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!

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