Lessons learned

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In a lengthy (but deeply useful) summation of the Kavanaugh aftermath, Victor Davis Hanson deftly explains what I got wrong in 2016:

The preppy Kavanaugh — by class, education, comportment, and prior employment — was about as pure a Bushite as one could imagine. His opinions were doctrinaire conservative and traditionalist, in the sense of interpreting rather than making laws.

To destroy a judge like Kavanaugh reflected that the New Left’s hatred of Trump had always been incidental to its essential loathing of conservatives in general. For a remnant group of Never Trumpers to oppose Kavanaugh, then, reflected the elevation of their own personal hatred for Trump over the critical elevation of a principled jurist to the Supreme Court. Supposedly, Kavanaugh was soiled by a Trump handprint, and therefore it was better to have a more liberal court than see Trump get any credit for taking the court in a direction only previously dreamed of by conservatives.

Never Trumpers had always assured their former conservative colleagues that Trump would either fail or prove liberal. But he has done neither. And as far as his demonstrable crudity and uncouthness, the hearings showed that the Democrats were far crueler and crass in deed than Trump was in word. So perhaps half of the small minority of Republican Never Trumpers, in horror at the Antifa tactics of the Democrats, retreated to the old adage of “hang together or hang separately.” Those who doubled down by joining leftists in opposing the Kavanaugh nomination revealed that they have crossed their Rubicon and now are either orphaned or unabashedly part of the new progressive Democratic party — at least until their useful obsequiousness no longer serves current progressive agendas.

Emphasis mine. The lie I told myself back in 2016, when this feature had a NeverTrump badge, was that Trump was simply pulling a scam and that his lack of scruples would lead to ruin. But nearly two years on, it's become clear that Trump, for all his crudity and uncouthness, has been the man for the moment. He's always going to say things that will make me cringe, but despite it all his heart is in the right place and his instincts are a lot more sound than those of his starboard side critics, myself included.

And right on cue, Hillary Clinton reemerged yesterday and drove the point home:

Civility can only return if Hillary and her cabal gets power back. People are always docile if there's a boot on their throat. And let's not pretend civility, in the Left's construct, is anything other than a boot on the throat.

Can you think of anyone on the Left who has behaved honorably in recent weeks? Is there anyone on that side of the aisle who wouldn't crush people who get in their way, if only afforded the opportunity?

My great concern is that conservatives of all stripes will enjoy the Kavanaugh victory and then stop fighting the Left. It's the default position of many conservatives, who are involved in politics only because they are required to be. The Left never sleeps and never relents. There is an election in less than a month. The Left must be defeated again.