Actually, Mike Barnicle did not mention Adlolf Hitler directly (or at all) on Morning Joe when he was pontificating about what an appealing, attractive and mild-mannered family man Brett Kavanaugh appeared to be during his introduction as Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court Nominee. Evidently, the veteran Boston Globe columnist and MSNBC contributor was so smitten with the image projected by the 53 year old hard-core conservative federal judge that he thinks its “dangerous” to attack or even aggressively oppose such a man.
After all, he coaches his daughter’s soccer team and he drives carpool. And oh, look at how darling his little girls are. Who could ever attack such a man? And why would you even consider it based upon his appearance?
Of course, I am pretty sure that a woman who is being raped isn’t particularly interested in how good their assailant smells because he is, after all really committed to his personal hygiene. Maybe the rapist looked mild-mannered, too. So why should she ever have worried about such a man’s intentions? But what will her reproductive rights be if this attack leaves her pregnant? Enter Mike Barnicle’s new conservative man crush.
That analogy is rough but it is fair. Brett Kavanaugh tried to force a 17 year old immigrant to give birth against her will just last year and got very angry with the Court of Appeals panel of his colleagues that over-turned his decision. Judge Kavanaugh was pissed off hat this pregnant girl had fallen into the custody of the United States while seeking asylum from a violent Central American country and wanted to terminate her pregnancy. The nerve. He figured that now they’d all come pouring across the border in search of “abortions-on-demand.” He actually wrote that silly shit in his dissent.
So I don’t give a damn about his wife, his kids or their soccer team. Brett Kavanaugh is a dangerous guy. All of that saccharine slobbering from Mike Barnicle doesn’t change the fact that when this guy gets on the High Court, women all over America are going to lose a great deal of their reproductive freedom and that is a very bad thing and a very big deal.
So no, the panel did not wax poetic about Hitler’s impressive collection of Italian Renaissance and Neoclassic oil paintings, or the fact that he was progressive enough to be a vegetarian long before most of the world even knew that was a hip thing to be.
Those little personal details don’t mean a damn thing when you consider his real impact on the lives of millions of people all over the world – and the fact that 11 million of them died directly at his orders.
Of course Brett Kavanaugh is not personally analogous to Hitler but the hypothetical talking points parallel is spot on. Lavishing praise on the nuances of Hitler’s personality is highly distasteful. And when Kavanaugh and four other men turn this Supreme Court into the Coat-Hanger Court anybody reflecting on the comments on Morning Joe the day he was introduced will find them highly distasteful as well.
Maybe it is time to stop selling the personal narratives of people seeking positions of great influence and authority. If news talk programs have to report it, fine. Then just report it and leave the audience to make of it what they will. Maybe I don’t find his little brats adorable when the president he is about to serve has lost track of dozens of children that same age whose parents were seeking asylum in this country.
We have witnessed over and over that the narratives pushed by political operatives are so often phony productions and presentations that we should just bury that tradition in American politics altogether. I don’t give a damn what church you went to or that you were an alter-boy. (That little beauty came from Michael Steele on the same panel discussion.) And I really don’t give a damn about what your father did or what your kids do (unless your father was president, of course). That provides me with no actionable intel whatsoever about what you are going to do when you are in a position to help or hinder people that you will never meet in your life and to whom you will never be accountable. We have plenty to go on in that regard from Brett Kavanaugh and that is a very ugly picture- no matter how cute you insist his kids are.