The screaming, the costumes, the arrests: It’s just another day in the Senate as Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh faces a third day of hearings to determine his suitability as a Supreme Court justice.
The organizers of the Senate protests — primarily veteran activists behind the Women’s March and massive anti-gun events — have clear intent, calling their Capitol Hill events “high impact, women-led direct action” which include assorted sit-ins and a “solidarity event outside for folks to stand with the women disrupters inside.”
They have an active recruiting website, complete with suggested press narratives, coaching for online posts and appropriate social media tags such as #BrettBye and #CancelKavanaugh. The events are expected to continue through Friday — even as a new Rasmussen Reports survey reveals that only one-third of Americans think the opposition to Mr. Kavanaugh is due to an “honest difference” of opinion. A plurality blame the discord on partisan politics.
Some observers are troubled by Democratic lawmakers who appear to participate in the fracas.
“It’s easy to dismiss the theatrical hijacking as nothing more than politics as usual. But that would be a mistake because, with apologies to Shakespeare, in this case the sound and fury signify something. It marked the moment when there was no longer a meaningful difference between the aim of elected Democrats and their unelected supporters in the audience. They were united in their determination to shut down the process because they both believe that if they can’t win, the game should be canceled,” writes New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin.
He cited Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, who called the protesters “the voice of democracy” and suggested that loud interruptions were part of the democratic mindset.
“Durbin is dead wrong — the ‘voice of democracy’ is not represented by adult snowflakes shouting at a public hearing to try to silence speech they don’t like. Nor is it represented by the attempts at character assassination he and some of his colleagues resorted to when they got the microphone. That honor goes to voters, a fact their candidates should have paid more attention to,” Mr. Goodwin advised.
IRKED BY SCHUMER
Not everyone is happy in the progressive world at the moment, either. Speaking of the Women’s March organizers, they were among a dozen progressive groups that signed an open letter of protest Wednesday directed to Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York
“You are failing us,” the groups said, insisting that “every single Democrat” must hold the line against a “Trump Supreme Court” and President Trump himself.
“Your strategy to sacrifice the Supreme Court in order to hold Democratic Senate seats is not only strategically and morally wrong, it will fail. It is wrong to assume that a no vote on Kavanaugh puts red-state Democrats in electoral peril or somehow protects them from Republican attacks,” the coalition said.
The group includes Democracy for America, Friends of the Earth, Color of Change, Daily Kos and VoteProChoice. Mr. Schumer later closed down the Senate chamber as a gesture of his dismay with the hearing.
TOP BILLING IN BILLINGS
President Trump leaves behind the caterwaul of the nation’s capital Thursday, bound for his next Make America Great Again rally in Billings, Montana — his third in Montana and the second in Billings itself. An audience of 10,000 is expected at the local arena.
Of interest to the locals: Mr. Trump will clarify the new U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement that will help farmers and ranchers across the state. The president will also push support for Republican rancher Matt Rosendale in his race to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.
Mr. Rosendale is currently the Montana state auditor and describes himself as a “Trump conservative, straight shooter and fighter” for Montana.
“The president needs conservative reinforcements to help him secure the border, confirm constitutional justices and protect our Montana way of life,” Mr. Rosendale says.
“Tester falsely portrays himself as a moderate at home, but has opposed the Trump agenda in the Washington swamp with every vote, along with his liberal, out-of-touch Democrat Party leaders,” notes Michael Glassner, CEO of Donald J. Trump for President.
A MATTIS MOMENT
The latest anti-Trump tell-all remains No. 1 on Amazon, though it won’t be published until Tuesday. Excerpts from “Fear: Trump in the White House” by Bob Woodward have been strategically released to news organizations — which is the norm for PR strategies in such matters. Someone who was included as a “source” in the book is now righting the record.
“The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward’s book were never uttered by me or in my presence. While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility,” said Defense Secretary James Mattis in a statement.
Indeed, there is a brand of literature unique to the nation’s capital, and one which is released like clockwork during the year.
“In serving in this administration, the idea that I would show contempt for the elected commander-in-chief, President Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense, is a product of someone’s rich imagination,” Mr. Mattis noted.
Fox News Channel has marked 34 consecutive weeks as the top-rated network in the entire cable realm, ahead such rivals as MSNBC, HGTV, USA Network and ESPN.
“Hannity” was the most-watched program of all, according to Nielsen Media Research. As if has for over 16 years, Fox News continues to be he most watched cable news network, outranking CNN and MSNBC in both prime time and daytime audiences.
Things are rosy over at Fox Business Network as well, which continues to trounce CNBC in the rating, according to Nielsen. Fox Business also aired 7 out of the 10 top-rated business news programs, with “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” “Varney & Co.,” “Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman,” “After the Bell” and “Cavuto Coast to Coast” dominating the top five spots.
POLL DU JOUR
•54 percent of U.S. adult Facebook users have adjusted the privacy settings on their account.
•42 percent have “taken a break” from Facebook use for a period of several weeks or more.
•28 percent say users can’t control the content of what appears in their newsfeed.
•26 percent have deleted the Facebook app from their phone.
•9 percent have downloaded all the personal data Facebook has collected on them.
Source: A Pew Research Center American Trends Panel survey of 3,413 adult Facebook users conducted May 29-June 11 and released Wednesday.
• Casual chatter, stray facts to [email protected]
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