Saturday, September 29, 2018

another week at least

Thanks to an own-goal by Senator Jeff Flake who, true to his surname, decided at the last minute that he would both vote for the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh and push for a week-long FBI investigation of Dr. Ford's allegations, the already-cumbersome process will drag on for another week. If you're a liberal Democrat, you will, of course, say that an FBI investigation is merely the right thing to do, and that the GOP has been wrong to resist it. To some extent, I agree, but only because I think Dr. Ford ought to have brought this problem up years ago instead of waiting thirty years to begin talking about this matter with a therapist in 2012, then waiting another six years to make the matter public right as Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing is occurring. I vented a bit about this on Gab, noting that, if I take one thing away from affairs like this, it's that there ought to be a nationwide, five-year statute of limitations on claims of sexual harassment. If a victim of harassment chooses—and she does choose, so don't take her agency away and make her into a helpless, shrinking violet of a victim—to wait more than five years to report a crime done against her, well, that's on her. Sorry, ladies, but you have a duty to see that justice is done, and if you're unwilling to fulfill that duty after five years, which is a twentieth of a century, then be it on your head.

It's been noted in several articles that the president, not the Senate, is the one who must ultimately order an FBI investigation, so the buck stops at President Trump. But Jeff Flake has been wishy-washy about the Kavanaugh nomination from the start; he's considered a "moderate" Republican (although his voting record apparently shows little bipartisanship) who is also a never-Trumper. Again with the psychologizing: there's some speculation that Flake's actions are motivated by a dislike for Trump, which is why he has acquiesced to demands for an investigation. The problem, of course, is how this plays right into Democrat hands: let them get their fingertips around the edge of the door, and they rip the door right off its hinges. There are already howls that one week is not enough time for the FBI to do a thorough investigation, so there's every likelihood that the foot-dragging will continue through a good part of October.

Blowback will be a bitch, though: if Kavanaugh is confirmed, he's going to have a long, long memory of what he went through, and this will likely affect how he decides court cases as a Supreme Court justice. Also, if the Democrats succeed in toppling Kavanaugh, this will motivate Republicans to come out in droves to the voting booth come November, and the already-tenuous notion of a "blue wave" will be swamped by an even bigger red wave. Even if the Dems fail, their extravagant efforts at obstruction will be remembered. Either way, there are reasons for the GOP voter base to be fired up, and Senator Lindsey Graham's angry speech is one instantiation of that anger. This has been a dirty process; Graham was right to point that out. It's been made dirtier by the news that someone in Maxine Water's office is probably the culprit behind the doxxing of GOP senators. Maxine Waters is an idiot, but it would be wrong to underestimate her low cunning.

None of this improves my trust in government as a whole, and that's one way in which I swing right: I think government sucks. Its venality is currently on display (well, it's always on display) for all to see. Republicans still haven't learned the lesson that the Democrats are fighting for all the marbles; fools like Jeff Flake play right into this dynamic by allowing the Democrats yet another foothold. Until the GOP learns to fight as if its very existence were at stake, we can expect more fiascos like the one we're watching now.

Seen on Gab:

I'd like to give Ford the benefit of the doubt, but her inconsistencies make this hard.

Seen at John Mac's blog:

Someone had to go there.

ADDENDUM: we should note that Kavanaugh has already undergone checks from the FBI and other parties. From the above-linked article:

"Throughout this process, I've been interviewed by the FBI, I've done a number of 'background' calls directly with the Senate, and yesterday, I answered questions under oath about every topic the senators and their counsel asked me," Kavanaugh said in a statement. "I've done everything they have requested and will continue to cooperate."

Then, of course, there's Joe Biden's rather unwise comment from 1991 undermining the value of FBI investigations:

"The next person that refers to an FBI report as being worth anything obviously doesn’t understand anything," Biden said. "FBI explicitly does not, in this or any other case, reach a conclusion. Period. “The reason why we cannot rely on the FBI report — you wouldn’t like it if we did, is because it is inconclusive,” he continued. “They say ‘He said, she said, and they said.’ Period. So when people are waving FBI report[s] before you, understand they do not, they do not, they do not reach conclusions. They do not make, as my friend points out, they do not make recommendations."

Significantly, this was said during the Clarence Thomas hearings. I guess all those Democrats clamoring for the FBI to do something don't understand anything, right, Joe?

No comments: