“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Judge Brett Kavanaugh was angry Thursday. He should have been.
- Exposing the danger of #MeToo — group identity, not individual justice.
- The rage of the Left is getting out of control.
- Are Millennials saving marriage? Divorce rates plummet.
- Bill Cosby was right about black culture, even if he’s a convicted criminal.
- Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists, and Short Cuts.
Mark Alexander and Nate Jackson
Judge Brett Kavanaugh was angry Thursday, and he had every right to be. He was also deeply hurt, frequently holding back tears. His blistering opening statement called out Democrats on the carpet for their deceitful, despicable, and deeply cynical behavior. After Dr. Christine Blasey Ford gave a moving and sympathetic but inconsistent and still uncorroborated testimony earlier in the day, Kavanaugh had to address the emotion of the moment. He did so with raw emotion of his own. And it was powerful.
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote at 1:30 today, and Kavanaugh is almost sure to be passed to the entire Senate for a vote, which Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says will happen early next week.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) opening statement.
Ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) opening statement.
Before we say more on Kavanaugh, however, a few observations on Ford’s testimony.
As we noted yesterday, Democrats aimed to make the broad case that Ford represents all abused women. Feinstein, as well as fellow Democrat committee members Pat Leahy (VT), Dick Durbin (IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Christopher Coons (DE), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Mazie Hirono (HI), Cory Booker (NJ), and Kamala Harris (CA), all, to varying degrees, gushed with blanket “I believe you” statements to Ford, while casting Kavanaugh as a sexual predator before they’d even heard him speak.
Moreover, each Democrat praised Ford as “representative” and “heroic” on behalf of all women. They insist this isn’t just about Judge Kavanaugh but about the larger issue of the whole #MeToo movement. Every word Feinstein, et al., said is about the universe of sexual assault. Clearly, they are making Ford the poster child for ALL sexual assaults, harassment, injustice, etc., and by extension Kavanaugh the poster child for all sexual assailants.
Why? Putting all women in a victim identity group is a useful tool when Democrats want to dupe the women voters they clearly view as emotionally incontinent fools incapable of discerning fact from fiction. The disgusting nature of the Democrat witch hunt is to paint Kavanaugh as guilty until proven innocent.
Former Barack Obama spokeswoman Marie Harf, now a Fox News commentator, summed it all up: “If [Kavanaugh] gets confirmed, as he very well may, 40 days from now we go into a midterm election, and I think … it will help Democrats at the polls. Women will be fired up.”
Gosh, ya think that was Feinstein’s strategy from the beginning?
As for Ford herself, as we mentioned, she was a sympathetic figure. Even her voice inflection made her sound more like an innocent girl than a 50-something college professor. “I am here today not because I want to be,” Ford said in her opening statement. “I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”
The Wall Street Journal editorial board put it this way: “Ms. Ford certainly was a sympathetic witness — by her own admission ‘terrified’ at the start and appearing to be emotionally fragile. Her description of the assault and its impact on her was wrenching. She clearly believes what she says happened to her. Her allegation should have been vetted privately, in confidence, as she said she would have preferred. Instead ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein held it for six weeks and it was leaked — perhaps to cause precisely such a hearing circus.”
“Perhaps”? No such caveat is necessary. It was absolutely to cause just this kind of spectacle.
The problem is two-fold. There are numerous inconsistencies in Ford’s story, and it remains not only uncorroborated but, as Kavanaugh noted later, “refuted.”
For example, Ford has offered different numbers for the people supposedly present at the home when she was allegedly assaulted. And in any case, the people she claims were there — Kavanaugh’s friends Mark Judge and P.J. Smyth, as well as Ford’s lifelong friend Leland Ingham Keyser — all deny that there was such a gathering, much less that Kavanaugh assaulted Ford there.
Ford dismissed Keyser’s recollection because she has “health problems.” With friends like that…
Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona sex-crimes prosecutor, questioned Ford instead of committee Republicans, partly to spare them the optics of “old white men” seeking to discredit an “innocent victim.” Much of the criticism we’ve seen leveled at Mitchell can be attributed to the format — she had five-minute segments, interrupted by five minutes of Democrat “I believe you” speeches. That’s no way to conduct an investigation into something so sensitive, as Mitchell duly noted.
The prosecutor questioned Ford about the best way to reconstruct memories about trauma. Ford agreed that it would have made sense for her to talk to a trained therapist rather than Feinstein getting her lawyered up and coached up about how to tell her story. “Did anybody ever advise you, from Senator Feinstein’s office or [Democrat California Rep. Anna Eshoo’s] office, to go get a forensic interview?” Mitchell asked.
“No,” Ford replied.
In other words, all the feedback Ford has gotten simply confirmed her recollection and basically cast it in stone, rather than giving her, in a professional setting, the analysis her recalled trauma should have gotten.
By the way, Feinstein recommended Democrat activist attorney and Bill Clinton apologist Debra Katz. She scripted this right down to Ford’s legal counsel.
Mitchell also extracted some major concessions from Ford. She established that while Ford insists, “100%,” that it was Kavanaugh, and she remembers details like having only “one beer,” she can’t remember where the gathering was or how she got there or left. Mitchell made clear that no one had come forward to fill in those missing details. Mitchell also damaged Ford’s credibility regarding flying to the hearing itself. Though Ford insisted at first she couldn’t come to DC from California to testify because she was afraid of flying, Mitchell got her to admit that she flies all the time.
Notably, Ford stated several times that she attempted to get her story to Senate Democrats while there was a slate of nominees — before Kavanaugh had even been nominated. Thus, there’s a difference between Ford’s motivations and Feinstein’s motivations. Democrats are trying to conflate the two, insisting somehow that Republicans claim it was Ford who set the timeline for this disclosure. They are desperately trying to deny the clear fact that Feinstein timed it and scripted it from the beginning, unleashing an 11th-hour dirty trick on her Senate Judiciary colleagues and the nation.
The bottom line on Ford: Her testimony was all about political optics, and no matter how much we’d like people to step back and view the context analytically, the vast majority of Americans will form their opinions on the basis of select sound bites in a public opinion environment overwhelmingly controlled by the Democrats’ Leftmedia propagandists. A majority of women voters determined their opinion on this matter as soon as Feinstein had it leaked. So ultimately those key members of the Senate who are on the fence regarding the Kavanaugh vote have been coerced — blackmailed — into casting their votes based on Feinstein’s scripted Leftmedia optics.
First of all, Judge Kavanaugh was constrained with what he could say because, we hope, he’s about to be a Supreme Court justice. And even if he’s defeated, he’ll likely remain on the DC Circuit Court. Even so, he made a lot of things quite plain, and there’s no doubt about one thing: Democrats have angered him for life. That much was clear in his fierce opening statement, which we’ll quote at length:
Less than two weeks ago, Dr. Ford publicly accused me of committing wrongdoing at an event more than 36 years ago when we were both in high school. I denied the allegation immediately, categorically, and unequivocally. All four people allegedly at the event, including Dr. Ford’s longtime friend Ms. Keyser, have said they recalled no such event. …
The day after the allegation occurred I told this committee that I wanted a hearing as soon as possible to clear my name. I demanded the hearing for the very next day.
Unfortunately, it took the committee 10 days to get to this hearing and in those 10 long days, as was predictable and as I predicted, my family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations. The 10-day delay has been harmful to me and my family, to the Supreme Court.
When this allegation first arose I welcomed any kind of investigation, Senate, FBI, or otherwise. The committee now has conducted a thorough investigation and I’ve cooperated fully. I know that any kind of investigation — Senate, FBI, Montgomery County Police, whatever — will clear me. …
This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy. Since my nomination in July, there’s been a frenzy on the Left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation.
Shortly after I was nominated, the Democratic Senate leader said he would, quote, “oppose me with everything he’s got.” A Democratic Senator on this committee publicly referred to me as “evil” — evil; think about that word — and said that those who supported me were, quote, “complicit in evil.” Another Democratic senator on this committee said, quote, “Judge Kavanaugh is your worst nightmare.” A former head of the Democratic National Committee said, quote, “Judge Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come.”
I understand the passions of the moment, but I would say to those senators, your words have meaning. Millions of Americans listen carefully to you. Given comments like those, is it any surprise that people have been willing to do anything to make any physical threat against my family, to send any violent email to my wife, to make any kind of allegation against me and against my friends, to blow me up and take me down?
You sowed the wind. For decades to come I fear the country will reap the whirlwind. The behavior of several of the Democratic members of this committee at my hearing a few weeks ago was an embarrassment, but at least it was just a good old-fashioned attempt at “Borking.” Those efforts didn’t work. When I did at least okay enough at the hearings that it looked like I might actually get confirmed a new tactic was needed. Some of you were lying in wait and had it ready.
This first allegation was held in secret for weeks by a Democratic member of this committee and by staff. It would be needed only if you couldn’t take me out on the merits. When it was needed this allegation was unleashed and publicly deployed over Dr. Ford’s wishes. And then, as no-doubt was expected if not planned, came a long series of false, last-minute smears designed to scare me and drive me out of the process before any hearing occurred. Crazy stuff: gangs, illegitimate children, fights on boats in Rhode Island, all nonsense reported breathlessly and often uncritically by the media. This has destroyed my family and my good name. A good name built up through decades of very hard work and public service at the highest levels of the American government.
This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups. This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades. …
I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. … You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit. Never.
Kavanaugh’s systematic takedown of not only the allegations but the craven Democrat strategy was given all while looking straight into the eyes of his Democrat accusers.
He denied the allegations repeatedly, specifically, and categorically. He provided corroborating evidence such as his own personal calendars and contemporary witness testimony about his character. He was candid about his shortcomings. He was emotionally protective of his family.
Indeed, invoking his wife, children, and parents as he did, he’d have to be quite a sociopath to say what he said with everything on the line if his denials and testimony were not true.
And as David French wrote, “Moreover, though expressed righteous rage at the people who’d treated him without good faith, he also demonstrated compassion. Perhaps the most powerful moment of his testimony came when told the committee that his daughter had prayed for Dr. Ford. This was an emotional moment for countless conservatives. This was the kind of response they aspire to in their own challenges, expressing the heart of the scripture that admonishes God’s people to ‘be angry, and yet do not sin.’”
Frankly, that was a moment that brought some of your humble editors to the verge of tears.
When it came time for Democrats to interrogate him, they gave him no comfort or hero worship as they had to Ford. Instead, Democrat after Democrat dredged up the absurd notion that Kavanaugh should call for a delay in the process until an FBI investigation had been conducted. Durbin even went so far as to challenge him to stop his own testimony to call for that FBI probe.
Democrats know two things: An FBI investigation is their best stalling tactic, and it would prove nothing — as none other than Joe Biden said in 1991. Democrats are convicting Kavanaugh because he hasn’t asked for an FBI investigation, though not a single one would suddenly vote for him if one were conducted. An FBI probe would only reiterate the sworn statements already given and conclude nothing.
Kavanaugh was limited in his answers to this repeated Democrat jab, but fortunately Grassley reminded Durbin that the letter that began the whole fiasco was turned over to the FBI, which declined to further investigate it. Case closed. Grassley said, “I want to emphasize something here. … We had 45 days between July 30 and September 13 … when we could have been investigating this.”
The editors of Investor’s Business Daily nailed it, writing, “For Democrats to complain that they don’t have enough information from witnesses, at the very same time they are questioning both key witnesses, is beyond absurd.”
And the FBI questions were actually Democrat highlights. From there they devolved into asking ridiculous questions about Kavanaugh’s high-school yearbook — from code words for fart jokes to implying that the word “alumni” in that yearbook meant an innocent woman was actually a slut who had sex with lots of boys.
How’s that for a grotesque inversion of #MeToo?
Now, Democrats had a strategy, though it was contradictory. All the focus on his yearbook and what it says about his drinking habits was an effort to “prove” that he had blackouts and doesn’t remember what happened. But Ford described her assailant as a person who was in complete control of her and knew exactly what he was doing.
On the Republican side, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stole the show, forcefully and angrily calling out the entire Democrat charade.
One exchange was notable:
Graham: Did you meet with Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] on August 20?
Kavanaugh: I did meet with Sen. Feinstein.
Graham: Did you know that her staff had already recommended a lawyer to Dr. Ford?
Kavanaugh: I did not know that.
Graham: Did you know that [she] and her staff had this allegation for over 20 days?
Kavanaugh: I did not know that at the time.
Two other comments of Graham’s stood out:
Boy, you [Democrats] all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you knew about it and you held it. You had no intention of protecting Dr. Ford. None. She’s as much of a victim as you are. God, I hate to say it because these have been my friends, but let me tell you, when it comes to this, you’re looking for a fair process and you came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend. …
To my Republican colleagues: If you vote “no,” you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I’ve seen in my time in politics!
That just about sums it up.
Toward the end of the hearing, Feinstein claimed she didn’t leak Ford’s letter but had not asked her staff if they leaked the letter. Apparently, she wanted the presumption of innocence. She later corrected herself on asking her staff, but she still insisted Ford was to blame. “[Ford’s] story was leaked before the letter became public,” Feinstein said. “She testified that she had spoken to her friends about it and it’s most likely that that’s how this story leaked.”
Blame the victim: It’s all Ford’s fault!
It’s worth nothing here that Ryan Grim of The Intercept, which first published the letter, said, “Feinstein’s staff did not leak the letter to The Intercept.”
But Mitchell asked Ford, “Is it true that you did not authorize it to be released at any time?”
“Correct,” Ford answered.
As for President Trump, he has been mostly quite measured in his commentary — a welcome development. He said Thursday evening, “Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct and resist. The Senate must vote!”
At the beginning of the day, the Feinstein/Ford allegations were unsupported, unsubstantiated, uncorroborated, and, in fact, refuted. At the end of the day, the Feinstein/Ford allegations were unsupported, unsubstantiated, uncorroborated, and, in fact, refuted. Every member of the Senate should now return their focus to Kavanaugh’s extraordinary qualifications. All senators who don’t vote accordingly will establish themselves as nothing more than political bots.
- Trump postpones Rosenstein meeting (The Hill)
- Bob Goodlatte subpoenas Andrew McCabe’s memos (Washington Examiner)
- Netanyahu reveals another secret atomic facility in Iran (The Daily Wire)
- F-35 makes U.S. combat debut in Afghanistan (The Hill)
- China steps up spying on U.S. military (The Washington Times)
- UN Human Rights Council adopts “feeble” resolution on Venezuela that lays no blame for crisis (CNS News)
- California judge punches hole in state’s sanctuary law (The Washington Times)
- New California law allows children to get transgender treatments without parental consent (Townhall)
- Humor: Cory Booker asks Ford to please stop interrupting his 2020 campaign speech (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: Turning down the heat on immigration (National Review)
- Policy: In its competition with China, the United States must develop an approach that serves all Americans (City Journal)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- The Rage of the Left — Leftists are becoming increasingly unhinged in their attacks on political opponents.
- Taking Vows — and Meaning It — The divorce rate is way down and Millennials get a lot of the credit.
- His Private Blemishes Aside, Cosby’s Message Was Right — What he did was appalling. What he said about the black community still rings true.
- Exposing the Danger of #MeToo — Social justice has co-opted the movement and threatens to overturn America’s system of justice.
- Video: The Left Is Ruining #MeToo — It’s legitimate for women to be talking about the fact that they get abused, but…
OPINION IN BRIEF
Rich Lowry: “Immediately, the same opponents of Kavanaugh who have been portraying him as a monster took great umbrage that he’d be angry at being portrayed as a monster. Look, they said, he lacks a judicial temperament! But how is a person who maintains his innocence supposed to react when a political party will credit any allegation against him, when swaths of the media presume his guilt, when every aspect of his teenage years — including notations in his yearbook — are used against him, when all the testimonials in his favor and his decades of spotless public service mean nothing? Kavanaugh’s anger over these kinds of attacks says nothing about his jurisprudence. His extensive opinions as a D.C. Circuit Court judge are all carefully reasoned and written. His opinions on the Supreme Court, should he make it there, will no doubt be the same. Hearing a case or writing an opinion isn’t the same as defending your integrity in a high-stakes political showdown.”
For the record: “Republicans didn’t want Merrick Garland confirmed, so they just didn’t vote. Democrats don’t want Brett Kavanaugh confirmed, so they accuse him of serial gang rape. And that is the difference between Republicans and Democrats.” —Matt Walsh
Fact check: true: “If we brought George Washington here … the Democrats would vote against him.” —Donald Trump
Irony: “Up next: Democrats will accuse Brett Kavanaugh of drinking so heavily he drove off a bridge with a young woman in the front seat, fled the scene — leaving her to drown, then later finding out she suffocated to death instead.” —Katie Pavlich
Flashback: “People have to understand, it’s policy. Teddy Kennedy. Remember Chappaquiddick? … I mean, a girl drowns and he abandons her and she drowned and women still voted for Teddy Kennedy. Why? Because he voted for women’s rights. That’s why. That’s the bottom line of it in my opinion. I mean, I don’t like either one of them, to tell you the truth, Teddy or Bill [Clinton]. They’re both dogs as far as I’m concerned. But I still will vote for Bill Clinton because he votes in my favor.” —"The View’s" Joy Behar, January 2016
Non Compos Mentis: “Why Haven’t Republicans Abandoned Brett Kavanaugh?” —The New Yorker (“I’ll get back to you on this after I’ve consulted with my attorney for 6 days.” —James Taranto)
Braying Jackass I: “It’s not that we just don’t value our black and brown kids — we don’t value any of our kids enough and, in fact, we value our guns more than we value our children.” —Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Braying Jackass II: “It’s by design that they’re not committed to having the best-educated citizenry in the world, and that’s a scary thing. We need to have a civically engaged democracy and the only way I know how to do that is to have well-educated citizens. And I don’t think it’s in President Trump’s best interest to have a well-educated citizenry.” —Arne Duncan
Braying Jackass III: “I know about that incident [in which a document on Trump’s desk was allegedly confiscated] and that was wholly appropriate for Gary Cohn, who was a wonderful public servant and a great colleague, to do.” —H.R. McMaster
And last… “Principled opposition rooted in facts and logic are all well and good, but emotion-driven tantrums belong in a romper room, not in any Senate hearing room. You want to be role models for girls and women, take a course in civil discourse, and as I always recommend, learn to argue with your lady smarts, not your lady parts.” —Michelle Malkin
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher