Democrats are fighting with each other over how to oppose President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Far left, progressive activists are butting heads with center-left Democrats on the fence about opposing Kavanaugh because of his stellar credentials, including a 12-year stint as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and an undergraduate and law degree from Yale University.
While some Senate Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are taking a hard line stance against voting for Kavanaugh, some red-state Senate Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) are striking a balancing act between supporting their party and getting re-elected.
Manchin tweeted this week that he has a “constitutional obligation” to consider Trump’s Supreme court nominee:
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) July 10, 2018
Heitkamp announced this week her willingness to “thoroughly review and vet” Kavanaugh’s record despite the actions of her colleagues and actions of outside groups to oppose Kavanaugh on partisan grounds:
My statement on the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court: pic.twitter.com/ia1yOICT9P
— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) July 10, 2018
The uncertainty of these red-state Senate Democrats on Kavanaugh’s nomination is causing frustration among the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the left wing advocacy group Democracy for America, told the Hill that his group is pushing for Senate Democrats to be united in opposing Trump’s “extremist nominee.”
“We need to be training all of our firepower on Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and we don’t need to be wasting one shred of energy trying to push a Democrat in the right direction on this extremist nominee,” Sroka said. “There’s a great deal of impatience amongst the grassroots for senators to get off the fence on Kavanaugh.”
Republican senators Murkowski and Collins are considered to be potential swing votes on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Other leftwing activist groups cited concerns over how Kavanaugh would gut the Affordable Care Act and overturn Roe v. Wade as reasons they are frustrated with establishment Democrats for even considering Kavanaugh.
“We’re looking for more clean statements of opposition from more senators,” said Elizabeth Beavers, associate policy director at the left wing progressive group Indivisible Project.
“We already know plenty about Kavanaugh,” she added. “In order to get on Trump’s shortlist, these people had to show willingness to gut reproductive rights and show hostility to the Affordable Care Act.”
Breitbart News Senior Legal Editor Ken Klukowski called the statements from some of these progressive groups “ironic,” since some conservative groups have questioned Kavanaugh’s conservative credentials.
“Some pro-life groups have wondered if Kavanaugh has shown enough pro-life sentiment and others in the conservative base have questioned if he ducked out of an opportunity to strike down Obamacare,” said Klukowski. “These statements are already starting to smack of desperation when directed against Judge Kavanaugh.”
Even though the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is warning its followers to oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, some DNC political operatives seemed to be confused about which judge the party was opposing.
The DNC published a blog post on Tuesday afternoon with the caption “Judge Kavanaugh should not be allowed anywhere near our nation’s highest bench”—but with a photo of Trump’s runner-up pick to the Supreme Court, Judge Thomas Hardiman.
After party officials rushed to tweet out the link, they deleted the social media post and changed the photo.