Brett Kavanaugh nomination

I have no idea whether he tried to rape Christine Blasey Ford, though her testimony was persuasive.

However, his reaction shows he is fundamentally unsuitable for judicial office. 

A very poor day for US justice if he is appointed.

I would have calmly denied the allegations, and then offered to be investigated by the FBI or whoever else was the appropriate investigating authority.

I would not have launched into a political attack. Nor would I have refused to answer questions, or refused to agree that the FBI should investigate.

As I said in the previous thread on this, I think:

 

1. Ford believes what she is saying. However, that does not mean everything happened exactly as she described it. 

2. Kavanaugh is clearly lying about some things (particularly his drinking habits). I suspect it is because he knows that since this is not a court of law, admitting anything at all (such as "I drank a lot in those days and I can't remember exactly what happened that night - it was 36 years ago") will be used as political ammunition against him, even if he was innocent. However, the lying about the drinking etc doesn't in itself mean that he is guilty of sexual assault. 

3. What actually happened that night 36 years ago? I don't know, and there is no way to prove anything or know for certain. It could be Ford is absolutely right. It could be Kavanaugh is absolutely right. Most likely, something did happen to Ford that night, but we don't know exactly what happened, how serious it was, how much her memories have changed over the years, and whether Kavanaugh was involved - although it certainly could have. 

 

4. If Kavanaugh is guilty of sexual assault as described by Ford, then he certainly should not be a Judge (much less on the Supreme Court). However, I am uncomfortable with the idea that someone's reputation and career can be destroyed based on an unsupported (and unproveable) allegation from a generation ago when both of them were kids. I don't think Kavanaugh should necessarily be convicted of a crime to be disqualified. Even credible charges and a prosecution would be fine. Hell, even an allegation that is credible and supported by some kind of evidence and corroboration - not just one person's word about something that happened 36 years ago to destroy a career. 

 

5. I don't have a problem with his reaction. It was emotional, but it seems perfectly reasonable for him to get emotional and angry when subjected to a (he says) false accusation from 36 years ago that is destroying his career and reputation. 

I don't think that would have come across at all well. You would look like the lawyer who knows how to game the system, being politley smug, appearing unmoved and conceited. Calm because you don't care about how this woman feels now just as you didnt care then eh? 

 

I am all for having cold, objective, unemotional judicial AI on Supreme Courts to apply the constitution, adding a modicum of interpretation when absolutely necessary.

I would have thought that those who want Supreme Courts to evolve the constitution having humans with emotions and feelings would be preferable.

What I saw was not only a competent and experienced jurist but also a husband and a father. Given the attacks on everything his family stands for his behaviour was perfectly understandable.

if you're arguing that possessing a proper judicial demeanour and aptitude would not play out well politically, that is totally irrelevant

he's supposed to be a judge not a politician

look at the dignified manner in which Sir Stephen Richards dealt with sexual crime allegations against him. That is how to behave.

Where can we see the footage of stephen richards heffalump?

 

I am assuming westminster mags had the same circus that went to throw shit at Kavanaugh?

it's the judge's job to stay calm in face of pressure

Richards LJ had to face the full might of the British press

Heffers, do you really think it is inappropriate for someone to react with anger and outrage when falsely accused of a serious sexual crime?

Judges are still people 

stru: maybe not at the immediate moment of accusation

but at a hearing yes, absolutely. particularly when the accuser had pretty obviously believed what she was saying. His defence appeared to be mistaken identity. That is not a defence to get cross at the accuser about, or indeed anyone else.

I've had a look at the BBC website (on the basis of the hours of footage they have covering Kavanaugh) and this is the full extent of their reports on the Stephen Richards case:

 

[a]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6747347.stm[/a]

 

I'm also doing some research on how much beer Stephen Richards drinks and will report back shortly.

BK's behaviour (from what I saw of it) didn't seem to be the anger of a wrongly accused and innocent person. 

It was a display of petulant babyish rage because someone had said something that might stop him getting something he thinks he is entitled to.  And, no less, said by a woman.  HOW DARE SHE!!!

He'd had plenty of time to get his anger out of the way and behave in a calm and dignified manner.  As Ford managed to do in arguably more horrific circumstances.

'Pressured by other friends of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford to adjust her initial statement to include the fact that she believed the allegations".

Transparency is good. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. It is indeed a fact that she claims to believe what she claims to believe.

But does she believe what her friends have pressurised her to claim to believe?

This whole process has been a disgrace.

The president apparently said, at his swearing in,

“On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception.

....I must state that you, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent. Thank you. You were."

What a nonsense.  The accuser has gone in a matter of a few days from someone who was accepted as having given honest testimony, albeit whose accuracy was in doubt, is now denounced by the president as having told lies. And the new "justice" sits and accepts the president's words without protest.

Absolutely totally disgraceful.

It is a bit rich for Mr Trump, a man who basked in chants of "lock her up", to complain about due process.

Is the rule of law in the US now essentially dead? The Supreme Court seems to be just another political body.

You’ve got to hand it to Trump and the GOP. if you look at the rise of other dictators thru history during populist eras it has usually taken much longer to secure the judiciary. They’ve done it in 21 months. 

At this rate the US is finished for my lifetime as a democracy. 

 

Cookie man, I dislike Trump too, but I think we need to accept he is supported by the (majority of the) US public and he is succeeding because of that, not despite it - ie, because of democracy. 

I'm willing to bet good money he will be re-elected in 2020. 

Why would you accept something that isn’t true? He’s certainly got a large base that like what he’s doing but there I s no way it’s a majority of Americans (see his approval ratings). He didn’t even get the most votes in the election he won. 

What the fūck are you talking about. In what bizzaro universe is Trump supported by the majority of Americans?

He lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, more people didn't vote than voted for him, he has never cracked even close to 50% in the polls. he is easily one of the most unpopular presidents in recent history.

All that despite presiding over a booming economy and historically low unemployment.

 

You talk shite, pet.

 

 

a majority of the US public did not vote for Trump

he got fewer votes than Clinton

of course he was validly appointed president

but he is a disgrace, and a real test for the much lauded checks and balances of the US constitution

the Supreme Court has been politicised beyond any proper normal view of what it takes to be an impartial court of law

the democrats have to bear a share of blame for that, but most of the blame must lie on the republicans, who refused even to countenance Mr Obama's nomination and now have steam rollered through a man who is patently unsuitable for any judicial role

The only way that Trump gets re-elected in 2020 will be due to massive voter suppression, which has already begin in earnest for the midterms.

The Senate and the Electoral college are both deeply undemocratic. California, with almost 40m people have the same representation in the Senate as Wyoming (pop 500k). The Senate majority that just confirmed Kavanaugh represents only 44% of the country.

I wonder when he’ll join the dots between what’s said about Soros, and his own son in law. It would be very convenient for him to throw Jared under the bus as a sop to his racist hard base on the one hand and the oppo wanting a scalp for the corruption on the other.

Guys I don’t like him either but to win the Democrats have to look at the whole board without letting their distaste for the man getting in the way. I don’t see any evidence of strategic thinking or introspection about why they lost from the Democrats (whether Kavanaugh or the presidency). Just a lot of rage and handwringing about Evil Republicans.

There is a lot more support for Trump than you would think from reading the New York Times (they had a good piece yesterday about two waitresses in North Dakota who worked together for twenty years and one was white and pro Trump and the other black and anti Trump. The white one wasn’t some crazy racist - she just thought differently and until the Democrats figure out how to get people like her voting for them they will keep losing).

 

The majority vote Trump lost was symbolic. If the election had been FPTP he would have done things differently- he would have played up his moderate side and spent a lot more time in California - he said as much in a post election interview (come to think of it he may have stood as a Democrat then). 

I will give 3 to 1 odds to anyone who wants to bet against me for the 2020 elections - I say Trump will win. I am also very skeptical that the Democrats are going to take the House next month, or even make much headway. They are simply repeating all the mistakes they’ve made till now and hoping that this time they will work  

mid

 

 

What do you mean Cookie?

all im saying is that the Dems need to set aside their rage to look at Trump objectively and figure out why he keeps beating them politically (actually the Republicans generally not just Trump) and fix the root causes. 

 

From what I can see they are not doing that in the least and the core problem is that they are not even trying to empathise with why Trump voters voted for him and flip them - it is easier to just dismiss them as bigots and racists and while some of them certainly are that, many aren’t. 

 

Does anyone even remember that until the mid 90s and Newt Gingrich’s wave, the Democrats were *always* in control in the House and had been for decades? 

The Republicans got better at elections. The Democrats didn’t as a team (barring individual political geniuses - Bill (not Hillary), Obama etc and others at lower levels. 

Erm , the Republicans stole 3 states with Putin’s help. Wake up. The Dems no more just threw crap at them than they got thrown back at them. Obama was great at elections. The anger narrative is just another Rep smokescreen. 

Stru - you'll give 3-1 for Trump not to win the 2020 elections?

So if Trump wins I give you £100

If someone else wins (including him not standing) you'll give me £300?

Coracle - if he doesn’t stand for any reason then the bet is void. But if he stands and loses to anyone else then yes. You in?

Hmm, you're backing down now. He's not going to stand when he knows he's likely to lose (or when an impeachment is coming). He'll find an excuse to step down.

Cookie you mean guys like this? Actual lunatic Nazis who literally want to kill all the Jews etc?

 

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-nazis-in-america-meet-the-wors…

Or your more generic unpleasant right wing nutcases (Bannon et al)?

 

I think they are crazy and unpleasant of course. But I would say it is important to look at the entirety of their message and think about what it is they are saying that appeals to voters, and which the mainstream parties are not willing to say or talk about. 

Unless you think the majority of Americans genuinely support the views of these guys (I don't), the question is, what about them appeals to the voters? Why do they register protest votes with these guys? They are getting something there they don't from the Democrats and the Republicans - what is it? 

Take the UK example. They are (mostly) not as extreme, but why did UKIP have so much success and win Brexit? One of the big reasons is that they were willing to speak openly about immigration and its consequences and have an actual debate on the issue when the other parties weren't. 

Look, I'm an immigrant and I came to this country as a student and became a British citizen. I think immigration is great overall. But it has costs too (things like straining public services in specific areas etc) and there needs to be an open discussion about it, which was never allowed to happen (classic example is that Gordon Brown comment where he met some old lady in Lancashire complaining about immigration and was caught calling her as racist - I don't know the woman and maybe she really was racist, but that's not how you listen to and address people's legitimate concerns). 

No wonder people started to protest vote for people who were able to talk openly about what they were thinking. 

If you don't allow the legitimate concerns and grievances to be aired and addressed, the pressure doesn't go away - it just gets bottled up and explodes in even worse ways - whether that is voting for Brexit, voting for Trump or voting for neo-Nazis. 

 

Coracle - I'm betting that he has more support from the American public than you might think from the press coverage. Him not standing is a dynamic I can't account for. 

But I am also willing to bet (in addition to the above):

a) That Trump is not successfully impeached and removed from office at the same 3:1 odds (Democrats starting an impeachment process or even succeeding in passing a vote against him like with Clinton doesn't count)

b) That the Democrats do not take back control of the House next month (1.5:1 odds, not 3:1)

And one of the conclusions of letting these nutters out of the bag is that people in your position will be kicked out. Of the UK and of the US. Is that what you really want?

Of course not cookie, you know that. But we don't beat them by suppressing them - we beat them by engaging in the debate and showing them up for what they are - sunlight etc. 

The reason people listen to them (whether it is Brexit, Trump, whatever), is *because* no mainstream politician was (is) willing to have the debate and explain the benefits of immigration, the benefits the EU bring to us, while addressing the concerns of voters like that granny in Lancashire. Because that's *hard*. Actually persuading people means you actually have to listen to their concerns, understand them, empathize with them and try to address them. It's much easier to just dismiss concerns about immigration as "racist" and continue to blame the EU for decades as a convenient bogeyman, and look where that got us with the Brexit vote. 

This is true even when such voters are wrong. That grandma from Lancashire was *wrong* about immigration. But she (and all the people like her who voted for Brexit) is not going to change her views if those views are dismissed by labelling her "racist" instead of actually trying to understand her viewpoint. Because dismissing those concerns without taking them seriously doesn't make them go away - they just build up and go in other directions that are *worse* - whether that is to Trump, to UKIP, to Le Pen in France, to AfD in Germany, to the Sweden Democrats, and all the equivalent lunatic right-wingers across Europe. 

 

You cannot reason a person out of a belief or opinion that they did not reason them self into.

All you can do is get your side out to vote.

Stru it's entirely because those concerns haven't been addressed that we are where we are, agreed.

But there is also a shift in the discourse so that tolerance in itself is becoming a dirty word. And that is driven as much by this scandalous government and devious opposition as it is by individuals.

Once you add a large dose of economic hardship then it will be even more difficult to get people to engage. Public opinion is already shifting away from the largely liberal and inclusive society we have all enjoyed to a far more insular isolationist position. And that's when standing up for what you believe in gets much harder.

 

Trump won because the Democrats had a fairly weak and unlikeable candidate to the average American, who doesn't really care much about politics. It was a personality contest.

This doesn't apply to the educated ones like Supes.

You cannot reason a person out of a belief or opinion that they did not reason them self into.

 

If a person holds an opinion/belief out of ignorance (i.e. they did not reason themselves into it) , then by providing information and enabling an open debate/discussion, that person may change their mind.  

 

What is a reasonable reaction to the accusation simply cannot be answered by a woman, any more than any man can appreciate what its like to be raped (unless of course they'd been raped, which is rarer). 

an accusation of rape makes you a social pariah, completely destroys any reputation you have,  and, in these #metoo times, means the stench of suspicion will hang over you for a very long time. Innocent men have committed suicide, familiies have been torn apart, and many lives ruined. Every man knows this, and this is why it is about as highly charged an accusation as you can make.

when a false finger of accusation is pointed in your direction, the only reasonable reaction is to go into full ballistic mode.

Heffalump, do you believe Juanita Broaddrick' s rape allegations against Bill Clinton? do you think he should have been allowed to continue in public life after they were made?  Lord Finkelstein has written a good piece in today's times.