Kavanaugh’s confirmation will radicalize the Democratic Party

Just as conservatives have wanted Republicans to govern with the same ruthlessness that they attribute to the Left, liberals will demand that the Democratic Party go completely scorched-earth in order to achieve their agenda. Any reticence or talk of preserving “institutional norms” will be fiercely condemned by a ravenous base. There’s no reason to play nice with Republicans, liberals will argue to any wobbly Democrats.

In such an environment, ideas currently viewed as being outside the mainstream could become real possibilities — impeachment of sitting justices or the possibility of packing the court by expanding it to 11 or more. Similar efforts could be employed at the lower court level to undo the broader Trump-McConnell judicial legacy.

This anger will no doubt manifest itself in other ways — providing more force, for instance, to liberal arguments in favor of ending the legislative filibuster to achieve the broader liberal agenda — $15 minimum wage, guaranteed jobs, universal free college, socialized healthcare, carbon controls, broader immigration, higher tax rates, and so on.

Of course, whatever Democrats attempt while they are in power will inevitably trigger an equal and opposite reaction, fueling another round of conservative anger and Republican rule.