Okay, here's a very foundational observation. This is something I've believed my entire adult life, and what I expect to always believe. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican, or whatever your political positions, religious faith or personal philosophy. What that belief is, is -- If you knowingly lie under oath to the United States Senate even once about pretty much anything (reserving the right that some unlikely exception exists in life), it disqualifies you to be a lifetime Supreme Court justice. You don't have to be a perfect person, or anything close to one -- but you do have to tell the truth under oath.
I would like to believe that that's a core standard that all people believe in -- when asked as a general, blind principle without any specific person or situation attached -- but most especially at the very least all United States senators.
And no, I'm not naive enough to think all people do believe that. Nor even all United States senators. I'm sorry about the former, but understand. I'm appalled by the latter. And actually understand, too -- which doesn't make it any less appalling, and maybe even more so.
Just to make a few things very clear.
All the concerns involving Brett Kavanaugh are not about what he did in high school and college. It's about if he committed attempted rape and sexual assault at any time in his life. And about if TODAY he lied under oath repeatedly.
Thems are the basics, folks. Anything else is folderol.
And as basic as they are, let's clarify them so the basics are actually understood.
Purely for the sake of argument, let's take a giant leap and assume that during the entire confirmation process Democrats are indeed just playing politics and Republicans aren't, as so many pure as the driven snow Republicans faux-angrily insist. And let's say (once again, just for the sake of argument) Sen. Dianne Feinstein should have released the letter from Dr. Ford earlier than she did, and she held on to it for totally irresponsible and even deceptive reasons. And that's even say that Democrats don't care one whit about the truth, they just want to hold the Supreme Court seat open in hopes that they win the White House in 2020 and can nominate a "damn liberal" (which I believe is their official name, as far as I can tell from what's being said). Let's assume all of that, for the sake of argument. That brings up the following basic, clarifying questions --
Do Republicans believe, despite how reprehensibly the "damn liberals" (tm) act, that it is important in a Supreme Court confirmation hearing to find out the truth? Because if they don't believe that, then they don't have a single whining complaint against the Democrats. But if they do believe finding the truth is important -- why aren't they trying to??
And second, do Republicans believe -- and forget who the nominee is or their party, just as a general basic rule, sort of along the lines of what began these ruminations -- that it Is important to know if a Supreme Court nominee is a rapist, sexual assaulter and perjurer? If they do, then shouldn't they try to seriously find out?? And if they don't...well, now we're back to that whole "I'm appalled" thing.
(Side note: having had six previous background checks is meaningless here. The parameters for FBI background checks for confirmations are set by who made the nominations and almost never go back to high school and college. Rather, they tend to be about the nominee's work experience, family, existing conflicts of interest, and life as an adult.)
And that's if you really, truly assume all the absolute worst about everything about Democrats. If on the other hand you're sane and even just reasonably fair-minded, and you understand the reality that Democrats actually think it's important to find out the truth and don't want a rapist and perjurer on the Supreme Court, then it makes those subsequent answers reprehensible, whatever the answers are.
And once again that brings us back to -- this is all about the Republican Party. Because considering their actions in simply having to raise the questions on issues that should be a basic given, they've painted themselves into a corner between a rock and a hard place where whatever they answer is...well, reprehensible and appalling.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor