By all rights, Brett Kavanaugh’s dramatic confirmation hearings should have been the big story last week. But if the Sunday shows are a reliable barometer, the Senate Democrats’ concerted, if mostly ineffectual, assault on the very conservative D.C. appellate-court judge couldn’t compete with Bob Woodward’s incendiary new book, Fear, or the New York Times op-ed by an anonymous Trump administration official who thinks the president is unfit to govern.
The shows kept wending their way back to the “quiet resistance” inside the administration, from Woodward’s report of Defense Secretary James Mattis ignoring President Donald Trump’s order to assassinate Syria’s dictator to the anonymous op-ed author’s description of Trump’s sullen resistance to more sanctions after Russia poisoned an ex-spy in Britain. Guests on the shows included Vice President Mike Pence, the Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, former Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, Mark Warner, and Chris Coons.
Pence predictably condemned the anonymous column as “un-American” and an “assault on our democracy.” Speaking on Fox News Sunday, he said he does not know who wrote the piece but suggested that person should leave the administration. His less predictable response came when the host, Chris Wallace, asked whether top officials should submit to lie-detector tests to prove they did not write the op-ed. “I would agree to take it it in a heartbeat,” the vice president said.