So this will almost certainly be decided on the basis of raw, winner-take-all political power, for its own sake, rather than on anything that resembles an attempt at compromise, and it has already set the stage for many more similarly ugly and degrading showdowns in the future. Regardless of the outcome, Kavanaugh's nomination has pulled our nation further into the quagmire of crude partisan power politics. Welcome to the abyss.
Saturday, September 29, 2018
The Kavanaugh Nomination Fight Has Pulled Us Further Into a Partisan Quagmire - Hit & Run : Reason.com
This is pretty good. RTWT. One would have to go down multiple rabbit holes more than I am willing to at this late date to figure out what really happened. Most people seem to be believing what they want to believe anyway, including me. There is a right answer here that could be figured out eventually, but I don't think that's the most important thing, at this point. David Brooks last night on The News Hour said something like "Truth is more important than Justice," which is the sort of pompous and idiotic thing he has a tendency to say. He really has figured out the perfect business model for being a pet conservative, though, you have to hand him that. It is, of course, precisely the opposite. Justice is more important than Truth.
The most we'll be able to get is a probabilistic estimate of K's guilt. I would put that at about 80-20 for his innocence, just based on what we know of now. Your mileage may vary.
The Democrats have taken us down to a very low level with their shenanigans. We all have our favorite examples. They seem to be borrowing from the GOP playbook in terms of stupidity. But just hypothetically, whom would you choose: a guy who was perhaps, maybe, based on far from ideal memories from 30+ years ago, a heavy drinker and sexual assaulter, but who would uphold the basic structure of the republic, versus another Sotomayor, who is arguendo personally morally upstanding, but who would gnaw obsessively at the pilings under-girding our form of government? Given the choice, I know what I would do.
Look, a lot of people in positions of high authority are not very nice at all. Some of the Dems on the Senate Judiciary Committee make me want a long, hot shower after listening to them. I care about the environment, so I don't listen to them. Some of the judges I have known were frankly a**holes, always jockeying for political advantage and not caring deeply about the law. Indeed, we seem to have entered an era in which few people care deeply about the law, attributable mostly it seems to me, and ironically, to law professors. Judge K seems ambitious but to at least care about the law.
In politics, you reach a point, usually near the beginning but almost always by the end, where you have to choose the greater good or the lesser evil. That's where we are with Judge K. It's possible he did sexually assault Ford long ago and does not remember it or half-remembers it now. It's possible Ford has confabulated her memory of this possibly fictional incident. Lots of things are possible. Few lives, except mine of course, could stand up to the sort of hyperpartisan de- and reconstruction that K's has been subject to. K seems to have been clean as a whistle since at least his graduation from law school. If he was something of a frat boy aggressor while drunk against young women, he seems to have gotten over that a long time ago, if indeed he actually had anything to get over. And yes, I realize this tags me as one of those old white guys who does not think it's practical to dredge up 30+ year old accusations against an otherwise outstanding-seeming judge in a hyper-political context.
Sadly, what we are seeing here is the edge of the civil war that is politics creeping into the public view. It's notably ugly, but no uglier really than what goes on all the time in the great spectacle of life. I read somewhere the other day that Clausewitz got it backwards -- Politics is war by other means. All that Kantian stuff is how we live on the land we've claimed from the swamp. Sometimes you have to kill a few rats with nothing like due process because to let them live would be the beginning of letting them crowd you out. In this metaphor the rats are the doubts the Dems have managed to raise about K's character.