Kavanaugh and bad faith

I really like that there is a growing consensus among Democratic pundits, elites, bloggers, etc., that today’s Republican Party is fundamentally characterized by bad faith.  You know, it’s not actually going to sway many voters (“hmmm, those Republicans are always acting in bad faith, I’ll vote for Democrats”– nope), but it very much affects how Democratic politicians interact with and respond to Republicans.  And, the more that Democratic elites are consistent in this line, the more this should eventually shape media coverage to reflect that Republicans are acting in bad faith.

Of course, in today’s issue du jour, it really is no exception.  EJ Dionne on Kavanaugh:

In light of the experience of Anita Hill in the 1991 hearings over Justice Clarence Thomas’s nomination, Ford and her lawyers realized that the encounter could become a show trial — of her. They pointed out that some Republican senators had already written her off as “mistaken” and “mixed up.”

So her lawyers told the committee that she wanted an FBI investigation before she testified, which would allow potential witnesses to be interviewed — including an alleged witness who notified the committee that he does not want to testify.

And it is at this point where the suspicion that Republican senators are acting in bad faith cannot simply be dismissed as partisan bias against Kavanaugh.

They argued that the FBI does not undertake such investigations, which was patently untrue, because the FBI went back and investigated Hill’s allegations. The Trump administration could ask for such an inquiry, just as George H.W. Bush’s administration did in the Thomas case 27 years ago.

They expressed outrage that a vote might be postponed by, say, a week or two. This came with little grace from Republican senators who left Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the court open for one year and 53 days because they would not even hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s last nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.

Republicans hate it whenever anyone brings up Garland precisely because the episode is such a clear demonstration of their determination to muscle their way to an ideological majority on the Supreme Court. Hurtling toward a vote on Kavanaugh before November’s elections is part of the same effort. Lisa Banks, Ford’s lawyer, issued a statement Wednesday evening saying, “The rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the Committee discovering the truth.”

I would not suggest that Democrats never act in bad faith.  But, as with so much in politics, there is a severe asymmetry going on here, and, unfortunately, the nature of trying to succeed as a political party with widely unpopular policies and let by an incompetent, dangerous blowhard, seems to really incentive bad faith.

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