Whether or not Brett Kavanaugh will be a dramatic upgrade over his mentor, Anthony Kennedy, on the Supreme Court is debatable. And there’s evidence presented by respected conservatives on both sides of that debate. But what is not debatable is that an opportunity to force a bold, and necessary, public confrontation was missed.
Which brings us to Amy Coney Barrett, and why nominating judges is always about worldview, worldview, worldview, more than judicial philosophy. Because while both Barrett and Kavanaugh likely share a generally similar judicial philosophy, it is a person’s worldview that gives the sense of direction and purpose that can withstand a tempest of deception — like the one that currently dominates the American courts.
An obvious comeback might be that both Barrett and Kavanaugh are Catholic, and that it is currently a row of black-robed Catholics who make up the right-leaning side of the Supreme Court. So seems it like either way, Trump was at least in the ballpark of nailing it on the worldview issue.
I wish it were that simple. Kennedy was also Catholic, yet he unleashed the Rainbow Jihad on his watch. Why? I don’t even need to know the man to have an answer for that. At some point, his faith in God became nominal — at least in some areas of his life — and his faith in himself became paramount. That whole “ye be like God” thing.
The jury is out on Kavanaugh on that front, and the furor of scrutiny will no doubt be dialed up to 11 in the coming months. But for Barrett, I think that worldview is what truly set her apart to the conservative base who prayed for her nomination.
From a worldview perspective, she seemed as sure a bet as one could hope to find in this fallen world. For by their fruit you will know them, and here was a career woman of the highest rank, who was nonetheless a mother of seven children and a proud defender of righteousness in a faith-sharing group she was a part of with her husband.
It was a package so potent in its power that Sen. Dianne Feinstein could barely withstand the brightness of its light. Which explains why Feinstein attempted to defend the hollowness of her own worldview by leveling her “dogma” mockery at Barrett, during her confirmation hearing less than a year ago for a seat on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
There really were no doubts about Barrett. And that terrified both the God-hating Left and the Swamp-filled Right. She was a paradigm shifter. And while Kavanaugh will now be treated like basically Hitler just as she would have been, much of that will be pure show for clicks and cash. It’s political theater, as all the tribes play to type. But like pro wrestling, though the combatants and movements are real, they’re also scripted.
Barrett would have provoked a real fight.
Forcing everyone in both caucuses, Republican and Democrat, to show their true colors. Forcing the president to expend real political capital on something other than his own ego, or low-lying fruit like NFL kneelers and CNN hacktivists whom most of America already loathes. Forcing the American public to see one major political party in America is being driven by such a hatred of the God that grants us our rights that they don’t believe those who boldly worship Him in spirit and in truth should hold public office. Forcing us to argue about stuff that really matters, for a change.
Unfortunately, as my friend and colleague Daniel Horowitz likes to say, we can’t have nice things. So we will have the milquetoast instead of the filet mignon. We will have the sideshow instead of the best in show. We will have the fake fight for ratings and revenue, instead of the true existential clash this culture craves. Whether it realizes it or not.
We will not have the election-year clarity we need, but the tribalistic pandering we deserve.