The Kavanaugh Saga Live and Updated: The Voting

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. I rather suspect, to borrow a phrase our friend @wvesquiress used last night, that the entrenchments are complete and we will end the day with most if not all parties in the same positions as they started it in.Report

    • I’m going to do my very best to remain open to having my mind changed today, but I will also admit it won’t be easy. This is going to be fascinating to watch either way.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        What prevents you from being open minded?Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

          More than anything it is two things: 1) The number of people who have come forward to defend Kavanaugh, people who were in his social group then. 2) The fact that the Democrats have politicized this so much that it’s impossible to not believe there is more going on.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            Considering there is no statue of limitations on these kind of crimes in Maryland, these people have a vested interest in defending Mr. Kavanaugh, because when the state opens an investigation they become material witnesses. So take them with a grain of salt.

            As to politicization – Mr. McConnell started us down that road by denying Mr. Garland even a hearing.

            And if you are watching – She’s not lying.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Philip H says:

              Which also ends the line of argument that suggested that the worst that could happen to Kavanaugh was his continued lifetime appointment as Federal Circuit Judge.

              Someone probably has to go to jail.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H says:

              At this point I am waving away any complaints that the Democrats are trying to politicize this because it just seems like not wanting to deal with an issue.

              I don’t even know what the correct response would be to avoid the “don’t politicize the issue” charge. Never bring it up? How does that help anyone except people who don’t like Democrats very much.

              Lots of things are political whether an individual likes this or not.Report

              • Depends on the specifics of the charge. If Feinstein held it back until the last moment to unleash it, then that’s playing politics and in a bad way.

                I don’t think that’s the case as I think the revelations, but it’s where a lot of people are coming from.

                They’re also accusing Democrats of basically just trying to delay-delay-delay by whatever means necessary and are not being entirely straightforward about that being their goal. I think this accusation is true, but I don’t consider it especially out-of-bounds and I would likely be doing the same in their place.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Will Truman says:

                You would prefer Mr. McConnell’s approach of saying in TV interviews that his job was to make Mr. Obama a one term President by denying him any win, no matter how small?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Philip H says:

                Nothing I’ve said indicates that.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

                There a bit of projection going on among the people who insist everything the D’s are doing is politics. Those people remember the Garland thing so they assume the D’s are doing the same thing. Possible, yes. But the vehemence which some R’s are showing suggests they think the D’s are acting exactly as cynically as they did.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

                I think Greg is right on the projection charge and it does seem to me that right-leaning folks are always shocked when they get their own medicine thrown back at them.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

                I really don’t get the charge that political things are being handled in a political matter.

                Supreme Court positions are political. Democrats aren’t idiots. We know that Kavanaugh would not get the nod unless he was a surefire for gutting or severely curtailing rulings and issues that were important to Democrats. We are close to an election that there is a small but reasonably and possibly growing chance that Democrats can take back the Senate.

                Of course this is politicalReport

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                This is entirely correct. AND it is also political that Trump picked the guy with skeletons in his closet and a particular softness on presidential constraint, instead of equally qualified conservative judges with neither of those things. AND it is also political that all but four GOP senators immediately and completely got in line with that nomination.

                Politics, as in trying to get people to vote for you instead of the other guy, is part of the story, and what every politician spends much of their time doing. Also, this is an important act with decades-long consequences both regarding the outcome of cases and the status of the Supreme Court in the public consciousness.Report

              • Depends on how the politics is being played, and whether what you’re doing violates reasonable standards of good governance.

                Let’s say hypothetically that Feinstein had information that suggested that Republicans were about to put an attempted rapist on the Supreme Court. She decides not to come forward with it and then let it progress into the 11th hour, then spring it.

                Along the way, she would have – among other things – dramatically decreased the odds of any investigation and increased the odds that a rapist would be sitting on the courts.

                Would you not see anything wrong with that? I would, and I would condemn it accordingly.

                Having followed the revelation as it revealed, I don’t think that’s what happened. But a lot of people do think that’s what happened.Report

              • “Along the way, she would have – among other things – dramatically decreased the odds of any investigation and increased the odds that a rapist would be sitting on the courts.”

                This is the point I made last night with Jesse. American voters will not determine if Kavanaugh sits on the court, but outraged American voters will vote in November. The cynic in me remains convinced that Democrats* would prefer the political leverage of Republicans confirming Kavanaugh more than him being dismissed from the process.

                *I’m referring to the turds in Congress, not Joe Democrat on the street. I won’t ascribe such nefarious behavior to the average citizen.Report

              • My honest guess is that assuming the GOP gets somebody else lined up, all of this won’t have made much of a difference. The two scenarios in which I am wrong:

                1) Kavanaugh goes down and they don’t have somebody else lined up. A non-trivial possibility but mostly one that reduces their options to a handful of people.
                2) Kavanaugh is confirmed and the story just keeps getting worse and worse. I have thought from the start that multiple accusers was the biggest threat to the GOP here, and that appears to be the case. However the other cases pan out.

                Notably, both of these possibilities hurt the GOP. There is an outside possibility that if they can get Kavanaugh through and if things die down after that, the GOP is helped by a reduced enthusiasm gap. That actually corresponds with my anecdotal evidence, but not the polling at all.Report

              • Isn’t it usually at least 3 months before a SCOTUS nominee can get a vote? I don’t see how they make that happen before November.Report

              • John Roberts was 23 days. He is something of a special case because he was already being considered for a different seat. That’s why I think the nominee is likely to be someone who was recently confirmed: Barrett, Thapar, or Willett. Most of the paperwork is already in order.

                There’s an outside chance that it goes to Hardiman, who has twice been a runner up, or Kethledge who was also recently vetted.

                I don’t think there’s anybody on the judiciary committee’s Republican side who needs to be campaigning.Report

              • The other thing is that even if the vote isn’t quite done, as long as they have somebody lined up for the lame duck session they can minimize damage. Appointing somebody during a lame duck term won’t go over well with independents and all that, but that cake may be baked at this point.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman says:

                As much as I’d probably like Barrett; watching them tear into her Charismatic Catholic Christianity – believe me there would be a parade of former charismatics who would be happy to tell their story of how they were unhappy in the community – it would probably break me… I hope its someone else.

                Apropos one of Burt’s posts about a better way to handle the SCOTUS vacancies, an idea hit me about having a president nominate at beginning of each term he/she is elected for a slate, say 3 or 4, of potential nominees that the Senate would pre-approve independent of any vacancy… their approval would be valid for some multiple of 4-years … 8- or 12. There would always be qualified/approved nominees in the bank, so to speak, and the opportunity for theatrics or parliamentary tricks would be reduced and/or eliminated. Obama would have had Garland, and McConnell wouldn’t have been able to stop it.

                It wouldn’t eliminate or reduce the political factor… D’s nominate their preferred slate and R’s theirs… but I think it would probably de-escalate some of the brinksmanship.

                Obviously, a pre-approved candidate could be challenged/removed for malfeasance should something like the Ford situation show up… so it’s not a hiding place… just an idea to stay within the constitutional framework, but reduce some (not all) of the politics from the process.Report

              • I can imagine someone getting junk mail saying, “you’ve been pre-approved for a judgeship!”Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to gabriel conroy says:

                “Working as intended”

                ~signed
                WFBuckley Jr.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Regarding the time frame i’ll just note that one of the prior D complaints about this nomination was that all his records from his gov service aren’t’ available. The National Archives said it won’t be until the end of October i believe. So we haven’t been able to fully vet his writings while he worked in gov. Why? Well no good reason.

                Some things shouldn’t be rush jobs.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to greginak says:

                Unfortunately, the ticking time bomb of the November elections changes a lot of things.Report

              • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                That’s an odd comment given the conservative complaints about Democrats ‘playing politics’ here.

                Isn’t rushing and ramming through a confirmation for a lifetime appointment in order to avoid the potential consequences of a near term election an even worse example of ‘playing politics’ with a SCOTUS seat?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to bookdragon says:

                That’s exactly my point – I don’t think that it would be wise to ram through another candidate if Kavanaugh was withdrawn. So that changes the sense of urgency on Kavanaugh.Report

              • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                ??? That is your argument for putting someone as poorly vetted, and now plainly temperamental unfit for position on SCOTUS?

                What exactly are you saying here? “Well we have to ram through some Federalist Society hack, so better the rapey creep we know”?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to bookdragon says:

                If we’re going by the sheer number of documents and previous background checks done, he might be the most vetted nominee we have ever had. And nothing today made me question his temperament. Putting anyone through what he has been through, assuming he is innocent, and they would probably feel the same way. I know I would.

                Other than Ford’s word against his, was any new evidence presented today?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                No he is not in any well vetted. I noted it before and you even responded to it. Most of his docs from his previous gov work have not been released. It will take until the end of october for that. If we havn’t seen his gov work then he hasn’t been properly vetted. I would have told you that weeks ago before any of the other allegations.

                Judicial temperament!? Gah no. And i bet John Roberts and hosts of Repub judges would tell you failed on that. His questioning back of the D sen about whether she had been drunk was waaaay out of line. No lawyer would try that in court without expecting, at the very least a sharp rebuke and threat of contempt of court.Report

              • Avatar Mr.JoeM in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Someone who brings their raw feelings onto the job and can’t keep them in check seems tempermentaly unsuitable to join The Supreme Court.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Mr.JoeM says:

                Under the circumstances, I could probably forgive him for that if it weren’t for the other things.

                But there were the other things.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mr.JoeM says:

                Someone who just goes along with getting rocks piled on their chest at the Salem Witch trials is also tempermentaly unsuited to join the Supreme Court.

                Kavanaugh was not playing that game. Committee Democrats were. It will haunt them for decades. It is quite possibly the lowest point in Senate history. At least the Salem witch accusers had corroborating witnesses, lots of corroborating witnesses, a reasonably fair process, and a respect for the truth. The Committee Democrats had none of that. They want to delay the nomination by any means possible, no matter what the cost to the accused, the nation, the rule of law, or the legal system.Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to George Turner says:

                It is quite possibly the lowest point in Senate history.

                Getting beaten nearly to death on the Senate floor probably takes that cake.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                But he was riffraff from the House. The President of the Senate once shot a man in Weehawken just to watch him die.Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Kolohe says:

                This should contain a trigger warning! You just got the execrable Hamilton cast recording going through my head.Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to George Turner says:

                If the Republicans had any respect for the truth, they would not have put a stop to Rachel Mitchell as soon as she got going with him. Spare me.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to George Turner says:

                Ye gods are you a ludicrous idiot.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

                Especially idiotic is your complaints that the Senate Democrats didn’t have more witnesses, what with the Republicans refusing to call any.

                And the comparison of witchcraft and sexual assault is a continual theme with you, one entirely consistent with the fact that you’re a ludicrous idiot, what with the fact that sexual assault is actually a real thing.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                was any new evidence presented today

                Sure. He lied repeatedly about his yearbook, his time at Yale, and even what he was doing during Ford’s testimony (to go along, of course, with his previous lies at his last two confirmation hearings).

                Just, you know, for starters.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to bookdragon says:

                What exactly are you saying here? “Well we have to ram through some Federalist Society hack, so better the rapey creep we know”?

                I dunno, why don’t you just give up and let us win?Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Koz says:

                I dunno, why don’t you just give up and let us win?

                This is pathetic.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Dave says:

                Why, what is pathetic about it?

                Fight for this, fight for that, fight for blah blah blah. Maybe this is a time where you should just quit fighting?Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to bookdragon says:

                “Well we have to ram through some Federalist Society hack, so better the rapey creep we know”?

                I don’t think that is how the Federalist Society works.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to j r says:

                I don’t think that is how the Federalist Society works.

                Really? Has the Federalist Society withdrawn their support for Kavanaugh? I hadn’t heard.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Stillwater says:

                They’re originalists and noting he’s been accused of would have been out of bounds in 1789.Report

              • There are other criticisms that I am less sympathetic to. The attempts to delay-delay-delay are mucking with the process and sometimes in breach of good faith, but that’s politics. I would be doing the same in their place. And they have a basis on which they’re acting, which is enough for me.

                My only other criticism of Feinstein is that somebody released this to the press and they simply weren’t supposed to. That’s bad for some process-googoo reasons like whether people will come forward in the future. But mostly it’s bad because it wasn’t doing right by Dr Ford herself. And since Dr Ford is the victim with that and not the GOP, I have a hard time taking Republican complaints seriously.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Will Truman says:

                My only other criticism of Feinstein…

                I think it’s fair to judge her on the basis of politics.

                Outcome A: K is put on the court.
                1) K thinks NOTHING happened 36 years ago. He’s going to spend the rest of his life being called a rapist a few times a year. He’s on the court for the next 30 years, and he totally despises Team Blue because he KNOWS what utter scumbags they are.

                2) The Dems base is fired up this next election.

                Outcome B: K is NOT put on the court.
                1) Highly likely we get that female (name?) in a lame duck setting… so we get to see the Dems go after her just as hard as they did K (it won’t matter), and she’s viewed as more likely to overturn Roe than K is.

                I’m really hard pressed to see either result as a good thing from Team Blue’s standpoint.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                I can see that as a semi-plausible response to the calls for the FBI to investigate, but it really doesn’t explain the refusal to hear Ramirez’ testimony or subpoena Mark Judge.

                And really the GOP has no standing to complain about nominees being delayed ever again.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

      This is a variant of the Battle of the Somme, yes.Report

  2. Avatar George Turner says:

    In other news, two men have told the Senate that they, not Kavanaugh, assaulted Ford at a party, and gave details about it.

    Of course, having someone else confess rarely stops a lynch mob.Report

  3. I don’t plan on watching, but here is my pre-game commentary.

    Report

  4. There are a lot of people on Twitter I follow convinced of his innocence, and a lot convinced of his guilt. I’m keeping a special eye on everyone in between.

    By that measure, Ford is doing a fantastic job.Report

  5. Avatar Philip H says:

    Will Truman: There are a lot of people on Twitter I follow convinced of his innocence, and a lot convinced of his guilt. I’m keeping a special eye on everyone in between.

    By that measure, Ford is doing a fantastic job.

    If you feel up to it posting some of those middler links would be useful. I don’t Twitter so I don’t really have access to those folks.

    The hired gun is trying to not appear awkward. Clearly she’s not enjoying her role.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Philip H says:

      Neontaster is reliably right-of-center, hasn’t commented too much on matter and so probably had a more open mind than most:

      Neville hasn’t commented on it much. Pradheep was on the fence for the longest time but came down pretty hard for Kavanaugh after the New Yorker story broke:

      Rothman has been vaguely supportive of Kavanaugh and critical of the Democrats during this process but has had an open mind:

      They’re not sold or anything – they have evidentiary questions and whatnot – and I’m not sure how many minds will change at the end of the day, but I’m seeing a lot of this from people I think came in preparing to be skeptical.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Will Truman says:

        I’m wondering if the board of any major public company would hire a CEO under these circumstances.

        Can you imagine Apple or or General Electric hearing this statement, saying, “It’s probably OK. There’s no physical evidence,” and just rolling the dice?Report

        • Avatar Iron Tum in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

          I know it’s stereotyping on my part, but I’d imagine that rapists are overrepresented in the ranks of CEOs. And on the boards hiring them.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

          I think the calculus changes if the company’s reputation and customer-base is built on rejecting conventional norms in behavior and hiring. In that case, it would run counter to brand to *not* hire a CEO credibly accused of sexual assault and lying under oath.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

          @troublesome-frog I don’t know about today’s Apple, but the folks who put Steve Jobs back in charge definitely knew he’d been accused of being an abusive spouse and father. I mean, not like *this*, knew, but they knew.

          At this point it’s accepted as part of his “troubled legacy” or whatever.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Maribou says:

            I’m talking about “like this” knowing, though. It’s easy to ignore rumors and whispers even when you think it’s likely to be true. But once it’s a completely public blow-up with the victim coming out and saying it unambiguously, nobody would touch you with a 10 foot pole, especially not now.

            This seems like a no-brainer for any hiring committee that has the interests of its firm in mind, and it’s depressing to me that our standards for SCOTUS seem to be lower than the standards of a trendy new start up that ships you weekly bacon or whatever.Report

      • Report

  6. Avatar Em Carpenter says:

    As I suspected, the more entrenched factions remain so:
    “Great actress”
    “What’s up with that baby voice? That’s for sympathy”
    Or focusing on whether she’s sincerely afraid of flying and other irrelevant nonsense.
    I can barely watch.
    From a technical standpoint I’m not that impressed with Mitchell. I despise it when lawyers say “ok” after every answer.Report

  7. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I think even I, lifelong political junkie, am getting burned out on the theater of politics. I didn’t watch the Virginia Senate debate last night, and I decided to watch a youtube video recapping a reality show rather than watch the testimony live.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Marijuana was sufficient to derail Ginsburg.

    Beer might sufficient to derail Kavanaugh.

    In 30 years, people will ask about vaping.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

      The beer would almost certainly be a non-issue if not for the sexual assault allegations.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

      Beer might sufficient to derail Kavanaugh.

      Maybe. We’ll never know. Right now his nom is being derailed by his repeatedly lying under oath, his radical views of the imperial presidency, his history as a partisan political operative, and his having been credibly accused of sexual assault.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Stillwater says:

        @stillwater I’m pretty sure 2 and 3 on that list were not at all sufficing to derail him. Hoping that 1 and 4 do matter. We’ll see.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou says:

          Before the Ford allegations surfaced the primary attacks on him were that Trump picked him primarily because he’d rule in Trump’s favor on legal challenges to the Presidency. (scandalous!) And trying to minimize his partisan politicking is what cased him to lie repeatedly under oath about the various roles he’s played for Republicans over the years. (less so but still scandalous!)

          Each of them seems to me sufficient to reject the nomination by any reasonable standard. Collectively, he should be toast. (And as I’ve said, in my view 1-4 is *precisely* why Trump wants him on the bench.)

          And ironically (well…) the most compelling reason for rejecting him – that he’s lied repeatedly under oath – is only now gaining any traction as a disqualifier.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I heard a bit of Judge Kavanugh’s opening statement. He sounded strident and like a partisan warning “there will be consequences”, not like a judge. Is the doubling down for right-wing martyrdom?Report

    • Our first YOLO confirmation hearing!

      My guess is that the simplest explanation is the correct one: He’s mad because he believes he’s being railroaded for something he didn’t do. I would be made, too. You would be mad. Any of us would be mad. Future information may come in to move me off that position, but I don’t think he thinks he did it, even if he did.Report

      • Alternate theory, he knows his most important audience:

        Of course, he needs more than just Trump. But he needs Trump first and foremost. Then, after that, his best chance is that Trump can roll Collins, Murk, and Flake by forcing a “Kavanaugh or nobody” choice.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

          Figures. He was probably black out drunk. Of course he doesn’t remember if he did it. But he sounds like an ultra-partisan warrior.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

          No one on my side is buying any of his explanations about the yearbook or not buying most of them. “Renate Alumnus” failed on its face.Report

          • Yeah, and this is a real sticking point for me: He is obviously lying about this small thing that would not derail his nomination. Why should I believe anything he says about important things?Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

              I think all of this is just “plausible deniability” cover for the right-wing and GOP base. No one can say for certainty what it stands for and the GOP now has a defense even though we all know what it means. The full-throttled defense is probably what they want and as Chris Hayes says he might honestly not remember anything because he was black out drunk.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                A hypothetical for you. He quits. Tomorrow morning. “This bullshit ain’t worth it. Forget it. I’m out.”

                What’s your take?Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

                He failed at the “plausible deniability” and someone(s) told him that he didn’t have the votes to get on the Court.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                It’s hard to answer a question about hypothetical emotions but would it feel like a victory?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                The guy failed at minimum level judicial temperament which surprises the heck out of me. He should have the basics of his current job down…yet somehow….Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to greginak says:

                He got the judgeship as a reward for being one of Ken Starr’s pitbulls. What would you expect?Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to greginak says:

                greginak: The guy failed at minimum level judicial temperament which surprises the heck out of me. He should have the basics of his current job down…yet somehow….

                I was travelling on business yesterday and was hearing bits and pieces of it all, and setting aside the other details, this REALLY jumped at me.

                The dude has the mental toughness of a typically easy-to-trigger political partisan, which is to say he has none.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Dave says:

                The way Kavanaugh was talking back to the senators questioning him, he sounded like an asshole punk teenager. His parents need to take away his car keys.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Mike Schilling: The way Kavanaugh was talking back to the senators questioning him, he sounded like an asshole punk teenager. His parents need to take away his car keys.

                I’m with you 1,000,000%. He also needs a trip to the woodshed for a serious ass kicking.

                Like I said on my Facebook, he’s a liar, a drunk and a sociopath. His tears and dramatics were pathetic. He’s a despicable excuse for a man. I don’t respect him. I don’t respect the support for him. I don’t respect the apologism. I don’t respect the moral cowardice of hiding behind “innocent until proven guilty” under the rubric of protecting the rights of the accused since I don’t find it genuine. People are getting uncomfortable and to that I say good. I’m sure it pales in comparison when compared to the victims of sexual assault that haven’t gotten justice because of a system designed to fuck them over.

                Funny that I write this shortly after reading Kristen’s excellent piece on civility because the first thing I think when I read some of the crap in this conversation is whose head I should take off first.

                I’m not kidding and politics has nothing to do with it although I have no problem admitting that conservatives, try as they might, by and large suck on this issue.

                I have plenty of fights to pick with the left but those will have to wait.Report

              • Right, but the Renata thing is independent of that. To concede that you got blackout drunk is to concede that you might have done it and your denials don’t mean much. To admit that okay you and some other kids were asses does not concede that. That is actually much closer to “boys being boys” than the other things he’s being accused of.

                I don’t know. Maybe he didn’t do it. Maybe he doesn’t actually get blackout drunk. I don’t know.

                The Renata thing? I know what that’s about, and his denials undermine the other claims that I am a lot less sure about.Report

              • Avatar Van_Owen in reply to Will Truman says:

                Yeah, his obvious lying about relatively unimportant stuff may not directly make me think it’s more likely that he attempted sexual assault, but it does make me think I probably shouldn’t believe what he says about important stuff.Report

              • Avatar Mr.JoeM in reply to Van_Owen says:

                It seems like he has been dishonest and misleading in his testimonies to Congress in 2006 and 2018 on multiple points. If it doesn’t rise to the level of outright lie, it comes close, like Bill Clinton close. For me this is enough to DQ him from SCOTUS.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

                It’s hard to tease out what the hell is going on anymore, but I think it comes down not so much to whether we believe Ford was telling the truth (I think she was) but whether *anything* Kavanaugh says can be viewed as the truth. The dude seems to lie every time he’s been in public since the nomination, and has lied under oath on ’06 when he received his current position as judge. He lies about big things, small things, out of convenience out of partisan loyalty, to please Trump…

                Apart from his judicial philosophy and ideological leanings, the fact that he’s a incredibly dishonest ought to be – OUGHT to be – disqualifying. Tho, of course, my contention is that his observable “moral flexibility” is precisely why Trump is intent on ramming his nomination thru.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater says:

                It’s hard to tease out what the hell is going on anymore, but I think it comes down not so much to whether we believe Ford was telling the truth (I think she was) but whether *anything* Kavanaugh says can be viewed as the truth. The dude seems to lie every time he’s been in public since the nomination, and has lied under oath on ’06 when he received his current position as judge. He lies about big things, small things, out of convenience out of partisan loyalty, to please Trump…

                In a way I’m kind of hoping this nomination fails. But if Kavanaugh is confirmed, Democrats can’t really have any complaints.

                He’s obviously qualified, and they threw some nasty stuff at him near the end but none of it really stuck so you can’t really blame the Senators who voted for him. There’s nothing really to do except cry in your beer and hope to win the next one.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Koz says:

                It’s not a surprise that Republicans don’t really care about perjury. We’ve known that since the Scooter Libby trial.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                The hell you say!
                They impeached a President over it!Report

              • Avatar Les Cargill in reply to Will Truman says:

                “The Renata Thing”? Hyperbolic high school verbiage would be the best explanation. I am sure we have all forgotten just how fictional high school really was.

                But as long as I will live, I will never forget the vision of the most grave assembly in our Nation picking over things from a guy’s high school yearbook. Next up: A Supreme Court Nominee’s baseball card collection.

                No, seriously – isn’t this all this trivial and ultimately, dull? You know how this sort of thing always plays out – he-said, she-said. The conflict self-abnegates and disappears.Report

          • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Yeah, I’m not buying that. Or the Devil’s Triangle explanation or the “boofing”. Big little lies. Telling.Report

            • Em – have to ask – how do you know he is lying?Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                As I said, I’m just not buying it. You are seriously accepting his lame ass explanation for the “Renate Alumnus” thing? Did you skip your teenage years? Even the woman herself interpreted it to mean she was “easy”. And did you seen the poem written by another boy? “You need a date/its getting late/so don’t hesitate/call Renate”.

                And nobody anywhere ever has heard of a “drinking game” called Devil’s Triangle, but many are familiar with the sexual meaning.

                He was banking on everyone being gullible enough to believe him, rather than just admitting to being a stupid teenage boy doing stupid teenage boy things. I would have found him much more believable with even a modicum of self-deprecation.

                *edited because I said something insulting and regretted it.Report

              • Yeah. This one not only had no credibility but it undermined the credibility of everything else he said. If you’re going to argue that it didn’t mean the *only* thing that comes to mind when I read something like that, you need more than just say-so.

                Someone did poke around. Can’t remember who but I will share if I find it. Basically they determined that Kavanaugh was being truthful about what FFFFFFFFight or whatever was a reference to, but not the other stuff.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Em Carpenter says:

                I don’t know if he is banking on people being gullible. He is banking on partisanship, Trumpian powerplays, and motivated reasoning.

                Then again, this could be a distinction without a difference.

                Mike, the real Renate was so upset about this revelation that she dropped her support of Kavanaugh. She did not know about it until today.

                What do you gain from believing him on this when everyone else’s reaction is “oh come on!!” He would have been better off saying “Teenage boys are very stupid and like to brag about sexual conquests that never happened. I am deeply sorry for those remarks.”Report

              • Here’s my thing: If all of this was sexual references, then why have I not seen a list of people confirming that Kavanaugh fooled around with a lot of girls, probably while drinking? It seems like if they ARE sexual references, then it was teenage boys exaggerating or plain lying about their sexual conquests. Unfortunate, and something he should not have lied about, but not disqualifying.Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Being a liar is what is disqualifying.Report

              • Right. No matter what was the case with Renata – that he slept with her, that he’s lying – it’s not really disqualifying*. But that he would lie about something so trivial means I can’t trust him on the things where his stakes are much higher.

                * – I will add, though, that sometimes you can reach a point where no one thing is singularly disqualifying, but the aggregate sum of things is. Or should be.Report

              • But that he would lie about something so trivial means I can’t trust him on the things where his stakes are much higher.

                Will – does that mean once he is on the court, or you can’t trust his testimony about Ford?Report

              • Most specifically the latter (not just Ford, the others too), but a dishonest man on the court is probably not exactly a good thing, either.Report

              • I guess for me it comes down to whether or not he could have admitted to any of the accusations related to his high school years and still been confirmed. In the #metoo era I’m inclined to say No, he could not have. So…wanting that job, and personally believing none of his behavior disqualified him, where was the incentive to tell the truth?

                As for the court, I hold very little of their previous actions as proof of what they will do once on the court. Too many justices have proven that a life appointment to SCOTUS is extremely ‘liberating’.Report

              • I am not among those who say that he should have admitted to getting blackout drunk and whatnot, but he could have admitted that he was sometimes an ass who wrote some crude things in college and I am sure he would have been fine.

                The former is ambiguous (as in I don’t know if it would have helped or hurt and there may be some genuine confusion there). The latter is an insult to our collective intelligence and, in my opinion, the response of someone whose instinct it is to lie.

                But either way, it’s discrediting. It means I not only can’t believe him when he says he didn’t do it, but I can’t really believe anything he offers up as evidence that isn’t verified.

                If I’m looking at two people telling contradictory stories, that’s a real problem when the other person doesn’t have it.Report

              • Fair enough. I guess I can very much put myself in his shoes and see myself struggling with how much to admit to, when I also have plenty of high school behavior I am embarrassed about. I certainly do not have the temperment to make it through a process like this, and I don’t know how many people in this country could say that do.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Two reactions:

                1. I suspect this is one (of many) reasons you would not make a very good Supreme Court justice.

                2. How does that have anything to do with his other lies (e.g. not watching Ford’s testimony)?

                He’s a dishonest partisan attack dog who was happy to dish sleaze against the Clintons, knows his lift doesn’t measure up, and his hoping to bluster his way to yes votes from Collins / Murkowski by saying literally whatever he thinks will be most helpful in any given moment. That, itself, should be disqualifying.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                So…wanting that job, and personally believing none of his behavior disqualified him, where was the incentive to tell the truth?

                Respecting the rule of law enough to avoid perjury? He is a judge.Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                So…wanting that job, and personally believing none of his behavior disqualified him, where was the incentive to tell the truth?

                I am not even sure how to respond to this. He’s a JUDGE. How about THE LAW as motivation not to lie? Let alone his integrity as a jurist. I cannot even begin to fathom this justification of a SCOTUS nominee needing “incentive” to tell the truth.

                Am I misreading you? This just seems beyond the pale.Report

              • This thing stopped being a legitimate court proceeding days ago. Again, I don’t think he should have lied, but I can understand why he did.Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Whether or not it is a “court proceeding” is irrelevant to his duty to tell the truth. Assuming he is lying, is it your opinion that lying does not disqualify him to preside on the highest court in the country?Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Em Carpenter says:

                It didn’t disqualify Clarence Thomas, so there’s precedent for that. Though that might not apply because Kavanaugh claims to be an originalist.Report

              • I am on record as believing Clinton should have been removed from office for committing perjury while in office, so if Kavanaugh committed perjury yesterday I would be okay with removing him from the process.

                And I will say, I am not a lawyer but I am not sure where the line on these proceeds is between a court proceeding and an interview process. Everyone keeps talking about bringing in Mark Judge, is there precedent for that? I honestly don’t know.Report

              • And I will say, I am not a lawyer but I am not sure where the line on these proceeds is between a court proceeding and an interview process

                I’m not a lawyer, either, but I assume that in the process, he is sworn to tell the truth and lying (or lying without later correcting the record in the same forum/proceeding) would be perjury. Maybe I’m wrong and he’s not sworn, or he’s sworn only when in front of the judiciary committee and not for the sake of the investigation.

                I’ll say that I share some of your instincts in this discussion. I’ll also say I haven’t been following this process very much or very closely. But those here who have pointed out inconsistencies in Kavanaugh’s story are credible enough to me to think that they’re probably right. Whether this all amounts to according to Hoyle perjury, I don’t know.Report

              • Avatar Arky Vaughan in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                All I can say is wow, Mr. Dwyer, wow. You have truly sold your soul.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                There’s a strong likelihood that he’s going to be confirmed despite credible allegations of sexual assault, and some of the Senators who will vote for him have stated outright that they don’t think he should be disqualified even if the allegations are true.

                So maybe the idea that the #MeToo movement is an all-powerful force is a little implausible.Report

              • Avatar The Question in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Lying to the Senate is okay as long as you want the job?

                for the party of personal responsibility and upright morals they sure as hell don’t have anyReport

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Here’s one.

                Here’s another.

                Here’s a third.

                Those are from yesterday. If we expand the search to “testimony in judicial confirmation hearings” the list only gets longer.Report

              • Avatar The Question in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I’ve been playing drinking games for years and partying Devil’s Triangle is a threesome not beer pong.

                I mean at this point if you choose to believe kavanaugh you’re just saying no nothing else matters other than a white guys pain and entitlement.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

        It has been pointed out that Maryland has no statute of limitations on sexual assault when people wonder why Kavanaugh just didn’t do a “I was young and stupid” apology. Anything that comes close to saying he did it would be an admission of guilt of a still prosecutable crime under Maryland law. I don’t think a Maryland DA would go after a Circuit Court or Supreme Court Judge but he might not want to risk it.Report

        • Avatar Les Cargill in reply to LeeEsq says:

          I simply have to be wrong about what I about to write.

          I am not sure what Kavanaugh is accused of qualifies as sexual assault under Maryland law: It might be closer to *simple* assault ( and not clearly that even) . The Maryland sex crimes as described at the link are pretty graphically grounded in penetration:

          https://statelaws.findlaw.com/maryland-law/maryland-rape-and-sexual-assault-laws.htmlReport

          • Avatar Maribou in reply to Les Cargill says:

            @les-cargill Knocking someone over and cutting off their air supply qualifies as assault under *any* state’s laws, wtf on the “not clearly that even”??

            And what he’s accused of, whether or not you could prosecute it as that, whether or not he DID that, but what he’s accused of, since that’s what you’re questioning – would be “and 3-309 for attempted” under that page’s definitions.

            Attempted Rape in the First Degree is where the actions he is accused of would be classified under Maryland law.


            (a)?A person may not attempt to commit rape in the first degree.

            (b)?A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life.”

            https://codes.findlaw.com/md/criminal-law/md-code-crim-law-sect-3-309.html

            And rape in the first degree being defined at your link as
            “engaging in sexual intercourse with another without his or her consent by force, using weapons, strangling or inflicting serious physical injury, threatening with death, serious injury, or kidnapping, or committed with another’s help or during a burglary”

            He’s accused of attempting to engage in sexual intercourse without consent, by force, committed with another’s help.

            So yes, you are wrong.

            What is it about this case that leads people to lose their ability to read?

            (note, I am obviously not a lawyer. BUT THIS IS OBVIOUS.)Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Les Cargill says:

            I simply have to be wrong about what I about to write.

            I am not sure what Kavanaugh is accused of qualifies as sexual assault under Maryland law: It might be closer to *simple* assault ( and not clearly that even) . The Maryland sex crimes as described at the link are pretty graphically grounded in penetration:

            This is a good point. As described by Mrs Ford, Kavanaugh is clearly guilty of simple assault. But even then I don’t think he’s guilty of attempted rape, and frankly I don’t think any prosecutor would try to convict him of it, even in an extreme case assuming there were no issues around witness credibility, eg there was video.

            Obviously, nobody actually raped her, and it doesn’t seem like anybody actually tried to either. It’s a matter of intent. Grinding on top of a person without their consent is an assault in its own right, but it’s not rape. But at that time, was his intention to actually rape her (ie, some kind of sexual penetration)? Maybe, but probably not.Report

            • Avatar Maribou in reply to Koz says:

              @koz According to her account, he was ripping her clothes off. Juries don’t tend to convict in testimony-only cases, if they believe the assault happened at all in the first place, based on “surely the guy cutting off your ability to scream for help or breathe properly, and ripping your clothes off, wasn’t meaning to *rape* you”.

              If you don’t believe anything happened, you don’t believe anything happened. But:
              a) what Les Cargill said wasn’t “what is he guilty of?” but “what he is accused of”, so it’s not a “good point” that he was making, that you are reiterating, you’re twisting his (flatly erroneous) point to your own purposes
              b) if you go down the road of “what if something did happen?” in the first place, why believe the guy who would then be lying at least about that, rather than the person who was telling the truth about that?

              It didn’t happen, but if it did, surely it wasn’t all THAT bad isn’t logically consistent. Very human to want to believe that. But not at all consistent with the very principles of logic and reason that y’all claim to be the ones upholding here.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Maribou says:

                According to her account, he was ripping her clothes off. Juries don’t tend to convict in testimony-only cases, if they believe the assault happened at all in the first place, based on “surely the guy cutting off your ability to scream for help or breathe properly, and ripping your clothes off, wasn’t meaning to *rape* you”.

                Frankly, this paragraph doesn’t make very much sense. I think you kinda got a caught in the middle of two or three halfway related thoughts.

                In any event there’s a few different things at play here. First of all, based on what Mrs Ford has accused Judge Kavanaugh of, it’s definitely wrong to think that the this is not an assault at all. Clearly, it is a simple assault at least. I do think Les is right to guess that it’s not attempted rape (if in fact I’m representing Les correctly here). By Mrs Ford’s own words, it’s simply not remotely clear that Mark Judge or Kavanaugh ever intended to complete an act of penetration. In fact, my guess is they didn’t.

                From the prosecutor’s point of view, even with the assumption that this is going to be contemporaneously prosecuted to fullest extent likely to win a conviction, this is already weak case because it’s testimony-only, like you said. I don’t think a prosecutor would attempt to convict on attempted rape, which requires definitive conclusions about Mark Judge and Kavanaugh’s intent which probably don’t hold up, as opposed to simple assault where they are clearly guilty.

                Though, it has to be acknowledged, that if the prosecutor for some reason has a particular animus or motivation to try the case as attempted rape, there’s certainly enough there to take your chances with.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Koz says:

                @koz I’m glad to see you’re willing to concede I’m right about most of that.

                While you’re at it, would you like to note that you were wrong about whether Dr. (not Mrs.) Ford was going to testify this morning? Or have you already done that somewhere?

                It’s fine if you don’t want to, but I’d like to see it if you do, and there’s been a lot of comments flying around these past few days.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Maribou says:

                Of course, I was completely wrong about that (Thursday morning, not this morning).

                I suspect our side is getting completely out-lawyered in this business by Mrs Ford’s counsel, more on that to follow.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Koz says:

                Yeah, Thursday morning. Sorry. It’s all been one long damn day to me, this week.

                Do you always refuse non-medical Drs. their titles or is that something special? (If the latter, don’t feel the need to explain what it is to me.)Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Maribou says:

                Yeah, it’s an academic quirk of my undergraduate years. “Dr”‘s are medical professionals, professors/doctorates are “Mr”, or in this case Mrs Ford.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Koz says:

                @koz I thought it might be and I didn’t want to presume incorrectly that it wasn’t.Report

              • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Koz says:

                For what it’s worth, I usually think that way, too. I also edge toward “Mr.”/”Ms.” when it comes to medical doctors, too: they already have a lot of power over their patients and I don’t want to give them more. More simply, I don’t like calling people “doctor.”

                Unfortunately, I don’t do that consistently. And I’m afraid that a universal “don’t call people ‘doctor'” practice will antagonize some people needlessly. Also, I realize women and minorities tend to get less respect in general, and if they’ve earned a doctorate, maybe that will give more respect. But then maybe I’m being condescending by changing the rules for someone I deem disadvantaged or marginalized. (ETA: I might also “deem” wrongly. Who am I to assume that power?)

                (To be clear, all this hand wringing comes from working in an academic setting. If it weren’t an almost daily experience, I could afford to be much more consistent. But it’s also working in this setting that steels me against calling people “doctor.” A faculty member complaining about some unimportant slight from the administration isn’t being a “doctor,” they’re (usually) being a whiner.)Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Maribou says:

                It didn’t happen, but if it did, surely it wasn’t all THAT bad isn’t logically consistent. Very human to want to believe that. But not at all consistent with the very principles of logic and reason that y’all claim to be the ones upholding here.

                Now, in terms of what I believe, I don’t think Kavanaugh had anything to do with this woman in any way remotely like what she testified yesterday. That isn’t to say that nothing at all untoward happened to Mrs Ford. Any number of things are possible in that regard.

                The only thing I’m reasonably confident of is that somebody knows some things about this that we haven’t been told yet. In particular, I suspect we’re being jerked around by Mrs Ford’s attorney, who let’s note was hired at the recommendation of Mrs Feinstein and is therefore pretty well aligned to the Democrats’ agenda in this situation, which isn’t necessarily the same as Mrs Ford’s agenda.

                We’ve already seen the edges of this, wherein apparently the attorney didn’t disclose to her client the willingness of Judiciary Committee majority to fly staff out to California to interview Mrs Ford, thereby leading to delay and drama in the process.

                In this context, Mrs Ford’s statements, which are surely coached and guided by counsel, likely do reflect her actual beliefs imo, but they are also phrased and couched in ways which reflect the political needs of the Democratic Party.

                Like the attempted rape thing. Calling this attempted rape is the most florid possible description of this incident (and probably inaccurate), but of course nobody associated with Judge Kavanaugh is going to try to justify why that’s the case (and they haven’t). I suspect the Democrats need this extra incendiary juice, because if it were a case of simple assault, there might not be enough to take the confirmation process, which appeared to be heading to successful conclusion, off course.

                More topically, everything we know about the social context of this “event” has tended toward exonerating Judge Kavanaugh. She can’t place the incident, or say when it happened, and the people she said were there have all issued statements that it didn’t happen.

                So lo and behold, we get basically no more social context information in the ten days since her name became public. Everything just dried up. That’s because Judge Kavanaugh didn’t do it, and if Mrs Ford provided more circumstantial detail about what she remembers, it would stir other people to confirm all the whys and wherefores of why he didn’t do it (and we might have a decent idea of what really happened as well).Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Koz says:

                Can you take just a second, and think about, if you had/have a kid, or another loved one whom you feel protective toward, what them telling you someone trapped them in a room, pinned them down in a fishable position, started ripping off their clothes, and kept them from calling out or breathing properly by putting a hand over their mouth, what that would sound like?

                Only because I think if you can make that empathic leap, “attempted rape” might not sound so florid. Mistaken, sure, I can see how you’re viewing almost every single thing about this situation differently than I am – certainly your understanding of the role of trauma in shaping memories is different than mine – and as such you can’t imagine that these things are true – but surely not florid.

                Of all the adjectives….Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Maribou says:

                Only because I think if you can make that empathic leap, “attempted rape” might not sound so florid.

                Why don’t we call it an attempted murder then? That’s probably more accurate. Putting your hand over someone’s mouth so that they can’t breathe is an act in furtherance toward a murder not a rape.

                If Mrs Ford had said that, then or now, but especially then, it would be more intuitive for us, “Yes, what they did was wrong and they will be punished, but it’s not really attempted murder, they never really wanted to kill you.”

                Basically the same train of thought applies to an attempted rape except that it’s less intuitive for us, and a closer call.

                In fact, it’s very plausible that Mrs Ford put it that way until she was coached out of it by her attorney.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Koz says:

                @koz Because she says he was ripping her clothes off.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Maribou says:

                She also said he couldn’t rip her clothes off because he was too drunk to manage it. She had whatever she normally threw on over a bathing suit in the summer. Unless it was a Victorian lace-up corset, that’s extremely drunk, bordering on black out, unless he was just horseplaying with her.

                Of course we don’t know who the he was, other than it wasn’t anyone she named.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner says:

                Alexa show me an example of self owned:

                He was too drunk to really rip her clothes off well therefore he’s innocent. GT from today.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak says:

                But he wasn’t even there, as established by his diary’s meticulous detailing of every single gathering he went to, his absence that summer, and the refutation of her allegations by Ford’s own friend who was named as a witness, along with all the named witnesses refuting her story.

                If the attacker was too drunk to get her clothes off, he was way, way too drunk to drive, and probably couldn’t stand up very well. But that’s okay if he didn’t have to drive anywhere because he was already home.

                None of the alleged attackers lived anywhere near where she said the attack took place, but the male friend she named as her connection to Kavanaugh did. That was the guy fingered by Ed Whelan, along with pictures of the inside of the house that matches her description, down to the narrow stairway.

                I’m sure the FBI will be talking to him at length as part of their investigation, to find out if she was at a party with him, and if so, who else was there who can corroborate her presence.

                And we get to air all of this in public because the Democrats on the committee didn’t care if they destroyed her life.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner says:

                His diary of HS life….That goes in my diary of hilariously stupid things people have trotted out in the last couple years. Not quite pizzagate though.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak says:

                His diary is far more reliable than the HS yearbook the Democrats on the committee were relying on. And of course Ford’s yearbook makes her and her classmates look like drunken sexual predators, too. They even bragged about targeting younger boys.

                Kavanaugh’s diary/calendar, modeled on his father’s, contains a daily record of the names of just about everyone he met with, and where, even if it was to have beers or just sit around. Now admittedly it is odd to keep such records throughout your life, but unfortunately for Ford’s claims, he was one of those odd people who did.

                Given her claim that Kavanaugh and Judge thought what they did to her was hilariously funny, he wouldn’t have had any reason to delete or omit the alleged party from mention in his calender (just in case it came up again 37 years later during his nomination to the Supreme Court).

                It is something Diane Feinstein or her staffers didn’t see coming, just like Ford’s own friend saying that she’d never met Kavanaugh, nor that Kavanaugh only partied with the girls from the Catholic schools. Their circles had little intersection.

                As evidence of that, Ford said she ran into Judge 6 to 8 weeks later, where he worked at the Safeway. So one random encounter in a store every two months?

                She also says she said “Hi” to him and that he looked pale. She cited this as evidence of her assault claim’s veracity. Actually, if someone had tried to rape me I don’t think I’d go up to them and say “Hi!” and feel offput if they didn’t give me a hug or something. If I was a juror, I would take that encounter as further evidence that her assault story is false. By her own account, Judge didn’t have much reason to think he’d done something wrong, whereas she had been terrified and fled the house. She should’ve been the one acting weird in the Safeway, not Judge.

                And of course Judge probably looked pale because he was hung over, which apparently became a lifelong problem.

                In any event, he’s talking to the FBI, as I’m sure are a whole lot of other people who knew Ford, such as her parents and siblings who pointedly failed to sign a statement in support of her claims. Perhaps they know her all too well.

                And all this ugliness could’ve been avoided if Diane Feinstein had let the rest of the committee know of the allegations instead of keeping them secret, even while she met personally with Judge Kavanaugh.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mark Boggs says:

                The article’s opening paragraph states “On Thursday morning, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Christine Blasey Ford detailed under oath her claim that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attacked her and sexually violated her when he was 17.

                Sexually violated? Hrm… Definition: the crime of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will.

                You can tell right there that the article is going to be very sloppy with facts, and sure enough, he quotes Ford’s description of the party and follows up with “Kavanaugh says that he never attended any event like this. Like what, though? He never attended a small gathering in Bethesda where people were drinking beer?

                Kavanaugh is refering to a party with Ford, Leland, PJ, and Judge, as quite obviously he went to parties with other people. You might was well claim someone is lying when they deny being on the grassy knoll in Dallas by showing a high school picture of them on some random grassy knoll somewhere in Texas.

                Then the author focuses on July 1st, again asserting that Kavanaugh’s denial of being at a party with Ford is a lie because on that day he was at a party with two of the people she named, PJ and Judge. However, that party included many people she didn’t name, and did not include her or Leland. Pretty hard for Kavanaugh and Judge to be sexually “violating” Ford in Bethesda when they’re 11 miles away at a completely different party with a different group of people.

                And on and on he goes, trying to conjur up lies out of nothing.

                None of it would explain why Ford can’t remember how she got to the party or how she got home, nor why such a brief encounter with a drunk guy so warped her psyche. I mean, worse things happen several times of night at the average drunken frat party.

                My theory of the case is that she was assaulted as she described, but not by Kavanaugh, a boy she hardly knew and who didn’t know her (nor did his girlfriend), and who didn’t run in the same social circles. Why would she stay silent about an attack by some random a******s from Georgetown Prep? I would think she’d tell her friends to avoid them.

                Silence is often the result of the attacker being close to the victim, often very close, and holding sway in the same social circles. Often its because the attacker is a boyfriend of one of the victim’s close friends. Often the attack is a deep, deep betrayal of a long-time trust.

                So my theory is that Ford was attacked by an old friend that she deeply trusted for years, and she doesn’t remember how she got to the party or left the party because she rode with the attacker both before and after. It’s burned into her memory because it was a shocking betrayal of a close friendship, one that she still can’t come to grips with, so her mind won’t let her remember the two car rides because that would force her to remember who actually did it. So she desperately needs the attack to have been committed by someone else, someone she doesn’t like, someone she thinks is evil, someone she hardly knew.

                And along comes Kavanaugh’s nomination, and all the pieces fall into place.Report

              • Avatar Mark Boggs in reply to George Turner says:

                I just wanted to see how contorted you’d get to support your guy. You didn’t fail.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mark Boggs says:

                Kavanaugh has letter of support from about a hundred women who’ve known him closely, all saying he is an exemplary person who has been tremendously supportive of them in their lives and careers. He has sent more women to clerk at the highest levels than any judge in US history. His conduct has always been above reproach.

                But that’s not enough when their are evil women who want to destroy innocent men in the name of social justice.

                Women like Ford are why we don’t automatically believe women when they make such charges, forcing actual victims of sexual assault to go through a legal meat grinder.

                And as you can see even in this thread, Kavanaugh’s spotless reputation has been utterly destroyed. Even if the FBI reports come back indicating that there is 0% chance that Ford’s accusation is true, and that she made it up out of whole cloth, tens of millions of Americans will still believe her, and believe Kavanaugh is a deviant sexual predator.

                Worse, the Democrats on the committee totally used Ford, throwing her to the wolves instead of having the FBI condut a discrete investigation. She’ll probably have to go into hiding, ending up working at a Safeway in Peoria, because the consequences of what she’s done under the spotlights of a Senate hearing will be a thousand times worse for her than what she claims Kavanaugh did.

                But of course the Senate Democrats don’t care because all they care about is power, the mid-terms, and stopping Trump, no matter how many lives they have to destroy.Report

              • Avatar Mark Boggs in reply to George Turner says:

                All I know is the guy was arrogant and dumb enough to lie about the simplest of things. To the Senate. For a lifetime appointment on a body that makes important legal decisions.

                Seriously, is Kavanaugh the last, best, great hope for conservative jurists? Are there no more Neil Gorsuch’s?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

                The Preppie Guide to Acing Your Job Interview:
                ( Not applicable to those lacking a Yeti-like Mr. Toad.)

                1. How dare you ask me to come here and explain myself!
                2. Yes, I get drunk! Don’t you get drunk?
                3. I was too drunk to rape anyone, so there!
                4. I went to Yale, bitchez!
                5. How dare you ask me to come here and explain myself!*

                *Repeat as necessary, adding suitably masculine levels of volume and rage.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well at least ivy league, prep school elites are no longer ruling over the good common people who see exactly how bad they. Those darn elites have ruled us for to long and Trump will put them in their place.Report

          • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Les Cargill says:

            3-307: sexual offense in the third degree:
            (a)?A person may not:

            (1)(i)?engage in sexual contact with another without the consent of the other; ?and

            (ii)?1.?employ or display a dangerous weapon, or a physical object that the victim reasonably believes is a dangerous weapon;

            2.?suffocate, strangle, disfigure, or inflict serious physical injury on the victim or another in the course of committing the crime;

            3.?threaten, or place the victim in fear, that the victim, or an individual known to the victim, imminently will be subject to death, suffocation, strangulation, disfigurement, serious physical injury, or kidnapping; ?or

            4.?commit the crime while aided and abetted by another;Report

  10. The people going to bat for Kavanaugh are telling the same story that always gets told to defend men accused of abuse. You could swap out his name for so many others and everything else would remain exactly the same. The desire to believe men and to excuse the things they have done is a bone-deep cancer. It is contemptible. The least Kavanaugh’s defenders could do is acknowledge what they’re willing to enable, and who they are willing to sacrifice, to preserve this cultural investment in prominent male innocence.Report

    • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

      Lindsey Graham is making the point about as plainly as he can that men’s reputations matter more than anything that happens to women.Report

    • Avatar Les Cargill in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

      The bias against accusers in sex crimes cases has more to do with our basic habits of accommodating information than any major imbalance. We accept as a basic rule that the onus is on the accuser; for sexually charged situations, the accuser simply faces a severely uphill battle.

      I’d be well beyond my limits if I said I thought there was a solution. It think this bias is baked into the cake at a fairly deep level. And it’s not conscious. It’s a product of other, probably otherwise preferable heuristics we embrace.

      To clarify – I don’t think it’s “the desire to believe men”. It’s the default bias towards skepticism of the accuser. And yeah – men play against that line.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Dick Durbin’s questioning is pretty good. Kavanaugh’s sputtering in response helps Durbin.Report

  12. Avatar Philip H says:

    Wow. Lindsey Graham is going off the deep end.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I have no idea who is going to “win” this.

    But it’s Pyrrhic.Report

  14. Avatar Kolohe says:

    If someone did that tu quoque stuff in a courtroom that Kavanaugh did to Klobuchar, I got to think there would be serious contempt charges.

    Eta – even with a premptive apology.Report

  15. Avatar Jaybird says:

    So here I was thinking “huh… I remember when I did that thing when I asked ‘remember what you were outraged about in July?’ question… when did I do that?”

    I did it a little over three weeks ago.

    At the beginning of the Kavanaugh hearings.

    Back when we were upset that someone behind him may or may not have been giving the White Power hand sign.

    That feels like a *LOT* longer ago.Report

  16. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Ugh, polygraphs.Report

  17. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Procedurally what’s next? Is there already a floor vote scheduled, does the committee need to vote first? (again?)Report

  18. Avatar Jaybird says:

    For those of you who enjoy prediction markets, here is the PredictIt page for the Supreme Court… thing… that’s going on.

    Short version: the “Yes” for “Kavanaugh Next SCotUS Justice?” is up 13 cents to 62 cents.Report

  19. Avatar Pinky says:

    My realizations:

    I don’t want to watch a woman go through this
    I don’t want to watch a man go through that
    I don’t trust any commentator to give me a fair description of what happened, barring a calamity
    It doesn’t matter what I think of the accusationsReport

  20. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    My inclination is to believe that Kavanaugh most likely is guilty of the acts he is accused of. However my reaction to likely minded friends on my Facebook feed is almost cult like filled with memes treating Ford as a saint and Kavanaugh as a devil. There is one example, from a woman, of the opposite. I don’t like this aspect of modern politics. Everybody is pledged to full support of everything your side is for. You have to demonstrate the same intensity of feeling, post the same memes, and say the same things. Your not allowed to qualify anything or disagree even in the most minor way on the most minor issue. Any side of disagreement is used as an opportunity to pounce for heresy.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Except you don’t have to do all those things. I mean, it bugs me as much as it bugs you that people are thinking in lockstep, but they’re powerless to affect any of us.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Pinky says:

        I don’t have to and do not do any of those things. Part of me fears ostracism if I express my true opinions a lot though. There are many times where I want to dissent with the letter if not the spirit of the activity but feel that I can not.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to LeeEsq says:

      This is another way of saying that politics makes you stupid.

      And collectively, we keep getting more and more political. Welcome to the future.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to j r says:

        I’ve never been much a joiner in my life. A lot of the non-political lock step things made me uncomfortable to. In every hobby circle I’ve been a part of, I always been something of a periphery member because of my inability to get as into the hobby as many other people in it. The type of collective stupidity in politics is more dangerous though because it has real world consequences.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I had to unfollow a few people today. The change in their tone from the morning (what a brave woman!) to the afternoon (he’s a lying scumbag!) was more than I could take. I think the most disturbing thing about the Trump presidency is how unhinged the Left is becoming. And I don’t mean this in the same way that the most rabid Trump fans are. It’s a sort of impotent rage that comes from a place of frustration.

      With that said, I think Kavanaugh will be confirmed and now the Left has weaponized him. I’ve never seen a nominee be this partisan during a confirmation process as he was today, but he was also filled with anger. It’s going to take a while for that to go away and I would suggest the Left not put any important decisions before him for a couple of years.

      I’m also just incredibly disappointed by the politics that were played by Democrats. I still disagree with McConnell’s decision over Garland and as a KY voter I have been trying to ‘ditch Mitch’ for his last two re-elections. I understand why Democrats are angry and want revenge but…The way that Ford’s accusations were handled, the blatant politics of delaying them this long, the refusal to launch their own FBI investigation, etc…it’s more than I can stomach. I do believe something happened to Ford and that she was taken advantage of by Feinstein and her Democratic colleagues.Report

  21. Avatar Morat20 says:

    Random thoughts:

    1. Republican complaints about how horribly partisan Democrats are and how truly contemptible and clearly awful and low this is, complete with blatant innuendo that it’s all made up to delay things and smear a candidate…kinda falls flat after Garland was never even giving a hearing, and Gorsuch was confirmed without any of this.

    2. Kavanaugh is clearly lying about his drinking history. I’m not gonna speculate on why, but he was selling a lot of BS on that point, and his refusal to be honest about that really bugged me.

    3. The fact that Judge wasn’t asked to testify seems….odd. I would assume, if Judge were willing to absolutely clear Kavanaugh, he’d be up first thing in the morning. Or before Kavanuagh testified. I can’t help but feel there’s a really good reason the GOP decided his presence was not worth demanding.

    4. Why did the prosecutor the GOP had to grill Ford get suddenly shut up and ignored on Kavanaugh, right when she seemed to be trying to nail down a timeline?Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Morat20 says:

      Garland was never even giving a hearing, and Gorsuch was confirmed without any of this.

      Gorsuch wasn’t the nominee that would lock in a conservative majority for a generation.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        Gorsuch wasn’t the nominee that would lock in a conservative majority for a generation.

        People who ignored a nominee for that long don’t get to bitch about a few weeks delay. Not and have their whining taking seriously by anyone not drinking the kool-aid.

        I really do think my 4th thought was the most important. She was asking about a specific party and a specific entry in his calendar, and suddenly the whole GOP side of the committee stopped letting her ask questions.

        I don’t think it was purely the fairly obvious reference to cocaine that was the reason.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Morat20 says:

      Garland should have been given a vote. Not doing so was politics.

      If you’re going to compare this situation with Garland, you’re conceding that it’s been driven by politics. Unsubstantiated attacks (you have to admit that some of them are unsubstantiated) are being used as political tools. You don’t give our guy a vote, we’ll destroy your guy’s reputation.Report

    • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Morat20 says:

      Because she was trying to nail down a timeline. And because she was getting somewhere… Did no body else see that entry on his calendar noting a gathering that included him, Judge, the PJ dude, and a few others? She was about to get going on that point when they decided she was done.Report

      • This touches on one of my late-night observations, which is that…

        the Democrats didn’t do a very good job.

        They should have been asking about this. They probably should have asked about Whelan, too. But especially this. This was one of the biggest vulnerabilities and it didn’t come up. Republicans stopped Mitchell, but they couldn’t stop Harris. And they didn’t do it even after Mitchell was stopped.

        Instead they tried to hammer and hammer and hammer on the fact that he drunk a lot (an important point, but there were diminishing returns well before they stopped) and the FBI investigation that wasn’t going to happen, that key swing vote senators didn’t even want, and that even a lot of anti-K people got tired of.

        Irony of ironies, I think Democrats might have done better with their own Mitchell.

        .Report

        • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Will Truman says:

          I was baffled by their failure to hone in on that. I’m not sure some even noticed it. It was like they were just waiting for their turn to speak but paying no attention to what was actually happening. I realize I may have a higher expectation due to professional training, but honestly it seemed like an obvious avenue to go down… not to mention many of them are ALSO trained lawyers… a former prosecutor, no less. It was a let down.Report

        • Avatar Les Cargill in reply to Will Truman says:

          Whether or not he drank a lot is a pretty insignificant point in the larger scheme of things. Why? Because it was in high school, and it was also in high school in the “boys will be boys” era.

          had this come up at the time, then there probably would have been some sort of settlement and the records would have been sealed.

          I get the feeling that presentism bias figures prominently in the collective willing suspension f disbelief/cognitive dissonance about this issue.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Em Carpenter says:

        Lots of articles about it. I did not watch the hearings but Slate had an article that said Broker tried to raise the issue.Report

  22. My overwhelming impression was that both were speaking with sincerity. I don’t know that an FBI investigation would get us any closer to the truth — I suspect it won’t. But delaying the vote for a week or so and letting an investigation proceed might allow passions to cool. I think the GOP would be foolish to push his nomination through right now but … the GOP are foolish and in thrall to Trump.

    My real concern is that if they cram through Kavanaugh now he will be permanently damaged and the institution tarnished, regardless of what comes out later. Clear this up as best we can now. Then vote.Report

    • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Siegel says:

      speaking with sincerity

      I don’t understand how you can say that about Kavanaugh given the number of lies he told. Can you explain?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Nevermoor says:

        I have a hard time with that as well. If we was speaking with sincerity he wouldn’t lie repeatedly under oath, including lying being at a party fitting Ford’s description when his own calendar contradicts that claim.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater says:

          His own calendar confirms his claim. You’ve been misinformed by listening to one of the Democrats on the committee, probably Sheldon Whitehouse. Kavanaugh’s diary says he was at a party at Tim Gaudette’s house with Mark Judge, Tom Kaine, PJ Smyth, Bernie McCarthy, and Chris Garrett. Missing are Ford and Leland Keyser. Of course Leland Keyser says she never met Kavanaugh, much less partied with him. He went there from Tobin’s house where he was working out, not drinking beer.Report

  23. Avatar Jaybird says:

    On a lighter note, Hillary Clinton was a guest star on the season premiere of Murphy Brown tonight.Report

  24. Avatar Brent F says:

    For what its worth, the most right-wing and quasi-MRAist law school acquaintance I have was following and found Kavanagh to be an uncredible witness. Reasons cited

    – Angry, argumentative demenour with the questioner while refusing to answer the question in such a manner that suggests a tendency to avoid giving answers adverse to interest even if they are the truth. Would not directly answer questions about alcohol, but deflected to academic and athletic accomplishments.

    – Tendency in this testimony and previous interviews to present himself as a choir boy when that simply does not square with other people’s assessment of him at this time.

    – Non-responsive, dismissive and uncredible answers to questions about his yearbook.

    – Answer regarding Renate Alumnus seems uncredible compared to teenage boy behaviour.

    My own assessment is that I’ve seen Kavanagh give straight faced statements on small matters that I don’t believe to be true. When I see a tendency to say what I have reason to believe to be lies to cover up small instances of inconsquentially bad behaviour, I am skeptical of straight faced declarations against more serious behaviour. I don’t know that he’s lying, but I don’t think he’s a very credible witness. Simply put, to me he seems like someone more invested in defending the image he wants to present to others of himself than telling the truth, even under serious circumstances.Report

  25. Avatar Brit says:

    Mike Dwyer: Garland was never even giving a hearing, and Gorsuch was confirmed without any of this.

    Gorsuch wasn’t the nominee that would lock in a conservative majority for a generation.

    I think why Trump and all that follows has been so depressing for me is that it seems that the characture conservative is an accurate reflection of the overwhelming majority. I mean, many are nice people personally, but their moral compasses are irredeemably broken.

    And then you get those conservatives that dont wantbto appear that way (perhaps even to themselves), and they can watch a blatantbpartisan effort by republicans to suppress evidence (i loved those republucan senators who refused to call any witnesses beyond Ford and then said she had there was no new evidence), a nominee who refused even to follow the pretence of non-partisanship and who clearly lied undr oath on the small stuff…. and tut over democrat partisanship.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Brit says:

      Republicans will always have their chutzpah.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Brit says:

      I mean, many are nice people personally, but their moral compasses are irredeemably broken.

      Pretty much it.
      They are behaving exactly as the caricature of reactionaries desperately, naked, trying to preserve the hierarchy of entitled white men.

      It doesn’t matter that some are personally nice, like the ones I know.
      Those people in those old photos of people screaming at the little girls integrating a school were all very nice people too.Report

      • “They are behaving exactly as the caricature of reactionaries desperately, naked, trying to preserve the hierarchy of entitled white men.”

        Chip – Is race a factor here now too? How many of the Republican men on the committee voted for Sotomayer and Kagan?

        I also keep coming back to Hillary being nominated in 2016. Given the treatment of all the women who accused Bill Clinton, by Hillary herself, I can’t possibly take Democrats seriously as a party that actually cares about women.Report

        • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Given your defenses of Kavanaugh and your claims that this is a political hit, not actual concern about the mettle of someone about to be confirmed to a life-time appointment to the nation’s highest court, I can’t possibly believe that you actually care about women, either.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rebecca says:

            Rebecca – Believing that Democrats took advantage of a (probable) sexual assault victim for political purposes and that their outrage is not concern for women, but a calculated political move, does not mean I don’t care about women. There have already been several articles written elsewhere that this ultimately harms #metoo. I can both think this process was a farce AND care about women. The two positions are not mutually exclusive.Report

            • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Believing that Democrats took advantage of a (probable) sexual assault victim for political purposes

              By keeping a confidential letter confidential?

              I can both think this process was a farce AND care about women.

              Yes, but your treatment of the testimony, constant excuse-making for Kavanaugh (including by rewriting both Ford’s claims and Kavanaugh’s response to both be friendlier to Kavanaugh), and assertion that it is reasonable and not disqualifying for him to constantly lie under oath are flatly inconsistent with actually caring about women, which is true regardless of what you think internally.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Nevermoor says:

                @nevermoor I think it’s far more accurate to say that those things are inconsistent with @Mike-Dwyer’s more general care for women. Which is a real thing, for which we have a great deal of evidence (as much evidence as one ever has about people we only know on the internet.) To just leave it there “these things are flatly inconsistent” and not go from that to the more general statements folks are making. (And if you weren’t intending to do so, to go to the general, apologies for singling you out.)

                More broadly, people are often inconsistent and often grab on to ideas about things that are inconsistent with their stated and even lived values generally. I find it more fair and more effective to call them on the inconsistencies rather than assert that if they have this one inconsistency (or even these twelve, or three hundred, inconsistencies) in how they view the world, then everything else is a sham.

                I mean, I think that when we’re talking about how they interpret things in the world around them — not so much in the case of someone like Kavanaugh, whose world is crumbling around him as he desperately tries to shore it up and hide the consequences of him having been a liar and a terrible person for so long. He may succeed in the shoring — but fish that guy.

                But @mike-dwyer? You can think he’s wrong about all kinds of things (lord knows I do) without having to resolve him into binary states. He cares deeply about (at least many) women and ALSO … the things you listed. Cognitive dissonance, particularly the unacknowledged kind, is something we all do – part of the human condition – and pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t lead to an accurate model of the world.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Maribou says:

                I was (apparently inartfully) trying to make a somewhat different point, that is perhaps best made in reference to a political figure: I care 0% whether Ronald Reagan honestly believed he loved black people and treated them fairly. I care 1% whether he was kind to individual black people he met in his life. That he voted against the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act; that he vetoed the Civil Rights Restoration Act; that he gave a states rights speech in Neshoba County; etc.

                Here, Mike may very well believe he thinks highly of women, and be kind to women he knows, but what’s he’s expressing and supporting is the opposite of that. Given that I’m not Mike’s IRL friend, the latter is what I care about.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Nevermoor says:

                You’re not Mike’s IRL friend but you are in IRL (because online is *real* albeit different) community with him.

                The more I learn from my moral betters (and there are plenty of people I consider to be such), the more I’m convinced community is key to building something better in our world than what we have right now. Wherever it happens.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Maribou says:

                Right. And in this community I have his words on this subject, which are ugly and deserved to be identified as such. Even if that isn’t the most polite thing to do. And even if he isn’t just his words on this subject.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Nevermoor says:

                @nevermoor I wasn’t saying you needed to be polite, I was saying the massive overgeneralization is both unfair and ineffective. Basing a claim like that on one set of responses, no matter how wrong-headed, and not on all the other contrary evidence you have from other things he’s said in the last however many years, is, IMO, inaccurate.

                But I’m not a moderator anymore, in fact I’m deliberately *removed* from all moderator activity at my own request, so feel free to completely ignore my opinion.

                I mostly agree with you about this entire situation which is the only reason I felt moved to offer it in the first place.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Maribou says:

                “I deeply care about the truth, have told the truth many times, and all of you have seen me tell the truth in this forum.”

                “Sure, but you telling repeated lies on this hugely important topic is inconsistent with being a person who tells the truth”

                “How dare you question my truthfulness”

                (or, stated directly, my point is that what people who don’t support women generally do–including in this confirmation process–is to give every evidentiary lean, interpretation, and benefit of the doubt to the man, and find every reason to put his interests over the woman’s. And that observable behavior happens whether or not they mean to denigrate women, or have any other internal personal view/opinions. Mike has been busily engaged in doing *exactly that* at a high stakes moment where “caring about women” compels the opposite conduct.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Nevermoor says:

                @nevermoor

                So, unless I am 100% onboard with the female accuser in every situation I somehow don’t support women? Or is this simply a case of you taking one conversation topic and making inferences about what my opinion on that singular topic means about me as a person?

                I was a liberal and a registered Democrat during the Lewinsky stuff. That entire process and the way she was treated by the Clintons is what pushed me to the Right. Nearly two decades later Hillary told women that if they didn’t support her they were bad feminists. My daughter, who was a Sanders supporter and very far from me politically was outraged by it because she wasn’t going to be told what it meant to support women. She taught me a good example there.

                If more evidence comes out proving Ford’s claims, I’ll be the first to call for Kavanaugh’s nomination to be pulled. Until then though, you can continue to speculate as to what my written opinions mean about my 43 years on earth, and you will probably mostly be wrong, but apparently this site is full of mind readers.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                No. If you respond to allegations by whitewashing them, making up alternate-reality defenses, and saying that a Supreme Court justice should be excused for lying repeatedly under oath simply because he was accused (credibly) of sexual assault, you’re part of the problem.

                Note I’m not reacting the same way to people who simply point out the (real) missing facts as I am to you. There’s a reason for that.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Nevermoor says:

                *sigh* You have been claiming to be a mind reader and presuming guilt since before Ford testified or any of her claims were actually investigated…but yeah, I’m the problem.

                I usually find when trying to consider both sides of a story, it’s helpful to consider alternative explanations. I do think something happened to Ford, I’m just not sure she has the facts right. That doesn’t mean Kavanaugh wasn’t a little shit 35 years ago, but so far I remain less than 100% convinced. If you want to read more into that, as I said, that’s more your problem than mine.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                No. I haven’t at any time claimed to read anyone’s mind.

                Before the hearing, my issue was she told a story accusing Kavanaugh of doing X, Y, Z. Kavanaugh said only that none of it happened.

                You went on an extended discussion of how it’s probably not a big deal because Kavanaugh could have innocently done X, and not realized it caused her to believe he was doing Y. Which completely an inexcusably ignored Z (a willful omission you failed to correct when multiple commenters called you on it). Also, Kavanaugh wasn’t saying “maybe X happened and I regret it, so you were inventing a defense no one was using.

                None of that is mind reading, none of that is what Dr. Blasey deserved (regardless of who you believe is more credible), and that practice is exactly one of the things victims face when going public.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Nevermoor says:

                All of that speculation (from me) happened prior to Thursday. The reason I engaged in that speculation is because all I have seen on this site and elsewhere is a lot of liberals judging Kavanaugh before they ever heard Ford or Kavanaugh’s rebuttal. It was the same guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude that Sam advocated for in his post the other day. So if the Left had already decided they believed Ford, why not let the conservatives speculate about how she could have gotten things wrong? That’s not victim shaming or be unsupportive of women. It’s a direct response to liberals showing their bias well-before Thursday’s hearing.

                I guess maybe I’m a schmuck for failing the morality test, but the stakes are so incredibly low here that well, it just doesn’t feel like I did.

                What I can say is that if I was actually playing a role in this process, beyond engaging with partisans on an internet site, both Ford and Kavanaugh would have gotten a fair listen from me, I would have also considered any other evidence presented, and would have come to the conclusion that Ford told a compelling story, but i was equally moved by Kavanaugh’s rebuttal and find myself no more certain that I was on Wednesday. I would love for the FBI to help me understand things better, so we’ll see how the next week goes. As I said to Rebecca though, I do believe Kavanaugh probably perjured himself at some point about the yearbook stuff, so if the FBI clears him, i have no doubt you guys will use perjury as the reason why he should not be seated on the court.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Nevermoor says:

                Nevermoor – If you will notice in this entire thread there is nowhere that I make personal attacks or speculate about how individual commenters feel about anything, what their motives are, etc (and seriously, if I am mistaken there, point it out and I will apologize to that person). I do make generic comments about Democrats but that always applies to those in Congress, not a commenter who is registered as one.

                With all of that said, I have been writing for this site for going on a decade now. You’re welcome to comb through my posts and because I share a LOT of personal details you can surely make all kinds of conclusions about me as a person. In that regard, you could probably ascertain at least as much about me as Kavanaugh and considerably more than any of us know about Ford.

                On the other hand, I know nothing about you. You comment under an alias, I’m not even clear on your gender, race, etc and frankly I would never ask you for those details. So obviously you have me at a disadvantage in terms of facts known, but yet only one of us feels comfortable in speculating about how the other person feels about women.

                Given all of that, my comments have been confined to discussing the public figures involved in the Kavanaugh hearing. If you are so outraged by my opinions that you need to also question my morals, that is your problem, not mine.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @mike-dwyer Pointing out that you don’t do that (explicitly) anywhere in this thread is a little dubious when you’ve done it in many other threads in the last few weeks, including some milder but definitely personal digs in the last few days (“Sam and his Righteousness” ring any bells??) and have carried on those themes here without the explicit attacks. Pretty much all aimed very clearly at the same person.

                Or to be completely direct about it:

                If you’re going to hand out apologies for making personal attacks on this website, I think you could definitely start with Sam.

                I mean, you’re not required to make apologies, nor do I think it’s my job or my place to decide whether you’re required to make them, and I’m certainly not asking as an editor that you make them. I’m not asking you to do anything. But if you were *going* to make them, that’d be the place to start.

                Stopping doing it – cold turkey rather than in fits and starts – would be even more convincing, as far as you walking the walk you’ve been talking on that front goes.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:

                @maribou

                While I will continue to push back on Sam on a regular basis, at your own insistance I have refrained from speculating about his motivations directly, which is the most you should hope for. Beyond that, I would urge you to stop intervening on that topic, but it appears to be an irresistable impulse.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @mike-dwyer It’s only irresistible when you start making more narrow than they might otherwise appear claims about how you refrain from personally attacking people.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Maribou says:

                Koz: Why, what is pathetic about it?

                Fight for this, fight for that, fight for blah blah blah. Maybe this is a time where you should just quit fighting?

                That’s a serious question? Oh right…you’re a partisan. My bad. To list a few examples:

                1. If you think “us” as including “you” are winning anything out of this, you’re mistaken. Okay, maybe your partisan ego gets a bit of a stroking, but I guess I live by a higher set of standards, including one that assumes that the win-loss mentality is for simple-minded idiots. That applies to all partisans.

                2. Roe v Wade was decided in ’73 and the Casey case I believe in ’92. Like it or not, abortion is protected. Maybe your side should simply shut the fuck up, accept the loss and stop fighting? Same with same sex marriage?

                Yeah I didn’t think so.

                3. Telling others to quit fighting when all I’ve seen from people of your ilk over thirty plus and whatever years fighting against the Clintons, liberalism, socialism, and whatever million other things trigger your frail sensibilities demonstrates your hypocrisy. People like you don’t stop because you’re too righteous in your cause. I have to assume that when you talk your shit to the lefties doing the same thing you do, you’re looking in a mirror. It’s amazing how much you’re alike.

                Getting advice from you on political discourse is like getting advice from me on how to play center in the NBA.

                Kids these days…Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Dave says:

                That’s a serious question? Oh right…you’re a partisan. My bad.

                Yeah, it’s a serious question. It seems sort of troll-y, if you’re lib-ignorant, but it’s not really.

                I’ve tried to point out more than once that politically speaking, from the point of view of our side, aside from your antagonism toward us, we’ve got nuthin’. There’s millions of people out there voting Republican every election, and it’s not because they deeply sympathize with the thesis formulated by Wm F Buckley in the classic Up From Liberalism.

                But as things are playing out, we’ll probably get Kavanaugh confirmed, we’ll probably expand our majority in the Senate, Trump’s approval ratings are going up again. None of these things are likely to happen except that you simply can’t hide your hostility for us.

                All of this behind the aggression of fight, fight, fight. Well, in contrast to the knee-jerk mentality that behind it, there is actually a real choice there. How about if you didn’t fight? What if you just let us win instead?

                2. Roe v Wade was decided in ’73 and the Casey case I believe in ’92. Like it or not, abortion is protected. Maybe your side should simply shut the fuck up, accept the loss and stop fighting? Same with same sex marriage?

                Yeah I didn’t think so.

                Well yeah, because our side has a much more mature understanding of how to relate to political adversaries. Ie, we try to defeat them politically and leave them alone personally. Your side is credible about that sort of distinction, and less and less motivated to try to maintain it.

                3. Telling others to quit fighting when all I’ve seen from people of your ilk over thirty plus and whatever years fighting against the Clintons, liberalism, socialism, and whatever million other things trigger your frail sensibilities demonstrates your hypocrisy.

                Things are different now than in the Clinton-era. Then, we were arguing about public policy, like the libs are now. But for us, now, things are much different. We are arguing for our ability to lead our own lives in pretty normal ways, either in religious terms, or in secular bourgeois terms for that matter as well. That’s why the Kavanaugh thing has resonated so strongly for us.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Koz says:

                Koz,

                I’m certainly not lib-ignorant and I’d even go so far as to bet that I have more conservative characteristics than you (since you seem to do nothing more than back flips, twerks and pom-pom shakes for the Republican party). I didn’t find your question serious then. I think less of it now. I’m questioning why you even bothered to respond to me in the first place.

                There’s millions of people out there voting Republican every electio

                Millions of people vote Democrat too. I’ll check the math but there could have been more of them than you. Just pointing it out – don’t even think I’m making a judgment about the result.

                and it’s not because they deeply sympathize with the thesis formulated by Wm F Buckley in the classic Up From Liberalism.

                Ok, now you gone from calling me lib-ignorant to stupid. I can’t read this part of your comment and think that you’re doing anything other than calling me stupid because you make it sound as if I would believe that. I doubt most of the people on your team have heard of Buckley, or Hayek, or Friedman or Mayer or Kirk.

                Your team is a toxic show of populism, nationalism, nativism, butthurt-towards-the-libs-ism, and some of the worst anti-intellectualism I’ve seen in a long time. Do you know the term I use on my Facebook page to refer to your team: “dumbfuck conservatism” – the meaning is pretty self explanatory and Trump fits that bill perfectly – dude’s a laughingstock in my part of the U.S.

                In what universe would I believe that your team is comprised of people of principle? Conservatism died years ago.

                None of these things are likely to happen except that you simply can’t hide your hostility for us.

                When have I hidden my hostility and contempt for your ilk? Even when I can get along with conservatives, and I do, this whole team schitck with you – it’s crap. Maybe you have low enough standards to appreciate bottom feeders but I don’t.

                Even after things swing the other way and you scurry away from public discourse like a cockroach, I won’t hide my hostility. Seeing as the “unhinged” label gets thrown around like empty cans of Schlitz at a Trump rally, I’m sure there will be those that say “Poor us and look at that unhinged asshole over there” and point in my direction. I can tell you that I’ll be the last person to lose sleep over it.

                Well, in contrast to the knee-jerk mentality that behind it, there is actually a real choice there. How about if you didn’t fight? What if you just let us win instead?

                You didn’t say please. I need not explain this hypocritical ask.

                Well yeah, because our side has a much more mature understanding of how to relate to political adversaries.

                So far, you’ve been a name caller and a hypocrite. Now you’re openly lying to me. I’ll add “liar” and “comedian” to your list of attributes. You’re the gift that keeps on giving.

                By the way, what side do you think I’m on? If you say Left, I’m sure all the lefties will bust out laughing. They may even like you for a minute or two.

                But for us, now, things are much different. We are arguing for our ability to lead our own lives in pretty normal ways, either in religious terms, or in secular bourgeois terms for that matter as well.

                Do you think I’m going to tolerate you blatantly lying to me? I’m not so when you decide to have an adult conversation and make a good faith attempt to not come across as a lying fool, look me up. Until then, do whatever bottom feeders do.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Dave says:

                Do you think I’m going to tolerate you blatantly lying to me? I’m not so when you decide to have an adult conversation and make a good faith attempt to not come across as a lying fool, look me up. Until then, do whatever bottom feeders do.

                Ugh, obviously there’s a lot of hostility there. I won’t even try to plead innocent, because frankly I’m not even getting the premise of most of it. What I will say is that whatever the cause of the hostility is about, it has nothing to do with the post you’re replying to.

                My thesis there is very simple: Quit Fighting. Give Up. Let Us Win. Maybe it’s a point of contention or maybe not, but I’m arguing this is a literal sense, not a troll-y one. It’s a radical idea, meaning a change at the root, not radical as the far Left of the political spectrum.

                It’s not necessarily an idea that I expect you to like, but it is the item for bid, at least here. And it’s not at all ridiculous.

                So pull your head out, and say something relevant. And if you are hostile, for the love of God say something comprehensible. I read pretty well, and if I don’t understand you, I’m gonna say, at least on a prima facie level that’s on you.Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Koz says:

                My thesis there is very simple: Quit Fighting. Give Up. Let Us Win.

                And it’s not at all ridiculous.

                It is ridiculous. Why would we ever do that? You wouldn’t.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Em Carpenter says:

                Em,

                Koz reminds me of one of those weasel types in high school that would talk a lot of smack about people and got away with it because he had big friends that would get between him and anyone that would call him to account.

                Lucky for me, I became friends with the baddest dude in the school so I didn’t care who was friends with who and you should have seen the behavior on the weasel kid when he knew I could splatter him anytime I felt like it and his friends would have ended up as roadkill if they tried to help him.

                Those guys learned the hard way when they messed with my younger brother.

                Koz is all talk no walk. Weasel.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Em Carpenter says:

                It is ridiculous. Why would we ever do that? You wouldn’t.

                For two reasons, one smaller, one bigger.

                The smaller one is that it empowers us in ways we likely wouldn’t be able to do for ourselves, so presumably from the lib point of view that’s a bad thing. Libs have got themselves suckered into the likes of Avenatti and McElwee take the wheel and drive them off the cliff.

                The bigger one, the one that I was really getting at, is that this posture of antagonism and hostility among Americans is a bad thing no matter what public policy ends up being implemented. And to that end it would be a very valuable thing to figure out ways to dial down the hostility.

                I mean, I sympathize and largely agree with the arguments about irreconcilable differences and divorce and so on from a spiritual/psychological point of view. But that doesn’t mean that such a thing is actually plausible, and in this case, I don’t think that’s remotely the case, at least for the forseeable future.

                Related to that, if it does turn out the Blue Wave peters out, it’s very possible to think that libs are going to find themselves in the middle of November without any political power, without the immediate prospect of getting any, and without any justification for the Resistance mentality they spent almost two years on.

                And I think for a lot of libs that would be sort of the end of the story. But it’s not, in fact I think it’s the beginning. That in fact, lib civic engagement has the possibility of being much more fruitful, much more valuable, outside the context of having political power or grabbing for it. But whether that’s true or not, that’s well outside the lib imagination as it currently stands. My point is, it’s a valuable thing for libs to be thinking about, and maybe, if they actually thought about it they might find that they like what they can do in that context over what they’re trying to do now.Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Koz says:

                I’m sorry. I must have the dumb today because I can’t wrap my head around any of that.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Em Carpenter says:

                I’m sorry. I must have the dumb today because I can’t wrap my head around any of that.

                Sorry. Let’s just take the first point then. A very respectable percentage of the Americans who tend to vote Republican aren’t necessarily in love with its politicians, either the Trumpish sort or the Establishment sort either way.

                For a lot of them, they’d be inclined to sit out or vote Dem for certain Dems, except that the lib base gets suckered into a pattern of antagonism and hostility from Avenatti, McElwee, etc. (“We’ve got to be tough and fight dirty!” blah blah). Thereby pushing those weakly committed voters back to the GOP again, in a situation where we’d be hard pressed to get them under our own steam.Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Koz says:

                Ok, but there’s something in between the scorched earth Avenatti method and letting you win…Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Em Carpenter says:

                Ok, but there’s something in between the scorched earth Avenatti method and letting you win…

                That’s certainly true, at least in principle, and the politically speaking the Dems are likely to do well if they can find it, which heretofore they haven’t.

                But the reason I say give up and let us win, is that whatever happens in that direction is likely to work to the benefit of all of us, in an apolitical way no matter who wins the election.

                And to a large extent, the upshot for this goes toward our team more than yours anyway. Because if the libs do lose Kavanaugh, lose ground in the Senate, fail to take the House, etc., I’m afraid that a lot of us on our team are going profoundly misunderstand things.

                Make no mistake, if that does happen, I’ll certainly be spiking the football in the faces of some people here. But even that basically secondary. Because even if we don’t have any more Avenatti/Kavanaugh style antagonism and drama, we are still a nation with a lot of problems. And in that circumstance, liberals are going to be very valuable and very helpful. Not libs as libs. But libs as people, as neighbors, as Americans.

                Through the solidarity of a people that share a land, values, and interests we have a chance, we have hope. And frankly given the scale of the problems that we’re facing, I’m afraid it’s the only chance we have.Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Koz says:

                Sorry. No. “Letting you win” means allowing harm come to people in ways that are unacceptable to me, without fight or objection.
                It’s not about “winning”, “owning”, or being able to be smug, or “spike the football”. I’m worried about real damage to real people.

                Because if the libs do lose Kavanaugh, lose ground in the Senate, fail to take the House, etc., I’m afraid that a lot of us on our team are going profoundly misunderstand things.

                What does this mean?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Em Carpenter says:

                I said once in another forum, that there is a group of us (white, male, middle class) for whom most of these battles are vicarious, over things that offend our sensibilities of justice, but don’t really affect us personally.

                But I know plenty of people who have real skin in this game- low income women of childbearing age for whom reproductive services are breathtakingly personal and real, immigrants, people of color.

                Regardless of what happens or doesn’t in November, giving up for them just isn’t an option.

                The genie is out of the bottle.

                Decades ago women might actually have believed that it was the natural order of the universe that your father/ husband/employer made their decisions about reproduction, but no one can possibly find that believable now.

                I find it preposterous to imagine a world in which these people resign themselves to being second class citizens.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I find it preposterous to imagine a world in which these people resign themselves to being second class citizens.

                That’s why I think the worst thing possible for the GOP would be for them to actually get the power to create that. It’d last for one election cycle, but the backdraft would last decades.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                A woman is not made a second-class citizen by putting an alleged abuser on the Court when there was no evidence beyond the allegation. Nor is a woman made second-class by the presence of another originalist on the Court.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky says:

                Easy thing for a man to say, ya know?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater says:

                Yeah, because as we all know, men have no female blood relations.

                Democrats are losing suburban women in this debacle. They are losing rape victims. They are losing child gang rape victims.

                Nobody like to see an innocent father destroyed by a bunch of bug-eyed angry demons with pitchforks. Well, nobody but angry feminists.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to George Turner says:

                Yeah, because as we all know, men have no female blood relations.

                Absolutely. And lots of those men with female blood relations are explaining to them why putting an alleged sexual abuser like Kav on the court doesn’t mean that they’re second class citizens.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater says:

                I hearby accuse all Democrats and liberals of sex abuse. There. You’re done. No place Democrats can go except to nominate Republicans – who I notably didn’t accuse.

                Now given that the entire House and Senate Democratic members are all acused sex abusers, don’t you think it’s time we threw them all out of office?

                I love these fact-free, evidence-free, logic-free witch hunts!

                It’s like shooting fish in a barrel – except that when Democrats do it real human lives are destroyed because they’re playing for keeps, like they did when they were lynching innocent black men throughout the United States based on unsubstantiated allegations by false accusers.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

                I should perhaps cite something.

                Slate: The Kavanaugh Hearings Have Women Fired Up … to Vote Republican

                As it turns out, many women are related to men, and fond of principles like truth, evidence, logic, and due process. This obviously comes as a shock on the left side of the aisle, if they’ve even taken time to notice, given their new strategy of calling the FBI investigation a rigged sham, as if there’s some vast conspiracy to hide whatever make of pumpkin carriage Ford rode home in from the party that she can’t place or date.

                But we’re also being told that Kavanaugh lacks judicial temperament because he reacted to being charged with rape or sexual assault like it’s a huge thing, which a more judicious man would just take calmly. If the accusation of rape shouldn’t cause someone to pop their cork, then rape isn’ a serious crime either, or the accusation would cause extremely strong reactions.

                The new Democrat talking point seems to be that rape is up there with throwing ice in a bar or cheating at cribbage. No reason not to have a hearty laugh at the accusation of something that isn’t really improper.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Em Carpenter says:

                What does this mean?

                It means that if the Republicans are successful this November, that a lot of us will misunderstand or misinterpret what needs to be done from here. Because of the political/cultural antagonism from the Left, because of the perception that our desire to earn a living was being ignored among the powers that be, that our efforts and intentions were expressed toward defeating those things.

                But now that libs have truly been pwned (hypothetically) we’ve won and the game is over. In fact, that’s the opposite is the case, the game is just beginning.

                Our culture, our economic situation (both in terms of labor market mismatch and public finance), our solidarity, our education system, these things are not really in good shape. It’s going to take a lot to repair those things even if we didn’t have ill will between us. If the political situation has resolved and the ill will has dissipated, we should realize that those things are still there and address them as best as we are capable.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Koz says:

                My thesis there is very simple: Quit Fighting. Give Up. Let Us Win.

                I’m not sure why me calling you out for who you are, a liar and a hypocrite, prompted you to think I was interested in further conversation, especially when you had to talk yourself in circles.

                My thesis is even more simple:

                You’re telling me not to fight because you’re both intellectually ill-equipped and lack the mental toughness necessary to see this through until the end.

                It’s not me that can’t win. It’s you.

                because frankly I’m not even getting the premise of most of it

                The premise is that I just called you out for being a liar and a hypocrite in addition to insulting my intelligence. You respond by tucking tail and avoiding it, and you wonder why I think your suggestion that I stop fighting is hilarious.

                Maybe you should just give up. You’re not cut out for this.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Dave says:

                I’m not sure why me calling you out for who you are, a liar and a hypocrite, prompted you to think I was interested in further conversation, especially when you had to talk yourself in circles.

                Because you calling me nasty things and I thought you’d want to explain yourself to justify them.Report

              • Avatar The Question in reply to Koz says:

                The truth needs neither explanations nor apologies. The truth is simply there and if the truth is injurious to you perhaps change it.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Koz says:

                Things are different now than in the Clinton-era. Then, we were arguing about public policy, like the libs are now. But for us, now, things are much different. We are arguing for our ability to lead our own lives in pretty normal ways, either in religious terms, or in secular bourgeois terms for that matter as well. That’s why the Kavanaugh thing has resonated so strongly for us.

                No you are not. Most definitely not. Overturning Roe Vs. Wade isn’t about you leading your won lives in pretty normal ways. Its about maintaining control over other women’s bodies. IF its get over turned rich women will still get abortions, and generally suffer no health consequences. Poor women will still get abortions, and begin dying again as they did before.

                Overturning the ACA (which was a Heritage Foundation idea don’t forget) isn’t about living your own life unmolested, its about wrenching healthcare away from those who can’t afford it, because private health insurance isn’t about generating healthy outcomes its about in patients, its about maximizing short term profits to shareholders.

                And mandating that gun owners actually pass a background check every time they buy a gun isn’t about taking guns out of your hands or mine (you do know liberals shoot too?). Its about addressing a society where firearms are no longer a necessary tool for the vast majority of the population and instead have become a hazard which too many people don’t seem to actually care about.

                I don’t care what you do in your home, unless you beat your wife and kids. I don’t care what you smoke or drink, unless you hit me while you are intoxicated. I don’t care that you own guns, unless you are too stupid to lock them up properly and my kid finds them and plays with them while they are loaded. I don’t care how you make your living unless you have to take something from me (like wages to which I’m entitled, or clean air) to do it. And I don’t care who you choose to love or have sex with. Period.

                Sadly, to many conservatives still do care about those things.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Philip H says:

                Sadly, to many conservatives still do care about those things.

                All those things are “normal” issues for American politics, where we could have had more or less the same debates in 2008, 1998, even 1988 for most of them.

                What’s different now is that we wouldn’t have had things like Avenatti, Kavanaugh, or Trump for that matter.

                Specifically as this filters down into the lib evaluation process as this current stands, there is a tremendous amount of hostility toward core American demographics, specifically Americans who are

                white
                male
                Christian
                conservative
                flyover

                Any three is iffy, could be ok in some circumstances not ok in others, four+ and you are clearly bad.

                So even if our positions on gun control, abortion, collectivized medicine, whatever, haven’t changed in thirty years, this has and that’s what is driving the hostility in American politics today.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Koz says:

                So as a White, Male, Christian, who lives in Mississippi – we are not a “core demographic” in the US. And again most “conservative Christians” are espousing policy preferences that are neither Conservative nor Christian.

                And I don’t see where White Male “Christians” have any right to dictate policies that benefit themselves at the expense of anyone else. That’s the core difference between modern liberals and these alleged conservatives.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Philip H says:

                So as a White, Male, Christian, who lives in Mississippi – we are not a “core demographic” in the US. And again most “conservative Christians” are espousing policy preferences that are neither Conservative nor Christian.

                Yeah, that makes you four out of five, assuming that Christians means something remotely orthodox (lower-case “o”) and if not then you’re three out of five. Either way, that’s not a good place to be in the cultural preferences of modern identity politics.

                Once a upon a time people like you could think that being lib would protect you against the cultural vulnerabilities coming from one direction. That’s not so clear any more, among other things given the social science journal scandal that broke like yesterday.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Koz says:

                I’m actually Presbyterian, so nowhere near orthodoxy of any kind I suspect you’d recognize. Frankly my faith and my extensive reading and reflection on Christian Scripture informs my politics deeply. Christ ate with lepers and tax collectors afterall.

                What cultural vulnerabilities do you think I need protection from? Not running the country? Considering the overt racially and gender based oppression that built the US, I’m fine if black women take over. Hell, the first black male president got us out of the second worst economic slide in the nation’s history.

                Sorry, but if all modern conservatism has devolved to is “protecting” white men’s power – which they created and enforced by violent oppression – then I’m happily out.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Philip H says:

                I’m actually Presbyterian, so nowhere near orthodoxy of any kind I suspect you’d recognize. Frankly my faith and my extensive reading and reflection on Christian Scripture informs my politics deeply. Christ ate with lepers and tax collectors afterall.

                That one’s kinda neutral, neither good nor bad in terms of identity politics. That just leaves the other three strikes against you.

                In terms of cultural vulnerabilities, it’s probably nothing if you want to continue to live in Mississippi.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Koz says:

                cultural vulnerabilities

                Loss of privilege.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater says:

                Loss of privilege.

                Maybe, but that’s not what I’m talking about there.

                And in fact Kavanaugh is a useful example in terms of explaining the difference. There’s been a lot of talk about that going off in a thousand different directions, but I think libs are losing focus on at least one aspect that for me at least, is both indisputably true and underlining so many of the reactions. In fact, I think it’s why he’ll end up being confirmed.

                That is, the Establishment Dems, in this case associate with the Senate, lib activists, lib activist media, and lib-friendly MSM media, have all conspired to throw a bunch of accusations at Kav, accusations without any regard for the truth at all. The best that you can say for most of them is that the libs didn’t publish things that they knew for a fact ot be false. Basically, if we can run this and not get sued today, that’s good enough.

                That has really governed the situation since then. In a lot of ways, the turning point of the nomination was Wednesday (?) when the Ramirez (?) stuff came out. There were a lot of Republican-leaners some dialed in politically and some not, who were very upset about that and the obvious indifference to the truth shown by the libs.

                And so when Kav testified before the Judiciary Committee, it validated and clarified the outrage that they already felt. And the result has moved the ground of the elections in the Republicans’ favor since then. Frankly, Trump isn’t necessarily as important any more.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Koz says:

                Ramirez’ claims have been corroborated by a guy who is currently a professor at Princeton (corroboration which went univvestigated by the FBI…). Maybe you’re thinking of Swetnik’s claims? Yeah. Those didn’t get investigated either, but as I recall her public testimony to the media was inconsistent with the most basic claims Avenatti ascribed to her in his initial letter to Judiciary.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater says:

                To be honest, I’ve been following all that (Ramirez, Swetnick) secondhand. From that perspective, it seems pretty clear that there’s not an ounce of credibility between them. So I don’t have anything to say about the guy in Princeton(?). That could change if need arises, but I’m not anticipating that happening.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                Ramirez’ claims have been corroborated by a guy who is currently a professor at Princeton…

                A full professor? You mean like Ford?

                If Ford is false then we’re dealing with a hysteria fueled witch hunt as well as political manipulation. All claims of K being a witch need to be checked to see if the witch hunter plays for team blue and probably also need to pre-date the witch hunt.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                A full professor? You mean like Ford?

                Yep. Good catch. You know how those professors are, all secretly conspiring to destroy traditional American values from within.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                Yep. Good catch. You know how those professors are, all secretly conspiring to destroy traditional American values from within.

                I was going for “We already have one witch hunter professor, one more shouldn’t be a shock. People abuse power, and Professors remain human.”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                Loss of privilege.

                What does this even mean? In practice I mean.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Corey Robin. He argues that the unifying operative principle of conservatism is to protect societal structures which accord certain privileges to the dominant group.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Stillwater says:

                I’m not sure I’d agree with Robin although I can probably see why he tries to reach those conclusions.

                The conservative stances against segregation, same sex marriage and just about every social movement in between, even if not directly motivated by preserving power or privilege, certainly had those consequences.

                Was it unifying in the movement? Seeing as I consider myself sympathetic to early ’60s fusionism and used to see myself as one of the three legs on the stool (classical liberalism), I can say I never supported any of that crap.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Stillwater says:

                Robin is not necessarily wrong, but the thing about political theory is that it is full of non-falsifiable claims. It is a narrative that will incorporate a bunch of data points in a coherent and appealing narrative (appealing to some at least).

                So, for instance, a person who has made a lot of money under the current economic system is likely to want to defend that system. I guess that can be called reactionary. But what about a person who is poor but hard working and entrepreneurial and wants to defend the current system because he believes that it is his best hope for not being poor at some point? He’s not trying to defend any existing privilege. He’s trying to disrupt the existing structure by moving out of his assigned place. The only way for Robin’s model to accommodate for the striver is to tell some story about false class consciousness. Some people love that story. To me, it’s a pretty big weakness to the model.

                Kind of reminds me of Moldbug’s “deep” insight that Cthulhu always swims left. Yeah, progress tends to move in the direction of… progress. That’s exactly why we call it progress.

                Yes, conservatives want to conserve existing societal structures, because they believe those structures work best. Progressives want to reform existing structures, because they believe those structures should be reformed. I’m not sure how meaningful these observations are. We already knew this stuff. It’s right there in the names.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to j r says:

                In my experience and in Robin’s theory, that striver supports the establishment for reasons entirely different than “economic anxiety”.

                As was pointed out many times, the vast majority of men fighting for the Confederacy were actually fighting against their economic interest.

                And it is in fact falsifiable. There is right now empirical data coming in, from those strivers in the Rust Belt and Appalachia who voted Trump, and are now suffering very real economic distress as a direct consequence.

                Have they turned against him, or are they sticking with him?Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Like I said, it’s a good story if you already want to believe it.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                As was pointed out many times, the vast majority of men fighting for the Confederacy were actually fighting against their economic interest.

                This is wishful thinking combined with an excessively narrow definition of “economic interest”. Yes, agreed most people were never going to get rich enough to own slaves back in the old South… but this is like saying most people in our current economy will never control an oil company.

                How much of the South’s economy depended on Slavery? A one minute search suggests Cotton was 75% of their exports and Cotton was heavily dependant on slavery (and slavery was not limited to Cotton).

                Here is a list of the US’s current top 30 exports: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exports_of_the_United_States

                All 30 of the top 30, combined, is 0.592 Trillion.
                Total US Exports is: 1.45 Trillion.
                75% of that is 1.0875 Trillion.

                Picture all thirty of those industries disappearing overnight because someone in Washington signed a law, then think about the economic impact on most people. One can reasonably think burning down the Fortune 500 would be bad for you even if you aren’t in the upper 1%.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                The economic benefits of a vast army of free laborers didn’t accrue to all southerners.

                For those who didn’t own any land, or possess a lucrative skill didn’t get much benefit out of the vast army of free labor.

                And even after slavery, cotton and the agriculture industry recovered because, well, fabric and food still needed to be made. In fact, most former slaves returned to life in the fields but under (somewhat) improved conditions.

                But really, the point here was that for most Confederate soldiers, like Trump supporters, their passion had nothing to do with a cold economic calculus, but rather, a tribal and cultural affiliation.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                For those who didn’t own any land, or possess a lucrative skill didn’t get much benefit out of the vast army of free labor.

                This is like saying you need a special skill to benefit from the existence of the oil companies. The bulk of economic benefit from having a functional company is indirect, not direct; That’s the multiplier effect. So if Amazon creates a headquarters in Dallas, there will be more money in the system in general, more TVs will be sold, and the seller of TVs will have money to buy more things and so forth.

                The Great Depression shrank the GDP by something like 15%, the expected results from getting rid of slavery would have been a lot worse.

                And even after slavery, cotton and the agriculture industry recovered because, well, fabric and food still needed to be made.

                The South’s economy was devastated in that time period. Teasing out how much was due to Slavery ending and how much was due to the war is something I’ll leave for someone more informed than me. My one minute Google search typically put the war first but slavery’s end second.

                their passion had nothing to do with a cold economic calculus, but rather, a tribal and cultural affiliation.

                We can’t claim we’re going to inflict more economic destruction than the Great Depression and then claim that idea’s rejection “had nothing to do with economic calculus”. One assumes some people wanted jobs in the future, eliminating significant parts of the economy is going to make that hard.

                I also think racism played a bigger role… but I’d put that well past “affiliation”. If the South is going to treat slaves as people, then ex-Slaves would be able to vote, would be living with and going to school side by side with the children of the whites, perhaps even marrying them, etc.

                Almost all Southerners considered slaves to be absurdly inferior. “Radioactive aliens” would be the modern equiv. Heck, the North was absurdly racist by modern standards. “Affiliation” implies the typical Southern had no skin in the game, they’d disagree, very strongly, albet for strongly racist/nonsensical reasons.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                I don’t see a useable plan of action there… or even goals for success.

                Robin’s definition of conservatism “can be reduced to this: “those who react against movements of the left” react against movements of the left…”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I don’t see a useable plan of action there… or even goals for success.

                Really? That’s weird given the history of US political economy.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                only one of us feels comfortable in speculating about how the other person feels about women.

                Quote where I did that. I don’t, frankly care how you feel about women internally. I care, and am disappointed to see, that one of the site’s consistent voices, has responded to high visibility sexual assault allegations in the manner you have. It isn’t my place to speculate about how your personal story led you there, or whatever else, but it is my place to identify and push back on what you’re posting to this site. Which, notably, you haven’t ever responded to the substance of, instead preferring to feign victimization, put words in my mouth, and otherwise distract from what matters about this extremely important issue.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Nevermoor says:

                Quote where I did that.

                Seeing as I agree with every word nevermoor has said and am probably every bit as disappointed if not moreso, I’d like to see this conversation reach its rightful conclusion and not let this go unanswered.

                Too much ducking and weaving. Not a fan.

                This has been sitting for about a week so I assume there’s been plenty of thought put into an answer so let’s hear it.Report

            • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              I was simply turning your own construction around for you to examine from another light.

              My entry into this whole discussion was questioning how one can assert the right to not have a potential rapist on the Supreme Court without being political. My second concern has been your repeated whitewashing of the actual accusations; which I’d guess help you feel comfortable with your political advocacy.

              Having just watched the Senate Judiciary Committee vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor, with the request for further investigation from Sen. Flake, I can only imagine that there are a few Republicans in the Senate who are also reluctant to make this appear political on the part of Republicans without that investigation, and I’m glad for that.

              Personally, my bet is that the threat of an investigation will make Kav withdraw his name from consideration, particularly after his resistance yesterday to an investigation.

              He’s got some friends who he partied with back in the day, likely powerful people now, in positions of respect and trust, who might want to keep their youthful antics at Georgetown Prep and Yale’s DKE frat at out of the public view.Report

          • Avatar Maribou in reply to Rebecca says:

            @rebecca Apologies for not seeing that you were simply turning Mike’s construction inside out. My arguments about inconsistencies of course apply to the actions of the Democratic Party in this case equally as well as they do to Mike.Report

        • Avatar Jonny Scrum-half in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          How did Hillary Clinton treat her husband’s accusers that makes you disregard Democrats as a party that cares about women?Report

          • I’m not going to enumerate HC’s actions against her husband’s accusers here. They are well-documented. Democrats got things very, very wrong during the impeachment proceedings. They had a chance to make up for that in 2016 but failed.Report

            • Avatar Jonny Scrum-half in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Okay. I’d be surprised if you’d be able to find anything Hillary Clinton said or did publicly that in any way disparaged her husband’s accusers, but perhaps I’m wrong. Regarding the impeachment hearings – at the time I thought that the Democrats were wrong. I’ve come to believe otherwise, and I now think that the Clinton impeachment was completely illegitimate and the result of, as Hillary Clinton said, a vast right-wing conspiracy. (That’s not to say that Clinton wasn’t wrong in many ways, or that his defenders never acted shamefully.)Report

              • Okay. I’d be surprised if you’d be able to find anything Hillary Clinton said or did publicly that in any way disparaged her husband’s accusers, but perhaps I’m wrong.

                Many people who were working in the WH then have written extensively that HC spearheaded most of the efforts to discredit Clinton’s accusers. Geez, I thought this was settled history.

                It’s actually much like Kavanaugh. Clinton was impeached because he perjured himself during the Paula Jones investigation. If Kavanaugh perjured himself yesterday, and this is proven, I’m fine with disqualifying him.Report

              • Avatar Brìt in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Do you believe he told the truth about the “renate alumnus” thing?

                Because if he lied about that, he perjured himself.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Brìt says:

                I think he was probably fibbing on several items about his yearbook, so kudos to Senator Whitehouse for tackling that line of questioning. That is probably going to he what is remembered if he is removed as a nominee and/or charged with perjury.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                He won’t. He’s given interviews where he talks about that particular year book entry and explains it at length. The girl in question is still one of his close friends and is in on the joke.Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to George Turner says:

                The girl in question didn’t know, for all those years they were friends, that Kav and his friends spoke about her like that or referred to her in their year book like that. She was shocked and hurt.
                https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/24/politics/new-york-times-kavanaugh-renate-high-school-yearbook/index.html

                And, I’m guessing, not longer his friend, based on her public statement a few days ago, when she withdrew her support for his nomination.

                So no, she was not ‘in on the joke.’ She didn’t think it was funny at all, and it’s disgusting for you to attribute that to her.

                I am so tired of men putting words into women’s mouths instead of listening to the words women have to say.Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to George Turner says:

                And the most idiotic thing about this comment is that the only mistreatment of women Brett Kavanaugh took responsibility for in his testimony the other day was insulting this woman. He apologized to her very publicly and under oath.

                Seriously idiotic defense of a deplorable man, done by putting words in a woman’s mouth about her own mistreatment instead of actually listening to what she really said.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Rebecca says:

                You listened to CNN. They’re nuts.

                After the idiotic smear story ran, which hurt her deeply, Kavanaugh and Renate had a long conversation, which he related in media interviews.

                But yeah, the Democrats probably just destroyed her life, too. It’s what they do. They might as well have kill stickers on the doors of their offices.

                They went after the prototype of an Eagle Scout who has done more for women, and treated them with greater respect, than any man alive, because his exemplary behavior is a direct threat to them.

                The same thing happened in Germany, where the Nazis focused on discrediting, destroying, jailing, and torturing any cleric who spoke against Hitler or the Nazi party on serious moral, religious, or ethical grounds. Any such people had their character viciously attacked with false accusations and they were removed from positions of authority. Many of them were sent to prison, or camps, or simply murdered, on the basis of what the Nazis knew to be contrived and false allegations because it was for the “greater good” of social and racial justice.

                We’re seeing it again, without even a modicom of restraint.Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to George Turner says:

                Wow. Kav said all was good in an interview, so no problem here. Meanwhile, the woman withdrew her letter of support, and publicly said he was lying about her.

                Way to go and support your Eagle-Scout-drunkard. I’ll be chuckling over this all day. You’ve reaffirmed every bad opinion I had of you. Keep it up! You’r batting a 1000.Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to George Turner says:

                I linked to a story on CNN, but I doubt you comprehend the difference since you don’t bother providing links to support any arguments at all, it’s just how the brain of George mashes crap together into a stream that supports you cognitive bias in your posts.

                But I do read the NYT, which fact-checked Kavanaugh’s testimony. I quote the pertinent section:

                Four of Judge Kavanaugh’s former schoolmates, including Sean Hagan, said the notion that the phrase was meant affectionately did not ring true. They said that Judge Kavanaugh and his friends often made disrespectful sexual comments about Ms. Dolphin, and that the understanding at the time was that the many yearbook references to her were boasts about sexual conquests.

                On Monday, Judge Kavanaugh’s lawyer told The Times that the “Renate Alumnius” note referred to a school event that he and Ms. Dolphin attended, after which they “shared a brief kiss good night.” Ms. Dolphin responded that they had never kissed.

                On Thursday, Judge Kavanaugh steered away from the idea that the yearbook reference had any sexual connotations. “We never had any sexual interaction,” he said.

                After his testimony ended, Mr. Hagan wrote on Facebook: “So angry. So disgusted. So sad. Integrity? Character? Honesty?”

                So once again, you’re putting a man’s words into a woman’s mouth and pretending that’s what she said. That is not okay, George, it’s despicable.

                Not only did Kavanaugh publicly apologize to this person he claims is a friend, but he lied about his actions toward her in his testimony under oath while he was apologizing.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Rebecca says:

                And the Democrat search and destroy mission continues. Are you going back to interview day care workers? I’ll bet any Republican nominee once threw a temper tantrum over their diaper being full. Maybe they pushed another toddler!

                No Supreme Court nominee in US history has ever had their high-school record brought up in a committee hearing. Obama spent his school years riding around with “the Choom gang”, and it was mentioned in his yearbook. Democrats nominated him for President instead of telling him to commit suicide.

                Cory Booker drilled into Kavanaugh at the hearing, yet Booker also wrote an article about how, in high school, he groped a girl against her will. Democrats should force him to resign from the Senate, and they should probably pursue felony charges against him. Keith Ellison violently assaulted several women, quite recently, and as one woman provides medical records and threatens to release video footage of the assault, he and other Democrats are saying that women lie, lots of women lie, and video footage can be altered. Believe women? Ha. Especially not if they’re named Kathleen Wiley, Paula Jones, or, well, any of the long list of women that Bill Clinton assaulted, not in high school, not in college, but while holding proiminent political offices.

                Republicans have never put any nominee through the Crucible style inquiries that are going on now. Ruth Bader Ginsburg beheld the current witch hunt and said the system is broken. Serious voices in Washington are arguing that the Senate should no longer conduct hearings on nominees because the Democrats can’t conduct an inquiry without this vile behavior, and they are probably right. The Senate never conducted such judicial hearings until 1938, when there was an attempt to keep Felix Frankfurter off the court because he was Jewish.

                Republicans certainly didn’t do anything remotely like this to Kagan, Sotomayor, or Breyer. It would not have even occured to them to ask a question about high school.Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to George Turner says:

                I beg to differ.

                If Kavanaugh did what Dr. Ford alleges, and I believe that he did based upon his own words, then he brought this upon himself.

                Democrats are not doing this to him, he did this to himself. But that’s a nice strawman. Thanks for the laugh.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Rebecca says:

                Uh, no. He didn’t do it because all four witnesses have denied the allegation, and his daily diary doesn’t leave room for such a party, a party Ford can’t locate in place and time. But that doesn’t matter because his diary might as well let him say “Sorry, but during the year in question, I was in France.”

                But we’re having an FBI investigation, which of course will go nowhere because — Ford’s lawyers says Ford’s schedule is too busy for her to talk to the FBI this week.

                That’s not something a truthful plaintiff would say.

                So instead, how about we investigate Steven Breyers high school behavior? I’m sure we can find someone who claims something if we ask hard enough. Maybe he got in a fight behind the football bleachers. I mean, since the Democrats are threatening to impeach Kavanaugh if he’s confirmed, why not just have the Republican majority impeach all the liberal justices and replace them? Then, if the Democrats win the House and Senate, they can impeach all the Republican justices. We’ll just make the Supreme Court a “serve at the majority’s whim” type post instead of the Constitution’s lifetime appointment idea.

                Then we could have ginned up hysteria, moral outrage, false charges, abuse of power all the time, while throwing due process out the window. The same thing happened in Nazi Germany, where things quickly morphed into fake campaigns against targeted groups. The SD (the brain trust of the SS) was constantly planting articles in the press about homosexual priests, child molesters, and people of bad moral character. Their purity spiral, similar to Democrats current purity spiral, selected for people willing to use any measure, including fake charges, rigged courts, extrajudicial murders, torture, and anything else they could think of, to destroy good people, and destroy them because of absolutely trivial things. In the SS you could get condemned and attacked for smoking or drinking, but could beat a random kid’s head in with a hammer if you showed how motivated you were, how much of a team player you were.

                Everyone quickly learned to never say or act in opposition to the hysteria and outrage brigades. That’s what the Democrats are doing now, trying to frighten good people of outstanding moral character from even considering a high federal position – while lauding actual serial rapists and rigging investigations. It’s not a pretty sight, and definitely not a place we want the country to go.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                And yet you don’t stop to think that if he was willing to lie about little things, repeatedly, that maybe that speaks to his honesty on big things?

                And morever, is it a good idea to place someone on SCOTUS who apparently cares little for telling the truth after swearing to do so?

                He lied about the Renate Alumnus thing, he lied about what a Devil’s Triangle was, and he absolutely lied over and over about how much he drank when he was young.

                They weren’t even good lies, and they were flatly contradicted by…everyone who knew him at the time, basically. His roommate at Yale, his friend Judge’s own book (which predates this).

                You call it “probably fibbing” but he’s a judge and he was testifying under oath to a Senate Committee.

                How is that okay for anyone, most especially a potential Supreme Court justice?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Morat20 says:

                @morat20

                Have you noticed how the conversation has shifted almost completely away from alleged sexual assault to perjury?Report

              • Avatar Mark Boggs in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Umm….because he’s gonna be a Supreme Court Justice?

                Best line I’ve read so far…”The worst character witness for Brett Kavanaugh was Brett Kavanaugh.”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Mike, Morat responded to a comment in which you conceded Kavanaugh lied under oath. He’s not shifting away from sexual assault. He’s following up on your own comment.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater says:

                I get that – but I am just pointing out how gleefully the Left is pursuing the perjury angle when it appears the sexual assault angle wasn’t going to work.

                If Kavanaugh shot himself in the foot on Thursday, so be it, but the fast shift in tactics demonstrates to me that this is an effort to keep him off the courts no matter what.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Mike, there is no glee. There’s anger, fury, rage… Some of that is directed at you, as you’ve noticed, in part due to your inability to understand the consequences – political as well as substantive – of putting a credibly accused sexual assaulter on the Supreme Court.* You think this is a cynical political game played by Dems, but it isn’t. Liberals, in particular liberal women, have been trying to explain to you why the substance matters here, but you’re an immovable object who refuses to view this in terms other than trivial partisan politics.

                *One who also lies repeatedly under oath, holds an embarrasingly expansive view of the Imperial Presidency, one who has expressed animus towards Democrats as a political party, and on and on and on…Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater says:

                #1 I don’t think he has been credibly accused. I would love it if the FBI cleared that up one way or another, but I don’t think that will happen.

                #2 Liberals opposed Kavanaugh on Day 1 based on his judicial and legal record. I actually thought that was the most credible stance (although to be fair they mostly opposed that because they believed Trump was appointing him in a partisan effort to protect his presidential powers down the road).

                #3 Still the HRC problem for Democrats. They wanted Bill back in the WH and his enabler there with him. In my mind Democrats lost all credibility on the defenders- of-sexual-assault angle.

                I’m not immovable on Kavanaugh. I have already said that if they can prove he perjured himself, he should drop out of the process. I’ve also said I never wanted him in the first place. But I also believe the process should be fair and motives transparent and I don’t believe those from the Left for a second.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                For all your posturing that you’re movable, you actually aren’t. Heck, you just admitted that you don’t think Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh even rise to the level of being credible, which is much lower bar than being *demonstrated* as true, or provable in a court of law. But I’m sorta exhausted by chasing your arguments around in circles, so I’ll just link to a speech by Amy Klobuchar the day of the committee vote. Check it out.

                Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                if they can prove he perjured himself

                You keep saying this, and keep ignoring that he so clearly did perjure himself. Maybe step back from this thread and look at the examples many of us have identified. If you don’t think they are correct, I’d love to hear why. If you do think they are correct, drop the “if” part of this.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Nevermoor says:

                I am not saying he didn’t perjure himself, but can you provide actual evidence that would convict him? All I have seen in this thread is people saying, “He was obviously lying,” which sounds more subjective than fact-based.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I’m still waiting to see a credible accusation of perjury. All I’ve seen so far is people reading in what meaning they want to his statements, under which standard almost everything anybody has ever said in court could be construed as perjury.

                For example, Renate Alumnius. It could mean all sorts of different things to different people. Not everybody is let in on all the meanings, or subtexts, and if your classmates are Beavis and Butthead (all too common), then a yearbook caption calling someone “A very sweet girl” is wild sexual innuendo that would spark uncontrollable giggles. “Sweet – get it?! Hahahaha!”

                And in point of fact, I have no idea what my high school year book says about me because I never bothered to see it, other than glancing at a few pages where people were pointing at each other’s pictures in class when they first came out. It’s beyond irrelevant and always has been.

                Bringing one up in a Senate hearing is beyond absurd.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                They’re all over this thread. I also put a new one in above.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                …putting a credibly accused sexual assaulter on the Supreme Court…

                Looking up the dictionary definition of “credible” it’s “able to be believed; convincing, capable of persuading people that something will happen or be successful.”

                So since she’s convinced team Blue, by definition she’s credible… but only to Team Blue who desperately wants to be convinced K is a monster, any type of monster. IMHO if Kennedy’s seat weren’t on the line, she wouldn’t be credible to them either. If K were actually on Team Blue the accusations certainly wouldn’t be credible.

                There is no evidence, there are no facts, no one other than Ford remembers anything and Ford barely does. This isn’t a situation where she’s been right about everything (or even anything) that we can check so we should extend that trust further. Ford has strong ideological motivation to make these claims, team Blue is strongly motivated to believe them.

                I pointed out on this Forum months ago that Blue’s best option was to try to blacken K’s personal reputation and that was why the various players from Team Red were trying to humanize him ahead of time, i.e. lots of people saw this coming.

                Team Red is insisting that “credible” needs to be something more than self serving 30+ year old memories from liberal activists. That’s probably a good thing overall.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater says:

                “an embarrasingly expansive view of the Imperial Presidency”

                Did it get worse in the last couple of weeks? It used to be a radical interpretation of the unitary executive, if I recall correctly. That sounds positively benign compared to his new status. I can practically hear the Star Wars empire music in your new description. But still, when I asked you to explain that earlier description, you didn’t give a satisfactory answer, and didn’t reply to my follow-up. The question of whether a president can be indicted still doesn’t seem so obviously cut-and-dried that disputing it merits the black cape and Vader mask. As for his animus against the Democrats, was this ever displayed from the bench? Was it ever displayed before these charges?Report

              • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Not completely. If the case is he said/she said, I’d think the fact that he was sitting there, under oath, on national tv, telling baldfaced lies would kind of go to credibility.

                But, hey, Lindsey Graham and a bunch of other conservatives have made it clear that they don’t give a rat’s behind if he ever tried to rape anyone, or even drugged or spiked drinks to facilitate rapes. At this point I expect that if Brock Turner was nominated for SCOTUS, they’d all line up to support him too.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Sure. Because I don’t have irrefutable evidence of the assault (and you have made VERY clear you don’t believe it). But there is ample evidence of the perjury, which is also disqualifying.

                I notice you don’t even defend the latter point.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Nevermoor says:

                @nevermoor

                When did you decide to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination and on what grounds?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Mike, Nevermoor can’t answer that. We’ve all sworn to secrecy or the checks stop coming.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Me personally?

                I would have wanted to be a no vote as soon as I learned his name wasn’t Merrick Garland. That said, I would have assumed that he was no different than Gorsuch in that respect, and that he would not fail to be confirmed for that reason.

                I became convinced he would not be confirmed when he lied at the first hearing about his involvement in political operative work.

                Any lingering doubt has since been utterly removed by credible accusations of sexual abuse coupled with dishonest, evasive, and non-credible responses from the candidate.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Personally, Mike, I opposed Kavanaugh both due to his record of obsequiousness to executive power and his part in the Starr’s great fishing expedition. That said I did not think that it would be in any way horrible for Republican Senators to support him.

                When Fords accusations were put to light my position didn’t change. When Ford testified my sympathy for her grew but my position didn’t change. I wouldn’t support Kavanaugh but I couldn’t really blame Republicans for supporting her.

                It was only after Kavanaugh’s testimony that my opinion changed. He perjured himself several times as you yourself acknowledge. Republicans in the 90’s went on that entire fishing expedition with Clinton and, in the end, were stuck with nothing to show for it but a perjury charge. It’s really kind of ironic that that they’ve abandoned even that.

                I can totally get how you, a principled conservative, would not want to oppose Kavanaugh over Fords’ allegations; would perhaps agree with his judicial positions and would be unconcerned with his raging partisanship (vast Clinton conspiracy my food, my God(ess?) Hillary must have bust a gut over that one) but at the very end to just shrug off Kavanaugh perjuring himself?

                I mean I get it, the GOP is probably gonna confirm him; after Garland and Obama’s terms we know there’s no depth to which they wouldn’t stoop; but I don’t get how you specifically can be so blase about it. It’s not like there aren’t a dozen Federalist Society list candidates to replace the man with.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Yes. Because he proved himself, by his own words and *unrelated to Ford or her sexual assault allegations*, unfit for office by repeatedly lying under oath.

                Not about Ford. About Renate. About drinking. About the drinking age. About a hell of a lot of stuff.

                He showed himself, by any rational standard, unfit for the office *even if you don’t believe Ford at all*, because “Judges” and “People who lie under oath” should be a Venn diagram that doesn’t overlap.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Morat20 says:

                Would you say he was disqualified prior to perjuring himself?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Isn’t determing whether he was qualified or not the point of a hearing?

                He could be a total stranger whose name I never heard of — lying under oath is an immediate disqualify-er for a job as a judge.

                Nothing else really matters. Not his judicial philosophy, not his background, not anything.

                Which is why you’ve seen his opponents pointing to that. Because you don’t need any other proof that this guy isn’t suited for the job than his own words, his own clear, stupid little lies.

                It’s a basic way of saying “We can step away from “he said/she said” and events of 30+ years ago, and just look at something a hell of a lot less controversial and come to the same conclusion”.

                What’s curious is why you don’t seem to consider a big deal, referring to it as “fibbing” like he was a kid lying about eating a cookie, instead of a federal judge lying after swearing to tell the truth.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Morat20 says:

                I’m not even remotely troubled by him lying about his yearbook during the Thursday session. It’s par for the course in this whole process. He obviously decided that he was going to play the game on Thursday and I assume he did the math and decided that even if he gets charged down the road, he’s got Trump there to pardon him.

                That’s what all of this has been turned into. A circus. Seriously, I’m so disgusted by both sides of the aisle that I’m tempted to vote pledge only third party votes for the next decade.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I honestly don’t know that they are being diverted, but it is the refrain I hear.

                Then what’s to say? If you don’t think lying under oath is disqualifying in a judge, then clearly you’ve picked your team come hell or high water.

                Which makes your “disgust at both sides” laughable as hell.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Morat20 says:

                History repeats as farce.

                I chased down the references and details about the “lying under oath” thing a week or two (3?) ago and it seemed more Dem spin (or something they wanted to believe) than anything proven.

                Has there been something more serious that’s come up recently?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Morat20 says:

                I remain to be enlightened as to what he lied under oath about.

                Is it the nonsense about Renate Alumnius? Is it a dispute over his version of how much beer he drank versus someone else?

                None of those are remotely prosecutable, if even qualifying as lies. People have differing opions as to subjective things. As I said earlier, you can’t use Beavis and Butthead’s meaning of a word as a definition.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                He obviously decided that he was going to play the game on Thursday

                This is a pretty remarkable thing to concede, Mike. A supreme court nominee decided to “play the game”, a purely political game by your lights, one which required him to lie under oath to “win”. You’ve basically just conceded what most of are arguing here: that he’s unfit to be a Justice on SCOTUS. He cares more about winning than any principle of decency, honesty, or judicial integrity.*

                *Just like a political operative…Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater says:

                I’m still waiting to find out what lie he told.

                And actually, he threw a fit because he cares about decency, honesty, and judicial integrity. He was up against a Nazi style kangaroo court run by the Democrats who were looking to lynch somebody no matter what the evidence was.

                Anyone who didn’t throw a fit in those circumstances would be unfit to serve.

                I want a Supreme Court justice who cares passionately about the rights of the accused. Democrats don’t give two figs about truth, evidence, or process, and the American people got to witness the whole disgraceful spectacle. It will haunt Democrats for decades.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Morat20 says:

                @morat20 You have to understand that it is okay when the judge is going to make decisions that folks like George Turner advocate for. It would be a problem if the judge wasn’t going to do that. Allowable tolerances for explicit lying have to be expanded to make sure that people like Kavanaugh never have to endure consequences for their behavior; consequences are for other people.

                In a similar vein, note the folks outraged that Kavanaugh’s credibility would even be questioned. They are the same ones who have absolutely no problem questioning Ford’s. They are the same ones who have absolutely no problem questioning anybody else’s, frankly. But when it’s their own guy, suddenly the dynamic changes completely. It’s a shell game being played by people desperate to protect the world as they want it to be.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Hatch and Grassley voted “No” on Sotomayor. And many of the opinionators who’ve defended Kavanaugh said that Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” comments were disqualifying.

          So yeah, maybe just maybe race is a factor.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

            Here’s Hatch, who’s said that he doesn’t believe it would be disqualifying if Kavanaugh did try to rape someone in high school, saying that Sotomayor’s speeches meant she shouldn’t be a Justice:

            I believe, however, that a nominee’s approach to judging is more important than her résumé, especially on the Supreme Court where justices operate with the fewest constraints. Each nominee comes to the Senate with her own record, and it is that record that we must examine for clues about her judicial philosophy. Judge Sotomayor’s speeches and articles outline a troubling judicial philosophy which her appeals court cases, hearing testimony and answers to post-hearing written questions do not neutralize.

            Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to pillsy says:

              Ideally, we should find people with a good judicial philosophy and decent character. I have no problem with someone deciding to vote against a nominee if he thinks either one is lacking.

              And I don’t think anyone was saying a wise Latina shouldn’t be on the Court; they were saying that someone who thinks a Latina is a better judge than a someone of another race shouldn’t be on the Court. That’s the opposite of treating race as a factor.Report

    • Avatar Iron Tum in reply to Brit says:

      But we totally accept people of every political persuasion here!Report

  26. Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

    After spending the whole day listening to both sides, it sounded like Trump nominated one of the minor characters from Less Than Zero. A bunch of bored, rich kids without parental supervision doing the stupid stuff that bored, rich kids have done from time immemorial.

    What was most shocking was the Kavanaugh screed against the left wing. It’s one thing to hold those views in private. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to blast them out in a Senate hearing room on live TV.Report

  27. Avatar George Turner says:

    Someone said that to win, Judge Kavanaugh needed to show up with righteous indignation. He brought it.

    Staffers confirmed last night that every Republican was going to vote for him, as would Joe Manchin.Report

  28. Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:

    Here is Jeff Flake being confronted by a rape survivor who asks him why it is that she matters less to him than her rapist does. It’s an awfully good question that conseravtives are in absolutely no position to answer.Report

    • Avatar Iron Tum in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

      Considering that Flake knows neither the woman nor her rapist, her statement (and your admiration for it) is nonsense.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

      I couldn’t make out the sound, but presumably his answer would be something like, I don’t think he did it. I didn’t watch the session, but from what I’m hearing, it’s not a slam dunk either way. This isn’t Bill Clinton or Roy Moore. I have little respect for anyone who defended either of them in terms of character. On this one, I can accept that people will read it differently. I don’t accept people saying that it’s impossible to reach the other conclusion, though.Report

  29. Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

    Admittedly, I live in something of a leftist bubble, but there is quite a bit of female outrage I see on my social media feeds. I wonder how this is playing out elsewhere. Will this have electoral consequences in a month and a half?Report

    • Will this have electoral consequences in a month and a half?

      This is a *HUGE* question.

      The main thing that I’m seeing in my various feeds is how angry everybody is and the sentiment that keeps popping up is some variant of, and I’m paraphrasing this, “I used to be a normie.”

      But it is spreading among the people who will be voting ‘R’ as well as the people who will be voting ‘D’.

      And I have no way of figuring out the extent to which which group of former-normies is larger, more energized, and more likely to have flipped from probably-not-likely-voters to likely-voters.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

        What is your prior probability that people in your various feeds who assert they’re normies are actually normies?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

          I was paraphrasing.

          But to run with the question, I’d say that there are a number of people who were vaguely indifferent to politics X years ago who are now finding themselves invested in outcomes.

          That said… I understand that there is a phenomenon where young-ish people don’t vote but middle-aged-ish people do vote. Gen-X is composed of a couple dozen people while the so-called Millennials are as numerous as the boomers. There’ve been a number of stories in recent years about how Millennials are doing this or doing that and a lot of them can be summed up with “Millennials are no longer in their early 20’s. They’re now in their early 30’s and acting accordingly!”

          As such, maybe the Millennials are moving away from not particularly caring about politics to particularly caring about politics the way that post-adolescents turn into young adults and have since time immemorial. That’s probably the simplest explanation and probably ought to be the one most quickly embraced.

          So, assuming it’s true as a working assumption… I still have no way of figuring out the extent to which which group (between Blue Voters and Red Voters) of former-normies is larger, more energized, and more likely to have flipped from probably-not-likely-voters to likely-voters.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

      Same here. I think a lot of Democratic voters are really outraged.

      Who knows what GOP internals are saying? Maybe it is saying that their goose is cooked and they will try and ram this through so they get their lock on the Supremes while they can.

      They are in a bit of a prisoner’s dilemma. Eject Kavanaugh and they depress their base. Confirm Kavanaugh and they fire up the opposition. There was a poll K-Drum had showing that women abandoned the GOP in droves except rural women. This was before Kavanaugh. Imagine what it is like after yesterday’s performance. Plus Kavanaugh was already unpopular going into yesterday. His performance helped with nothing.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

      Leaving politics aside, the feeling out there reminds me more of the OJ trial than the Thomas hearings.Report

  30. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Jennifer Rubin, today;
    ‘Conservatism’ seems to have lost all meaning

    From the article, emphasis mine:

    It repudiates not only free markets and immigration, international leadership, science and the rule of law, but also the habits of mind and the norms of civil behavior that a democratic republic requires. It’s not so much that the GOP has collapsed but that anything resembling an intellectually solid conservative movement has disintegrated. These people are all about power. Kavanaugh is not an umpire but an operative able to select facts, shade truth and evade troubling data to reach a conclusion that his side wants. That’s the image of the left that conservatives used to hold. They’ve become what they loathed.

    For those who can only look on in horror at our politics, the issue is no longer “What are you?” (Republican/Democrat/independent, conservative/center-right/progressive); it is “What do you believe in?” If truth, decency, rationality, the rule of law, respect and empathy are your core values, find the people who exemplify those qualities and work to build your politics around those values. Politics, after all, is nothing but the public expression and implementation of values.

    This is why appeals to centrism and compromise are so absurd. The GOP and their defenders see society as a hierarchy where white men are legitimate holders of power, and all others merely visitors graciously afforded tolerance.

    The universal values and aspirations that are spoken of by Buckley or Kirk are not what they believe or aspire to anymore. It is a lie to pretend otherwise and grant them the presumption of good faith.Report

    • Avatar Jesse in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      There are a small number of conservatives who are realizing American conservatism in 2018 has nothing to do with actual conservatism. Unfortunately, even most supposedly ‘reasonable’ NeverTrump Republican’s have backed Kavanaugh – because of course, they have sympathy for him, since he’s just like them in many ways. They had no connection to a lout like Trump, but they have plenty of connection to a guy like Kavanaugh, who has the background they either have or wish they had.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jesse says:

        It’s clarifying for me, in terms of revealing preferences and priorities.

        “Well, is turning the Presidency into a parody of a banana republic kleptocracy, but, my tax cuts.”

        “Yes, he is a hideous amoral narcissist, but, well, Roe v. Wade.”

        “OK, so maybe he is giving aid and comfort to white supremacists, but at long last, someone is finally standing up for white men.”Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jesse says:

        In Jennifer’s defense, she has been on the road to liberalism for a while now.Report

      • Avatar Dave in reply to Jesse says:

        There are a small number of conservatives who are realizing American conservatism in 2018 has nothing to do with actual conservatism.

        Plenty of people like that in the Northeast. Not sure where you live but your version of reality doesn’t match mine at all.Report

    • Chip – I was going to start a drinking game for every time you and Sam complained about white men, but man, I would be dead in no time.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        @mike-dwyer A game for every time a white man complains about someone else would get you just as drunk in less than half the time…. and if you had to take an extra shot every time one said “what! i wasn’t COMPLAINING”, i’d give it about 10 minutes…Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Maribou says:

          Complaining about white men – bigoted
          Drinking when people complain about white men – dangerous, but not bigoted
          Drinking when white men complain – bigotedReport

          • Avatar Maribou in reply to Pinky says:

            @pinky I made no claims as to the bigotedness or lack thereof of such games. Considering that “women / minorities / other group I am peeved at complain too much” is one of the most persistently bigoted statements I’ve personally been exposed to (generally from white men but anecdote is not data and I realize I probably hang out more with white men than with any other demographic, by a little bit), I wouldn’t play any of them. I don’t like complaints about people complaining.

            I just found it ironic to have Mike complaining about people complaining in this particular context.Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to Maribou says:

              But you’re complaining about white people complaining. The problem in that sentence isn’t “you’re complaining about people complaining”. The problem is where you’re categorizing people by race. The irony is that you’re doing it in defense of bigots, in response to someone pointing out the bigotry.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Pinky says:

                @pinky See my other comment.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Pinky says:

                And to be *super* technical, I was not complaining about “white men” I was not generalizing about all white men *at all*. I was saying that it would be super common to hear “a white man” complaining, that there were some larger number of white men complaining than just Sam and Chip (who were complaining about white men). I was actually in part making a joke about the circularity of a white man complaining about two white men complaining about white men to an audience consisting largely of other white men.

                If you think me perceiving that this site’s comments section is largely composed of white men, and making jokes for my own amusement in public about it, is me being bigoted, fair enough. I mean, the IAT agrees with you that I’m prejudiced against white men, anyway.

                Personally I think my joke was a way for a person who only in part identifies that way to deal with the cognitive dissonance of being deeply involved with a website where the overwhelming majority of participants do identify that way in a less ambivalent fashion, and then also I think the IAT is mostly a crock for some very specific reasons, even though implicit bias is definitely a real thing….

                But you do you.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:

              @maribou

              I will always find the complaints of white men, about white men, suspect.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @mike-dwyer Does that include your own?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:

                I complain about people. Some are men and some are white. Generally speaking I try not to complain about any race or gender as a whole.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Is

                “I will always find the complaints of white men, about white men, suspect.”

                Not a complaint about white men?

                (If your response is tu quoque, sure, yes. And I absolutely do find my complaints about white men suspect. And my complaints about white women. And my complaints about white people without recourse to gender. I find my reticence to make such complaints a titch more suspect – only a titch – which is why I *very* occasionally make them. Mostly I try to be more specific.)Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:

                No, it’s a complaint about THOSE men, not all white men.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @mike-dwyer I imagine the people you are complaining about would say the exact same thing about their complaints.

                How would you feel about that claim? Skeptical? I feel the same way about yours. To me complaining about white men who complain about white men shares many of the same issues that complaining about white men in the first place does.Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                If we don’t complain about the actions of our own ‘set’, how the heck we supposed to clean up our act?

                I mean, I’m a white people, and I regularly feel “WTF white people?” Sometimes it’s a “that’s awful and harmful” WTF, sometimes it’s a “chuckle and shake your head” WTF. But there’s stuff that’s identifiably white, that gives me the WTFs, quite often.Report

          • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Pinky says:

            Tell you what, after the shitshow of that hearing, I know I’m going to do some drinking when I get home. I guess they’d be bigoted drinks, since they’re occasioned by seeing so many supposedly high functioning, mature, white men melt down at the prospect that one of their brotherhood might see some consequences for his appalling actions, however slight and belated those consequences might be…Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Maribou says:

          see also –
          “Jews are jerks.”
          “You guys complain about Jews a lot.”
          “You know who else complains a lot? Jews.”Report

    • Avatar Dave in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      The universal values and aspirations that are spoken of by Buckley or Kirk are not what they believe or aspire to anymore. It is a lie to pretend otherwise and grant them the presumption of good faith.

      I made comments like that when Rubin was a staunch neoconservative during the Bush years so nice to see people catching up with the times.

      As far as good faith, meh. If it makes you feel good about yourself to signal your virtue and perform some internet chest thumping, then whatever makes you happy bro. I don’t know if that’s supposed to make me afraid of you or chomp at the opportunity to see you put your money where your mouth is, which I can easily do since I find your kind of left wing politics utterly obnoxious.

      There ya go…let’s have at it.Report

      • Avatar Zac Black in reply to Dave says:

        The internet tough guy routine? Really? What’s next, are you gonna tell Chip your dad can beat up his dad? I normally like you, dude, but your recent habit of accusing others of internet chest-thumping while yourself engaging in internet chest-thumping frankly just makes you look like a tool. Might not be the worst idea to reel it in before you make an even bigger fool of yourself.Report

    • Avatar Dave in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Chip Daniels: This is why appeals to centrism and compromise are so absurd

      I see myself as a centrist. Got a problem with that?Report

  31. Avatar maribou says:

    @pinky See my other comment. Although technically in this case it would go something like

    “Catholics are jerks.”
    “We Catholics sure complain about Catholics a lot.”
    “You know who else complains a lot about Catholics? We Catholics do.”

    (subbing in a group I do identify with for one I don’t, to be crystal-clear about that sub and its reasons).
    So your complaints of bigotry are somewhat missing the point. Accusations of self-loathing might, at least in my own case, hit nearer the mark.Report

  32. Avatar Koz says:

    And one last thing: there are very good reasons why I don’t participate on Twitter, but some of you here are out of your fucking skulls.

    If a guy working at the 7/11 is accused of doing what Kavanaugh did with the same amount of evidence there’s a very real chance he goes to jail and gets put on a sex offender registry for life.

    Report

    • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Koz says:

      Why do you say that?
      It’s not wrong.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to Em Carpenter says:

        Why do you say that?
        It’s not wrong.

        With the evidence we have today? Her testimony and statements, his testimony and statements, on the record denials from four anti-witnesses? Such denials not only deny the offense, but also deny the underlying event, to the point where it can’t be established that defendant was ever in the same proximity or room with the victim at any time for any purpose?

        Yes, yes it’s wrong, 100% bullshit, obviously, completely wrong. Any lawyer, any state yes any public defender, who couldn’t win this case 100 times out of 100 should be working in a 7/11 themselves. Any prosecutor with a shred of ethics would never attempt to convict on this evidence. Any prosecutor who did should be disbarred (they wouldn’t, but they should, that one’s just me).

        There’s a lot of men (and it’s usually men) sitting in prisons now based on horribly weak cases (and most often they pled themselves there). But not this one, no how, never.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Koz says:

          No, our hypothetical 7-11 clerk wouldn’t go to jail. I mean, certainly not if he’s white, and probably not otherwise.

          But he also wouldn’t likely get that promotion to store manager.Report

        • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Koz says:

          As I have said repeatedly, her testimony is evidence.
          Beyond that, the “denials” have been “I don’t remember anything like that”. And why would they? The night would only have been remarkable for the three people in that room-two of whom have a vested interest in denying it. (Then we have the calendar that shows a gathering including him and two of the other boys she named).

          I hate to break it to you, but I’ve seen cases go forward on next to nothing… I’ve seen convictions based on nothing but testimony. No other witness, no pictures, in one instance nothing but one guy saying the defendant came over to his house, beat him up and stole his money- jury believed him. Others who could maybe win at trial are often scared into taking pleas by prosecutors who threaten stiff sentencing recs if you make them try the case.

          The idea that this case would not be prosecutable for a lesser member of society is laughable to this former indigent criminal defender.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Em Carpenter says:

            I hate to break it to you, but I’ve seen cases go forward on next to nothing… I’ve seen convictions based on nothing but testimony. No other witness, no pictures, in one instance nothing but one guy saying the defendant came over to his house, beat him up and stole his money- jury believed him. Others who could maybe win at trial are often scared into taking pleas by prosecutors who threaten stiff sentencing recs if you make them try the case.

            Yeah yeah yeah….but not here. Not in a situation where there’s so much unrefuted evidence of actual innocence. For all the problems of our justice system, that isn’t one.

            The denials from these four anti-witnesses are close to, but not quite, unequivocal. That means that yes, somewhere over the rainbow, it’s possible that there could have been a party or a gathering where Kavanaugh and Ford were both there and I, Patrick Smyth or whoever, either didn’t know it or forgot about it.

            But the point isn’t that the statements are unequivocal, it’s that they’re unrefuted.

            Even in our fucked-up world of the criminal/plea-bargain industrial complex, the prosecution doesn’t win cases against you where the evidence is this weak and defense to it is so clearcut and obvious.Report

    • Avatar Dave in reply to Koz says:

      You oughta know….Report

  33. Avatar j r says:

    I have very little interest in the outcome of this. Any Republican appointed to the Supreme Court will likely rule the way I like on a bunch of issues and the way I don’t like on a bunch of others. The same goes for any Democrat. But on a meta-level, I am very interested. Partly because of how every minor political battle is becoming some version of the last stand. More importantly though, I care about political discourse because it is how we make collective decisions. And when political discourse goes bad, our ability to make good decisions suffer, which eventually leads to bad outcomes.

    If you put a gun to my head and forced me to pick whose testimony is more likely to be accurate, I’d say Ford. But there’s simply no way that I, with the limited information that I have, can say anything with certainty. I can express a belief, but that belief is grounded in a priori political and social opinions and poor attempts at inductive reasoning. It’s hard for me to square all of that with the level of certainty that political partisans are deploying in their condemnations of or support for Kavanaugh.

    One thing that I’ve noticed is that many of the same people who tell me that it’s wrong to make any judgments about Ford based on her demeanor are telling me that Kavanaugh’s demeanor means that he is unfit to be on the Supreme Court. If there is no “right way” to be a victim of sexual assault, then there’s no “right way” to be accused of sexual assault. At least, to me, but I understand why assorted folks on the internet are wedded to the opposite view. But that’s just emblematic of a larger trend where people on the internet tell me that, in the name of ethics or social justice or just plain common decency, that I have to substitute my own judgments with their judgments. That would be a bit more palatable if so many of those same folks weren’t so often wrong about so many things.

    More and more, there is a tension between an “on the internet” mode where people make exaggerated claims in support of their positions, because they can and because that’s the most effective way to cut through all the noise, and an “in real life” mode where people tend to moderate their opinions because of the demands of … real life.

    I Googled “#BelieveWomen” and one of the results on the first page was an article on Bustle titled, “Why “Believe Women” Means Believing Women Without Exception.” It contains the following:

    Let’s be clear: If you choose to believe women, you choose to believe every woman. Even when it’s uncomfortable. (Especially when it’s uncomfortable.) You cannot pick and choose which feminist values to align yourself with. If your knee-jerk reaction is “I can’t imagine it, so it can’t be true,” then you are allowing your privilege to get the better of you.

    This is a pretty good example of a statement that is absurd ‘in real life,’ but axiomatic ‘on the internet.’ And yeah, I know, it’s Bustle. But that’s my point. In real life, #BelieveWomen means something a lot more reasonable and the sentiment expressed in that blurb would be taken as a rebuttal in the form of a reduction to absurdity.

    There is no way that the “on the internet” version of political discourse will bring good outcomes and yet, it seems to be getting more and more prevalent. There is always a chance that trend will reverse itself and we’ll get back to living more of our lives in real life. But there is also a chance that it won’t. And that won’t end well. And in the long run, that is way more important than whether Brett Kavanaugh gets on the Supreme Court.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to j r says:

      JR

      This is one of the better takes on the whole thing that I have read. I will definitely be quoting this:

      “If there is no “right way” to be a victim of sexual assault, then there’s no “right way” to be accused of sexual assault.”Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        @mike-dwyer @jr

        That’s not actually the equivalence though.

        The equivalence would be,

        ““If there is no “right way” to be a victim of sexual assault, then there’s no “right way” to be a perpetrator of sexual assault.”

        Sliding that to one side to make the parallel between victimization and accusedness, rather than victimization and perpetration, or accusation and accusedness, is part of the defensive wall on this topic.

        As for Kavanaugh himself, the fact that he’s lying left right and center makes me think he’s like the other folks I’ve known who’ve lied left right and center when accused of sexual assault – people I *know* for other reasons than accusations alone are guilty – which is to say, guilty as hell and doing his best to simulate an innocent person for reasons either calculated or dissociative depending on his particular issues (could be both of course). I could be wrong but I’m more likely than not to be right, and I’d say the same thing if he was a social anarchist. (I get in trouble all the time for troubling people’s feelings about Simone de Beauvoir, and at least her teenage victims were, by all accounts, consensual… but I wouldn’t want her on the Supreme Court either.)

        There *is* a right way to respond to being accused of sexual assault, and that’s to not lie and not threaten in your responses. For someone who is already a judge, the bar is that much higher.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:

          @maribou

          “If there is no “right way” to be a victim of sexual assault, then there’s no “right way” to be a perpetrator of sexual assault.”

          Actually, in this case wouldn’t it be, ‘if there is no right way to be an alleged victim of a sexual assault there is no right way to be accused of sexual assault’? I mean, no one has been convicted and at this point all we have it to people’s sworn custody that directly contradict each other…right?Report

          • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            No. We have one person who told no verifiable lies and made a real effort to answer every question. We have another who filiburstered and dodged even simple questions, while lying repeatedly.

            Also, they directly contradicted themselves about something.

            Also, one wants the third person to be subpoenaed to testify and the other doesn’t.

            Stop misrepresenting what happened.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Nevermoor says:

              Now you’ve got me confused. The prosecutor tripped up Ford in more than a few lies, not counting that the her whole attack story has been flatly refuted, even by her own witnesses, and Kavanaugh’s diary (which she didn’t know existed) leaves no day where the attack could’ve taken place. The witness who was her friend never even met Kavanaugh, much less partied with him.

              Quite simply, it never happened.

              If she’d have told a story where she’d been walking through the woods to grandmother’s house and Kavanaugh jumped out at her, she might have a case that wasn’t so easily falsifiable. But she didn’t. She included people without knowing what they’d say, and her story included a female witness who couldn’t be dismissed as someone who is lying to escape being charged with a crime, and who doesn’t know Kavanaugh.

              And she has no idea how she got to the party or how she got home after she left the house. I guess she conjured up an uber with a cell phone sent into the past.

              I can remember every vehicle I took a ride in during high school. A brown ’68 Galaxy, a black ’66 Camaro SS, a ’69 Volkwagen beatle, a red 1979 Trans Am with a 3.8L engine (one ride), a highly modified flat-black Ford Bronco with a 350 and dual four-barrel Holly carbs (even rode it around a banked track), a 1980 or ’81 brown Ford Mustang convertible (one ride), and a silver 1980 LeCar (one ride).

              After stressful or traumatic events, I remember even more details. I can often recite entire conversations verbatim years later.

              Whoever picked her up would’ve been her savior, her white knight, her rescuer, if for no other reason than it was saving her a long walk home. Unless she has some sort of mental impairment, she should know who that was and what they were driving.

              But heck, she can’t remember anything about what happened three weeks ago, either.

              Or perhaps the whole attack came from a very vivid dream, probably a recurring one, and no transportation was needed.

              In any event, the attack did not happen on this planet.Report

              • I can accept that you reached a different conclusion on the underlying accusation than I do. You’ll note, however, the lies I’m referencing for Kavanaugh are not that he denies having committed this assault. I’m talking about other provable lies (on everything from his drinking to him not watching Dr. Blasey’s testimony).

                Also, your focus on the calendar is an outdated GOP defense. There is, in fact, just such a party on his calendar (during the week, when he said he didn’t drink).Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Nevermoor says:

                Interestingly, that party on July 1st which you reference includes a guy called “Squi”, which is Chris Garrett. He was Ford’s boyfriend. Maybe she should’ve pointed out that her boyfriend was at the alleged party, although it kind of ruins her narrative.

                But onwards. We’ve since found out that she likely lied about the reason for putting the second front door on her house, and when it was installed, which was her basis for why the story about the sexual assault finally came out. As it turns out, the door was installed years before the therapy sessions and they used it for renters, even renting it to a marriage counselling business. That means she would have had no immediate access through it, and thus it could’ve have been installed for “claustrophobia”. They were just making more money from the cramped California rental market.

                And it also turns out that in those therapy sessions, whose records will be made available, she said the attack happened in her late teens, in the mid 1980s. Kavanaugh would’ve been at Yale by then, perhaps for a couple of years. The jives with the fact that she said her attack left her struggling at North Carolina, yet her high school work had been unaffected. The reason she claims she can’t remember who drove her to the party and who drove her home is that she drove herself. She had to move the timeline back so Kavanaugh would be in the same town she was.Report

          • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            @mike-dwyer In that case it would be “accusation and accusedness”, so I covered that. If you aren’t going to read my comments, there’s not much point in me responding to your responses.Report

          • Avatar Brit in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            What im struggling with is why republicans want kavanaugh so much. I mean, regardless of whether he raped Ford or not, his performance before the committee showed him to be a blustering liar and blind partisan with an overweening sense of entitlement. And disrespectful to women (the response to the female senator questioning him on his blackouts was shocking). I mean, they must see this? Given that any conservative jurist will basically vote the same way, why not pick one who isnt a cartoon villain?

            Unless thats what they like about him.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to j r says:

      I don’t think are familiar with what judicial temperament is supposed to be or what the nature of being a judge is. Yeah he is being accused of something very bad. But the fact of being a judge is people are going to hate you for something. At his exalted level that is lessened to be sure. But one way judges are, well …judged, is based on staying calm and together when lawyers are asses or difficult or during highly charged cases. I have to testify in court for my job and testifying 101 is never ever lash out at someone questioning you no matter how much you want to. It’s one thing to break down with emotion when testifying about a personal traumatic experience. He lashed out and blamed the clintions for a conspiracy to get him. Any decent judge would tolerate never his behavior. He was deeply unprofessional and partisan.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to greginak says:

        @greginak

        It is entirely possible that Kavanaugh lacks the temperament necessary to be a Supreme Court justice, but that is orthogonal to my comment.

        My concern is that, if Kavanaugh were a woman, many of the same people saying that Mr. Kavanaugh acted appropriately considering the charges would be saying that Ms. Kavanaugh is too hysterical to be on the court. And many of the same people telling me that Mr. Kavanaugh lacks the temperament to serve would be defiendibg a Ms. Kavanaugh in the same position and calling it a case of gaslighting.

        My concern is that our political discourse lacks equanimity.Report

  34. Avatar Brit says:

    Mike Dwyer: I think he was probably fibbing on several items about his yearbook, so kudos to Senator Whitehouse for tackling that line of questioning. That is probably going to he what is remembered if he is removed as a nominee and/or charged with perjury.

    Ok, so you think he lied under oath.

    Given that, do you think he should be confirmed.

    If no, then you should admit the democrats have done the country a service and the republicans were wrong to try to push on and are wrong now not to abandon him.

    If yes, then you believe a perjuror should sit on the supreme court.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Brit says:

      @brit

      If he perjured himself, and it could actually be proven, then he should remove himself from the process. Bad on him for doing so and no take backs on that. With that said, thanking the Democrats for this service is sort of like thanking Trump for not letting Hillary Clinton be president. I don’t win either way.

      I never wanted Kavanaugh in the first place, but I am also far from convinced that he is guilty of sexual assault. The entire process is broken and even very well-respected liberal justices have stated the same. Hopefully this shit-show will convince people to get things back on track, but I doubt it.Report

      • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        If he perjured himself, and it could actually be proven, then he should remove himself from the process

        If he perjured himself, and it could actually be proven, should he be impeached and removed for the circuit court? The bar?

        This is not a crime of sexual assault, there are penalties for perjury when you are an officer of the court that go above and beyond the penalties citizens face. Though I would guess those penalties are rarely enforced with any seriousness or zeal.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rebecca says:

          If he perjured himself, and it could actually be proven, should he be impeached and removed for the circuit court? The bar?

          Sure. Whatever. Again, I really don’t care what happens to him after he is removed from SCOTUS contention. IF it’s proven he perjured himself they can give him whatever penalty is appropriate.Report

          • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            Thank you.

            I agree.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rebecca says:

              Sure – what i do find curious though is that the goal seems to be shifting. Prior to Thursday everyone believed he had committed these assaults and wanted him voted down because of that. Now that he may have lied during some of the questioning on Thursday, the plan seems to be shifting to disqualifying him based on perjury. It kind of feels like putting Capone away for tax invasion. if you can’t get him one way, get him another. This again causes my cynical spidey-sense to tell me that justice for his alleged victim was never really the concern.Report

              • Still believe he did at least one of the assaults. In fact, believe it more strongly now than I did before the bonus hearings. But multiple arguments are allowed, and he gave people some new ones.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I don’t’ understand this complaint. I tend to believe Ford’s account. However even if we say her account isn’t enough to say he shouldn’t be elevated his testimony provided other reasons. He surely seems to have lied on Thursday and previously. He was blatantly partisan and lacked judicial temperament. All those are reasons not to promote him to highest court in the land.

                The point of the testimony was to find out more about both parties. He added to the list of reasons not to promote him. That seems straight forward and uncomplicated. He did poorly and created more distrust and lack of confidence in himself. That isn’t’ a conspiracy.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to greginak says:

                Here’s my clumsy analogy: Let’s say I publicly accuse a commenter on this site of something terrible. I tell a convincing story. Everyone starts to pick sides, etc. We decide myself and that person will both present our stories in some sort of live Q&A a week from now, but in the meantime everyone can feel free to speculate, say gross things, whatever. When the day comes the Q&A results in the accused eventually lashing out and saying some unfortunate things. As a result, the people who took my side now want the accused banned from the site. they say it’s not just the lies they told, but also their poor temperment, etc.

                My point is, Kavanaugh has demonstratably concerning things in his professional record which seem to have gone mostly unchallenged by the committee (I suspect this is because they know how the game is played). It is my belief that they waited to use the assault stuff because of #metoo and the upcoming elections. When even that seemed to end in a stalemate after Thursday, they are now moving on to ‘perjury and temperament’. It’s just hard for me to stomach and I find myself tempted to support my old team just to be contrary. And I really, really hate that impulse.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I get hating the old impulse to fight for the team. I’ll give the clumsy analogy thing a try.

                Suppose a doc was on trial for malpractice and we’re on the jury. At the end of the trial we don’t see quite enough to convict him but we all think there is a decent chance he might have malpracticed. So we vote not guilty, but during the trial he admits to frequently not washing his hands before procedures, repeatedly breaking HIPPA, faking some records and yelling at patients. We can’t prove he did the bad thing but do you let him treat your family and become chief surgeon at your local hospital.

                This analogy is probably better then my first try which involved Magilla Gorilla.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to greginak says:

                …’thinking there is a decent chance’ is not enough for me to seek other justice through ancillary means. I’ve only done jury duty once and it was a very technical (and boring) case between two banks involving a bad real estate deal and about $20 million. I think there were something like 5 charges and we were certain they were in the wrong on 2 of the charges and ruled against them. We were also ‘pretty sure’ on the other 3 but lacked the evidence to convict. Because we also had to impose monetary damages, we could have basically forced them to pay 100% but that felt wrong. So we made them pay 40%. I will always feel like we did the right thing.

                I know the hearing on Thursday wasn’t an actual trial, but it was pretty close. I say there wasn’t enough to convict, so in that case, I also don’t want to see ancillary justice through lesser means.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I don’t think it’s ancillary justice. Being a Supreme should be for people who meet the highest standards. We’re all supposed to be able to trust his decisions, at whichever level, are non-partisan and everybody will get a fair unbiased hearing. Lord knows we struggle with that now. But with Kav’s lies and outbursts and conspiracy theorizing can non-R’s believe any of that?

                As it is know Robert’s must be chugging Pepto Bismol by the quart. The perception of the court is important to him and this ain’t helping. If Kav gets on Roberts will never let him write any even slightly controversial opinion.Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                This again causes my cynical spidey-sense to tell me that justice for his alleged victim was never really the concern.

                That’s because he’s being nominated for the Supreme Court. It’s not just justice for his victim, it’s justice for other victims on any case he might hear over the next 50 years. That’s exactly why Dr. Ford stepped to the plate.

                People who believe Dr. Ford is telling the truth feel compelled to keep him from the Supreme Court simply because what he did to Dr. Ford. It’s not only that he’s criminal for that, though he is, we’re used to seeing men get away without criminal charges all the time.

                It’s that would to have that power over legal decisions with life-long impact for any potential victim seeking redress from the court; a constitutional right. And this court, the Supreme Court, is the end of the road. So in that way, your suspicion is probably justified; because the people who feel beyond reasonable doubt that Dr. Ford was truthful and he’s perjuring himself now, any method of keeping him off the court — where we are now — is fair game. I do not believe for a minute that Feinstein held this back for politics; she’d have had a better hand going public earlier. I believe she held back because it’s a rule that members of congress have to protect constituent’s confidentiality; I looked it up. With sexual assault, it’s an accepted norm.

                I don’t particularly care about your rules for a fair game, I care about actual real justice for victims of sexual assault, not just today for Dr. Ford, but for all people many decades to come.

                You don’t put the fox in charge of the hen house.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rebecca says:

                …it’s justice for other victims on any case he might hear over the next 50 years.

                Even if he did exactly what Ford claimed 35 years ago, assuming that meant he could not be trusted to advocate for victims on the court over the next 30 (not 50) years. That assumes that somehow his soul was either already broken or broke on that day in 1982 and that he is basically an evil person forever. As someone who advocates strongly for giving convicted criminals a second chance and absolutely believes people can reform…boy that outlook of yours makes me uncomfortable.Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                If he did what Dr. Ford said he did and lied about it Thursday, the state of his soul is his own business, not the nations.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rebecca says:

                Most of the perjury talk is surrounding the yearbook stuff. That has nothing to do with Ford.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Maybe if he’d done what Ford accused him of, admitted it, been punished in accordance with the law, and repented.

                But, well, if Ford’s accusations are accurate (and at this point I believe that’s very likely), he’s done absolutely none of those things. This isn’t about second chances, since he’s a guy who’s yet to miss his first chance.

                Add to that the nature of the Supreme Court, with its lifetime appointments, the essentially unreviewable nature of its decision, and its dependency on a perception of legitimacy, and an exacting standard is appropriate in ways that wouldn’t apply in most other contexts.Report

  35. Avatar Brit says:

    Mike Dwyer: Most of the perjury talk is surrounding the yearbook stuff. That has nothing to do with Ford.

    The perjury talk is around the yearbook etc. because its obvious he lied there, beyond, i would say, reasonable doubt.

    That impacts on his credibility, and makes his denials of the Ford allegatiinsvof littoe weight. If he lies about little stuff, he’ll lie about big stuff.

    Overall, i see you arguing tgroughout thisvthread two things:

    1. Comittee was like a trial and not enough evidence to convict, so kavanaugh wins.
    No because a) beyond reasonable doubt shouldnt be the standard here and b) the republicans refused to consider all the evidence eg call mark judge

    2. Everyone deserves redemption even if he did it.
    Yes, they do. But first must come repentance and acknowledgement of wrong. If he did it, hes not done either.

    Mike, years ago you used to have a british villain as your avatar to mock liberal’s perception of conservatives. Can you not see your behaviour here, desperately trying to justify this appointment, including preachy attempts to paint it as a noble act of rehabilitation, is an example of why liberals get that impression?

    Look into your heart. Do you really think a man like kavanaugh should be on the supreme court? Because if you do, then you dont really believe in the importance of the virtues you claim to believe in.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Brit says:

      Yes, they do. But first must come repentance and acknowledgement of wrong. If he did it, hes not done either.

      Repentance and acknowledgement of wrong to who? Himself? Ford? The American public?Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        Repentance and acknowledgement of wrong to who? Himself? Ford? The American public?

        That depends on exactly what he did and what kind of redemption he is seeking, surely? Kind of obviously?Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:

          Let’s say it was exactly what Ford accused him of and he wants to repent that? Who does he need to acknowledge it to?Report

          • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            Given that he’s applying for the highest court in the land, I’d say everyone.

            I would hold him responsible for the trauma he’s putting every sexual-assault victim through right now. It has been a massive PTSD trigger for millions of people. We are reliving moments that, like Dr. Ford, we would prefer to forget but cannot.

            Do you want to know why I think he not only did it, but knows that he did it? His own words. His yearbook entries are his words. His calendar is his words. His testimony is his words. When he testified, he spent a lot of time framing this as something that could only have happened on a weekend; yet there’s this weekday-entry with the very people Dr. Ford, who had never seen the calendar entry, identified. It coincides with the time-frame of Judge’s working at the grocery store.

            He was very precise and legal in how he framed his answers about his actions and what he denied; it actually reminded me a lot of the Clinton impeachment hearings. I recall, when asked about gang sex, him saying more than one woman, and I wondered if the wording meant he had with a woman and more than one man — Devil’s Triangle was the slang for that.

            Those are the reasons I think he did it, and knows he either did it or likely did it, though he may have forgotten that specific event since it was unsuccessful as a ‘conquest.’ I can’t imagine that he’d boast about his failures, and preferred to focus on his success, be it success with grades, with drinking games, with sports, or with conquests.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rebecca says:

              Given that he’s applying for the highest court in the land, I’d say everyone.

              So that is the standard now. You (allegedly) make a drunken mistake at 17 and you owe the nation a public apology at 53, regardless of anything you might have done in the 36 years in between to make up for it. And let’s be honest here: If he had done it, and apologized to Ford years ago, and she had forgiven him and put it behind her, the partisan Left would still want their pound of flesh.

              Again, I hate to keep coming back to the Clintons after chastising Chip for talking so much about Trumpists, but the irony is so striking. Bill Clinton has never apologized for what he did and Hillary has never apologized for what she did to those (alleged) victims nor Lewinsky. If you want to talk about victim shaming, seriously, she wrote the book. And yet the same Democrats who are so vocal about Kavanaugh were going to return them to the White House 2 years ago. It’s beyond the pale.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @mike-dwyer Cooperatively trying to rape someone (or possibly multiple someones) is not merely “a drunken mistake”, Mike, no matter how drunk you are. I’ve been blackout drunk a few times, and I’ve never done any harm to ANYONE in that state. I’ve been quite drunk quite a few times, and I’ve never crossed a consent boundary while tipsy.

                Not fucking once.

                And the damage one does to the world by holding oneself up as a paragon of virtue when other people are saying one did these things is not merely that of having made a drunken mistake decades ago.

                I would say that if he did the things he is accused of doing, or even one of them, the right thing to do is to withdraw and then figure out what to do. If he did the things he is accused of doing, or even one of them, *HE* needs to make this not the nation’s problem anymore.

                If he does that, I don’t care what else he does. Seek repentance and restitution and balance *out of my face*, that would be great, and I suspect even those who are saying they want apologies would be much happier with him out of their face too. What apology would make me believe him fit for public service here and now? Nothing. That takes time and work and healing in less public venues, and an honesty that doesn’t show up from turning on a dime.

                And neither I nor Rebecca has defended either Clinton here or elsewhere.

                Stop using partisans and past scars as an excuse not to confront the realities of sexual assault, for the love of whomever and whatever you believe in, and we’ll take your perspective a lot more seriously.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:

                Maribou,

                56% of American women voters said they were okay with the Clintons’ past in 2016. That’s MILLIONS of American women. That’s not offering an opinion on a blog post. That’s casting a vote. Don’t you all need to answer for that?Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                63-million people voted for Donald Trump, an admitted serial assaulter. Don’t you all need to answer for that?

                But we’re not talking about Donald Trump or Bill or Hillary Clinton, we’re talking about one Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his fitness for the nation’s highest court.

                We cannot undo past wrongs. We can only learn from them and not repeat the mistakes. Men who sexually assault women and lie about it should suffer consequences. One of those consequences is being deemed unfit to sit on the Supreme Court for a lifetime tenure.

                I am, I think, more willing to tolerate transgress in a President, by nature a charismatic person with a time-limited office, than I am a final arbiter of justice with a lifetime appointment.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rebecca says:

                I didn’t vote for Clinton or Trump, so on that front, my conscience is clear…

                The President is our representative to the rest of the world. I actually hold them to a much higher standard.

                And it bears repeating, we don’t actually know Kavanaugh lied about Ford. So… I am still left saying the same thing: Kavanaugh would not have been my pick, but I believe the president should get his choices barring proven disqualifying findings. On that front, I remain unconvinced.

                And I do think the Clintons are fair game here. If Democrats can question Kavanaugh’s actions from 36 years ago, why can’t I also question the actions of Democratic voters 2 years ago?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Are you drawing an equivalency for voting for the wife of someone who has been credibly accused of sexual assault and actually attempting to sexually assault someone?

                Because I’ve seen people make a lot of really strange comparisons to try to rehabilitate Kavanaugh, but that one is the strangest yet.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                I’m saying that Bill Clinton was credibly accused of sexual assault by several women. He admitted to a sexually inappropriate relationship with a WH staffer while he was president. Numerous high-ranking staffers from those days have said that HRC was very involved in the efforts to attack those accusers and Monica Lewinsky. All of this happened when the Clintons were adults and in positions of power. Clinton perjured himself during the entire process and liberals waved it away as irrelevant.

                Less than 2 years ago the Democratic party decided they wanted to send the Clintons back to the WH. If that wasn’t confirmation that they had learned nothing in the intervening 17 years, I don’t know what is. Seriously, read through some of the comments here where many of our liberal commenters attempt to excuse the Clintons for the treatment of Lewinsky.

                Now, 23 months later, Democrats want us all to believe that they are deeply concerned about Kavanaugh’s behavior when he was 17 and that it disqualifies him for the court. Whether Kavanaugh should be removed from the process due to his legal record, the credibility of Ford’s claims or his likely perjury last Thursday…none of this changes they hypocrisy coming from Democrats on the issue of sexual misconduct. In my view, until they actually have a reckoning with their support of the Clintons, they don’t get to have a voice on this issue. Period.

                And while I have no doubt that last comment will be taken as me trying to help out sexual offenders by shutting up the Left, that would be a mistake. The Right has lots of its own dirty laundry and I don’t make excuses for them either. Both sides of the political aisle need to seriously get their houses in order before they go down this road again.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @mike-dwyer

                First of all, let me note that you’re all “hey, you’re talking to ME, person you know on the internet, not to “all conservatives”” to other folks, but when I say the same thing to you, you go to the entire voting public.

                As a genderfluid disenfranchised non-American person, why should I need to answer for “millions of American women”?

                That said, if offered a choice between someone who viciously verbally attacked women for having been sexually assaulted and someone who is on record as having sexually assaulted women, yes, I would pick the former, every time.

                I also would object to pretty much any president of the last 200+ years becoming a supreme court justice.

                The moral standards for justices *ought* to be the highest we have for any political office, precisely because they are appointed rather than elected.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                ALSO, wtf “I didn’t vote for either so my conscience is clear”.

                If I have to answer for Hillary based on your presumption about my gender (and, I guess, my citizenship??), you have to answer for Trump based on your gender and citizenship. You’re not even being *self*-consistent at this point.

                If you want to be your best self on this issue, take a step back, let everything simmer for a few days, and then see what you believe.

                ‘Cause this ain’t top-shelf as your commenting goes, by a long shot.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                And at the risk of avoiding a slippery slope here… our history as a nation is filled with deeply flawed men and women of who did great things for the country and its people. If the standard now is that you must either live a perfect life prior to seeking public office or immolate yourself on the national pier in repentence, we should start exploring the idea of raising our future leaders in labs so as to spare us all the pain of watching the process.Report

              • Avatar jason in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                This is nonsense. Poppycock. Tendentious garbage.

                There’s a big difference between “a perfect life” and the stuff Kavanaugh’s accused of, and the dishonesty that he’s displayed.

                Instead of “raising leaders in labs,” maybe we could stop elevating horrible people into high positions based on pure partisanship. Surely, there’s a conservative leaning judge without this kind of baggage, right?Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                So that is the standard now. You (allegedly) make a drunken mistake at 17 and you owe the nation a public apology at 53, regardless of anything you might have done in the 36 years in between to make up for it. And let’s be honest here: If he had done it, and apologized to Ford years ago, and she had forgiven him and put it behind her, the partisan Left would still want their pound of flesh.

                don’t know, as a woman, I know that we tend to be far too forgiving of men’s offenses, and one of the things that hold many women back from reporting is fear of destroying their assailants lives. So the pound-of-flesh charge seems hyperbole to me, more like a man ranting about an imagined conspiracy designed to deny some people’s* right to participate in the political process on a matter that feels vitally important to them.

                When people challenge this nomination, by your lights it seems, it’s ‘political’ and to you, that discredits the challenge; if it’s political, it must be insincere.

                What give you the right to say I cannot express my political beliefs, on a topic that horrifically impacts the lives of millions of people? Like Dr. Ford, a political challenge here feels like my civic duty; I am compelled to speak out as a citizen. It’s my responsibility. Supreme Court nominations are political process, and I have a right to engage it just as I have a right to seek justice if I’ve been assaulted, and expect arbiters of that justice to hear without prejudice.

                I don’t think this was a politically-motivated attack, if it were, bringing it up earlier would have been a better strategy. Feinstein was ethically bound to respect Dr. Ford’s privacy, and whomever doxed Ford should be called on the carpet for that.

                But now that the character of the man has been called into question in a way that resonates with millions upon millions of sexual assault victims, yes. It is highly political. It doesn’t really matter if you think it was a political hit. I said I think was demonstrated by Kavanaugh’s own words that he’s guilty, he brought this upon himself. He, and he alone, is responsible. He did a bad thing; he completely denied it, and he bears the brunt of the consequences. It would be unacceptably political to reward him for this.

                I suspect they’ll try to bundle him off to rehab; prop him up enough to let him remain on the circuit court. That’s political, too. Calling for a vote without an investigation was political. The way Ford was treated in the hearing was political, in part designed to avoid the Hill hearing embarrassment. Withholding his work for the executive branch was political.

                Don’t throw ‘political’ in my face like it’s a dirty word, that really feels like something akin to slut shaming at this point.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rebecca says:

                All I have heard from the Left since Thursday are complaints that Kavanaugh was too partisan in his remarks at the hearing and now you are saying it’s slut-shaming to say liberals are being partisan? Wellx consider me confused. If you agree this is a political process (we’re on the same page there) then I assume you weren’t bothered by his partisan complaints?Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I’m saying that liberals have the right to be political.

                Since you entered the Clinton’s as evidence of partisan complaint, let’s take a whack. Let’s go back and revisit the Star Report, which Kavanaugh helped shape. Let’s consider a quarter-century of sham investigations into Hillary Clinton, which proved nada. But it did successfully destroy her reputation; and one of the most-qualified candidates for POTUS ever to lost to a serial assaulter and egomaniac.

                We knew this at the time of the election, and knew it happened because we were not political enough; too many of us didn’t vote at the time. Too many voted based on the political hit-job Clinton had been experiencing for 25 years. I didn’t notice you calling for her to get a second chance when they’d proved, after all those investigations and all that time and all that money, nothing disqualifying.

                Yes, it feels very very similar to slut shaming.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rebecca says:

                I’m not talking about Benghazi nonsense or the email nonsense. I’m talking about the well-documented history of Hillary destroying the lives of her husband’s accusers.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I will also say, just a few years ago mainstream Republicans would have been trying to pick Ford’s life apart in order to undermine her credibility. Now that behavior is mostly confined to the fringe. That should be taken as progress.

                I was vocal about hating that stuff when the Clintons did it, hating it when Republicans did it and if I saw it happening now from either mainstream side I would have been vocal about it. But as someone said on one of the news shows this morning, we’re getting better at how we treat accusers, but at some point we have to figure out how to better treat the accused. I think right now, many on the Left say ‘fuck the accused’ because the pendulum has swung too far one way. Eventually it will settle in the middle and that will be a day we can be proud of.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Hillary’s defenses of Bill were a darn good reason to dislike her. That isn’t all the crazy pants slime the R’s spent years throwing out.

                This seems to be moving towards whataboutism. Yeah i can see some of that given how heated all these discussions get. But Kav’s lies are no better or worse depending on other peoples misdeeds. Of course the process is political, it always has been. But that doesn’t mean the only issue is politics. I keep coming back to his lies. Even if the sex assault isn’t believed or not backed up enough, his lies should be enough to say he isn’t qualified.

                Radley Balko, not exactly a liberal, says Kav’s lies should disqualify him fwiw.Report

              • Avatar Rebecca in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                It would be helpful to, once again, listen to her actual words and judge her actions, instead of the words and actions that others attribute to her.

                https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/11/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-bill-clinton-accusers/index.htmlReport

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rebecca says:

                Plenty of other sources, including George Stephanopoulos, say otherwise. They all say she was actively involved in these efforts. I also feel like most of the allegations against Bill Clunton are more widely accepted now. And still millions of women were voted for Hillary 2 years ago.Report

  36. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I was not a big fan of Robert Bork, but at least his testimony wasn’t

    I like beer. I like beer. I don’t know if you do…. Do you like beer, Senator, or not? What do you like to drink? Senator, what do you like to drink?

    Report

  37. Avatar Mark Boggs says:

    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/09/how-we-know-kavanaugh-is-lying

    Seriously, for all you folks talking about how his calendars prove him innocent and keep throwing around that her claims have been “refuted”, you need to read this.

    Seriously, if this is the best, greatest, last hope for conservatives in terms of possible SC nominees, so much so that they’re willing to go to the mattresses for this guy, they’ve got huge problems.Report

  38. Avatar Philip H says:

    I always feel like I’m late to the party. If you go to the Senate Judiciary Committee website, you will easily find two links to transcripts of interviews with Mr Kavanaugh. If you dig around you will find a third which clearly states:

    And I just want to note for the record
    10 that separate from Dr. Ford’s allegations, we now have
    11 these six allegations that have been made against Judge
    12 Kavanaugh very late in the proceedings.

    By my math that makes 7 women. Several anonymous, several having put their names to the allegations. Hopefully all will be interviewed by the FBI and have statements on record.

    But if 7 women have alleged sexual assault by a heavily drunk Kavanaugh, then this isn’t a he said she said. Its a pattern. and While Mr. Kavanaugh may not recall these events (and likely wouldn’t if he had been drinking heavily) – the fact that the Judiciary Committee Majority staff had 7 allegations the night before Dr. Ford’s testimony and chose not to pursue any of the rest is telling.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

      But if 7 women have alleged sexual assault by a heavily drunk Kavanaugh, then this isn’t a he said she said. Its a pattern.

      Perhaps. When the 2nd name came out, I couldn’t find anything that said she was a liberal activist, then it came out that she was. The 3rd has made claims before, is alleging observing multiple gang rapes after watching women be drugged, doesn’t seem to have had a reason to go to these parties, and apparently isn’t remembered by anyone.

      So that leaves 4, it will be interesting if the pattern of “liberal activist” continues to hold.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:

        I’m more interested in 1) why someone being a “liberal activist” makes their claims less credible and 2) why the Republicans on the Senate would accuse Democrats of politicizing these accusations when said Republicans have yet (other then this redacted memo) to publicly say how many accusations THEY (i.e. Republican staff and Senators) already knew about.

        Seems to me that if the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair wants to be fair and transparent to Dr. Ford, the Chair acknowledges publicly that she is not the only accuser. Seems to me if the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair wants to blunt any politicization that has been done by Democrats (and why politicizing a political event is bad boggles my mind), he subpoena’s all the accusers and all the witnesses and at the very least gets sworn statements he can question Mr. Kavanaugh from BEFORE he holds such a hearing.

        Or he goes down to the White House, looks the President in the eye, and says “not this one.” And he announces to the American people afterward that Mr. Kavanaugh will not get a floor vote because he lacks the character and temperament to sit as a SCOUTS Justice. This is the conduct that will likely preserve a Senate majority for the Republicans, and thus allow them to pack the court (though I believe such packing will have generational negative consequences).

        Circling back to the “Liberal activist” claim – that matters as much as the fact that Mr. Kavanaugh was a lead investigator for Ken Starr, and has written extensively about the partisan need to question Mr. Clinton under oath in such a way as to force him to resign the Presidency. That writing was done as a grown man, and clearly shows a more partisan steak then befits a SCOTUC Justice. And yes, I am well aware that Justices are political animals and certainly have leanings that are expressed in their opinions and dissents. Doesn’t change the fact that Mr. Kavanaugh is too far over the magic line. But since his activism is irrelevant to the Right in this process, any “liberal activism” from these women is also irrelevant.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

          I’m more interested in 1) why someone being a “liberal activist” makes their claims less credible…

          For the same reason that during the witch hunts many of the accusations came from neighbors fighting over land, or claims of abuse/assault come out during a divorce where parents are fighting over children. We’re fighting over who gets Kennedy’s seat and liberal activists are desperate to prevent it being filled by a Conservative.

          Worse, many of the normal probability rules about accusation are turned on their head here. There are millions of people who feel involved and strongly motivated. With this many people it’s reasonable to think someone will go nuclear with unprovable alligations, and they may even believe them.

          Seems to me that if the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair wants to be fair and transparent to Dr. Ford, the Chair acknowledges publicly that she is not the only accuser.

          Unless I’m looking at disinformation, the 3rd accuser is clearly false (as opposed to “we can’t know”). I would think Ford doesn’t want her claim to be lumped in there with hers. Opening that door means the GOP showcases the false claim and implying that if one is, they all are. IMHO this is why the Dems are trying to focus attention on Ford and NOT on these other claims, and it’s why Trump’s FBI has a mandate to do the opposite.

          You’re also bouncing around there. On the one hand you’re talking about “fair to Dr. Ford”, on the other you’re talking about how it’s ok for the Dems to politicize a political event. IMHO the correct way to view all of this is it IS a political event, and neither side cares about Dr. Ford in the slightest.

          And he announces to the American people afterward that Mr. Kavanaugh will not get a floor vote because he lacks the character and temperament to sit as a SCOUTS Justice. This is the conduct that will likely preserve a Senate majority for the Republicans

          Ford is only credible to Team Blue. And that’s important so let’s just repeat it: Ford is only credible to Team Blue.

          There’s a strong argument the GOP base will view not putting K up there as a betrayal and giving in to a witch-hunt. I suspect a lot of the delay is Congress waiting for polsters to tell them to what degree that’s correct.

          Personally I don’t view Ford’s claims as evaluable, so I’m waiting for more information before I evaluate them.

          Mr. Kavanaugh was a lead investigator for Ken Starr, and has written extensively about the partisan need to question Mr. Clinton under oath in such a way as to force him to resign the Presidency.

          Sounds like a good reason to oppose him. Also sounds like a good reason to revisit whether the special prosecutor law.

          since his activism is irrelevant to the Right in this process, any “liberal activism” from these women is also irrelevant.

          …Seriously? You’re admitting all of these women are motivated by Kennedy’s seat, which implies their claims are purely self-serving, and then claiming we (meaning everyone and not just Team-Blue) should think that’s irrelevant? What is the reasoning here?Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:

            Seriously? You’re admitting all of these women are motivated by Kennedy’s seat, which implies their claims are purely self-serving, and then claiming we (meaning everyone and not just Team-Blue) should think that’s irrelevant? What is the reasoning here?

            Nope – I’m saying that if Mr. Kavanaugh’s well known prior activism is considered a perfectly fine part of his record by his sponsors and Republicans, then any documented activism by any of these women should be as well, and shouldn’t be used as a reason to dismiss their allegations. I would also add that campaign donations don’t equal activism either. You don’t get to say his activism for the Bush Administration and while working for Ken Starr is ok – as many right side pundits and commentors have – and the say the women’s activism means we shouldn’t believe their claims.

            As to the issue of fairness to Dr. Ford – Chairman Grassley has gone to GREAT lengths to make this a he said she said instead of acknowledging (as his staff well knows) its a He Said They Said. Even if you do not believe her testimony (and you should really read Em’s comments above again before you dismiss Dr. Ford out of hand), Dr. Ford is not alone in alleging this conduct. It also appears the FBI is broadening its net to look at those other women and their allegations.

            There’s a strong argument the GOP base will view not putting K up there as a betrayal and giving in to a witch-hunt. I suspect a lot of the delay is Congress waiting for polsters to tell them to what degree that’s correct.

            I think the GOP base – which is a minority of voters in America FWIW – will regard not filling Justice Kennedy’s seat as a problem. Mr. Kavanaugh is not the only viable candidate for the Right, and frankly after Mr. Garland’s deplorable treatment (he wasn’t opposed on grounds of his record but to prevent Mr. Obama from having another “win”) Republicans will be lucky if loosing this nominee is all they suffer from voters (since even right leaning Quinipiack polls are suggesting Republican politicians are loosing this fight).

            AND HERE”S THE RUB – Had Mr. Kavanaugh come out and said the following, we’d be done with this and he’d likely be headed for the Court:

            “I don’t remember meeting Dr. Ford, nor do I remember doing what she alleges I did. She has clearly suffered significant trauma in her life, and as a man, a father, a husband and a judge I grieve for her. I truly wish I could offer her the closure and healing she seeks, but I can’t. I was part of a culture in the 1980’s where heavy drinking – and heavy underage drinking at that – was common. We thought nothing of it. But as I have grown, and taken on new responsibilities, tried cases, and seen the damage that can be done by that sort of culture I have made radically different ones in my own life. I regret what I may have done back then and I am humbled that, in spite of those youthful incidents, I am now considered worthy of a Supreme Court seat.”

            Or something like that. But he didn’t. He didn’t own his own past, he didn’t speak to what it taught him. He didn’t even consider that he might have done this. To quote Ben Wittes over at the Atlantic

            Faced with credible allegations of serious misconduct against him, Kavanaugh behaved in a fashion unacceptable in a justice, it seems preponderantly likely he was not candid with the Senate Judiciary Committee on important matters, and the risk of Ford’s allegations being closer to the truth than his denial of them is simply too high to place him on the Supreme Court.

            Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Philip H says:

              Ford is probably going to end up in prison.

              For those not keeping up with events:

              She perjured herself about the extra front door leading to revelations that Kavanauh assaulted her in the summer of 1982 when she was 15. The door had been added years before the therapy and was used to split her house up so they could rent out the extra space, including renting to a marriage therapy business. The extra door wouldn’t have done anything to alleviate claustrophobia because it wouldn’t have been an extra escape route because it would’ve lead into someone else’s apartment.

              Her boyfriend of six years said they lived in a tiny apartment with one door and she never had a problem with it, nor did she have claustrophobia.

              He also says: “I witnessed Dr. Ford help [her friend Monica L.] McLean prepare for a potential polygraph exam. Dr. Ford explained in detail what to expect, how polygraphs worked and helped McLean become familiar and less nervous about the exam. Dr. Ford was able to help her because of her background in psychology.

              He also said she never had a fear a flying and flew all the time, including on little propeller planes all around the Hawaiian islands. His statement. She also cheated on him and then kept using his credit card a year after he broke up with her.

              During the hearings we had this exchange:

              Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell: “Have you ever given tips or advice to somebody who was looking to take a polygraph test?”

              Christine Blasey Ford: “Never.”

              Mitchell was already aware of the polygraph coaching and she set a perjury trap. Ford fell right into it.

              And she refuses to turn over her therapy records, in which she claimed the assualt happened in her late teens, the mid-1980’s, when Kavanaugh would’ve long since been at Yale.

              And as for the July 1st 1982 party, where Kavanaugh lists a get together for beers with PJ, Judge, Squi, and several others, well, Squi was Chris Garrett, her boyfriend at the time. Obviously that wouldn’t have been the right party.

              So far I don’t think anyone’s asked her mother whether she ever shopped at Safeway (with low-low inflation-fighter prices!), but I have some doubts about that. Judge made working at Safeway a key part of his book about his drinking days.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

                If that reporting bears out, so be it. I and many others would be furious at Dr. Ford and Senator Feinstein, but honestly, Mr. Kavanaugh’s second day of testimony, combined with allegations of perjury regarding his initial testimony still leads me to the conclusion that he shouldn’t be on the court.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                Kavanaugh’s a drunk. Not the good kind that everybody likes. He’s a drunk yet.

                And if he stopped drinking, he’d be a dry drunk. (We’ve seen our fair share of those too.)

                Let’s put someone else on the court. Someone more sober. Ford doesn’t have to be telling the truth to make us realize that we’ve an opportunity to dodge a bullet.

                (Though I understand that Amy Coney Barrett isn’t an option because she’s being kept in reserve to replace RBG.)Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

                Let’s put someone else on the court. Someone more sober.

                I haven’t kept up with every detail. Do we have evidence of his drinking being a problem in the last 25 years or so?

                Further, if the big evidence for him being a mean drunk is Ford, and that’s fallen apart, then we need to reevaluate this being a problem with a higher bar for evidence than just her word and her copycats.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Evidence? I suppose it depends on how many drunks you’ve known. If you’ve known a lot, you see it in his responses to the questioning.

                Are you asking for proof?
                Yeah, I don’t have proof.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

                If you’ve known a lot, you see it in his responses to the questioning.

                I’m dubious of this methodology in the context of him being constantly accused of rape, gang rape, and sexual assault.

                Are you asking for proof? Yeah, I don’t have proof.

                Given how much shit has been thrown at him I think strong proof is needed if we’re going to be making judgements based on it. I even think strong proof of perjury is needed if we’re going to be making judgements based on that.

                If Ford was lying and Nancy knew, then we can’t accept anything team blue says about K without strong supporting evidence. Them changing what flavor of witchcraft he’s being accused of doesn’t change that underlying dynamic.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

                Can we impeach Ruth Bader Ginsburg for being a drunk? I’d like Trump to replace her forthwith.

                What do we know about Kagan’s college drinking habits? We might have to ax her, too.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                Phillip – so if Ford was lying then doesn’t what happened to Kavanaugh during the lead up and Thursday’s hearing amount to gaslighting? I mean, accuse anyone of this stuff, put his family through hell and see how they react.

                I have avoided bringing this up on the site, but a member of my extended family lives in Chevy Chase and casually knows Kavanaugh (their kids play basketball together). My family member’s daughter reported yesterday that her school bus was driving past the Kavanaugh’s house yesterday, he was outside with his kids and all the high schoolers on the bus were yelling obscene things out the window at them. His kids are in grade school.

                So…if Ford did lie and the Democrats torched this guy for it just to keep him off the court…I’m giving him a 100% pass on last Thursday. I’m a father and husband and I would have said a lot worse if I was falsely accused of this stuff.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Mike,
                IF those things are true you are correct – which is why I said that I and many others would be furious with Dr. Ford and Sen. Feinstein. and frankly IF Senate Democrats or anyone else did this on purpose then the DNC and DCCC deserve to get seriously wholloped. Frankly I’m way left of where corporate funded Democrats are now policy wise anyway, but down the bayou where I live if you want centerist policies (or even a hint of liberalism) you have no other voting option.

                But it doesn’t mean Mr. Kavanaugh should be given a pass for his performance last Thursday. Whether he wants to admit it to himself – or to the public – he was part of a very drunken highschool and college culture. Once he lied about that, instead of being contrite and focusing on what it taught him and how he is better for moving past it, he lost the argument. There’s also the issue of the six other women the Judiciary Committee apparently knew about before he took the mic last Thursday, and the issue of the allegations of perjury from his initial testimony some weeks before that were levied by employees of the court where he currently sits. And that’s on top of the fact that as Mr. Witte alludes to, its unlikely that liberal women will in fact get a fair hearing before him.

                To the high school kids – they have parents and a school that probably has a code of conduct. I have no doubt that a neighbor can call said school and settle their behavior.

                Of course, the argument can be made that if it was good enough for the President, its good enough for school kids.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                If the committee found him to be unfit due to his earlier testimony and/or inappropriate behavior while on the lower courts, I have no problem with keeping him off (as noted several times, I wanted a swing vote, not a partisan). Unfortunately this whole process was politicized and increasingly I feel like much of Ford’s testimony was suspect. I guess, I want to be a human being here and I’m willing to forgive Thursday’s hearing because the man may have been quite simply coming unglued. I don’t think anything from Thursday speaks to his temperament over the next 30 years. SCOTUS has a way of changing people and many, many justices have proved their detractors wrong once they were seated and no longer beholden to a side of the aisle. All I really care about is balance. I’m honestly more worried about RBG’s potential placement.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                So your view is that complete disregard for the truth (both past and present) is ok as soon as someone decides the Democrats (might be) meanies?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Nevermoor says:

                Nevermoor – maybe you and I don’t need to keep going in circles here. I’ll just lay out my timeline and maybe you can just agree to disagree.

                #1 I didn’t want Kavanaugh. I’m a Progressive Conservative and I like the idea of a swing vote on the court. But I also believe that presidents should almost always get their picks and that Obama got hosed on Garland and McConnell is a turd I will (again) be voting against in a few years.

                #2 Kavanaugh’s history bothered me because there had been claims of him doing shady stuff in the WH and later on the lower court. If those were proven, I would disqualify him for those because they directly relate to his career.

                #3 I don’t know what came up in the private hearing though I know they discussed gambling, drinking, etc. Don’t know that any of that conversation would have made me think he was unfit for SCOTUS.

                #4 The entire way the sexual assault claims were handled by the Democrats was appalling. I’m not saying that as a partisan (I’ve been a registered Independent since 2008) but as an American. Feinstein should probably be censured for her role in all of that.

                #5 Ford’s testimony failed to convince me of her claims. If that makes me a bad person in the eyes of liberals, so be it.

                #6 I understood Kavanaugh’s anger on Thursday and sympathized. I do believe that he probably lied about his yearbook and a few other items but at that point the entire process was so farcical to me that I didn’t even care (this is a general attitude I also adopt during most presidential election years).

                #7 I do not think anything he said on Thursday or his temperament disqualify him from SCOTUS. I realize that appears partisan, but I’m telling you, that’s just me being human. I really believe I would feel the same way if the roles had been reversed and this was a Democratic nominee being treated the same way.

                #8 I am dreading the next nomination fight because it will probably make this look like a picnic, but this is the new normal. McConnell is probably to blame for starting a shooting war over Garland but seeing it actually play out is horrible.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I think the (remaining) thing that frustrates me is you not engaging with Kavanaugh’s lying.

                #2, for example, seems beyond “if”. #6 I find disturbing because it wasn’t “a few other things” it was most of his defense (including what he had been doing minutes earlier and what others were presently saying about him). That said, if you now view supreme court nominations as no different than election campaigns, I get why that wouldn’t matter. Of course, that change in perspective (in which I’m sure you aren’t alone) means the SC is going to swiftly lose its legitimacy as more Kavanaughs are appointed.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Nevermoor says:

                I just don’t care about the lying because the process has lost its legitimacy. It’s a partisan circus. If Roberts or Kagan or Sotomayor or Gorsuch had lied for such trivial stuff, yeah, I would have been calling for their heads. But what Kavanaugh did seems par for the course and given what his family has been put through based on (potentially) fabrications…I don’t even fault the guy.

                As I also said to Phillip, I’m an idealist when it comes to the court. I’m not a lawyer so I’m sure someone like Em could pick my perception apart, but I am having difficulty remembering a justice that was blatantly partisan in the last 20 years. I believe the court is a great leveler and many justices have talked about how their perspective changed once they were seated. I have a lot of faith in that.Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I’m an idealist when it comes to the court

                Then maybe reconsider the wisdom of letting a man who takes no stock in the oath of honesty sit on it.

                I’m not a lawyer so I’m sure someone like Em could pick my perception apart, but I am having difficulty remembering a justice that was blatantly partisan in the last 20 years. I believe the court is a great leveler and many justices have talked about how their perspective changed once they were seated. I have a lot of faith in that.

                I don’t really disagree. They are all partisan to some degree. Everyone is. And their partisanship quite often shows in their rulings, especially lately. But my problem with Kavanaugh, my distaste for him as the nominee before I ever heard the name “Christine Ford”, was his prior actions as Ken Starr’s lackey and his time in the Bush White House. Partisan is one thing; a history of actively working for one party and against another like Kavanaugh has is another. Beyond that- I don’t have a ton of knowledge on the history of the Court, but it’s actually something I’m learning about now, in my free time.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Em Carpenter says:

                I mentioned in another thread that maybe a good precedent is that we don’t nominate people who served in a political role at some point in the past.

                As for the history of the court, in my 20s I was given a collection of CDs that were called “If it pleases the court…” which were audio recordings of the court for landmark cases. Brown vs. Board, etc. It made me a fan of the court and a bit of an idealist about how it worked.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I mentioned in another thread that maybe a good precedent is that we don’t nominate people who served in a political role at some point in the past.

                Currently if you apply for a federal career civil service job you have to answer a questions about whether you served in a political appointment in the last 5 years. That’s a new question under this administration.Report

              • Avatar KenB in reply to Em Carpenter says:

                a man who takes no stock in the oath of honesty

                If we’re referring to his statements last week, I think this is a bit unfair. This wasn’t a courtroom trial, it was a political process — the questions could be about anything (since he wasn’t on trial) and his responses or non-responses would be national news and jumped on no matter what.

                Imagine if he was asked something like “Two months ago you were overheard telling your wife she was the most beautiful woman in the world. Here’s a picture of [beautiful starlet] — do you honestly believe that your wife is more physically beautiful than she is? Remember that you are under oath.”

                If he says Yes, but his answer isn’t particularly believable, does that mean he’s a lying liar who shouldn’t be on the Supreme Court? Or do we take the full context into account?

                I’m not saying the actual questions about his yearbook are exactly equivalent to this, but I do think the context mitigates quite a bit.Report

              • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Honestly, I find everything you say here reasonable (even if I don’t reach the same conclusion), EXCEPT your belief that lying under oath, no matter how petty the lie, should not disqualify a justice of the SCOTUS. Any attorney would and should be disbarred for doing so. No way the top jurists in the land should be held to a lower standard than that.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I’m honestly more worried about RBG’s potential placement.

                Why? If there’s a conservative majority by then it won’t matter much will it? And you wanted a swing vote out of the current Administration?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                I’m terrified of Amy Barrett. Much more than a mainline conservative Kavanaugh.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Philip H says:

                Roberts has shown himself to be unreliably partisan conservative ideologically neutral in his rulings. Replacing RBG with a “real conservative” – you know, just a neutral caller of balls and strikes – would lock in the court’s rightward orientation.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Stillwater says:

                Every time I hear the neutral umpire calling balls and strikes schtick, I remember Hall of Fame umpire — and serious drinker — Bill Klem, who got into it with some of his fellow umps at a bar. The first boasted: “I calls ’em as I sees ’em.” The second said: “I call them as they are.” Klem sneered at them both and said: “They ain’t nothing ’til I call ’em.”Report

              • Avatar KenB in reply to CJColucci says:

                Jim Lindgren beat you to it by 13 years…Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to KenB says:

                Trump’s mentor Roy Cohn might have been there first though: “I don’t care what the strike zone is, tell me who the umpire is.”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

                he was part of a very drunken highschool and college culture.

                Sounds like guilt by association.

                There’s also the issue of the six other women…

                One liberal activist (Chairwoman of a “Progressive” organization), one whose claim is pretty clearly false, and four others who haven’t had microscopes put on them but who aren’t being pulled in by the Dems (implying that they’re even weaker than the ones we already know).

                its unlikely that liberal women will in fact get a fair hearing before him.

                This is like the guy who killed his parents arguing for leniency because he’s an orphan, i.e. it’s a self inflicted problem.

                If liberal women, and their elected leaders, held a witch hunt then they can darn well live with the “witch” hating them.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to George Turner says:

                George – I’m not disputing anything you have listed here, but do you have some citations?Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Fox News reported it, and the Ny Post seems to have picked it up and amped it, but the Post, CNN and others are not there yet.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Here’s a brief rundown.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Sorry, I was off at work.

                The speed at which Ford’s charges are falling apart is pretty dramatic, but predictable for anyone who dug into her story – as Sen Feinstein and her staff should have done, and possibly did do during the many weeks they sat on it.

                This raises the obvious question about the reason she held these charges until the 9th inning. Did she or her staff know how fast the allegations would collapse, so that they were only useful as a one-shot, stop-him now, post-hearings maneuver? If so, the people involved put Ford in the firing line knowing that she’d have her reputation destroyed, probably be fired, possibly be jailed, and possibly lose her houses and savings in civil suits – all so they could try and destroy the life of an entirely innocent man.

                And of course it will leave the other Democrats on the committee with egg on their faces and a future of very nasty campaign ads rightfully run against them. It’s probably ended the political aspirations of Corey Booker and Kamala Harris. I can’t imagine they’re happy about that.

                Having the most high-profile sexual assault case in the country explosed as entirely fraudulent could also destroy the #meToo movement and shift the conversation over to “Why do women lie about sexual assault so much, and how can men protect themselves?”

                And it likely forced the New York Times to run their hit piece on Trump’s illegally obtained tax returns weeks early, just to try and distract from the Ford debacle, ruining whatever plans they had to sway the 2018 election at the last minute. And as some polling is indicating, this may be a huge boost to House and Senate Republicans in the upcoming mid-term.

                Given that all this is entirely self-inflicted, or at least inflicted by Feinstein and her staff, perhaps Democrats need to bench her for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Of course some other Democrats on the committee are also partially responsible for the debacle. In fact, had they just sat back after Kavanaugh’s fiery opening, they probably could’ve won the committee vote and floor vote, because what would’ve been left in people’s heads was Kavanaugh’s angry demeanor. Instead, they went full-on with a Salem Witch Trial, trying to out-do each other, and swung public support back to Kavanaugh. That, too, was a self-inflicted error on their part.

                And what did they establish? That Republicans are the party of beer, of enjoying beer, and enjoying college, sports, and beer, while they are on board with destroying the lives and futures of anyone who likes beer, or has ever drank beer, or who hangs out with friends, or who parties in college?

                How the heck did they screw up like that?

                They obviously miss the guiding hand of Ted Kennedy.

                And for those screaming about drinking, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has vowed to be sober at this year’s State of the Union Address. Last year she had a bit too much wine. And yes, we’ve had justices who’d walk from the bar to the court, take testimony while drunk, and then walk back to the bar. The Republic survived just fine.

                Anyway, here’s an interesting video on Ford’s testimony from a body language expert that’s garnered 2.6 million views in just a few days.

                It’s pretty amusing and enlightening. I’d forgotten to look for eye-ball shifts when someone is supposedly accessing visual memory.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

              …and the say the women’s activism means we shouldn’t believe their claims.

              So it’s just magic that everyone who has stepped forward desperately wants to keep any conservative off of Kennedy’s seat? Did K have some radar 36 years ago which led him to only go after future activists leaving the non-activists to think he’s a prince of a guy?

              I would also add that campaign donations don’t equal activism either.

              How about being the Chairwoman of a “Progressive” organization and/or going to various marches?

              you should really read Em’s comments above again before you dismiss Dr. Ford out of hand

              I haven’t “dismissed” her, I’m simply waiting for evidence.

              As long as we’re on that subject, one of the hang ups for evaluating her claims is she is refusing to release evidence. My expectation is if her letter to Nancy supported her case, or her original therapist notes did, that she’d have released them by now (as the GOP has been asking).

              Ergo… what? Her story in 2012 wasn’t the same in 2018? This seems possible since even her carefully picked sub-section of the notes doesn’t match. Is her story in July not the same as today? Am I missing a different option?

              Faced with credible allegations of serious misconduct against him, Kavanaugh behaved in a fashion unacceptable in a justice

              K was going to get beaten by the Dem’s for his behavior no matter what he did. If he’d answered the way you want he’d have been confessing. If he’d answered coldly then not caring would have been used against him. If he has no clue what Ford is even talking about and it’s sharply different than anything he remembers doing 36 years ago then what you suggest would have been a lie and probably would have been shown to be that at some point.

              The truth of this doesn’t matter to the Dems, this is just a club to keep him off the court.Report

  39. Avatar Philip H says:

    Koz: In terms of cultural vulnerabilities, it’s probably nothing if you want to continue to live in Mississippi.

    I still have not a clue what you mean. My sharing a pie that I’m working hard to make bigger with people who aren’t like me and deserve the pie as much as I do isn’t vulnerability.Report

    • Avatar Koz in reply to Philip H says:

      I still have not a clue what you mean. My sharing a pie that I’m working hard to make bigger with people who aren’t like me and deserve the pie as much as I do isn’t vulnerability.

      Well yeah, that’s exactly the point. Liberal white Christians are a cultural threat to nobody in Mississippi. You wouldn’t necessarily be able to act in furtherance of that vocation if you lived somewhere else.Report

  40. Avatar George Turner says:

    This was funny.

    Lindsey Graham: You’ve humiliated this guy enough and there seems to be no bottom for some of you.
    Protester: If he would take a polygraph it would all be over.
    Lindsey Graham: Why don’t we dunk him in the water and see if he floats?Report

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