[ UPDATE: Sen. Flake says let the FBI find out what it can in one week and then vote. Sen. Lindsay Graham is asked if that will make America feel better about the nominee and the process. He answers (to the effect) “The number of Americans whose opinion changes can fit into a phone booth. (Whatever that is.) The question is whether it makes Jeff Flake feel better. That’s called ‘democracy.'”
[ Not only that, but it takes away a key Democrat(ic) talking point. Lindsay Graham on a postage stamp. NOW! ]
Where is Joseph Welch when you need him?
Now, just as I write this, Sen. Cornyn, R-Texas, is quoting his rebuke of character assassination during the McCarthy hearings: “At long last, sir, have you no sense of decency?”
Your Squire has almost finished his 1983 day calendar and will have 1984 completed by the weekend. Just 35 more to go! You just can’t be too careful these days.
We confess that, watching the U.S. Senate Judiciary hearing Thursday, that Brett Kavanaugh had us at “I like beer.” What horny young Catholic boy’s prep student doesn’t like a good beer? (I ask you.)
Are these feeble attempts at humor in bad taste? Well, so were the Squire’s high school and college years. So has been this nomination process, the President’s personal conduct, the race-baiters at Freedom Inc./Int’l Socialists, and much of our politics. Blaska did not start the fire.
Yes, the indentured servants here at the Manor thought Christine Blasey Ford was compelling and credible. Brett Kavanaugh’s indignant defense was the same. Of course, that is being used against him. Rachel Maddow ran a clip of Kavanaugh’s self-defense without the sound and yes, the man looked like a barking dog. The man lacks judicial temperament! a theme The Ranking Member picked up in Judiciary Committee debate this morning.
Shakespeare in Merchant of Venice asked, if you prick us, do we not bleed?
Think about it, can Brett Kavanaugh even coach his daughters’ basketball team any longer?
“Are you [now, sir, or have you ever been] a gang rapist?” Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, asked of the Supreme Court nominee Thursday.
It was an ironic question, meant to underscore the meanness of the inquisition into (really) childhood behavior that, today in Madison, would warrant restorative justice — if it occurred at all.
As Sen. Graham said during this morning’s hearing, a prosecutor (which he was, as well as a judge) could not even obtain a search warrant on Blasey-Ford’s claim, much less the two subsequent ambush charges.
Subpoena those high school yearbooks
In the absolute nadir of Thursday’s hearing — which will take its place in infamy with the McCarthy-Army hearings, Robert Bork’s borking, Anita Hill, indeed, the long-ago Andrew Johnson impeachment hearing — Democrats posted on an overhead screen a page out of Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook. HIS HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK!
From an era of movies like Animal House, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Caddyshack.
Now Brett Kavanaugh stands before you as an accused gang rapist, if you wish to believe porn star-chaser Michael Avenatti, who unveiled his accusations on a TV program called “The Circus.” And the woman must always be believed, is it not true. (Sen. Leahy of Vermont said he believed Anita Hill.)
So the question becomes, in all seriousness, does the accusation trump the denial? Absent corroborating witnesses, specific dates, or physical evidence (blue dress, anyone?) Is the woman always to be believed?
Did Democrats believe Paula Jones? Juanita Broaddrick? Kathleen Willey?
If it did happen as Blasey Ford described, Kavanaugh is either lying or he cannot remember, which is why Sen. Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, pursued the drinking angle. She, by the way, is one of the more responsible Democrats on the committee. (The worst of whom are Corey Booker, Kamela Harris, and Richard Blumenthal. Insincere grandstanders, all. All of whom walked out of the hearing this morning. Our advice: keep walking.)
Senator Booker is a sponsor of something called the REDEEM Act, which American Spectator magazine describes as “a thorough-going defense of the scientific reality that 17-year-old teenagers are working with undeveloped brains and thus are immature in their decision making. And because of this their subsequent lives should not be impacted unfavorably, let alone ruined.”
Last night on Fox News, Martha MacCallum asked a Kavenaugh school chum about Mark Judge, the one identifiable witness at the infamous groping party that summer 36 years ago. Patrick Smith answered, “Mark can’t remember 1983.” Doesn’t help Kavanaugh’s case. Fox broke for a commercial.
Fox was journalistic enough to put on camera a defender of Blasey Ford, countered by regular contributor Marc Thiessen, who spoke of wanting to defend his two daughters from assault — and his two sons from false accusations. Saw nothing as even-handed on either MSNBC or CNN.
The stakes are higher
As powerful as was Lindsay Graham Thursday, the real must-watch is Lindsay Graham this Friday morning. He laid out the political calculus, which amounts to this: Neil Gorsuch was trading one conservative for another (Scalia). Kavanaugh, by contrast, trades a conservative for the retired, middle-of-the-road swing vote, Anthony Kennedy.
Graham explained the political strategy (we summarize here:) What the Democrats cannot defeat, they must destroy.
Of course, CNN last night dismissed Graham as auditioning for attorney general. Didn’t sound like it this morning as Graham sounded like we would succeed Grassley as chairman of judiciary.
So, think of what you will of Brett Kavanaugh at age 17-18 or the privileged, beer-soaked Chevy Chase country club milieu in which he did so. Sen. Graham asked his morning: “If he was a gang rapist in high school and college, you just don’t give it up.”
Think of all the victims of #MeToo: Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, etc. There’s a history.
Is there any damaging allegation against Kavanaugh, of any nature and from any source, which the left would not automatically believe? Will every future Supreme Court or cabinet nominee, Republican or Democratic, be expected to account, in minute and excruciating detail, for his behavior and reputation as a teenager?
Blaska’s almost-to-the Bottom Line: Guys, did you ever try to cop a feel and get your hand slapped away? Get working on your 1983 calendars and for Gawd’s sake, burn that yearbook!
“With the ‘Top Gun’ slogan ringing in my head, I slowly reached for her breast,” Corey Booker wrote of that night. “After having my hand pushed away once, I reached my ‘mark.'” — the New Jersey Democrat writing about an incident on New Year’s Eve 1984 (when he was 15).
Holy God, if that’s what ruins your life these days, the world has gone mad. I wonder whether college-student Cory was bullshitting when he claimed to be changed forever by this “wake up” call. — Ann of Althouse.