The Looking Glass
Don’t blink. Just when the Brett Kavanaugh theater of the absurd was opening Act II, we were bombarded by media reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was on his way to the White House to either resign or be fired. Turns out it was neither.
But we did learn that Rosenstein chatted with Trump and they have set a meeting for Thursday to “clear the air.” For those just getting back from Mars, the need to clear the air arose from leaks about a meeting in which Rosenstein reportedly suggested rallying the Cabinet to build a case for invoking the 25th Amendment and said Trump’s foes should wear wires when they were in the White House to pad the record.
Now Rosenstein has issued one of those non-denial denials. Some in the meeting are adamant that he said what they say he did, and meant it. Others say he may have said it, but he was being sarcastic. Others aren’t sure. Since only the truly unhinged far Left seriously believes that going down the 25th Amendment path makes any sense at all, the benefit of the doubt should be given to Rosenstein that he was at worst kidding. But is this really that much better?
We are only in the most charged political environment ever, and many of the reasons have Rosenstein at the epicenter. Further, he is among the handful of top federal law enforcement officers, so joking about such matters is highly unprofessional. A display of poor judgement of this magnitude would be in itself grounds for immediate dismissal, so yeah … maybe trying to clear the air should be way up there on the to-do list.
When we are subjected to hours of punditry about how the potential firing of Rosenstein might impact the midterm voting decisions of upper middle class soccer moms in Oshkosh, we lose sight of what doing the right thing might actually mean. Rosenstein is conflicted on so many levels that you can’t tell the players without a score card, and yet he keeps his job, because firing him might cause unknown political complications this close to the midterms. But can you imagine any corporate executive not being fired if he was claiming the CEO was a loony tune who couldn’t be trusted to make business decisions, or even just joking about it? He would be canned before he could finish his sentence — but not in the looking-glass town called Washington.
The likely outcome is that Trump and Rosenstein meet, Rosenstein acknowledges that he said what he said, but was only making a very poor joke, Trump forgives him, and he keeps his job through early November. After that, all bets are off, depending on the outcome. What a country.
Back to Kavanaugh. Supposedly, we have reached a point where the accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, has agreed to testify before the Senate on Thursday, with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) setting the terms. This is far from certain, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see Ford drop out at the last minute. Let’s review the bidding a bit, trying to factor in common sense and what my good friend William of Ockham might have to say about it.
A few months ago, Ford sent a letter to a local congresswoman claiming that Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school 35 years ago. She requested to remain anonymous, and I guess trusted her representative to do the right thing and get the accusation in front of the right people. Several questions emerge.
Why now? Perhaps it was triggered by her being appalled that a man who could do such a thing could be a Supreme Court justice, but is that so much worse than being a DC District Court judge? Why didn’t she raise this years ago when Kavanaugh was being vetted for that spot? New information states she was in the middle of marriage counseling and the trauma of the repressed memory that surfaced was a reason for the marriage difficulties, and her therapist suggested the move as a catharsis. Or maybe she was part of a convoluted Democrat plot to keep Kavanaugh off the bench. Who knows?
The letter winds up with Feinstein, who rather than find a way to question Kavanaugh about it sits on it until the last minute. As other tactics to derail the nominee appear to be failing, the letter is leaked to the media, and anonymity becomes a non-option. Assuming (which my friend William would support) that Ford had been sincere about her wishes and not part of a plot, she was betrayed by the Democrat hierarchy that was willing to use her as a pawn regardless. And yes, I’ll even give her a pass on hiring a lefty lawyer and taking a lie detector test, since those apparently happened after Democrats got involved. I’ll even give her a pass on her honestly believing that what she wrote is true — 35-year-old memories, stimulated by marriage counseling in search of an excuse, can play tricks.
But then the deal started to fall apart, and William’s ears started to prick up. Ford at first said she wanted to be heard, and Grassley moved heaven and earth to accommodate her. Then conditions started to appear. First, the FBI must investigate Kavanaugh before the testimony, even though everyone knows it is not in its jurisdiction. Then the testimony could not be under oath, which really raised a red flag for my pal William. Then only GOP senators could ask questions, not some female representative counsel. The only reason to demand that would be to get the old white guys on the record “badgering” the witness — perhaps a political win, but hardly a path to the truth, which was progressively becoming a casualty of war. Then Kavanaugh must go first.
There was a lot of hue and cry about how this is not how our justice system works. This is not a court of law; it’s a character inquiry where rules of procedure don’t apply. But the reason my friend William scoffed at this was because if the accuser didn’t go first, Kavanaugh would have no idea what he was responding to. Remember that all we have so far is a letter (not under oath) and media leaks. Compared to those, the demand that the two of them not be in the same room together seemed like an easy give.
Then the details of the story began to crumble because the supposed witnesses to the event all denied it happened. No one would corroborate. Some of the witnesses used terms like “I have no memory of this,” but Kavanaugh was more definitive. He categorically denied that the incident or anything like it even occurred. This is not like the traditional “I have no recollection of that, senator” comment; this is a flat-out denial that if ever proven false would at least ruin his career and possibly land him in prison. And he has not wavered on this despite others waffling that “even if he did it, it was no big deal.” I’m sorry, but it is a very big deal if he did it. It’s a disqualifying event, so others should take their cue from Kavanaugh, who continues to vehemently deny that it happened.
But the clincher for me is that there apparently is no statute of limitations in Maryland, where the alleged incident occurred. If the accuser is so sure this happened, why doesn’t she simply walk into the local police station and file a criminal complaint? Maybe she will, but the fact that she didn’t lead with this tells you that maybe she isn’t as sure as Democrats would like you to believe. Yet another reason why she might not show on Thursday.
Nevertheless, there is a clear strategy by Democrats to delay the hearings and vote until after the midterms. There are obvious reasons for this, including to simply keep the narrative alive in the media and hope that more women come forward. When the #MeToo cause is invoked, that’s the key missing piece. Even though movements like #MeToo always seem to overshoot the middle and have to be reined back in, I am glad the issue of persistent workplace sexual harassment has seen the light of day. Patterns of abuse are totally unacceptable, and it’s about time the Harvey Weinsteins and others of that world are called to task. But that is the key feature of the #MeToo accusations — repeated patterns of abuse involving multiple women over long periods of time. The Kavanaugh accusations are one-offs, unsubstantiated, and totally inconsistent and out of character with the rest of his life.
To make the point, Ford can’t even remember when or where the alleged attack took place, how many people were involved, or how she got to the party and got home. The second accuser is worse. She can’t even say for sure if Kavanaugh was involved at all. At first she said it wasn’t him, but after a week of consultation with Democrat operatives who prompted her and her lawyers, now she is pretty sure it was him. William isn’t buying it. In Ford’s case, as mentioned, it is possible she really has come to believe her own story, but even The New York Times (certainly no friend of Trump), which interviewed dozens of people who were in the area when the second incident supposedly occurred, can’t find a single person who can substantiate the charges and refused to print the story.
Since I’m sure that hundreds of Democrat operatives and the media have been badgering every person who was in the same area code when the alleged incidents happened, it is no surprise that something new would pop up, but a totally unconfirmed accusation? But wait — Stormy Daniels’ creepy porn lawyer is now claiming he has found another client who is willing to come forward. Maybe he is conspiring with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to come out on Thursday morning, or maybe he is negotiating book deal rights before revealing the client’s name. Either way, this is getting beyond absurd.
I know there is speculation that Ford is a charter member of the conspiracy to frame Kavanaugh, but I suspect she simply believes what she is saying and has been betrayed by the Democrat machine that needed a poster child. If she shows up on Thursday, she will be treated with kid gloves. But even if it’s bad political optics, I hope GOP senators do their jobs and question her themselves. Be fair but strong in challenging her memory, because that’s the only way to get to the truth.
If she shows up, she will have been coached to cry on cue and play the heart strings, but the risk to Democrats is that the supporting details are so vague that even if she presents herself as a sympathetic person, her story will not be credible. And if the GOP conducts itself appropriately, there will be no excuses. Kavanaugh, for his part, has already signaled that he is not wavering from his contention that the incident (and any others like it) never happened. It will be up to a handful of GOP senators to sort out who is right.
My vote is with the fairness of the American people. Granted, they don’t have a vote here — only senators do — but this has devolved into a totally political event in which public opinion and political considerations in a few key Senate races are all that matter. Given the disgraceful way Democrats have played this; the ridiculous statements being made by Democrat leaders; the lack of any corroborating testimony from any of the supposed eye witnesses; Kavanaugh’s consistent denial in spite of fatal career risks; and the utter lack of a pattern of such behavior by Kavanaugh, the weight of the process will favor Kavanaugh and he will be confirmed.
Interestingly, you can have it both ways. The villain here is the Democrat machine that has used Ford and disgraced itself in taking politics to a new low. Ford may be a sympathetic person, and we can take her at her word that she sincerely believes the incident occurred (I’m essentially dismissing Act II), but the lack of any supporting evidence and her own fuzzy memory, coupled with the straightforward denials by Kavanaugh, the lack of a pattern of #MeToo behavior, and a track record of integrity and championing of women, will possibly result in agreeing that Ford genuinely believes what she says but Kavanaugh is right.
I also think, and don’t believe this is thinking of the wishful variety, that when the American voter applies common sense to the last several weeks and consults with my pal William, the Democrat effort to block Kavanaugh at all costs, including betraying a sincere woman, will backfire at the polls. The people are too smart for this; they will not let this travesty become the new normal for American politics. And the only way to bury it is to show up in November and tell Democrats “never again” by voting them out.