A modern Clarence Thomas moment for Judge Kavanaugh — and a Joseph Welch moment for Senator Graham.
Enough is enough.
But let’s start with another riveting moment in American history. This one.
The scene: the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings, infamous on the Left for Senator Joseph McCarthy’s search for Communists in government, had reached a peak of tension. Joseph Welch, a Boston attorney who was representing the United States Army, the latter of which McCarthy and his Senate Committee Chief Counsel Roy Cohn were accusing of harboring Communists.
As the angry moment arrived, Welch challenged McCarthy to present what McCarthy had said was a list of 130 Communists allegedly in either government or sensitive defense industries around the country. McCarthy then replied that if Welch was so interested in finding Communists he could look in his own Boston law firm, where a young lawyer named Fred Fisher worked. Fisher had once belonged to the National Lawyers Guild, alleged to be infiltrated by Communists. The hearing was nationally televised, and the mere mention of Fisher’s name on national television when there had been no proof that Fisher was a Communist launched Welch on this instantly famous reply to McCarthy. Wikipedia recounts what happened next, bold print supplied:
“Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us.… Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is true he is still with Hale and Dorr. It is true that he will continue to be with Hale and Dorr. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think I am a gentleman, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.
When McCarthy tried to renew his attack, Welch interrupted him:
“Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild.… Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
McCarthy tried to ask Welch another question about Fisher, and Welch interrupted:
“Mr. McCarthy, I will not discuss this further with you. You have sat within six feet of me and could have asked me about Fred Fisher. You have seen fit to bring it out. And if there is a God in Heaven it will do neither you nor your cause any good. I will not discuss it further. I will not ask Mr. Cohn any more witnesses. You, Mr. Chairman, may, if you will, call the next witness.”
When Judge Brett Kavanaugh took his seat in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee he did not hold back. Like then-Judge Clarence Thomas in 1991, equally under assault from power-crazed liberal Senators and interest groups who consider the Supreme Court to be a private preserve, Kavanaugh let them have it. Among other things he said:
“You’ve tried hard, given it your all, no one can question your effort. But your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and destroy my family will not drive me out.”
No written transcription can do justice to Kavanaugh’s furious Thomas-style response, seen here.
But it was Senator Lindsey Graham who had the Joseph Welch moment. Furious — indignant — the Senator from South Carolina let loose, saying angrily as reported by CNS News:
“This is the most unethical sham that I’ve seen in politics,” Sen. Graham said, turning his ire on Democrats’ attacks on Kavanaugh, calling the personal assaults on Kavanaugh “The most despicable thing that I have seen in politics.”
“What you want to do is to destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you’ll win in 2020. You’ve said that,” the senator said.
“This is going to destroy the ability of people to come forward, because of this crap,” Graham said.
As with Kavanaugh’s statement, the written description of Graham’s incandescent fury doesn’t hold a candle to the video version, here.
On Graham rolled, recalling that he had voted for Obama Supreme Court nominees Kagan and Sotomayor and would never have treated either the way the Democrats have treated Kavanaugh.
Look. Bluntly put? Enough of this. Enough.
As said in this space the other day, the Senate judicial confirmation process is corrupt. Utterly bankrupt. This began with the hearing for Reagan nominee Robert Bork and has steadily gone downhill ever since.
Why? Because the American Left is not about the Constitution much less simple basic human decency. The party of President John F. Kennedy, one of my childhood heroes, is hell and gone from JFK’s stirring inaugural call to “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Now this process has become an even worse version than the one Justice Thomas so vividly described at his hearing — video version here:
I think that this today is a travesty. I think that it is disgusting. I think that this hearing should never occur in America. This is a case in which this sleaze, this dirt, was searched for by staffers of members of this committee, was then leaked to the media, and this committee and this body validated it and displayed it at prime time over our entire nation. How would any member on this committee, any person in this room, or any person in this country, would like sleaze said about him or her in this fashion? Or this dirt dredged up and this gossip and these lies displayed in this manner? How would any person like it?
The Supreme Court is not worth it. No job is worth it. I am not here for that. I am here for my name, my family, my life, and my integrity. I think something is dreadfully wrong with this country when any person, any person in this free country would be subjected to this.
And from my standpoint as a black American, as far as I’m concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S.— U.S. Senate, rather than hung from a tree.
What we have been seeing the last few days is a political party and the American Left that it represents that is no longer about the honor and respect for public service that JFK championed. Rather it is now a party and movement for which no smear is too great, no lie too big in a totalitarian-style drive to obtain permanent power over the American people.
By their despicable behavior in this hearing for Judge Kavanaugh, Democrats have made their own conduct the central issue of the 2018 campaign — not to mention the 2020 campaign that looms beyond. They have no principles or ideas to campaign on. Their core belief is that they have a God-given right to raw power and privilege. And to challenge them is to invite the politics of personal destruction now visited on Judge Kavanaugh. And they wonder why Donald Trump was elected? Really?
What has been on display here in this confirmation process is nothing less than a disgusting disgrace.
Judge Kavanaugh has emerged a hero after all of this. And ditto with Senator Lindsey Graham.
The message for the GOP in a nationalizing election in 2018 is as simple as it is plain.
Enough is enough.