That Helpful Kavanaugh Reminder
I remember where I was watching the last day of the Kavanaugh hearings last fall. I was not keen on his nomination. I didn’t oppose it, certainly, but he struck me as a standard-issue Republican nominee. No one to get excited over, certainly.
And then the Democrats went to work, attempting to destroy the man based on unconfirmed, and unconfirmable, allegations, and his sex and ethnicity.
Here is a link to all of the things I wrote about that mob, and how it stunned me (and a lot of others) back to reality. In one of those posts, I wrote:
In my own case, this is what made me come down hard for Kavanaugh (absent any credible discovery of serious sexual misconduct): that he was clearly being railroaded by liberal politicians and media, in a way that is frankly McCarthyite. Except this time, instead of Reds, we have White Male Conservatives. People like me, and my friends and family. The last two weeks have brought forth from the Left a concerted attempt not to get to the truth about what happened 36 years ago, and how to deliberate responsibly in the face of uncertainty, but rather to brutalize and destroy a man and all those of his despised cultural and ideological class.
And in another, commenting on an immediately post-Kavanaugh Washington Post story that framed Republicans as unfairly exploiting Democrats’ behavior to their own benefit in the coming election:
Here’s the thing: though there is no question that the GOP, like Democrats, play to the anxieties of its base — this is normal politics — there really were, and are, mobs out to get conservatives.
Conservatives didn’t just imagine the anti-Kavanaugh protesters filling the halls of Congress, harassing GOP senators. Conservatives aren’t imagining campus mobs shouting down conservatives. Republican political consultants didn’t invent the mob at Middlebury College last year that chased Charles Murray off of campus, and physically injured a (liberal) professor who was his host. Nor did the GOP conjure the Yale mob that abused the Christakises over Halloween costumes in 2016.
And on and on. More to the point, Republicans did not invent the mob-like behavior of the news media in the Kavanaugh affair. In the last 24 hours, I’ve heard from three friends — two Democrats, and one anti-Republican independent — who have written to express profound concern about this political moment, and the behavior of the liberal mob. One of the Democrats — no fan of Trump or Kavanaugh — told me that her party has lost her over all this. The independent told me he hasn’t voted GOP in 30 years, but that may change this November, because of the “malice” (his word) on the left. And the third remains a devoted Democrat, but he is agonizing over the demons now taking over his political side, and worries if they can ever be reined in.
Look, Republicans do not have clean hands here. But it is breathtaking to observe how so many in the news media appear to assume that Republicans who are looking at the world as it actually is, and drawing conclusions from it, are acting in bad faith.
A few months later, in January, the media and members of the liberal commentariat did the same kind of thing with the Covington Catholic schoolboys. They were white male conservatives, therefore they must have been guilty. Pitchfork ’em and burn ’em! Remember the NYT op-ed titled “White Women, Come Get Your People,” that denounced white women who defended Kavanaugh as “gender traitors”? That and the attempted Kavanaugh professional lynching were the kind of events that remind you what’s at stake in our politics, despite the clown in the White House. If we return the Democrats to power, this is what we’ll get.
The Left can’t let Kavanaugh go. Over the weekend, The New York Times published an op-ed essay featuring a supposed new Kavanaugh revelation, taken from a new book by two of its reporter. The new accusation accuses him — framed as a privileged white guy — of having been at a drunken college party, and having had his penis towards a non-privileged Hispanic female present. Mollie Hemingway, who co-wrote a book about the Kavanaugh case, tore into the story when it first appeared, pointing out that the accuser is an old enemy of Kavanaugh’s, and that the alleged victim, Deborah Ramirez, refused to talk about the alleged incident, though several of her friends say she has no recollection of it.
How does Hemingway know this? Because it’s in the two NYT reporters’ book!
But it is NOT in the Times’s story. The paper omitted this fact from its own published excerpt. The authors say that their “gut” tells them that Deborah Ramirez, the alleged victim, really was assaulted in this way by Kavanaugh, despite the fact that she will neither confirm nor deny it, and several friends told the reporters she can’t remember it. The Times published this “editor’s note” yesterday:
An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party. The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.
That’s one hell of an omission from the original article, which went viral, by the way, without this vital information.
So, how did a couple of leading Democrats who aspire to replace Trump in the Oval Office respond to the Times piece?
I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice.
He must be impeached.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 15, 2019
Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him. Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 15, 2019
You regular readers know that I’m working on a book about the rise of what I call “soft totalitarianism” — and focusing on the testimonies of emigres to the West from the communist world, who see what’s happening here now, and who are raising their voices in alarm. (If you’re one of these people I haven’t yet talked to, e-mail me at rod — at — amconmag — dot — com, and let’s talk.) The first person I talked to about this, back in 2015, told me that the way the Left will flat-out lie about you in an attempt to destroy you personally and professionally when you get in their way — that, for him, is a clear sign that we are turning into the kind of country from which he defected in the 1960s.
Eyes wide open, people. We perhaps should be grateful to the Times for reminding us of the stakes. Look:
The Kavanaugh railroad is the most politically clarifying event in my life, and it is why, as the New York Times seems intent on reminding us, I will crawl over broken glass to vote for a guy I don’t particularly like next year. https://t.co/FEzhJSIrLj
— John Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) September 16, 2019
(Note to readers: I’m traveling this morning to NYC for Tuesday night’s TAC event at St. Agnes Church. 6 to 8 pm. Duncan Stroik, Michael Brendan Dougherty, and Self will talk about the meaning of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, its destruction, and why it should be rebuilt.
It’s all free — and MBD is buying the first round of drinks for errbody. Or so I hear.)
UPDATE: Sorry, it’s not free — it’s $25. My bad.
UPDATE.2: A reader points out that I have written something confusing above. Ramirez is NOT the alleged victim in the new Times piece. That woman has not been named. Sorry for the error.
UPDATE.3: Sam M. comments:
I was at Yale a few years after Kavanaugh left. Let me tell you something about drunken parties there.
When I showed up, there were a few school sanctioned events such as “Exotic Erotic.” It was a HUGE party, I think it Timothy Dwight College. (Colleges being something like residential dorms at Yale.) The premise was, the less you wore, the less you paid to get in. People who were totally nude paid no cover. And you got a cup. There were kegs.
Now, this was not some anti-woman event dreamed up by right-wing neanderthals. It was seen as the apex of forward-thinking progressivism about sex. Anybody who might have objected would have done so FROM conservative reservations about decorum, or aversion to the kind of hedonism being on display.
Hedonism was the point. Lowering barriers was the point. Creating an environment in which stuffy, un-enlightened undergrads could loosen up and let go of their hang-ups was the whole purpose. Putting a penis in someone’s hand? I’d be surprised if he did it and was not memorialized as a hero for his rejecting his backward upbringing.
And Exotic Erotic was only one of many, many such events. Read this article about the demise of a few of them, which stemmed more from concerns about property damage than improprieties.
Note that the article points out how lowering inhibitions was the point. It’s lie something out of the first 10 pages of Decline and Fall.
So sure. Yale alumni might take a look back at this debauchery and reassess, and maybe think that they were actually victimized by all this. OK. Fair enough. But the idea that the culture at the time was driven by nascent conservatives seizing their privilege, please not that conservatives were not in charge of the culture at all when Brett Kavanaugh was there.
In other words, Exotic Erotic was not, in fact, an event sponsored by young Calvinists and Orthodox Catholics.
It was the progressives.