There are so many things in today’s post-Kavanugh confirmation Politico piece that might explode an ethics-savvy readers’ head, the CDC should seek leave to ban it as a menace to public health. The Thing is titled, Democrats Fear They’re the Wet Rag Party: Kavanaugh’s victory leaves many on the left saying it’s time to get mad—and even, and better proof of the reality of Trump Derangement and the ethics collapse of the Left would be hard to find.
A digression: Well, not TOO hard. A novelist and passionate progressive blogger named Chuck Wendig published this Twitter rant after the confirmation vote:
There will be renewed calls for civility. Ignore them. They ask for civility as a way for you to grant them complicity in what they do. Civility is for normalcy. When things are normal and working as intended, civility is part of maintaining balance. But when that balance is gone, civility does not help return it but rather, destabilize it further. Because your civility gives them cover for evil. Note: this isn’t the same as calling for violence. But it is suggesting that you should not be shamed for using vigorous, vulgar language. Or for standing up in disobedience. Or for demanding acknowledgement and action in whatever way you must.
Fuck Trump. But he’s just the ugly fake-gold mask they’ve put on this thing. Fuck all the GOP, fuck that blubbering, bristling frat boy judge, fuck McConnell, Ryan, Grassley, Collins, every last one of them. Fuck them for how they’ve shamed victims and helped dismantle democracy. They will tell you to smile, that we need to get back to business, that we gotta heal the rift and blah blah blah — but that’s the desire of a savvy bully, who wants you to stop crying after he hit you, who wants you not to fight back. But you can cry. And you can fight back. They can eat shit. All of them. They can eat a boot covered in shit. Winter is coming, you callous fucknecks, you prolapsed assholes, you grotesque monsters, you racists and rapists and wretched abusers, you vengeful petty horrors.
Sidenote: some will tell you to be civil because our rage and scorn will fuel the other side, but fuck that double standard in both its ears.
Well, if you hadn’t said those SASSY WORDS and demonstrated ANGER at our whittled-down democracy, I for a second might’ve been convinced not to eat this baby. But fie! Fie on you! Your incivility MADE me eat this baby!” Spoiler warning: they were always gonna eat that baby.
PS— It’s okay if you’re not okay.
I keep hearing the talking point that confirming Kavanaugh somehow undermined democracy. This is essentially a Big Lie, which the Democrats and “the resistance,” being totalitarians in training, are employing with increasing frequency, if not deftness. Democracy is allowing elected Presidents to appoint qualified judges to the Supreme Court, which is what Trump did, and the Democrats tried to prevent. Our democracy demands the presumption of innocence and due process, which Democrats tried to declare null and void. Our democracy demands equal justice under law, which means that accusers and the accused both have rights, and one gender isn’t accorded greater deference than the other.
How did poor Chuck’s brains and values get this scrambled?
End of digression: back to Politico. Reporter John Harris tells us that Democrats think they were too nice when they employed every cheap trick, unfair avenue of inquiry and a series of late, legally and factually dubious attacks on Kavanaugh’s character to defeat or at least delay his confirmation.
Does this post-confirmation quote make your head explode?
“They are more ruthless,” said Jennifer Palmieri, who over a quarter-century has served as a top aide to Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. “And I don’t want to be like them. … The answer can’t be for Democrats to be just as cynical.”
A veteran CLINTON aide says Republicans are more ruthless, after Democrats orchestrated a smear campaign in which a judge with an unblemished personal and professional career was repeatedly called a sexual predator and a serial rapist in the absence of any reliable evidence whatsoever?
How about this one:
This is more or less the Michelle Obama Doctrine, as articulated at the 2016 Democratic convention, just a few weeks before Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump: “When they go low, we go high.” Post-Kavanaugh Democrats interviewed this weekend aren’t exactly repudiating this idea—but they are qualifying it in important ways. As they articulate it, their answer is to be more realistic about what they see as Republicans’ strategy to disregard principle and process in their pursuit of power—as they argue the GOP did in ramming through Kavanaugh despite accusations of sexual assault—and more disciplined in a long-term way in fighting back.
What alternate universe is Michelle blathering about? High? Refusing to accept the results of the election is high? Boycotting the President’s Inauguration and pressuring performers not to help the nation celebrate democracy in its traditional day of bi-partisan welcome to a new POTUS is high? Calling for impeachment before a new President takes office is high? Proposing or attempting one effort to defy the election after another—See Impeachment Plans A,B,C, D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L, M, and N–is high?
The Republicans “rammed” nothing through, except in the sense that they employed the norm-busting no-filibuster tactic that DEMOCRATS (Thanks, Harry!) rammed through regarding federal judges nominated by President Obama. The “nuclear option” is high? Not blocking a confirmation because of a one late hit accusation that is “credible” but unconfirmable, and two others that not credible and stink like a week-old cod is not “ruthless” or “going low” but known as “fairness” and “the presumption of innocence”?
If this article had been written BEFORE the Kavanaugh ethics train wrck rolled out of the station, it would have made my head explode. Sanctuary cities—high? Using and financing children to carry an anti-Second Amendment message to the public—high?
Advocating mob-harassing and bullying Republican officials and members of the Trump administration in restaurants and on the street—high? HIGH?
Now this one:
Republicans treasure their own grievances about what they view as the opposition’s willingness to win ugly (see Bork, Robert), often with the added claim that the “mainstream media” is serving as accomplice.
Claim???? Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Did the author read the web, newspapers, or any broadcast source other than Brietbart, the New York Post and Fox News? Is Politico kidding, lying, or hopeless biased?
CNN veteran Frank Sesno, who was last on the air when there was still some semblance of journalism ethics, took on CNN’s fake-ethicist hack Brian Stelter yestoday when the mainsteam media apologist defended the overwhelmingly biased coverage of the Kavanaugh hearings.
Stelter had downplayed the liberal media’s enthusiasm for smearing Kavanaugh as simply “misreporting” on their part. “Do you think the press is coming out of this looking weaker because many people feel that the press chose a side through this,” he asked Sesno?
Yes. Certainly, that’s the way it’s going to look to Trump supporters and to people who have been questioning media’s bias and their ability to report straight for a long time. We know where the public trust numbers are for the press, and it’s generally somewhere down below the basement.
Look, the fact of the matter is, by any reasonable measure, this has been an extraordinary week for this president. Forget the Russia investigation. Forget the tax story. Forget all the rest. Trade deal with Mexico and Canada, unemployment numbers that haven’t been this low since 1969. And following through on what he said, which was to remake the Supreme Court and a triumph with Kavanaugh himself.
The coverage has been unrelentingly negative. In many cases deserved that the kind of coverage a president – any president gets. But what the public and what the White House come away from this with is some fair territory to wag their fingers and say, I told you so. Even Joe Scarborough goes on the air says the mainstream media was unfair toward the President. So, there’s going to be some very serious thinking now and as the county – as you pointed out—as divided, more divided than it’s ever been coming out of this Kavanaugh thing around this stuff, I think the challenge grows greater for the media to figure out where it’s going and how it’s going to try to find as balance in all of this.
There are many more examples of delusion in the Politico piece, along with misleading stats and false equivalencies, but my head is in tatters. Oh all right, maybe one more: here’s what Politico, and apparently many Democrats, think are equivalent episodes:
Al Franken is a long-time liberal warrior accused of predatory sexual behavior who is now licking his wounds in exile.
Brett Kavanaugh is a long-time conservative warrior accused of predatory sexual behavior who is now licking his wounds on the United States Supreme Court.
Franken’s primary accuser had photographic evidence to back her complaint. Other accusations were never investigated, and Franken never clearly denied them. He did not have to resign, and indeed could not have been forced out of office based on what was alleged. Nobody called him a rapist or sexual predator, nor was he ever referred to as a predator. The Franken conduct that was supported by evidence all occurred while he was an adult, and shortly before his election. The behavior that was in the “he said/she said” category occurred while he was in office as a U.S. Senator. Franken resigned before any investigation took place because his own party deliberately sacrificed him, and he refused to fight for his job and his reputation.
There is no just comparison to Kavanaugh, who was supposed to be considered for the court based on his record as a judge, not as a “long-time conservative warrior.” The accusations against him all involved conduct allged to have occurred before he was an adult, or before he entered the workforce, and were decades old. Democrats, not Republicans, bullied Franken into resigning, so Democrats were not being “nice” by assaulting their own, and were definitely not “going high.” (They thought it would strengthen their claim that President Trump should resign because of accusations of pre-Presidency of sexual assault.)
If this is the kind of logic Democrats are going to use to justify becoming even more unethical than they already are, Heaven help us all.
And if this episode has further polarized the American public into two warring sides, it is not conservatives versus liberals, or Republicans vs Democrats. The distant sides consist of those who are willing to discard basic ethical values, decency and fairness, as well as due process, presumption of innocence, respect for our institutions and consistent standards equally applied, all in the pursuit of power, and those who are not.