It’s Bret Stephens, whose very presence in the New York Times is an affront to Democrats, so they won’t listen to him. But he argues that rabidly opposing the Supreme Court nomination of Bret Stephens is likely doomed to fail and will probably hurt some Democratic Senators’ re-election chances:
Kavanaugh will almost certainly be confirmed. Democrats who had pinned their hopes on flipping Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski probably aren’t going to get their wish, since both Republican moderates voted to confirm Kavanaugh to his current judgeship in 2006 and have since spoken approvingly of his nomination. Rand Paul can also be counted on to feign political independence, but he usually falls into line.
Of course it’s possible Kavanaugh will make a bad public impression, like Robert Bork. Or maybe there will be a #MeToo revelation, like with Clarence Thomas. Or maybe Democrats will figure out a way to kick a vote past the midterms. In which case, Democrats can seize their chances. For now, however, the first question Democrats ought to ask themselves is whether they really have political capital to waste on a losing battle.
A plurality of Americans already want Kavanaugh confirmed, according to a Rasmussen poll. The numbers will likely improve once Americans get a closer look at this temperate, intelligent, decidedly non-scary nominee. And Democrats will again play to type as mindless obstructionists and one-note alarmists — the same overheated opposition that, as the Times’s Jeremy Peters reported last month, only hardens support for Trump.
Stephens also argues that Kavanaugh – like Roberts and Gorsuch, and Ginsburg and Breyer – is undeniably qualified for the job. Really, aside from Harriet Miers, I can’t remember a SCOTUS nominee who wasn’t qualified. (Mind you, some Trump nominees for lower federal courts almost make Jim “The Hammer” Shapiro look good.)
Incidentially, the late arch-conservative Antonin Scalia was confirmed 98-0 for his Supreme Court seat by the U.S. Senate, and only three Senators voted against confirming The Notorious RBG. Imagine that happening with anyone in 2018 America.