With President Trump’s brilliant selection of Brett Kavanaugh to be the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice, it is time once again to stick our thumbs in our ears, waggle our fingers, and tell the NeverTrump conservatives how wrong they were to oppose this man when he was running for president.
To say it one more time, if they’d had their way – the Bill Kristols, the Mitt Romneys, the George Wills, and the Glenn Becks – Hillary Clinton would be nominating another far left woman in the mold of Sonia Sotomayor and the Republicans would just have to shut up and take it. Instead, we’re looking at a scenario in which conservative, constitutionally-sound judges can control the destiny of the Supreme Court for the next forty years. That doesn’t just make NeverTrumpers wrong, it makes them fatally wrong.
Much like his decision to pick Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s selection of Kavanaugh was a very – how should we put it – non-Trump decision. This was Trump at his most straight-laced – the kind of Trump who can show up to a Christian conference or CPAC and get a rousing ovation. The selection of Kavanaugh, much like the nomination of Gorsuch, was one you could easily have seen President Marco Rubio making…or President Jeb Bush. What it ISN’T is a decision that President Hillary Clinton would have made, and that’s really the bottom line point here.
As a matter of fact, it was the point that many of us were trying to make in the last months of the 2016 election. Even as skeptical as one might have been about Trump’s conservative bona fides, he’d done something that should have sealed the deal: He produced a list of Supreme Court possibilities – vetted by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation – and promised to choose his nominee from that list. The list has expanded since that day on the campaign trail, but he has kept it to a solid list of conservative, constitutional judges. Kavanaugh more than fits the bill.
In any case, that should have been the end of the complaining from the NeverTrump crowd. Even if you really believed that Trump was all wrong for the presidency, we were down to two choices: Him or Hillary. With at least one Supreme Court seat on the table, that’s not a choice any conservative should have had any doubts about.