What I Wrote

 

I’ve tried not to engage my nearest and dearest on political subjects lately. It didn’t work out so well when I tried this before (cue image of middle-aged woman banging her head against a brick wall and coming away disoriented and exsanguinating) Still, having been (accidentally?) included in a text-message chain between some friends and family members deploring Kavanaugh, I was provoked into responding. Not in a text-message (c’mon, people: have you ever known me to be brief?) but in a nice, long email (appended below).

Let me know your thoughts…

FIRST:

Far too many people do not appear to understand what a law enforcement background check entails. (Judge Kavanaugh has undergone six of these, conducted by the FBI). 

For example, just to become a Maine State Trooper (not a circuit court judge or anything so exalted) all sorts of people are interviewed, in writing, by phone and/or in person: parents, siblings, spouses, ex-spouses, lovers, ex-lovers (going back to college or even high school) high school teachers, college professors, coaches, drill instructors, landladies, former classmates, former roommates, bosses, co-workers, neighbors, friends, rivals and enemies… And of course, in the past decade or so, the internet is also searched, by people who know what they’re doing, with what are often embarrassing if not disqualifying results.

Investigators take these background checks extremely seriously. (Side note: How sure are you that your past could hold up under such scrutiny?) 

The investigations carried out by the FBI should therefore count as very strong evidence that Kavanaugh is who and what he claims to be. But even without the sixfold imprimatur of the FBI, It would be virtually impossible to make a circle of wagons tight enough to conceal the kind of lurid behavior that Kavanaugh has been accused of. It’s not that it doesn’t exist; rather, when it exists, people know about it. Louche, lascivious or predatory men (alcoholic or otherwise) over time become well-known for being so. Everyone knew about Harvey Weinstein. Everyone knew about Ted Kennedy’s “waitress sandwiches”; everyone knew Bill Clinton didn’t just boast about grabbing women, he actually grabbed them. And raped at least one. 

SECOND: 

Unless we don’t really #believewomen? 

Well? Do we?

Consider the case of Victoria Price and Ruby Bates. 

These two young women claimed to have been gang raped on a train.  

The accused were young black men. 

The alleged crime took place in the American South, in 1931, under Jim Crow. 

Once accused, arrested, and jailed, the young men — soon to become famous as the Scottsboro Boys — were threatened with a lynch mob that #believedwomen. The defendants had to be transferred to a different jail for their own protection, and then watched over by the state militia lest the champions of women enact their own merciless and mindless justice. 

The trial of the Scottsboro Boys was obviously unfair; the defense inadequate, the women’s testimony inconsistent and contradictory. Nevertheless, you will be happy to hear that the young men were found guilty. 

Their case was appealed, retried, appealed, and retried. 

The victims testified and endured cross-examination. The defense attorney — can you imagine? — introduced evidence of their promiscuity and poor character. Decades later, Ruby Bates recanted, but Victoria Price never did, insisting as late as 1976 that she had not lied. “I’ve told the truth all the way through, and I’m a gonna go on fighting ‘til my dying day or ’til justice is done.” 

Should we #believe her? How about all the other white women who claimed to have been abused or assaulted by black men during the Jim Crow era? Maybe Emmet Till really did make his female victim feel threatened and marginalized by whistling and ogling? 

Women don’t lie about these things, after all.

Do we #BelieveWomen or selectively believe the ones whose stories fit and support a larger narrative or serve a higher cause? 

It’s not hard to see what the higher cause is in the case of Kavanaugh. Here is a big ol’ hint from the mailing, sent to me by some hero at the Democratic HQ under the hashtag #VOTEPROCHOICE:

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Deborah Ramirez. Julie Swetnick. We believe them. We honor their courage. And we need to support them directly so they can speak their truths until Brett Kavanaugh is defeated, impeached, or indicted.

#VOTEPROCHOICE has been in D.C. all week, engaging in protest and nonviolent civil disobedience as part of a coalition led by the Center for Popular Democracy, Women’s March, and Housing Works.

On Monday, I was arrested (again) outside of Senator Susan Collins’ office; these elected women need to be reminded what’s at stake for all women. 

Which is it? #Believewomen or #VoteProChoice?

Doesn’t our credulity depend on “what is at stake? “

What is at stake in the Kavanaugh Hearing? It’s not retroactive sympathy for the experiences of inebriated girls at 1980s-era keggers, or the lingering trauma thereof. The hashtag, the history, and the rhetoric of the Democrats make it perfectly clear that the Democrats solicitude for and interest in Judge Kavanaugh’s accusers has little or nothing to do with abuses or assaults committed against them in particular or against women more generally.

It has everything to do with the fact that Kavanaugh is (correctly) believed to be a constitutional originalist who may opt to overturn what even Ruth Bader Ginsburg disdained as a lousy bit of jurisprudence. 

Long before Dr. Ford’s allegations landed on Di-Fi’s desk, let alone were made public, the Democrats had already declared themselves hell-bent on defeating Kavanaugh’s appointment by any means necessary. For reasons best known to its collective self, the Democratic Party has decided that nothing matters more than preserving Roe v. Wade

Certainly, Dr. Ford doesn’t matter: if Kavanaugh was a progressive, Dr. Ford could have produced actual evidence — a stained blue dress, a corpse in a submerged car, or even a few actual, you know, witnesses — and nonetheless her accusations would never have been allowed to interfere with the career of a Champion of Women’s Rights. Didn’t Democratic Senator Hirono come right out and say it was the fact of Kavanaugh’s being “very much against women’s reproductive choice” that made her believe him capable of attempted rape? 

Had Dr. Ford been a conservative who accused a progressive judge, the accusation would have been ignored. (After all, the #BelieveWomen crowd back in Scottsboro weren’t interested in the rapes of black women, were they?) If #ShePersisted, someone would, by now, be calling her a loony or a stalker and maybe an advisor would crack a joke about “dragging a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park” to explain her true motivations. 

Recall, here, that in an interview during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, a feminist, author, TIME magazine contributor, and White House correspondent said, “I would be happy to give [President Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”  By the time of Nina Burleigh’s interview,  numerous women had come forward to accuse Clinton — with evidence and witnesses — of sexual assault and rape, including Juanita Broadrick whose claim was (and remains) far more credible than anything put forth by Ford, Ramirez, or Swetnick. She was not #believed. She was (and is) ignored, dismissed and reviled.   

Cui bono? Why is abortion (on demand and without apology) so important to Feinstein, Hirono, Warren, Schumer and, for that matter, Collins? It could be feminist principle, I suppose. 

I would suspect, however, that their principles are undergirded just a bit by the enormous sums (about $10 million a year for the past five years) that Planned Parenthood has poured into political races — PP’s contributions dwarf those of the National Rifle Association, who are claimed to have Republican lawmakers’ “balls in a vise,” in the charming phrase of  Bill Maher.  

And let us briefly recall that, unlike Planned Parenthood, the NRA is purely an advocacy group; it doesn’t actually sell guns.

Planned Parenthood stands to lose millions should Roe be overturned, and millions more should the question of abortion be returned to the states and a citizenry that has consistently been shown to be far more ambivalent on the issue than either Planned Parenthood or the Democratic Party. 

Whatever the reason for the Democrats’ selective and cynical “outrage,” the results are dismaying. So no, I don’t #believewomen. I don’t believe Diane Feinstein or Kamala Harris, for example, though I do believe all of the women who testified to the good character of Brett Kavanaugh. I believe his wife and daughters, colleagues, the women he mentored and encouraged without expecting Clintonesque favors, and the many, many women who were questioned by FBI agents charged with the intensive investigation of all things Kavanaugh.

As it happens, I find Kavanaugh himself far more believable (not to mention kind and humane) than his accusers but that is completely immaterial to the Democrats. 

I would fervently hope that, should any of our children enter into politics, they never endure (or, God forbid, inflict) a process as hypocritical, destructive, mendacious, mercenary, and just plain mean as this revolting exercise.

There are 61 comments.

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  1. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Oh Kate, you wonderful GrannyDude.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you.

    So glad you’ve joined us here at R. What fun it’s been to watch your evolution!

    • #1
  2. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Oh Kate, you wonderful GrannyDude.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you.

    So glad you’ve joined us here at R. What fun it’s been to watch your evolution!

    I feel very, very lucky and blessed!

    • #2
  3. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Taking on misguided family is a heroic endeavor, not appreciated until much later, if ever.  But worth doing.

    • #3
  4. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    If I was one of your lefty family or friends. Off my list you would go. Impugned you would get.  Into the void you would be hurled.

    Keep us posted on your journey back to the surface.  ;)

    • #4
  5. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Yowza!!!  @katebraestrup.   You ‘da man!!!

    I can’t believe you went for the stained dress  and blonde-in-the-pond examples.    Not that they shouldn’t be thrown in the faces of Progressives.  They should be made to face up to them squarely at every opportunity.    It’s just that so few do it.    And none so well.   

    It is we who are lucky and blessed.    

    • #5
  6. Johnnie Alum 13 Inactive
    Johnnie Alum 13
    @JohnnieAlum13

    This process, as administered by the democrats has been a witch hunt. They’ve been loading up the pyre.  On Thursday Kavanaugh was working to untie himself from the stake. 

    • #6
  7. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Into the void you would be hurled.

    Keep us posted on your journey back to the surface. ;)

    That reminds me of this amazing video I saw this morning. I hope no one minds me sharing it here:

    • #7
  8. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    GrannyDude: I would fervently hope that, should any of our children enter into politics, they never endure (or, God forbid, inflict) a process as hypocritical, destructive, mendacious, mercenary and just plain mean as this revolting exercise. 

    To be clear, this will not stop at “politics.”

    • #8
  9. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Wonderful post, Granny. Persuasive and eminently readable

    However, I suspect your friends, after reading your piece, are not likely to say, “Why Granny is right and we’ve been wrong all along.”

    They just won’t listen to reason, will they?  All that’s left is to slap them upside their heads.

    • #9
  10. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Gosh Kate! I hope they read this! You might convince a couple. It is just a mystery to me why so many women are in the other camp.

    • #10
  11. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Wonderful post, Granny. Persuasive and imminently readable

     

    Also eminently readable. (tease)

    • #11
  12. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Wonderful post, Granny. Persuasive and imminently readable

    However, I suspect your friends, after reading your piece, are not likely to say, “Why Granny is right and we’ve been wrong all along.”

    They just won’t listen to reason, will they? All that’s left is to slap them upside their heads.

     

    Yeah.  Unfortunate but probably true.    I’m predicting Granny won’t be getting as many Christmas cards as usual this year.   

    • #12
  13. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    It is just a mystery to me why so many women are in the other camp.

    Indoctrination: Since the early 1960s it has been “preached” by all the cool people (newspapers, celebrities, professors) that it is vital that all the rules must be over-turned. Popular culture insists that, to be modern, you cannot live by those old rules that society has oppressed us with all these centuries. Modern people are smarter, cooler, and just better!

    I was a stay-home mother of five children in the 1970s-1980s. WOW! Was I ever totally WRONG to do that, according to all the female leaders in the United States. How could I be so oppressed??!  What I was really supposed to be doing was not depending on a man! I should have not had those children and I should be out there growing in my career!!

    (The joke was on them–my husband and I agreed on our roles, and he was delighted with our children (as was I) and my career at that time WAS being cultivated, and I excelled at it! We have terrific children!)

    In order to promote the Freedom! Free Love! Do Your Own Thing!! lifestyle, women couldn’t be worried about having pesky pregnancies mess that up. So, between the pill (which was a serious blessing for some…) and abortion, no men could ever oppress women again!!

    It’s actually pretty sad…And BTW, I raised those kids, finished college, and now I’ve been a teacher for 24 years. So I guess I got the best of both worlds.

    I don’t mean to say that women cannot have a career. It is a personal choice. But in the 1970s those “choices” didn’t seem to include stay-at-home mother.

    • #13
  14. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    Well said. Nice job making the motives and hypocrisy of Kavanaugh’s accusers perfectly clear. I hope your family members take the time to read it with an open mind. (I know it’s hard to believe these days, but there are some open minds out there. At least I really hope there are.)

    • #14
  15. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    And–Go Kate!! But I’ll bet that most of the recipients just angrily delete your email, and only skim it. I am astonished at how many people do not know about so many of the things you wrote about. But, it is entirely possible to live in a chimney in this time of deeply divided news sources, and have no idea about any conservative ideas from their sources. If you have never read a conservative point of view, then you only know about these ideas from the twisted version proclaimed by the liberal sources.

     

    • #15
  16. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    philo (View Comment):

    GrannyDude: I would fervently hope that, should any of our children enter into politics, they never endure (or, God forbid, inflict) a process as hypocritical, destructive, mendacious, mercenary and just plain mean as this revolting exercise.

    To be clear, this will not stop at “politics.”

    I just bought a history of the French Revolution.   Unfortunately, I’m anticipating it to be germane to our current and near future situation.

    • #16
  17. Johnnie Alum 13 Inactive
    Johnnie Alum 13
    @JohnnieAlum13

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    GrannyDude: I would fervently hope that, should any of our children enter into politics, they never endure (or, God forbid, inflict) a process as hypocritical, destructive, mendacious, mercenary and just plain mean as this revolting exercise.

    To be clear, this will not stop at “politics.”

    I just bought a history of the French Revolution. Unfortunately, I’m anticipating it to be germane to our current and near future situation.

    Yes. And after that a repeat of Stalin’s purges.

    • #17
  18. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Into the void you would be hurled.

    Keep us posted on your journey back to the surface. ;)

    That reminds me of this amazing video I saw this morning. I hope no one minds me sharing it here:

    Riveting Mama Toad. Caught myself holding my breath. Crazy what people do for kicks.

    If I was on the SS Poseidon, I would want her on my team.

    • #18
  19. Mrs. Ink Member
    Mrs. Ink
    @MrsInk

    Bravo! What a fine summation the state of the country. I am sorry say that it won’t do a bit of good for a certain segment of the populace, but good on you for trying.

    I think that this whole kerfuffle is by design, and aside from abortion, is orchestrated for several dear-held Progressive goals:

    1. Keep an originalist off the Supreme Court, or failing that, to make his decisions “tainted.”
    2. Whip up the Dem base, especially the part that bought into the sex, drug, and free love culture, and found out that it cannot make them happy. They’re not happy, and looking for some one to blame.
    3. Keep decent people from aspiring to be public officials (hey-if no conservatives apply, more cushy jobs for lefties, therefore, resulting in increased ability to advance leftie power without having to win those pesky elections).
    4. Do more damage the rule of law by destroying the presumption of innocence. The rule of law is what keeps us all safe, and it is being destroyed at a rate I could not have imagined twenty years ago.

    And last, they are punishing the Trump voters for not bowing down to Mrs. Clinton, the Most Qualified Presidential Candidate, ever, whom they owe for not tanking the pervert’s presidency. Millions of laundered dollars are not enough to make up for that, apparently.

    • #19
  20. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Wonderful post, Granny. Persuasive and imminently readable

     

    Also eminently readable. (tease)

    I usually blame these things on my spell checker, but I can no longer live that lie.   I’ve entered a new phase of my life in which I tell the truth whatever the consequence.  

    So here goes:  Mrs. Toad, you’ve just corrected a faulty word choice of an author of a grammar book.  Really.  I wrote a grammar book.  It is called A Writer’s Guide.  Long out of print. Yes, I used to be an eminent grammarian.  Now I’m just a grammarian who gets lost among imminent, eminent, emanant, and immanent. 

    Watch your back. 

    Efflorescently Yours,  

    Kent

      

     

    • #20
  21. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    One of several things I do not understand is why “believe women” doesn’t apply for the dozens of women who have stood up for Judge Kavanaugh. Is “believe women” applicable only when they accuse a man or men? Women aren’t to be believed when they say something positive about a man or men in general?

    • #21
  22. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    GrannyDude: For example, just to become a Maine State Trooper (not a circuit court judge or anything so exalted) all sort of people are interviewed, in writing, by phone and/or in person: parents, siblings, spouses, ex-spouses, lovers, ex-lovers (going back to college or even high school) high school teachers, college professors, coaches, drill instructors, landladies, former classmates, former roommates, bosses, co-workers, neighbors, friends, rivals and enemies… And of course, in the past decade or so, the internet is also searched, by people who know what they’re doing, with what are often embarrassing if not disqualifying results. 

    Huzzah! Huzzah!

    FYI, the backgrounds that would have been done on Mr. Kavanaugh would have been “Special Background Investigations” (SBI) with “Special Factors.”  The investigators hate telephone interviews, and go to great lengths to prevent them.  And they utterly despise anything by mail – except, that is, to set up an in-person interview.  There’s simply too much to learn by watching the interviewee, and heeding each word, every pause.  And there’s that priceless follow-up question, “Tell me more about…..”

    • #22
  23. Al French, sad sack Moderator
    Al French, sad sack
    @AlFrench

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Wonderful post, Granny. Persuasive and eminently readable

    However, I suspect your friends, after reading your piece, are not likely to say, “Why Granny is right and we’ve been wrong all along.”

    They just won’t listen to reason, will they? All that’s left is to slap them upside their heads.

    Unti they exsanguinate.

    • #23
  24. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    OP:

    It would be virtually impossible to make a circle of wagons tight enough to conceal the kind of lurid behavior that Kavanaugh has been accused of. It’s not that it doesn’t exist; rather, when it exists, people know about it. Louche, lascivious or predatory men (alcoholic or otherwise) over time become well-known for being so.

    This is the aspect that I thought of first, and my mind keeps returning to. If Brett Kavanaugh had done what he’s accused of, it is very unlikely that it (or they if you believe one or both of the other accusations) were isolated incidents. The accused actions are not the sorts of things “first timers” do, and if guys do them, they keep doing them.  Somebody would have noticed. Word would have spread.

    The likelihood that Brett Kavanaugh could keep activities such as those of which he is now accused quiet through all these background checks is essentially zero. We would have heard about it.

    • #24
  25. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Wonderful post, Granny. Persuasive and imminently readable

     

    Also eminently readable. (tease)

    I usually blame these things on my spell checker, but I can no longer live that lie. I’ve entered a new phase of my life in which I tell the truth whatever the consequence.

    So here goes: Mrs. Toad, you’ve just corrected a faulty word choice of an author of a grammar book. Really. I wrote a grammar book. It is called A Writer’s Guide. Long out of print. Yes, I used to be an eminent grammarian. Now I’m just a grammarian who gets lost among imminent, eminent, emanant, and immanent.

    Watch your back.

    Efflorescently Yours,

    Kent

    i just love Ricochet.

    • #25
  26. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    One of several things I do not understand is why “believe women” doesn’t apply for the dozens of women who have stood up for Judge Kavanaugh. Is “believe women” applicable only when they accuse a man or men? Women aren’t to be believed when they say something positive about a man or men in general?

    It’s the same old, same old. Women defending Kavenaugh aren’t really women, just like Clarence Thomas isn’t really Black.

    Brava! Fellow-Granny. Or Sister-Granny.  Or whichever shoe fits. 

    • #26
  27. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    OP:

    It would be virtually impossible to make a circle of wagons tight enough to conceal the kind of lurid behavior that Kavanaugh has been accused of. It’s not that it doesn’t exist; rather, when it exists, people know about it. Louche, lascivious or predatory men (alcoholic or otherwise) over time become well-known for being so.

    This is the aspect that I thought of first, and my mind keeps returning to. If Brett Kavanaugh had done what he’s accused of, it is very unlikely that it (or they if you believe one or both of the other accusations) were isolated incidents. The accused actions are not the sorts of things “first timers” do, and if guys do them, they keep doing them. Somebody would have noticed. Word would have spread.

    The likelihood that Brett Kavanaugh could keep activities such as those of which he is now accused quiet through all these background checks is essentially zero. We would have heard about it.

    Yes we would. 
    I just heard from a buddy of mine, retired Law Enforcement who, of all things, graduated with Kavanaugh. He’s bewildered: none of what has been described sounds even slightly familiar. The beer, yes. The rest of it? No way.

    Strangely enough, I was briefly part of that same DC/Suburban party scene, though about three years before Kavanaugh (and my friend). I doubt it changed much in three years, so I can affirm my friend’s recollection that yes, there was drinking.  But this was pre-internet and only barely post-pill and Roe; we were not sexual sophisticates attempting to goose jaded palates. 

    I remember going to a dance with a boy, and kissing him on the cheek when he dropped me off; he actually bragged about this (accurately-that is, without exaggeration) to his friends afterward. 

    • #27
  28. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    So here goes: Mrs. Toad, you’ve just corrected a faulty word choice of an author of a grammar book.

    Score!

    School Marm: 1, Other Guy: 0

    Whoop whoop!

    • #28
  29. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Belief without regard to truth and reason is irrational. That’s the problem with #believewomen – it cares not for the truth of the matter but only the identities and intersectionalities involved. It attempts to justify the worst tribalisms without actually martialling anything capable of that justification.

    • #29
  30. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    I learned some things watching Ms. Ford’s testimony. The first thing I learned was my evidentiary standards are much higher than a Democrat Senator. Come to think of it, it was pretty much the second and third things I learned as well.

    Kate, you have a problem. You have spent a lot of time working with law enforcement, fact driven individuals whose paperwork is peer reviewed on every shift. From the trivial to the most tragic incident they are fact driven. The good news is your daughter will understand your aversion to rationalizations when it comes to establishing the truth.  

    • #30

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