It appears that the space on the Me-Too mantle reserved for the scalp of a Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justice will remain vacant for the moment, at least until impeachment proceedings can begin. It was a close call. Going in, Judge Kavanaugh already had three strikes against him: he’s white, he’s male, and he’s (purportedly) conservative (his opinion on the Planned Parenthood case suggests that he might already have “grown” in office; but let’s see.) The fact that fully-accredited boy-feminists such as Bill Clinton and Justin Trudeau still have their hair tells us that of the three disqualifying sins in the theology of the Church of Progress, the last is the most grievous.
Which is not to say that most progressives weren’t willing to convict Kavanaugh on any single one of them. As Hawaii’s Democrat senator Mazi Hirono harangued America’s deplorables, the “men of this country” should “just shut up and step up”. Now, a Carthusian vow of silence by every man and male-child in America might be a pleasant prospect, if it meant that we didn’t have to listen to Chuck Schumer waxing eschatological every time a new Trump initiative comes before the Senate. But I doubt that Chuck would feel bound by it, since for Chuck “stepping up” always involves microphones, cameras, and a podium.
According to Hirono, men shouldn’t bother their pretty little heads about such complicated matters as truth and justice (the arcana of which only women can comprehend); they ought to go back to their ovens and bake bricks, I suppose. Does that ring any analogical bells from the patriarchal oppressor narrative?
As even Hirono knows, men have “shut up” and “stepped up” without complaint throughout history: during every war, every foray into the jungle in search of food, every sea-voyage of discovery, every descent into the mines. But that doesn’t earn them much credit in the current masculo-phobic political environment.
As a Democrat, Ms. Hirono should have known that those who sit across the Senate aisle from her would not only shut up and step forward, but also bend over backwards. The latter has become their default posture, to the point that one is compelled to wonder whether, unique amongst the species homo sapiens, Republicans are indeed “throwbacks”, as they are reflexively characterized, if only in the evolutionary sense of being born with invertebrate spines. (And liberals say you can’t turn the clock back!)
What does it tell you about the “culture wars” that Republicans have voted to confirm every progressive activist Supreme Court nominee proposed by Clinton and Obama—indeed, Republican Presidents have nominated a few progressives of their own, as it turns out–, while Democrats as a tribe have attempted to defenestrate every conservative nominee since Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas? In spite of the proud declaration of their intention to vote No by all but a few Democrats before the confirmation process had even begun, and the Soros-subsidized rental mobs bussed in to the Senate gallery to disrupt it on cue, Republicans nonetheless bound themselves to a fifteenth-century code of chivalric conduct in the questioning of Kavanaugh’s eleventh-hour female accuser.
Their ritual encomia of D-O-C-T-O-R Ford’s “credibility”, “sincerity”, and “courage” were so nauseatingly sycophantic that at one point the GOP Senate appeared to be on the verge of inviting her to become the nominee in Kavanaugh’s place. During the hearings, and all night on cable news, the phrase “credible and compelling” was intoned like a liturgical formula (vere credibile et persuandum,…dignum et iustum est). (Whenever a mantra is repeated as many times as “credible and compelling”, one knows, once again, that one is hearing the alliterative lowing of the liberal herd of independent minds.)
Characterizing D-O-C-T-O-R Ford’s testimony as “compelling and credible”—while her own friendly witnesses completely denied it–reminded me of those Orwellian inversions—war is peace; dictatorship is democracy–that the Soviet propaganda machine used to merchandise to gullible western intellectuals, willing to believe the confabulations of Lenin and Stalin as uncritically as modern progressives “believe the women”. When not even Republicans could maintain the pretense of Ford’s believability, their lexicon of appeasement modulated from “credible and compelling” to the polite oxymoron “credible but uncorroborated”. Uncorroborated is a creatively pleasant euphemism for refuted in whole and in part. If D-O-C-T-O-R Ford had affirmed that fifty years ago she had been an original member of the crew of the lunar landing (though she couldn’t recall precisely when it occurred, what planet it landed on, or how she got back to earth), the Republicans would have called her testimony “credible but uncorroborated”.
What the Kavanaugh affair illustrates is liberalism’s Great Vowel Shift toward authoritarianism. Time was when liberalism was beset by an existential anxiety about the rights of the accused, whose civil liberties had to be protected by means of Pharisaical procedural punctilios, even if it meant that the guilty often escaped under a fog of legal technicalities.
Meanwhile, the presumption of innocence, and the concomitant obligation of the accuser to prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt, having been relegated to the status of quaint anachronisms, it was left to Kavanaugh to prove that he wasn’t there—an epistemological impossibility made even more impossible inasmuch as D-O-C-T-O-R Ford couldn’t exactly say when or where the “there” was. The Democrat/Ford case turned appropriately enough on the Neo-McCarthyite question, “Have you recently or ever been to a party, during any summer in the 1980s or since, at a house somewhere in the vicinity of Maryland?”
Still, with the eventual exception of Lindsey Graham, not a single Republican, uncowed by the Me-Too terror, dared to ventilate what so many were thinking: that D-O-C-T-O-R Ford, a longstanding anti-Trump activist, had, in complicity with her longstanding Democrat activist lawyer and Senate minority leader Feinstein, confabulated the whole sordid affair for blatantly political purposes. (Tawana Brawley, call your office.)
It was an open secret that Democrats had put out an audition call for Trump resistors in the role of Me-Too heroine as soon as the nominee was first named, and that they continued to advertise the role in the dwindling hope of finding a “credible” performer until the minute before the vote was held. When Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick both eventually declined the part and recanted, the pretext for disqualification devolved from gang rape, to adolescent drunkenness, to lying under oath about adolescent drunkenness, to lacking the proper judicial temperament (for Kavanaugh’s “overly-passionate” denial of the above). Finally, when the Democrats demanded an FBI investigation (just one more week; well, just two more weeks), the Republicans “stepped up” and bent over backwards two more times.
What the Kavanaugh hearings revealed above all was the Republicans’ congenital indignation deficit (while their progressive opponents are drowning in a surfeit thereof). To every ideological battle I have witnessed since Reagan, Democrats have come armed with their familiar panoply of weapons of mass rhetorical destruction, while Republicans bring only the terms of surrender.
Should the latter prevail (on anything), children will starve in the streets, seniors will be forced to eat cat-food, the poor will be denied health care and perish on hospital steps, women will again die of back-alley abortions and their progress be set back to the age of the cave-dwellers, and blacks, gays, and immigrants will be rousted from their beds at midnight and hung from the rostra by marauding gangs of white supremacists. Meanwhile, Democrats and their supporters officially renounce civility (Hillary) (redundantly, since they have already made a habit of calling Trump “Hitlerian” [Schumer] and a “motherf—-r” [Rashida Tlaib]), hound Republicans in private restaurants (Cruz; Sanders), threaten to bomb the White House (Madonna), issue death threats against Senators (Collins; Cruz), or attempt to assassinate Congressmen on baseball fields (Scalese). In response, the GOP vows magnanimously to reach across the aisle in the spirit of compromise.