25 September 2018


I haven't posted about the Kavanaugh drama -- not because I've failed to notice its importance, but because it's being covered so heavily on political blogs and news sites that there seemed little left to say that wasn't already being said.  I've also been riveted by the much larger story which has erupted within the Catholic Church with the new revelations and fury over the molestation cover-up scandals.  What happens with the US Supreme Court affects only one country, whereas the Catholic Church's power reaches dozens of countries.

But it is an unendurable provocation to see the right-wing internet adopting a stance of oblivious self-righteousness about the Kavanaugh battle, as they are now increasingly doing (example), and especially to see McConnell himself denounce the accusations as a "shameful smear campaign", insinuating not only that the accusers are lying but that Democrats are depraved in making an issue of them at all.

A specter is haunting this confirmation fight, one that Republicans are struggling mightily to ignore -- the specter of Merrick Garland.  When McConnell and his gang refused to even consider Garland, they crossed a very fundamental line, denying President Obama the exercise of one of the most important powers of the office with which he had twice been entrusted by the voters.  (The claimed need to "wait for the election" was entirely specious -- a President is elected to a four-year term and is expected to exercise the full powers of the office during that entire term.  Senators who are up for re-election do not refrain from voting during their last year in office on such grounds.)  They showed that the Constitution, tradition, and playing by the rules meant nothing to them -- that it was all about power at any cost.  They showed that they were dead to any sense of shame or honor.

And in doing so, they lost any right to be treated honorably.

I believe Ford, Ramirez, and the others now starting to come forward are probably telling the truth about Kavanaugh.  The costs to them of speaking out are enormous -- Ford is already getting death threats from the slavering Morlocks who make up the core of Trump's support, and the accusers will probably never feel really safe for the rest of their lives.  And Ford has behaved like someone who is telling the truth.  Granted, if Kavanaugh were on trial for the assaults he's accused of, what we've seen so far would not meet the standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt that we rightly demand for a conviction.  But he's not on trial.  He's not at risk of going to prison.  We are entitled to judge by what the evidence suggests is most likely to be true.  And so is the Senate, and so are the voters to whom the Senators are answerable.

But even beyond all that, McConnell is simply in no position to call anything or anyone "shameful", ever again.  Nor are those who conspired with him to deny Garland a hearing, or those who tried to defend that action.

If the Kavanaugh nomination collapses and Democrats win control of the Senate, they should reject any other nominees Trump (or Pence) sends them, even though it means holding Kennedy's seat vacant for over two years.  In this case, two wrongs really do make a right -- in fact, that would be the only way of making this right.  The Republicans have shown that they will do whatever they have the raw power to get away with.  There must be payback in kind.  And their move to shift the Court to the right, illegitimately made possible by that power play, must be thwarted.

(The only circumstance in which the Senate should confirm a Trump nomination to the Court is if Trump re-nominates Garland, thus himself righting the wrong done by McConnell -- something I can safely say is drastically unlikely.)

Many people hope that someday moderation and compromise will return to the government and end the politics of raw power.  But in order for that to happen, the Republicans need to be shown that there's a massive price to be paid for what they've been doing.  It is pointless to declare peace before the aggressor has surrendered or at least shown a real willingness to negotiate.

In the meantime, Trump and the Senate Republicans (and most of the wingnut internet) seem determined to cling to Kavanaugh and ride out the storm.  Let them.  The longer they lie down with this dog, the more fleas they will get.  And if they bulldoze a confirmation vote through, to make this a done deal before any more accusers and evidence can surface -- well, those accusers and evidence will surface anyway, and the Senators who voted to deny them their say will find that they can't deny the voters their say.  Some of them have enough of those slavering Morlocks among their constituents to win regardless.  Some don't.  They'll learn that raw power cuts both ways.


Blogger Harry Hamid said...

I want to disagree with this. I want to say, "No, the only way for things to improve is for our side to do what is right and not sink to such levels..."


There's a environmental writer I've read named Derrick Jensen. Terrible guy, but whatever. And he points out that things like nonviolent civil disobedience only work if the other side has a conscience. Otherwise, they just keep rolling over you with their tanks.

So maybe power plays - pure, unadulterated power plays - are the answer. That makes me sad, but it's probably right.

25 September, 2018 05:40  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Real big critical bitch fight no doubt ... and it is BIG in my view, because it's a Supreme Court justice position ... not to even have the concern over what possible picks (in the dozens) that Trump is going to pick for lower courts, it's just f*cked up man. I never even expected a GOP majority to be this bad, I expected them to be lousy, but not this much, on every damn thing, from healthcare to court picks to tax breaks, you name it. I havent been following Kavanaugh like I should, I guess, like you said, lots o' shit out there on it. I did pick up a couple pieces while in YouTube. I hear also that McConnell asked Trump to tone it down on the tweets over it, because it's hurting the party ... you know f'n Trump, guy ... once that MF is on a roll it's tweetyville all day, he'll say shit he has to cover up later. I hear that Kavanaugh is now saying he was a virgin in school, through college or whatever ... I dont see what in Hell that has to do with the charge/ allegations tough, I mean like, perhap's he was trying to get some pussy while f'd up drinking, and trying to un- virgin his virginity. Republicans are ranting up a storm, saying it's all a conspiracy by leftists and made up ... which their followers are believing ... just a downright mess! I also hear that Republicans on the Hill already knew before hand, that he was tarnished as far as his past on these things, and they were hoping to slip him through, before anyone came forward ... yet they could still impeach him later if he got through. I myself wish there was also term limits on these justices.

25 September, 2018 12:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that Democrats sat on this for months until after hearings were concluded is prima facie evidence that this very fake drama is nothing other than rank political skullduggery. With the integrity and independence of our judicial system at stake, Kavanaugh must be confirmed immediately (and Feinstein must be censured).

25 September, 2018 16:46  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Harry: I wish that weren't the situation, but they've given us ample evidence that it is.

Ranch: Their followers will believe just about anything -- because they avoid being informed.

It's actually amazing that Trump was able to maintain a semblance of decency for a couple of days, but of course we all knew it wouldn't last.

Anon: Oh, come on. Feinstein held back the information until now because Ford wanted anonymity. That's widely known. The Republicans, on the other hand, were doing background research on Ford and had that letter from 65 women (many of whom have now repudiated it) ready to go before the allegations became public. They knew in advance this was going to come up and be a problem -- which strongly suggests there's some substance to it.

25 September, 2018 17:17  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Yes! We have to keep the pressure on the Kavanaugh fight, which I fervently hope will wipe the perpetual smirk off of McConnell's testudinal face forever. The Goopers asked for this fight. Now we need to give them a bloody good one.

26 September, 2018 10:37  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Shaw: I hope our Senators have absorbed the fact that doing so will actually help them in November. Voters will be more motivated when they know the people they're voting for will really fight.

26 September, 2018 11:59  
Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

"And in doing so, they lost any right to be treated honorably."

Nailed it, Infidel.

But then again, the GOP already lost the "party of law and order/party of family values" patina that they had covered themselves with years ago. This mask that they wore for years slipped a bit with Reagan, slipped more with the Gingrich Congress of the 1990s and their relentless pursuit of President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, and it started coming off during the Bush 2 years.

While Obama was President, the mask was completely ripped off. Trump is proof of that.

My hope is that the Kavanaugh confirmation imbroglio will get many more voters to the polls in November, especially women. Now, we can clearly see that there is a miles-wide chasm of differences between the two major parties. Anyone that still doubles down on the "both parties are the same!!" horse manure has to be sick in the head.

27 September, 2018 09:16  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Marc: When Republicans talk about family values, they mean "God hates fags" and "you will have your rapist's baby". They're not using the term the way normal people would understand it.

Republicans who understand voter behavior must be tearing their hair out. Staging this spectacle barely a month before the election is like a solid kick to their own electoral balls. But if they do ditch Kavanaugh, the Trumpanzees will revolt because all they care about is pwning "the libs" and they can't endure to see it go the other way.

27 September, 2018 13:56  

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