One of two things is happening right now …
Either we are witnessing a coordinated, high-level character assassination the likes of which this nation has not seen in some time … or the administration of U.S. president Donald Trump failed cataclysmically to vet a nominee for the single highest-profile appointment that it makes.
Pick your poison … but one way or another, the toxicity of Washington, D.C. has reached a disturbing new level as both detractors and defenders of the man at the center of this storm are allowing ideological and partisan tribalism to guide them in their deliberations.
It has been a week since the first bombshell allegation was leveled against U.S. supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a court of appeals judge whose nomination by Trump was panned by this news outlet when it was first announced back in July. We called Trump’s pick “uninspiring,” and we made it clear when the scandal first reared its ugly head that we did not care whether Kavanaugh weathered the storm to claim his lifetime spot on the high court.
We still feel that way …
If he goes down, he goes down.
Obviously, that statement is not a value judgment as to the merits of the sexual assault allegations leveled against Kavanaugh, nor is it an endorsement of the reprehensible “guilty until proven innocent” Beltway circus which has assembled around them. Our bottom line is simple: We have fundamental ideological differences with this particular nominee – and if his confirmation winds up being denied, it could wind up being for the best.
As we have noted on several prior occasions, Trump vowed during the 2016 to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade – the controversial 1973 decision that legalized abortion on demand in America. During his confirmation hearing for the D.C. circuit seat in 2006, however, Kavanaugh vowed to “faithfully and fully” apply Roe v. Wade because it was the “binding precedent of the court.”
“Congress may fix the alleged constitutional shortcoming and ensure that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provision fits comfortably within Congress’s taxing clause power,” Kavanaugh wrote in a prior ruling cited by Edwards.
In light of these decidedly non-conservative positions, this news outlet has declined to support Kavanaugh’s nomination – although in fairness we have taken a similarly dim view of this last-minute bid to sink his confirmation. We have also repeatedly made it clear that policy disagreements are not a valid reason to vote against him.
“We don’t like Trump’s pick, but at the end of the day it is Trump’s pick,” we wrote last week, arguing that despite our ideological misgivings the 53-year-old Washington, D.C. native should be confirmed barring the production of “incontrovertible evidence” related to the claims against him.
And just to be clear, we are still waiting for such evidence.
(Click to view)
(Via: The White House)
For awhile, it seemed as though Democratic efforts to sink the Kavanaugh confirmation were destined to fail – with even left-leaning GOP senators falling in line behind the embattled judge. Working in his favor? In addition to the absence of any hard evidence to support her claim, California professor Christine Blasey Ford – who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party when the two were teenagers back in the early 1980s – has had trouble getting witnesses to corroborate her allegations.
Over the weekend, however, there were two major developments which threatened to shift the momentum against the judge.
First, Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer of The New Yorker dropped a bombshell report in which 53-year-old Deborah Ramirez – a former classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale – alleged that she was the recipient of an unwanted sexual advance from the future judge when the two were freshmen at the Ivy League school.
Worth noting? Ramirez’s allegation was couched in some of the most bizarre language we have ever seen given credence in a mainstream media report.
Take this excerpt ….
In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.
“After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney?”
That strikes us as a highly dubious standard …
More ominously for Kavanaugh, attorney Michael Avenatti – who represents adult entertainer Stormy Daniels – tweeted on Sunday that he represented “a woman with credible information regarding Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge.”
According to an email sent by Avenatti to the U.S. Senate judiciary committee, Kavanaugh, Judge and other male classmates allegedly participated in the “targeting of women with alcohol/ drugs” as a prelude to gang rapes.
Avenatti added “there are are multiple witnesses that will corroborate these facts and each of them must be called to testify publicly,”
“We will be demanding the opportunity to present testimony to the committee and will likewise be demanding that Judge and others be subpoenaed to testify,” Avenatti tweeted. “The nomination must be withdrawn.”
Brett Kavanaugh must also be asked about this entry in his yearbook: "FFFFFFFourth of July." We believe that this stands for: Find them, French them, Feel them, Finger them, F*ck them, Forget them. As well as the term "Devil's Triangle." Perhaps Sen. Grassley can ask him. #Basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 24, 2018
Kavanaugh and Ford are scheduled to testify before senators this Thursday in relation to the allegation that started this circus. It is not immediately clear how lawmakers intend to handle the latest batch of allegations against Kavanaugh, but it is clear his nomination is in grave danger.
For his part, the judge isn’t backing down – issuing a blanket denial of all the new allegations.
“This is a smear, plain and simple,” Kavanaugh said late Sunday. “I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name – and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building – against these last-minute allegations.”
Trump is also continuing to stand by his choice.
“The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh,” spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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