But it's looking iffy now, post-Kavanaugh, and if they fail, they'll have the politically correct culture that has moved from college campuses into the Democratic Party to blame.
As I wrote in these pages back before the 2016 election, opposition to PC culture was a major source of Trump's appeal to voters. While most politicians, even Republican politicians, were afraid to challenge it head-on, Trump was unafraid, mocking the PC social justice warriors even on their own ground.
Since Trump's election, the response among Democrats has been to double down. After all, if Trump's against politically correct culture, then they have to be for it. But that puts them right where Trump wants them to be, because PC culture is highly unpopular.
Most Americans don't want to be 'woke' Don't just take my word for it. Here's what a recent article in The Atlantic, with the title "Americans strongly dislike PC culture" says:
"Among the general population, a full 80 percent believe that â€˜political correctness is a problem in our country.' Even young people are uncomfortable with it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24.
On this particular issue, the woke are in a clear minority across all ages. Youth isn't a good proxy for support of political correctness --- and it turns out race isn't, either.
Whites are ever so slightly less likely than average to believe that political correctness is a problem in the country: 79 percent of them share this sentiment. Instead, it is Asians (82 percent), Hispanics (87 percent) and American Indians (88 percent) who are most likely to oppose political correctness."
So political correctness is overwhelmingly unpopular with the vast majority outside of "woke" social-justice culture of progressive activists, which The Atlantic article tells us make up about 8 percent of the population.
But it's still a problem, because although the woke are a minority, they have a lot of influence in academia and journalism (which they dominate), and in the corporate world, where the demands of activists are usually acceded to, and where HR departments are staffed with sympathizers.
Thus we have a large group of Americans -- at 80 percent, we could call it a silent supermajority -- that feels pushed around by what turns out to be about 8 percent of the population. You'd expect that to be the end of things, as every sensible politician would want to take the side of the 80 percent over the 8 percent. But it's not that simple.
What PC culture is really about, as Wesley Yang notes, is power struggles within the elites. Yang writes: "Political correctness can thus be defined as the ideology of a distinct class of petty officeholders and office seekers within the therapeutic state." As Henry Louis Gates Jr. put it back in 1993, "They invite a regime so heavily policed as to be incompatible with democracy."
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS MAY BE BACK IN POWER SOON
Petty officials indeed: The main source of PC culture on campus isn't professors, who lean left, but the more numerous true believers in campus "diversity" and "student life" administrators, who lean much further left. And unsurprisingly, PC demands on campus always seem to wind up promoting more money and power for administrators. People who work in the corporate world see the same kind of thing going on there. And people who work outside of both look on and wonder whether everyone is going crazy.
The trouble for Democrats is that the activists who now run the party come from the PC activist camp. It's virtually impossible to oppose them, as President Bill Clinton once did, in an effort to reach out to mainstream America. But with 80 percent of America opposed to PC culture, it's easy for Republicans to make Democrats sound crazy just by quoting PC rules regarding everything from Halloween costumes to the number of genders then watching the Democrats rabidly defend them.
It's not just a problem for Democrats. Everyone else faces a problem, too: No party stays out of power forever, and as long as the Democrats are dominated by PC activists, sooner or later they'll get back in power, and the effort to make America look like a PC college campus will go into overdrive. We can only hope that they sober up before that happens.