‘Grassroots’ a stretch for the attacks against Collins and Kavanaugh

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E.J. Dionne recently penned “The Grassroots Revolt Against Kavanaugh,” datelined Portland, Maine, September 13. This got my attention at once.

I have come over the years to rely on E.J. as a concise and accurate guide to the current concerns of our liberal intelligentsia. I’ve never claimed that this famous journalist is stupid. I only claim that his self-awareness deficiency is so dire that he often simulates stupidity remarkably well.

His column argues that “exceptional dangers require exceptional and sometimes unusual responses.” He discovered some unusual grassroots responses at a Portland phone bank on September 11. It will surprise no one that a liberal chained to the District of Columbia should come to Portland to discover Maine’s grassroots, but some may think that “liberal activists” more accurately describes the subjects of Mainers for Accountable Leadership and Maine People’s Alliance than “grassroots.” But, let’s be fair, how could Eugene Joseph Dionne know the difference?

The phone bank volunteers were asking citizens for messages urging Sen. Susan Collins to oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. If they discover a sympathizer, they ask for a commitment to contribute to Jane Dogsbody’s senatorial campaign. “Jane Dogsbody” is a place-holder name for whomever the MPA and MAL chieftains identify as a suitable replacement for Susan in 2020.

Collins has denounced this as a bribery or extortion scheme, but E.J. tells us that Marie Follayttar Smith, a MAL co-director, is unapologetic. “The idea of Susan Collins attacking an effort by 35,000 small-dollar donors as bribery is politics at its worse,” Marie snaps back. “We absolutely have the right to prepare to unseat her given everything Judge Kavanaugh would do on the Supreme Court to make life worse for Maine women.” Absolutely no one is claiming they don’t have the right to unseat her, but it suits Marie to pretend MAL standing up for people’s rights.

(On the tangent: I’ve been keeping count of the number of times the phrase “politics at its worse” has been used by Republicans and Democrats since 2001. My total to date: 897,000,005. Two questions to consider. First, aren’t there dozens of worse things, some fatal? Second, how is it possible for Marie not to feel embarrassed at repeating such a worn-out, flabby, moth-eaten political accusation?)

Dionne provides cover for the MPA/MAL extortioners by citing the work of “the legal scholar” Richard Hasen, who wrote recently in Slate that Judge Kavanaugh is “deeply skeptical of even the most basic campaign finance limits.” I know about Professor Hasen. He believes the Supreme Court must always interpret the First Amendment in ways which advance liberal political objectives. If he took a contrary position he would not be writing for Slate.com.

Dionne goes on to explain the broad array of concerns expressed by the activists he interviewed. Some are concerned that Kavanaugh would look for ways to side with President Trump in a dispute over special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Another frets over the man’s views on corporate power and religion, and its role in American life. Follayttar Smith told Dionne about her fear that Kavanaugh would roll back environmental regulations and the Affordable Care Act. Another fears that the villain will dismantle government protections for the marginalized. Dionne tells us about a common conviction among the MPA/MLA Left-lurchers that Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was not candid.

Dionne discovered a broadly encompassing belief that the would-be justice is primarily “a partisan and an ideologue—a political animal to the core.” It’s possible, just possible, that E.J. and his interlocutors might welcome a Democratic partisan and a liberal ideologue. It’s even possible that there are still a few well-informed voters who haven’t figured that out.

To clinch his case against Kavanaugh and Collins, Dionne calls on the Portland Press Herald’s Bill Nemitz for support. On the Sunday before Dionne’s immense hostile belch, Bill let loose with a little burp of his own. After drilling into the judge’s heart and head to expose the miscreant’s real, unspoken plans for America’s oppressed sex, he alerts Collins to the punishment she faces if she betrays Nemitz’s trust.

“And, with all of that playing out under the shadow of the looming 2020 election,” Bill writes, “Mainers long comfortable with Collins and her pro-choice persona will find themselves in a decidedly different mood when it comes to her political future.”

Susan Collins has been warned.

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