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Tipsheet

WaPo Has Truly Been the Worst with These KBJ Hearings

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Leading up to the confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, The Washington Post emerged with some pretty ridiculous takes, including a fact-check on Sen. Josh Hawley's (R-MO) concerns with Judge Jackson's lenient sentencing for sex offenders preying on children. Deputy editorial page editor Ruth Marcus wrote an op-ed calling Hawley and the GOP "low" for daring to go after the judicial nominee's record. Now that the hearings have wrapped up, Marcus got worse, as did the whole editorial board.

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"Republicans boast they have not pulled a Kavanaugh. In fact, they’ve treated Jackson worse," claimed an editorial from March 23. 

The editorial mentions how Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pointed out that Republicans would treat Judge Jackson better than Democrats did now Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a point other Republicans raised. The editorial board then goes on to complain about the line of questioning from senators like Graham, as well as Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Despite his name being mentioned in the headline, Kavanaugh receives brief mention:

A woman credibly accused Mr. Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Democrats rightly asked the committee to investigate. After a superficial FBI review, Republicans pressed forward his nomination. In the end, it was Mr. Kavanaugh who behaved intemperately, personally attacking Democratic senators and revealing partisan instincts that raised questions about his commitment to impartiality.

It's debatable as to if Christine Blasey Ford "credibly accused" Kavanaugh. There's also no mention in the editorial of how Democrats scrutinized Kavanaugh's personal character, his drinking habits, his sexual activity in high school, his yearbook, and other details irrelevant to how he would rule as a jurist. There's also no mention of how a political cartoonist went after Kavanaugh's daughters and their prayer life, who were then 10 and 13-years old. 

The editorial then goes on to acknowledge that at least the senators were asking Judge Jackson about her record. 

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Like it or not, the time that senators have to question the nominee is theirs. There was no mention of how some Democratic senators barely asked questions during their time, including Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. 

During his Sunday appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. Booker reiterated his view that Republican questioning of Judge Jackson was "outrageous and beyond the pale, and very different than what I've witnessed in my short time in the Senate seeing three different confirmation hearings." He had also told host Chuck Todd that "there were extraordinary realities in the Kavanaugh hearings that I think demanded for that to be as contentious as it was, and not just allowing it to go through without these extraordinary sort of realities coming to the fore and being investigated."

Tellingly, the editorial, in the very last paragraph, acknowledges Democrats have had a horrific record, but doubles down on blaming Republicans. "Neither side is blameless in the politicization of the confirmation process. But, particularly after they iced out then-Judge Merrick Garland in 2016, Republicans have done the most damage. The clownish performances by Mr. Graham and others continue them on that trajectory," it closes with. 

The editorial dares not go into the specifics of what it is the Democrats have done, not merely to Kavanaugh, but Judge Robert Bork, who did not make it onto the Supreme Court, as well as now-Justice Clarence Thomas. What those hearings had in common is that they were chaired by then Sen. Joe Biden. 

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Marcus has also since continued to rant about the confirmation hearings. Her Friday opinion piece claimed that "Forget advise and consent. This is smear and degrade." That piece made no reference to Kavanaugh, though Abigail Marone, Sen. Hawley's press secretary, has screenshots to remind us all how Marcus went after Kavanaugh. 

Guy also addressed the editorial on "The Guy Benson Show" with The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway, who pointed out that "The Washington Post really bears a lot of the responsibility, and they can’t be allowed to forget it," speaking of the attacks on Kavanaugh. 

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