The lesson of nominating Mitt Romney for president is that it doesn’t matter how objectively nice a Republican presidential candidate is, the media and Democrats will portray the person as a monster.

Romney was portrayed as someone whose main attributes were that he gave a woman cancer and kept women in binders. His decency on the campaign trail was not rewarded. The media swarmed to ensure his defeat.

Nominating objectively nice guy Brett Kavanaugh also wasn’t rewarded. They Romneyed him, portraying him as a liar seeking to enslave women and numerous identity groups.

David French at National Review catalogs the lies and deceptions by Democrat Senators and advocacy groups used to smear Kavanaugh:

For those keeping score at home, millions of Americans have now been exposed to false and ridiculous claims that Kavanaugh is a slippery perjurer who surrounds himself with racists and a cold, dark soul who deliberately snubbed a murdered child’s father.

The disruptions of the hearings were unprecedented for a Supreme Court nomination, with waves of Democrat Senators trying to prevent the hearings from going forward, and waves of screaming alt-left protesters shouting inside the hearing room.

Emily Zanotti expressed a sentiment I think a lot of people have at this point: F*** it, no more nominating Mr. Nice Guy:

Honestly, I don’t know why Trump picked Kavanaugh. Did anyone really think we were going to avoid this circus with a more “logical” SCOTUS pick? I’d have gone full right-wing. Let them bring the Handmaids. Let them rend their garments. LET THEIR TEARS FUEL THE FIRE WITHIN ME.

https://twitter.com/emzanotti/status/1037729463587495936

It wasn’t possible this time because Trump needed to keep Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski on board.

The Kavanaugh nomination was what I called Trump’s mature decision to nominate Brett Kavanaugh:

When it comes to Supreme Court nominees, we really do need OUR best and brightest. We need our Scalias on the high court. From what I’ve been able to gather, Kavanaugh is among our best and brightest, as was Gorsuch.

Trump now has nominated two Justices who have the potential to be intellectual heavyweights in the place we need that weight the most…

The closest I came to a prediction was when I commented:

The “rational” me says someone in Trump’s position would take the safe pick, Kavanaugh. Barring a skeleton in the closet, he’ll be confirmed before the First Monday in October.

But I suspected that Amy Coney Barrett would be the nominee because of the politics of the anti-Catholic bigotry focused against her. And it certainly would have made for amazing political theater. But Trump took the rational and mature approach.

That maturity has been the hallmark of Trump’s approach to reshaping the judiciary. And we will benefit from that maturity for a generation to come.

The next nominee will need to have impeccable credentials and be a star, because that is who WE WANT on the Supreme Court.

But should Republicans pick up 3-4 net seats this November, which is a real possibility, Trump will have more ideological leeway.

You know how you get the Supreme Court nominee you really want? You elect more Republican Senators.