HL 60 – The Kavanaugh Confirmation Sandwich

October 12, 2018

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H.L. does not post about things where we don’t possess real knowledge, experience or unique perspective.  For example, nothing about the long-term prospects of the latest royal marriage.  And despite having been around the SCOTUS pool a few times – via oral argument, testimony at confirmation hearings and many briefs and cert. denials, some causing despair and others corks to pop – H.L. determined to be really unique and not comment on The Kavanaugh.  But the second and public swearing in was a spectacle up with which we will not put (Sir Winston).

The reasons that White Bart/Brett is unqualified, should be removed and if not only serve briefly were served up like a sandwich – made with Focaccia by a fast food chain other than Wendy’s – with the thinnest sliver of meat and a dollop of smelly condiment on top of the very thick bread.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

The “where’s the beef” moment was Dr. Blasey Ford’s allegations, to which we should add those of Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick.  They were just too thin to be a proper basis for rejection.  The fact that I and many others believed Dr. Ford and concluded that Kavanaugh lied about the summer of ’82 – as he demonstrably did about so many other things – does not mean that he should be denied the seat on that basis.  None of us would want to lose a position we sought because of similarly ancient and uncorroborated charges.  They might have been corroborated, deepened and supplemented but for the way both Dr. Ford and Senator Feinstein proceeded.

The assertion that Feinstein handled this well is ludicrous.  And equally so is the argument that a nomination could/should be stopped on the basis of an anonymous charge concerning events 36 years past – the request for anonymity by Dr. Ford that caused Feinstein to do what she did and not do what she should have.  Far far too late to expect the full FBI or other probe never conducted nor indeed even the truncated one that grudgingly was done after The Flake and before The Collins.  (These were Kabuki-like set plays for Senators Flake and Collins)

The bread in this sandwich is a different story, exceeding in thickness any previous standard for rejecting a nomination.  Kavanaugh lied and dissembled throughout the pre-Ford phase about who he was/is and what he had done as a partisan political operative.  He was assisted in these lies by the Republicans’ refusal to produce the government records that would have documented Kavanaugh’s involvement in foul play and character assassination of the sort he claimed and wept about during the mano-a-womano phase – that he apparently was too cowardly to watch (specifically, Dr. Ford’s compelling testimony).

Justice John Paul Stevens

Kavanaugh’s part of that spectacle was the other thick piece of bread.  His partisan primal screams and attacks on Senators Whitehouse and Klobuchar, among others, were unprecedented.  SCOTUS Nominee Clarence Thomas’ invocation of a “high tech lynching” in 1991 does not even come close.  It was so extreme that it moved 98-year-old former Justice John Paul Stevens to withdraw his endorsement and call for rejection because Kavanaugh was “not fit for the Supreme Court.”  Hard to explain how meaningful and unprecedented Stevens’ statement was.

Senator Klobuchar’s demeanor during Kavanaugh’s questioning about her drinking habits and whether she had ever “blacked out” was nearly perfect and could have been more or most nearly perfect had she simply said that in that tribunal she was judge, he advocate, and as he well knew she, not he, gets to ask the questions.  All Frat Boy Brett had the right to do was answer and say “Thank you ma’am ask me another.”

Given the size of the rejection sandwich, The Collins was not only dishonest, but so absurd that this time old H.L. actually held out hope that just once Susan Collins would act like the moderate and principled Senator that she has conned her constituents into thinking she is.

Senator Susan Collins

Without The Ford there was far more than enough.  Dayenu.  And after confirmation and the first swearing, the second public ceremony was graphic evidence of the rotten and corrupt process that had just concluded.  After a partisan Trump speech full of lies, Kavanaugh thanked seven senators for their support and votes, McConnell, Grassley, Kyl, Portman, Graham, Collins and Manchin – the last should be absolved because he refused to quixotically throw away a much-needed Democratic seat in a contest already resolved by The Collins.  Kavanaugh’s recitation of that roster of shame and all his accompanying partisan thank yous was as vile and unprecedented as his testimony in the Ford phase.

The ethics complaints about that testimony have already made their way from the DC Circuit to Chief Justice Roberts to the Tenth Circuit, where they will be dealt with.  This one is not being taken lying down.  And neither those already filed ethics complaints nor an impeachment effort that likely will be mounted in the next Congress will result in Kavanaugh’s removal.  But it will not end there.  Kavanaugh, nominated in large part for his relative youth, if not his self-described youth as a “prolific puker” will not serve five years on SCOTUS.  The hearings demonstrated that there are many people who know the real Brett Kavanaugh and will bring to light facts and truth that will speed his exit.


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