Pointing out media double-standards or bias is a Sisyphean task – at best. To mix myths, think of Hercules having to clean the Augean stables every day. Likewise, dealing with the shameful and shameless behavior of liberal special interest groups is, well, just think of them as the Augean horses.
First, let me bring you back to the day when it was commonly accepted that the judicial branch of our government was the one branch of the federal government that should operate above the partisan political fray. The business of judging was - at least in theory - to act as a neutral arbiter, applying the law and not legislating from the bench nor imposing personal politics or policy preferences.
Sadly, the days of allowing our courts and our judges to render verdicts absent bitter political rancor and attempts at intimidation are long gone. In recent years, justices of the Supreme Court —as well as the Supreme Court itself—are routinely targeted by leftist, dark-money groups that treat the Supreme Court as just another political body—suitable for dark-money-funded assaults.
Note my use of the liberal scare phrase “dark money.” It has become the word weapon of choice for the past several years by predominantly liberal reporters and editors wanting to taint conservative non-profits and their public policy efforts. You will virtually never see it used to characterize even the most radical liberal operations. Hence my modest attempt to bring balance. Frankly, I am in favor of protecting the privacy rights of citizens (even financial supporters!) who want to participate in our vital public policy discussions and debates. As we have seen in recent years, the Intolerant Left will use all their considerable power to personally destroy individuals with whom they disagree. No one should have to face that simply for wanting to participate in our democracy.
But back to our latest case study. Led by disreputable dark-money (tee hee) groups such as Allied Progress and Demand Justice, radical-left organizations are engaged in a doomed-to-fail campaign to lobby-through-intimidation Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh into recusing himself from a case involving the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) because he ruled on a similar case when he was on the Court of Appeals.
The CFPB was created under the Obama administration for the ostensible purpose of “protecting consumers” but was specifically – and unconstitutionally - designed to keep it removed from the normal accountability all other administrative agencies face. Why? So left-wing Democrats could use the enormous power granted to the CFPB to impose liberal policies that would never pass legislative scrutiny. You remember legislators. They are the people The People elect to legislate.
CNBC reported on the campaign targeting Justice Kavanaugh but conveniently forgot to mention the “dark money” funding behind the campaign. Instead, CNBC described the organizations leading the purely political attack against Justice Kavanaugh as “progressive.” Perhaps the folks at CNBC have turned over a new leaf and will no longer use their biased scare words to describe any group. Uh huh.
CNBC also failed to note the clearly unprincipled and hypocritical nature of the assault on Kavanaugh. If having expressed an opinion on an issue in the past is disqualifying, then where is the outrage over, for example, Justice Elena Kagan’s far more “disqualifying” actions? Kagan worked in the Obama administration as solicitor general during the time President Obama’s Affordable Cara Act (Obamacare) was passed by Congress. Justice Kagan served as an adviser to Obama on the issue at the time. She owed her Supreme Court appointment to President Obama. She even wrote to Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, “I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing.” The email’s subject line: “fingers and toes crossed today!” Not one leftist organization called for Kagan’s recusal when the court took up the issue of Obamacare.
Another more current example: Now that the court is actually going to decide a case involving the release of President Trump’s tax returns, where’s the outrage over Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lack of recusal in light of her 2016 election year pronouncement about candidate Trump: “How has he [Donald Trump] gotten away with not turning over his tax returns?”
That the Left is hypocritical and shameless should not come as a surprise. And one is tempted to dismiss their attacks on Justice Kavanaugh as just another instance of Kavanaugh Derangement Syndrome, but the danger and potential damage go deeper than that.
This is a well-funded campaign to politicize and discredit the current Supreme Court. This campaign has no chance of influencing the CFPB case outcome, but it is part of the ongoing effort to further smear Kavanaugh as a warning to other justices and potential future justices. Efforts to destroy the public’s faith in our system of justice - and thus undermine justice for all – are a real threat posed by the Left.
The failure of our public watchdogs to fairly report on all this is malpractice. Case closed.
Teri Christoph is the host of the Smart Girl Politics podcast and a fundraising consultant. She lives in Leesburg, Virginia with her husband and two children.