The United States of Brazenness

The trait that has surged out of control in recent years, the one, above the rest, that makes people angry enough to punch each other now in the land of the free and the home of the brave, is brazenness.   You say I’m disrespectful?  How about I stare you down and punch you in the fucking face, is that disrespectful enough for you, ass wipe?

You see it on TV all the time in our violent, brazen culture.  Years ago a football player who did an in-your-fucking-face victory dance in the end zone would be carried out on a stretcher the next time he came on to the field.   The players would all be stone-faced about the accident that dislocated his leg, but the message would be delivered.  Don’t be a fucking hotdog.

Now we are Hotdog Nation.  If you don’t boast, brag, celebrate every small triumph, it is taken as a sign of weakness.   Humility is now widely regarded as a vice of the timid and a badge of inferiority here in Hotdog Nation.   If there are two widely hated political rivals vying for an important post, the one who rubs the other one’s nose in their excrement, not the one who takes what used to be called the moral high road, will most often be elected.  Brazenness pays.  Ask President Brazen.

And so it is with all of the unfairly maligned men in the president’s orbit.  If some bitch accuses you of doing, whatever, say it’s only something as innocent as good-naturedly lying on top of somebody, while both of you are drunk, and trying to cop a few innocent feels, you do what needs to be done.  You attack.  Go for the fucking face, punch, kick– if you can get your foot up in their face, that’s the best.  Why dirty your hands on a lying bitch if you can Bruce Lee her in the face a few times?   She won’t be talking shit so easily after a few good socks in the face, will she?   Death threats are good, if you’re really out there, there are risks, you know, but the threat of a lawsuit is often just as good as a death threat.   Most people will fold like a flimsy origami bird when the process server hands them the legal papers.

Of course, a long time rabid Republican operative, active during the Newt Gingrich revolution against that liar about a blow-job Bill Clinton, who ran into battle screaming, writing furious, secret memos to his boss Kenneth Starr, and later for Bush and Cheney, after being at the legal front of the mob of right wing lawyers who ensured that Mr. Bush’s chance to be president would not be harmed by a full recount of contested votes, well, a man with those credentials needs no lessons in brazenness.  Still, Mr. Kavanaugh is an impressive specimen of brazenness, as he must be to do what he does.

What he does is stand there and stink.

We don’t know if the now two women who have reluctantly come forward with allegations of long ago sexual assault, amid death threats for the first and blanket denials from most people contacted in the case of the second,  are 100% credible.   That is why the accusers themselves are calling for an FBI investigation, since otherwise partisan witnesses tend not to lie to the FBI the way they might when asked to sign a letter, or are questioned by a journalist who irrationally hates the president.   We do know that, while impressively brazen, the barrage of denials from the White House and the nominee are mostly a fine spray of aerosolized pig feces, mixed with urine and blood.   There is a reason for this.  

When we create bacon, ham, pork chops and all those delicious things made from pigs, it takes a certain amount of time to get the little suckers good and fat.   Nothing hard to understand about that, right?  While we are growing them big and delicious, they have to make.  They make every day, a few times a day.   There might be a hundred thousand pigs, or more, at any given time, in a decent sized pork facility.   What do you do with all that disgusting stuff they make when they’re alive– and with the inedible bi-products they leave behind when they are turned into delicious cuts of meat?   You make a lake, and dig it deep, if you have any plans to be in business for a while.  No matter how deep you dig it, if you are successful, you will need to start getting rid of some of that mixture of urine, excrement, blood and pus from infections.   Otherwise, it will overflow, obviously, and cause disgusting problems.   A problem: an opportunity to be creative.

So here’s what you do: you stick a pump into the bottom of this stinking muck, connected to a hose with a spray nozzle.   I don’t know the science, exactly, but you get the pump going, raise the hose high into the air and turn the nozzle of that hose on.  A very fine spray, the finest spray, of whatever you want to call that stuff, can be sprayed high into the air, lowering the level in the lake.  That’s what we do anywhere there is a lake of pig waste.  

The mist falls on the poor, the only people who would be stupid enough to live near an industrial pig farm.   The stink of those farms is unforgettable, if you’ve ever driven past them with the windows up, trying to hold your breath, you will never forget the stench.   Poor people have to get used to it.  As soon as they see that plume of spray going up into the air over their homes, the smart ones stay inside and make sure all the windows are shut tight.  There are always some, of course, who walk outside and get soaked with the stuff.  That’s because there are winners and losers.

Winners gloat, and losers suck it.  Call it brazen if you like, the attitude of entitlement on the faces of those of us who will never be stupid enough to walk in a misty rain of pig waste, but would you rather be blinking away a mist of pig waste, or doing a victory dance, in a beautiful, tastefully furnished bathroom, every time you succeed in moving your bowels?  Doesn’t sound like much of a choice, does it?

 

 

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Seriously?

From the July 11th Washington Post, after Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced:

Yet, at a time when the country is defined by its polarized politics, Kavanaugh’s deep Republican ties — he drew up the grounds for impeaching President Bill Clinton and was part of the legal team that handed Bush the presidency — have not stopped him from blending in with his neighbors. Their comity evokes an earlier era when the two parties could socialize even as they fought ferociously over policy.       source

It’s a feel good human interest story about a real down to earth American who is just a good guy everyone feels comfortable with.   He volunteers, is humble, hard working, never does anything anyone could find fault with, really.   If you don’t include his partisan politics, of course, which he doesn’t talk about, you’d have no clue he’s such a dedicated, even vicious, doctrinaire extreme right partisan.  He’s that kind of great guy!   A wonderful neighbor who just wants to talk Washington Nationals baseball and Springsteen, he’s very cool and salt of the earth.  A pleasure.

That said, you probably don’t want come before him when he’s on the bench, in his robes, unless you’re a corporation, or a very powerful individual with the right political orientation.   Being consistent with his extreme right views is extremely important to Judge Kavanaugh.

And this, from the moral retard in chief, sick to death of strategically holding his peace for the important short term goal of getting his chosen hand-picked loyal zealot on to the Supreme Court:

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It’s impossible to sum up how many ways this typical stinking Trump brain fart is just fucking wrong.  Impossible for me, anyway, with the vomit in me mouth.  Excuse me.   His loyalists are the same fine folks, the finest folks, who contacted the potential witnesses of the Kavanaugh-Ford “incident” and had them make statements, through their lawyers, instead of letting the FBI do a background investigation.  

Of course, there’s an excellent reason for this.   Wasn’t it the FBI the president called “like Nazis” a while back, or was that the CIA?   Didn’t he also say the Nazis are some very fine people, some of the finest people? Wait, I’m confused.

I Have Nothing To Hide

I have nothing to hide, period.  Therefore, I invite a full investigation, conducted by a public agency that will issue a full public report on all the allegations.  I understand that the investigation may take as much as three days.  I will wait for the report of the investigation, and then I will testify under oath.  

I have nothing whatsoever to hide, and so I will be as transparent as it is possible to be, in order to demonstrate my blamelessness.

I have nothing to hide, therefore there is nothing to conceal.   I grant you unfettered access to anything I have ever written, a good deal of it is already on-line, publicly available, here.   

On the other hand, if I had something compromising that must remain hidden no matter what, and I was in a very high-stakes, do or die moment, I would do everything possible to impede an investigation.  

I can hear the president’s distinct voice, in that stylized Queens accent, speaking to his nominee during the nine hours Kavanaugh was at the White House the day Christine Blasey Ford named herself as the woman Kavanaugh had tried to rape:

“Look, the important thing, the only thing, is that they can’t PROVE anything.  You know the law, if they can’t prove it, they can’t prove it and you win.   They have no proof.  You win.  You just have to be strong up there, keep looking at them, just stare them down.  Show character, show your resolve.   Remember, they can’t prove shit against you, it’s your word against the bitch’s, and I’ll use my powers to protect you as best I can as I know you will use your unappealable powers to protect me and my family when the time comes.”

I could picture that smile of fake contentment the president does so beautifully, the beatific smile like he’s the happiest creature in the history of creatures.  Shaking his head, smiling, mugging for the cameras.  

“We have the best powers, the best powers.  Am I right?   Am I right?”

As the nominee nods, smiling that now famous guarded, false smile of his, the president continues.  

“”Unappealable’  you like that?   Good word for it, isn’t it?   I have the best words, I keep telling people, but sometimes I even impress myself when I pull out an exemplary word like ‘unappealable’.   Exemplary!   See Brett, do you see what I did, do you see what I’m talking about?”.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The immortal Frank Zappa recorded a great instrumental of that title.   He also recorded a track called The Torture Never Stops.   Observant, prescient and correct on each count.

There’s been a lot of talk recently of Anita Hill’s ordeal in 1991, when she came forward, reluctantly, to reveal things about the unsavory character of the Black Klansman, Clarence Thomas, then expected to sail through his confirmation hearings garnering a huge majority of votes in the Senate. [1]  Anita Hill was subjected to humiliating questioning from a series of male pigs, some licking their lips as they asked her about “large breasts” and how she knew about the size of Long Dong Silver’s ungodly huge dick unless she’d seen the movies, and wasn’t she just a little love-struck around her tall, dark, handsome boss, didn’t she really seek his attention, didn’t she truly want it, all of it?   Wasn’t it possible, they asked, that she was suffering from that well-known woman’s disease erotomania?    

The Anita Hill testimony was a sickening spectacle, participated in by Joe Biden, then Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  He wanted to know exactly how she felt as she was being sexually harassed, where exactly, physically, the alleged harassment had taken place, and shit like that.  Hill was put on trial, treated as a hostile witness, presented by the Committee not as a law professor testifying under oath, out of principle, but a helpless hysteric desperate to bring a great man down because she had been romantically scorned by him.   Biden claims now that he believed her and tried to control the other pigs on the Committee (which voted 7 to 7 to recommend him to the full Senate for a confirmation vote, tie apparently going to the runner), and says he owes her an apology she has not yet received.

Twenty-seven years later Republicans on the Judiciary Committee (at least one, 85 year-old Chairman Chuck Grassley,  was in the Senate when Anita Hill testified, no doubt cast his vote for Thomas) are attempting to set up the same kind of scrupulously fair bipartisan misogynist gang-bang type hearing for Christine Blasey Ford.   We will see how the chess game between the Republican brain trust and Ford’s lawyers plays out.  

The Republicans have to tread with some care advancing their unpopular agenda here, as Kavanaugh’s approval rating, in the low 30s,  is even lower than the president’s.  We are also at a historical moment when women are united in being publicly sick of this shit, as sick of it as boys raped by priests must be about the Pope refusing to call the timeless church protection of these sexual predators by its name: evil.

Underscoring the cultural ticklishness of this moment for Kavanaugh and the anti-woman cause, the president has been relatively silent.   The rabid leader of the Republicans, a blustering man with virtually no impulse control, has been remarkably measured in his comments so far, not once calling the accuser a lying fucking cunt or anything remotely like that.   He did express his sympathy for what poor Brett Kavanaugh is being put through now.  “I feel badly for him,” the president said soulfully, revealing, unintentionally (as is his way)  through a grammatical mistake, that he has trouble feeling anything for anybody. [2]  

Of course, in the case of our President, a man who brags about grabbing women by the pussy, pops Tic-tacs to be ready to kiss them hard on the mouth, walks into the dressing room to ogle naked teenaged beauty pageant contestants, has sex for pay while his third wife recovers from childbirth, etc., would feel bad thinking about the tough spot good Mr. Kavanaugh is suddenly in. 

Here’s an article  framing a 1995 Senate resignation as some kind of precursor to Al Franken’s.  Al Franken’s alleged sexual transgressions pale next to decades of bad behavior toward women by a serious piece of shit, Bob Packwood (long-time socially liberal Republican Senator).  Packwood didn’t stop at mugging for a friend’s camera in a sophomoric pose and possible groping, he liked really grabbing, hugging, surprise tongue-kissing, being aroused by the struggle, fornicating with a series of ambivalent young women he had power over, in a variety of places.  

I regret very much that, because the moment was right for women like Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to pressure Franken into immediately resigning from the Senate, Franken obliged by immediately falling on his sword.   Franken had already done precisely what you’d hope anyone accused of misconduct would do — call for an investigation into the allegations against him and promise to abide by whatever the findings of that Committee were.   100% correct response by a public servant to a serious allegation against him or her.    

Not enough, his political career was ended on based on accusations, the most stinging of which, by former Playboy model and friend and guest of Trump-intimate Sean Hannity,  Leanne Tweeden, appeared to have been politically motivated.   The accusations against Franken were enough to remove the Democrat’s most able interrogator from political life forever, because his party demanded it.   Bob Packwood, by contrast, held on through several years of investigation, fought a subpoena for his diaries, redacted some of the most incriminating things when he had to turn them over, and resigned in disgrace (mitigated, one thinks, by the millions he then made as a lobbyist).

It goes back to my long song about the importance of transparency, honest reactions, blah blah blah. The truth, it seems to me, is not a thing to be shamefully hidden in the interest of prevailing (or for any other reason).   The Right is fond of saying if you have nothing to hide why object to a strip search?  If you have nothing to hide, they say, why do you need the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures at all?   Unless you’re guilty, let the policeman probe your orifices.   Scalia ruled that a little glimpse up the old rectum was nothing anyone should feel squeamish about, as long as its done in the name of law and order.  Americans believe in Law and Order (and not just the TV series, either) don’t we?

If you have nothing to hide, why classify 100,000 pages of legal opinions, why block an FBI background investigation, an investigation that would take only a few days? Because you can, because the investigation is likely to turn up things, like those pesky legal memos written to Bush and Cheney, you don’t want turned up.  Because you are guilty as fuck, and know it, and indignantly deny it, strongly deny it, forcefully deny it.  Trump does no less, you can see him doing it with all his heart, with all his might and with all his soul.  For him a strong denial by a politically useful malefactor is more than good enough, it’s the best proof the lying fuck is on his team.

 Jesus looks down on Christians acting this way and weeps, bitter tears.  As bitter, one would think, as the ones privately shed by a popular, humanistic Pope who cannot pronounce the word “evil” to describe the institutional protection of countless generations of child molesters, even if it burns him, the simple desire to just call the indefensible abomination what it is.

Brooke Gladstone conducted a great, illuminating seven minute interview  about repentance, apology, atonement and reconciliation.  Worth hearing, my friends (it’s under #MeToo Men, Repent).  The conversation underscores the social and personal importance of sincere repentance and why the privileged and powerful refuse to apologize for anything, ever.  Why should they?   They have no stake in making the world a better place, it’s already perfect, for them.  Just got to brazen it out, while the angry bitches fecklessly attack.

 

 

[1]   Thomas was H.W. Bush’s cynical replacement for the principled Thurgood Marshall, the first, and to date only, black Supreme Court justice.  I know Thomas is technically “black”, but the motherfucker is as white privileged as anyone ever born in this country.   Marshall’s confirmation fight went on for a year as Segregationists blocked the hearings at every turn.   They had a right to fear what Marshall would do on the Court, he’d been the lead attorney for Brown v. Board of Education, the case that legally ended Separate But Equal, though the “deliberate speed” with which the 64 year-old court order is being carried out has been deliberate indeed.   Still, one can’t help but see the irony in the relatively quick confirmation, 52-48 of the rock-ribbed conservative protector of white privilege Thomas.   He whined about being the victim of a “high tech lynching”.   Oh, my!

[2]  “I feel badly” meaning, literally, I am bad at feeling.

How it’s done

This is what privilege is all about — the ability to hand a nice, tart, high-minded  “fuck you” to anyone who doesn’t have the privilege you do.  If you are the sour, partisan 85 year-old chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee, with a 51-49 majority behind you (all that’s necessary for the job at hand) you can proffer that unappealable “fuck you” any way you see fit. 

No reason to argue whether Chuck Grassley is, personally, a craven piece of shit cynically doing the bidding of the insane leader of his now extremist party.   It’s kind of irrelevant, given the facts of this particular case, given Grassley’s privilege to behave virtually any way he likes, as long as the tally is an irrefutable 51-49.  

A serious allegation, attempted rape, is made against the Supreme Court nominee your party is desperate to confirm before the will of the people, voting in their gerrymandered districts, can remove the ability from your pale, arthritic hands. The voters must not be allowed to have any say about this historically crucial confirmation, it is in everybody’s best interest! [1]  

OK, it is in the best interest of the wealthiest, most privileged people in America and their immortal avatars, the corporations.  The best people, the best people, believe me, believe me.   Let’s have a peek at the facts here, to prove the case that the best people are in the best position to make the best decision for the rest of us. 

For some reason, apparently to preserve requested anonymity, the Senator who received the account alleging the attempted rape, back in July, when the Kavanaugh nomination was first announced, declined to forward it to the FBI for a background investigation until a few days ago.  Finally, seeing the confirmation of another right wing extremist Supreme Court justice becoming more and more inevitable, Christine Blasey Ford stepped forward to identify herself as the victim of the long ago sexual attack.    A momentary dilemma for the good Republican men of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

The important thing, after seeing that the audacious plan to have Kavanaugh not speak under oath wasn’t going to fly, was to impose conditions on the accuser so rushed, brutal, unfair and unreasonable that nobody in their right mind would subject themselves to that kind of vicious pressure.   Of the prospect of an FBI background investigation, demanded by the alleged victim (as every other victim has had the benefit of in such situations) Grassely sharped his “fuck you, bitch” pencil and inaccurately wrote to Blase Ford’s lawyers: “It is not the FBI’s role to investigate a matter such as this.”   End of story.

Now that she has declined to kowtow to the unreasonable conditions set forth by the chairman of the Committee and his 51-49 mandate,  the bilious old chairman can sit back, with that smug smile of his, and say words to this effect:  “well, I don’t want to draw any unfair conclusions, but looks like the lying partisan bitch decided to shut up because she can’t put up.  Her word against the word of this good Christian who is loved by everyone who has ever known him.  Let’s vote raht now, bitches!”

As they no doubt will now, after Grassely and Trump said, falsely and without any apparent shame, it’s too bad the Federal Bureau of Investigations does not do these kind of investigations.  It is not the FBI’s role to investigate a matter such as this, holding up the confirmation of a guy we desperately need to confirm, for nakedly political reasons, as soon as humanly possible.  Time is of the essence, emergency, emergency!!!  Nothing to see here, this Blasey Ford gal is too scared to face death threats, submit everything she plans to say by 10 a.m. the Friday, 48 hours before before our arbitrary and absolute Monday morning deadline, get on a plane and fly across the country to testify in a two witness, nationally televised high stakes  he said/she said hearing first thing Monday morning so that the vote on Kavanaugh is not delayed by one minute.  There is not a minute to spare.  

The women who voted by the millions for Trump, women who presumably don’t mind being grabbed by the pussy by someone as famous, and famously irresistible, as our current ladies’ man president, will have no problem with a privileged, rapey prep school boy growing up to decide, for generations, that if they themselves are raped, and become pregnant, they are constitutionally required to shut the fuck up and give birth to the child for Christ’s sake.

After all, Kavanaugh was in one of the most elite prep schools in the world when he allegedly found the fifteen year-old Christine, in her bathing suit, too irresistible to resist, and he was too drunk to remember anything about it.   Nothing to fucking see here you lying partisan bitches!  Kavanaugh’s not afraid, she IS!

I am a dreamer, I know, but I saw 1,000,000 women in pink pussy hats descending on the Senate at the hour the old fuck who runs the Judiciary Committee set as high noon, 10 a.m. today.   I wanted to see 1,000,000 women, and the men who support them, on every television channel in the world.    I did nothing to make this happen, partly because I have no ability to reach or influence anybody.   I heard, instead of the voices of a million women, carrying signs, saying “FUCK NO!”, a resigned whimper.  Then there will be a quick vote, got to be quick, before some other shit comes out on this guy, like some terrible thing contained in one of the 100,000 documents we have kept hidden, and then, once we have those 51 “yea” votes, whether or not we have an attempted rapist on our nation’s highest court will be a moot point.   Suck it, ladies.

If you are powerful, of the right social class, and have strong friends, you can usually brazen it out.   It’s what the best people do, the very best people we have, and we have quite a few of them here in our exceptional land of the free and home of the brave.   Fucking dicks, relentlessly so, whether you want it or not, especially, it seems, if not.  Who are you to say no to someone so privileged, so determined, so entitled?

 

[1]  Exactly the principled argument human turd Mitch McConnell made when Obama nominated the even-handed Merrick Garland with only a year to go in his presidency: Let the People Speak!   Wait, exactly the opposite of what that turtle faced pile of excrement said when he was obstructing Obama in performing his constitutional duty.  Oh, snap!

 

Death Threats

“Work hard, play hard, pray hard, but most of all, be a good guy!” is the motto of Mater Dei, the independent Catholic school Brett Kavanaugh attended as a boy before moving on to Georgetown Prep in ninth grade.   It is a good motto.  If you do all those things, especially the last one, you will be a credit to your loved ones and a gift to your community.     

Georgetown Prep is a Jesuit school (founded in 1789) and if you spend some time on their website you will learn a little bit about the guiding philosophy of the Jesuits. The principles of Ignatian spirituality seem simple and straightforward.  If you believe that God is in every person you meet, you will treat every precious soul you encounter in the gentlest possible way.  Every interaction is a chance to reaffirm your connection with your creator.   I wish, based solely on the beautiful ideas I read under Georgetown Prep’s Spiritual Life tab, that the world operated that way, by the admirably high principles of Ignatius of Loyola. [1]  

I write this on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur.  God is up there with his unfathomably gigantic Book of Life, pondering the fate each of us deserve for the coming year, according to the tradition.   On this day Jews all over the world fast, many also gather in temples, trembling and praying.    I don’t have much use for many parts of the tradition, or prayer, and most of the 613 commandments supposedly ordered by God leave me cold, as do the jealousy and the over-the-top rages of our All-Merciful God expressed in the problematic Good Book.   There is an essence of my spiritual heritage that I take very seriously:  trying to make amends when I know I have caused harm and identifying with the weak, the poor, the powerless, the persecuted.  

The larger point, of course, is that it is very easy for us humans to speak words, to write them, to array them beautifully, powerfully, to argue our most cherished beliefs using them.   The much harder thing is how you actually put those beliefs into action.   No society, no intimate club or family, for that matter, ever boasts of being founded on principles of love, generosity, hypocrisy, secrecy and duplicity.   Everyone loves love, and generosity is a beautiful thing.   The devil, however, lives in the details, the devil loves him some details.  Those sticky details we generally do not discuss, as we extoll the things we love and believe in, steer away from things that stir us unpleasantly.  

Does anything about the beauty of Ignatian principles change if we learn that Ignatius meant that only people who have accepted the divinity of Jesus Christ are imbued with the divine spirit?    What was the role of the early Jesuits, if any, in the infamous Spanish Inquisition?   

On the other hand, Jesuits are known for their intellectual rigor and a commitment to justice.  How can you not want to do justice if you see the spark of God in every person you meet?  

I don’t hold Brett Kavanaugh to the standards of St. Ignatius of Loyola, whatever those impossibly high standards for canonization may have been.   We are all people, with needs, wants, flaws.  I don’t even want to bring the entitled Mr. Kavanaugh into the conversation at all today, or any day.   I dislike his rigid, right-wing partisanship.  I despise his smug evasiveness, the way he appears to think he’s the smartest man in the room.  I think he is pretty clearly, in the vernacular, a piece of shit as a spiritual person, at the very least a hypocrite (based on his rulings and the tiny fraction of his writings we’ve seen).   It appears to me he learned nothing from the Jesuits but making arguments.  But that is between him and Jesus, and not my place to even opine about.

But you are a federal judge, after attending all the finest schools money can buy, after membership in the right wing Federalist Society, after being an extreme partisan lawyer working to impeach and convict a so-called liberal president for lying about a blow job, then a partisan lawyer advising the Bush/Cheney White House during some troubling years of torture, kidnapping, illegal wiretapping, extrajudicial murder, transfer of wealth to the wealthiest,  attempts to shred the social safety net, initiation of an endless, borderless war against those, everywhere, who hate our freedom, and as a federal judge. appointed by the extremists you worked for, you rule, in virtually every case, for the rights of the powerful and against the rights of the weak.  Not very goddamned Christian of you, I’d say.

Donald Trump’s people figured out exactly which districts they needed to win to prevail in the Electoral College.  They got those crucial districts, every one of them.   The number of votes, maybe 100,000 (he won the 16 electors of Michigan by a whopping 10,740 perfectly placed votes, a 0.23% margin), don’t matter, he won, even if he also lost nationally by nearly 3,000,000 votes.  Fair and square, he won fair and square under our current federal election rules, let’s even stipulate to that.   In office Trump has appeared to be mostly a jackass, OK, always a jackass.  Not only tone deaf and morally retarded, but a compulsive liar who only seems comfortable when bragging outrageously to adoring campaign rally crowds.  He can’t help himself.

As long as Trump is in office doing their bidding the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, the true believers, will ride that donkey as far as he will take them.  He has already delivered uber-conservative Justice for Life Neil Gorsuch (Georgetown Prep, class of ’85 — Kavanaugh, class of ’83), appointed a record number of other Federalist Society endorsed federal judges, rammed through a generous tax break for our nation’s wealthiest.  The rest of the Republicans will ride him hard, as far as he goes before hubris blows him up.   Our politicians are not known for showing great integrity, or any devotion to principles higher than staying in office, sad to say. 

The Koch Brothers understand the nature of our democratic system and have been playing a long game, with no expense spared to tilt the playing field the way it advantages them most to tilt it.  If you control all state governments and the Supreme Court, the small group that decides what is legal and what is illegal as far as the law of the land, that’s pretty much checkmate.

If you don’t believe that, look at the aftermath of the Civil War.   Amendments were added to change our constitution from one that legally protected the rights of slaveholders to one much closer to the inspiring words of the Author of Liberty (and father of several mulatto slaves) that this nation was “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”  Endowed by our creator, of course, with unalienable rights and so on.   The most important of the three wartime amendments, the Fourteenth, was intended to extend the protections of the federal government to the citizens of every state, particularly in the former slave states that had recently taken up arms against the United States.  In other words, the 14th amendment was enacted to make sure no state could infringe anyone’s rights as an American citizen.   The federal government would intervene to protect those rights, under laws made pursuant to the 14th Amendment.

Enter the Supreme Court, six years after the 14th Amendment was ratified.  They made the “intent of the framers” of the Fourteenth Amendment clear in a way those framers, less than a decade earlier, could never have imagined.   For almost a century after the Supreme Court was done ruling on it, the Fourteenth Amendment was rendered useless to citizens subjected to every kind of indignity and brutality under cover of state law.  During the century the 14th amendment was in a judicially induced coma for individuals, it was used, exclusively, by corporations, to establish their rights as persons, just as important in our democracy (to the Robber Barons and their impeccable ilk) as those unvindicatable rights of the many anonymous persons who were being lynched, terrorized, paid unfair wages, re-enslaved under state law, etc.  

The Supreme Court gets the last word, and that word can last for a hundred years before it is corrected, generations later, by activists backed by brilliant and dogged lawyers who successfully fight to overturn precedent.

The Supreme Court gets the unappealable last word in our democratic scheme. An openly anti-democratic president is attempting to pack the court with his extreme choices before the curtain comes down on his corrupt administration.   Trump got into office with glib promises to make everybody’s head spin about how much we are all winning.   Things are not looking great for the persecuted billionaire populist at the moment, people close to him have been disloyally turning on him during a long witch hunt by a disloyal Republican named Mueller.  There is no time to waste, not a penny of political capital to be squandered.  He needs to get this second Supreme Court appointment done in record time, before the midterms that his party could lose bigly.  Getting a second extreme right wing judge on to the Supreme Court would do wonders for energizing his base, making their heads spin.

The confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh was arranged with extreme haste, scheduled for the first available slot.  A ridiculous and unprecedented 90% of Kavanaugh’s documents were not given to the Judiciary Committee for inspection. There were probably things in there better for the Committee not to see before questioning him, before voting to confirm him.   42,000 pages of his documents were made available to the Committee three hours before the hurried hearings began (technically delivered the evening before, they took many hours to download on government servers).  The main thing was to confirm him fast.

Now a woman steps forward, reluctantly but bravely it seems, to testify that the prep school aged Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.  Her claim appears to be credible, it did not come up only recently, she has been suffering with the traumatic memory for some time, spoke to a marriage counselor about it in 2012.  Immediately after the woman came forward a letter signed by 65 women who encountered Kavanaugh when he was at the all boys prep school appeared on the judicial committee’s website, praising his sterling character, his great respect for women, how unthinkable it is that he might ever have tried to rape anyone.  You can read that letter now, the link is at the bottom of this list of public documents on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination  (go to September 7 for the Kavanaugh list, Letters Received, the last one is this letter).

There is nothing in it for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, except to prevent a man of questionable character, and perfect extreme right wing bona fides from being appointed to the highest court for life.   A Supreme Court Justice who will, among other things, provide the deciding vote to overturn the federal right of a woman to choose what to do about her pregnancy, from making unappealable right wing decisions on the Supreme Court for the rest of her lifetime.   Think of the 14th Amendment.  Every civil rights case in the country since 1963 has been brought under a law enacted to enforce the 14th Amendment, but for the previous ninety years– y’all shit out of luck, losers.

Not every young man has tried to rape someone, it takes a certain type, even if he is stumbling drunk.   The percentage of such types may be slightly higher in elite private schools, perhaps, where such youthful indiscretions are dealt with discreetly in-house, if they ever come up at all, to preserve the young man’s options later in life, but I don’t believe even among students of our finest schools most young men at some point attempt rape.  It takes a special kind of boy, who grows into a certain kind of man.  A dick.

The Republicans on the Judiciary Committee insist they are being incredibly fair to the woman who claims she was victimized so many years ago by a young would-be rapist of sterling character.   They’ve set up an immediate session for her to give her sworn testimony against the sworn rebuttal of the next Justice of the Supreme Court.   They are being very generous, they claim, letting her immediately confront her alleged victimizer, and doing it in a way that won’t unfairly hurt the man’s chances of being immediately confirmed before the midterms.  They are certainly being generous, the 85 year old asshole chairman, Chuck Chuck Bobuck Grassley and the equally hoary 84 year-old Orin Hatch, with their intimidation, bullying and ultimatum making.

Recall, the other day these same Republican toadies were refusing to make Kavanaugh answer questions about the alleged sexual assault under oath.  Then, in the interest of every appearance of fairness they said both the alleged victim and the alleged assaulter would both be under oath, on the earliest possible date, Monday, September 24, as long as she responds in full, with her complete written testimony, by 10 a.m September 21.  Fair is fair.  Need to keep this fine Christian’s confirmation on schedule, we’re on a tight schedule as the president may need another ally on the high court, an undefeatable block of right wingers not subject to appeal or being voted out, very soon, to rule in his favor on his potential troubles..

Meantime Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers have made the next move in the chess game.   They are demanding an FBI investigation to have an independent opinion on the credibility of Dr. Ford’s accusation.  This is exactly what Hatch and Grassley publicly endorsed in the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas situation– a required FBI investigation, something that apparently would take only a few days.   Trump announced blandly that the FBI doesn’t do these kinds of investigations, “they don’t do that, that’s not what they do”.  Turns out he was talking out of his ass.  The FBI regularly does these kinds of background investigations, they generally take only a few days.   The current chairman of the committee said loudly in 1991 that this was the only proper way to conduct a hearing of this sort, after an FBI investigation.  But things have changed for the doddering old fuck, now there is tremendous urgency to get the finest man ever nominated for the Supreme Court immediately into his new robes.

SO UNFAIR!   If Trump doesn’t get Kavanaugh in there by the midterms, he will lose face, a lot of political capital, his base will be deflated instead of energized right before this crucial election that could decide his fate, the fate of what he was sent to Washington to do.  So fucking unfair!  Fake news, fake accusers, fake outrage, fake hypocrisy, fake fakeness!!   Amonynous, really, an ominous cowardice.

Of course, living in the violent charnel house that is now the USA, Dr. Ford has predictably  received credible death threats from violent partisan morons.  Her family had to move out of their house, is now in hiding.  But fair is fair, you come to the Senate first thing Monday morning, Dr. Ford, and we’ll see who the country believes in a high-pressure, nationally televised swearing contest, you, the so-called victim of long ago attempted drunken sexual violence or the wonderful family man, girl’s basketball couch and believer in Christian and American values, the defender of all that is holy and good, the impeccably pedigreed Brett Kavanaugh.

They have to get this confirmation done before anything else bad happens in the days leading up to the fast approaching midterms.   Their slim majority in Congress could be washed away in this shit storm midterm and who can say how much mortal peril America’s fetuses would be in then, if Democrats controlled the Senate, without another true believer on the Court?!   What kind of accuser is this, who needs some kind of external assurance of a fair chance to be heard before she will rush across the country to Washington D.C. go toe to toe, on live national television, with someone poised to be one of the most powerful men in America?!!   HOW DARE SHE.

When Anita Hill took the stand to accuse Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, Thomas was expected to receive ninety confirmation votes in the Senate.  The men on the Senate Judiciary Committee (all men) treated Anita Hill very badly, accused her of erotomania, treated her as a hostile witness.  In the end, even after the shitshow of dickish behavior by the Committee toward Anita Hill, Thomas was confirmed 52-48, the smallest margin for a Supreme Court nominee in a century.  

Today there are several women on the Judiciary Committee (all Democrats) and the questioning of Christine Blasey Ford, should it take place under these artificially pressurized terms, will have a much different tone than the hostility Anita Hill faced.  Donald Trump can get away with his in-your-face misogyny, people expect it from him, it’s his brand, he’s a pig (and a very useful idiot, in the short run, to the billionaires who made sure he won the Electoral College).   Chuck Grassley, Orin Snatch and John Cornyn will get no such pass if they try to act like dicks, it won’t play well, except to the 38% who think Trump is doing a heck of a job.  

There are six Republican Senators in the Senate today (though we only hear of two, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, the rest are from the former Confederacy, Nebraska and Iowa, and so impervious to moral suasion it would appear).  If only two or three of them are moved by the testimony of a woman almost raped by an entitled preppie now about to assume the nation’s most powerful lifetime post, deciding what rights women will have… well, you can do the math.  

I am looking forward to the next scene in this soap opera.  I think these pious men of the right, and the women who support them, may be overstepping here in this #metoo moment.  I am hoping Christine Blasey Ford and her lawyers make the right chess moves and keep this partisan hack off the Supreme Court.  If she does, Dr. Blasey Ford will be remembered as a national hero.   A live national confrontation about character and decency is our only hope, at this perilous moment for our democracy.

 

 

[1]  What little I just learned about this sainted 16th century leader of a Catholic society created to defend the Pope’s infallibility contained not a shred of the spiritual legacy discussed on the Georgetown Prep website, but that’s a secular version for you.   What to make of this picture?   The man was a soldier for Christ, clearly, or… maybe not.

Ignatius_of_Loyola_(militant).jpg

Should any of the following disqualify him for sainthood, after the devoted work he later did for his Lord?

As a young man Íñigo had a great love for military exercises as well as a tremendous desire for fame. He framed his life around the stories of El Cid, the knights of Camelot, and the Song of Roland.[12] He joined the army at seventeen, and according to one biographer, he strutted about “with his cape slinging open to reveal his tight-fitting hose and boots; a sword and dagger at his waist”.[13] According to another he was “a fancy dresser, an expert dancer, a womanizer, sensitive to insult, and a rough punkish swordsman who used his privileged status to escape prosecution for violent crimes committed with his priest brother at carnival time.”[14] Upon encountering a Moor who denied the divinity of Jesus, he challenged him to a duel to the death, and ran him through with his sword.[13] He dueled many other men as well.[13]

Would This Surprise You About Brett Kavanaugh?

I mean, you can look at the bland expressions on rapey mama’s boy Brett Kavanaugh’s smug potato of a face and feel you know exactly what kind of entitled, self-interested, amoral partisan, preppie, fratboy fuck the man is.  But, of course, that’s only my prejudice talking.   Now we have details from the Intercept that shed more light on the questionable character of this evasive soon-to-be unappealable jurist.  Rapey fucking mama’s boy.

Does it matter that Kavanaugh’s political and judicial mentor, a disgraced former federal judge named Alex Kozinski, the guy who set up Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court clerkship with Anthony Kennedy and showed him how the judicial appointment game is played, was forced to step down in the face of sexual harassment accusations from fifteen women?   Kozinski resigned in 2017, after decades showing mentee and close friend Brett Kavanaugh the ropes.  I think their relationship matters, because Kavanaugh is not forthcoming about their close association, seems to have lied about certain details, and because the chairman and Republicans on the Senate Judicial Committee don’t want to hear anything about it in their rush to confirm this true believer before the midterm elections. NOTHING TO SEE HERE!

I am looking forward to the hurried session to put to rest accusations that a seventeen year-old Brett Kavanaugh, along with drunken Georgetown Prep friend Mark Judge, today a popular right wing writer, held a fifteen year-old down, hand over her mouth as he attempted to get her one piece bathing suit off her.   You get the familiar chorus of indignant partisans high-mindedly defending Kavanaugh against this credibly alleged long ago showing of extremely bad character, of criminally bad manners,”who among us has not tried to rape a pretty girl when we were drunk back in high school?”

I am looking forward to the chance, no matter how remote, to see a smug, lying partisan hack with powerful friends, revealed, based on the content of his character, as the unfit piece of shit he actually is.   Particularly after reading his 2009 Law Review Article, a love letter to any future president who might be heedless and criminally inclined enough to appoint somebody like Kavanaugh to a lifetime post on the nation’s Supreme Court. 

Tendentious detail: current tuition for four years at Georgetown Prep, an exclusive Jesuit finishing school for the sons of the elite of Washington (and beyond): $148,860, exclusive of other fees.   If you board there, as many boys do, the price goes up to $241,120.    Just my hate speaking.  Nothing to see here.