Opinion

OPINION: The Kavanaugh Hearings — Ruled By Radicals

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Pete Hutchison President, Landmark Legal Foundation

The rule of law is our nation’s greatest strength. We have confidence in our institutions when rules are applied fairly and consistently in criminal and civil trials, administrative hearings, town council meetings, and PTA meetings.

The same is true when congressional committees conduct hearings. It is, therefore, a pathetic irony that Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing for a seat on the United States Supreme Court is the antithesis of this principle  We are witnessing a model execution by Senate Democrats of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.  Alinsky’s rules are designed to replace decency and fairness with the politics of manufactured conflict and personal destruction.

There are thirteen rules for radicals. Most, if not all have been on display throughout Judge Kavanaugh’s hearing, beginning in the first minute with Rule 4: “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

The constant objections to the process and the phony complaints about withheld records were immediate signs that the committee’s Alinskyites would lead the Democratic side.

As for Judge Kavanaugh’s treatment, Rule 13 requires Democrats to “pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Alinsky preached that radicals must identify an individual, an “enemy,” and attack him or her brutally and relentlessly even if one knows the “enemy” to be a person of good character. In his book, which Alinsky dedicated to Satan, he explains the rationale:

Can you imagine in the arena of conflict charging that so-and-so is a racist bastard and then diluting the impact of the attack with qualifying remarks such as, “He is a good churchgoing man, generous to charity, and a good husband”? This becomes political idiocy.

President Donald Trump put a bullseye on Judge Kavanaugh with his nomination to the Supreme Court. Democrats probed to determine what issue would muddy Kavanaugh and polarize the public.

Kavanaugh’s obviously and vastly superior knowledge of the law made challenging him on jurisprudence a certain loser. That would have violated Alinsky’s Rule 2: “Never go outside the experience of your people.“ It also follows Rule 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause fear, confusion, and retreat.”  (Kavanaugh has never faced and likely never imagined the smear campaign he is enduring.)

First, Dick Durbin claimed Kavanaugh gave false testimony in his previous judicial confirmation testimony. Patrick Leahy implied that the judge knowingly participated in the “theft” of documents that Democrats foolishly placed on a server used by both Democrat and Republican Judiciary Committee staffers. Cory Booker and Mazie Hirono alleged that Kavanaugh’s legal work in private practice and in the George W. Bush Administration showed him to be a racist. Liar, thief, racist.

For each of these allegations, the Democrats’ efforts to personalize and polarize were ineffective.

Notice that Kamala Harris failed miserably in her effort to employ Rule 1: “Power is not what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”  Harris attempted to entrap Kavanaugh by pretending she had information of improper conversations between Kavanaugh and “someone” at a large D.C. law firm.  Kavanaugh refused to bite.  She ended up looking silly. But the Democrats appear to have learned a valuable lesson:  Save an explosive charge until it is too late for Kavanaugh to respond.

Enter California Senator Diane Feinstein.  At the last possible minute, she revealed the existence of a sexual assault allegation made anonymously by a woman providing at best vague details.  Purportedly out of “respect” for the accuser’s privacy, Feinstein did not act on the allegation for months. She did not share it with the Republicans nor did she ask Kavanaugh about the allegation in her private, one-on-one meeting with the judge.

But if Feinstein sincerely respected the alleged victim, she would have given Kavanaugh the opportunity to quietly remove himself from consideration in the event the allegation was true.  Instead, she or someone close to her leaked the allegation to the media once it became clear that Kavanaugh was headed for confirmation.

The Democrats betrayed the accuser’s confidence, violated her wishes, and exploited her for their own purposes.  Apparently, their victims are expendable. The Left jumped on the accusation exploiting to the fullest the #metoo movement.  The woman had little choice but to lawyer up and go public with her identity and allegation.

Democrats demanded a delay and the opportunity for the accuser to be heard.  Committee Chairman Grassley immediately consented to a delay and set a hearing – either public or private – for next Monday.  In response, Democrats and now the accuser’s lawyers are implementing Rule 12: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.  You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand. . ..“

In other words, if your opponent gives you what you want; demand more. Democrats and the accuser’s lawyers are demanding additional FBI investigation before she would testify.  As Thursday wore on, the demands for “terms” for the accuser’s appearance increased.

I have news for Senator Grassley: should he agree to additional delay for investigation or to accede to any additional conditions or demands, it will not be enough.  As he surely has figured out by now, nothing will ever be enough.

According to Alinsky, “Timing is to tactics what it is to everything in life — the difference between success and failure.”  The Democrats’ timing has been as impeccable as it has disgraceful. They have masterfully executed Alinsky’s tactics and shamefully exploited the woman accuser in the process.  And they’ve managed to put a likely permanent cloud over Judge Kavanaugh’s tenure on the Supreme Court.

In just five minutes of MSNBC’s coverage this past Tuesday, their panelists said: His conduct is comparable to Roy Moore’s (who admitted making romantic overtures to much younger women); he is worse than Clarence Thomas; he is a frat boy who attempted to rape a high school girl, and he is an example of the brute patriarchy/male power in our society.

Perhaps, worst of all, Planned Parenthood Action Fund board member Alexis McGill Johnson declared, “The burden of proof is on Judge Kavanaugh” to prove he did not do this.

Finally, sadly, they all seem to be having fun.  That’s Rule 6: “a good tactic is one your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”

The Senate should proceed to a vote and put an end to this travesty.  As Justice Clarence Thomas said at the end of his hearing, “Enough is enough.”

Pete Hutchison is the president of the Landmark Legal Foundation.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.