Honorable Supreme Court Justice Bart O’Kavanaugh
Kavanaugh should very obviously not be confirmed to the SCOTUS, given all the information that’s become available over the past weeks. Completely aside from the accusations made by Christine Blasey Ford, he is a transparently partisan jurist as demonstrated by his history in the Bush administration and at least questionable jurisprudence. Democrats should have fiercely opposed him purely on partisan grounds. Personally, I think his behavior under questioning, extreme defensiveness, and obvious history of (and likely continued) alcohol abuse, should all disqualify him. His WSJ op-ed apologizing for his childish behavior is a nice cherry on top. A SCOTUS nominee having to write such an article is problematic in and of itself. I hesitate to even touch on the sexual assault issue & Christine Blasey Ford, other than to say I believe her, and that to me, it is obvious that Kavanaugh was not the lily-white choir boy he wants to portray himself as. Whether or not you believe Blasey Ford, he was very obviously an aggressively douchey frat boy and I find it unfathomable to imagine he didn’t at some point behave questionably with women while blackout drunk. Unfortunately, right or wrong, I think there is general sympathy for the notion that Kavanaugh is a reformed, honorable family man, regardless of whether or not he did heinous things in the past (Patriarchy’s a helluva drug; paradoxically precisely because he checks out as an upstanding family man, at a glance, he was able to successfully hide behind this impression).
“Male violence has intensified not because feminist gains offer women greater freedom, but rather because men who endorse patriarchy discovered along the way that the patriarchal promise of power and dominion is not easy to fulfill, and in those rare cases where it is fulfilled, men find themselves emotionally bereft. The patriarchal manhood that was supposed to satisfy does not. And by the time this awareness emerges, most patriarchal men are isolated and alienated; they cannot go back and reclaim a past happiness or joy, nor can they go forward. To go forward they would need to repudiate the patriarchal thinking that their identity has been based on. Rage is the easy way back to a realm of feeling. It can serve as the perfect cover, masking feelings of fear and failure.” — bell hooks
Maybe this is dangerous territory for me to wade into, but, I fear the Me Too movement will stall because, again — right or wrong, I think there is a perception of it having “gone too far”. Or, that there is a problem with “dredging up” events from the “distant” past to “crucify” people (usually men). And to be fair, polite society generally is, to say the least, haphazard in its application of scrutiny. Books have been written about the peculiar ways in which we (media, judiciary, etc.) decide to hold people to account for sexual assault — or not.
In any case, the past few weeks’ spectacle surrounding our good frat bro Brett “I Like Beer” Kavanaugh is irrelevant in a political sense: conservatives will (largely successfully) cast this as a craven, politically-motivated, illegitimate attack against an Honorable Man. This entire line is utter garbage — recall not even a few years ago Mitch McConnell declared, by fiat, that no hearings or vote of any kind would be held for Merrick Garland, Obama’s extremely legitimate, extremely vanilla SCOTUS nominee. He just made up some hogwash about how the vote would have to wait until the election — a completely, obviously craven political move. I dunno, I feel that invalidates any indignation some might claim re: the legitimate scrutiny Kavanaugh has faced. The latest line from the GOP is “You know that cesspool of inhuman corruption so reviled President Trump based a large part of his campaign on draining it? Yeah, well they’ve all said plenty of times how nice this guy is, lay off!”
Remember, though, that Democrats deserve ultimate blame for whiffing a lay-up here. To begin with, generally the party forfeits any real moral high ground in the entire spectacle in no small part due to its own history with caping for sexual predators. Right or wrong, conservatives can point to Hillary Clinton silencing her husband’s accusers, scream hypocrisy, and placate any lurking concerns they might have about Kavanaugh’s character. Further, the Democrats completely “boofed” their questioning of Kavanaugh — he should have been absolutely ruined just for his unacceptable behavior when questioned about his drinking habits (clearly some skeletons in the closet there folks).
More importantly, to all appearances a Democrat, Joe Manchin, will be the final deciding vote to confirm. Schumer and Pelosi are really playing with fire…I have to believe at some point these sellout dinosaurs will be voted out, but I’m not crossing my fingers.
Not to say the GOP aren’t ludicrously evil; or at least, this debacle seems out of line with their constant harping on Activist Judges and the Constitution, etc. etc.
I tried to write a big, long, serious essay about all this but politics has become so much like a rotten bullshit onion, the layers impossible to penetrate without inflicting searing eye pain. I suppose constantly being negative isn’t a good look, but, the Kavanaugh disaster illustrates so clearly, yet again, how backwards our society still is; that we are also very clearly not a democracy in any meaningful sense further solidifies the feeling of hopelessness.
Anywho, at least I can, perhaps unreasonably, cross my finger that Bernie packs the court in ~2 years!