Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) appeared on Fox News last night to discuss the debate over Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, and he was asked whether he believes his Democratic colleagues are operating in good faith. Kennedy replied:
"I think there are some Democrats [acting] in good faith, but I think some of their colleagues, it isn't about searching for the truth, it's about winning, -- just win, baby, win."It doesn't matter who gets destroyed. And these are people -- I'm not going to name names -- but I'm not sure they have a soul. I don't think their mother breast-fed them, I think they went right to raw meat."
During his opening remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Kavanaugh not only condemned overheated rhetoric, he directly tied criticisms of him to threats of physical violence.
"A Democratic senator on this committee publicly referred to me as evil," the Supreme Court nominee said. "'Evil.' Think about that word. And said that those that supported me were 'complicit and evil.' ... I understand the passions of the moment, but I would say to those senators: your words have meaning. Millions of Americans listened carefully to you. Given comments like those, is it any surprise that people have been willing to do anything to make any physical threat against my family?"
Kavanaugh's indignation lost some of its appeal when Donald Trump also started throwing around the word "evil" to describe Kavanaugh's opponents -- the president used the word again last night, right around the time he mocked Christine Blasey Ford over her sexual-assault allegation -- but I at least understood the point he was trying to convey.
But John Neely Kennedy, who's on the Judiciary Committee and heard Kavanaugh's testimony, decided it was time to question whether his Democratic colleagues have souls.
My point is not to finger-wave or condemn occasional hyperbole. Between the midterm elections and a debate over the least popular Supreme Court nominee in modern history, we're in the midst of some political tumult right now, and some over-the-top language is inevitable.
But I hope we haven't reached a point in which inflated rhetoric from one party is considered dangerous, while similar rhetoric from the other party is trivial.