6 Insane Hot Takes on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Nomination

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh (off frame) and their two daughters stand by US President Donald Trump after he announced his nomination in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit …

Assorted politicians and news media figures — particularly “Never Trump” pundits — are reacting rather strangely to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Here are six of the craziest theories and dumbest hot takes about Justice Kavanaugh:

1. Trump Is ‘Trolling’ His Base

In a piece titled “Trump Trolls His Based With Kavanaugh Pick for Supreme Court,” The Daily Beast’s Matt Lewis describes Trump’s selection of Kavanaugh as a “letdown” not just for conservatives, but also for Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh, asserts Lewis, is perceived by conservatives as a “boring establishment moderate.” CNN’s Jake Tapper and Chris Cuomo expressed the same sentiment on Monday night. Partial transcript below of Cuomo’s and Tapper’s exchange:

CUOMO: But this is the establishment’s choice, you know that, right?

TAPPER: Of course.

CUOMO: This guy Kavanaugh checks the boxes for them.

TAPPER: He’s the George W. Bush.

CUOMO: Right.

TAPPER: That was thought to be the strike against him —

CUOMO: Right.

TAPPER: — that he was so close with the Bushes. Jeb Bush supported him, George W. Bush supported him. I’m sure George H.W. Bush, given that he worked for him as well in the solicitor general’s office.

An alumnus of the Daily Caller and current contributor to CNN, Lewis markets himself as a conservative.

2. Trump Wussed Out

Despite predicting Kavanaugh’s development into an “excellent” judge, National Review‘s David French — once Bill Kristol’s presumptive spoiler candidate to take down Trump in the 2016 presidential race — describes Trump’s selection as an “opportunity lost.” He argues Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be a preferable nominee, in that Barrett would better “inflame the culture wars” and help “blunt the force of secular bigotry” directed from the left against conservative and orthodox Christians.

“Tonight I join many conservatives in a slight sigh of regret. There was a better choice,” French concludes.

3. Trump Is Trying to Stay Out of Jail

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) accused Trump of nominating Kavanaugh as a “get out of jail free card.”

Just interviewed Senator @CoryBooker. Here’s what he had to say about Kavanaugh. #SCOTUSNomination pic.twitter.com/BgNvMsUMOO

— Anna-Lysa Gayle (@ABC7Annalysa) July 10, 2018

Transcript of Booker’s comments below:

Well, first and foremost, we need to understand that this was the only pick amongst his entire list that has explicitly said that a president should not be a subject of a criminal investigation. It’s almost as if the president said, “let me find the person that’s most going to protect me” — under an investigation that’s already led to over 70 charges, over 20 individuals, corporations have been charged, five guilty pleas, one sentencing.

So we have an ongoing investigation that is a bi-partisan supported investigation as we saw throughout the Senate committee and a president who is saying, “I now have a chance to make sure the Supreme Court gives me a get out of jail free card or indemnifies me against many issues that might come against me.”


Several other talking heads made the exact same argument through the night, mostly on MSNBC:

4. Kennedy’s Son Was Paid Off by the Russians… Somehow

Neera Tanden, Clinton operative and president of the John Podesta-founded Center for American Progress (CAP), accused Anthony Kennedy’s son of unspecified corruption related to the Russian state and Trump via Twitter:

Just a reminder: Justice Kennedy’s son made a billion dollars in loans to Trump from the Russia infested and sanctioned Deutche Bank. https://t.co/HVqLIAzmPm

— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) July 10, 2018

Slate published a rebuttal of Tanden’s assertion, dubbing her claim a “conspiracy theory.”

Tanden regularly frames the 2016 presidential election as having been corrupted by Russian state influence.
5. Trump Broke a Campaign Promise

Stu Burguiere, co-host of Never Trump figurehead and ostensible conservative Glenn Beck’s eponymous radio show, cast Kavanaugh’s nomination as a broken campaign promise from the president. He took to Twitter to share his take:

One point that deserves a bit of reflection: Trump had a list of 21 potential nominees when he was elected. Kavanaugh was not on that list. People keep acting as if he stuck to the list. But if you can add people after the election, the list has no meaning.

— STU BURGUIERE (@WorldOfStu) July 10, 2018

This is likely being ignored because everyone likes Gorsuch, which I do as well. But, he was on the list before Election Day. This isn’t to say that Kavanaugh will be a bad pick per se, but saying this is a campaign promise broken isn’t completely wrong.

— STU BURGUIERE (@WorldOfStu) July 10, 2018

Gorsuch has bought Trump a lot of room here, which is deserved in my view. And Kavanaugh certainly *could* have been a nice fit to a pre-election list. But, ya know, he wasn’t on it.

— STU BURGUIERE (@WorldOfStu) July 10, 2018

6. Binders Full of Women

Waxing feministic, CNN’s Chris Cuomo criticized Trump for not selecting a woman nominee to the Supreme Court.

“[President Donald Trump] could have picked a woman if it was that important to him, but he chose not to,” Cuomo said after Trump selected Kavanaugh and not Barrett.

Partial transcript of Cuomo’s comments below:

But also, [Trump] has said, “Women. I really want to pick a woman.”

There’s so many qualified female jurists, you know, and — well, one that they thought they had a chance, although it would have been arguably premature with [Amy] Coney Barrett. You know, she got on. She’d never been in a lower court. She’s on the circuit for about a year now.

She was like at home in South Bend. He could have picked a woman if it was that important to him, but he chose not to.


Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.


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