Many leading Democrats and Republicans are doing all they can to keep the embers of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation war white-hot.
In a nation still sharply divided over the Supreme Court pick and in desperate need of reconciliation, President Donald Trump and some top Democrats are more concerned about firing up their respective party’s bases ahead of next month’s midterm elections.
That’s a setback for the country now trying to find its way forward.
At a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Kavanaugh Monday night, Trump went out of his way to prime the pump. He apologized to the nation’s newest justice for “the terrible pain and suffering” he and his family were “forced to endure” during the confirmation process.
“Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception,” Trump said. “What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency and due process.”
Trump, who lives life on continuous offense, may have been responding to the latest salvo from a group of Democrats in Congress who are vowing to take over the investigation of Kavanaugh should their party win control of the House. The members are led by New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.
He’s calling for a thorough investigation into all the allegations that Christine Blasey Ford and other women have made against Kavanaugh as well as claims that he perjured himself during his testimony.
“If he is on the Supreme Court and the Senate hasn’t investigated, then the House will have to,” Nadler said Sunday. “We would have to investigate any credible allegations certainly of perjury and other things that haven’t been properly looked at before.”
Other Democrats, including Ilinois Rep. Luis Gutiérrez and California Rep. Ted Lieu, have even suggested impeaching Kavanaugh if evidence emerges that he lied during his testimony.
Enough already. Even those who had major reservations about this nomination — and we had more than our share — can agree that it’s time to put down the pitchforks and end this battle. The country is rightly weary of the Kavanaugh caper and eager to move forward.
Fortunately, leading Democrats in our neck of the woods agree. They think Nadler is going way too far.
“At some point, we’re going to have to try to pull this country back together,” Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver told The Star. “I still believe if at some point we’re not able to turn this thing around, we’re going to be so badly split that we might have to revisit one of our uglier moments in U.S. history.”
Yes, he was talking about the Civil War. First things first, Cleaver says. Democrats need to focus on winning in November.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, embroiled in a nail-biter with Republican Josh Hawley, also opposes further investigation. “She believes it’s time to heal and find common ground,” a spokeswoman said.
And Sharice Davids, who’s giving Kevin Yoder a tough run in Kansas’ 3rd District, also wants to look ahead. “The Senate has made its decision, and it’s now more clear than ever how important elections are and that we need to elect new leaders in November,” a Davids spokeswoman said.
Moving on can’t happen quickly enough.