Several weeks ago, I would have supported the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Even though he is more conservative than I am, I acknowledged that the President historically has the right to name a man or woman with whom he feels most comfortable – and unless the nominee is a Nazi or a devil worshiper, the minority party in Congress should suck it up and follow the tradition.
But my opinion changed with Kavanaugh’s outburst coloring Democrats as assassins as well as his not being honest about his college drinking habits. Instead of judicial temperament, I saw a blustering, blubbering political partisan – the last thing we need in a country radically divided.
I have concerns about the evidence against Kavanaugh. I don’t like the fact that the accusations were kept undercover until a few days before the confirmation vote. At the same time, the Republicans are hypocritical crying about the “delay” when they “delayed” the nomination of Merrick Garland for months prior to the 2016 presidential election.
I don’t know – and neither do you – whether or not Kavanaugh sexually assaulted his accusers. I tend to believe a woman who comes forward at great personal risk to calmly and succinctly answer questions. However, I am also willing to give a person the benefit of the doubt that he or she can be redeemed from horrible behavior 30 years in the past.
But I also want the person to be honest. Kavanaugh’s testimony centered around his intense college study and service. Sure, he says, he had a taste for beer, but so did most college students. To him, a fraternity guy and a Budweiser are as joined as peanut butter and jelly, and just because a college kid enjoys a few brews doesn’t mean he assaults women.
But then fellow students told a different story. He was a “sloppy,” said one. He would become aggressive when he drank, said another. The sexual conduct remains “he said/she said,” but suddenly Kavanaugh doesn’t appear as the devout college student who spent all of his time in the campus library studying the philosophy of Oliver Wendall Holmes.
What a different scenario we would have if Kavanaugh had responded differently. “I have no recollection of sexually abusing anyone,” he could have said. “Admittedly, I drank too much as a 17-year-old and was present at some rowdy parties where boys and girls were fueled by alcohol. If I did anything inappropriate or harmful to anyone at these parties, I sincerely apologize, and I would hope my more recent history shows that I have matured.”
No, instead he blasted “left wing” attackers and even threw a pound of anti-Clinton bravado in his sad congressional pout. As my wife said, “If a woman had come unglued like that under questioning, she would have been demeaned as weak and unhinged.”
I expect a person to defend his good name. I don’t expect a man given a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court to melt down and hurl conspiracy theories.
That doesn’t sound like a judge who can fairly decide cases that may involve his political opponents.