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Donald Trump and what used to be the Republican Party are treating politics and governance as a zero sum game. Traditional Republicans held their noses and voted for someone of questionable character and ill-equipped to be president of the United States. Winning was all. It didn't matter by how or whom.

Kavanaugh's confirmation is a furtherance of this approach. There were several other well qualified conservative candidates, but in spite of Kavanaugh's background as a political operative, his parsing of the truth in earlier confirmation hearings and his extreme views on executive authority and liability, something that should be opposed by Conservatives, he was nominated and then plowed through even after credible allegations of sexual assault, excessive drinking and an unprecedented ultra-partisan tirade in his hearing raising character and judicial temperament issues.

In Montana we've seen a similar zero sum approach in the legislatures with a litmus test of far right ideological purity against moderate conservative Republicans as exposed in the “Dark Money” documentary. With the morphing of the Republican Party to the Trump party, the only solution is to elect Democrats as a check against this extremism.

Tom Romine


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