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The Ballad of Mark Uterus


A little birdie on Twitter pointed me to the Denver Post’s endorsement of Cory Gardner, the party-line Republican hack who would cast important votes for three members of the 5-member majority in Dobbs:

If Gardner had been a cultural warrior throughout his career, we would hesitate to support him, because we strongly disagree with him on same-sex marriage and abortion rights. But in fact he has emphasized economic and energy issues (and was, for example, an early supporter among Republicans of renewable energy).

For that matter, his past views on same-sex marriage are becoming irrelevant now that the Supreme Court has let appeals court rulings stand and marriage equality appears unstoppable. And contrary to Udall’s tedious refrain, Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.

I’m not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work, there, Lou!

At least on its face, the Post seems to be advancing the “just because Republican elites say they want to overrule Roe doesn’t mean that judges Republicans nominate and confirm after being carefully screened for any ideological deviation throughout their careers will overrule Roeversion of the Savvy politics that ran critical interference for Republicans running in purple states throughout this period. I’m beginning to think this might have been mistaken! The “tedious” also implies that the reproductive freedom of women isn’t a REAL issue like tax cuts to make Colorado more competitive, or EBOLA!, or EMAILS!, or CARAVANS!, or MR. POTATO HEAD! or CRITICAL RACE THEORY! etc. etc.

Meanwhile, this framing is incredibly generous to Susan Collins:

Judge Kavanaugh worked vigorously to reassure her that he was no threat to the landmark abortion rights ruling.

“Start with my record, my respect for precedent, my belief that it is rooted in the Constitution, and my commitment and its importance to the rule of law,” he said, according to contemporaneous notes kept by multiple staff members in the meeting. “I understand precedent and I understand the importance of overturning it.”

“Roe is 45 years old, it has been reaffirmed many times, lots of people care about it a great deal, and I’ve tried to demonstrate I understand real-world consequences,” he continued, according to the notes, adding: “I am a don’t-rock-the-boat kind of judge. I believe in stability and in the Team of Nine.”

Persuaded, Ms. Collins, a Republican, gave a detailed speech a few weeks later laying out her rationale for backing the future justice that cited his stated commitment to precedent on Roe, helping clinch his confirmation after a bitter fight. On Friday, Justice Kavanaugh joined the majority in overturning the decision he told Ms. Collins he would protect.

What you’ll notice if you look at Kavanaugh’s words is that you’ll see nothing that actually reflects anything like a commitment not to overrule Roe v. Wade — not even a phrase like “settled precedent.” It’s just a bunch of truisms about how Roe is indeed an important case and the Supreme Court often does not overrule such precedents. Maybe if you were completely new to the nomination kayfabe you could say that Kavanaugh was creating a misleading impression without actually lying, but when Collins was elected to the Senate Mo Vaugn was playing first base for the Red Sox; she knows what the shot is, and if she didn’t see through Kavanaugh here it’s because she didn’t want to.

Still, Collins’s claims that she had no idea what was going to happen will always have a receptive audience, because of how many reporters and pundits also chose to ignore the evidence staring them in the face until it was too late.

The Denver Post, 2019:

In contrast, Gardner was a never-Trumper in the primary who in recent months endorsed the president’s re-election campaign even as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continues to unveil the worst of this administrations web of lies and deceit. Tuesday’s vote was the last straw.

We no longer know what principles guide the senator and regret giving him our support in a close race against Mark Udall.

Well, that’s why fountain pens have erasers!

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