The Kavanaugh Hearings Redux

January 9th, 2019 13 Comments

On Wednesday mornings a bunch of us have breakfast together at a local restaurant. It’s a guy thing.

Two of the regulars are brothers, retired police officers who served on the same force in the same town at the same time. They are both kind, highly intelligent men, but like many law enforcement officers, they have very sick, wickedly funny senses of humor. It is humor, after all, that allows law enforcement professionals to keep their sanity and a kind of perspective on the human animal, and these two men have it in spades.

The topic of the Kavanaugh hearings came up over the huevos rancheros and the enchiladas one morning shortly after the conclusion of that disgraceful circus, and I was a little surprised both brothers seemed to have lost their sense of humor. Both were adamant in their conviction that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was lying. When I asked upon what they based that conclusion, they cited the numerous inconsistencies in her statements, the lack of corroboration even by personal friends, the denial by people she claimed were witnesses at the party, as well as multiple other aspects of her testimony. One of them summed it up by saying, basically (I’m paraphrasing), “This is what we did for thirty years. We staked our careers and frequently our lives on knowing when someone was lying.”

Okay, but that’s still essentially subjective. I had the same feeling myself, watching the hearings, though unlike the two brothers, I wasn’t able to break my reaction down into identifiable triggers.

A few weeks later I had a conversation with a lady I see regularly and chanced to mention what the two brothers had said. The lady jumped in immediately, vehemently, almost in anger, saying she knew as soon as Dr. Ford opened her mouth that she was lying. When I asked her how she could be so sure of such a thing, she told me she had been held at knifepoint by an illegal alien, in her own home, for a significant portion of an entire day, while the illegal amused himself with her. “You don’t forget details in a situation like that,” my friend said. “Every second. I can recall every single second of those hours. There isn’t a detail of any kind I don’t remember with absolute accuracy.”

That certainly coincides with my own experience getting shot.

And shortly afterward, I happened to read an account by a woman who, through sheer luck, survived a murder attempt by a notorious serial killer. She too commented on the clarity of detail she could recall about an incident that had occurred over forty years earlier.

But regardless of what you or I might think about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, it was the behaviors of the Democrat senators that should alarm you. That readiness, even eagerness, to ignore the rule of law, and to abandon any pretense of adhering to the principle, “innocent until proven guilty,” drove home the fact that this had nothing to do with justice for Dr. Ford, but everything to do with forwarding a political agenda.

In case you think I’m making too much of this—old news; ho hum; he was confirmed, so what’s the big deal—consider the following:

President Donald Trump has nominated an Omaha, Nebraska lawyer named Brian Buescher to sit on the US District Court in Nebraska. Mr. Buescher is a Catholic and a member of the Catholic charity and service organization The Knights of Columbus.

To give you an idea of how dangerously radical and far-right-wing the Knights of Columbus is, you should know that during World War One they ran the only integrated hospitality and recreation centers for American troops. They opposed racial and religious prejudice during the 1920s by commissioning books on black and Jewish history. Also in the 1920s, they waged a successful legal battle against the Ku Klux Klan. The Knights of Columbus spoke out about the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany even as progressive icon, then-president, and anti-Semite Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned away Jewish refugees seeking asylum from the Nazi holocaust. More recently, the Knights of Columbus supported The Little Sisters of the Poor in their fight for religious freedom. They have tried to help non-Catholic Christians, Yazidis, and Shi’a Muslims targeted for genocide by ISIS. And according to a very moving account in the Wall Street Journal by Pentecostal Minister Eugene F. Rivers III, in just the last decade alone, the Knights of Columbus has raised over one billion (that’s billion with a “b”) dollars and conducted hundreds of millions of hours of service for multiple charities. In just the last decade.

So why do those current progressive senatorial darlings Mazie Hirono (HI) and Kamala Harris (CA) oppose Mr. Buescher’s nomination? Is it because of his personal views? Is it because of his record? Is it because of his rulings? Is it because of his judicial writings?

No, Gentle Reader. Senators Hirono and Harris oppose Mr. Buescher because he is a member of the Knights of Columbus, and the Knights of Columbus do not believe in same-sex marriage or abortion. Hirono and Harris are not opposing Buescher because of his personal views, or because of judicial history, or because of his judicial rulings, or because of his legal writings, or because of his personal writings or opinions, or even because someone concocted a fake story about his drunken attempt to sexually assault her. They oppose him simply because he is a member of a religious organization they (Hirono and Harris) do not like. Never mind the courageous fights by that organization against racism and antisemitism (which still runs rampant in this country; witness the many members of congress who claim friendship with Lewis Farrakhan and who support the Boycott Divestment Sanction movement); Hirono and Harris see fit to condemn Mr. Buescher because they disagree with his views on sexual matters.

I want to make sure, Gentle Reader, you are absolutely clear about the implications of this. We’re talking about two United States senators, Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris, women who have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and to enforce the laws of our country, who are ignoring the precepts of the First Amendment (free exercise of religion) and the very specific law spelled out in Article VI (“no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any oath of Office or public trust under the United States”) to advance their own personal and short-term political agenda.

Kamala Harris is said to be jockeying for an inside post in the 2020 presidential run. If she should win her party’s nomination, before you consider voting for her, remember her contempt for the rule of law and the constitution she has sworn to uphold and defend, because there’s a word for her kind of politics: totalitarianism.

Perhaps you agree with senators Hirono and Harris; perhaps you believe strongly in same-sex marriage and abortion. That’s fine, but I hope you have the intelligence and moral conviction to separate your beliefs from the laws that protect you and me. If you do agree with Senators Hirono and Harris that anyone who holds a different opinion from yours should be banned from public service, don’t forget to remember that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and this particular malignant and poisonous sauce will eventually destroy the laws and precepts that make up the best of this country. That kind of totalitarian sauce will ultimately destroy all of us.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Jameson Parker, You have brought much enjoyment to my life. First with Simon & Simon and Now your website. Simon & Simon was probably the very best detective TV series ever brought to TV. I loved the warm loving relationship you had with Rick (Gerald McRaney) while you often differed you never bickered. A Truly Class Act! There are several reasons why I loved Simon & Simon.
    As for your website, It’s Fantastic too! FAR BETTER than Expected! Your opinions are Reasoned, Thoughtful, and even Insightful! Mark H from ND

    • Thank you very much for the kind words. Mackie and I had a great time on Simon & Simon, and I still enjoy talking to him several times a year. He is a very talented man.
      As for my writing, I understand not everyone will agree with my opinions, but the concept of courteous debate seems to have largely vanished, both on social media and on Capitol Hill. I am always happy to read dissenting opinions and to try and defend my point of view without resorting to ranting or profanity. Open minds are always more interesting than closed ones, regardless of topic.
      Thanks again.
      JP

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been thinking about this since the post back in October.
    What seems to me to be the most important point in this is the axiom of “innocent until proven guilty” and this idea should apply to all parties in a dispute, not just the accused. The accuser should be considered “innocent until proven guilty” of not being a liar and a false accuser.
    Having said that, I also feel that just about everyone on the planet is too far removed from the facts of these situations to be passing judgement. Social media seems to allow everyone to condemn and to even go too far and threaten. Having an opinion is fine but who am I to pass judgment when I really have no access to the facts?
    What I have wondered in regards to the Kavanaugh/Ford case is why someone who has a good job, family and so on would take such a risk to make the accusation knowing what personal destruction it could lead to? What is to be gained? Money? No. Improved social or political standing? I don’t see it. Revenge? Could it be to try to right a perceived wrong in an altruistic attempt to protect the country from someone unworthy of the position? I don’t know. Have I missed something?
    I am going to leave it there. I have no answers. I try my best to be holistic and look at all sides of every story. I will join in agreement with Mark from ND. I really enjoy the intelligent, thoughtful forum for ideas. I won’t always agree with what you say and you won’t always agree with me either. However, you present good, intelligent arguments for your opinions and that allows me to see things from another side. I may not change my opinion (but I might!) but I will say, “yes, I see what you mean” and that expands my understanding. Great stuff! Thanks again.
    PS. You have not written anything about your dogs for awhile. Australian Shepherds, I believe. How are they doing? We added a new Sheltie puppy to our family last November and her youthful energy and joie de vivre has been an endless delight.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Forgot to sign my comment.
    Nora M

  4. Anonymous says:

    I made a formal complaint against Judge (now Justice) Kavanaugh. In my complaint I made it very clear that I was not in a position to determine the truth of the allegations against Kavanaugh. I was, however, after watching the entire hearing, able to state that Kavanaugh’s behavior was inappropriate. I find it hard to believe that any impartial observer would be able to truthfully state that Kavanaugh displayed the temperament and impartiality required of a judge at any level of the judiciary. I was, and am, appalled that any person would have voted to confirm him to the Supreme Court. Not only have I lost any faith in the integrity of the judicial system, I also lost what little faith I had left in the integrity of those who are supposedly representing the people — not the people who fund their campaigns, or the people of the same political party or the people of the same social class, or of the same skin color, and so on — but every citizen of this country.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hello JP,

    I believe that supporters of BDS are automatically anti-Semites, because the government of Israel represents every single Jew who lives inside or outside Israel, but not the 20% of Israeli citizens who are not Jewish, so criticism of the Israeli government is criticism of all Jews and only Jews.

    Also, singling out Israel as the only country on the planet to declare sanctions against (except Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Cuba, Venezuela, Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Somalia, South Africa and Russia) just because they have been occupying another country for 50 years is clearly anti-Semitic.

    The following organizations who claim the Israeli government does not represent them must be deluded:

    Academia4equality (Israel)
    Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle, Southern California
    Boycott from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)
    Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel)
    Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine (France)
    Dayenu: New Zealand Jews Against Occupation (New Zealand)
    Een Ander Joods Geluid (A Different Jewish Voice) (The Netherlands)
    Een Andere Joodse Stem – Another Jewish Voice (Flanders, Belgium)
    European Jews for a Just Peace
    Free Speech on Israel (UK)
    Gate48 – critical Israelis in the Netherlands
    Independent Jewish Voices (Canada)
    Independent Jewish Voices (UK)
    International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
    Italian Network of Jews Against the Occupation
    Jewish Anti-Fascist Action Berlin (Germany)
    Jewish Socialists’ Group (UK)
    Jewish Voice for Democracy and Justice in Israel/Palestine (Switzerland)
    Jewish Voice For Labour (UK)
    Jewish Voice for Peace (USA)
    Jewish Voice for Peace members in London (UK)
    Jews Against Fascism (Australia)
    Jews against the Occupation (Australia)
    Jews for Justice for Palestinians (UK)
    Jews for Palestinian Right of Return (USA)
    Jews of Color & Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in Solidarity w/ Palestine (USA)
    Jews Say No! (USA)
    JIPF – Judar för Israelisk Palestinsk Fred (Sweden)
    Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden im Nahost e.V. (Germany)
    Junts, Associació Catalana de Jueus i Palestins (Catalonia, Spain)
    Los Otros Judíos (Argentina)
    Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine (UK)
    Quebrando Muros – Judeus Brasileiros Pela Descolonização da Palestina (Brazil)
    Scottish Jews Against Zionism
    SEDQ Network- A Global Jewish Network for Justice
    South African Jewish Voices for a Just Peace (South Africa)
    South African Jews for a Free Palestine (South Africa)
    Union des progressistes juifs de Belgique (Saint-Gilles, Belgium)
    United Jewish People’s Order (Canada)
    Union Juive Française pour la Paix (France)
    Boston Workmen’s Circle, Center for Jewish Culture and Social Justice

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good old JP, proving once again that party before country is the only way to go. This is the same guy who says if someone lies to him, he’s done. All these empty words, but not a single criticism for his own party, what a patriot! All that is missing from the beginning of is what should be the first line of every post: “This is what Fox News told me what I think today”. Submitted for your approval, this wonderful revisit of Kavanaugh, by a bunch of old white men sitting around having breakfast. Mr. Parker claims to be a rule of law guy, he loves him some constitution. Claims those dirty liberals just presumed guilt and convicted the guy, sight unseen. Except all they did was demand full hearings with evidence, which Parker’s party fought tooth and nail with every maneuver they could to block people from testifying. Don’t know who was right or wrong, but the B.S. about memory is as laughable as it is easily disproved with countless studies in faulty memories and mistaken identity cases. You want it both ways here. She HAS to be a liar, because Mr. Parker says he remembers an incident clearly from 30 years ago! Or she has to be mistaken, which can’t happen, because all people who experience trauma remember all the details in vivid recollect. It happens, all the time. This is simply another case of the right wing doing every mental calisthenic to put party before country. Win at all costs. Every lie is explained, deflected, ignored. Every corruption is made up by the liberals in some grand plot. Every misstep swatted away. Party first. Dig in.

    Read back 3 – 5 years on this very blog, find the sins of Obama. Then come to present day and watch Mr. Parker ignore his feckless leader’s same or worse sins. Then examine his claims that he’s a patriot, a good American, rule of law guy, holds his leaders to account. History will judge you Mr. Parker, as it will judge all those ideologues who chose to look the other way. You are no better than those you despised years ago as Obama fans who ignored his failings. Enjoy your so-called winning, the reckoning is coming.

    • You are either very confused or being willfully obtuse. I haven’t a clue what the truth is or was about Dr. Ford and/or Mr. Kavanaugh, nor was that the thrust of my post. I was simply summing up a politically motivated bias within that hearing to lead up to a far worse and far more dangerous willingness to subvert the Constitution of the United States (the First Amendment and Article VI, as referenced above) in pursuit of a political agenda. If that does not concern you, then you are one of the ideologues you condemn who chose to look the other way. We all have our personal beliefs and biases; it is the Constitution that allows us to have them, and for two US Senators–oh, hell, let’s throw Diane (“the dogma lives loud in you”) Feinstein in there and make it three–to ignore the very laws they have sworn to uphold and defend should be frightening to all of us.
      JP

  7. Anonymous says:

    Let’s play a time travel game, substitute two words in the following missive. Trump for Obama. Pence for Biden. Or if you prefer Trump for Hillary and Pence for Kaine.

    We’ll ignore every other thing Trump supposedly has done, and what he actually has done. We’ll drop all of it. Just the following true and undeniable issue below, make the word swaps, then tell me what the conservative/right response would have been. Trump’s personal lawyer and good friend until he became a “rat” for not shutting up about his part in the corruption that Trump oozes from every pore, admitting he arranged access to Trump, and before you get started, please don’t tell me Trump knew nothing about XYZ. Trump calls the shots, stop the nonsense that he doesn’t. Selling access to the White House by Trump’s right hand man is a “private matter”? The White House would be on fire right now if we make the word swaps as dictated by the rules of the game I proposed above. Instead. Crickets. Rome. Is. Burning.

    GO—->

    During an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence downplayed the pay-for-play scandal involving President Trump’s longtime personal attorney and fixer as “a private matter.”

    Mitchell pointed out to Pence that “you now have the president’s lawyer getting millions of dollars from companies that he says he can get access, including one company that had a Russian connection. Is that draining the swamp?”

    Pence dismissed the scandal, and tried to distance himself from it.

    “Well, what I can say is that, that private matter is something I don’t have any knowledge about, and the White House issued a statement saying the same,” he said.

    • I haven’t a clue what the truth is about Mr. Trump, and that statement sums up a part of what is so dysfunctional in our country today. The mainstream media (as opposed to online sources which are even more questionable, on both sides) has repeatedly told so many demonstrable lies, made so many mistakes, and revealed so much animus toward Mr. Trump, that it is impossible to know what the truth might be about anything he does. What I do know is that so much energy is being expended on various investigations, that sooner or later the truth–whatever it may be–will come out and I look forward to that, no matter what the outcome. I have far less confidence that the abuses of the Obama/Clinton era will ever come to light because the same people who loathe and despise Trump are so eager to protect two progressive people who appear to have done irreparable harm to their country, one for ideological reasons, the other for personal profit and aggrandizement. I just wish there were an equal eagerness for truth as an objective, non-ideological, non-partisan ideal, but I won’t hold my breath.
      JP

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have no words at this atrocity.

    But really should we be surprised?

    Ginny

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