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The Kavanaugh Pick: Lamenting an Opportunity Lost
National Review ^ | 07/10/2018 | David French

Posted on 07/10/2018 8:20:03 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

I’ve got a piece up over at the Washington Post about the Brett Kavanaugh nomination. It was a safe choice — and an opportunity lost. There was a choice out there that fired the conservative imagination, the kind of choice that arguably only a Donald Trump would have the guts to make:

There was a moment, in the early afternoon of July 9, when conservatives contemplated the delightful possibility that they might witness the best possible version of President Trump — the man with the will (and flair for the dramatic) that would allow him to be bolder than the average Republican president. The best version of Trump would have been nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Would another Republican have the guts to put forward a nominee who would so clearly inflame the culture wars? Would another Republican president shatter the GOP nominee mold by selecting a mother of seven kids, an outspoken Christian and a graduate from a “normal” non-Ivy League law school? The base-motivating, electrifying pick was right there, in the palm of his hand.

Then, he went establishment. He chose a man that any Republican president would have nominated. He made the best safe choice he could: Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

This does not mean that Kavanaugh will be a bad justice. Over time, I think he’ll prove to be a solid (and perhaps even excellent) pick. And, over the next several weeks, we’ll see an avalanche of progressive attacks, many of them labeling even his best and most rigorous opinions “extremist” or “dangerous.” Kavanaugh will be an easy pick to defend. But it’s simply a fact that tonight my inbox is lighting up with responses — many of them from Trump supporters — expressing a sense of regret.

And to those saying, “Relax, it will be her next time,” we should remember all the passed-over judges who never, ever saw that “next time.” There’s zero guarantee that Trump will get another SCOTUS pick. We don’t know of any justices pondering retirement, and nobody should be ghoulish enough to predict any justice’s demise. Don’t for a moment think Ruth Bader Ginsburg will step down under President Trump. So, until proven otherwise, I stand by my assessment.

One final note: You wouldn’t believe how often conservative professionals ask my advice about how “open” to be on their CV’s, in their social media, and online about their conservative religious affiliations. Ever since Brendan Eich, there’s a palpable sense that there’s a stained-glass ceiling descending on certain professions (including law) restricting the upward mobility of orthodox Christians. Barrett’s nomination wouldn’t “just” have put an outstanding originalist on the Court for 30 years, it would have helped blunt the force of secular bigotry. The direct confrontation between an angry secular Left and an accomplished, poised Christian professional would have represented a culturally important moment.

But alas, it was not to be. Kavanaugh will be an excellent judge. In a more functional political system, he’d win confirmation by an overwhelming majority and not the slim margin he’ll likely receive. I’ll defend him vigorously from unfair critiques tomorrow, but tonight I join many conservatives in a slight sigh of regret. There was a better choice.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: fakenews; handwringers; kavanaugh; missedopportunity; nrwantedhillary; sameoldbsfromsandf; scotus; supremecourt; trumpscotus
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1 posted on 07/10/2018 8:20:03 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Who gives a rat’s ass about the Never Trumpers at the NR?


2 posted on 07/10/2018 8:21:14 AM PDT by Redleg Duke (The Democrats in California want another civil war over cheap labor!)
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To: SeekAndFind

so....Mr. French thinks he could be a “solid to excellent pick”, and yet he is going to whine about him?


3 posted on 07/10/2018 8:22:14 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind

Amy Coney Barrett will be RBG’s replacement.


4 posted on 07/10/2018 8:23:48 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (Go go Godzilla)
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To: SeekAndFind

In the words of the Alt-Right, French is a “cuck.”

He laments Kavanaugh as the “safe” and “establishment” pick, which is very ironic as French is a poster-boy never-trumper who has promoted the safe, spineless, non-conservative, RINO establishment point of view since the day Trump came on the scene.


5 posted on 07/10/2018 8:23:56 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: SeekAndFind

Barrett will be next. NR can suck it.


6 posted on 07/10/2018 8:24:13 AM PDT by citizen (President Trump: He’s combined The Art of the Deal with Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals. Game over.)
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To: Redleg Duke

Right make a choice on an unknown. Trump is not stupid, obviously every single person in DC and around the world for that matter, aren’t even in his league.

Kavenaugh was the safe pick. Hardiman probably would have been good too. Barrett was not a safe pick. And no it would have NOT ignited the base.

I’m tired of reading these idiots.


7 posted on 07/10/2018 8:24:23 AM PDT by nikos1121
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To: SeekAndFind

Can’t really even handle the irony of David French talking about this pick not being Trump-y enough. Smh.


8 posted on 07/10/2018 8:25:04 AM PDT by Behind the Blue Wall
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To: SeekAndFind
Did it occur to David French that one of the following was a major factor here?

1. Did Barrett even want the job at this point in her life?

2. Doesn't Kavanaugh's lengthy track record give him a big edge in terms of reliability and predictability?

9 posted on 07/10/2018 8:25:17 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's.")
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To: PapaBear3625
Amy Coney Barrett will be RBG’s replacement.

Oh gosh. Oh, gosh, yes.

10 posted on 07/10/2018 8:26:39 AM PDT by Fido969 (In!)
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To: SeekAndFind
David FRENCH? The Nevertrump Neocon???

The fact he doesn't totally hate the Kavanaugh pick is concerning.

11 posted on 07/10/2018 8:26:43 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The New York Times is so openly dishonest, even their crossword puzzles lie.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Trump Prophesies are predicting The president will pick a total of 5 To the Supremes before leaving office.


12 posted on 07/10/2018 8:27:45 AM PDT by exnavy (America: love it or leave it.)
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To: PapaBear3625

Right......

RBG is on her last legs.

The perfect time for a woman appointee is when RBG kicks off.


13 posted on 07/10/2018 8:27:45 AM PDT by Liz ( Our side has 8 trillion bullets; the other side doesn't know which bathroom to use.)
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To: citizen

RE: Barrett will be next. NR can suck it.

But will it be under Trump’s first term?


14 posted on 07/10/2018 8:27:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

President Trump is privy to information that almost nobody else is. And he has access to astute and experienced advisors for the asking.

This is a man who almost always plans far ahead so his strategy is usually not apparent in the beginning.

I don’t think there is much room for criticism here.


15 posted on 07/10/2018 8:28:28 AM PDT by MichaelCorleone (Jesus Christ is not a religion. He's the Truth.)
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To: Liz

RE: The perfect time for a woman appointee is when RBG kicks off.

But what if she lives to be like Strom Thurmond and refuses to leave?


16 posted on 07/10/2018 8:28:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: nikos1121

The Never Trumpers are upset that Trump has set up another win here. I preferred Barrett, myself, too, but tactics here are perfect. For example, I presume Anthony Kennedy may introduce BK to the Judiciary committee. Even the moronic Chris Stirewalt on FNC now says Kavanaugh will get 54-55 votes.


17 posted on 07/10/2018 8:28:36 AM PDT by Steven W.
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To: SeekAndFind

While I ageee wholeheartedly with David French about Judge Barrett he’s failing to see the political reality that many of us realized last night. The GOP only has a two vote advantage in a 51-49 Senate and at least a half dozen Republicans can’t be trusted. Judge Barrett will eventually be on the court, but she would most likely have been defeated this time around. The political situation in the Senate will be much better after the November vote!


18 posted on 07/10/2018 8:28:46 AM PDT by dowcaet
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To: PapaBear3625

If she shows by her judicial record in the meantime that she is worthy. Someone just recently named to the bench shouldn’t be the nominee—even if female.

We had all kinds of assurances that Souter was a real conservative too—and how did that work out for the country?


19 posted on 07/10/2018 8:29:51 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: SeekAndFind

Strom could wing it....

You cant wing it on the USSC....takes a lot of effort, even to tell the clerks what you want.


20 posted on 07/10/2018 8:29:53 AM PDT by Liz ( Our side has 8 trillion bullets; the other side doesn't know which bathroom to use.)
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