still remained a sexist partisan hack until the end. Susan Collins, who complained that liberals were attempting to bribe her to vote to deny Kavanaugh a seat, created an “alternative reality” (as Christine Ford’s sister-in-law articulated) in which Ford was sexually assaulted, but not by Brett Kavanaugh. This conclusion was based on what evidence? The documents you didn’t show your constituents? Apparently, Republicans are willing to pretend they’re on a twisted holodeck simulation rather than admit they’re potentially backing a sexual assaulter.
The central tenet of the Republican Party seems to be victory at any cost, and, to paraphrase our president, I’m tired of their version of winning. Much like a Roman triumph, they appear to be willing to humiliate and discredit anyone, regardless of their tragedies, who dares threaten their drive for power. On Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, we witnessed Donald Trump, Jeff Flake, Joe Manchin and Susan Collins put an alleged assaulter on the highest court in the land for “no less than victory” and a little piece of America’s soul faded away.