10.04.2018 0

Red state Dems can represent their states, or they can defeat Brett Kavanaugh, but they cannot do both

By Robert Romano

As recently as Sept. 11, the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was not a battleground state issue in the Congressional midterm elections. That was the finding of a YouGov/Demand Justice poll, which found that the confirmation vote was a non-factor.

And then the allegations of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford emerged beginning on Sept. 14, first with the letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) leaking, and then with the front-and-center additional hearing where Ford and Kavanaugh both testified.

Suddenly, the issue has become the pivotal element of the midterm elections, especially in the Senate. Since then, the allegations have remained uncorroborated, including by those Ford had cited as witnesses, and Ford could not remember the date or location of the alleged attack.

In a new poll from Remington conducted Sept. 26 to Sept. 27, in Missouri, 49 percent of voters say the process has made them less likely to vote to reelect Sen. Clair McCaskill (D-Mo.), with only 42 percent saying it made them more likely.

Critically, that includes 46 percent of independents who said they were now less likely to vote for McCaskill as a result, with just 39 percent who said they were now more likely.

In West Virginia, a Public Opinion Strategies/Judicial Crisis Network poll conducted Sept. 27 found 58 percent of voters support confirming Kavanaugh, including 42 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Independents. Unsurprisingly, 81 percent of Republicans support confirmation.

In North Dakota, the issue’s not helping Sen. Heidi Heitkamp at all. There, according to an Strategic Research Associates/NBC Valley News poll conducted Sept. 17 through Sept. 27, 60 percent of those polled said they support Kavanaugh with only 27 percent opposed and now Heitkamp is trailing her opponent Kevin Cramer by 10 points, 51 percent to 41 percent.

In Indiana, the only polling available was from prior to the allegations surfacing, a Fox News poll from Sept. 8 through Sept. 11, but even that found that among likely voters, a vote against Kavanaugh by Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) would make them less likely to vote for Donnelly, 29 percent to 21 percent. In that poll, Donnelly trailed his opponent Mike Braun 45 percent to 43 percent.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has slammed his Senate Democrat colleagues for how they’ve handled this process in the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the Atlantic on Oct. 3 that he thought the issue was helping Republicans in the midterms: “I have never seen the Republican Party so unified as I do right now. Republicans across the board — country club, Tea Party — believe this was way over the top.”

In other words, the anti-Kavanaugh mob is turning Republicans and Independents across the board against these Democrat senators in states that President Donald Trump carried heavily in 2016, leaving Manchin, McCaskill, Heitkamp and Donnelly with a major dilemma.

Vote for Kavanaugh, and perhaps save their own skins. Or vote against him, siding with mob rule, and face the wrath of their states’ voters come November who still believe that in America, you’re innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

In a statement, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning blasted the red state Democrat senators, saying, “These red state Democrats pretend to be bipartisans who reach across the aisle, but the last few weeks have proven that nothing could be further from the truth. Their silence in the midst of an angry mob encouraged by Senate Democrat leadership is unforgivable. The failure of these senators to even recognize the inherent unfairness of Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein’s deliberate mishandling of the uncorroborated charges of Christine Blasey Ford clearly shows that partisanship trumps the common sense the American people expect from their senators.”

What’s clearly at stake here are the constitutional rights of the accused and what sort of country we want to live in. Yes, victims of sexual assault should come forward to be heard, but at the same time, we still have a system of laws. No reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against Kavanagh under these circumstances when the date and location of the attack is unknown and no witnesses corroborate the event.

The presumption of innocence must prevail. Kavanaugh is otherwise a qualified jurist for the nation’s highest court who will interpret the law as written, and that’s good enough for the people of West Virginia, Missouri, North Dakota and Indiana.

Meaning, for Senators Manchin, McCaskill, Heitkamp and Donnelly, they can represent their states, or they can vote to defeat Judge Kavanaugh — but they cannot do both.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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