1. Unethical in its simplicity. An esteemed commenter insists, “Any witnesses who allege that Kavanaugh assaulted them should be allowed to testify.” This is either naive (incompetent) or intellectually dishonest. The Democratic Party’s stated objective is to delay a confirmation vote until after the Fall election, in the Hail Mary hope that the Senate will flip to them. There should be no question that the party, now thoroughly corrupted by a mindset holding that anything—lies, character assassination, perjury, misrepresentation, defiling of due process—is justified if it will protect abortion rights and its own power, would manipulate such a rule for political benefit, would recruit an endless series of politically motivated accusers if it could accomplish the objective of running out the clock.
The “any witnesses” flaw was amply demonstrated by yesterday’s fiasco. “New Kavanaugh allegations!” my late TV news screamed. By this morning, the entire story had fallen apart, and yet that ridiculous account (an anonymous woman claimed she was assaulted on a boat in Newport by a drunken “Brett” and friend, so an anonymous man beat them up) added to the designed false impression that multiple, verified, credible witnesses were confirming that Brett Kavanaugh is, as that same esteemed commenter has suggested, a serial sexual predator.
A witness whose claims are raised in a timely manner (that is before hearings begin allowing time for investigation and a response from the accused), whose account meets minimum standards of plausibility, whose accusation involves conduct relevant to a nominee’s fitness to serve, and whose story did not occur so long ago that verification or rebuttal is impossible, should be allowed to testify.
Those qualifications eliminate all of Kavanaugh’s accusers, as well as Anita Hill.
2. Res Ipsa Loquitur* #1 : The rotten ethics of Diane Feinstein.
- In her opening statement, Senator Feinstein stated that it would be outrageous for anyone to question Blasey Ford’s credibility. She therefore assumed before the hearing that Judge Kavanaugh is lying, because he uncategorically denies her allegations. She claimed that Anita Hill was “treated badly” because it was suggested that she was lying. This assessement means that Feinstein assumed then and believes no that Clarence Thomas was lying, because he uncategorically denied Hill’s allegations.
Feinstein’s statement was bigoted, biased, unfair and intentionally divisive.
- Feinstein spent an interminable amount of time praising Blasey Ford’s CV. Her degrees and position are 100% irrelevant to her credibility regarding Kavanaugh. This was an appeal to bias by Feinstein, and, ironically, undercuts a legitimate #MeToo premise, one of the ethical ones. A woman’s credibility when she claims harassment or sexual abuse should not rest on her class, power, education, erudition or life achievements, as when, for example, Democrats like Feinstein “believed Anita Hill” but mocked Paula Jones.
3. Res Ipsa Loquitur #2 The even more rotten ethics of Kirsten Gillibrand.
Here is Senator Gillbrand—you remember her, don’t you? She’s the one who brought “Mattress Girl” to the State of the Union so she could continue falsely accusing an innocent Columbia student of rape. She’s the one who railroaded Al Franken out of the Senate. That Senator Gillbrand—regarding what she considers a a fair standard for Brett Kavanaugh:
“To those who I hear say, over and over, this isn’t fair to Judge Kavanaugh, he’s entitled to due process. What about the presumption of innocence until proven guilty? Dr. Blasey Ford has to prove her case beyond reasonable doubt. Those are the standards for a trial. Those are the standards in criminal justice. We are not having a trial. This is not a court. He’s not entitled to those because we’re not actually seeking to convict him or put him in jail. We are seeking the truth. We are seeking facts. We are seeking just what happened….Is he an honest person? Is he trustworthy? Can we trust him to do the right thing for decades? Rule on women’s live for decades to come? Can we trust him to do that right?…This is not whether or not he should be convicted. This is about whether he has the privilege, the privilege to serve on the highest court of the land for a lifetime.”
I have to say, if you read that unethical, dishonest collection of straw men and misleading statements and say, “Yeah!,” I can’t do much to help. “Due process” is an ethical requirement as much as a legal one. It means that a just system—in employment, in academia, in religion, in justice, anywhere—does not harm someone without a process that guarantees fairness and is devoid of bias and conflicts of interest. It is not relegated to the courts. Those who would discard due process are nascent totalitarians, who want to punish without standards, equality, proportion or good reason.
I have not heard or read anyone who claimed that a beyond a reasonable doubt standard should be used to assess Kanavaugh. Oh. I’m sure some idiot may have said that, but it’s a straw man, and dim-witted as Gillibrand seems to be, I suspect she knows it’s a straw man. The standard, as it is in civil trials and daily life, is whether Blasey Ford’s accusation is credible enough to raise legitimate doubts about Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve on the Court, in which case he should be rejected. Let’s be clear about what Gillibrand wants: a standard that holds that any accusation, substantiated or not, by any woman, is sufficient all by itself to raise such doubts.
She’s argued for this before. In an essay about all of the Democratic plots to impeach President Trump, I credited Gillibrand with Plan J:
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand unveiled Plan J, since the others are absurd, when she demanded that the President should resign now for unproven allegations of non-crimes, when none of the misconduct occurred during his tenure as Presidency. This is impressive, because it is just as ridiculous and desperate as the other plans, and I thought they had exhausted the possibilities.
Gillibrand misleads the public when she says “this is not a court.” In hearings like this, the Senate is a tribunal, and lawyers are required to treat it as if it were a court. This is especially important in cases like this, where a decision that Blasey-Ford’s accusations are credible will destroy Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation and career. Gillibrand is pretending, for the naifs and fools in her fan club, that losing those are trivial, since he isn’t going to jail. Moreover, Gillibrand and every one of her Democratic collegaues are not seeking truth, or an accurate assessment of Kavanaugh’s character. They have already announced that they don’t trust him, and that they don’t want him on the Court. Blasey Ford’s accusation is irrelevant to their decision, which is already made. They seek an excuse to do what they were already going to do.
What systems work like that? Corrupt systems, Rigged systems. Unjust systems. Totalitarian systems.
* “the thing speaks for itself”