According to The New York Times, Christian leaders and anti-abortion organizations are sending a direct message to the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee: If you screw up the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, you may very well lose the midterms.
Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition told the Times in no uncertain terms that Republicans would face serious consequences if they dropped the ball on this one.
“One of the political costs of failing to confirm Brett Kavanaugh is likely the loss of the United States Senate,” Reed said. “If Republicans were to fail and defend and confirm such an obviously and eminently qualified and decent nominee, then it will be very difficult to motivate and energize faith-based and conservative voters in November.”
Others were more cautious in their sentiments, recognizing that there was peril in discrediting Kavanaugh’s accuser out of hand. Even so, leaders like Frank Cannon of the American Principles Project said that conservative voters had grown weary of seeing Democrats attempt to destroy good Supreme Court nominees using every weapon in the arsenal.
“Republicans are right, as a moral matter as well as a political matter, to take allegations of misbehavior like this seriously,” Cannon told the Times. “At the same time, we’ve seen anything and everything thrown at Republican Supreme Court nominees for decades. From the point of view of the average Republican conservative, these people aren’t the apparent monsters they’re being made out to be.”
If the Kavanaugh nomination fails due to the unfounded accusations against the judge, will it cost the Republicans control on Congress in November? Will evangelical voters, some of whom were hesitant to support President Trump in the first place, forgive the GOP Senate for backing down in the face of this manufactured controversy?
We’re really hoping that it doesn’t play out like that. Republicans need to stiffen their spines and vote this man through to the Supreme Court. In fact, we dare say that it’s more important to do so NOW than it was before these accusations came out. To capitulate would be to give the Democrats license to pull this stunt every single time. And when you’re talking about allegations this flimsy, they could literally do that.
If they do drop the ball on this (or if more credible evidence comes out putting Kavanaugh in that bed 36 years ago), then what kind of political cost might there be? Hard to say. Hopefully, voters will see reality. We can always swap Kavanaugh out for someone else – another tried-and-true constitutional conservative – and cross our fingers that the Democrats won’t be able to gin up this same level of opposition twice in a row. We can’t do that if the Dems take the Senate. Then we’re either looking at a vacant seat for the next two years or a moderate justice who will make John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy look like…well, like Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh should be confirmed and we hope that he is. But this isn’t a one-shot deal when it comes to shaping the Supreme Court. It only becomes that if conservative voters stay home in November. As tempting as it might be to punish Senate Republicans, let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot to do it.