Last week I was annoyed with Senate Democrats, especially the Judiciary Committee and specifically Senator Dianne Feinstein. The partisan hackery, double-dealing and refusal to turn over relevant documents in relation to the Kavanaugh nomination has been par for the Democratic playbook.

But this week I am apoplectic. Well, beyond apoplectic, but management won’t let me use the words I would prefer in my column, and I can’t think of a better word right now.

To be clear, I was not all that excited about Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a good judge, solid on his judicial philosophy and fidelity to the Constitution as it was written… just not one of my favorites.

For the record, I am holding all of my judicial excitement for Amy Coney Barrett, of the 7th Circuit Court, who has already faced an onslaught from Judiciary Democrats because of her devotion to her religion. She’s a practicing and faithful Catholic, by the way.

The rise in my ire is not just for the Democrats, but also for Republicans who have allowed themselves, and the nomination process, to be steamrolled. Democrats are ready to burn due process and the rule of law single-handedly as payback for Senator Mitch McConnell not holding hearings for Judge Merrick Garland in 2016.

Let me repeat this. The Democrats are smearing a man with a decades-long sterling record and reputation with 11th-hour accusations that have gotten progressively more fantastical because he does not agree with the legal rationale used to decide Roe vs. Wade.

Because that is what all of this boils down to… President Trump had the temerity to nominate a conservative to a Supreme Court seat that was held by a moderate.

Judge Garland, who is on the same circuit court as Judge Kavanaugh, was not savaged by Republicans. His reputation was not questioned. McConnell practiced what the Senate, and Democrats preached previously. No nominations in a presidential election year - the Biden Rule. Had Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer or Joe Biden done the same, Democrats would have been cheering in the streets rather than chasing officials out of restaurants trying to have a nice dinner with their families. In fact, Judge Garland and Judge Kavanaugh have agreed on over 90 percent of the cases they have heard.

I wholeheartedly agree with Senator Chuck Grassley’s assessment that someone making a serious claim to the Senate deserves to be heard. Does Senator Feinstein? I’m curious why no one in the press pool has questioned why the Senator purposely withheld documents germane to this nomination. There are ways to keep people’s names confidential during investigations. Senator Feinstein knows this. An investigation could have been done by the FBI, and was once the letter was given to them. A criminal investigation into the allegations would have to be done by law enforcement in the town or county the alleged crime took place in. But that is not the point of this current exercise.

And the Judiciary Committee has tried, repeatedly, to do exactly that. I forget how many extensions to testify Grassley has offered the professor at this point… is it eight? To the point that even many liberals are wondering why Republicans haven’t moved to a straight up or down vote on the nomination.

It seems as if negotiations for Professor Ford to head to Washington, D.C., to testify have had more back and forth than the NAFTA negations. The shifting back and forth… from who will question both Ford and Kavanaugh, to the location and time, have all seemed a delay tactic. Democrats have publicly said the goal was to delay confirmation long enough to keep the seat empty until 2020, when they get a do over of the presidential election.

Sunday night brought the worst out of the woodwork. Not to miss tacking on to his 15 minutes of fame, Michael Avenatti (lawyer to Stormy Daniels) released an email to the Judiciary Committee accusing Judge Kavanaugh and a friend who was named as a purported witness to Professor Ford’s allegation, of horrific sexual abuse without any evidence or detail.

Those latest allegations were so unhinged Senator McConnell felt compelled to give a scathing rebuke from the Senate floor and Avenatti has protected his twitter account and said he will be offering no more information.

So the Republicans, who apparently are learning some lessons about the ways of Democrats, are starting to get wise to the game. These delays were just cover to buy time, for more scurrilous allegations and to run out the clock.

Senator Grassley hired a female prosecutor who specializes in sex crimes as a special investigator for the Committee to look into this matter and handle all questions in the hearing from the Republicans. Ford’s lawyers were first upset that Senators would be questioning her, as all those men are very intimidating. Now (as of Monday night) they are demanding the name of the prosecutor, upset she is doing the questioning, as it’s the Senators’ job to question and investigate! As of this writing, it is still up in the air if Professor Ford will appear before the committee.

If I was Professor Ford, I might start to question whether my attorneys, one of whom was an advisor to Anita Hill, were more concerned with my well-being or more focused on Democrat’s electoral chances in the midterms.

Of course, a more cynical person might question the oddity that Judge Kavanaugh managed to find only those who would eventually become Democrat activists to allegedly harm over 30 years ago.

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at tbutero@mattosnews.com or by calling (209) 862-2222.