In the wake of the sexual abuse allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono made headlines earlier this week for comments about sexual harassment and abuse she directed at half the world’s population. “Guess who is perpetuating all of these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country. And I just want to say to the men in this country: just shut up and step up, do the right thing for a change.” I’m not sure how we’re supposed so simultaneously step up and also shut up, but that’s neither here nor there.
Incoherence aside, it’s comments Hirono made afterward that revealed her true motives in delaying the Kavanaugh confirmation; retribution for Merrick Garland. “I think we’ve had those kinds of vacancies before, and we certainly had over a one-year vacancy with Merrick Garland,” Hirono said separately on MSNBC. “So the world does not come to an end because we don’t fill all of the nominees.”
Please note that I am not commenting on the truth of Christine Ford’s (Kavanaugh’s accuser) claims – I am merely arguing that they’re being exploited by Democrats who aren’t actually interested in the truth of them. After all, if Democrats truly were concerned about claims of abuse, they wouldn’t be ignoring the abusers in their own Party, such as DNC Chair Keith Ellison (who is ironically among those calling to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation for doing less than he’s been accused of). Nor would Democrats have waited until the 11th hour to come forward with such allegations unless their motives were political.
To Hirono’s point, is delaying Kavanaugh no different then Republicans delaying Obama nominee Merrick Garland? Of course not – because Garland was nominated in an election year. Ironically, the precedent that SCOTUS nominees aren’t to be confirmed in election years was set by the then-second-in-command, Joe Biden. After Bill Clinton won the Democratic nomination to challenge George H.W. Bush in 1992, Biden said on the Senate floor that June; “Politics has played far too large a role in the Reagan-Bush nominations to date. One can only imagine that role becoming overarching if a choice were made this year, assuming that a justice was announced tomorrow that he or she was stepping down.”
Biden said if Bush were to nominate someone, “the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”
Biden now calls the Biden Rule “ridiculous,” presumably because he only ever wanted it to work in Democrats’ favor.
Meanwhile, Ford’s lawyer said she’d be willing to testify before the Senate about her allegations – which has since been walked back on. Ford is now demanding an FBI investigation, which the Bureau already clarified was out of their jurisdiction before Ford’s demand. Republicans have only expressed interest in having Ford testify – which some crazies are twisting into a narrative that Republicans are trying to “rush” the confirmation process.
But in reality, this confirmation process is already taking longer than average. Over the past four decades, it’s taken 67 days on average between a SCOTUS nomination and confirmation vote. The longest delays have been for conservative-leaning justices, with the exception of Elena Kagan.
Kavanaugh was nominated on July 10th, meaning there’s been 71 days since his nomination (as of publication – September 19th), above the historic average. Kavanaugh’s confirmation will undoubtedly set the record for the longest delay from nomination to confirmation in recent history if Democrats get their way.
Given that Republicans are extending Ford an olive branch and giving her opportunities to plead her case, it can hardly be argued that Republicans are trying to expedite anything, but instead uncover the truth. But what can be proven is that Democrats are using Ford’s allegations to obstruct and ultimately delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation indefinitely – whether they’re true or not. For them, the truth of the allegations are only secondary.