Steve Schmidt has a lot of bad takes. Some worse than others. Naturally, tradition holds in the current Washington scandal over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the alleged victim of sexual assault at his hands, Christine Blasey Ford.
On Thursday, Schmidt pontificated haughtily on Twitter about Kavanaugh’s motives for not, as far as anyone knows, demanding an FBI investigation into the allegations.
Note, this is not to say, nor did Schmidt even bother to imply, that Brett Kavanaugh would not happily cooperate with such an investigation, or that he has actively opposed it, but merely that he hasn’t, to Schmidt’s knowledge, issued some public statement demanding that the Trump administration order one.
Here is what Schmidt said:
Riddle me this. If someone is lying (https://t.co/RoJWRckYLb)and they know that lying to the FBI is a crime, why would they be asking for an FBI investigation? If a sitting Federal Judge is accused of something he denies with his reputation at stake why wouldn’t he demand one?
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) September 20, 2018
“If a sitting federal judge is accused of something he denies with his reputation at stake, why wouldn’t he demand one?”
This is the job if you’re a vacuous TV talking head. You say things that sound like a point when they aren’t actually a point. That’s also the primary job function for a Democrat (which former Republican and current MSNBC contributor Schmidt effectively is), so it’s no surprise that the most vocal Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, said much the same thing.
Hirono on Kavanaugh: They want to get him confirmed, come hell or high water..Why isn’t Kavanaugh asking for an investigation if he has nothing to hide
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) September 20, 2018
As did Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who said this: “Judge Kavanaugh has not asked to have the FBI to review these claims. Is that the reaction of an innocent person? It is not.”
We could talk here about the presumption of innocence, or one’s right to not answer questions. We could take the same very low road they are taking and ask why Ford is unwilling to answer questions in a hearing if she’s being truthful. We aren’t that low, though. Or we could even bring up the fact that Gillibrand and Hirono are demanding Kavanaugh speak out just two days after demanding he (and all men) shut the hell up.
But instead, let’s focus on the retweet bait from Talking Empty Head Steve Schmidt, who is comfortable comparing our government to al-Qaeda.
Again, Schmidt is indicating that this is some evidence of bad faith or bad behavior on the part of Kavanaugh on the grounds that he hasn’t “demanded” an investigation. This is the kind of context-free assertion for which Schmidt is handsomely paid by liberal network MSNBC, but is overtly lacking in any substance. His basic premise is that there are no other factors that would contribute to a person not making a demand in public about an investigation that would be at the behest of the administration nominating him.
That is, of course, preposterously stupid. Even a cynical person who despises Trump and, by extension, Kavanaugh, could easily come up with reasons other than guilt. For example, he may wish that the hearing be over quickly, with no investigation, in order to make sure he is confirmed to a lifetime appointment before the voting ratios potentially change in November. Right? Even someone like Schmidt should be able to assess that obvious possibility.
There are a thousand other factors, too, naturally. Waiting for the Trump administration? He knows something we don’t know? Maybe he’s already being questioned? Perhaps as a prominent judge and legal expert with top legal representation, he is being quiet on the advice of counsel? I mean, it’s not like he’s disputing what the meaning of “is” is, he just hasn’t vocalized Steve Schmidt’s desired vocalization.
Imagine an innocent person, Steve. Imagine their life about to be torn open. Maybe innocent people generally don’t want to be investigated by the FBI because nobody wants to be investigated by the FBI?
In America, we don’t generally hold to the idea that you shouldn’t worry about being picked apart if you have nothing to hide. That’s an ugly, totalitarian notion, actually.
There may be an FBI investigation. It’s not unprecedented, although it looks right now like that won’t happen. In the end, maybe the full truth will come out to everyone’s satisfaction, and maybe it won’t. But in the meantime, people like Schmidt are covering themselves in glory destroying any semblance of rational, reasonable caution and respect for the due process of law, and the moral obligation to truthfulness, in their pursuit of … well retweets, I guess.
Thirty pieces of silver sure don’t buy what they used to.