Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/6/18: As “The Bad Guys” Throw A Tantrum Because Their Plot Blew Up In Their Smug Faces

Good Morning!

Wish I was there!

In this post, and later this one, I directly stated that the Left, “the resistance,” progressives, Democrats, had increasingly embraced objectively wrongful conduct and unethical means and objectives as routine, and that the Kavanaugh confirmation fiasco proved it. The commenter here who goes by the handle of “Chrissy Boy” accused me of being openly partisan, which is demonstrably false: I would write exactly the same thing about the Republican Party if it were trying to eliminate due process, the presumption of innocence, fairness, decency, respect for elections, respect for dissent, a competent and objective press, and the integrity of national institutions. But you see, the current strategy of the Left is to make it crushingly clear that you are either with them, or “the other.” They certainly don’t like being “othered” themselves, but when you set out to topple an elected government and a Constitution, that’s what you deserve. In one of its Sunday Reviews—they all run together, since it it is really “The Resistance This Week” under a deceptively neutral name—the New York Times led with an essay in which the writer wrote that the term “resistance” was unfair and untrue, since they were trying to “create a new nation” and the Trump administration was resisting the inevitable. That new nation, the last few weeks proved, would reject the values I just listed.

This is why, though I have a backlog of ethics issues on a variety of topics, as well as some excellent Comments of the Day that require posting, I have to use the limited time I have right now to chronicle the carnage of the Brett Kavanaugh Nomination Ethics Train Wreck, which, it appears though I am afraid to hope, includes dramatically reduced public support for the “resistance,” the news media, and the Democratic Party. President Trump’s approval ratings (whatever they mean) are way up. Approval of the Democratic Party is crashing, and with it the likelihood of a “blue wave” that might allow the Democrats to execute that coup they’ve been attempting. I have been counting on the historical, cultural reality that in the United States of America, we don’t like Bad Guys, and don’t want to support them. I am still hoping that this prompts the Left to have its Michael Douglas epiphany, and start being the Good Guys again. So far, however, the signs are not good.

Ann Althouse flagged this tantrum from Matt Yglesies at Vox  yesterday (several self-exiled Ethics Alarms progressives insisted Vox was an objective commentary site–suuuuure), neatly summing up:

When the Supreme Court gives lefties outcomes lefties like, they want conservatives to stand down and accept that the Court is doing proper, even brilliant, legal work.

Yes, this is a quality of Bad Guys: they have no integrity. Remember that same sex marriage decision that the evil old reloigious right claimed was “illegitimate” because it opposed “God’s law”?

1. It’s Hate Senator Collins Day! I’m not a Susan Collins fan, as I have always found her annoyingly wishy-washy, equivocal, pandering and a poor role model for women in power whose manner and speaking style illustrates why it is that more women aren’t in positions of power. However, she gave a ringing speech yesterday explaining why she would be voting for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, verbally nailing the coffin shut that contained the Democratic schemes to defeat him. My Facebook ffed is filled with people writing that she is a coward, a traitor (to her gender! to #MeToo!), an idiot. Althouse also flagged this comment (with over 1000 “likes”) to the Times piece, “Collins and Manchin Will Vote for Kavanaugh, Ensuring His Confirmation”:

Thank you Heidi Heitkamp, and thank you Lisa Murkowski for standing up for women and against sexual predators. And how about you Susan Collins? Do you want to be the only woman in the Senate to put a man creditably accused of sexual assault against multiple women who has clearly demonstrated his intent in the very recent Jane Doe case to eviscerate, if not overturn, Roe v. Wade? It’s time to stand with your sisters and vote “No!” to white male power and privilege to avoid responsibility for sexual misconduct by blaming and mocking the women.

I bet a lot of the angry posters on my Facebook feed agree with this fool. (By the way, that courageous Lisa Murkowski now says she will vote “present”). How, exactly, does voting down Kavanaugh stand up for women? Oh, right, that hypothetical future case threatening Roe that hasn’t been filed or argued yet but that everyone knows how Brett will decide on its yet-to-be-known facts and legal questions, since all females, including those who will be legally snuffed out of existence in the womb, support abortion on demand. Sorry. I forgot. How does voting against a man who has not been “credibly” shown to be a sexual predator any more than I have constitute “standing against sexual predators?” What, the Senate is now operated by gender-team voting? Wasn’t this the argument of Madeleine Allbright for voting for Hillary? Women haven’t yet figured out what is offensive, wrong, bigoted and stupid about this logic? It’s capitulating to “white male power and privilege” to reject the destruction of a distinguished public servant based on hearsay, rumor, and unsubstantiated testimony?

What has the last two years done to once functioning brains and consciences to make such garbage a popular and respected position?

I have been dropping this in multiple Facebook feeds in response to the anti-Collins hate:

“I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events. We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence.”—Senator Collins. The MONSTER!!!!

2. Is it fair that a ridiculous accusation causes people to doubt a more reasonable one? At Reason, Robby Souve makes the argument that publicity whore lawyer Michael Avenatti helped get Kavanaugh confirmed by adding his client’s accusation to the assault on the judge’s character:

The spotlight-stealing lawyer, who also represented Stormy Daniels, is responsible for drawing the media’s attention to Julie Swetnick, an alleged victim of Kavanaugh who told an inconsistent and unpersuasive story. Swetnick’s wild accusation provided cover for fence-sitting senators to overlook the more plausible allegation leveled by psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford, and to declare that Kavanaugh was being subjected to false smears…Avenatti—and to a lesser extent, Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow, who ran with a story so thin The New York Times wouldn’t print it—took the narrow question of whether Kavanaugh or Ford were more believable, and raised the stakes by asserting he was a serial sexual abuser, rather than an inconsiderate, sexually aggressive teenage drunk. It was always going to be easier to poke holes in the grander narrative. This very well may have been a gift to those who were looking for cover to vote for Kavanaugh.

It’s unfortunate for the anti-Trump resistance, and for Ford, that Avenatti couldn’t help but make the story about him.

Logically and ethically, the incredible and dubious story told by B cannot and should not undermine the credibility of an accusation by A….unless it reasonably suggests a relationship between the stories, and a coordinated smear campaign. On one hand, in sexual assault he said/she said scenario, the existence of other, subsequent credible accusers enhances the credibility of the first one. (See: Cosby, Bill). If, however, those subsequent accusers’ stories seem contrived and unlikely, as all of the post-Ford accusations were, they create a context for the original one that undermines credibility.

I’m not sure that’s wrong.


27 thoughts on “Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/6/18: As “The Bad Guys” Throw A Tantrum Because Their Plot Blew Up In Their Smug Faces

  1. Yesterday I went onto Twitter after Sen. Collins spoke to get the link to her speech and was shocked. Those denigrating/threatening her (including sexual & physical violence) didn’t listen fully or only heard what could be twisted into something else. Collins discussed how Kavanaugh’s opinions of SCOTUS rulings regarding civil rights and abortion were the same as the Left’s. She noted fairness is most important in times where passions run high. She defended Feinstein. And she said this:

    “When some of our best minds are seeking to develop ever more sophisticated algorithms designed to link us to websites that only reinforce and cater to our views, we can only expect our differences to intensify.”

    All this was ignored. Even now there are harassers outside Sen. Collins home “reminding her” they are “not going to make it easy” on her and those who wrongthink. So much for a woman’s right to choose – her own beliefs based on evidence. Attempting to ruin Kavanaugh isn’t enough. Any and everybody, even if they agree with or uphold Leftist talking points, is a target for mafia style loyalty tests and reminders to “stay in the family” so to speak.

    Alizia has been right on a key point; that we live in a world of mind manipulation that has been ongoing and has deep roots in many institutions including education, Hollywood, media, and the military. This carnival of lost souls displaying violent threats has been massaged by propaganda and humanism for generations. From Nietzsche to Huxley to The Frankfort School to Keynes to William James, Edward Bernays, John Dewey, Alfred Kinsey, Darwin, Julius Wellhausen, B.F. Skinner, Margaret Sanger, Marx, Freud, Maslow, etc. – moral relativism, nihilism, and creating chaos to confuse and control has been deeply embedded into the American psyche. This country isn’t about to be lost to socialists, it already has been.

    Interestingly in the last year there has been little talk of helping women protect themselves from sexual assault/violence. Believing women are susceptible to such attacks at any moment should mean women do everything in their own power to protect themselves. From self-defense classes to carrying mace (my motto: Have grace but just in case carry mace) to simply being more watchful and aware of their surroundings, women have the power to lessen such attacks. But that would lessen the number of those who identify as a victim. There often needs to be a villain and victim for mythologies to manipulate effectively.

    I’ve keenly grasped this week in grieving for a family member who died tragically, and from the dystopian clown show (phrase from another commenter here) that has been the confirmation hearings, life is not fair. A more perfect union is all there is, more perfect, not perfect. People capable of reason engaging in Alinsky style dialectical warfare only gives those who wish to destroy in order to “create a new world” more fuel. Instead I suggest that those who are able, adhere to the golden rule. Reasonableness is a behavior we cultivate no matter how much were goaded. Getting away from social media helps too.

  2. ‘The Sisterhood’-how I have come to loathe that term. I am sure that it meant something once, perhaps back in the early days of second wave feminism (ironically the time when feminists embraced radical Marxist teachings and turned the greater movement into the sociopathic, morally devoid political juggernaut that we know and love today), however the term is now used as club, with which to beat any woman who DARES to question established dogma of victimhood.

    • As do I. As someone who was relentlessly bullied throughout my school years, I know from the inside that ‘The Sisterhood’ is (pardon me) bullshit. If you’re in lockstep, you can be a member. There’s nothing sisterly about it.

  3. You, Jack, have unequivocally migrated into the realm of the bad guy since the [preponderance of your posts have taken to task those firmly sitting around the campfire left of center. I occasionally post one of your blogs and now you have – among my semi-friends left of center – to be dismissed with the various and rather simplistic chants from their chorus as another “far right kook.” I am tired of providing endless documentation from your archives that tell a different tale.

    You are now a firm 99% blogger. If someone disagrees with you just that simple 1% you are dismissed as that “far right kook.” What is the key is the fact I don’t want to agree with you, nor do I want to agree with the various essayist that infiltrate various sites – especially the media outlets. If I read just the camp followers it is similar to going 30 miles for ice cream and ordering vanilla.

    • I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, Rick. (By the way, I did a full post debunking the “preponderance of the posts” test—do I have to do it again? Or why don’t you do another one?) The left has been actively trying to undermine our basic institutions and divide the country since the 2016 election. Should I ignore it? Write about men in Lobster hats? Pretend it’s fine? Is the news media biased toward conservatives now? Screw that trap: oppose the Left when it violates all basics of political decency and societal comity, and I’m a far right kook? Crazy people think they’re sane.

      I resent your comment, and I resent your characterization. I go where the ethics go.

        • Now Hembree and his awful BB/9 and HR/9 is available to the Noo Yawk mashers.

          I have been called a “leftist,” “Nazi,” “Racist,” etc. the last few weeks depending upon position I have taken. At least I have not been sued – yet. I have firmly given up defending you, Jack, since no matter how much evidence I present it is ignored or simply gets me the designation of “Far right kook” from those who dismiss you as such. Can we form a club?

          The posters who have left over your perceived shift apparently wish to avoid anyone disputing what has become an incredible and predictable tune from the left. I have repeatedly pointed out to those on FB that have taken you (and me) to task where you have called the shots ethically on both the right and left, but, hey – who needs any stinkin’ facts!

            • The bullpen is loaded with the “Good Hembree” or the “Bad Hembree.” That applies to just about all of them. Just who will show up? The 11.9 K/9 for Hembree is nice with the free-swinging Yankees. Wright could be missed if multiple innings are needed tonight, but I enjoyed the doubleheader sweep yesterday. Kavanaugh winning game one and Sale the nightcap.

        • I’ve learned so much from this site.
          It is sufficient to recognize the ethical conflicts [of schadenfreude], make a note, be aware of the bias, and then move on.
          Therefore, I’m officially glad [not Aaron Judge, but] Stephen Wright is injured.
          Actually, I’m not glad, and I wish Aaron Hicks were healthy for tonight’s game as well.

          • Yes, I’d trade losing Wright for the Yankees missing Hicks any day. But in the play-offs and post season, I want all the teams healthy. Red Sox in 1967: no Tony Conigliaro. 1975: Jim Rice injured. 1986: Tom Seaver injured.

      • Jack, I interpreted Ricks comments differently. The sentence where Rick says I don’t WANT to agree with you suggests he is in conflict with trying to remain faithful to his left of center camp fire friends that call you a right wing kook while acknowleging the rational ethical thought process you demonstrate as evidenced by the last sentence of the first paragraph.

        I apologize to Rick if my understanding of his comment was way off base.

        • Correct, Chris. I have – like Jack – an ever diminishing group from the left simply for defending Jack et al on the constant harping (to them) of the excesses on the media and the left. I have a world of patience and am exceedingly polite, but the haranguing I get it is tempting to use language I have solemnly avoided.

          • There is no greater a fan than he/she stays loyal for a lifetime, through the ups and downs, and knows its history.

            Best of luck to the Red Sox.

      • I omitted preponderance which certainly falls into what I said about 99%. The whole “In the eye of the beholder” aspect. It seems that the left since “The Day After” has provided a wealth of material regarding just the points you consistently bring up. You are just a messenger for a message being ignored.

      • he left has been actively trying to undermine our basic institutions and divide the country since the 2016 election for three decades.

        Fixed it for you.

        Can there be any doubt that this is where liberals and their future executioners, the progressives, have been going all along?

  4. The monster in this case is teaching us as a country what should be. A sesame street level legal lesson, unfortunately some of the left is not ready for Sesame Street, they are still on the wiggles.

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