Friday, October 5, 2018

we've all lost


I’ve been watching the Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford dealings now with a very heightened state of observance, and I’ve not offered anything on it yet, but I really feel like I need to finally say something about this. 

Should you care what I have to say?  Maybe.  If nothing else, it might serve to illuminate something you might have not considered in this matter.

I’m going to assume that you’ve watched the judiciary debate on Mr. Kavanaugh.  And, even if you haven’t watched it, I won’t assume you have an opinion on the matter- I know you do, whether or not you watched it all.  All of us seem to.  I’m not calling into question your opinion on whether or not Kavanaugh did what Dr. Ford alleges he did or not- you are completely entitled to your opinion, as am I.

Now, we’re basically down to deciding if Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed or not, and the one thing that strikes me is that people have made their decisions on what they think.  And here’s the deal:

It doesn’t matter what you think.  And it doesn’t matter what I think, either.

The simple fact of the matter is that justice isn’t based on what we think.  It’s based on the facts that come from the case and the investigations that get that data.  Now, before you run completely off the rails and say, “but there was no investigation and that’s the problem”, let me correct you here- there was an investigation.  And, truthfully, there was more than one.  And all of them found no corroborating data to back up Dr. Ford’s allegations.  You can call into question the veracity and scope of these investigations and sworn testimonies, but the fact is that none has been found.
But that’s not the problem here.  Believe it or not.

The problem here is that the judiciary committee – both sides – have run roughshod over the entirety of the law in order to get what each other’s side wants, and they have done so at the expense of two people who are caught in the middle, Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh.

You see, the Republicans want their judge.  The Democrats don’t want the Republican judge.  It’s as simple as that.  Both sides are posturing and proffering their sides and hiding behind the legalese of the moment.  Yes, the Republicans did call for an investigation (that’s where Mark Judge’s sworn statement came from- it did not appear out of thin air) and Sen. Jeff Flake asked for another one that resulted in the non-findings we saw on Thursday.  The Democrats were presented with a letter from Dr. Ford in July and were asked to not make it public – and, by the way, they could have asked for an FBI investigation right then and there based on that letter, as is their right – and they chose not to do it until Judge Kavanaugh’s record failed to disqualify him, and then Sen. Feinstein’s office leaked it at the 11th hour.  (and they did leak it- they had the only copy of the letter, and the entire letter was leaked to the press) The hope in leaking the document was so that they could delay the confirmation hearings until the mid-term elections in November, where they hope they will win the Senate and the House and turn back the nomination that way.

Both sides have committed egregious sins here.  BOTH SIDES. Both sides performed their tasks at the barest of minimums to be within the bounds of the law - just enough - and did so knowing full well that they would have plenty of places to hide.  Neither one is better than the other, and what we’ve been left with is a court of popular opinion as to whether Judge Kavanaugh actually assaulted Dr. Ford in the summer 1982.  Based on the findings of the FBI and the other sworn statements, it simply cannot be established. 

It’s important to understand that justice simply cannot be born out of what we think.  Facts have to be corroborated in any court case for guilt.  In this country, you and everyone around you is supposed to be innocent until found guilty of a crime, and the mere allegation of a crime is not and should never be enough to find someone guilty.

So, both sides have “gamed the system” here, and we are all left to our own devices.  Whether or not Judge Kavanaugh is actually guilty of Dr. Ford’s allegations is something we will never know, and our government has seen to that.  

All of that is really sad and troubling, but it pales in comparison to the truly troubling part- and that is that a very serious allegation has been weaponized for political gain by both sides.  Both sides have set investigating sexual assault back at least 25 years.  ANYONE who makes a claim of sexual assault, regardless of when or where it happened – they need to be validated and heard.  This is an awful, awful thing to have happen to anyone, and to have it marginalized in the fashion that we’ve all witnessed – and marginalized by BOTH SIDES FOR THEIR OWN GAIN is just about the worst thing I’ve ever witnessed in my 54 years on this planet.  Watching the testimony of Dr. Ford and then Judge Kavanaugh last week (I watched the entire thing from start to finish) made me physically sick to my stomach.  No one was listened to.  No one was heard.  Not Dr. Ford and not Judge Kavanaugh.  Both of them were equally compelling in their testimony, and I personally could reach no real determination based on what I saw, because all I saw was the Democrats pandering to Dr. Ford and doing their level best to crucify Judge Kavanaugh and vice-versa for the Republicans (while their side stepped asking Dr. Ford any real questions at all).  

I have to say that the single most egregious thing I saw all day was Sen. Feinstein’s answers to whether or not she leaked the letter.  That was amazingly disgusting to watch, but basically she knew she was caught, and when she knew it, she immediately threw Dr. Ford under the wheels of her own particular bus and actually suggested that Dr. Ford was somehow to blame for it.  The media pretty much ignored that, but that was seared into my brain and was a real tell on the entirety of the proceedings- there was no depth either side wasn’t willing to sink to in order to get their agenda met, including sandbagging their own “witness”.  Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans had even the slightest desire to hear anything that didn’t directly serve their purpose, and for the first time in my life I saw the very darkest side of US politicians.  They are all truly scumbags and none of them should be in any place of power.  Not one single one of them.

This weekend, we’re supposed to have the final vote to confirm.  I don’t know how that’s going to turn out, and now I don’t care.  The Supreme Court is supposed to be the final non-partisan arbiter of the law, and with this set of proceedings it is extremely clear that isn’t going to be the case anymore.  Maybe it never was, but at least it hasn’t been so obvious before.  At least not to me.

So, when that vote comes down and you find yourself just echoing the same crap you’ve been spewing from your pie-hole on what you “think”, think again.  No matter how that vote comes down, all of us have already lost.  You might just want to think about that and shut your mouth about it.  I know I plan to do just that.

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