I won’t comment in detail on the Kavanaugh hearings today because as of this writing, they’re still going on. Just to make a few early observations:
Both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh presented emotional testimony that their supporters will find believable. But only Kavanaugh presented any actual evidence. Dr. Ford’s testimony was moving, and it made it easier to believe that something happened to her that affected her deeply and that she may be sincere. But her testimony actually raised more questions than it answered.
For instance, she claimed that she was too afraid to fly to come to DC, but her testimony revealed that she flies often. She claimed she didn't know that the Committee offered to send someone to her, but everyone knew that (I wrote about it here.) She dismissed her female friend’s sworn denial that she was present at this alleged attack by saying she has “health problems,” whatever that means. Even if she did panic and flee without warning her girlfriend of the danger, that doesn’t explain why her friend wouldn’t remember now or notice then that her girlfriend suddenly disappeared from a party with only five attendees when she was seven miles from home and couldn’t drive, or why she didn’t call Ford’s parents to make sure she was okay. Only the decision to handle her with kid gloves prevented questioners from drilling down on these logical inconsistencies.
Kavanaugh, on the other hand, was also emotional, something some liberal commenters tried to turn against him as showing he didn’t have the “temperament” to be on the Supreme Court. If he is falsely accused, as he says, then it takes some major gall to use the fact that he’s upset that you have tried to destroy his life, reputation and career as your new reason to oppose him. But Kavanaugh also offered something Dr. Ford didn’t: not only sworn denials from the witnesses his accuser cited, but a hand-written 1982 calendar/diary showing that he was at other places on every date that this could have happened. I understand why he choked up thinking about his father starting that tradition, but he must also be incredibly grateful that it was passed down to him. I bet it’s something the Committee Democrats never imagined he would be able to produce.
Kavanaugh’s worst moment was probably when he struggled to answer Dick Durbin’s pressing him to demand an FBI investigation of himself. It was a disingenuous attack, but effective. Kavanaugh (who has already been through six high-level FBI background checks) tried to explain why, with no evidence or details of the allegation, all the FBI could do is interview the same witnesses who were sitting there testifying now. Plus, as Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho later noted, the Committee already conducted an investigation to interview all the people the FBI would, and Democrats refused to participate. Kavanaugh's response might have come across to some viewers as too lawyerly or evasive, but it was accurate. And he probably didn’t want to say what he knew to be true: Democrats aren’t pushing for an FBI investigation to learn anything. They want it as a political delaying tactic to get past the midterm elections. If you don’t believe me, here’s a Democrat explaining the uselessness of an FBI investigation in these situations:
Graham will be remembered
Two moments that will definitely be remembered: the normally congenial Lindsay Graham finally losing his cool at the Democrats’ sleazy character assassination tactics (one all-time Senate low point being grilling Kavanaugh about a flatulence joke from his high school yearbook) and letting them have it with both barrels:
The other was a much welcome example of grace and decency in the midst of the slimiest episode I can remember seeing in Washington possibly ever: when Kavanaugh said he bore no ill toward Dr. Ford and her family and was incredibly proud of his daughter Liza for suggesting that they pray for her. He said, “That’s a lot of wisdom for a 10-year-old.”
It’s certainly a lot more wisdom than I’ve seen on display in the Senate recently.
Add Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to the “step down for violating your oath of office to protect the Constitution” list.
President Trump's press conference
Believe it or not, there were other things in the news yesterday besides wild, out-of-left-field sexual accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. For instance, President Trump held a remarkable press conference in which, for 83 minutes, he took questions, poked fun at the media, and shot from the hip with blunt, no-holds-barred responses on everything from China to Canada to Syria to, yes, the allegations against Kavanaugh.
Naturally, the media went into full TDS meltdown mode afterward, hand-wringing that Trump’s comments were “outrageous,” “narcissistic” and “unhinged.” They forgot to include “honest,” “refreshing” and “wildly entertaining.” Also pretty darn remarkable for a man who allegedly is suffering dementia and can barely string two sentences together in meetings, according to at least one recent “insider” tell-all book.
Incidentally, look out for the cameo by CNN’s Jim Acosta attempting to play a journalist and lecture the President of the United States on how to conduct a press conference. Polish up that Razzie Award for Worst Performance of 2018! Here’s a direct link if you’re in a hurry.
Time to step aside folks
As I’ve watched the attacks on Judge Brett Kavanaugh move from their initial Salem Witch Trial interrogation phase into the full blown mass hysteria of a growing chorus of accusers screaming, “I saw goody Kavanaugh with the Devil!" (and Democrats insisting that the sheer numbers of people screaming hysterically make the story more likely to be true), one thing has become crystal clear:
It is time for someone to step aside from high office in DC. And I’m not talking about Kavanaugh. I am calling upon the following people to immediately “step aside” from their positions in the United States Senate:
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who declared that a “sworn allegation” was solid enough evidence to force Kavanaugh to withdraw; Chris Coons (D-DE), who said that Kavanaugh “bears the burden of disproving these allegations;” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), who managed to come out against both due process and free speech rights at once by saying that all men should just “shut up” when a woman makes a sexual assault allegation; Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and the list may yet grow longer.
Note that I’m being incredibly lenient by not including Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Kamala Harris (D-CA) or Cory Booker (D-NJ), despite their outrageous, reprehensible and self-serving behavior during this period, only because, to my knowledge, they have not yet explicitly called for overthrowing due process rights and declaring Kavanaugh guilty on allegations alone unless he proves himself innocent.
Also please note: I am not calling on these Senators to resign for partisan reasons (I’d say the same to any Republican who similarly treated the Bill of Rights like a roll of Charmin); nor because I think that they are acting as vicious, unfair partisans without regard for the terrible damage they are doing to the social fabric of America, although that’s all true. I’m calling upon them to resign because they have all publicly, blatantly and willfully violated their oaths of office.
This is the oath that all Americans take upon assuming the high responsibility of being a US Senator:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Each and every one of the people I named above has now come out publicly against the sacred rights of due process, enumerated in the Bill of Rights (part of the Constitution.) Although the presumption of innocence isn’t explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, it dates back to ancient Rome; it’s a bedrock of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; it’s generally held to be an implied right by the 5th, 6th and 14th Amendments; and it was established as precedent in the case of “Coffin v. US” (1895.)
It is up to Judge Kavanaugh to decide whether dealing with this tsunami of slander is worth it or to step aside from consideration for the position of Supreme Court Justice. But there is absolutely no question that the people I named above have violated their oath of office by misusing the power, publicity and prestige that comes with it to advocate for the shredding of basic civil rights enshrined in the very Constitution that they swore to “support and defend” as a condition of taking office. Through their words and deeds, they have proven themselves unworthy to hold that office.
Therefore, I call upon them all to resign from the United States Senate. Right now, before they do any more damage.
Or in their own parlance: Do the right thing and step aside.
HHS cancels contract
This story happened Monday and got buried, but it’s too important to be overlooked: the Department of Health and Human Services has canceled a contract with Advanced Biomedical Resources to provide fetal body tissues for medical experiments. In a statement, the HHS said, “HHS was not sufficiently assured that the contract included the appropriate protections applicable to fetal tissue research or met all other procurement requirements. As a result, that contract has been terminated.”
As a reminder, this is the company that was implicated in the undercover expose videos of Planned Parenthood workers allegedly discussing how much money they charged for selling various body parts of aborted children. PP denied the allegation and tried to suppress the videos, but apparently, the HHS wasn’t convinced.
There’s much more detail at the link, along with a comment from the group behind the PP undercover videos noting that this is just a “small first step” in ending the trafficking of body parts of aborted children for taxpayer-funded medical experiments. True, but a small first step is more than the victims of Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills ever get to take.