The Kavanaugh Confirmation Carnival and Its Real Implications

The most immediate takeaway from last week’s Kavanaugh Confirmation Carnival was that the 1980s must have been one helluva of a time to be a student.

To hear their schoolmates tell it, both Brett and Christine were a beer vendor’s dream and knew a thing or two about the joys of getting blitzed long before they had reached the legal age. And both went on to earn at least a college minor in beer pong and bar-hopping and, apparently, those other extracurricular endeavors which frequently follow fast thereupon.

Then again, why is the Senate of the United States (and now the FBI, too) wasting its time investigating the antics of a handful of party kids from among the tens of millions of students – before, then and after – whose adventures in beer besotted bacchanalia were hardly dissimilar?

As the tale has unfolded, in fact, we haven’t actually heard a thing – proven, that is – that hasn’t long been par for the course among boozed-up and sex-awakened adolescents. Even the alleged very bad behavior that was the focus of Thursday’s deliberations, which ended in an “he said, she said” tie, surely isn’t some kind of shocking aberration.

Fifteen and Seventeen year olds simply don’t appreciate that the combo of demon rum and raging hormones can quickly descend into trouble owing to a confusion of intentions and behaviors; and so it, unfortunately, sometimes does lead to unwanted sexual pressure and even assault. Trumped! A Nation on t... David A. Stockman Best Price: $2.50 Buy New $26.00 (as of 07:00 EST - Details)

That seems to be the case here. By her own admission, Mrs. Ford was boozing it up at age 15 at an un-chaperoned house party. So she may have been as innocent as she claims – or perhaps not so much.

We will never know. As far as we can tell, unless Mr. Mark Judge is subjected to some pretty potent memory enhancement during his upcoming FBI interview – say on the order of water-boarding, given his long-standing BFF relationship with Kavanaugh – there is no earthly way that Thursday’s testimonial tie between the two principals will ever be resolved.

That’s because no one was doing selfies 36 years ago and by all accounts Judge is the only witness to the alleged assault. If he doesn’t break that tie under oath, the Confirmation Carnival will have been for naught.

That is to say, Kavanaugh will be confirmed because the four GOP RINO’s (Flake, Sasse, Murkowski, and Collins) will draw straws as to who gets to bellow the heroic “nay” on CNN, even as Kavanaugh gets his tie-breaker from the Vice-President (and Mother Pence) in the US Senate.

But the truth is the Senate contretemps was never about the facts of the assault charge leveled in apparent earnest by Mrs. Ford; or whether the gravity of the accusation juxtaposed with the paucity of knowable facts can plausibly bear on the fitness of Kavanaugh for the high court.

To the contrary, the Kavanaugh confirmation was just an occasion for a sharp escalation of the Culture War which now afflicts the nation, and which the utterly improbable election of Donald Trump has brought to the boil.

That’s why both sides can go jump in the lake as far as we are concerned. The purpose of government in a constitutional republic is to perform those minimal functions that the people and the free market cannot do for themselves; and most certainly adjudicating the sometimes fraught relationships between the sexes is not among them.

That is to say, if a crime of violence and personal assault is not timely reported to the authorities, what happened in that vast gray area short of a crime – and decades ago – ceases to be proper business of government; and certainly not a valid basis for determining a person’s fitness for office, including a Supreme Court nominee.

After all, even Mrs. Christine Blasey Ford does not claim she was raped – only that she retrospectively fears the possibility that the allegedly unwanted advances of Kavanaugh would have led in that direction.

In that context, we find her “one beer” memory pretty telling. Obviously, if she was as drunk on the alleged night in question as seems to have been par for the course for Ms. Blasey according to her Holton Arms yearbook and classmate testimonials, her recollection of the event could not have been enhanced by the obvious “he was drunk, I wasn’t” thrust of her narrative.

Yet it truly strains the skein of credulity that she can not remember a cotton-picking-thing about the evening except for her claim to be owed a one beer hall pass. As the Judiciary Committee’s hired sex crime prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, has now concluded:

Dr. Ford has no memory of key details of the night in question—details that could help corroborate her account.

  • She does not remember who invited her to the party or how she heard about it.
  • She does not remember how she got to the party.
  • She does not remember in what house the assault allegedly took place or where that house was located with any specificity.

Perhaps most importantly, she does not remember how she got from the party back to her house. Her inability to remember this detail raises significant questions.

She told the Washington Post that the party took place near the Columbia Country Club. The Club is more than 7 miles from her childhood home as the crow flies, and she testified that it was a roughly 20-minute drive from her childhood home.

She also agreed for the first time in her testimony that she was driven somewhere that night, either to the party or from the party or both.

Dr. Ford was able to describe hiding in the bathroom, locking the door, and subsequently exiting the house. She also described wanting to make sure that she did not look like she had been attacked.

But she has no memory of who drove her or when. Nor has anyone come forward to identify him or herself as the driver.
Given that this all took place before cell phones, arranging a ride home would not have been easy. Indeed, she stated that she ran out of the house after coming downstairs and did not state that she made a phone call from the house before she did, or that she called anyone else thereafter.

She does, however, remember small, distinct details from the party unrelated to the assault. For example, she testified that she had exactly one beer at the party and was taking no medication at the time of the alleged assault.

In short, Dr. Ford’s own words reduce the matter to the level of 36-years ago hearsay and teenage age nightmares dimly recalled. In America’s political culture and modus operandi as recently as 1980, Ford’s accusations wouldn’t have gotten the time of day and rightly so.

But instead, her tale of thin gruel literally riveted the nation and media last Thursday, and has continued to do so since. And that is the tip-off about what is really going on. The Great Deformation:... David A. Stockman Best Price: $2.95 Buy New $13.99 (as of 05:30 EST - Details)

In a word, the Democratic party used to be the party of peace and restraint abroad and economic redistribution and welfare state expansion at home.

Nowadays, however, the Dems have joined the War Party hook, line and sinker – and especially so after their hysterical plunge into the Russian meddling/collusion hoax; and have also sold out to the K-street lobbies on tax redistribution and face a brick wall of fiscal limits on Welfare State expansion now that ObamaCare has survived the GOP’s pathetic efforts at repeal.

So by default, the Dems have become a raucous, screeching herd of Identity Politics factions. The latter coagulate and hyperventilate around matters of race, sex, gender, immigration and an endless assortment of other allegedly ill-treated minorities, but share in common a ferocious desire to use the coercive powers of the state to accomplish their ends.

Worse still, they recognize that much of their Culture War agenda is unlikely to attain legislative majorities – or to pass through the gauntlet of James Madison’s splendid machinery of checks, balances, bicameral legislatures and executive vetoes. So they look to the Supreme Court as their principal avenue to power and fulfillment of their untoward agenda.

That’s why the ferocity of their attack on Kavanaugh: It’s not really much about Roe v. Wade despite all the arm-waving from the so-called women’s movement. Judge Kavanaugh has more or less declared for Stare Decisis, which is Latin legalese for its been here so long (46 years) that it’s valid by longevity – and capable of being curtailed only around the edges.

Given that Federalism still has a slight pulse, this means the states may get some room to marginally trim the right to abortion and the protocols of its practice, but that’s about it; and under the circumstances, it’s about the best that can be done with a freedom women should have always had even without a “right” manufactured from wholecloth by the 1972 Supreme Court.

Needless to say, the Dems know Roe v. Wade is safe, but they loath and fear the possibility that a decisive Trump Court majority could block their Identity Politics agenda for decades to come. And that’s why they have resorted to an acrimonious full court press on Kavanaugh’s alleged youthful misbehavior.

To wit, Christine Ford’s dubious tale – whether “sincere” and “brave” or not – is their last best hope to stop the loss of the Supreme Court to the cause of Identify Politics for a generation. As an alleged poster-person for Victimhood, in fact, she has been made a living mascot for the whole Dem agenda.

So the stakes are high in this battle, but at the end of the day it’s not really the one that the right-wing Trumpified GOP is now in high dungeon about.

As is evidenced by the heated umbrage and sanctimonious outrage emanating from Fox News and the GOP talking point machine, they see this as another opportunity to prosecute the Culture War and hyper-mobilize the anger and money of the “base”, not merely to put a conservative on the Supreme Court.

More importantly, it’s just one more chance to do the easy stuff politically – campaign against the liberal media, the George Soros mafia and the assorted whackos and fruitcakes which comprise the Dems’ motely Identity Politics coalition.

But fighting the Culture War ala Fox News is a cop-out. The job of the purported conservative party in America today is to stand strong for free markets, sound money, fiscal rectitude, shrinkage of the Welfare State and decentralization of government; and while they are at it, shedding the putrid incubus of neocon foreign policy and its fiscally and morally destructive pursuit of Empire.

Alas, Donald Trump has no interest in a single shred of this proper conservative agenda, but given his history as a promotional con man and sometimes bully boy, he obviously relishes the Kavanaugh Carnival because it’s political catnip for the “base”.

So what the Kavanaugh Carnival really signifies is that when it comes to the monetary and fiscal disaster embedded in 30 years of wrong-headed Washington policy, it’s all over except the shouting. The GOP has literally abandoned its “job” in the great scheme of things for the chance to hyperventilate against the noisy but politically anemic gang of Identity Politics factions that has taken over the Democratic Party.

Here’s the thing. Whatever the reason for his lapse of judgment and emotional control, Brett Kavanaugh has destroyed his own candidacy for the job. If the GOP really was focused on nailing down a conservative Supreme Court for a generation to come, they could find plenty of equal or better candidates from a philosophical and temperamental point of view on the so-called Federalist list than Brett Kavanaugh.

But we find his feigned indignity and angry denials about his undeniable youthful fondness for drunken bouts and over-the-top partying to be off-putting in the extreme. In that regard, classmates are coming out of the woodwork in droves, and the story is similar: Kavanaugh was hardly short of a drunken lout who behaved belligerently whenever, apparently, Demon Bud got the best of him.

According to a new report another Yale classmate, Charles Ludington, has volunteered to meet with the FBI because he was deeply troubled by Kavanaugh appearing to blatantly mischaracterize his drinking in his Senate testimony: The Triumph of Politic... David Stockman Best Price: $2.44 Buy New $8.35 (as of 06:40 EST - Details)

I knew Brett at Yale because I was a classmate and a varsity basketball player and Brett enjoyed socializing with athletes. Indeed, athletes formed the core of Brett’s social circle.

In recent days I have become deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale. When I watched Brett and his wife being interviewed on Fox News on Monday, and when I watched Brett deliver his testimony under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, I cringed. For the fact is, at Yale, and I can speak to no other times, Brett was a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker. I know, because, especially in our first two years of college, I often drank with him. On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer. When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive. On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.

I do not believe that the heavy drinking or even loutish behavior of an 18- or even 21-year-old should condemn a person for the rest of his life. I would be a hypocrite to think so. However, I have direct and repeated knowledge about his drinking and his disposition while drunk. And I do believe that Brett’s actions as a 53-year-old federal judge matter. If he lied about his past actions on national television, and more especially while speaking under oath in front of the United States Senate, I believe those lies should have consequences. It is truth that is at stake, and I believe that the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon oneself, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation’s most powerful judges.

I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth.

Until reading the testimony of Mr. Ludington, we were inclined to recommend that Kavanaugh put on his Big Boy Pants and stop whining and sniffling in the pathetic manner of his Thursday testimony.

While all the Foxophiles and Culture Warriors are up in arms about Matt Damon’s Saturday Night Live rendition of his Judiciary Committee appearance, the fact is Damon gave it as good as Kavanaugh deserved.

So the only think left for the GOP to do is get on its own Big Boy Pants and move on.

That is, to another candidate, and, more importantly, to its real agenda to save the Republic from the economic and fiscal depredations of Imperial Washington.

Reprinted with permission from David Stockman’s Contra Corner.