Monday, September 24, 2018

Next Step

It was late last night when I saw the headlines about the new allegations. My task this morning is to dig in a little further and see what they amount to. But here is my first impression about the way forward. Keep the schedule for the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing on Thursday. Dems will push for more concessions and insist that more witnesses be called, and may even surface some new allegations. If the list of witnesses is allowed to expand at all, that list will continue to grow as new charges are leveled.  It's important from a point of consistency that Grassley holds the line on just Kavanaugh and Ford lest this become more of a circus than it already is. I think it is important to force Dr Ford to testify. If she backs out, as I expect she may try to do, it is important that it is obvious that the decision was hers. The opportunity was there. If she chooses to refuse, it's important that it be obvious to reasonable people that her excuse is a lame one. 

Kavanaugh should testify anyway and state his case. He should be prepared to be humiliated. He can turn that to his advantage. He should have certain boundaries in his mind as to what he will refuse to answer on the grounds that it is too personal and of no value to the committee. And he should be prepared to be politely belligerent to hostile questioners. He's not going to get a single Democratic vote anyway, and Red Americas wants to see Kavanaugh punch back. The Democrats' strategy was to make Ford look sympathetic before hostile Republican men. Grassley and Kavanaugh can turn the tables on them. Kavanaugh needs to project strength and confidence. He needs to be honest, but stand up for himself when questions are obviously fishing for embarrassing details of his life. He should rely on the answer that he is there to respond to Dr Ford's allegations and everything else is off limits. It should be confrontational with the likes of Kamala Harris and Cory Booker and such. Kavanaugh can't be a pussy. When it is over, the women in America should want him and men should want to be him. Hard core lefties will never stop with the allegations. No sense trying to please them. It's us against them. Once it is over, if the Republicans have the votes, they should press forward and hold the vote over all objections. That's what having the majority is all about. It's time to break some eggs and get this omelet made. 

If they don't have the votes, then defecting Senators need to be relentlessly pursued out of office. If Collins and Murkowski can't see through the drive by mugging being perpetrated against Brett Kavanaugh, then they need a withdrawal of Republican funding and primary challengers at their next election!



I have been liberated from the agony of trying to decide if I believe these Kavanaugh stories or not because the test I apply is, "If it's true, is it disqualifying?" I don't know if any of it is true, but it doesn't matter because, worse case scenario, none of this rises to the level of anything other than crass behavior on the part of a drunk and immature teenager. 
Saul Alinsky's rules for radicals #4 is 
"Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." 
If your ethics say never get drunk and never pay unwanted sexual attention to a woman, that's fine. But if you can't forgive this behavior from a teenage boy which falls well short of rape or sexual assault by any measure except that of some radical feminist, then you deserve to lose sleep at night agonizing over did he or didn't he.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

More Thoughts on the Kavanaugh Allegations

Even under normal circumstances I can get very animated about politics, but these Kavanaugh allegations have made me furious.  Now Ford's lawyers are saying she will testify, but not on Monday.  They want a full investigation first.  Details in this Politico article

This totally destroys any shred of credibility she ever had with me.  And I say that as someone who always conceded that there might be some truth to her story.  For instance, I can't think of a very good reason why Mark Judge prefers NOT to defend Kavanaugh under oath before a Senate panel if there isn't at least some truth to it.  Ford claims Judge was present when the alleged assault occurred.  There may be a good explanation for his reluctance, but I'd like to hear something more convincing than simply, I prefer not to testify.  

I think there is a 50/50 chance that something might have happened 35 years ago, but I am way past caring about it.  If something did happen, I am not convinced it was as serious as it has been portrayed.  I'm not willing to substitute the judgement of a 15 year old girl for my own judgement in assessing the motives, intentions, and seriousness of the unwelcome attention.  Even if everything alleged is true, I don't find that bad behavior, falling well short of rape, of a drunk 17 year old a disqualifying event.  Especially in light of the fact that it happened 35 years ago and there is no evidence of a pattern of repeated behavior of this nature.   As a friend of mine recently commented, most of us are better than the worst thing we have ever done.  It's clear to me that all the Democrats care about is defeating Kavanaugh at all costs.  The sick irony of the Feinstein quote in the Politico article is evidence of that, and it makes me want to strangle her. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the panel, said that the hearing scheduled for Monday should be delayed, adding: "We're better than this." “I agree with her 100 percent that the rushed process to hold a hearing on Monday has been unfair and is reminiscent of the treatment of Anita Hill. I also agree that we need the facts before senators — not staff or lawyers — speak to witnesses," Feinstein said. “We should honor Dr. Blasey Ford’s wishes and delay this hearing." 

She is the one who had this information in July and sat on it until the 11th hour.  Now she whines about fairness?  What a pathetic POS she is.  

The Democratic Party that defended Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton, and who are now trying to protect Keith Ellison from being held responsible for much worse behavior than Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of is somehow holding themselves out to voters as the protector of women.  What a sick world we live in.  This sick exercise is about one thing only.  Delay by any means necessary.  ANY MEANS NECESSARY!

Ford has been given the benefit of the doubt and offered a chance to make her case.  Any investigation she thinks might be warranted could very easily and more reasonably be considered AFTER we hear what she has to say and have had a chance to assess its credibility.  She has been offered the opportunity to testify in private session if she prefers with no cameras present.  She will not be forced to be present on the same panel as Kavanaugh, as had been alleged.  Yet still she is reluctant.  Any and all sympathy I ever had for this woman is gone.  She is at the very least a coward, and at worst a liar. 

The reputation of a good man has been seriously damaged and can never be fully repaired thanks to her, and she is worried that some people who don't believe her story may say something mean to her?  At this point, I don't give a shit what happens to her.  I don't know if she was ever a victim, but I know that the only victim now is Brett Kavanaugh.


Monday, September 17, 2018

What's Next for Brett Kavanaugh?

I had a feeling David French of National Review would address the latest in the Brett Kavanaugh situation, and sure enough, this was published last night.  I think his analysis is pretty measured.  I have a few new thoughts of my own, now that we have more facts, and the alleged victim has come forward.

I recognize that this story must now receive serious attention. I still believe it deserved to be dismissed when it first surfaced for so many reasons:

The alleged victim's request for anonymity
Senator Diane Feinstein's apparent lack of faith in the story to the point that she didn't question Kavanaugh about it either in private or in the public hearings, and didn't even inform her Senate colleagues.

The fact that 30 years have elapsed since the alleged incident.

No evidence of contemporaneous reporting of the event, even to friends. 

No corroborating proof.  This was always, and still is, a he said she said situation, and before the alleged victim came forward to be identified, we didn't even know who she was.

The fact that the story was only revealed at the last minute just as the Senate Judiciary Committee is prepared to vote on Thursday.

The fact that the allegation only surfaced after a previous series of shameful tactics by Democrats to derail, on ridiculous grounds, the nomination of an otherwise qualified candidate.  (I'm thinking particularly of the despicable nature of  questioning by Corey Booker and Kamala Harris.  It seemed like just one more lame, despicable attempt to defeat a solid candidate for the Supreme Court.  On balance, it still seems like that to me, even though I now have some doubts.

And finally, to allow this tactic to succeed now would lead to a near certainty that in the future, anytime some group wanted to derail a political nomination, the precedent would have been set that all one needs to do is to find some woman willing to level an unsubstantiated, and unsubstantiatable claim of sexual misconduct against the person in question.

Now, the situation is different.  Now, the allegations must be evaluated.   I'm angry about the way this has been handled.  I'm angry at Senator Feinstein for the release of the story without naming the alleged victim. I'm angry at the last minute nature of the allegation, and it makes me all the more suspicious of the story.   I'm angry at the alleged victim for making such an accusation without having the guts to do so publicly and in a more timely manner when the nomination was first announced. 

I'm suspicious that this could have been the strategy all along:  To level this accusation at the last minute only after nothing else was successful to defeat the nomination.  This could have been reserved for use only in the final week as a desperation tactic in order to delay the vote long enough for the possibility of a Democratic majority in the Senate.  Had this allegation been made public in July when this woman first wrote the letter, it could been investigated then, and if found credible, a different person could have been nominated with plenty of time for confirmation in this Congress. 

I'm angry that if Kavanaugh is blocked as a result of this allegation, you can count on this tactic being used again to hobble qualified candidates for positions as judges or cabinet secretaries by partisans of the opposing party willing to lie to assassinate the character of an otherwise qualified candidate. 

We will come to regret the day this woman came forward with her allegation.

And now for my more politically incorrect views:

What if the allegations are true?  Or what if people start to at least believe they might be true?  It will be time to ask ourselves what constitutes disqualifying behavior for future office holders.  Do one's actions as a 17 year old constitute grounds for permanent disqualification for positions of responsibility as an adult?  Should the fact that alcohol may have been involved be considered a mitigating factor?

There was no rape.  By the alleged victim's description, there was unwanted sexual attention.  At what point does it become sexual assault?  And who's definition of sexual assault do we use?  The alleged victim or the perpetrator?  There are militant feminists who speak of toxic masculinity.  Do those militant feminists (also known in some circles as militant lesbians) know of any masculinity that they do not consider toxic?  Are they the ones who will define what constitutes sexual assault? 

There is apparently some discrepancy or confusion about how many boys were involved.  That could be due to a note taking error on the part of the alleged victim's 2012 therapist.  Still, is it reasonable to base a decision about a Supreme Court nominee on the faded impressions of a 15 year old girl over something that happened 30 years ago?  She also said she thought at one point her attacker might inadvertently kill her.  She wasn't killed.  Did she over react?  Was her perception of the seriousness of the groping incident an over reaction too?  And this speculation is based on a presumption that the alleged victim might be telling the truth.  What if she is lying for political purposes?

So what happens now?

I'll be curious to see if the vote goes forward as planned.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Senate Judiciary Committee delays its scheduled Thursday vote.  But for what?  If this is to be investigated, how do we know it will ever be resolved to anything other than he said, she said?  Should the vote go forward then?  Or will the fact that some shred of doubt will always remain mean that the nominee should withdraw?  What would be the implications for any future nominee for high office?  Should every future nominee  simply expect as a matter of routine to find himself accused of sexual misconduct for his trouble?

Possible outcomes:

The vote goes ahead as planned.  This won't happen unless they know they still have the votes.

One or more Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee gets cold feet and withdraws his support pending further investigation.

Investigation changes nothing.  They vote anyway and confirm.

Investigation changes nothing.   They never vote.  Kavanaugh withdraws.

Investigation raises serious enough doubts.  Trump or Kavanaugh withdraws.

If Kavanaugh is defeated, I suspect the prospects for the Senate to remain in Republican hands are still pretty favorable.  It's back to the drawing board to choose another candidate.  My suggestion would be Amy Coney Barrett.  Democrats will be longing for the days when they had a chance to put Brett Kavanaugh on the bench.