Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball says Democrats need ‘revolutionary’ leader following Kavanaugh confirmation

By Krystal Ball
Opinion Contributor

With the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the 2020 battle lines have officially been drawn and one thing is clear. The Democratic leader we need isn’t a unifying statesman, it’s a revolutionary and here's why. 

For a while under Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE, it was possible to believe that we could go back to a more functional, less rancorous time. This desire was expressed most eloquently at John McCainJohn Sidney McCainIf you don't think illegal immigrants are voting for president, think again 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era Earth Day founder's daughter: Most Republican leaders believe in climate change in private MORE’s funeral services. Maybe we could have a leader who showed some restraint on the exercise of power, bring dignity back to the White House, restore some comity towards the other side, and try to rebuild the faith in our institutions. Now admittedly, this view was always really a fantasy. Our institutional decline started long before Trump came along. And just consider how well President Obama’s persistent attempts to work with Republicans went: no so well.

But now, whatever semblance of the “we need a statesman” fantasy remained, has been completely wiped out. There is no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. The Presidency, the Congress, and now the Supreme Court, will never be the same. A group of Senators, who represent significantly less than half the population, just crammed through a nominee in the most ugly and tribal way possible.

This comes after a year of refusing even to hold a hearing for President Obama’s nominee, Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandThe Hill's Morning Report — Category 5 Mueller storm to hit today McConnell touts Trump support, Supreme Court fights in reelection video Hatch warns 'dangerous' idea of court packing could hurt religious liberty MORE. It was a nakedly political power play that has exposed the Supreme Court as just another partisan proving ground. No controversial decision coming from this court will be considered anything other than just another expression of partisan sentiment. Precedent no longer means a damn thing when the previous decision was just the predictable result of the partisan makeup of the court. The remaining vestige of an idea that the court was some neutral arbiter above the partisan fray is done. Gone. Never coming back.

In this climate what’s called for is a renegade. If this country is going to have any hope, 2020 will not be about going back. It will be about forging something new from the broken pieces of our democracy. For potential 2020 candidates, I’m not looking for white papers. I’m not looking for flowery prose. I’m not looking for cross-aisle friendships. What we need is fortitude, moral clarity, an understanding of just exactly how screwed everything is right now, the willingness to blow shit up when necessary, and the ability to birth something fundamentally new. Because this thing we’ve gotten now is irreparably broken. How can we even call this a Democracy when the House, the Senate, the White House, and now the Supreme Court are all controlled by the representatives of a minority group in America?

This is no democracy and there will be no return to regular order. Wake up: The moderates aren’t going to save us. The midterms matter but they are not going to save us. Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE is not going to save us. The Republicans abandoned the pretext of democracy to fight a war for power long ago. It’s time we joined it.

Krystal Ball is the co-host of "Rising," Hill.TV's morning news show.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill.