The Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. returns on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, to hear testimony from Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
While the Senate Democrats know they don’t have the power to stop the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, they know that for their political safety they must give the illusion of doing everything possible to prevent the inevitable. This extends to tactics that are, on a good day, merely shameful. On some days, like yesterday, the tactics go beyond the point of shameful and, were we living in a truly just society, would justify horsewhipping of Senator Dianne Feinstein on the steps of the Capitol.
Yesterday, Feinstein issued a statement:
Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has referred information she has received about Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the FBI: pic.twitter.com/p3SvIE0HhQ
— Marianna Sotomayor (@MariannaNBCNews) September 13, 2018
And it isn’t just us little people, Feinstein refused to share the letter with her colleagues:
DEMOCRATS ON THE Senate Judiciary Committee have privately requested to view a Brett Kavanaugh-related document in possession of the panel’s top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, but the senior California senator has so far refused, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
The specific content of the document, which is a letter from a California constituent, is unclear, but Feinstein’s refusal to share the letter has created tension on the committee, particularly after Feinstein largely took a back seat to her more junior colleagues last week, as they took over Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings with protests around access to documents.
The letter took a circuitous route to Feinstein, the top-ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. It purportedly describes an incident that was relayed to someone affiliated with Stanford University, who authored the letter and sent it to Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat who represents the area.
Different sources provided different accounts of the contents of the letter, and some of the sources said they themselves had heard different versions, but the one consistent theme was that it describes an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman while they were in high school. Kept hidden, the letter is beginning to take on a life of its own.
This is simply scurrilous nonsense. Feinstein won’t tell what the allegations entail but she will tell us that they are so serious that she sent them directly to the FBI. The rumors that accompanied the allegations hinted at sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh. And one has to wonder what kind of federal crime Kavanaugh could possibly have perpetrated as a high school student. This is how the odious Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress frames it:
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may have committed a very serious crime — possibly even a sex crime. Or maybe he didn’t.
By late yesterday, the story began to deflate.
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) September 13, 2018
This moron from the Huffington Post tries to spin it as “it was serious sh** but it came in too late.” That does not seem to be the case.
A source who said they were briefed on the contents of the letter said it described an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman that took place when both were 17 years old and at a party. According to the source, Kavanaugh and a male friend had locked her in a room against her will, making her feel threatened, but she was able to get out of the room. The Guardian has not verified the apparent claims in the letter. It is not yet clear who wrote it.
The Democrats have been trying two lines of attack on Kavanaugh. The main one is tying him to Judge Alex Kozinski. Kozinski was forced to retire after it was revealed that he’d looked at porn on his computer at work and asked at least one female subordinate if she found it exciting. (The context here is missing so I’m not really sure what is being described.) The second line of attack is a dog whistle that Kavanaugh shouldn’t be around young girls. City Journal picked up on this:
A New York Times editorial has informed us, in passing, that Judge Brett Kavanaugh has a “penchant for coaching girls’ basketball.” The editorial does not dwell upon this “penchant.” Its main business is to inform us that Kavanaugh “can’t be trusted” on judicial matters (Roe v. Wade most conspicuously) and to advise the Senate to reject his nomination for the Supreme Court.
It’s worth pausing for a moment, though, to admire the phrase, “his penchant for coaching girls’ basketball,” and to notice the teeming little world of artfully scurrilous subliminals that it sets in motion.
To review: Kavanaugh feels compelled (for what reason, we cannot say) to coach little girls in basketball—little girls running around in shorts, little girls changing in locker rooms, dressing and undressing themselves. A concerned parent understands the issues of trust that come into play here, and the terrible potential for abuse: the virtual certainty of it. Where there’s smoke, there’s an arsonist.
Note the picture and caption used by the aforementioned Millhiser in an article headlined A federal appeals court just gave both middle fingers to Roe v. Wade
Cliipped from ThinkProgress story “A federal appeals court just gave both middle fingers to Roe v. Wade” LINK:
This is at least as much of a pedo dog whistle as anything done by Ron DeSantis in regards to race.
Might as well get comfortable because this is the new normal. Constitutional processes are irrelevant and the work of delegitimizing Kavanaugh as a way of putting an asterisk by every vote he casts has just begun. And it isn’t going to end. Ever.
A lifetime appointment for a Supreme Court Justice who a plurality oppose at the time of his appointment, and who was nominated by a president and confirmed by a political party that were also unpopular, is quite a way for a system to work. https://t.co/q4LG9ZlVTs
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) September 12, 2018
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