Here’s the news you need to know on this Friday, September 7, 2018.
2020 Hopefuls Fumble Big Chance, Making Life Difficult for Red State Dems up for Re-Election
Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) on Thursday portrayed himself as a rebel willing to face expulsion from the Senate for releasing confidential documents from Kavanaugh, describing it as his “I am Spartacus” moment. In reality, the documents had already been cleared for release. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) hinted that she might have hard evidence that Kavanaugh spoke about the special counsel investigation with someone at the law firm founded by Trump’s personal attorney. But she offered no such details when pressed. … The jockeying by the two came amid a clamor by a liberal base demanding resistance to Trump’s agenda and nominees at all costs and under a glaring national spotlight exposing every stumble. At the same time, the bare-knuckle brawling has divided Democrats, frustrating moderates facing tough reelection bids in states Trump won handily. “It’s not who I am,” said Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), who observed the questioning by Democrats and Republicans at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and has indicated he is open to voting for Kavanaugh. The presidential ambitions of several Senate Democrats could cost the party in November’s midterm elections, with 10 Democrats fighting for reelection in states won by Trump.
On Day 4 Even Liberal Legal Experts Concede “He’s Smart”
But Kavanaugh appears on his way to becoming the court’s 114th justice. The 53-year-old appellate judge stuck to a well-rehearsed script throughout his testimony, providing only glimpses of his judicial stances while avoiding any serious mistakes that might jeopardize his confirmation. Republicans hope to confirm Kavanaugh in time for the first day of the new Supreme Court term, Oct. 1. … Yale law school professor Akhil Reed Amar, a liberal testifying in support of Kavanaugh, had a message for Democratic senators: “Don’t be mad. He’s smart. Be careful what you wish for. Our party controls neither the White House nor the Senate. If you torpedo Kavanaugh you’ll likely end up with someone worse.”
Kavanaugh hearing antics showed Democrats’ contempt of Congress
Democrats attack President Trump for destroying American institutions and breaking the norms of conduct. Yet, during the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats blatantly disregarded and violated Senate norms, rules, and traditions — and inflicted in the process considerable damage on the institution.
Kavanaugh is no punching bag
Instead of making serious inquiries to decide how to cast their votes on Kavanaugh’s nomination, Democratic committee members are using the judge’s confirmation hearing to grandstand before a national TV audience. They want to satisfy their most radical supporters by throwing non-stop insults at Kavanaugh, as if he an accused criminal in a show trial where the verdict was determined in advance.
Cory Booker and Democratic Norms
Mr. Booker complained that an email with the subject line “racial profiling” shouldn’t have been withheld. “This wasn’t personal information. There’s no national security issue whatsoever,” he intoned. “The fact that we’re not allowing these emails out, as we have asked, as I have asked,” is evidence that “the system is rigged.” On Thursday Mr. Booker released the documents to TV fanfare and dared Republicans to punish him for it.
Hold up. Weeks ago Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley invited Senators to earmark confidential documents they’d like to discuss in open hearings, so the Chairman could try to have restrictions waived. Only Senator Amy Klobuchar responded, and the four documents totaling 12 pages she requested were released late last month.
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