Friday Reads: Judicial Temper FitPosted: September 28, 2018
I’m fucking triggered today and I’m exhausted. I have that limpness that comes from a huge long crying jag without even having that huge long crying jag and its emotional release.
The display of white male fragility and rage at not having a unencumbered, petal strewn path to power yesterday has left me feeling drained and sad. It’s difficult to understand how we’ve arrived at this point. We appear doomed to spend the rest of our lives trying to undo it all over again.
It is truly a sad day for any one that cares about civil rights.
The current state of the US Senate will probably embolden Trump to go after Sessions, Mueller and Rosenstein and Lindsey Graham will be installed as the next AG as a reward for his shameful behavior yesterday. It was an all day display of Rageholics and spoiled brats that will do anything to maintain their wealth and power over others.
All kinds of organizations are calling for Kavanaugh’s name to be withdrawn or a launch of a full investigation but I seriously doubt that will happen. There are only baby men and their enablers in the Republican party. Any show of statesmanship and patriotism has left the building.
Here are some headlines because I feel quite drained and sad. Women are being given the bum’s rush back to the 19th century. I’m just waiting for them to repeal our voting rights. Next move will be to reinstate slavery, I’d bet. Just repeal all those inconvenient amendments to the Constitution that make the rest of us a little less fearful for our lives and then enshrine us as less than human; less than any white straight rich powerful male.
The e-mails show that Mike Davis, a senior Republican committee staffer, approached Ramirez’s attorneys on Sunday evening, shortly after The New Yorker published a piece about Senate Democrats investigating her allegation of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh during their college years. Ramirez told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Kavanaugh has repeatedly said that the allegations are false.
From the start, Ramirez’s legal team had called for the F.B.I. to conduct an investigation. Her attorney John Clune told Davis that Ramirez was seeking an F.B.I. investigation and said that, “on appropriate terms, she would also agree to be interviewed in person.” But when Clune proposed a phone call several times, Davis repeatedly insisted that Clune answer two questions: Did Ramirez possess evidence in addition to what was in the New Yorker article? And was she willing to provide testimony to the committee’s investigators?
Clune answered the Republican staffer’s questions, suggesting that Ramirez did, in fact, have additional witnesses and other evidence. And, he said, of Ramirez’s willingness to testify to the committee’s investigators, “We couldn’t answer without learning more from you about the details of whatever process you are contemplating. After hearing more, we would advise the client accordingly.” Davis then requested that Ramirez’s team provide evidence in the form of a letter, e-mail, or statement to the committee’s investigators before he would consider a call. Clune continued to try to schedule a call with a Democratic staffer on the e-mail thread, but Davis wrote back to him, saying that, “before we discuss a phone call or any other next steps, again, we need to have the following information,” and reiterated the two questions.
At that point, Heather Sawyer, the Democratic staffer who was copied on the e-mails in accordance with committee policy, wrote to Davis, “As you’re aware, Ms. Ramirez’s counsel have repeatedly requested to speak with the Committee, on a bipartisan basis, to determine how to proceed. You refused. I’ve never encountered an instance where the Committee has refused even to speak with an individual or counsel. I am perplexed as to why this is happening here, except that it seems designed to ensure that the
Majority can falsely claim that Ms. Ramirez and her lawyers refused to cooperate. That simply is not true.”
The American Bar Association is calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to halt the consideration of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until an FBI investigation is completed into the sexual assault allegations that have roiled his nomination.
In a strongly worded letter obtained by CNN Thursday, the organization said it is making the extraordinary request “because of the ABA’s respect for the rule of law and due process under law,” siding with concerns voiced by Senate Democrats since Christine Blasey Ford’s decades-old allegations became public.
“The basic principles that underscore the Senate’s constitutional duty of advice and consent on federal judicial nominees require nothing less than a careful examination of the accusations and facts by the FBI,” said Robert Carlson, president of the organization, in a Thursday night letter addressed to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein.
“Each appointment to our nation’s Highest Court (as with all others) is simply too important to rush to a vote,” Carlson wrote. “Deciding to proceed without conducting additional investigation would not only have a lasting impact on the Senate’s reputation, but it will also negatively affect the great trust necessary for the American people to have in the Supreme Court.”
From Axios: The next ugly fight: Impeachment(s)
In a foreshadowing of how much uglier U.S. politics could get, top Democratic operatives are already talking about impeachment of Brett Kavanaugh as a 2020 campaign issue if he gets confirmed to the Supreme Court.
The impeachment talk reflects the conclusion of Democrats and Republicans close to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh’s confirmation is more likely than not — and certainly more likely than it was 24 hours ago.
- A well-known Democratic strategist says the “only question is who calls for it first.”
- And top Republicans expect President Trump to begin making an even bigger issue of his own possible impeachment as a way of whipping up supporters in the final month of this fall’s midterm campaigns.
- A veteran Republican close to Senate leaders and the White House: “Impeachment of Trump and Kav will be an animating issue on both sides.”
Why it matters: Yesterday’s epic hearing — a tearful, outraged Kavanaugh following a tearful, credible Christine Blasey Ford — will likely stand as a nine-hour distillation of our toxic era.
What to watch: “Democrats tonight are depleted, raw, furious, and churning,” emails an adviser to Ford’s camp.
- A Republican insider texted his belief that Kavanaugh will make it (something the insider had doubted earlier in the day) and added: “What ugly times. We may be doomed.”
The war was embodied by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who rallied the GOP by caustically accusing Democrats: “What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020.”
- The N.Y. Times’ Jeremy Peters tweeted: “[W]hat I saw today was a fury between members of opposite parties that is as profound and unnerving as I’ve ever seen. They’re not faking it.”
Be smart: If Kavanaugh is confirmed, Democrats could be expected to question the legitimacy of his swing Supreme Court vote. Congress degraded itself yesterday. And the Trump White House of course has serious credibility issues.
- So the United States of America will be three-for-three in diminished trust in its branches of government.
From Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post: The most telling moment: Kavanaugh goes after Sen. Klobuchar
Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh decided that to have any chance to reach the court, he would have to shed the pretense he was a fair-minded, calm, judicious thinker. He came out in the afternoon filled with venom, screaming at the committee. His life was being ruined, he claimed. This was a Clinton-like smear. His anger was both frightening and unexpected — if you thought he was that intellectual whom conservatives have swooned over. He yelled, and he cried. If you thought he was sincere, one could also appreciate how partisan and emotional he had become.
The shouting didn’t end with his opening statement. He barked at the ranking Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Then the Republicans got into the screaming act, pushing their outside lawyer Rachel Mitchell aside in favor of histrionics from Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.). If President Trump loved the nasty, male grievance game, the rest of us had reason to wonder if anyone of this temperament — Cornyn, Graham or Kavanaugh — should be in a position of power. If they were women, they would be called “hysterical.”
Kavanaugh, as of this writing, made a couple major errors.
First, he refused to call for an FBI investigation (even when Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois invited him to ask it of White House counsel Donald McGahn). When Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) questioned about his friend Mark Judge, Kavanaugh slipped and said “you’d have to ask [Judge]”, who of course the Republicans refuse to summon as a witness. The refusal to get the facts is both a telling admission of concern about what they would find and a violation the judicial goal of truth-seeking. It’s a political calculation, exactly what you don’t want to see from a judge.
The worst moment was his confrontation with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) who questioned him about blackout drinking. She explained that she understood alcohol abuse because her father was an alcoholic. Have you ever blacked out? she asked. He sneered in response, “Have you?” It was a moment of singular cruelty and disrespect. One saw a flash in the exchange with Klobuchar the same sense of entitlement, cruelty and lack of simple decency that Christine Blasey Ford allegedly experienced way back when, the memory seared in her brain of two obnoxious teens laughing at her ordeal.
During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the allegations of sexual assault made against him by Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh harangued the committee in a plaintive squawk. He seemed perpetually on the verge of tears ― especially, for some inscrutable reason, when he lovingly recalled how well-organized his father’s daily calendar was ― yet also incandescent with partisan fury and petulance about the injustice being done to him.
And Republican men, from pundits to the president, apparently reveled in it. Those in the room, such as Sens. Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch and Ben Sasse, used their questioning time to apologize fulsomely to the judge and to shout imprecations against government overreach, Democratic perfidy and the great cruelty being done to Kavanaugh by investigating credible assault allegations against him prior to confirming him to a lifetime seat on the highest court in the nation.
I’m really afraid we’re going to be stuck with him the same way we’re stuck with Trump. Putin is probably serving champagne at the St Petersburg Troll Farm as we speak.
Okay, that’s about all I can take of this for the moment. Vent away! Cry! Do whatever you have to do! Be excellent to yourselves. We have each other and I love you all!