This is all very interesting, but it’s like… the guy threw a tantrum. We all saw it. What is this bullshit of pretending we live in some other reality where he took it seriously (the way a woman or brown person would have to), and gave useful answers? A tantrum is not a basis for serious deliberation. For that, we’re still waiting.
If we could get past step one – admitting that adult male tantrums exist – I feel like a lot of progress would follow automatically. We could begin to agree that certain outbursts are OK to ignore, even if they come from Turmp, or Lindsey Graham, or Kavanaugh. We could start to ask why adult men are throwing tantrums in the first place. We could even talk about whether we might want them to stop.
And, we could talk about something that is totally hidden behind these theatrics, which is that privilege is an actual, practical component of how the world works (the one thing that felt genuine was Kavanaugh’s grief and confusion about being denied something he’d been taught from birth was his once he collected enough stamps). It’s gross and horrible, which is why people lie that it doesn’t even exist, but it does. This has all been about whether Kavanaugh is a princeling who inherited the job the way you’d inherit a Fiestaware milk jug, or if he has to prove he’s worthy. Of course everyone’s going to get pissed off if they can’t mention the thing they’re really arguing about.
He admitted that he did things and didn’t list everyone involved, at least. Also, there was, in fact, an entry for a gathering that in both timing and other attendees, matched Dr. Ford’s party*. Not coincidentally, when the prosecutor brought in by the Republicans started asking him about it, she was rather abruptly relieved of her duties. (Which to me suggests that either the Republicans believe this happened, or are at least afraid it did.) I don’t know why he thought the calendar would be exonerating when it actually seems to have dropped him in it. It’s possible that he actually doesn’t remember what he did - there’s ample evidence and testimony by those who knew him that, in fact, he was a black-out drunk who frequently did things he subsequently forgot, including being aggressive.
*Notably, the event included the guy put forward by Kavanaugh’s friend as the look-alike who might have been the “real rapist.” That Dr. Ford had been dating the guy around that time made it pretty unlikely as a mistaken identity, but showed Kavanaugh’s likely involvement in this alternative narrative intended as a distraction. It also rather shows as a lie Kavanaugh’s statement that he didn’t go to parties “like that.”
Oh, they know it happened. They just don’t think attempted rape that can’t possibly be proven is a valid reason to risk that seat. Does anyone really believe Lindsay Graham gives that much of a shit about Kavanaugh’s family?
The reason Kavanaugh threw such a tantrum was that he was deeply offended by the suggestion that he should be required to tell the truth. Telling the truth is for the little people, for the wretches who show up in his courtroom. He feels he is above that requirement; he has the privilege to say whatever he damn well pleases. Telling the truth is as far beneath Kavanaugh as considering a woman’s consent.
The public push-back against the idea of privilege - the tantrums, the name-calling, the victim/offender reversals, the raving - is one of the strongest confirmations that not only is privilege real and important, but that at least some of the privilege-holders are keenly aware of what they have, at least on some intuitive level.
I honestly don’t know for sure, but it’s the $64,000 question.
Sometimes you have literal aristocracies, where certain people openly have power just because of who their parents are. They might be tyrants like Louis XIV or Henry VIII, or they might be the good kind of aristocrat like… uh… the guy from Downton Abbey?.. but at the very least it’s acknowledged that they have special privileges, and special expectations of them (at least in theory). However well it does or doesn’t work, it’s not a secret.
And then there’s America, where the dogma says everyone is exactly equal, but in truth there’s all kinds of privilege, up to the level of virtual de facto aristocrats like the Bushes and Kennedys. Privilege might even be more important, in some ways, because it doesn’t officially exist and so there are no institutions to rein it in. There’s no white-privilege ombudsman, and the Kochs aren’t beholden to a parliament. For generically privileged people like Kavanaugh, it’s possible they actually don’t understand how differently they are treated to most people. Unless it’s drummed into you from birth – and even then – most people make a point of not questioning whether they deserve the advantages handed to them. It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a privileged WASC to enter the kingdom of heaven… and if you don’t think you even have any privilege to check, you’re fucked.
Kavanaugh 100% perjured himself about his college drinking and multiple classmates are speaking up right on video interview, wait until FBI gets to them - he needs to not only be denied supreme court, but he needs to be removed/impeached from federal appeals court
I think the whole spectacle was farcical. In their attempt to put the gloss of legitimacy on the whole affair, the GOP brings in a prosecutor experienced in pursuing sex crimes. “This will show everyone how much we want to get to the real, actual truth!”
So they let the “prosecutor” question a “witness” for five whole minutes at a time. Because it isn’t, of course, a trial, she can’t call other witnesses. She can’t introduce evidence. She can’t pursue a line of questioning to its conclusion.
And then the GOP decided they had been too patient for too long and took the keys away from Mitchell, anyway.
And of course, through it all we were treated to Kavanugh’s patently injudicial temperament, demeanor, and thinking. He sure seems like a gross shitbag, but apart from that, he talks like a dope. Would anyone want this guy on the Supreme Court if he hadn’t laid the groundwork for putting a leash on the special prosecutor?
(Fascinating sidenote: I was also a high school student in 1982. I lived less than a half mile from the Chevy Chase Country Club, mentioned by Dr. Ford, and my parents still live there. That was basically my neighborhood. But I went to public schools because I am a salt-of-the-earth loser.)
No, of course not, but I think that cleaves pretty directly to the heart of the matter, too. They avoid questioning their advantages because they can see exactly where that would go.
I think the less-introspective elite types, who are today so noisily terrified of seeing privilege slip away, think of and experience privilege exactly that way: “I am ‘deserving.’” They feel deserving in their bones. When someone suggests that maybe they aren’t really so deserving, the knives come out. Uncloaking privilege genuinely is a painful, emotional attack on their very identities, and to varying degrees they understand that, intuit that, or feel that. They understand that “checking their privilege” would change who and what they are.
This is why we hear so much about Kavanaugh’s years of “loyal” service and “integrity,” but not so much about the quality, efficiency, clarity, fairness, or insight displayed in his work, which of course should be more important. His supporters are focusing on how much he deserves a chance at the Supreme Court, rather than the more-relevant question they’re supposed to be asking: Does the nation deserve a justice like Kavanaugh?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more suspicious of the whole concept of “deserving.” It’s only a mental / social construct, it’s just a feeling. It’s subjective and unstable, it has no physical reality and not even a consistent social reality. Any argument that relies on it is by definition an emotional argument. Emotions are important in human affairs, sure, but strong emotions are still just emotions.
I don’t think there’s much need to quote the entirety of Kipling’s “If”, here, except to point out one thing: using that poem as an impossible yardstick of “being a man”, which side in the Ford vs. Kavanaugh contest came closer to meeting the stardard?
That’s right, Brett…
She is more of “a man” than you are… And you know it.
waaah waaah “I worked my butt off” “I went to Yale Law School.” So did 100s of others, and I’d bet that there are PLENTY of them who wouldn’t have credible accusations of assault levied against them if they were nominated in his stead.