Kavanaugh was picked before Kennedy left, everything about Trump’s ‘search’ was just a farce

Washington Post / YouTube Pence McConnell meet with Brett Kavanaugh...
Washington Post / YouTube

Stepping from behind the curtain to accept his nomination to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh lauded Donald Trump’s process of selection.

Kavanaugh: Throughout this process, I have witnessed firsthand your appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary. No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.

No statement may be better suited to this moment because it, like Trump’s selection process, is entirely a fiction.

NBC is reporting, that Kavanaugh wasn’t just Trump’s pick from the beginning, he was picked before the beginning. Kavanaugh wasn’t even selected by Trump. He was picked by Anthony Kennedy. As part of the unprecedented talks between Trump and Kennedy to net the justice’s retirement, Kennedy was promised that Trump would name his former law clerk to take his chair. It was that reassurance that pushed Kennedy to announce his retirement. There was never a moment of doubt concerning who was going to be picked.

The one actual success of Trump’s pre-White House career was showing up on the set of The Apprentice to be handed a script and shout a few lines. And the one thing he learned from that experience is that, no matter how boring something is in reality, no matter how rote, how mundane, or how deeply silly, with a little stagecraft and a firm hand in editing, it can be made to appear as drama. Drama!

So Trump dutifully ran his finger down a list of Federalist Society candidates, each of whom is pre-vetted to crush individual rights, bolster corporations, and discover a love for an imperial executive. That last point made it easy to agree to Kavanaugh, since he’s way ahead of the game when it comes to protecting Trump from criminal charges, lawsuits, and even impeachment.

Trump and Kennedy made a backroom deal. Kennedy would retire. Trump would pick Kavanaugh. Trump would go through the motions of looking at other people. And Kavanaugh would drop a cherry on top of this BS sundae by praising Trump’s arduous journey in making this selection.

All the “consulting widely” and “talking with more people” that Kavanaugh pitched to the cameras in his opening remarks weren’t just a sign of his gratitude for getting the nod, but an open declaration that he would go along … that he will be a good contestant on The Trump Show. He’ll read his script, and make sure that Trump gets the last word.

But then, this may be one area where Kavanaugh is no worse than Kennedy. Since the connection between Trump and Kennedy was already enough that it should have demanded the justice recuse himself from … everything from the moment Trump took office until he leaves. Kennedy’s son didn’t just work at Deutshe Bank—the single bank which was miraculously willing to keep loaning Trump money after repeated business failures and a total lack of equity had other banks closing their doors—he also served as the head of a real-estate fund that worked directly with Trump.

Which leads to an interesting question: What else did Kennedy and Trump discuss in their backroom bargaining? If the next justice of the Supreme Court was actually selected behind closed doors as part of an arrangement between Kennedy and Trump, it seems possible that deal could have been part of a package that contained almost anything.

But that’s all behind the scenes. Trump is only concerned about what gets on camera. And, of course, the ratings.

Great reviews. Great reviews. Just keep hoping Trump doesn’t decide to make a war picture.

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