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September 12, 2018

Comments

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/09/big-show-trump-celebrates-misogyny-and.html

As a pessimist and cynic I do believe that this will be handled as 'a matter of principle', i.e. the R leadership will be even more determined to confirm Kavanaugh. To do otherwise would be 'weakness' and 'set a bad precedent'. From their POV the mere fact that there is a second coming of Anita Hill is proof that they were too soft then and should not repeat that error. It's not the hill to die but to kill on.
Not to forget that they are likely to keep the senate and thus have a fair chance to get another go (RBG could die of natural causes any day).
It's also necessary to keep control of any even merely potential conscientious objectors in the ranks (Collins, Murkowski), a loyalty test.

Had Kavanaugh merely said something like this, when the allegation first surfaced:

He couldn't because they led with 'he's a decent family man' and 'carpool dad' and they played that lede hard from the very beginning. He can't come back now and say something like that. Maybe they went with that not because they knew that this was in the background (thought the 65 women lined up as supporters makes one wonder) but because they wanted to take the focus off of Kavanaugh's work product. Whatever the reason, they have made it virtually impossible for Kavanaugh to withdraw.

Had Kavanaugh merely said something like this, when the allegation first surfaced:

He couldn't because...

He couldn't because the next ten thousand articles would have been about his drinking problem to go with his gambling problem, all tied to the fact that he is lying about not remembering and since he admitted raping someone how can an admitted rapist be allowed on the SC. Then followed by another ten thousand articles on how anyone who could do this at 17 is still a rapist and would likely use his SC seat to protect himself from all those other charges that are surely coming.

The idea that if he had just "come clean and admitted it might have been him and apologized" then all would have been well is naïve bullshit.

The right answer from his perspective was I didn't do it. See, if he doesn't remember doing it that still isn't a lie and is much more effective than gosh I just cant remember, which would be translated as a confession.

If he'd done that, there would have been a flurry of recriminations. But the nomination would have been safe.

Yep.

For "flurry of recriminations", read Marty's "ten thousand articles". And then, it would be done, there would be nothing in it anymore to hold over his head.

Now it's all or nothing.

I'll also say that, assuming there is something to Ford's story, the decent thing to do as a human being and responsible adult is to say something along the lines of what wj outlined and take your lumps, whatever they may be.

I have no opinion about whether Kavanaugh did, or did not, assault Ford. I have no opinion because I don't have the information needed to have an opinion. All of that said, Ford's story is credible. The (R)'s are not going to be able to simply dismiss this.

Short of Ford turning out to be either (a) insane or (b) demonstrably a (D) plant, I don't see any way for Kavanaugh to come out of this undamaged.

And Whelan may find himself in jail.

Welcome to the Thunderdome.

The other thing I'll say is that the (R) response to all of this is doing Kavanaugh no favors.

He looks worse every single day, and it's not just because of Ford.

and somehow Gorsuch wasn't buried under ten thousand unfair slanderous articles.

since Gorsuch and Kanvanaugh are the same exact person, with the same exact history, the difference must be ... The Democrats' fault.

always is.

The right answer from his perspective was I didn't do it.

Not because it is 'right', but because it preserves his chances. That's not how people really should behave is my feeling, but Marty obviously feels differently. Marty, have you boofed yet?

Oops.

I guess "please don't send me to jail" didn't fit in 140 characters.

As for the 65 women signing the letter, it appears that it wasn't planned at all and happened in a matter of hours in response to Ford's accusations.

And on the topic of letters, why won't Feinstein turn over the unredacted letter from Ford?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-gop-fighting-so-hard-for-kavanaugh-2018-09-21?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

"Marty, have you boofed yet?"

Really?

lj and russell: I read what Whelan wrote before lj commented about it and simply couldn't believe anyone would ever tweet/post/write about something like that naming names and expose someone without any proof other than pure speculation. And that was after I had already thought that mistaken identity was a possibility. But then I forgot it was he who exposed publius, so thanks for that reminder, l.j.

It would only be a sane act if one knew it were true (and his own words belied that fact as does his apology now).

why won't Feinstein turn over the unredacted letter from Ford?

perhaps Ford hasn't giver her permission to ?

Nobody on this thread knows the facts about what happened.

Ford has made an accusation. She appears to be a credible person, and her story is plausible.

Kavanaugh categorically denies it.

So, we are now in he said/she said territory. The only other witness is Judge, and he is... not so credible, and also doesn't appear to want to get into it.

Some clarity might be gained by a clean, professional third party investigation, e.g. by the FBI. They don't appear to be eager to get involved, and nobody in a position to require them to do so appears interested in making that request.

Trump could say that the whole situation has simply become too fraught to continue, withdraw Kavanaugh, and nominate one of the other eleventy-million Federalist justices waiting in line. But he's not likely to do that, because he's Trump, and chaos is mother's milk to him.

So, we wait. We wait for somebody to screw up, which may already have happened if Kavanaugh had anything whatsoever to do with Whelan's opus, or we wait until the Senators and Ford's attorneys do their dance about whether and when and under what conditions Ford will talk. Or we wait for Grassley et al to just say screw it, we're voting.

And it will all land someplace, but as far as I can tell that could be anywhere.

I don't think Feinstein owes the rest of the world Ford's unredacted letter, and if the whole timing thing is just partisan ju-jitsu, I don't see that the (R)'s have any standing whatsoever to complain.

What goes around etc.

It is, basically, a dysfunctional freaking mess. A partisan knife fight. That is what governance is at the moment in the US.

I don't mind that the (D)'s are throwing every wrench they can lay their hands on in the gears, because that tells me they're finally getting a realistic understanding of the lay of the land.

But I'd really rather have a functioning government.

Want a conservative court? Withdraw Kavanaugh. He is now officially radioactive. Put up somebody else. The (D)'s will squawk, but you'll get your vote, and you'll get your conservative SCOTUS majority for the next 20 years at least. And you'll probably get it before the mid-terms.

Want to make some big point about whose is bigger? Want to own some libs? Carry on, (R)'s, just the way you are.

That's a mighty fine shovel you got there, just keep on digging that hole. Let us know when you get to the bottom.

Well, it appears that Trump's ability to keep his mouth shut has hit the wall
https://mobile.twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1043126336473055235

Not suure how much it helps (or hurts) the Kavanaugh nomination. But it's easy to see what it may do come November.

P.S. does anyone recall questions being raised about why those who got molested by Catholic priests waited so long to come forward?

Trump displaying his characteristic charm:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/09/trump-hannity-interview-brett-kavanaugh-accusations.html

According to Politico:
..a Republican close to the confirmation process described Trump's comments as a necessary shift of tone to put the White House back on offense for Kavanaugh: “This is getting ridiculous. The president had to step in."

The party of open misogyny.

Biden at least regrets his role in the Hill debacle.
https://thinkprogress.org/christine-blasey-ford-brett-kavanaugh-anita-hill-clarence-thomas-orrin-hatch-mitch-mcconnell-chuck-grassley-d2b3cbfa14ef/
Only four Senators who supported Thomas remain in office: Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Richard Shelby...

The rest of them ?

That's a mighty fine shovel you got there . . .

But it's easy to see what it may do come November.

Could be right. Maybe not. Time will tell. If Ford refuses to testify, or continues to insist on parameters that are plainly unreasonable (in terms of process), then I can see this going the other way. I can already see it going the other way without that, in fact. Of course, if something comes up definitive all bets are off either way, but russell is right I think. We are likely not going to learn anything definitive about what did or did not happen.

that are plainly unreasonable (in terms of process)

FFS, the Senate is entirely in charge of its own process. if they actually gave a shit about the issue at hand, they'd make the necessary arrangements. they made some f'ing unreasonable process choices when it came to Garland, for example.

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

A truly great quote:

“If he had been in a drunken accident and left someone crippled,” she added, “he would have to take responsibility for his actions. Why is this any different?”
Not sure there's a good answer to that one.

good question about Whelan's nonsense:

his whole theory about walking distance proving the doppelganger etc is based on knowing the location of the house where the alleged assault happened.

how did he know that?

it's not in Ford's letter.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/rosenstein-suggested-he-secretly-record-trump-discussed-25th-amendment-new-york-times-2018-09-21?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

If Kavanaugh did it he should own up and withdraw, if he doesn't know whether he did it or not he should say so and withdraw, if he knows he didn't do it, as I would, he should say that, as he has done.

Given his history with Bill Clinton, I have no sympathy for Kavanaugh. But I still don't like this process - if this nomination can be derailed by a single unfalsifiable accusation from decades ago, then any nomination can be derailed. Ford seems honest to me, but that doesn't mean that all accusers will be.

However, I see nothing unreasonable in Ford's declining to co-operate with the Senate Republicans' rush to get Kavanaugh confirmed before the mid-term elections. There's no non-partisan reason why this should be done so quickly. If the allegation is to be heard, then the background facts - where and when was the party, and who attended it - should in so far as possible be established first.

And it remains outrageous that a party which almost never wins a plurality of the popular vote should seize control of the Supreme Court for decades.

Ford seems honest to me, but that doesn't mean that all accusers will be.

That is why we'd normally expect a relatively neutral party to investigate it.

https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2018/09/21/brett-kavanaugh-s-friend-mark-judge-advocated-bigotry-and-extremism-and-even-wrote-about-being/221400

that are plainly unreasonable (in terms of process)

That rather reminds me of this:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/09/chuck-grassley-brett-kavanaugh-sexual-assault-republicans.html
Whether or not you believe Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh committed a violent sexual assault in his high school days, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley wants you to know there is at least one unambiguous victim in this scenario: Chuck Grassley...

Pity that Senator Grassley has not figured out, in the decades since his trashing of Anita Hill (he was a member of the Judiciary Committee for those hearings), how to defend himself against this kind of attack. Poor boy!

A very good article on the difference between the way teens and octogenarian Republican Senators view the sexual responsibility of teenagers...
https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/09/what-teens-think-of-brett-kavanaugh-high-school-sexual-assault-accusations/570994/

also, stuff like this is why I haven't read the NYT since the Bill Keller / Judith Miller days.

Lovely prose, crap newspaper.

how did he know that?

He was there. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

If he was there, why not do the right thing (for his cause) and announce that it was actually him? Maybe not as committed to the cause as he pretends....

Of course, someone might go back and check the facts to prove that he wasn't there. But since when do facts matter?

But I still don't like this process - if this nomination can be derailed by a single unfalsifiable accusation from decades ago, then any nomination can be derailed.

An investigation would either exonerate him, further implicate him, or yield nothing. If it exonerated him, he would be good to go. If it were indeterminate, there would be a cloud, but R's could still vote for him based on whatever. Obviously, it could further implicate him, which is what it seems that they're afraid of by refusing it. R's prefer to confirm him under a cloud than testing the truth. To me, it doesn't seem that "any nomination can be derailed." This nominee hasn't been vetted. Not for this, and not for anything else that the hidden documents would disclose.

Sapient, I agree. I don’t see how any investigation is likely to get anything useful out of an incident that Ford says she never reported to anyone for 20 years, and then to her therapist. This seems like less corroboration is likely than for Juanita Broadrrick’s claim of Bill Clinton’s completed rape of her (she told friends contemporaneously and had a bruise from it at the time).

But if that’s it for corroboration, and if there is no pattern (Bill Cosby’s victims gained corroboration credibiltiy from each other)

So I’m not holding up much hope that an investigation gets anything. And we probably can’t have a good talk about how to deal with old/uncorroborated accusations with everyone so invested in the outcome.

Slightly different topic—I’ll be livid with the NYT if they precipitate a constitutional crisis where a Trump freaks out about Rosenstein because they can’t report the difference between sarcastic and non sarcastic things along the lines of what are you going to do, secretly tape him?

You're all about whataboutism, Seb.

I do agree with your 5:56 though.

The Swift Boaters, who should have been killed a long time ago for enabling the theft of yet another fucking American election, are up to their rotting anti-American dicks in this:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/swift-boat-firm-whelan-kavanaugh

A little more color on the Rosenstein plant:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/09/21/is-rod-rosenstein-the-anonymous-op-ed-writer/

Patti Davis say me, too:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-was-sexually-assaulted-heres-why-i-dont-remember-many-of-the-details/2018/09/21/8ce0088c-bdab-11e8-8792-78719177250f_story.html

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a23365935/new-york-times-rod-rosenstein-25th-amendment-donald-trump/

she never reported to anyone for 20 years, and then to her therapist.

The most believable thing to me in all of this is the idea that Ford would not have reported the assault to the cops at the time. Or, to her folks, or to anyone except possibly a personal confidant.

Especially considering that she was 15 at the time.

As an almost 62-year-old woman, this stuff is very hard to discuss. It has a lot to do with our own self-image. People might glom onto stuff, but women my age all have stories.

she never reported to anyone for 20 years, and then to her therapist.

My rejoinder is going to sound dismissive and sarcastic, and to a certain extent it is, but I hope you can ignore that and attend to the core of what I'm pointing out. First of all, we don't know if she didn't tell _anyone_, but even if that was the case, I'd suggest you find some people who were in the closet in the mid 70's and ask them why they didn't come forward. You may even find some who waited 20 years...

“First of all, we don't know if she didn't tell _anyone_”

Well she claims that she didn’t tell anyone until she told her therapist. I don’t find that unbelievable at all. It just doesn’t help.

She may not have told anyone, but I bet the two bozos did.

She may not have told anyone, but I bet the two bozos did.

Probably. IF they weren't so drunk that they couldn't remember. Which, according to Mr Judge's writings, was common. (Which in turn makes one wonder how Kavanaugh can be so certain it never happened.)

Seb, sorry, I misread what you said and thought you were doubting the claim because she hadn't reported it. I'm not sure if I agree with the idea that there is nothing that can be done to investigate the claim (especially since it speaks to a pattern of behavior and there is plenty of evidence for a range of problematic activities at Georgetown Prep

https://www.chicagotribune.com/g00/news/nationworld/politics/ct-kavanaugh-georgetown-prep-parties-20180920-story.html?i10c.encReferrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvLmpwLw%3D%3D&i10c.ua=1&i10c.dv=15

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/georgetown-prep-student-party-culture-kavanaugh_us_5ba28cf7e4b07c23ef37a06c

but by invoking the 'she didn't say anything for 20 years, that seems to license things like Donald Trump's tweet

https://time.com/5403230/donald-trump-tweets-sexual-assault-reporting/

lj: I'm not sure if I agree with the idea that there is nothing that can be done to investigate the claim

Well, I'm sure: OF COURSE it's possible to investigate.

What do the Republicons want? Videotape?

Grassley, Hatch, and company (not to mention Flake, Collins, Murkowski, and all other "reasonable Republicans") are even more subservient to He, Trump than the lickspittle who said

No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.
Mitch McConnell, it goes without saying, is simply a professional asshole. If our resident "conservatives" want to make excuses for him, who am I to stop them from abasing themselves?

--TP

Seb, sorry, I misread what you said and thought you were doubting the claim because she hadn't reported it.

I made the same error.

Yes, it makes it more difficult to figure out who is telling the truth.

Seriously, if Trump had any sense at all - or frankly if Kavanaugh had any sense at all - they would withdraw Kavanaugh's nomination and pick somebody else.

They'd get their vote, they'd get their conservative majority, and Kavanaugh would have to settle for merely being a DC Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals justice, for the rest of his life.

And in a year "Brett Kavanaugh" would be the answer to a trivia question. 99% of people's memories are just not that long, because they're just not that into political inside baseball.

Whether being denied a SCOTUS seat is fair or not is almost beside the point. Life has been more than fair enough to Brett Kavanaugh.

I actually hope his name isn't withdrawn, because every day this circus continues, the (R)'s lose another couple of thousand women voters. Lotta men, too.

But it would be nice to have this bullshit over and done.

From the right, a face-saving argument for Kavanaugh to withdraw.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/kavanaugh-confirmation/571021/

Frankly, I suspect that, even if Kavanaugh was inclined to heed this advice, Trump would insist on going to the mat. No matter, perhaps even especially, if he is being advise to cut his losses.

I’m not invoking Trump. I’m saying that waiting 20 years makes it very difficult to investigate. I totally get why a 15 or 16 year old girl (she isn’t certain which year) wouldn’t want to tell anyone. I’m not blaming her for not telling. I’m just stating the fact that 20 years before she tells anyone and 30 years before going public makes it super hard to investigate. So if the FBI doesn’t turn up anything useful, it won’t be shocking. It isn’t strictly impossible that we could find out more. But it seems super likely that we may already have all the useful information we are going to get.

I'm not sure if I agree with the idea that there is nothing that can be done to investigate the claim..

Of course it is possible to investigate.
At the most basic level, Kavanaugh denies even being at the party.
Properly checking that claim is something that would be relatively simple, and take maybe a week or two.
It’s possible that no one remembers, and there is no real evidence either way, but finding out would be absolutely standard procedure for the FBi background checkers.

Framing this as a criminal investigation that shouldn’t be held because it’s decades too late is simply misdirection by the Senate Republicans.

Ford’s lawyer makes some similar points about the bad faith of the Republicans:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/09/christine-blasey-ford-response-grassley-committee-deadline.html
Exhibit one is the tetchy tweet from Grassley, who has learned nothing, and forgotten nothing, from his role in the Anita Hill affair.

I do not often agree wholewheartedly with Benjamin Wittes, but his Atlantic article on Kavanaugh seems entirely persuasive.
In fact the only thing which worries me about it is that were Republicans to follow his advice, they would find it far easier to ensure a right wing Court.

The whole article should be read, as it sets out very clearly and persuasively how we should think of burden of proof in relation to the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice, but this gives a flavour:

Putting it all together, Kavanaugh’s task strikes me as an unenviable one. He needs to prove a negative about events long ago with sufficient persuasiveness that a reasonable person will regard his service as untainted by the allegations against him, and he needs to do so using only arguments that don’t themselves taint him.

If Kavanaugh believes he can do this, he should certainly try. In fairness to both Ford and to him, I will reserve judgment on the merits of the matter until I hear a full account of both sides of it. I urge others to do the same. I can imagine, in theory, defenses that would meet the high bar I think Kavanaugh needs to clear.

But if Kavanaugh cannot present such a defense—even if he truly believes himself innocent, even if he is innocent—the better part of valor is to get out now...

Sorry, link:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/kavanaugh-confirmation/571021/

“Properly checking that claim is something that would be relatively simple, and take maybe a week or two.”

She doesn’t know which year it was in. How are you going to check a claim like ‘there was a party of two maybe three other people sometime in about an 18 month span in and around Georgetown Prep.’?

Again, I’m not saying that she unbelievable, in fact I believe her, but that isn’t the kind of claim that is “relatively simple” to check.

Don’t you think the FBI might be best placed to answer that question, if you can’t ?

Another, directly relevant, perspective:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/copaken-kavanaugh/571042/

There really doesn’t seem to be any desire on the part of the right to talk about any of this.

I would disagree on at least one point: if Kavanaugh withdraws his nomination, this will be interpreted as admission of guilt independent of the truth of the allegation.
The behaviour of his proponents in the whole process assures that.
And his service will be tainted by the mere fact of him being nominated and confirmed by the current bunch in WH and Senate. If anyone there believed him to be an impartial non-hack, he would never have been considered in the first place. The only way to 'un-taint' for him would be to join the 'liberal' side of the court in some cases of importance and high publicity. But that would mark him as a 'traitor' to the cause.
I assume this will go the 'natural' way. He will get confirmed (maybe with Pence breaking the tie should Murkowski be allowed to say nay in order to save her seat) and then behave exactly as expected. And I am enough of a cynic that him being tainted by suspicion of having commited impeachable acts (perjury topmost) could serve as a safeguard for his masters to keep him in line ('be our guy or WE will come after you, and WE know exactly where the corpses are buried').

To play devil's advocate: Since the FBI is the constant target of The Donald's ire, it can't be used as an impartial investigator. If they find credible evidence, it's just to get back at The Donald; if they find none, it's just to improve their standing with him. So, nothing they could do would find acceptance.

I’m not invoking Trump. I’m saying that waiting 20 years makes it very difficult to investigate.

Just to be clear, I wasn't accusing you of invoking Trump, I was just pointing out that precisely the same argument is being used by some as a way of trying to dismiss the question and as such, I would be hesitant to invoke it. To draw a parallel, if I believe that genetic factors play into intelligence, I would nonetheless be very hesitant to argue that given that the argument is used in a way that I think is purposefully in bad faith.

Also, this via Deadspin (via LGM) is precisely correct.

It has to be this guy. It has to be this guy now more than ever. It has to be this guy, now, because he has been accused, credibly, of attempting to rape a 15-year-old girl in 1982—moreover because people believe this should be considered a disqualifying blight on his record. The thing that must happen is that those people must be defeated. That is the whole point.

When the opinion is presented that somehow, the left is intransigent, this moment, regardless of the outcome, should be remembered.

"Whether being denied a SCOTUS seat is fair or not is almost beside the point. Life has been more than fair enough to Brett Kavanaugh."

The right isn't interested in discussing Kavanaugh becsuse this is the level of argument from the left. Hes a white make so it is not required to treat him fairly.

The right isn't interested in discussing Kavanaugh becsuse this is the level of argument from the left. Hes a white make so it is not required to treat him fairly.

Did you read the Wittes article ?
He is, by any measure, of the right. He has not, however, abandoned principle, or argument from good faith.

Hes a white make so it is not required to treat him fairly

You're making some very large assumptions here.

As always, maybe address things I actually say, rather than what you think I say.

There are millions and millions of white men who have not been treated particularly fairly by life. Brett Kavanaugh is not one of them.

I don't speak for "the left". According to some here, "the left" includes everyone from Che Guevara to Elizabeth Warren, so I don't even know what "the left" means.

Elizabeth Warren? I think "the left" goes as far as just about anyone with "D" after her name. Hillary Clinton, pro-business and hawkish DLC type that she is, is considered a leftist by a good number of people. The American political frame of reference is way, way out of kilter.

Wittes is very much an outlier on the right; this is the more common approach where good faith argument is concerned -

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/09/gop-disavows-ed-whelans-kavanaugh-conspiracy-thread.html
”Ed Whelan is the model of careful, discerning legal analysis and commentary. It’s why all of us who know him take everything he says and writes so seriously,” said Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, where Whelan writes on judicial issues...

if Kavanaugh withdraws his nomination, this will be interpreted as admission of guilt independent of the truth of the allegation.

Most folks will have no strong opinion or interest in his guilt or innocence. It's just more Washington BS.

Most folks that will have an opinion already have it. If it were possible for the FBI or whoever to conduct a truly conclusive investigation, different story, but as Sebastian points out, that is probably not on offer.

If he withdraws, he'll be under a cloud. If he doesn't withdraw and is confirmed, he'll be under a cloud.

The advantage of withdrawing is that it avoids dragging himself, his family, Ford and her family, the SCOTUS, the Senate, and the nation, through an ugly freaking mess. Or I should say, further into that mess, and perhaps never through.

How bad do the principals want this? Is it worth it?

I'd say no, but I'm not them.

Talking of being ‘under clouds’...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/christine-blasey-ford-wanted-to-flee-the-us-to-avoid-brett-kavanaugh-now-she-may-testify-against-him/2018/09/22/db942340-bdb1-11e8-8792-78719177250f_story.html?utm_term=.de06ae6e9b7f
Russell struggled to explain it to his children. “I said that Mommy had a story about a Supreme Court nominee, and now it’s broken into the news, and we can’t stay in the house anymore,” he recalled. The family was separated for days, with the boys staying with friends and their parents living at a hotel. They’ve looked into a security service to escort their children to school.

While Ford met the FBI on Friday to discuss her safety, critics continued questioning her motives and memory. Why, they ask, did she wait decades to come forward? Trump joined the chorus on Twitter, declaring, “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.”...

if he withdraws, the Republican base will be very upset and will wail and cry that their Leaders caved in to the perfidious Dems. and that will not do, so close to an election.

russell: If it were possible for the FBI or whoever to conduct a truly conclusive investigation, different story

Oh come on. Kavanaugh asserts the party never happened and anyway he wasn't there. An FBI investigation MIGHT prove or disprove those assertions -- if it is conducted.

The one and only sure thing is that if the FBI does NOT investigate, then the FBI cannot prove or disprove Kavanaugh's assertions.

--TP

The advantage of withdrawing is that it avoids dragging himself, his family, Ford and her family, the SCOTUS, the Senate, and the nation, through an ugly freaking mess.

It would in fact be an act of great decency to withdraw for the purpose of sparing all these people, especially Ford and her family, the trouble this is causing them.

He could even continue to maintain his innocence, or hedge somehow:

"I drank a lot in high school (hardly a secret at this point) so maybe I just forgot."

Is doing that conceivable? I doubt it.

I don't speak for the Left in America because I haven't known what it is ever since the conservative movement named Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, and Abraham Lincoln as honorary members in good standing of the Left for THEIR crimes against the hurt butts of whining contemporary conservatives.

But I will say this regarding the decades-long culture war against all things supposedly Left, like the so-called sexual revolution, yet another fucking conservative movement shibboleth.

Whatever the Left is, the conservative movement owes us a truckload of gratitude .. we'll skip the apologies, shove those .... for making available to you and allowing you randy, alcoholic horn dogs the opportunity to partake, indeed, far surpass in the sheer abundance, like unfriendly friends with benefits, all of the strange fruits of the so-called loosening of the country's moral fiber supposedly perpetrated by the Woodstock Left ... the fucking and the sucking and the boozing and the pharmaceutical miscalculations ... and then you rat fuckers turn around and proclaim yourselves not only above it all, but virtuous religious zealots to boot and then demonize us, your benefactors of the sinful fun you have so enjoyed during your lives and THEN, re-jigger the laws to punish said behavior and to boot the contraception that makes the fun you take for yourselves safe, and, yet another boot, you don't want to pay your fucking taxes.

You do realize that Kavanaugh and company, should they admit any culpability about this case at all, are going to swiftly go all Phyllis Schafly/Jimmy Swaggart and turn around and cast the blame for their robust rowdy behavior (at least we lefties, for the most part, ask permission first, on the sexual revolution and do the dirty right in town unlike all of the conservative big-haired grifting preachers, renting a room at the motel on the edge of town under an assumed name and then call the woman who showed up for the assignation a whore and a hussy, you fucks.

Rape. We have a lout who stole a Presidential election while all ten of his stubby fingers were inserted in beauty queens AND because he said the (all, not a few) Hispanics entering the country are RAPISTS.

Well, I'd say the Republican Party supplies all of the rapists America needs at the moment, so why import more of them, Hanh?

And if they don't supply them, they make up a bunch of shit about Emmett Till.

I suspect one of mp's piercing questions, reaching deep down into his single legal brain cell, for Kavanaugh during the "exhaustive" search for the next Supreme Court Justice to replace Merrick Garland was something along the lines of:

"So, Brett, Georgetown Prep, huh? (Wink) I've heard things. Very, very good things.
You know, at the New York Military Academy, we had few chances to get our wicks wet, I mean, without going into town and paying for it, which I hate by the way, why should you and I have to pay what is for the taking and the branding? So, let me ask you, the poontang there, how was it? Plenty of it for the taking, I expect. Your background should help me, and by me, I mean ME, when I need to finally fuck all of the pigs.

Because, of course, the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee were already in such a strong position:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/grassley-adviser-resigns-after-sexual-harassment-accusation/2018/09/22/f8f93fb6-be73-11e8-be70-52bd11fe18af_story.html

Well, I suppose there's a reason why Kavanaugh's supporters worry that, if we pay attention to plausible charges of sexual harassment "no man is safe" -- in their social circles, that may be true.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-is-ready-for-justice-department-jihad-after-rod-rosenstein-report?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

weird how all these Trump-adjacent men keep getting accused of sexual crimes

https://www.newsweek.com/former-trump-aide-administered-abortion-pill-1134501

At least Mr. Ventry, in wj's link, decided to take his lumps and move on for the sake of whatever bigger-than-him mission Grassley and his crew think they are on.

An odd sort of unselfish self-immolation, at least, apparently unavailable to Kavanaugh's ethic.

cleek, that sounds like the republican version of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Just Take It"

That smoothie mentioned in the link is a good metaphor for the entire grifting conservative machine.

Here, drink this. We're pro-whatever-suits-me and anti-choice-whatever-the-choice in this grifting outfit.

When abortion is outlawed, only republican outlaws will be handing out smoothies.

Elections for republicans: What flavor Smoothie would you like?

Sir, are you a friend and associate of mp?

Well, I'm an adjacency is what I'd call it.

Withdrawing is only an act of great decency because it let's the left win. Just like the right believes that it would be decent if people didn't make 35 year old allegations that are insubstantiable.

The decent thing is to have some empathy for both of the people involved and respect what they decide to do.

Empathy left the room a long time ago:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/9/22/1797264/-Trump-administration-to-cut-Head-Start-cancer-research-to-fund-their-child-detention-camps

The believed-in decency of the Right:

https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018/09/21/crtvs-steven-crowder-christine-blasey-ford-lying-whore/221408

Marty: 35 year old allegations that are insubstantiable

Without any investigation, of course they're "insubstantiable".

Without any investigation, Bratt Kavanaugh's present-day assertions that there was no party and anyway he wasn't there are ALSO "insubstantiable".

A real investigation could very conceivably prove that Kavanaugh's assertions are true. But it could also prove they're false. So we must not have one, lest Mitch McConnell's promise to "values voters" go unfulfilled.

--TP

Withdrawing is only an act of great decency because it let's the left win

How is it a win for the left? The decent thing to do would be to appoint a moderate Justice. That would be a win for the centre. In practice, if Kavanaugh withdraws, any replacement nominated by Trump will move the Court to the right. The only faction which can win with this unspeakable President and Senate is the far-right minority.

The swing vote on the Court used to be Anthony Kennedy, a right-wing Justice with libertarian leanings, nominated by Ronald Reagan. When Trump gets his choice confirmed, whoever it eventually is, the swing vote will be John Roberts, a very right-wing Justice nominated by George W Bush.

The Republican party, by good luck, procedural trickery, and highly partisan nominations, has long since stolen the Supreme Court. Why on earth should any fair-minded person, of whatever allegiance, be concerned that further theft is being slowed down a little?

Just like the right believes that it would be decent if people didn't make 35 year old allegations that are insubstantiable.

the right believes Trump can do no wrong and they are therefore obligated to defend him tooth and nail in all things.

see you in November, cultists.

Just like the right believes that it would be decent if people didn't make 35 year old allegations that are insubstantiable.

your stupid party elected a guy whose first political foray was as a fucking BIRTHER.

Withdrawing is only an act of great decency because it let's the left win.

Perhaps I'm missing something. But it looks to me like what withdrawing does is let the right win.

They can get another conservative Justice (there's no shortage of possibilities) appointed. And the left won't have the current circus, and blatant display of clueless sexism, to motivate their base and suck in independent, and even Republican, women.

Of course what it doesn't do is let Trump win. But what honest conservative sees Trump as anything but a "useful idiot"?

Wow, "blatant display of clueless sexism"

That's an echo chamber statement if I ever heard one. In what fucking way is anything going on here blatant sexism?

Completely unsubstantiated last minute accusation, complete lack of anyone to corroborate, denial by accused, negotiations on testimony by both parties, daily new conditions by accuser, no one in authority denying accuser the platform.

Other than a ridiculous demand for withdrawal and a pretty seemingly useless "investigation" it's been pretty even handed everywhere but the internet.

remember, it's of the utmost importance that Kavanaugh be seated IMMEDIATELY. any delay is an affront to all that is right.

nevermind that the guy who appointed him is the subject of at several ongoing criminal investigations, not the least of which is possible collusion with a foreign government in order to influence the Presidential Election of 2016 - the one that put him in office so he can nominate Kavanaugh in the first place.

say, what was the momentous reason MERRICK GARLAND never got a vote?

why that needed to sit for a year, but this appointment, made by a known criminal, is so motherf'ing urgent that your stupid party can't even STFU and just make sure that you haven't nominated a RAPIST ?


what's the rush?

or, just admit it's all about getting what you want, all the f'ing time, no matter what bullshit excuses you can think of. at least be honest.

or, just admit it's all about getting what you want, all the f'ing time, no matter what bullshit excuses you can think of. at least be honest.

Be honest? Republicans are incapable of it. They steal [emails], cheat [elections], and lie [about all of it] constantly.

Asking an R to be honest does not compute.

Blatant display of clueless sexism could well refer to the ongoing circus tent of GOP mockery and dismissal of the issue as "35 years ago and shouldn't matter."

Kavanaugh and Ford we can continue to do our best to presume innocence *for both parties,.* not just for the accused. But I don't see any grounds on which one can look at the response from the right and not see the picture of society that it paints for others who have been sexually assaulted and wonder if they should come forward, or to 17 year old boys who are trying to understand issues of consent and masculinity.

In 1988, I spent part of a winter in Senegal, staying at a school for missionary kids while building a school. None of us working on the project had any idea that the children in the school were being abused by the dorm parents, but the people in charge of the school did, and they covered it up for years because they were convinced that if they revealed the truth, the parents of the children would leave the missions field and the native tribes they were ministering to would go to hell.

I see that same mindset currently steering the politics of the religious right. They are so sure that they know the mind of God that they are willing to excuse all manner of iniquity in order to push through the appointments of a couple of human judges.

Wow, "blatant display of clueless sexism"

That's an echo chamber statement if I ever heard one. In what fucking way is anything going on here blatant sexism?

*****

CRTV's Steven Crowder: Christine Blasey Ford is a "lying whore"
Crowder: "I know you're saying ... I labeled her a lying whore without proof, granted -- she did the same, but with attempted rape" against Brett Kavanaugh

to 17 year old boys who are trying to understand issues of consent and masculinity.

this is truly the craziest part of it, though one that doesn't get mentioned as much as it should.

the GOP is effectively telling teenage boys everywhere that it's OK to sexually assault girls while it's simultaneously telling teenage girls that it doesn't give a shit about them.

it's like they're going out of their way to alienate a whole generation of young women, while exacerbating the problems that #metoo is fighting, and which has lead to historic numbers of women running for office.

from President Pussy Grabber, to Justice Statutory Rape, the stupid party has put the very worst of its members in charge. i hope they choke on the results.

Withdrawing is only an act of great decency because it let's the left win.

If Kavanaugh withdraws, or is withdrawn, a doctrinaire federalist will be in kennedy's seat before the mid-terms.

That would be a win for many people, not one of whom would be on the left.

That's an echo chamber statement if I ever heard one. In what fucking way is anything going on here blatant sexism?

Have you listened to the comments, not from various conservative writers but just from Republican Senators and their staffs? (No need to even mention Trump and his "If it was really so bad, she would have gone to the FBI years ago.") Clueless? Check. Sexist? Check.

Not even the ridiculous nonsense about scheduling, or the excuses not to have the FBI do an entirely routine investigation. Just the comments on the character of Ms Ford, or any woman who might report harassment. Just the suggestions that any complaint must be bogus; and that "no man wil be safe." It goes on and on.

I've expressed discomfort with the age of the allegation, and the (understandable) vagueness of it which makes it almost unfalsifiable. So I must say clearly that these excuses about "it was a long time ago, and he was only 17", or "boys will be boys", do not and should not wash.

Having done what Kavanaugh is alleged to have done should disqualify anyone from being any sort of judge. That applies just the same if in his drunken assault he never had rape in mind. I'd like to hear Kavanaugh and his supporters acknowledge that.


I won't stop saying it: what's "falsifiable" by a serious investigation is Kavanaugh's current assertion that there was no party and anyway he wasn't there. That's why his padrone will never authorize one, and why his fanboys are so desperate to peddle the notion that no investigation could possibly establish any facts.

BTW, the FBI can investigate faster than reporters can, but reporters can keep investigating even after McConnell fulfills his promise to the "values voters".

--TP

Withdrawing is only an act of great decency because it let's the left win.

Marty illustrates perfectly the link and excerpt I posted at 5:04. Strangely enough, I cut down the excerpt cause I thought it might be unfair to the conservatives here.

What the American right wants, what it’s after, isn’t some abstract pluralist success, like the smooth functioning of government and/or the material improvement of American life. It wants, only and entirely, to defeat its opponents. Those aren’t quite the same thing. The Republican party would not choose the former if it could be accomplished without the latter.

...

The important thing to note is: Nobody, nobody, believes a single one of these defenses, most likely not even the people offering them. Believing any of them would defeat the point of the exercise, which is to demonstrate that it doesn’t matter, to put this son of a bitch across with a completely unhidden sneer, to say all but explicitly We know he did this, you know he did this, everyone knows he did this, and you couldn’t stop us anyway. The wild variety and complete inconsistency of all these defenses aren’t bugs; they’re features.

...

Once upon a time, yeah, some American president might have performed the empty noblesse oblige–ass theater of withdrawing a judicial nominee who’d become as toxic and controversial as Brett Kavanaugh, whose nomination had turned into a referendum on the political parties’ respective views on something as grave and awful as sexual assault. So it’s fine to point out that things are different, now, if only on their surface; it’s fine to chart out, if you wish, the moral and intellectual decay whereby the American right eventually dropped all its pretenses and became, straight out, the Neener Neener Neener You Can’t Stop Us movement; it’s fine to observe that this happening subsequent to America’s first non-white president and first non-male major-party presidential nominee is no coincidence at all, but very specifically a vengeful tantrum by a shrinking class of wounded bullies eager to reassert by force and at all costs their hold on society’s controls.

But first, the thing to do is to describe it accurately. When they eventually ram Kavanaugh through, and they will, it won’t be despite all of this. It will be because of it.

I suppose this is the didactic nature of the left: When I use 4 paragraphs of quotes, Marty is able to sum it up in 5 words. That's concision, folks.

Kavanaugh's current assertion that there was no party and anyway he wasn't there.

Is it? I saw a report that Hatch said that Kavanaugh told him something like that on the phone. But so far as I know Kavanaugh hasn't said it in public.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to remember what parties I went to 36 years ago, and who was at them. The FBI would have a hard time getting any reliable information about that out of me.

Some (D)'s in Congress have already promised to continue investigating Kavanaugh if they flip either house in November.

I'm not sure that depends on him being approved for the SCOTUS.

So, gloves are off.

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