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TGIF – Sept 28, 2018.

September 28, 2018

Act Four

By the time most of you read this, the Senate Judiciary Committee will have voted on whether to pass Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination out to the full Senate. But for what it’s worth here is a pre-vote impression.

From a bystander’s point of view, the Judiciary Committee hearing was more of a Punch and Judy show than anything that would provide meaningful insight into whether Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

By and large Democrats spent their time patting Professor Ford on the head for her bravery, while the sex crimes prosecutor Ms. Mitchell seemed not to understand that this was not a process which was going to go on for days or weeks.

Even so, Ms. Mitchell did score a few points, and did so in a way that was totally non-threatening. That was of course exactly what she was hired to do.

As a useful by-product, she also effectively branded Professor Ford’s attorneys as rank liars, when she exposed the fact that far from being unable to fly, the professor flies all over the world for both business and pleasure.  She may not like flying, but she surely isn’t incapable of doing so. That being true, there was no reason to keep pushing back this hearing.

Professor Ford was a very sympathetic witness. However, when pressed for details, she did seem to fall back often on not remembering certain very recent events, such as whether she gave her therapist’s notes to the newspaper, or whether she simply synopsized them, or had just told the reporter about them.

That’s only about five weeks ago, which makes one wonder if her memory is that faulty, how she can be so sure of events 35 years ago.

She also seemed not to know or at least did not understand that the Judiciary Committee members had offered to take her statements in or close to her own home. Given that all of that information was available on any number of media sites, that seems odd.

Additionally, she seemed to have no explanation for why the people she named as having been at the party 35 or 36 years ago all stated that said party did not happen, or at least, that they were not at such a party.

Given all that, it’s likely that most people would judge that while she apparently believes, or at least desperately needs to believe, what she is saying about Judge Kavanaugh, it’s likely that she could easily be mistaken.

The more skeptical might also wonder if she simply found a name that she recognized on the list of SCOTUS candidates the President is using, and attached that name to a traumatic event that essentially happened in her childhood, and which she apparently credits with being the cause of her own marital difficulties.

Her scholarly references to the hippocampus notwithstanding, it is a fact that people do not remember every detail of traumatic events.

However, no one is asking her to describe a pattern on wallpaper or what color the towels were in a bathroom.

Surely, remembering whose house they were at, or who took her to or from  the house, since she was not yet old enough to drive, is not too much to expect her to remember. That in and of itself makes her testimony suspect.

And then there was the Democratic inquisition of Judge Kavanaugh.

This spectacle reached a level of prurience consistent with having to shovel out a portable toilet with your bare hands.

Many of the Democrats spent their entire five minutes trying to get Judge Kavanaugh to turn around and ask White House counsel Don McGahn to start a new FBI investigation, something which any senator on that committee could do at will.

And then of course there was Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) who spent his entire five minutes asking Judge Kavanaugh  for the definitions of words used in a yearbook.  Definitions such as what the meaning of “ralph” was as it was used in that yearbook. Well done Senator, well done. You sure earned your $174,000 salary on Thursday.

The rest of the time was spent in Dems trying to brand the judge as a drunk and a letch.

When the Republican members did finally recognize that Ms. Mitchell was perhaps not helping them and took over the questioning and speechifying from her the hearing got a bit hotter.

One point was made and another perhaps implied that spoke to what Judge Kavanaugh has to lose, even beyond the SCOTUS appointment

He can be charged with the attempted rape because in Maryland there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault. Whether a state prosecutor would issue a warrant based on Mrs. Ford’s committee testimony remains to be seen.

More importantly, Judge Kavanaugh will almost assuredly be stripped of his current judgeship if he is not confirmed, even if he is not charged criminally.

And after all of that, it’s still she said, he said.

Kavanaugh’s “this is a lynching” moment came when he said that the hearing was not about advise and consent, but rather, search and destroy.

It was certainly all that and more.

From → op-ed

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