Sorry I'm gonna need testimony from everyone in the room for me to think it's credible that he was actually sworn in. https://t.co/LVlBJc07L1
— zeddy (@Zeddary) October 6, 2018
Very few people, when Preston Brooks assaulted Charles Sumner on the Senate floor, foresaw that Books’ supporters would declare war against their own country just a few years later. We’ve got the advantage of history to demonstrate where the kind of violent intransigence that just put Brett Kavanaugh on the SCOTUS bench can lead, so I devoutly hope we’ll be able to ringfence his future before he and his GOP co-conspirators can lead us down a similar path. But I’ve been accumulating a stack of links over the past couple of weeks, and I’m going to tack some of them up to this virtual wall just so we have them at hand.
Kavanaugh’s (former) friend Benjamin Wittes, in the Atlantic, “I Know Brett Kavanaugh, but I Wouldn’t Confirm Him”:
… Faced with credible allegations of serious misconduct against him, Kavanaugh behaved in a fashion unacceptable in a justice, it seems preponderantly likely he was not candid with the Senate Judiciary Committee on important matters, and the risk of Ford’s allegations being closer to the truth than his denial of them is simply too high to place him on the Supreme Court.
We are in a political environment in which there are no rules, no norms anymore to violate. There is only power, and the individual judgments of individual senators—facing whatever political pressures they face, calculating political gain however they do it, and consulting their consciences to the extent they have them.
As much as I admire Kavanaugh, my conscience would not permit me to vote for him.
Charles Pierce, at Esquire, “A High-End Legal Ratf*cker Is Still a Ratf*cker”:
… … I believe most of what has been alleged about Brett Kavanaugh from the people who knew him back in the day. His demeanor before the committee last week made him look like every privileged lace-curtain Irish inebriate with whom I grew up. I believe everything Dr. Christine Blasey Ford said about him, not because I oppose his nomination, but because she was human and he was a wind-up rage doll. Those charges and that temperament are enough to keep him off the Supreme Court. Hell, they’re enough to keep him out from behind the counter at Costco.
But, even if these most recent charges never emerged, I want him kept off the Supreme Court, even though his attitude last week is a damned good reason. (And, as The Washington Post reported, it was what gave the American Bar Association pause regarding Kavanaugh’s demeanor during the judge’s first go-round in the Senate.) I want him kept off the Supreme Court because, up until C-Plus Augustus rammed him onto the bench in 2006, Kavanaugh’s career was not that of a lawyer, but that of a partisan ratfcker. If he gets confirmed, we will have a vengeful partisan ratfcker on the Supreme Court for the rest of my lifetime, and that’s not a legacy I want to leave behind.
Of all the things about which he has hedged and fudged and prevaricated, his services to conservative ratfcking exercises—from the Great Penis Hunt of the 1990s, to the brawl over little Elian Gonzalez, to the 2000 presidential burglary, to his activities on behalf of the Avignon Presidency—are the most consequential of his many misleading fairy tales, sleight-of-hand alibis, and outright lies.
Brett Kavanaugh is a lawyer only because he went to law school and passed the bar. He’s never tried a case, at least to my knowledge and, until he became a judge, he put his legal training at the service of high-end ratfcking, keeping the activities at least within sight of the traditional guard rails that stand between lawyers and 5-15 at Allenwood… Kavanaugh’s only experience as a prosecutor was as a drooling operative in Ken Starr’s little shop of sanctified presidential porn—which was, in many ways, one of the great ratfcking operations of all time, and certainly the most expensive…
… [T]here is a fine living to be made as a partisan lawyer specializing in high-end political ratfcking. It’s an industry now. But a partisan ratfcking lawyer should not be able to hedge, and fudge, and prevaricate his way onto the Supreme Court. I’m also worried that he might chuck some water at counsel during oral arguments, but I’m putting that concern on, well, ice for a while.
Maureen O’Connor, at NYMag: “Why Won’t Brett Kavanaugh Stop Lying?”:
… Honesty is more than the mere absence of lies. Honesty requires correcting omissions. Honesty means looking at complex, messy realities and taking seriously the task of understanding each mess. It means reflecting on behavior you may have considered as “rough horseplay,” and considering whether it was a life-altering trauma for someone else. Honesty means questioning your assumptions and constantly measuring whether the things you believe and say are as accurate as possible. So what would an honest man do, in Brett Kavanaugh’s place? I could imagine a version of reality where he acknowledged young-adult delinquency and discussed what he thinks now as he looks back. If he does, in fact, remember the incident in question — or has reason to believe it may have happened — then he should honestly reckon with that truth…
… When the Washington Post profiled 95-year-old Jimmy Carter’s “un-celebrity” life last month, the quote that got the most attention was the former president calling the current one “a disaster.” But then Rosalynn jumped in: “The worst is that he is not telling the truth, and that just hurts everything.”
The article recounts Carter’s famous aversion to lying, which he credits to a strict father and his education at the U.S. Naval Academy “where he said students are expelled for telling even the smallest lie.” Amid widespread government mistrust post-Nixon and post-Vietnam, Carter ran for president on this promise: “I’ll never tell a lie. I’ll never knowingly make a misstatement of fact. I’ll never betray your trust. If I do any of these things, I don’t want you to support me.” Jimmy Carter was so honest, he told Playboy he wanted to cheat on Rosalynn! That’s a level of honesty that, frankly, I might not want in a significant other. (But I’m glad “radical honesty” worked for the Carters, decades before everyone else caught on.) You don’t need to be rude. But when the choice is between rude and true? Choose true.
Roger (not Richard) Cohen, at the NYTimes, back in September, “An Injudicious Man, Unfit for the Supreme Court”:
What America saw before the Senate Judiciary Committee was an injudicious man, an angry brat veering from fury to sniveling sobs, a judge so bereft of composure and proportion that it was difficult not to squirm. Brett Kavanaugh actually got teary over keeping a calendar because that’s what his dad did. His performance was right out of Norman Rockwell with a touch of “Mad Men.”
This is what you get from the unexamined life…
… Kavanaugh’s bleating about due process and presumption of innocence — his rage at a supposed “national disgrace” — misses the point. He failed the job interview. Who would want this spoiled man pieced together on a foundation of repressed anger and circumscribed privilege — this man who quite plausibly was the teenage drunk near-suffocating Christine Blasey Ford as he ground his body against hers, this man who may now have perjured himself — occupying a place for life on the highest court in the land?…
The hearings were a Rorschach test for America’s tribes. They saw what they wanted to see. For Kavanaugh’s supporters, his rage was as good a primal scream for threatened white male privilege as may be imagined. No wonder Trump loved it.
Addressing the Democrats on the committee, Graham fumed: “You want this seat? I hope you never get it.” But of course, as Democrats will never forget, Republicans stole a seat. Remember Merrick Garland? There is something so hypocritical in Republican outrage that it would be comical if the issue were not so grave.
It’s hard to argue that America’s tribal democracy is not dysfunctional these days, but still the United States is a democracy. Flake’s 11th-hour decision to demand a week’s delay before a full Senate vote to allow the F.B.I. investigation — a decision driven by conscience over Republican Party allegiance — is a small act of honor in a tawdry time. It can take a while for democracies to zigzag toward the truth.
Kavanaugh has revealed himself to be a man without measure, capable of frenzy, full of conspiratorial venom against Democrats. Justice would not be served by his presence on the Supreme Court.
Even a renowned auteur of American man-baby entitlement can’t believe this dude…
He couldn’t do it because he’s never had to. It’s all been handed to him. https://t.co/wuiRlzs5cD
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) October 6, 2018