Over the past month, tens of millions in the country and around the world have witnessed the utter insanity taking place in Washington DC regarding the confirmation proceedings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the supreme court. Many liberals have been left in shock, awe and disgust as Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed unto the lands highest court on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Although Kavanaugh’s’ passage onto the court was more expected than not, as the Republicans control the senate with a slight majority, the fact that he was still confirmed despite a multitude of sexual assault allegations, as well as the compelling testimony of Dr Christine Blasey Ford, has left many liberals stunned – but why?
Why was it that this particular chain of events struck a chord with so many? Was it due to the nature of the seat that was at stake? Did our shock arise from the multiple allegations that were never properly investigated? Was it Kavanaugh’s extreme partisan accusations during his response to Dr Fords testimony? Or was it, dare I say, that the left thought that maybe, somehow, someway, 2 or 3 republicans on the senate would have enough humanity, enough dignity, enough courage, to demand a proper investigation into all of the allegations made against Kavanaugh? Did we on the left fall victim to the notion that there might be another Obamacare John McCain moment, a moment of a few Republicans breaking away from party for the greater good?
It would seem to me, personally, that the most likely question in the minds of Democrats prior to Kavanaugh’s final confirmation, the question that kept many of us up at night, the question that ultimately spawned the anger, frustration and despair that arose from the conclusion of these proceedings, is indeed that many of us had a hope that an extremely small minority of these republicans would have enough of a spine to insist upon a more comprehensive investigation by the FBI into Kavanaugh.
I believe that this singular hope was what made the conclusion of this entire process larger than life; the hope that we might see a shimmer of humanity from the party that brought us Donald Trump. Alas, that hope was shattered with the yes votes from Susan Collins, Jeff Flake and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
However, if one is to look at the contemporary attitudes of Republican representatives and their constituents, this result should have been anything but shocking. The way the entire process played out with Republican senators was routine, and that routine involves not giving a single damn about anything if it involves their nominees, their candidates and their colleagues. Their routine: “Oh, you were brutally sexually assaulted by one of our (fill in the blank) —womp, womp, tough luck, thoughts and prayers, we don’t care. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, vote now, vote yes.”
For those not familiar with “Womp, womp” it is a quote that was made by former Presidential Campaign Manager for Donald Trump, Corey Lewandowski. He made the comment in response to a journalist on CNN speaking about a 10-year-old girl with down syndrome who was taken by ICE agents and put into a cage. Again, Lewandowski did not deny or refute the claim, he simply replied, “Womp, womp”.
This is the mind state of the modern Republican politician, and it can be best summarized simply as, “womp, womp”. These Republican politicians are not stupid people, they are not individuals who are lacking in a grasp of the consequences of the policies they implement and the people they choose to implement them—they simply do not care as long as it benefits them and those financially supporting them. Republican politicians know the damage they cause, despite their apparent belligerence towards those facts, but they remain apathetic because they understand what is in their best interest. They know what policies are going to get them funding for reelection, what stances they need to uphold to get that funding, as well as the social issues they need to divide their constituents on to get them the votes they need to continue their time in office. To them, politics has nothing to do with ethics, nothing to do with courage, nothing to do with honor, nothing to do with dignity, and certainly nothing to do with accountability – they believe in nothing, and they view the aforementioned qualities simply as losing strategies.
The truth is, Republican politicians, for the most part, look on progressives as morons, individuals who are running against the system with little chance for success by their standards. When they hear democrats talk about empowering the EPA or the CFPB, they laugh and smile to themselves, because they know they have corporate America behind them, that they have the power behind them, that they have the major funding, and accordingly, they look on progressives and liberals as fools for invoking such ideologies. To them, politics is only about power, and if anything gets in the way of them maintaining that power, the contemporary position is, “Womp, womp, we don’t care.”
When Al Franken resigned because of a cringe worthy photograph that was released to the press, was that meant to level the playing field? Was that resignation meant to coerce Republicans to maintain themselves to that standard? What did that resignation represent in the age of a right-wing supreme court nominee being confirmed with at least 5 fairly credible sexual assault allegations being tagged onto him?
It meant nothing; and the sooner the Democrats and progressives learn this fact and come to grips with its implications and possibilities, the sooner we can take back Congress and the thousand plus state legislator seats lost in 2016. Democrats need to learn that, “Womp, womp” is not a position. It is not something that can be run on. It does not mean anything besides outright indifference— and its invocation is in truth the losing strategy. Therefore, when we hear, “Womp, womp,” in all of its various forms, we need to fight against it ruthlessly, relentlessly and without mercy. The voters, the citizens of this country, cannot truly and perceptibly understand that fact unless it is fought against with tooth, nail and hammer.
The time for looking to Republicans for potential specks of humanity is over. The time for expectations of ethics from a party devoid of such mores is over.
Enough waiting for John McCain.
He’s dead, and so is that era.