To consider claim against Kavanaugh, Senate panel to reconvene Monday — which seems fast

I feel a little regret about the post I put up yesterday afternoon about the breaking news regarding the Brett Kavanaugh nomination. Nothing in my piece it was exactly “wrong.” At my best, I try to remember that my job is not to know the future, which is a good thing because I do not know the future.

Actual pundits who go on the TV should be much more cautious (than they sometimes are) about speculating about what will happen next. The happy truth for them is that there seem to be no consequences for speculating/predicting, even when they turn out to be wrong.

When I was coming up in the business, the short description of what the morning newspaper told its readers was: “what happened yesterday.” Even that isn’t always possible, but “what’s gonna happen tomorrow” is an invitation to foolishness. Or so it generally seems to this old fool.

Within a few hours after my post went up, the Republicans who run the Judiciary Committee announced that they would indeed reconvene, to hear from professor Christine Blasey Ford about the assault she alleges, and from Judge Kavanaugh who, so far, denies that anything remotely like that ever happened, or that he was even present at the high school gathering at which Ford says he sexually assaulted her, or tried to.

The committee Republicans want to do so Monday, which seems fast to me, but which has the advantage (from their perspective) of keeping alive hopes of getting Kavanaugh confirmed to a lifetime appointment before the midterm elections.

The next level of the argument, as of last night, was that committee Democrats believe that schedule is much too fast, and that the FBI needs to be allowed to investigate and give the committee the best information it can produce from which to take up the next step of reconvening the committee to question Kavanaugh and Ford.

That idea, which strikes me as reasonable, may be viewed by Republicans as stalling tactics. I can see why they might look at it that way, which only underscores that Republicans are in a hurry to confirm Kavanaugh before the midterms.

Here’s where I stop before I try to tell you what will happen next, because I’m either too dumb to know or too smart to act like I know, and/or both.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 09/18/2018 - 09:40 am.

    I suspect our GOP friends came to the conclusion that the Mid Terms might hang on Ms. Ford’s well-supported allegations,…

    and were advised that, should they ignore her, they would be turning a LOT of women against them.

    Now the question in my mind,…

    is whether or not the Republicans in charge of the Judiciary Committee ,…

    will be able to avoid having their visceral disrespect for,…

    suspicion of,…

    and rage toward women,…

    come shining through in the way they treat her.

    If they give her the Anita Hill treatment,…

    (and yes, I know, the Democrats had a lot to do with how Anita Hill was treated),…

    they will do themselves even MORE damage,…

    (though their BASE will lap it up and cheer for every attack and insult).

    If they are very aggressive in questioning Ms. Ford,…

    and lob nothing but “We’re embarrassed and sorry to have to ask this of such a fine man as you,” softball questions at Mr. Kavanaugh,…

    their rank hypocrisy and misogyny will be written across the sky in mile high letters.

    Of course their “BASE” doesn’t bother to read even things such as that,…

    but the rest (the vast majority) of the public does.

    • Submitted by John Webster on 09/18/2018 - 01:21 pm.

      Thank you for revealing that you don’t believe in due process and basic fairness. Anyone you disagree with is fair game to be slandered. So far, there is no credible evidence against the accused.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/18/2018 - 02:54 pm.

        “Due process?” There is no right to due process in a Senate confirmation hearing. If there were. one might note that Judge Kavanaugh is at least receiving a hearing.

        There is no “credible evidence” only if you automatically have decided that Professor Ford is lying. Remember that Judge Kavanaugh has shown himself in these proceedings to be a near Trump-level liar.

        • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 09/18/2018 - 04:30 pm.

          Yes, Kavanaugh does seem to lie a lot.

          And, one has to ask ,What’s the Hurry? Why not give time enough for the FBI to do an investigation of Dr. Ford’s allegations? That would, of course, require the White House to PERMIT the FBI to do that investigation, which would take more than a five-day week. That would mean that the Senate Judiciary Committee should only meet to “hear” both Ford and Kavanaugh after the committee has received the FBI report.

          Not next Monday, obviously. Too quick. Too fake, as a result. SCOTUS confirmation hearings and considerations normally take much longer than what Grassley has been pushing for here.

      • Submitted by Nick Foreman on 09/18/2018 - 03:03 pm.

        The only belief in due process and fairness by republicans is only when another republican is involved in the matter. Credible evidence is only in the eyes of the present group of “republicans”.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/18/2018 - 11:11 am.

    I will part company here with some of my figurative sisters, and maybe a couple of real ones, too…

    I worked in a high school for 30 years and personally witnessed plenty of kids– mostly boys, but really, of both genders – display less-than-sterling character when they were there, or at social events attended by their fellow students. Boorish behavior is reprehensible, but – up to a point, at least – it’s simply that – boorish. Speaking from both personal and institutional experience, teenaged boys are often boorish. That doesn’t automatically make them criminal.

    There are plenty of reasons to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court that have nothing to do with his high school behavior, but instead reflect his less-than-sterling judicial temperament and intellect in numerous cases as an adult.

    In the vast majority of circumstances, it’s not possible, in our legal system at least, to “prove” one’s innocence. That’s why our system requires proof of guilt. An allegation, no matter how convincing, is not – cannot be allowed to be – equivalent to a conviction, especially of a crime. Evidence to support the allegation is absolutely required. If accusation is all that’s necessary for a “guilty” verdict, without any evidence to support the accusation, the rule of law is, quite literally, dead, and society, equally literally, will quickly fall apart.

    Were I a Senator, something that will never happen, I’d vote “No” on the Kavanaugh nomination, but it would be on the basis of his legal and judicial record, not on an allegation of terrible behavior 35+ years in the past, for which there’s not likely to be any corroborating evidence. Without discounting the alleged high school behavior, reprehensible and potentially criminal if it occurred, I’d nonetheless be much more concerned about his views regarding Roe v. Wade, or voting rights, or presidential power. Focusing on his alleged behavior as a high school kid ignores his behavior and writing – especially regarding women – as an adult, which seems to me more important.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/18/2018 - 12:24 pm.

      Mr. Schoch, what he is alleged to have done is not “boorish” behavior. “Boorish” is telling a vulgar joke in mixed company, or passing gas loudly in a public place.

      What Kavanaugh is alleged to have done was attempted rape or, to characterize Maryland law accurately, attempted second degree rape. It was and is a crime. It is punishable not by a good talking to, and perhaps some temporary ostracization, as we would expect for “boorish” behavior. Attempted second degree rape is punishable by up to 20 years in prison (he was old enough to be tried as an adult).

      “If accusation is all that’s necessary for a “guilty” verdict, without any evidence to support the accusation, the rule of law is, quite literally, dead, and society, equally literally, will quickly fall apart.” He is not on trial, and there is no question of being found “guilty.” The Senate is judging his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Kavanaugh is not entitled to a seat.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 09/19/2018 - 07:32 am.

      Ray, if Kavanaugh’s alleged behavior should be excused because he was in high school (a Jesuit high school he has spoken so fondly of), is it also OK for him to lie about that today?

      That is the a big part of the issue here, is Kavanaugh telling lies today? Because if he is, he has disqualified himself.

      We need to set a high bar for such a lifetime appointment, and those who have ever committed sexual assault need not apply.

Leave a Reply