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Reprehensible People.

Written By: - Date published: 1:05 pm, October 13th, 2018 - 80 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, culture, Ethics, International, patriarchy, Politics, Social issues, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics - Tags: , ,

There’s been a fair bit of sometimes nasty back and forth over Brett Kavanaugh’s  Supreme Court appointment. But the bit I’m not quite understanding is the apparent propensity of some people to believe that the better among us will tend to rise to positions of high office. The suggestion fueled by that belief – that Kavanaugh’s not fit to be a Supreme Court Judge – strikes me as painfully naive.

Our political, economic and legal systems are based on some downright awful notions of racial and gender superiority.

As Naomi Klein has noted in a fairly wide ranging piece at The Intercept that I’d urge be read in full –

Colonial savagery and land theft required the doctrine of discovery, manifest destiny, terra nullius, and other expressions of Christian and European supremacy. […] Patriarchy and the subjugation of women required an architecture of yet more pseudoscientific theories about female intellectual inferiority and emotionality.

What in god’s name possesses anyone to think that good people will percolate to the top of political and judicial systems that are rooted in that?

As Klein further notes, a liberal context all too easily translates to a story line at the individual level that insists

success does not come because you [are] showered with privilege. You [are] showered with privileges because you are better.

In other words and in short, Kavanaugh is powerful, and therefor Kavanaugh is correct. Ford is not as powerful, and the degree of irrelevance afforded her and her experiences is largely determined by her relationship to power. That’s about where it begins and ends. Call it the immunity or impunity of power and privilege – but whatever Kavanaugh did or didn’t do in his past, the salient point is that he never got caught for any of it, or if he did, he managed to use his relative power and privilege to slip the hook.

Someone should have given Christine Ford a heads-up on “the ways of the world” and disavowed her of any notion that systems given to celebrating power might react positively to the ethical suggestion of giving a shit about right or wrong, or of caring about injuries visited on less powerful people by more powerful people.

Even a cursory glance to 2011 and (rehabilitated?) Strauss-Kahn –  the general and largely successful attempts to undermine the integrity of a powerless person seeking redress for abuse suffered at the hands of a powerful person could, should or might have been enough for Ford to have at least prepared herself for the stone wall she was almost inevitably heading towards.

And if not that, then maybe she could have picked up a pointer from the case of “poor pampered” Ethan Couch who was somewhat successful in deploying a defence of ‘affluenza’ against manslaughter charges in 2013.

Sadly, Ford’s world view isn’t a view of the world we live in; is not the world maintained by our labours.

Kavanaugh isn’t some rotten apple spoiling a barrel. Kavanaugh is just another apple in a barrel of rot. And to extend the analogy, just as a corpse won’t be made vital by the application of potions and the chanting of incantations, so this world won’t be made better by way of wishful thinking and incremental reform.

When it comes to putrefaction, there are only a few limited options beyond stating the olfactory obvious.

80 comments on “Reprehensible People.”

  1. adam 1

    Not one devotee will change their mind Bill, not one.

    They are invested in the system, no matter how broken, corrupt, or vial it is.

    The idea that somthing is deeply wrong with the base of the system is too much to handle.

    They have the warm delusional drug of incrementalism to get them through all the bad days, and the worse ones to come.

  2. Incognito 2

    Yes, very well said and for me personally very timely too as I’m trying to grapple with an analogous situation in my life.

    The three options I can see:

    1) underground burial

    2) space burial (too expensive)

    3) cremation

    Many good people have tried to change the system from within but because of the hierarchical control one needs to rise to the top. Inevitably, during the rise to the top, if they ever get that far, they lose their integrity (‘soul’) and become ‘corrupted’, i.e. they become re-conditioned without realising and display some kind of Stockholm Syndrome towards the system. In fact, ‘convertees’ can be the worst of the lot, i.e. the strongest, loudest, most aggressive (militant) proponents of the system that they wanted to change once upon a time.

    The other way is to change the system from the outside. However, the system has heavily fortified itself and bulwarked against any attacks from outside; the legal-political framework has been set up to withstand any shocks (earthquake-proof) and to ensure (economic) stability (status quo and BAU).

  3. joe90 3

    Pricks are way past reprehensible.

    Here is a contract, designed for children, with an option to forfeit their rights, that 5-year-old asylum seeker Helen practiced spelling her name on. https://t.co/CTBdfeFVui pic.twitter.com/1Xj39n7RwZ— Sean Lavery (@SeanLavery) October 11, 2018

    Meanwhile, Helen's mother and grandmother were desperately searching for her, but she was placed in foster care soon after signing this form, having been misclassified as an unaccompanied minor. https://t.co/CTBdfeFVui— Sean Lavery (@SeanLavery) October 11, 2018

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-five-year-old-who-was-detained-at-the-border-and-convinced-to-sign-away-her-rights

    • Macro 3.1

      Exactly. I don’t think there is a word adequate enough to describe the contempt with which they should be held.
      Almost without exception the Repugnants are are old, privileged, bigoted, men, who lost their moral compass long, long, ago. The 5 Repugnant women on the Senate, are simply there to make the tea and cookies, and vote as they are told. Notice how Collins pulled her head in after that lunchtime “chat” with McConnell before the final vote.

      • joe90 3.1.1

        Sanctity of life Catholic.

        Justice Kavanaugh's first publicly recorded vote on #SCOTUS is to deny a stay of execution in a capital case: https://t.co/m7gspVGPh3— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) October 12, 2018

      • Bill 3.1.2

        Why separate out the Republican slice of what at the fundamental level is a homogenous elite for special consideration?

        • Macro 3.1.2.1

          I’m not sure you can lump the two together like that now Bill. There is a distinct wind of change happening in the US right now and it is being driven by women and youth. The Nancy Pelosies are on their way out, thank goodness.
          Tell me that this woman represents the elite:

          Lauren Underwood, Democratic House candidate in Illinois’ 14th district, is part of a record boom of women running for office in 2018 – from Congress to governorships to state legislatures across the country.

          But she didn’t just wake up one day and decide this was the year.

          The 31-year-old nurse, who also worked in the Obama administration Health and Human Services Department, says she hadn’t really considering running for office…but then, she heard that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was digging into the numbers to see where they might be able to compete in 2018.
          https://www.npr.org/2018/09/25/651085628/is-the-record-number-of-women-candidates-a-2018-blip-or-a-lasting-trend
          There are more women than men standing as Democratic candidates in the mid-terms.

          More Democratic women have been nominated in 2018 than ever before. The party is also embracing young and progressive emerging stars like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Andrew Gillum in Florida, who back progressive policies such as Medicare-for-all. Democrats have nominated candidates likely to become the first Muslim women and the first Native American woman in Congress. They also count among their ranks some more long-shot candidates who are historic firsts in their own right: The first transgender woman nominee for governor is a Democrat in Vermont.

          “Democrats have set or essentially matched records for the number of female, black and LGBT nominees.” Meanwhile, “Republicans’ diversity statistics have either remained static or declined in each category, leading to a heavily white, male slate of nominees.” Republicans seem to be retrenching in the white-identity politics that favored Donald Trump. Their candidates continue to be older, whiter and more often male.

          Perhaps inevitably, these differences are reflected in the policies each party pushes: While Democrats are leaning into energy and enthusiasm to motivate voters, Republicans are betting on fear and aversion to change. They are running campaign ads that look more like horror movies, with dangerous (often brown) criminals as the villains.

          https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/9/21/17850434/2018-midterm-elections-predictions-women-beto-orourke

          • Bill 3.1.2.1.1

            The Democratic establishment (gimme a better term?) is being challenged by progressive candidates and ideas. And it’s resisting.

            For now, the Democratic Party is what the Democratic Party is – a disconnected political junket for elites in the same way that the Republican Party is.

            Will the Democratic Party come to be seen a US version of the UK Labour Party that seems to have been wrested away from UK elites? We’ll see.

  4. RedLogix 4

    I read this several times and wondered if Redbaiter might not have been correct after all.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.1

      What was the gist of redbaiters argument?

      • Macro 4.1.1

        Essentially the same as Trump’s
        Explained here by Trevor Noah:

        • RedLogix 4.1.1.1

          Yeah after watching the left play victim politics for decades is it any wonder the right decided to start playing the same game back at us?

          The reality is shit happens in everyone’s life. It’s not evenly distributed (it would be truly weird if it was when you think about it, because that would imply some malicious mechanism meticulously arranging the books to ensure an equality of horrible outcomes), but the politics of whining about it are truly juvenile.

          • Macro 4.1.1.1.1

            NZ has a deplorable record of sexual and domestic violence Red, it is not something to be waved away as “shit happens”:

            Between 2009 and 2015, there were 194 family violence deaths, with intimate partner violence (IPV) deaths making up almost half of these (92 deaths). In 98 percent of IPV death events where there was a recorded history of abuse, women were the primary victim, abused by their male partner.
            One in three (35 percent) New Zealand women have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime. When psychological abuse is included, 55 percent have experienced IPV. In the year prior to the survey, 5 percent had experienced physical and/or sexual IPV. When psychological abuse was included, 18 percent had experienced one or more forms of IPV in the last year.
            In 2015/16, Women’s Refuge received about 73,000 crisis calls. 11,062 women accessed advocacy services in the community. 2,446 women and children stayed in safe houses.
            In 2016, 5,461 applications were made for protection orders. 89 percent were made by women and 10 percent by men.
            In 2016, there were 2,708 reported sexual assault victimisations against an adult over 16 years.
            In 2015/16, Child, Youth and Family received 142,249 Care and Protection notifications. 44,689 were deemed to require further action, leading to 16,394 findings of abuse or neglect.
            In 2015, NZ Police recorded 10 homicides of children and young people under 20 by a family member. 63 children aged 16 years or under were hospitalised for an assault perpetrated by a family member.
            The number of Police Safety Orders issued has doubled since 2011 (from 7,133 to 15,994). PSOs were introduced in July 2010.

            https://nzfvc.org.nz/news/nzfvc-data-summaries-2017-family-violence-reports-reach-record-high

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Let’s unpack just your first para. NZ experienced around 70 homicides per year; a total of around 400 deaths. Of that group only 92 (or about 23%) are attributed to IPV violence. Why elevate the tragedy of this group over the other 77% of homicides?

              And why omit that crime rates continue to fall?

              On average there were 74 homicides a year between 2007 and 2011, dropping to 63 between 2012 and 2016.

              The number of homicides sat at 58 in 2016. In 2017 it was even lower, at 48.

              The report also shows the murder rate is at its lowest since 1970, and under half of the rate in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

              https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/09/new-zealand-at-lowest-murder-rate-in-40-years-police.html

              The most serious crimes are committed by a relatively small minority, and most of them only offend once or twice. An even smaller fraction are the serial offenders who account for the majority of serious crimes. As a society we have no problem abhorring and exerting our best to prosecute these people.

              In terms of less serious offending all modern studies show that both genders engage in IPV violence at roughly similar rates. And only recently have we dared peel back the scab on the deeply troubling topic of female sex abusers. But instead we get only a carefully curated slice of the action, a one-sided view that erases much of the complexity and nuance of why people behave badly.

              My argument all along was simple; that the root causes of violence and abuse lie deeper than the selective gendered arguments the left has promoted for decades. Instead of blaming patriarchy, we’d be a lot better off examining our own inner natures and confronting the beast lurking within us all.

          • SPC 4.1.1.1.2

            Boy, have you drunk the rights Kool Aid?

            The white (Christian) man on the political right has been frightened over loss of power in society for decades. Murray Ball’s Stanley was mocking it back in the 70’s. Archie Bunker etc.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Actually quite the opposite. Given that your much maligned white Christian males invented much what you think of as the modern world … our record in sharing it and extending it outward with the rest of the planet is quite remarkable.

              It wasn’t ever a deliberate or conscious process, and it’s fumbled along quite gradually over many centuries, but when you compare our current state to that of say the 1600’s, the overall direction of change is stark and astonishing.

              Right now I’m working on a global scale project site in Latin America. Around me are people from over 23 different nations. It’s quite intriguing to watch how rapidly the ‘non-white, non-male, non-Christian’ peoples of the world are moving into a middle class space. And how very different my experience is to say that of George Orwell when he wrote of his time as a colonial administrator in India over a century ago.

              • SPC

                Your answer was yes, you just do not seem to realise it.

                Global market capitalism was/is colonialism 11.

                • RedLogix

                  I could have more accurately said and it fumbled along imperfectly over many centuries. And indeed you are correct, the primary mechanism which propelled globalisation forward was colonialism.

                  (As an aside it’s worth noting that colonialism itself is actually an improvement on the prior practice which was to invade a territory with as big an army as possible and either wipe out or drive out the peoples already there. Expansion by conquest makes colonialism look quite good.)

                  Around 1600 (an arbitrary starting point) there were roughly five significant groups in the world who could have progressed to on to colonialism; the Chinese, the Persian/Arabic Muslims, the Europeans, and perhaps the Mayans. Why the Europeans got there first is a fascinating and complex topic. It has nothing to do with them being racially or morally superior peoples (a mistake the Nazi’s more or less have trained us out of), but more to do with getting a hold a toolkit of scientific and social ideas that worked extremely well before anyone else. Hence the computer you type this on.

                  Over five hundred years or so we’ve seen the forms forms of empire evolve, from the early crudely militaristic endeavours, to the highly merchantile expansion of the neo-Chinese empire happening right under our noses. If there is one thing I think we might all agree upon, we all instinctly sense that the era of empires is over. Their disadvantages now outweigh the advantages, empires may have created a globalised planet; they are insufficient to sustain it. The imbalances of power and unjust economic extraction empires they impose are no longer tolerable.

                  I written here many times of the need to start thinking actively about what should replace it. In the absence of a democratically accountable, global federal governance, the unrestrained movement of capital moved into the vacuum and operates with little regard to local concerns. Hence climate change, the plastic pollution of the oceans, and over-extraction of resources, etc … global concerns which the nation state struggles to deal with. Moving past colonialism into an authentic globalism based in diversity and justice is the next major transition we all face.

                  But when I do write about this no-one is ever terribly interested; most seem more intent on their daily dopamine hit.

                  • xanthe

                    Well I for one am interested in further discussion of the topic you raise above Red. Possibly we could find a better venue?

                    • RedLogix

                      Appreciated. I’ve honestly never thought about another venue and your question catches me empty handed.

  5. David Mac 5

    Change will come slowly, I feel it is. Not so long ago Ms Ford would of received advice from all sources: “Don’t waste your time Chrissy, it’ll do your head in and you can’t win” and they would of been right. Kava? Nah won by a whisker. The next prince in waiting with Kavanaugh’s form may not even make the shortlist, I’m sure it’s drama the senators could do without. Dismantling ivory towers is a long arduous task of lots of little wins and those on the hog’s back are never going to willingly order the bacon burger.

  6. Wayne 6

    If Ford had even one bit of corroborating evidence, she would have scuppered Kavanaugh. For an event of 35 years ago, she needed more than her own statement. Someone from that time needed to support her statement.

    It is simply not true that people in powerful positions are immune. Plenty of such people in recent years have had to step down or have been prosecuted. It all depends on the evidence.

    For instance Judge Wilson from our own Supreme Court had to step down because he did not properly disclose a conflict of interest. Not even a criminal matter, rather one of appearances.

    • Bill 6.1

      First up, it was a job interview, not a trial.

      Second up (and as you might have picked up from the post if you’d read it), the suggestion is that some people labour under the false premise that bad people will be halted in their tracks “if only the good people who run things knew”.

      Third up. I never suggested that people in powerful positions were or are completely immune – that would be an absurd position to take.

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        First up unsupported allegations about what you may or may not have done as a teenager 38 years prior are not pertinent to a job interview. Everyone has a guilty little secret, everyone has someone who given enough motivation might come out of the wood-work with a tale of woe about some mis-step no-one else remembers. No-one passes such a test; nor should they.

        Second up, even then it’s plain, such is the atmosphere of moral panic in the USA at the moment, that if there had been one hint of corroboration Kavanaugh would not have been confirmed. The vote was close and could have easily swung the other way.

        Third up; quite the opposite, the underlying reason why this episode became so central is because making everyone vulnerable to the mere allegation of sexual misconduct is a very bad idea. The notion that ‘all women must be believed’ (and by logical implication ‘all men are liars’) was always going to stumble over itself at some point.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          Well in that case, god forbid any attempt is made to lift the lid on those tiny tin points of light that may or may not be illuminating anything worth while then, aye?

          Far better we stay enclosed in these dark little boxes nursing our various fears and prejudices.

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1

            At no point did anyone, anywhere here suggest that Ford should have not have had her day in the sun as it were.

        • McFlock 6.1.1.2

          Dragging someone onto a bed and covering her mouth to stop her screaming for help is a “mis-step”?

          Dude…

          [Asking politely that this train doesn’t get stoked any more. It’s on a track that just goes pointlessly round and round and round – though comments can, it’s true, get jettisoned to Open Mike. The post was an attempt to step away and get a sense of a bigger picture.] – B.

    • Chuck 6.2

      “It all depends on the evidence.”

      A point that seems to go over the heads of many here. Like or loath Kavanaugh Ford needed corroborating evidence as you have pointed out.

      Otherwise, we will have chaos…

      [And that is where dragging the comments down into some morass of “he said, she said” or “I believe/don’t believe” ends. You want to pointlessly rehash that stuff, then do it elsewhere] – B.

      • Gabby 6.2.1

        He came across as a bit of an arsehole though chuckers. Angry man, mean drunk, notta lotta gravitarse.

    • McFlock 6.3

      McConnell seemed pretty adamanant that Kavanaugh was going to get in, regardless.

      “Immune” might be a big call, like perfection. But Kavanaugh certainly had an uncommonly high level of protection for his alleged behaviour thern and his recorded behaviour in the hearings, and the contradictions between his selection hearing testimonies over the years.

      Does our system still have a level of integrity? In some ways, although I think the nats are as morally bankrupt as the victory-before-ethics republicans. But we still have some of the same ills that allow lots of shit to float to the top, rather than the cream.

      • Bill 6.3.1

        His behaviour in the hearings….I’m willing to grant his outrage was genuine. I’m also willing to grant his claim that Ford was a Democratic Party set-up as a sincere reflection of his mindset.

        In other words, I think the sense of entitlement and the level of disdain and disregard for ordinary people runs very deep.

        I might also think that Dianne Feinstein held on to the letter and resisted sharing it because she knows damned fine well how things work given that the two worlds (hers and ours) are not one and the same.

        Which might help to explain

        In July, Schumer openly refused to “deploy the whip” to prevent Kavanaugh’s appointment. Perhaps even more shocking, Tom Perez – the head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) – said that the DNC would continue to back Democrats even if they voted to confirm Kavanaugh. West Virginia Democrat senator Joe Manchin, meanwhile, actually voted for Kavanaugh.

        […]

        To top it all off, the Democrats’ leader in the US House of Representatives – millionaire Nancy Pelosi – confirmed that she opposes any possible impeachment of Kavanaugh.

    • Anne 6.4

      If Ford had even one bit of corroborating evidence, she would have scuppered Kavanaugh. For an event of 35 years ago, she needed more than her own statement. Someone from that time needed to support her statement.

      There was a person who was in that room Wayne but he refused to give evidence. I wonder why? Also, several former college mates of Kavanaugh wanted to testify to the truth of Kavanaugh’s apparent tendency to “drink himself blind” (something he has consistently denied) but they were denied access to the Clayton’s FBI Inquiry.

      I’m sure Kavanaugh is genuine when he says he doesn’t remember the incident ever having occurred. He was too drunk to be able to remember it.

      I have had first hand experience of the misdeeds of a former senior public servant who lied to superior officers in Wellington. Because he was superior to me he was believed and I was punished. Yep. It can happen right here in NZ and it does happen here.

      Bill is correct. The powerful will always be believed over the powerless. Unless the powerless person can come up with a witness [the culprits tend not to misbehave when others are around – funny that) then the victim will always end up being blamed.

      • Treetop 6.4.1

        He was too drunk to be able to remember it.

        He may remember it, but not be able to recall her face.

        The incident you were punished for your honesty, did the incident occurr in the mid 1970’s?

        OK if you do not want to answer and no detail required if occurred in the mid 1970’s.

        • Anne 6.4.1.1

          I think I know what issue you are referring to Treetop. No, it was unrelated and it began 14 years later in a different environment.

          • Treetop 6.4.1.1.1

            I was punished for my honesty and I am contemplating what it will take for me to get through the police impass. Previous police commissioners need to be held to account, (politicians being lied to/misled by the police and the police not getting their facts right and no credible investigation was ever held).

            Police asked the person I accussed to look for a file which would of proved the officer gave a different version a decade earlier.

            The insulting and degrading remarks from at least a few officers made about me left me feeling nauseated.

            The cop I complained about dubbed me into the welfare officer and 4 years later the cop came to my home.

            I could go on and on and I have proof.

            • Anne 6.4.1.1.1.1

              @ treetop
              Compile the complete story from start to finish and attach any documents you possess to back up that story. Submit to an entirely new group pf police officers and/or their superior. Someone who would not have had anything to do with the original case. Explain the effect the accusations etc. had on you and make it clear you want a public apology for the way you were treated. If you have already done something similar in the past then try again. Distance from the incidents can help a lot when putting one’s story together.

              I went through something not unlike what you appear to have experienced, but it was with another govt. agency and I know the effects that false accusations can have on a person. I also know those effects can last for years.

              • Anne

                Btw, I meant to say “formal apology” not public apology.

                Also, I don’t know whether this applies in your case, but in my experiences the person (or persons) making false claims were doing so because they had something to hide, not the other way around.

                To moderator: the edit function is playing up again. It either times out or won’t process at all.

              • Treetop

                I read what you have to say. My situation is so contaminated that a barrister from overseas would need to be appointed and a psychologist specialising in PTSD.

                The time difference of decades can be sunlight, it is not my intention to upset the younger relatives of both families.

                See what Hager had to say this morning about Helen Clark probably being in the dark to awarding a corporal the second highest medal for being in a situation which now needs to be resolved. To deny the facts is dangerous to the well being of those involved, BUT there is a reaction.

                I raise what I say as it is relevant to reprehensible people.

                I think Bush is like the rest as he has not done the right thing over the planting of the cartridge case.

                I could have a change of heart were I to be convinced that an investigation would be done properly.

  7. McFlock 7

    Ford was aware of what she was considering, which is why she initially came forward in confidence. Once her name was leaked, the downside had already happened so she went public.

    I’m not sure she expected to end his nomination, just to make sure that everyone made the decision with all relevant information. Publicly. Some of the people who voted for Kavanaugh against the wishes of their electorates will be held accountable. They have to say they either didn’t believe or didn’t care, not that they didn’t know. And those who voted against Kavanaugh when their voters wanted him will face a similar level of accountability. That’s not a worthless outcome.

    BTW, I once read somewhere that shit floats when someone has too much fat in their diet. Don’t know how true that is, but it seems to be a metaphor of some sort 🙂

    • Bill 7.1

      I’m not sure she expected to end his nomination…

      Sure. We can only speculate on her expectations.

      But in the context of the post, the suggestion is that Brett Kavanaugh could have driven around with his mates “back when” and pissed or beaten up on terrorised homeless people, or maybe ripped small furry animals apart, and indulged in any number of reprehensible acts, and as long as he was never sprung and done for them at the time, he’d be getting ushered through whatever” hallowed doors”, with nothing aside from a knowing nudge accompanying that wink and nod from his peers.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        A year ago, maybe.

        But I think there’s a difference between getting a nomination rubberstamped with a nudge and a wink, and getting a nomination after the people he terrorised told the public exactly what his patrons were nudging and winking about.

        A lot of voters have had to think about their support for their incumbent over the past several weeks. Many have doubled down, many have reconsidered, but I guarantee loads have put more thought into it than they would have if Kavanaugh’s hearings had been more conventional. And I think that’s a good thing, whichever way voters end up going. At least it’s a more-considered opinion than it would otherwise have been.

    • Chuck 7.2

      “I’m not sure she expected to end his nomination, just to make sure that everyone made the decision with all relevant information.”

      I agree when she came forward in confidence, there was no way his nomination would/could have been curtailed.

      However, Fords details were leaked by the Democrats as they were desperate to have a liberal-leaning SCOTUS, stop any conservative appointments until they regained control of the process.

      • joe90 7.2.1

        Fords details were leaked by the Democrats

        Fact free assertion there, sport.

        More likely her letter was leaked as a GOP squirrel to divert from allegations about Kavanaugh’s judicial conduct, perjury, alcohol abuse, gambling, debt, and his sketchy AF financial goings on.

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          ISTR from the article I linked to above (WAPO has an article view limit) Ford’s letter went to the FBI, who redacted her details before it went to the white house.

          It could have been a leak from someone who saw the unredacted version.
          It could have been “hey, kav, who did you sexually assault in the 1980s?”

        • SPC 7.2.1.2

          The Democrats could have brought up all that anyhow and draw it into a package. But they were just too dumb.

        • alwyn 7.2.1.3

          “More likely her letter was leaked as a GOP squirrel”.

          Fact free assertion there, sport.

          Gee, your comment is certainly appropriate for that supposition, isn’t it?

          • joe90 7.2.1.3.1

            Chuck and the GOP fundies are asserting that Feinstein leaked.

            Because the Kavanaugh camp’s preparedness says they knew the allegations were coming down the pike, I reckon it’s likely she didn’t.

            Like the Access Hollywood squirrel, this has John Barron’s stickies all over it.

            .

            Making matters even more baffling, Whelan’s tweetstorm was ostensibly written before Ford reiterated her intention to testify — which is to say, when it still looked like Kavanaugh would be able to sail to confirmation without ever having to elaborate on his categorical denial of Ford’s claims.

            All of which prompts the questions: Would Whelan really have done something so audacious and risky without first seeking the approval of the confirmation campaign that he was advising? Would Orrin Hatch’s aide advertise an impending tweetstorm from Whelan if he was not in the know? And if Hatch’s office did have (at least) a general understanding of what Whelan had planned, is it really possible that Kavanaugh didn’t?

            http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/09/ed-whelan-brett-kavanaugh-twitter-theory-christine-ford-supreme-court.html?gtm=bottom&gtm=top

        • Wayne 7.2.1.4

          Joe,
          How could the Republicans have leaked the letter? It was in the possession of the Democrats, or rather a subset of them.

          • joe90 7.2.1.4.1

            The 12/9 Intercept article was vague, reporting only that a Kavanaugh related document was in Feinstein’s possession and on 13/9 the document was reported to be about possible sexual misconduct.

            On 14/9 contents of the letter were revealed without naming Ford.

            Between 14/9 and 16/9 when Ford outed herself, revealing death threats and email shenanigans, GOP wingnuts had learned who she was and succeeded in driving her and her family from their home.

            So either the press leaked her identity to the GOP, or the GOP already knew who she was. Looking at the ratfuckers running the shop, I’ll go with the John Barron squirrel.

      • SPC 7.2.2

        Not classy by the Democrats, given what happened was inevitable in their society.

        Not classy work by the Republicans either.

        She knew very well who it was she was accusing, it was definitely no one else but him – so their strategy of believing her story, but not believing it was him was fantastical.

        And it left the GOP Senators backing up a candidate to SCOTUS who refused to tell the truth under oath (the you cannot corroborate it if I do not admit it line and the related claim he never blacked out and forgot stuff). It brings the process into disrepute, but sort of indicates how far from a search for truth the process of the selection, appointment of a Justice involves when it is this partisan. And how far from the practice of constutional oversight the work of a Justice has become.

        As for the FBI the failure to identify the time and place of the incident indicates either gross incompetence or political capitulation to the executive bully.

  8. SPC 8

    Given the whole purpose of his career was to be a political appointee of the GOP to SCOTUS, he was always going to serve establishment privilege.

    And of course the US constitution was designed to preserve the established and privileged landowner from servitude to the urban democratic populace of men (let alone women and “human property). You know, oppose universal health care to all.

    And let’s be open about this both he and Gorsuch came from the same school – and being Jesuit schooled there wiould be nomistake about how they were expeected to vote to Handmaids Tale the USA (the adoption of the children of the single and poor to infertile middle class married couples).

  9. Chris T 9

    You have a point

    Look at Bill Clinton and Trump

    Difference is for some reason I have never been able to fathom people seem to gloss over Clintons antics

    • SPC 9.1

      And Kavanaugh worked for Starr trying to impeach Clinton for lying …. the irony given how many times his own testimony on the record is suspect.

      • Chris T 9.1.1

        The difference is Kavanaugh didn’t actually have any evidence against him that collaborated her version of events

        • SPC 9.1.1.1

          Don’t mistake the he said she said icing for the cake reocrd.

          • Chris T 9.1.1.1.1

            I have no idea whether he did it or didn’t

            No one seems to apart from him and her

            He may well have done

            But I just personally find this he is scum and should be hated, lose his job with zero evidence quite disturbing

            • SPC 9.1.1.1.1.1

              … I am not even referring to that as his historic record of dubious testimony.

              • Chris T

                Of course

                It is dodgy

                But then it has no relevance to the case unless you want what ever shadowy stuff she may have done to be taken into account to even everything out.

                The whole point of justice to me anyway is equal scales

      • Bill 9.1.2

        I’m going to suggest that whether we were to look at 1870 or 1950 (or whenever and wherever in “the modern” era), we’d see the same basic bullshit being played out by and between elites against the same backcloth that’s woven from deep disdain and disregard for those seen as the unworthy and lesser types – me and you.

        And in the 1870s and 1950s, just like now, we’d see far too many of us identify with one faction or other of that group of people who couldn’t give a rats arse about us. And then as now, there’d be pretexts for misdirecting our energies against one another, while then as now, elites would be sure to keep their antagonisms well within bounds that ensured the basic framework they occupy was never threatened.

  10. David Mac 10

    Christine Ford didn’t lose, I think she won where it matters.

    1000’s of booze prompted 18 year old future Kavanaughs considering, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t just stick my hand up her skirt.’

  11. JessNZ 11

    It’s Naomi Klein please, not Kline as you have twice. Cheers!

  12. Jackel 12

    I’ve been hearing the same tired old sucker lines from politicians all my life. Surely we have the wisdom to see past these and make a better world for our children and grandchildren. Until we the people collectively wake up to the truth, nothing will change.

    • David Mac 12.1

      Ha! Every comment fueled by: “Will this win or lose me votes?”

      It’s an unfortunate by-product of the best system we’ve got.

      “You won’t believe how fantastic this hurricane is going to be.”

      • Jackel 12.1.1

        I don’t know who the jester is, me or you. Be a happy wage slave then taking comfort in your crumbs, blanket and the lies of your masters. The gammons no longer run things anyway.

      • David Mac 12.1.2

        History’s giant politicians deliver bad news and gain support.

        We all know life. 100% good news has to be sugar coated in spots.

        I can imagine a family that had just lost a son repeating Winston’s words after a radio broadcast… “Yep, we will never surrender,”

  13. greywarshark 13

    Reprehensible people.
    I am probably going to get thumbs down for this but just looking at the Australian furore over the Opera house I was thinking:

    Alan Jones Australian squwarkhost –
    School‎: ‎Toowoomba Grammar School
    Place of birth‎: ‎Oakey, Queensland‎, Australia
    Date of birth‎: ‎13 April 1943 (age 75)

    Okey dokey, eh.
    Is it that our main problems lie within the narrow intellect of old white men and young male technodiddles? Perhaps if we could get rid of them both we could work out an elegant solution to how we live our last two decades before all goes belly up?

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/politicians-opera-house-racing-everest-work-20181010-p508t5.html
    And NSW Premier Gladys Berejilkian looks as if she has sucked a lemon. But who could blame her with the old rule-by-white-right Jones-type to deal with.

  14. Pete 14

    “Kavanaugh isn’t some rotten apple spoiling a barrel. Kavanaugh is just another apple in a barrel of rot. ”

    The President of the United States is Donald Trump, a pussy grabbing, lying, fraudster.

  15. peterlepaysan 15

    I am surprised that Kavanaugh’s performance at the Senate hearing did not disqualify him there and then. After that performance I would not let him judge a kid’s flower show.

  16. SHG 16

    “Kavanaugh” – the name lends itself to being enunciated with a certain pluminess, don’t you think?

    Yeah, fuck Irish immigrants and all their descendants

    • mpledger 16.1

      I remember a run of Shortland Street episodes in the 90s where every villain had an Irish surname.

      I also remember back in the 80’s when it was discussed in the media about whether Irish jokes were offensive or not – with a very vocal contingent saying ridiculing the Irish was ok.

      It’s the very long fingers of English prejudice that we don’t even realise we are still perpetrating.

    • Bill 16.2

      Erm. I was thinking more a cross between French aristocrat /English toff (and a vague recollection of an old English sit com). My bad on the assumed origin of the name.

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