Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) made a major admission during the effort he and fellow Democrats made to stop Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing Tuesday, noting that rather than Kavanaugh’s record, President Donald Trump is his main concern.
In his prepared statement at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Durbin first talked through a set of objections that mirrored his Democratic colleagues’, including the supposed withholding of the unprecedented volume of documents Democrats requested from Kavanaugh’s White House days.
But then the liberal senator suddenly shifted to what he identified as the real motivation for delaying Kavanaugh. “Over and above all those things is this: you are the nominee of President Donald John Trump,” Durbin said. “This is a president who has shown us consistently that he is contemptuous of the rule of law. He has said and done things as president that we have never seen before in our history.”
Durbin continued to directly address Kavanaugh in a chaotic hearing room where dozens of protesters continually jumped to their feet to shout and wave signs about Kavanaugh. Durbin, earlier in his statement, had called these people, who were arrested as they made their successive attempts at disruption, the “noise of democracy.”
The Illinois senator blamed Trump for these protests he evidently approved of. “If you’re wondering why this reaction is taking place, it’s because of what’s happening in this country,” Durbin told Kavanaugh, adding:
There are many of us who are concerned about the future of this country and the future of democracy. And you are asking for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land where you will make decisions — the deciding vote — on things that will define the course of history and where we are headed.
The left-wing magazine the Nation later concurred with this assessment, blaming Kavanaugh for the protesters at his own hearing because he accepted Trump’s nomination.
After referring to Kavanaugh as “the Forrest Gump of Republican politics” and his own seat in the United States Senate as a “public service job,” Durbin ignored his admission that the attempt at delay was mostly aimed at Trump. Durbin — who announced his intention to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination in early July before any documents had been released — challenged Kavanaugh to ask that his own hearings be suspended while those documents were released.