The Kavanaugh Affair
I posted Justice Brent Kavanaugh on September 3. I anticipated none of what has kept bloggers and journalists—those who uncover facts and share them, so that bloggers like me can repackage them—busy during the last several days. (Had I foreseen any of it, I’d have made some real money at predictit.org.) Still, I see nothing which gives me a reason to think I got the expected outcome wrong 2+ weeks ago.
The Rs are rallying ‘round. Senator Lindsay Graham (S.C.) calls the assault allegation report a “drive-by shooting.” A request by Christine Blasey Ford for an FBI investigation before she testifies prompted Senator Susan Collins (Maine) to call such a demand “puzzling.” And Senator John Cornyn (Tex.) refers to “her one chance” to tell her story. (Kudos, by the way, to Josh Marshall and TalkingPointMemo.com for the reporting on this matter. Quietly, Mr. Marshall rocks!)
I hear noise about changing times in connection with this affair. Times have changed, for sure. Kate Zernike’s piece in the September 18 New York Times addresses changed times.
Still, no. No! NO!!! What Dr. Blasey describes was never acceptable behavior. Men got away with it more often, and that’s a big part of how times have changed, but the conduct was never okay.
There is, though, a cultural norm which I’ve seen too much of, first-hand, and it’s alive and well in 2018. It involves privileged men who spend lots of time together and learn, either at home or in school or somewhere else, that demeaning women makes you part of the club. Much of it gets shared lightly, so no one ever really owns it. But it’s there, and it’s the underlying and pervasive norm which allowed Judge Kavanaugh, if he did what Dr. Blasey says he did, to think what he was doing was okay, that no one would ever know, and that if his actions did get disclosed, he could mansplain his way out of the situation.*
Separate and apart from the “we can” movement among men—or maybe not—there’s the shamelessness of the male-dominated Republican Party in Congress. Empty seat on the Court (in 2016)? Leave it, for the voters need to decide on the next president in November.
Vacancy we can fill? How dare these libs try to interfere with what belongs to us.
Dr. Blasey wants a forum? You bet, pretty lady, but it’s on our terms, and we’ll “listen” for a little while, right before we confirm Judge Kavanaugh.
Blame this fine man for something he did when he was young? Never. But if black kids engage in similar conduct? Lock them up … forever. (And if they didn’t do it? Lock ‘em up, anyway.)
Several years ago, the Rs ran a man for POTUS who, today, we look on fondly. And during his losing campaign he shared these words:
All right, there are 47 percent who are with [President Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them.
We can debate Governor Romney’s take on entitlements. Right now, though, the Rs in Congress offer up a graduate class in what being entitled really means. Watch them, and vote!
P.S. Read this piece by Jane Coaston for Vox. Read it all the way to the end, because it shows the lengths to which these people will go to get their way.
*By the way, when I typed mansplain Word did not give me any underlining or other messaging to suggest I had committed a spelling or word use faux pas. Microsoft knows from gender dominance!