Kavanaugh: Final Thoughts!

October 6, 2018

Kavanaugh: Final Thoughts!


Justice Brett Kavanaugh

It’s over! Thirty-three days ago, I wrote Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Lots of noise since then, but we now have a full complement on the Court, including Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Party Rules

Voting matters, majorities matter, and politicians vote party first. Only Senators Joe Manchin (D – W. Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska) crossed on the Kavanaugh vote, and both did so for seemingly different reasons.

Senator Manchin represents the most pro-Trump state and he’s running for re-election. As for Senator Murkowski, she runs again in 2022. Alaska likes Rs, but it likes Murkowskis too. Senator Murkowski’s father Frank served as Senator and Governor. The current Senator Murkowski won re-election as an independent in 2010, after losing in her party’s primary. These people know Alaska, and how to win.

The point with these two? Senator Manchin, if he wanted to vote no and did so, might have been former Senator Manchin soon, and doing so would have made a D Senate takeover more difficult. Contrariwise, Senator Murkowski had the ability to vote her conscience and find herself still able to win.

Senator Susan Collins (R – Maine) will likely be looking for work in about 25 months. Ditto for Senator Jeff Flake (R – Ariz.), only 24 months sooner. Irony alert regarding Senator Collins. She was a more reliable R in 2017 then she has ever been, but from 1997 until 2015 she was one of the very most independent lawmakers in Congress. Oh well!

Republican Power

Senator Mitch McConnell (R – Ky.) wields power very, very well. He’s shameless, of course, and that helps. Bigly. Merrick Garland, Leader McConnell?

Stupid Rules and a Marginal Senate

The Senate has some stupid rules. One copy of the FBI report. One-hour slots. Leak prevention represents the stated purpose. I guess no one in the majority considered other purposes. Like, for example, giving everyone a chance to digest the information.

The Senate doesn’t do hard stuff very well. Yet again, with a controversy the Senate Judiciary Committee showed off its worst attributes: stupid processes, a lack of transparency, and a failure of imagination. 

Law Stuff

Lots of people said nice things about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, but wanted evidence. Hello! Words from a witness—including a witness who happens to be the victim—constitute evidence. What do these people really mean? Corroborating evidence. Like, I don’t know, telling a psychologist about what happened years before it mattered. (Actually, I think they wanted film and, with it still, the right to here the “Lying Eyes” defense.)

Then there is another borrowed legal concept: innocent until proven guilty. We got plenty about this from President Donald Trump. (Read about his views on the Central Park Five to fully appreciate his commitment to this concept.) Here, guilt should never have been the issue, for no one was ever on trial. Unfortunately, in a society which knows precious little about legal systems, an issue raised in a confirmation proceeding for a lifetime appointment gets equated with the standard for criminal cases. Sad. Sad. And pathetic. 


On the Right the rant involves destroying Judge Kavanaugh. First, he got what he and they wanted: a lifetime appointment and the chance to take the country back to a distant past. More significantly, though, if what the Right rants about a destroyed man, it’s can only because people believe, on some level or another, what they saw and heard, and have read about. Had Dr. Blasey and others been simply incredible, they would have harmed Judge Kavanaugh not at all. Finally, we hear about snowflakes often. Personal responsibility, too. And No Sniveling! Gosh, with all of that and a guy whose history includes plenty of political hit jobs, should not have expected less whininess from this fella?

Post Scripts

The vote was 50-48. Senator Murkowski paired with a senator from Montana. He supported the Kavanaugh nomination, but he did not want to miss his daughter’s wedding.

Go away, Michael Avenatti. Please!

3 Responses to Kavanaugh: Final Thoughts!

  • I was away for two weeks to Galápagos and Peru. Saw NO cable, not once….and read sparingly. Missed it all? Hardly, I read the posts on FB as I posted pics of extraordinary sites. Depressing.
    My takeaway? Dems got sucked in again. THAT’S what is most depressing . Your opening comments got it right, it’s all about elections, specifically winning them.
    The R’s have won the hearts and minds of millions of the working class offering them nothing economically…tax cuts for the wealthy.
    How? Culture wars. The R’s were dying on the vine defending with the Trump albatross around their necks….and we focus on Kavanaugh and what he did in HS? We have taken Trump off the headlines.
    I make no comments about Kavanaugh as it doesn’t matter, he’s already been sworn in so we get him anyway. It’s this ability of the Democrats to to snatch the jaws of defeat from victory time after time after time.
    We have lost the Presidency, the Senate, the House, the Governorships and the State Houses. We are left to beg Republicans to destroy their careers by voting their “conscience “ i.e. like Democrats. We lambast the R’s for using procedural maneuvers to bolster their agenda that we would scold our own if they had power and didn’t do the same.
    The Democratic Party is diverse. We represent groups that have widely different agendas. Yet we time after time become single issue voters and vent dramatically thinking we’ll change the world…..like its 1969 all over again.
    Social issues matter, matter a lot! The way we’ll get our way however, is to get control of all the things we’ve lost, all the levers of power.
    We’ve got to focus on ALL of us and not only on what is important to us as affluent and educated.

  • Glad you all enjoyed yourselves. You might have considered staying; those tortoises live very well, with what appears to be very limited levels of aggravation. That all said, the action occurs in the ballot booth. I wish this battle had been avoided on at least one level–Michael Avenatti took it one step too far–but I understand the rage. I wish deeply for a better presentation by demonstrators but in the end, again, we can take these people. Truly!

    • Mark,
      Indeed….but I was ready to be home.
      On your further response, I’m sure you spend a lot of time advising your clients to pick their battles. Rage isn’t a strategy.
      Think about all the broader groups that comprise the Democratic Party. Think about all the Independents that are appalled by Trump, particularly right of center Independents.
      How many of them are enraged by Kavanaugh?
      I heard a congressman today say, if we win the house, we’ll investigate Kavanaugh.
      Really? That’s going to help improve the lives of the voters we need to get to the polls?

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