Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Merrick Garland Never Sexually Assaulted A 15-Year Old Girl (Just Sayin')

Brett Kavanaugh was hand-picked by the Federalist Society to provide a fifth vote on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and protect Big Business from regulation and accountability.  His confirmation would cement a right wing majority for a generation or more and transform the country's legal landscape.  As the New York Times summarized in a recent editorial: "That means, for starters, making it harder for minorities to vote, for workers to bargain for better wages and conditions, for consumers to stand up to big business and for women to control what happens to their bodies. It also means making it easier for people to buy and sell weapons of mass killing, for lawmakers to green-light discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender Americans, for industries to pollute the environment with impunity, and for the wealthy to purchase even more political influence than they already have."

Elections, however, have consequences. The fact that the Republicans control the presidency and the Senate means that absent extraordinary circumstances they should be able to choose a justice who aligns with their policy preferences -- and Kavanaugh is as aligned as any potential justice could be.  Without more, liberals and progressives would be entitled to strenuously object and make their case to the American people but, in the end, the Republicans would get their man.

But there is so much more.

There are the unanswered questions about Kavanaugh's spending habits, his debts, and who paid off his debts or financed his lavish lifestyle.  As a recent Mother Jones article noted "no other recent Supreme Court nominee has come before the Senate with so many unanswered questions regarding finances."

There are his false and misleading statements during his sworn confirmation testimony about his involvement while in the Bush Administration in the vetting of particularly controversial judicial nominees, his knowledge of and reliance on confidential strategy memos regarding judicial nominees that were stolen from Democratic Senators, and the extent of his role in such fraught Bush-Cheney policies as torture and illegal wiretapping.  When the model of decorum-to-a-fault, Senator Patrick Leahy, says Kavanaugh was "not truthful," it means Kavanaugh must have been lying his ass off.

There is the fact that the President and Senate Republicans have expedited the hearing and suppressed tens of thousands of documents that have thwarted Democrats' ability to shed further light on Kavanaugh's tenure in the Bush White House.  Given the damning information that has been leaked, what explosive shit are they still hiding? 

Most recently, there are credible, corroborated allegations that when he was a 17-year old prep school student he sexually assaulted a 15-year old girl who, not surprisingly, was deeply traumatized by the experience. And while there are some who may believe that what one does as a 17-year old is inconsequential when considering their qualities as an adult, the lies of a 53-year old about his conduct when he was 17 is sure as hell relevant.

And, of course, there's Merrick Garland.  There is always Merrick Garland.

If Kavanaugh's nomination is not withdrawn despite all of the alarming questions and concerns about his nomination it is because Trump knows he needs him:  Kavanaugh's views on executive power suggest he does not believe a sitting president can be investigated much less indicted for criminal conduct.  As the Times points out, if confirmed, Kavanaugh "will be in a position to rule on any case involving Mr. Trump or his associates, a disturbing scenario even before you consider his alarmingly permissive views on presidential power and authority."  And that is the reason that makes him most unfit.


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