Maybe you don't think of Senator Orrin Hatch as the kind of guy who writes for the trendy Daily Beast.
But he has and his article, headlined "Democrats Have Already Jumped the Shark on Judge Kavanaugh," is today's must-read. Sane and witty, a rare combination in our overheated atmosphere.
As you might recall, the expression "jumping the shark" comes from a show in the fifth season of the TV sitcom "Happy Days" when the Fonzie, the main character, jumps a shark while waterskiing .
The implausible scene signaled that the series had run out of gas. To jump the shark, as the Senator explains (I never pictured him watching the Fonzie either) has come to mean "to descend from seriousness to absurdity in a desperate attempt to retain relevance and attention."
Senator Hatch takes note of several ways in which the opposition to Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court has jumped the shark.
For example, there is that letter signed by 400 alums of Judge Kavanaugh's law school, Yale, that predicted doom for our way of life if the Judge is confirmed to the Supreme Court. Hatch writes:
The next day, a group of Yale students and alumni—Yale is Judge Kavanaugh’s alma mater—published an open letter prophesying that “people will die if he is confirmed.” In measured tones, these clairvoyants called Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination an “emergency—for democratic life, for our safety and freedom, and for the future of our country.”
Never in the history of the nation, or perhaps the world, has one person posed such a threat to everything we hold dear. The letter does not detail how Justice Kavanaugh will slay his victims, or what nefarious means he will employ to destroy our way of life. But we can be assured that he will be very, very bad. Because the letter authors tell us so.
The Senator then mentions the Washington Post's shocking revelation that Kavanaugh had had credit card debt. He paid it off but the newspaper still swooned that it was for buying tickets to baseball games. Echoing Mr. Kurtz in "Heart of Darkness," Hatch comments: "The horror."
Then there is Judge Kavanaugh's ritzy life style:
The Post continued to land body blows on Judge Kavanaugh with a follow-on exposé entitled “The Elite World of Brett Kavanaugh.” The Post’s crack reporting revealed that the blue-blooded, aristocratic judge enjoys coaching basketball and sharing a burger and beer with friends. He’s also a pretty good carpooler. His house has four bedrooms. He attends church services. He likes to banter with neighbors about baseball. (Oh no! Baseball again!) Can we really allow a person who leads such a cloistered, elitist existence to serve on the Supreme Court?
Hatch does make a serious point: this kind of hyperbolic rhetoric has characterized the left's response to the nominations to the Supreme Court by Republican Presidents for three decades.
If the rhetoric of the left seems more hyperbolic this go round, with Judge Kavanaugh, is may just be because they've jumped the shark. Here's the proof–they're even making fun of his name.
We thought only third graders did that.
And who knew that Senator Hatch was so funny?