Kavanaugh’s Rage Is Not Evidence of His Innocence

October 4, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Judicial Misjudgment, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Photo in 1887 of the actor Richard Mansfield, by Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London,

Photo in 1887 of the actor Richard Mansfield, by Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London,

 

There is intense disagreement about Brett Kavanaugh’s fitness to become one of the Justices on the Supreme Court.

During the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on September 27, 2018, the committee and the world tried to decide whether to believe Christine Blasey Ford’s assertion that a drunken Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a party when she was 15 years old, or whether to believe Kavanaugh’s denial.

Both Ford and Kavanaugh showed strong emotions during the hearing.

This post is about the interpretation of Kavanaugh’s rage, frustration, and dread.

Some Senators and others have interpreted Kavanaugh’s rage as evidence of his innocence. It is not.

About the diverse interpretations, see this article by Lori Rozsa , Brittney Martin and David A. Farenthold.

Kavanaugh’s rage is because the unwritten rules of entitlement that he absorbed as a teenager were violated: he was not allowed to escape being held accountable for acts for which only the less privileged were supposed to be held accountable.

Those rules said that anyone of his social class, of his wealth, with his connections, with his accomplishments and talent, would never suffer the consequences of breaking the rules that apply to lesser mortals.

These unwritten rules are exposed by Shamus Khan, in a revealing article in the Washington Post. Khan explains why Kavanaugh lies so readily, and so self-righteously.  Khan also notes that privilege also makes some kids callous – a notable feature of Kavanaughs judicial rulings, of his work for George W. Bush. It would also lower his internal barriers to sexually abusing others. As noted in an article by Suniyah S. Luthar, those same unwritten rules, combined with greater resources, explain the surprising fact that rich kids are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than are middle class kids or disadvantaged kids. That was another striking feature of the Kavanaugh’s behavior during high school and college.

Parenthetically, similar violations of expectations of special status underlie the rage of white supremicists and of male supremicists.

Kavanaugh also exhibited frustration. Based on media reports and on the current distribution of power between the two political parties, Kavanaugh had become convinced that his bid for a judgeship on the Supreme Court was unstoppable. But now his ascension to the Supreme Court is leaking away, and he doesn’t know how to stop the leak.

At the hearing, Kavanaugh also radiated dread. He knows that his wife and his daughters will no longer look up to him and trust him. He knows that friends and colleagues will re-evaluate him.

It is not just Kavanaugh’s past behavior that is at issue. His present behavior is problematic.

During the Senate hearing, Kavanaugh lied repeatedly, while under oath.

Eugene Robinson and David Ignatius give valuable insights about Kavanaugh’s lies and character.

 

Molly Roberts shows why it is quite believable that Christine Blasey Ford vividly remembers who attacker was, and who was laughing, while having difficulty remembering other details about the party at which Kavanaugh assaulted her.

Kavanaugh tried to evade answering inconvenient questions by attempting to change the subject (as Trump does). Kavanaugh tries to change a troublesome question about himself into an analogous question about his questioner.

Here is an example of his Kavanaugh’s deflection of an inconvenient question, as quoted from an article in the Washington Post by Sarah L. Kaufman

“He went back to being combative, even at times overly hot, inappropriate and rude. He challenged Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on her questions about whether he’d ever drunk so much his memory was affected. “Have you?” he said.”

A qualified judge would never have put up with a deflecting, topic-changing non-answer like that.

Kavanaugh also tried to claim that the accusations against him were part of a conspiracy. That was another misleading attempt at changing the subject. The time-line of Ford’s accusation refutes Kavanaugh’s claim, as is demonstrated by an editorial in the Washington Post.

Altogether, Kavanaugh’s behavior at the hearing was behavior he would not tolerate from any party who was appearing before him at a trial at which he was the Judge.

Kavanaugh lied repeatedly during the Senate hearing. He lied while under oath. E.J. Dionne Jr. has provided a superb account of Kavanaugh’s lies, and why Kavanaugh is unfit to be a judge. His article has links to extensive compilations of Kavanaugh’s lies. Eugene Robinson also has a penetrating account of Kavanaugh’s lies at the hearing, and how it shows Kavanaugh’s unfitness for serving as a judge.

Kavanaugh’s unjustified sense of entitlement, his lies in the Senate hearing, and his tactic of avoiding answering unwelcome questions by trying to change the subject, are all un-judgelike. They disqualify him from the Supreme Court.

His presence on the Supreme Court would further degrade respect for the Supreme Court’s decisions.

His defects also disqualify Kavanaugh from serving a a judge on any court, including the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is the court he now serves on.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, why have you so sullied your judicial legacy, by recommending someone as unfit as Brett M. Kavanaugh?

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