Both sides played games, and America lost.
And so we begin. Brett Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court, and tragically, his seat will forever be mired in doubt and suspicion.
But let me be one to go down this rabbit hole: suppose he truly is innocent of the allegations and the whole thing was a plot, a conspiracy, a hoax set up by the liberal media to destroy him. Let us just assume that.
It’s a shame he never got a chance to clear his name, isn’t it?
My conservative brothers and sisters have pointed out issue with the senator Dianne Feinstein and how she handled the allegations. The question was, if she knew about these allegations, why did she sit on them for so long only to spring them up at the last minute? The truth is blunt and we all know it: she was banking on derailing his nomination and her party winning the midterms. She played her cards so that if he didn’t get confirmed, there would be no time to find an alternative before November.
But before we go and call shenanigans and lift up arms against us damned liberals, let us not forget Chuck Grassley’s bishop-B7 response to her pawn-E4. The truth? Both sides played games, and America lost. Liberals called Dr. Ford the victim of sexual assault, and conservatives called Brett Kavanaugh a victim of character assassination. ‘Women lie sometimes,’ they say, ‘what about due process,’ they say. The truth? There was no due fucking process and both ended up victims.
Let us begin with the so-called hearing. Mr. Grassley arranged a Senate hearing in which both Ford and Kavanaugh would give their side of the story. But the way it was set up made it a foregone conclusion. It was in a very real sense, a kangaroo hearing, in which the outcome was preordained. There was no effort on Grassley’s side to get at the truth. None. Else why wasn’t the other alleged eyewitness called to testify? Why was it that the pinch-hitting, career sex-crimes prosecutor wasn’t allowed to ask him any questions? Why weren’t his other accusers brought in to testify?
Obviously, Grassley, Graham, and the whole lot of them either knew or were afraid the guy actually had something to hide and it would have come out. And so he was denied an opportunity to clear his name. More to the point, these tactics made him look a hell-of-a-lot more guilty.
Then there was the sham investigation. By all accounts outside Fox News, the FBI was hogtied with a limited list of people they could talk to and a limited scope of allegations they could investigate. Makes sense: Trump controls the FBI and could direct his people to investigate at his direction; loyalty to Trump is the job description in this administration.
It’s possible a proper hearing and a proper investigation could have turned up nothing actionable, and it’s possible a large number of liberals still wouldn’t be happy, but we’ll never know. It’s unfortunate we never got a chance to get any real clarity on this circus. Obviously, Chuck was afraid to delay the confirmation vote because he knew there’s a good chance Democrats could take the legislature next month and his party would have to find a new, less partisan nominee. Which begs the question: if the SCOTUS is supposed to be filled with non-partisan defenders of Constitutional law, should it matter which party nominates the justices? Or am I too much of an idealist?
Dianne Feinstein played games, but that’s not an indictment against Dr. Ford, neither should it be seen as such. Chuck Grassley played games, and that’s not an indictment against Kavanaugh, either. Yet because of these games, we now have a Supreme Court justice who half the country believes to be a dishonest, alcoholic misogynist. And every ruling he makes will carry that moniker.
I wish he’d been given a chance to clear his name.
Michael Patrick Lewis is a teacher, and bestselling author of Preferred Rewards. Check out my newest book, A Dance to Remember. You can also find him on Twitter @fakeMikeLewis. BTW this is what I mean when I say “the GOP puts party before country.” I have been guilty of generalizing, as not all Republicans act this way. A lot of them do, especially those in Congress, but that doesn’t excuse my use of a broad brush to paint them all at once. Sorry.