Brett Kavanaugh took his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The other justices didn’t shun him or act like he had cooties. That probably made those who fought his confirmation with anger carrying the intensity of a million suns gnash their teeth.
According to press reports, Kavanaugh was seen exchanging niceties and jokes with Justice Elena Kagan, who as dean of Harvard Law School actually hired him to teach a course there. That probably made those who fought with equal determination for Kavanaugh’s confirmation in hopes that he would be a righteous paladin waging constant battle against liberals grind their own molars.
Memo to those manning the opposing battlements: The Supreme Court is a powerful entity, but at its core it’s just another workplace, where people generally try to get along and leave business matters on their desks at quitting time. (The late Justice Antonin Scalia, whose name even after his death makes the bile rise in liberal throats, was quite friendly with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, star of some memorable conservative memes on social media.)
Unfortunately, the rest of the country doesn’t seem ready to put this situation in the past.
Don’t expect the investigations into Kavanaugh’s background, digging for more potential dirt like the sexual assault allegations that nearly derailed his nomination, to stop now that he’s wearing a Supreme Court robe and has the job for life. Some of the more aggressive folks on the left are promising impeachment proceedings against him should Democrats retake the House of Representatives in November. (It would be a symbolic middle finger, much like the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998, since now as then there’s zero chance of a conviction in the Senate.)
There’s even been discussion of trying to delegitimize the Supreme Court in the realm of public opinion, to provoke resistance to the rightward shift Kavanaugh is expected to bring. (If conservatives had proposed that when a liberal court was handing down decisions, the left would’ve had a conniption and called them anarchists trying to destroy the U.S. system.)
Of course, the right isn’t behaving angelically here, either. Bear Bryant had a few quotes in his lexicon about winning with class, dignity and humility that folks from the White House to the Facebook and Twitter spheres should heed.
Perhaps it will ease up after the election — that’s what much of this is about, you know, each side trying to mobilize and motivate its base.
Don’t hold your collective breaths. Purple is not a good facial shade.