, 18 tweets, 3 min read
My Authors
Read all threads
Supreme Ambition review: Trump, Kavanaugh and the right's big coup
Ruth Marcus’s well-sourced account reveals a conservative push to dismantle FDR’s legacy through the supreme court
Supreme Ambition has already earned the president’s ire. In a 24 November tweet, Donald Trump trashed the book, its author and her employer: “The Ruth Marcus book is a badly written & reseached [sic] disaster. So many incorrect facts. Fake News, just like the Washington Post!”
If the tweeter-in-chief had actually read it, he would probably be even more enraged.Apparently, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s appointees to the supreme court, don’t have the greatest regard for him. In the run-up to election day 2016,
Kavanaugh let it be known that “he thought Trump was a buffoon”, Marcus writes. As for Gorsuch,
the first appointee, in a conversation with Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Trump nemesis, he termed the president’s derisive remarks about the judiciary in the aftermath of the travel ban rulings “demoralizing” and “disheartening”. Gratitude and subservience go only so far.
The appointments of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh were not isolated events. Rather, they marked a culmination of a concerted effort by movement conservatives to remake the courts in their image. While abortion was very much
part of their agenda, so was stymying the administrative state and rolling back the New Deal.This past Monday, Kavanaugh flashed that he was there too, making that five justices in all, a majority. Expressly invoking a Gorsuch dissent, Kavanaugh observed that the “constitution’s
nondelegation doctrine … may warrant further consideration in future cases”. Paraphrasing the late chief justice William Rehnquist, he announced: “Major national policy decisions must be made by Congress and the
president in the legislative process, not delegated by Congress to the executive branch.”In other words, fetuses weren’t the only reasons that large checks were being cut to the Federalist Society, or that constitutional originalism
had become the civic religion of the right. FDR’s legacy had to be gutted. Social security may no longer be so secure As Supreme Ambition makes clear Trump delivered on his campaign promises, in large measure, because of the efforts of Don McGahn his now estranged former counsel,
and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader and a one-time McGahn patron. In the face of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony against Kavanaugh, whom she accused of sexual assault, it was the two men, along with former president George W Bush, who effectively held the line.
The nominee angrily denied the allegation but a worried Trump watched the reviews of Ford’s performance and phoned McGahn. He refused to pick up. McGahn explained his insubordination to his deputy, Annie Donaldson: “I don’t talk to quitters.”
As framed by Marcus, “the most important man in the world could not get through to his own lawyer”.Although McGahn and McConnell remained steadfast, other players did not. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner “both told the president, ‘Get rid of Kavanaugh and start over’”,
according to one White House adviser quoted by Marcus. Even Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society suffered from periodic bouts of pearl clutching.Never a “big Brett fan”, the man who did much to shape Trump’s court picks became “nervous” about Kavanaugh in the days preceding
his nomination. Then as Ford’s allegations became public, like Javanka, Leo raised the possibility of pulling the nomination As for Trump’s view of Leo, it was hardly kind: “Who’s this little fucking midget?”
Marcus’s reporting is consistent with Michael Wolff’s depiction in Siege of Trump coming to suspect he was being played by Leo and McGahn.Marcus reserves her own thoughts about Kavanaugh for the end. She acknowledges the evidence against him is far from a slam
dunk and does not accuse him of lying. Instead, she posits that what was “so searing to Ford was a passing frolic to Kavanaugh”. Having been heavily intoxicated, according to Ford, Kavanaugh simply didn’t remember the incident.
As for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Marcus contends that it “discredited the White House and Senate” and that Kavanaugh’s “tenure will forever have an asterisk attached – a blot on Kavanaugh and the court that is, to use Christine Blasey Ford’s phrase, indelible”.
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with James Mitchell Ⓥ

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!