The far-right may or may not have scored a major victory today, depending on whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed. But regardless of which way that vote goes, Donald Trump just lost. Badly. In fact, while this may go down as one of the worst days in the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans whose fundamental rights are now on the line, this will also go down – without any question – as the day that doomed Trump’s dying presidency. I know this is the opposite of what you’re hearing on cable news right now, but this is important and they’re getting it totally wrong, so hear me out.
Donald Trump would have loved to nominate a moderate for the Supreme Court who happens to lean his way on matters like presidential pardons. Such a nomination would have potentially benefited him, while creating very little backlash, because mainstream Americans would have been relieved that he didn’t pick an extremist. Instead, because Trump is literally owned by the far-right billionaires who funded his campaign, and figuratively owned by the far-right religious fanatics who voted for him, he had no choice but to pick a controversial far-right nominee. That’s why everything is about to go to hell for him…
Trump just nominated someone for the Supreme Court who, if confirmed, will absolutely overturn Roe v Wade. This isn’t Neil Gorsuch, where a conservative vote was being replaced by a conservative vote. Kavanaugh is the ballgame. Women’s rights? Gone. Gay rights? Gone. Basic legal protections across the board? Gone. Everyone knows it too. Mainstream Americans will treat this confirmation fight like it’s the most important battle of their lives, because it is. Whichever way that battle goes, the only guaranteed casualty here will be the presidency of the guy who made the nomination.
Donald Trump will be ripped to pieces over this. There will be nothing left of his presidency or his future by the time this Supreme Court nomination finishes playing out. He’s about to become so nonviable that it’s no longer even a given that he’ll last until the midterms; the sheer and unrelenting ferocity coming from mainstream Americans may well have him plotting his extradition before the confirmation hearings are even complete. And if he does last through the midterms, he’ll be ousted the microsecond the Democrats take control of Congress. That’s when he’ll be criminally charged like an ordinary citizen, arrested, tried, convicted, and locked in solitary confinement for the rest of his life.
Whether this nomination succeeds or fails is primarily up to you. The Democrats don’t have the math to stop it on their own. Will you make nonstop phone calls to the weakest Republicans, march in the streets, scream at the top of your lungs, and force the issue? Or will you sit back and yell defeatist rhetoric on Facebook and Twitter? The fate of the Supreme Court is really up to you. But either way, Donald Trump’s presidency just died today. If any pundit is telling you that this was good day for him, that pundit is either lying to you, or is too stupid to understand how politics works. Turn off cable news and get out there and fight!
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report