Yes, *And* — “Kavanaugh” from Knife Fight to Cold War?

 

Much has been written about the Kavanaugh brawl, some of it quite good. Reading these pieces, I keep coming to yes, and. It has been asserted that this has nothing to do with Kavanaugh. Dr. Bastiat writes:

My point is that this really is not about Mr. Kavanaugh – he’s just collateral damage. It’s a shame somebody had to be destroyed, but as long as he’s conservative, it’s not too much of a shame.

[Rather] It tells us what they think of the media, the educational establishment, and Democrat voters. And they apparently think that all those people are unethical bastards, willing to easily abandon any pretense of virtue, in an effort to demonstrate their virtue to one another. […] The Democrats think that their lack of ethics will not create a backlash among Democrat voters, because they think that Democrat voters lack ethics as well.

Yes, Democrats are revealing their assessment of an electoral base of their own making, and . . .

Andrew McCarthy warns “It’s a Set-up.”

As I argued yesterday, you are not going to have decent, meritorious people in law and politics if Democrats are permitted to mug Kavanaugh the way they mugged Judge Bork and Justice Thomas, the way they try to mug every Republican judicial candidate whose nomination threatens to close off the courts as an avenue of radical social change — i.e., whose confirmation makes it more likely that the Left will have to try to convince voters and lawmakers in the democratic process, rather than have unaccountable judges impose progressive pieties.

The long-term goal here is to make the judicial-confirmation process so notoriously savage and demeaning that no sensible, well-meaning conservative or moderate person would agree to put himself and his family through it. The idea is to stock the courts with nothing but progressives and mediocrities willing to roll over for progressives. It is a disgrace that this should happen in this republic, and in connection with the courts, which are not supposed to be political forces, but which have been converted into an uber-political institution that progressives are desperate to control.

Yes, Republican voters have allowed their Senators to play along with the Democrats for 30 years, placing us in permanent political peril, and . . .

And it is about the fundamental transformation of America along the correct arc of history. The third branch of government is understood to be the supreme branch, the one most capable of imposing correct thinking and correct outcomes, without reversal or messy compromise. And yet, we are still in a moment when the people being corrected could push back. That was the 2016 election.

So here we stand, at a pivotal moment. The last seat did not have any impact on the direction of the court. And, this seat fundamentally threatens the left’s project. Hence, the Bork, Thomas, Estrada, Kavanaugh playbook.

And, there should have been no surprise at personally destructive surprises. As Coach Dennis Green said “they are who we thought they were, and we let them off the hook.” We shall see if “off the hook” means Kavanaugh’s defeat or just letting the Democrats get away without sanction.

And, we know that the Senate Republicans set themselves, and the American people, up with that pasty panel of dudes. (Is that too harsh for you, or do you kick back against it as surrender to identity politics? See who Judge Kavanaugh hired to save his career and reputation. Who does any man, in a messy divorce, want representing him? Let’s be real.) And the best and brightest, led by the most experienced, had no rehearsal, nor any game plan to rehearse. They still have not taken Senator Collins’s wise counsel, although they are reportedly leaning towards hiring outside counsel to conduct the questioning (presumably a woman). The 85-year-old Grassley should be pushed hard to do so, by Sens. Cruz, Cotton, and Lee, internally, and from outside by all the Republican Senate women.

And, if there is an arc of history, none of us can truly trace it. The events of our lifetimes suggest that we, collectively, can change our nation’s direction. America’s fate is what her citizens make of it.

There are 22 comments.

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  1. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Did you mean Collins rather than Snow?  I haven’t heard anything from Snow.

    • #1
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Did you mean Collins rather than Snow? I haven’t heard anything from Snow.

    Thanks, early-onset senior moment, forgot to dye the gray out of my beard today. Olympia Snowe was the other senator from Maine for three terms, retiring in 2013 as the Senate party tilted more conservative. I muddle the two of them occasionally.

    https://media.salon.com/2010/09/olympia_snowe_and_susan_collins-460x307.jpg

    • #2
  3. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Did you mean Collins rather than Snow? I haven’t heard anything from Snow.

    Thanks, early-onset senior moment, forgot to dye the gray out of my beard today. Olympia Snowe was the other senator from Maine for three terms, retiring in 2013 as the Senate party tilted more conservative. I muddle the two of them occasionally.

    https://media.salon.com/2010/09/olympia_snowe_and_susan_collins-460x307.jpg

    Makes sense.  And you’re right, Collins idea was a good one.

    • #3
  4. Simon Templar Inactive
    Simon Templar
    @SimonTemplar

    …no sensible, well-meaning conservative or moderate person would agree to put himself and his family through it. The idea is to stock the courts with nothing but progressives and mediocrities willing to roll over for progressives.

    He is not the first conservative to say something like this but it bears repeating often and loud.

    • #4
  5. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Simon Templar (View Comment):

    …no sensible, well-meaning conservative or moderate person would agree to put himself and his family through it. The idea is to stock the courts with nothing but progressives and mediocrities willing to roll over for progressives.

    He is not the first conservative to say something like this but it bears repeating often and loud.

    I’m reminded of the Kurtz soliloquy on horror and terror and fear from Apocalypse Now.  Progressives have adopted the Viet Cong terror strategy.

    • #5
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Wow. Dr. Ben Carson on fire at FRC today. He made the point about the left fighting to control the courts to transform our country. He also called out the Democrats tactics as a way to keep good conservatives from stepping up to serve. Live now, C-SPAN 2 and Radio, but I’ll add the link once it posts at C-SPAN or YouTube.

    • #6
  7. Simon Templar Inactive
    Simon Templar
    @SimonTemplar

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Wow. Dr. Ben Carson on fire at FRC today. He made the point about the left fighting to control the courts to transform our country. He also called out the Democrats tactics as a way to keep good conservatives from stepping up to serve. Live now, C-SPAN 2 and Radio, but I’ll add the link once it posts at C-SPAN or YouTube.

    Loves me some Mr. Ben Carson.

    • #7
  8. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge
    Jeff Hawkins
    @JeffHawkins

    The Ford team rejected staffers interviewing, refused offers for staffer to come to California, rejected an outside counsel, only will take questions from the “old white men”, now she won’t fly out, she wants Kavanaugh to go first. 

    What is the difference between holding the vote and holding the hearing and having him pass in media narrative circles?

    the answer is: nothing.  He’s going to be Rapey McOnePercenter FratBoy until his nomination gets pulled, and then the next nominee will be that

    All Republicans have to be Jesus and even the rumor of impropriety and you are to be banished.  Meanwhile, the standard on the other side is “Not Hitler”….you can be a vile human being, just don’t have ordered the deaths of millions.

    I’m not the biggest Kavanaugh fan, but I am at my wits end on the media outrage tesla coil

     

    • #8
  9. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    The Democrats have to have control of the courts to force the rest of us to understand the error of our ways. I find the fear mongering about going back in time over the top. I wish we did go back to less government.

    This isn’t about the principle of bad men, it is about abortion, gay marriage, socialist medicine, etc. It is about power. They just don’t say it.

    Pastor Tom Baker explaining how the devil works: he doesn’t tell you if you steal that car, you’ll get in trouble, but how good you’ll look in it and that you deserve it.  That is what the Democrats do for constituents. There ideas are full on no downsides.  Can’t stand them.

    People are voting to legalize pot, run around with tats, don’t marry, are barely literate, and they worry about abortion rights and socializing medicine.  We have a lot more to worry about, like basic human competency a free society requires.

    • #9
  10. Qoumidan Coolidge
    Qoumidan
    @Qoumidan

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):
    All Republicans have to be Jesus…

    Jesus still got crucified.

    • #10
  11. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Cliff,

    I disagree 100%. If Ford wants to testify she can face the music period. Somebody will be putting her feet to the fire over the details and why she can’t seem to remember any of them. That’s the nature of a congressional investigation about an important matter when you have made serious charges for which you have no evidence, witnesses, and can’t even confirm the basic details of the charges.

    No special treatment. Business as usual. I don’t care if Grassley is 120 years old. He’s the chairman of the committee. Let’s get on with it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #11
  12. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Did you mean Collins rather than Snow? I haven’t heard anything from Snow.

    Thanks, early-onset senior moment, forgot to dye the gray out of my beard today. Olympia Snowe was the other senator from Maine for three terms, retiring in 2013 as the Senate party tilted more conservative. I muddle the two of them occasionally.

    https://media.salon.com/2010/09/olympia_snowe_and_susan_collins-460x307.jpg

    It was always easy to tell them apart, at least when they spoke. Sen. Collins is the one who always sounds as if she is trying to talk around a mouthful of marbles.

    • #12
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Cliff,

    I disagree 100%. If Ford wants to testify she can face the music period. Somebody will be putting her feet to the fire over the details and why she can’t seem to remember any of them. That’s the nature of a congressional investigation about an important matter when you have made serious charges for which you have no evidence, witnesses, and can’t even confirm the basic details of the charges.

    No special treatment. Business as usual. I don’t care if Grassley is 120 years old. He’s the chairman of the committee. Let’s get on with it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Televised hearings are political theater, by their very nature. A row of pasty faced older men all talking down (literally down, because they redesigned the room at some point to place the Senators above the witnesses and audience) to a sobbing woman is a recipe for throwing away the Senate. Get ready for Senator O’Rourke from Texas. Fortunately, it appears there are enough Senators who care about their own careers to push Grassley to hire a top attorney in the field, who is a woman, to question both witnesses. 

    • #13
  14. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Cliff,

    I disagree 100%. If Ford wants to testify she can face the music period. Somebody will be putting her feet to the fire over the details and why she can’t seem to remember any of them. That’s the nature of a congressional investigation about an important matter when you have made serious charges for which you have no evidence, witnesses, and can’t even confirm the basic details of the charges.

    No special treatment. Business as usual. I don’t care if Grassley is 120 years old. He’s the chairman of the committee. Let’s get on with it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Televised hearings are political theater, by their very nature. A row of pasty faced older men all talking down (literally down, because they redesigned the room at some point to place the Senators above the witnesses and audience) to a sobbing woman is a recipe for throwing away the Senate. Get ready for Senator O’Rourke from Texas. Fortunately, it appears there are enough Senators who care about their own careers to push Grassley to hire a top attorney in the field, who is a woman, to question both witnesses.

    Cliff,

    I understand your concern completely. However, there is no way to get around it. What they really want is no hard questioning of Ford. However, the only way to deal with an amorphous allegation like Ford is to drag her through hard questioning. Otherwise, you will legitimize her false accusation with softball questions. You are hoping to reduce the pain of the questioning by having a woman do it. I don’t think that’s going to happen. If there is hard questioning coming from a woman the questioner will be accused anyway. Arlen Specter was as avuncular with Anita Hill as you can imagine. A very moderate Republican, he had voted against Bork and was capable of voting against Thomas. He put her gently through a long series of questions which revealed the absurdity of her original written statement pre-submitted to the committee. Under questioning Hill confirmed that what Thomas had done was not sexual harassment and that she did not think the law should be changed to make it so (Hill had been a Law School Professor for 10 years so this was very conclusive). Under questioning Hill admitted that other than the single sarcastic remark Thomas had made to her that upset her, that he had never again done so or had not acted improperly or damaged her career in any way. Thomas did not demote her, he gave her excellent evaluations and gave her a glowing recommendation for a new job she wanted.

    You can’t sugar coat this. Justice Thomas called it a high tech lynching at the time for good reason. It was obviously a ridiculous travesty of justice for it to have been allowed. One amazing detail is that Clarence Thomas never gave testimony in his own defence. Everything we know about the incident (and we’d know very little that was true without Specter’s questioning) came from one source, Anita Hill herself.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #14
  15. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Cliff,

    I disagree 100%. If Ford wants to testify she can face the music period. Somebody will be putting her feet to the fire over the details and why she can’t seem to remember any of them. That’s the nature of a congressional investigation about an important matter when you have made serious charges for which you have no evidence, witnesses, and can’t even confirm the basic details of the charges.

    No special treatment. Business as usual. I don’t care if Grassley is 120 years old. He’s the chairman of the committee. Let’s get on with it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    I agree wholeheartedly.  She shouldn’t be treated any different than any other accuser.  The Washington Post is complacent in allowing her a one way platform.

    What is going on needs to be stopped in its tracks. The longer this farce continues, the more damage is done. 

    • #15
  16. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Cliff,

    I disagree 100%. If Ford wants to testify she can face the music period. Somebody will be putting her feet to the fire over the details and why she can’t seem to remember any of them. That’s the nature of a congressional investigation about an important matter when you have made serious charges for which you have no evidence, witnesses, and can’t even confirm the basic details of the charges.

    No special treatment. Business as usual. I don’t care if Grassley is 120 years old. He’s the chairman of the committee. Let’s get on with it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Televised hearings are political theater, by their very nature. A row of pasty faced older men all talking down (literally down, because they redesigned the room at some point to place the Senators above the witnesses and audience) to a sobbing woman is a recipe for throwing away the Senate. Get ready for Senator O’Rourke from Texas. Fortunately, it appears there are enough Senators who care about their own careers to push Grassley to hire a top attorney in the field, who is a woman, to question both witnesses.

    Cliff,

    I understand your concern completely. However, there is no way to get around it. What they really want is no hard questioning of Ford. However, the only way to deal with an amorphous allegation like Ford is to drag her through hard questioning. Otherwise, you will legitimize her false accusation with softball questions. You are hoping to reduce the pain of the questioning by having a woman do it. I don’t think that’s going to happen. If there is hard questioning coming from a woman the questioner will be accused anyway. Arlen Specter was as avuncular with Anita Hill as you can imagine. A very moderate Republican, he had voted against Bork and was capable of voting against Thomas. He put her gently through a long series of questions which revealed the absurdity of her original written statement pre-submitted to the committee. Under questioning Hill confirmed that what Thomas had done was not sexual harassment and that she did not think the law should be changed to make it so (Hill had been a Law School Professor for 10 years so this was very conclusive). Under questioning Hill admitted that other than the single sarcastic remark Thomas had made to her that upset her, that he had never again done so or had not acted improperly or damaged her career in any way. Thomas did not demote her, he gave her excellent evaluations and gave her a glowing recommendation for a new job she wanted.

    You can’t sugar coat this. Justice Thomas called it a high tech lynching at the time for good reason. It was obviously a ridiculous travesty of justice for it to have been allowed. One amazing detail is that Clarence Thomas never gave testimony in his own defence. Everything we know about the incident (and we’d know very little that was true without Specter’s questioning) came from one source, Anita Hill herself.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Thomas was only confirmed because he dropped the H-bomb on the old white Democrats, the kind of men who led racial lynch mobs. He would have been defeated and spent the rest of his life in disgrace. Instead, he understood the medium and used it as a nuclear bomb.

    Kavanaugh is on the opposite side of the visual medium narrative. The exclusively male group of Republican Senators, all in a row talking down to a tearful woman, would place the Senate Majority at risk. Needlessly. Senator Collins saw this and put her concern, with a constructive solution, in writing. I trust Senator Collins to have a good read on the Senate.

    Let’s have no Charge of the Light Brigade, let alone another Pickett’s Charge.

    • #16
  17. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Cliff,

    I disagree 100%. If Ford wants to testify she can face the music period. Somebody will be putting her feet to the fire over the details and why she can’t seem to remember any of them. That’s the nature of a congressional investigation about an important matter when you have made serious charges for which you have no evidence, witnesses, and can’t even confirm the basic details of the charges.

    No special treatment. Business as usual. I don’t care if Grassley is 120 years old. He’s the chairman of the committee. Let’s get on with it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Why does Ms Ford need more time? Doesn’t she just want to tell the truth (as she perceives it)? She has been wrought with angst for over 35 years because of this incident. Now she is being given an opportunity to tell her story even though she could have had many opportunities to tell it, but never asked. Now is supposedly the moment for which she has waited for  36 years. But nooooo. She wants to keep the entire nation wrapped up in her cause while she negotiates just exactly how it must be done. This isn’t about being groped by a drunken teenager so long ago she can barely remember. This is a planned attack by a group of individuals so insidious they do not care whose life or lives they destroy. What they want is more important. They must have it their way. Well it is certainly true that our side has a huge leak in our unanimity with no room to spare. But continuing to appease these insane demands is just dumb. Stand your ground Senator Grassley. This is not a criminal trial. Lady, say your peace on Monday, or don’t. Either way we are moving on. 

    • #17
  18. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    cdor (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Cliff,

    I disagree 100%. If Ford wants to testify she can face the music period. Somebody will be putting her feet to the fire over the details and why she can’t seem to remember any of them. That’s the nature of a congressional investigation about an important matter when you have made serious charges for which you have no evidence, witnesses, and can’t even confirm the basic details of the charges.

    No special treatment. Business as usual. I don’t care if Grassley is 120 years old. He’s the chairman of the committee. Let’s get on with it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Why does Ms Ford need more time? Doesn’t she just want to tell the truth (as she perceives it)? She has been wrought with angst for over 35 years because of this incident. Now she is being given an opportunity to tell her story even though she could have had many opportunities to tell it, but never asked. Now is supposedly the moment for which she has waited for 36 years. But nooooo. She wants to keep the entire nation wrapped up in her cause while she negotiates just exactly how it must be done. This isn’t about being groped by a drunken teenager so long ago she can barely remember. This is a planned attack by a group of individuals so insidious they do not care whose life or lives they destroy. What they want is more important. They must have it their way. Well it is certainly true that our side has a huge leak in our unanimity with no room to spare. But continuing to appease these insane demands is just dumb. Stand your ground Senator Grassley. This is not a criminal trial. Lady, say your peace on Monday, or don’t. Either way we are moving on.

    This isn’t Professor Ford, it is her Democrat activist lawyer and the Senate Democrats’ team.

    • #18
  19. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    This isn’t Professor Ford, it is her Democrat activist lawyer and the Senate Democrats’ team.

    Agreed. That’s why nothing the Republicans do will change. They can win this battle now by moving on (assuming they can convince some of their own of this reality).

    • #19
  20. Simon Templar Inactive
    Simon Templar
    @SimonTemplar

    cdor (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    This isn’t Professor Ford, it is her Democrat activist lawyer and the Senate Democrats’ team.

    Agreed. That’s why nothing the Republicans do will change. They can win this battle now by moving on (assuming they can convince some of their own of this reality).

    Check!

    • #20
  21. Simon Templar Inactive
    Simon Templar
    @SimonTemplar

    cdor (View Comment):
    Either way we are moving on. 

    Fingers & toes crossed that he’ll get confirmed yesterday.

    • #21
  22. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    It will take a woman to save the Republican Senate caucus and the Kavanaugh family. So:

    Who will be the American Margaret Thatcher? Who will be our Deborah?

    • #22

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