Are their tactics useful?
Getting really angry in a fist fight is sometimes a useful tactic. If your opponent knows you are incensed, and may do irrational things, they may back down rather than take a risk. But this isn't a fist fight; there's plenty of time for reflection on both sides. Being really angry and opposing the nomination with all your might may simply remind people that you aren't mighty enough. And while it may fire up some of your base, it's unlikely to pull people in from the other side that you need to win.
Of course, it plays well with a certain base of supporters, who are also angry, and have been whipped up to worry about their rights being lost. And undoubtedly there will be changes; in which case less political posturing and more questions about stare decisis would be a good idea. But we already have quite enough partisanship. Do we really need more?2
Here are some examples of newspapers that have annoyed me. Leading off with the good ol' Graun from my native UK with Brett Kavanaugh fails to shake hands with Parkland victim's father – as it happened. WTF? Fred Guttenberg is doubtless a nice person but he was there for blatantly political reasons; trying that on was inappropriate; not shaking hands was entirely appropriate on BK's part; the Graun focussing on this one episode is stupid.
But that pales by comparison with the WaPo's blatant lying with Trump suggests that protesting should be illegal. Of course, he hasn't. He instead suggested, quite sensibly, that protesters disrupting the hearing shouldn't be allowed. And, it isn't: after a bit they got cleared out. This isn't supposed to be a theatre.
Twats on Twatter
Well, where else would you expect to find them? VV doesn't cover himself with glory1, but I think Naomi Oreskes best exemplifies the worst, with "#Kavenaugh claims EPA didn't know about CO2 & climate when #CAA passed. Technically true: EPA did not yet exist!!! But it's precursor, #NAPCA, knew, so did #Congress, #CEQ, #President Nixon & many more".
Whether the Clean Air Act really covers GW is a question4. It certainly isn't a natural fit. The fuss here is over what order things came in, and what you can logically deduce from that. The EPA was founded in 1970, the USAnians Clean Air Act was 1963, and was amended in 1970. Interestingly, also in 1990. Wiki says of the 1990 change that "Further amendments were made in 1990 to address the problems of acid rain, ozone depletion, and toxic air pollution", but it didn't mention GW or CO2 AFAIK. So I think that arguing about 1970, or 1963, is rather besides the point. That the 1990 amendments didn't mention CO2 is rather more significant. As to who knew what when, I refer you to In the decade that ran from 1979 to 1989, we had an excellent opportunity to solve the climate crisis?
Update: Kamala Harris runs Oreskes a close second, and maybe edges in front, with the blatant lie7 "Kavanaugh couldn't be more clear: He doesn't believe that Roe v. Wade is settled law and he would be the 5th vote to overturn it."
Is he qualified?
Rather fading at the end of this post, and reflecting the lack of debate around this particular point: is BK qualified to join the Supremes? The answer is Yes5, of course, which is why the Democrats aren't very interested in the question; and after a certain amount of theatre will be duly passed.
* Just Asking - DBx.
* Judge Kavanaugh’s record in national-security cases - SCOTUSblog.
* Will Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearings Provide Any Useful Information?
* Brett Kavanaugh and the Democrats got what they came for - CNN.
* Untrusted news increases the importance of affiliative groups - TF.
* Unpacking Peggy McIntosh’s Knapsack.
* Appointing justices "such as Gorsuch and Kavanaugh" by Scott Sumner
1. The section headline, of course, doesn't apply to VV.
2. TF pushes a different take on political divisions. I'm sympathetic, but not fully convinced.
3. As the NYer writes: Lindsey Graham, a Republican of South Carolina. “To my friends on the other side: you can’t lose the election and pick judges,” he said. “If you want to pick judges, you better win.”
4. But not necessarily a terribly important one. We've already had the recent Alsup case decided against the cities.
5. For example, the WaPo looked at his record. They didn't like it, as you'd expect, but they found that his judicial record is significantly more conservative than that of almost every other judge on the D.C. Circuit. That doesn’t mean that he’d be the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court, but it strongly suggests that he is no judicial moderate.
6. My apologies to anyone reading this post during the period in which BK was ginormous. This was due to wiki resizing his picture. All fixed now.
7. 2022/06: um. That hasn't aged well.