That didn’t take long, did it?
On Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, former President Donald Trump‘s second appointment to the high court, tested positive COVID-19. The announcement was made on Friday.
“Per current Court testing protocols, all of the Justices were tested Monday morning prior to conference, and all tested negative, including Justice Kavanaugh,” a statement from the court read. “Justice Kavanaugh’s wife and daughters are also fully vaccinated, and they tested negative on Thursday. As a precaution, Justice and Mrs. Kavanaugh will not attend Justice Barrett’s investiture this morning.”
This shouldn’t have been any kind of story: Kavanaugh is vaccinated and, according to a statement from the Supreme Court, wasn’t experiencing any symptoms. He’s in his 50s and is unlikely to find himself in extremis.
And, indeed, it wasn’t much of a story. Instead, if there was any sort of story, it involved the barely concealed joy with which the left greeted the news.
For instance, MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin tweeted about the news. Here was the innocuous original:
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has tested positive for COVID.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 1, 2021
Now, there were no shortage of responses, most of which fit into one of four thoroughly tasteless categories: a) I guess beer doesn’t COVID, b) It couldn’t have happened to a better guy, c) COVID has Brett Kavanaugh or d) Did COVID have Kavanaugh’s consent?
Do you support Justice Kavanaugh?
Seeing that kind of thing from people with names like “Joy #TheResistance #BlueWave #BlackLivesMatter” isn’t surprising. What was surprising was the number of blue check marks willing to regurgitate (in every sense of the word) sentiments like these.
Here’s Variety film critic Joe Leydon saying, “Won’t laugh. Won’t cry,” presumably regarding anything bad that happens to Kavanaugh:
Won’t laugh. Won’t cry. https://t.co/zFZ30g8dSV
— Joe Leydon (@JoeLeydon) October 2, 2021
Justin Caffier of Vice and Vulture, meanwhile, was willing to laugh — or at least smile: “Finally, some good news,” he tweeted.
Finally, some good news. https://t.co/j79GtmFzcn
— justin caffier (@JustinCaffier) October 1, 2021
David Weissman of DemCast, meanwhile, summed it up thusly: “Oh well.”
— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) October 1, 2021
And the beat goes on:
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) October 1, 2021
This is the first time Corona enters his body without him chugging it https://t.co/ykxZyfh0tl
— Mohanad Elshieky (@MohanadElshieky) October 1, 2021
BREAKING: Supreme Court justice and sexual assault advocate Brett Kavanaugh has COVID.
He’s not complaining, as he has no problem with something entering someone’s body without their permission.
— Steve Hofstetter (@SteveHofstetter) October 1, 2021
Looks like we just found the only thing positive about Brett Kavanaugh
— Kate Willett (@katewillett) October 1, 2021
“Covid-19 virus angrily denies allegations that it ever assaulted Brett Kavanaugh’s immune system”
— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) October 1, 2021
COVID-19 has been infected by Brett Kavanaugh
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) October 1, 2021
And all within hours of the announcement on Friday. Wonderful.
Most of these, again, were the same four or five jokes. Amazingly, some of these came from comedians, notably Kate Willett and Mohanad Elshieky, who were busy stealing material like their name was Carlos Mencia. After scrolling through a whole litany of beer — and rape — themed jibes, they decided to add their own. Because why not?
And yes, I scarcely expected anything different in this situation — although I couldn’t have predicted the sheer number of people who’d ordinarily have high-profile jobs to worry about losing openly hoping for an ICU trip involving a Supreme Court justice.
I know, I know, we play this game a lot, but imagine any minor conservative celebrity greeting news of a Democrat politician being diagnosed with an easily treatable malignancy with a tweet reading, “More like stage FUN cancer, amirite?!”
But, to a certain extent, all of the beer-and-rape jokes are telling. It’s difficult to say anyone took the outrages of Brett Kavanaugh’s 2018 confirmation hearings seriously if these are the remarks they’re making.
An individual who genuinely believes the words of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez — and who thinks, absent much evidence, that Kavanaugh’s drinking in high school and college led him to sexually assault the two women — isn’t making jokes about how COVID is violating him or how beer is to blame. To the extent they thought they were credible, it was only because it helped their cause.
If they couldn’t defeat him, however, they can always root for him to leave the court in, ahem, other ways. It’s not like any of them will be held to account, after all.