Saturday, October 20, 2018

8 Reasons KAVANAUGH SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED


When my daughter was a teenager she was horrible.  I’m not even religious, but she kept me on my knees in a constant state of prayer.  I often tell the story about how she ran away and I finally felt some relief and got the first real sleep I’d had in months.  My friends and husband were horrified, while I was honestly, indifferent, maybe even relieved.  So much so, that when the police found her, I got mad. 

That was twenty years ago and today we laugh at the horror she once was.  Today, that horrible kid is a highly successful surgeon, a doting wife and a better mother than I probably ever was.  And I’m proud of her, but back then I wouldn’t have waged two pennies that she would become anything other than a grown-up pain in the ass.  Kids grow up and if we’re lucky and they don’t go too far off the rails evolve to become thoughtful humans.

I thought of my daughter as I listened to Kavanaugh, and in the final analysis  concluded there are 8 reasons he is not worthy of an elevation to the Supreme Court.   

1) When Kavanaugh introduced himself to the American public he said:
“Mr. President, thank you. Throughout this process, I’ve witnessed firsthand your appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary. No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.”
The first words he uttered were lies.
2) For me, it would have made all the difference had he conceded that he had been a reckless youth…kids do dumb shit.  35 years had passed, he could have even admitted to not remembering some things, and…” never knowingly harming anyone”.  Instead he took a position of pompous perfection.  Humility would have gone a long way to protect his image and help Dr. Blasey Ford.

3) Kavanaugh’s resistance to an FBI investigation and a lie detector test were telling.  I believe an innocent man would have protested bitterly and insisted on anything that would have exonerated him.

That isn’t to say I don’t understand his resistance.  Considering that the alleged assault took place in a state with no statute of limitations,  I would not have availed myself to an investigation or test either.  On the other hand, a man who has dedicated his life to justice and a system of supposed fairness shouldn’t be intimidated by the option.  That is, if he believes in the sanctity of the justice system and if he’s innocent.

The lack of a statute of limitations in the state where the alleged assault occurred goes a long way to explain much of what happened.  Kavanaugh’s sidekick, Mark Judge didn’t hide away because he’s shy, nor was the FBI investigation restricted to some truncated joke because it exceeded the FBI’s authority.  Investigating is what they do.  

If uncovering the truth had been an important element of the investigation, it would not have been sliced and diced to assure a particular outcome.  And Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford would have been interviewed by the FBI. Especially since Blasey Ford stated that “there was more to tell that was not appropriate to present in an open setting.”  

4) The idea that people never lie when speaking to the FBI or when they are under oath or because they’ve signed an affidavit is ludicrous. People lie all the time under each of these circumstances.  And if, as was the case in the Kavanaugh investigation, no consequences arise from lying and one isn’t really seeking the truth, anyway, what difference does it make?

The entire hearing flew in the face of serious legal truth and consequence because one thing is clear, someone was lying.   Many were content to accuse Blasey Ford of manufacturing an elaborate tale of woe.  But if that is true, she began weaving the tale years before Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme court.  Still others were disturbed by the idea that Senator Feinstein leaked a letter Dr. Blasey Ford had asked be held in confidence.  This scenario may be unlikely as well,  since Blasey Ford had twice contacted the Washington Post, then delivered the letter to her California representative before Feinstein ever received it.  

5)  I think of Susan Collins declaring that “she went over his record with a fine-tooth comb” and I feel ashamed at how politics have obliterated all senses of integrity.  The White House withheld 93% of Kavanaugh’s record.  How could Collins or anyone else properly vet a candidate whose record was not available?  No one would ever be able to land a job by filling out only 3% of the job application, and Brett Kavanaugh should not have been able to either. 

6)  His staged display of anger was his nail in the coffin as far as I’m concerned. There was not even a hint of the sagacity one expects from a judge, but instead a sniffling, screaming display of partisan outrage and white male privilege.  All of which he’d managed to suppress only hours before on the Fox News.  

Still, there was a moment during this outrageous display that stood out even more to me than his truant behavior.  It was when he said his eight-year-old daughter had said to her sister, “Let’s pray for the woman.”  

There is nothing little girls adore more than their Daddies.  I have difficulty believing that when the country was attacking hers, she chose to pray “for the woman.”  I prefer to believe he was lying because if he wasn’t, I can’t help but wonder why she made that choice.

I maintained throughout this charade that there were far more urgent  and timely matters concerning Kavanaugh.  While sexual assault is certainly important, "the party of vaginal probes and redefining rape" have proven over and over again that sexual matters are not important to them, unless they concern Democrats (read Clinton).  Jason Lewis, a Republican congressman in Minnesota asked,
“How many women at some point in their life have a man come on to them…. is that really something that’s going to be seared in your memory that you’ll need therapy for?….Come on!  She wasn’t raped….are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can’t call her a slut?”
Typical Republican rhetoric.  And why not?  They worship at the altar of a sexual assaulter.  Nor would they care if Kavanaugh lied.  Who lies more than their leader?  It was all too obvious that Republicans would excuse his behavior based on the age of the grievance and Kavanaugh’s youth.  

7)  During his 2004 confirmation hearings for a seat on the DC Circuit, Kavanaugh denied that he played a role in the effort to get William Pryor confirmed for a different appeals court seat.  The Washington Post reported Kavanaugh was included in several emails referencing the Pryor nomination. 

Kavanaugh’s denial that he was part of a scheme involving stolen Democratic  emails related to judicial confirmations was also proven to be bogus.

His mentor, Alex Kozinski, a former appellate judge, was removed from the bench following accusations from 15 women of sexual misconduct. Despite, a decades-long relationship and working as his star clerk, Kavanaugh claims to have noticed nothing. He didn’t even remember being on Kozinski’s email distribution list for dirty jokes.  Kavanaugh would later hire Kozinski’s son to clerk for him.

8)  From my point of view, Kavanaugh was never qualified for the position.  In 2006, ahead of his nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals, investigators concluded that there were concerns about his “professional experience and questioned his freedom from bias and open-mindedness.”

One interviewee expressed concern about Kavanaugh’s ability to be balanced and fair, while a judge said he was sanctimonious and dishonest in court.  The committee concluded that while Kavanaugh met the standards for the bench, he was not an outstanding candidate.

Today, more than 2,400 scholars of judicial institutions from across the nation, signed an open letter opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation citing 
“the unprecedented and unfathomable demeanor of Judge Kavanaugh….Judge Kavanaugh did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land. "
Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School said
”Kavanaugh’s behavior…. was not what we should expect of a Supreme Court Justice. Telling obvious lies about his background, yelling at senators, refusing to answer questions, and blaming his troubles on others is not appropriate behavior.”
Retired justice John Paul Stevens found his behavior appalling while  the American Bar Association  announced that it was having second thoughts about its endorsement and have since decided to review its rating.

He’s a man who is very willing to say things that are false or misleading in order to get ahead.  He’s a liar.  And even though his lies might not  meet the standard of perjury, they should have denied him a seat on the Supreme Court.

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