That hymn always makes me feel better. I’m not sure whether that’s because Sir Arthur Sullivan wrote the music, or because it makes me think of “Mrs. Miniver”…anyway, there’s lots to cover today, so this is a two-part warm-up…
1. Is this signature significance, or was Jordan Peterson just having a bad day? The cultishly popular Canadian clinical psychologist and the author of “12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos” raised eyebrows across the land when he tweeted that if Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed, the ethical thing for him to do was to step down. His comment came in response to a jaw-droppingly foolish thread of tweets by brothers Eric and Professor Bret Weinstein. In the thread, Prof Weinstein said any outcome of the Judge Kavanaugh confirmation was “unacceptable,” arguing that Kavanaugh had a “limited point of view,” was “the kind of adult that entitled punks grow into” and would undermine the Supreme Court’s legitimacy.
I’d love to see the research demonstrating that assertion about the kind of adults punks grow into. One such “punk” grew into James Garfield. Another grew into Barack Obama.
But I digress. After Kavanaugh’s suggestion of how to resolve Bret Weinstein’s problem, the other Weinstein tweeted, “This position is held in varying forms by nearly everyone thoughtful with whom I’m speaking.” Have you ever seen a better illustration of the left-wing bubble? Nearly everyone this guy knows thinks that it makes sense for Kavanaugh to resign! Who are these deluded, confused people?
I find this bafflingly incomprehensible. Appease disproven accusers?
Ugh, no. Giving in to the screaming hysterics and bullying tactics won’t suddenly, magically restore sanguinity to America and sanctity to the Court.
Why? He should just give up and quit because of false allegations? I am really disappointed in you Mr. Peterson. Don’t you teach that Men should not be cowards?
My reaction to Peterson’s theory is best illustrated by this film clip…
Later, Peterson issued a slightly less stupid refinement, tweeting that he wasn’t sure if Judge Kavanaugh quitting now was the “right move”, but it would allow a “less divisive” figure to gain the nomination:
“I’m not certain that is the right move. It’s very complex. But he would have his name cleared, and a figure who might be less divisive might be put forward.”
Huh? How would the new Justice resigning after false allegations “clear his name”? As for the naive “less divisive” theory, here was a great comment on the Althouse thread regarding Peterson’s gaffe:
Today they’d howl over Garland. There is no less divisive candidate. That was the point of BK, he was a certified moderate conservative mainstream judge. The only way a candidate could satisfy the Left is if he strangled Trump with Thomas’s intestines. Twice.
Which brings me back to the original question: is it fair to recalibrate one’s opinion of Peterson based on one really dumb opinion, on the theory that someone as smart as he’s alleged to be would never make such a ridiculous suggestion? That’s signature significance. Or is the ethical reaction to give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he was just foggy for a while, or put it off on the fact that Canadians just don’t get U.S. Politics?
2. Now THIS is signature significance! Following up on the unethical anti-Kavanaugh letter from “2400+” law professors, the University of Vermont faculty beclowned itself with this letter. I’ll bold the best parts, and interject…
University of Vermont Faculty AGAINST Kavanaugh and FOR Survivors of Sexual Assault
This is what is called a “false dichotomy.” Students should be taught that, but teachers who can’t spot it are unable to do it.
We, the undersigned University of Vermont (UVM) faculty, write in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and all survivors of sexual assault.
All survivors of sexual assault are not involved in the Kavanaugh confirmation. Ignoring Ford’s actual accusations and credibility and instead turning her into a collective symbol of real, proven victims is one of the oldest advocacy tricks in the book (Clarence Darrow was a master at it), but it is essentially dishonest.
We also write against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and against the toxic conditions of gender, sexual, and racial inequality and violence that have been fomented by the country’s highest office holders. These are the toxic conditions that gave rise to Kavanaugh’s nomination and that his elevation to the Supreme Court would reinforce, including at the University of Vermont and in our wider community.
A judge like Brett Kavanaugh could have been nominated by any U.S. President with conservative leanings going back to George Washington. Now it’s Kavanaugh who is being turned into a false abstraction.
This section IS signature significance. No college with a balanced, competent faculty that isn’y so politicized that an education there is guranteed to consist of four years of indoctrination could produce such malarkey.
Last week UVM Police released its crime statistics for 2017 including 20 reported cases of rape and “fondling,” 14 reported cases of domestic violence, and 25 reported cases of stalking. These are only the cases that were reported, just one indication of how a nationwide culture of sexual predation and violence pervades our own campus, dorms, classrooms, workplaces, and neighborhoods.
Objection! Relevance? If UVM is doing such a terrible job creating a culture on campus that respects women, I’d suggest that the faculty look in the mirror rather than blaming Brett Kavanaugh.
Of grave concern to us as well is the combined force of racism and misogyny that has been escalated and legitimated by the Trump White House and its appointees and nominees–its effects visible in racist messaging and threats on campus and cited by Vermont’s only female legislator of color as necessitating her resignation.
Oh! I get it now! The faculty is using the Kavanaugh nomination as an excuse to continue using standard issue “resistance” fear mongering and hate to undermine the elected government!
With this letter, we call on the U.S. Senate to commit to a thorough and independent investigation of the claims of Dr. Ford and of all other women against Kavanaugh.
Translation: we are trying to help the Democratic Party by stalling the vote, which has been the open strategy for the beginning.
We further call on members of the University of Vermont community to stand with Dr. Ford and with survivors of sexual assault, and we call on the UVM administration to increase prevention strategies to combat assault and improve the humane and sensitive treatment of victims who report sexual violence. With and beyond this letter, we commit our voices and our power to oppose the confirmation of Kavanaugh and to the multiple threats he represents, including to the integrity of the judicial process itself.
I’m entering the “survivor” con in my growing files of popular dishonesty I vow to flag every time I see it. The use of the word to describe women like Ford is designed to make them immune to challenge or criticism.
Meanwhile, note the lack of any acknowledgment of a parallel duty of fairness, respect, due process and presumption of innocence for those accused. To crypto-totalitarians like the signatories of this letter, only favored groups have rights.
It is parental malpractice for and family to send a child to attend this vile school. doing so is like the pod-people parents in “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers” laying the soul-sucking pods next to their sleeping kids.