Trying to Understand the Kavanaugh Fiasco

Ed Driscoll strung this together

JONAH GOLDBERG: The Moral-Panic Phase.

Why the Hell are people losing their minds? I don’t know. Why did St. Vitus’ Dance sweep Europe? Why did tulips get so expensive during the Tulip Craze? Why did the witches hang?

I suspect what’s happened is a convergence of things. First the #MeToo movement, which mostly has been a force for good, is entering its moral-panic phase. Second, the Internet accelerates groupthink and extremism for all the familiar reasons. Third, a lot of Democrats have concluded that the only way to win the party’s presidential nomination is to prove you can be the most fearless jackass in the herd (See, Cory “Almost Spartacus” Booker) and the presence of Michael Avenatti in the market has put inflationary pressure on everyone’s asininity. Fourth, as I keep writing (even at book length), we are turning politics into a form of tribal entertainment where it’s easy to convince ourselves that our opponents are existential monsters.

And fifth, as politics has become a secular religion, the Supreme Court has become like a Roman Temple and people are terrified that Kavanaugh is a less indulgent priest. If the Supreme Court wasn’t the institution where a single swing justice — not coincidentally the one Kavanaugh is slated to replace — decides how human beings should define themselves in the world, people wouldn’t be freaking out nearly so much.

Read the whole thing. In his New York Times column this week, Ross Douthat concludes that “we all sense that in this political disaster, we’re seeing a glimpse into a cultural abyss.” What comes next?

A column by Barton Swaim in the Weekly Standard that Glenn linked to earlier today argues that “The Sexual Revolution Is Over:”

What comes next probably won’t be some 21st-century form of Victorian public morality. But neither, if I’m right, are we likely to advance further into the realm of sexual chaos urged upon our society by young radicals a half-century ago. Everything comes to an end, including revolutions.

Thursday’s hearings also “may be a watershed moment in Identity Politics,” a blogger at Maggie’s Farm writes:

This was a great example of how identity has been weaponized for political gain. Don’t think this is the end of Identity Politics, though. The Democrats need identity to survive. Mao’s Cultural Revolution relied on hearsay and Identity, and was implemented shortly after the Great Leap Forward had failed to propel the nation forward economically. The Democrats are failing massively. They are launching their own Cultural Revolution. I’ve warned friends of mine who are sympathetic to the ’cause’ to be careful. Movements like this eat their young.

In any case, as Rod Dreher writes, it’s also “The End of a Trusting Society:”

Look at what Brett Kavanaugh now has to put up with: an Erik Brady column in USA Today saying he shouldn’t coach his daughter’s basketball team because he might be a pervert. Excerpt:

The nation is deeply divided. Sometimes it feels like we don’t agree on anything anymore. But credibly accused sex offenders should not coach youth basketball, girls or boys, without deeper investigation. Can’t we all agree on that?

“Credibly accused”? This is beyond disgusting — and it’s in a major American newspaper. How does it differ from this, had USA Today been around in 1954:

The nation is deeply divided. Sometimes it feels like we don’t agree on anything anymore. But credibly accused communists should not work in Hollywood without deeper investigation. Can’t we all agree on that?

Gosh, I can’t imagine why Judge Kavanaugh was upset in his testimony, can you?

This is the world we are creating for ourselves.

Broadcasters grant only 4% of Brett Kavanaugh news coverage to judge’s side of story: Study

It is not hard to figure out why Trump’s chant of fake news has gained traction. It is an accurate description. Much of the media is a biased disgrace.

“…After an exhaustive study, analysts have declared that TV news is “rigged” against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

“During the twelve days since Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein publicly announced the existence of an unspecified allegation against Brett Kavanaugh, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows have spent nearly six hours (344 minutes) regurgitating various unproved allegations against the Supreme Court nominee,” wrote Rich Noyes, a senior analyst for, a conservative press watchdog.

“But only a tiny percentage of that coverage — a measly eight percent — has been devoted to Kavanaugh’s denials and the lack of corroboration for his accusers’ accounts,” he said.

Analysts combed through coverage from Sept. 13-24 to find that most of it centered on allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford; another 39 minutes went to three other accusers, the study found.

“Amid that sea of coverage, our analysts found the networks devoted a minuscule fraction on the key points that support the Supreme Court nominee’s case,” Mr. Noyes said…”

Prof. Ford Flunks as a Female Role Model

I don’t know Doris O’Brien, but based on this short piece, she is the type of woman I respect.

Doris O’Brien:

“…In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery” – published in 1948 and later made into a film – a rural community holds its annual drawing, after which the unlucky winner is stoned to death.  This pagan-like ritual presumed personal culpability for whatever ills had befallen the town since the last lottery.  Jackson’s chilling tale is one of superstition and human sacrifice practiced on behalf of self-interest.

To be fair, the story’s lottery made no distinction among townspeople based on sex, race, wealth, opinion, occupation, or popularity.  In the piece, it was a woman with a sterling reputation who met her end at the willing hands of her neighbors.  To that extent, it seems less shocking than what has happened in the current “lottery” to choose a Supreme Court justice, since in the present ordeal there is implicit bias based almost entirely on a progressive ideology built on by “identity politics.”

In this latest Kavanaugh scenario – in which the ultimate objective is to stone to death the object’s reputation by way of advancing one’s own political interests – the white conservative male is most likely to have the lottery tickets stacked against him.  The Democrat leadership has methodically assembled its own stockpile of societal, racial, ideological, and sexual missiles to hurl at the accused.  These liberal insurgents are by no means innocent Davids taking aim at Goliath.  Rather, they are power-hungry government “servants” out to vanquish a well reputed conservative Republican with as many smooth stones as it takes.

Now that the “Me Too” movement has become rooted in our consciousness, Democrats are eagerly harvesting it for selfish political gain.  Any resistance to the assumption that an accusing woman is not immediately and totally to be believed is no longer tolerated.  The very idea has become, in itself, a form of guilt.  We all know the framework of Judge Kavanaugh’s ordeal.  What we lack are the details, which no longer matter to those out to destroy him.

Democrats seem to presume that by coming out categorically in favor of females – at least when it comes down to sexual encounters – they will secure the hearts, and more importantly, the votes, of all women.  But this is not happening.  Many of us are astute enough to see beyond the case at hand to the frightening prospect that our men – our husbands, fathers, sons, and friends – will be likewise scarred for life by unsubstantiated scandal and innuendo.

Even if we cannot grasp the danger of this unfairness spreading elsewhere, there is cause for women to decry the tactics, timing, and unsubstantiated claims of accusers like Christine Blasey Ford.  Naturally, that’s a pretty tough call for the sisterhood to make, since women are expected, without qualification, to be “emotionally supportive” to other women, especially those who claim to be victims of sexual abuse.  If we fail to do that, we are immediately accused of being insensitive and incapable of “feeling their pain.”

The flip-side of “boosting,” is “belittling.” That is what Professor Blasey Ford has done to women.  She has made our sex look less capable and more vulnerable than we deserve to.  On the one hand, young women in today’s America are told they can be anyone and do anything.  Certainly, we have made amazing strides toward that end.  More of us now attend college and graduate school than boys do.  Aspiring and talented women have axed through class ceilings, strode boldly into boardrooms, flown into outer space, juggled job and family, etc.  We bought into the old ad, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” – even as we stopped smoking the product it promoted.

Yet when it came to a scary sexual encounter that did not physically disable her, Blasey Ford demonstrated just the opposite.  In a pinch, she failed to muster the moral strength, the will, or the wherewithal to even now put such a predicament behind her.  Instead, Kavanaugh’s accuser became so instantly mortified that she could not even share her story with trusted adults.  Presumably, she kept it bottled up inside her for years on end, paralyzed with unspeakable fear from a single long-ago encounter that did not – according to her – involve rape.

Admittedly, it is hard to walk in another’s shoes.  Yet this octogenarian finds it important to believe that had such an incident happened to me during my youth, I would not have remained silent and thereby complicit in the affront.  I choose to think that, despite my fear and inexplicable “shame,” I would have “told” on the rat-fink…blabbed to my parents or to a minister or a good friend or ultimately to the police.  I would have taken such actions in order to prevent the predator from doing the same thing to others.  It’s important to me as a female to believe that I would not have allowed myself to remain a silent victim for decade upon decade of my life.

I have more disdain than sympathy for Professor Blasey Ford.  Despite lecturing to college students on a daily basis, she still claims to be cowed by the prospect of being questioned by other adults.  Psychologist, cure thyself.

There are legions of women who have overcome far more than what is contained in Prof. Blasey Ford’s claims – women who have undergone intolerable existences, survived horrors like the Holocaust, lost their health, their resources, their loved ones, yet persevered with extraordinary courage.  Still, they are rarely celebrated for their heroics with the same insistent reverence given to a middle-aged snowflake who came seemingly out of the blue to rescue the Democrat Party.

In my first year of college, almost 70 years ago, I learned something on this subject that I have never forgotten.  It was a Saturday night, and co-eds were returning from their dates to a freshman dorm on our all-women’s campus.  On the second floor, a classmate could be heard sobbing loudly, and many of us ran to her room to see what was wrong.  She was lying on her narrow bed, weeping, blurting out that her boyfriend – a young man she had known from her hometown in the Midwest – had suddenly tried to “take advantage” of her during their evening out.  (That was the language back then!)

We all liked her boyfriend, who was a polite, promising student at a nearby Ivy League college.  But in light of her accusations, we immediately disliked him, empathizing with her and urging her to end the relationship.

Suddenly, to our surprise, she jumped off the bed, started to laugh, and told us it was all untrue – just something she had made up as part of an assignment for her psychology class.  (I hope she got an “A”!)

This small incident taught me a larger lesson about how easy it is to be deceived – and how quickly such deception can lead to turning a good man into an evil one.  Oh, by the way, that classmate and her boyfriend married after graduation and have been together ever since.  It’s ambiguous whether Judge Kavanaugh will enjoy so happy an outcome…”

Confirm Brett Kavanaugh The Judge rightly called out the politics of ‘search and destroy.’

According to CNN’s Phil Mattingly, “Plan is for the Judiciary Committee to vote tomorrow. Motion to proceed on the Senate floor on Saturday at noon, per senators leaving the meeting.”8

“…She still can’t recall the home where the assault took place, how she got there or how she got home that evening. She has no witnesses who say she told them about the alleged assault at the time—until she first spoke of it at a couples therapy session 30 years later in 2012. Mr. Kavanaugh’s name doesn’t appear in the notes of her therapist.

As for Judge Kavanaugh, his self-defense was as powerful and emotional as the moment demanded. If he was angry at times, imagine how you would feel if you were so accused and were innocent as he says he is. To deny the allegations as he did—invoking his children and parents and so many others who know him—and be lying would mean that he is a sociopath. If he were found to be lying, he would be impeached and probably prosecuted. Nothing in his long record in public life betrays the kind of behavior he is accused of against women.

Had he not been as forceful, his opponents would have said he looked guilty. Because he called the Democrats out for their character assassination, the critics now say he lacks the right temperament. The truth is that there is no answer, and no demeanor, that Brett Kavanaugh could offer that the left would credit. Their goal isn’t the truth. They want to destroy Judge Kavanaugh.

* * * * * * * *

Senate Republicans should understand that these are the real political stakes. This nomination isn’t only about the fate of a single man whose reputation can be discarded like some tabloid celebrity. This is about the future of the Supreme Court and who will control the Senate. If Republicans reject Mr. Kavanaugh based on what we know now, millions of voters will rightly be furious.

But as important, a rejection will bring dishonor to the Senate. It will validate the ambush and smear politics that Democrats are using. And it will turn Supreme Court nominations over to the justice of the social-media mob and the politics of accusation. It’s time for Senators to stand up and confirm Brett Kavanaugh…”

The sad facts: Some women lie. Politicians lie.

Ben Stein:

“…The sad facts: Some women lie. Politicians lie. The politicians have now wrecked the life of a good man, as Mr. Trump said. Let’s give him back his good name. And let’s stand in the way of the locomotive of Stalinism and shout “stop” as the late, great Mr. Buckley would have said.

It’s all amazing. To stop Donald Trump, the Democrats have tossed out the whole basis of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence — innocent until proven guilty. They’ve taken the greatest deliberative body in the world, the Senate —and made it the chapter room of a sorority at a tenth rate college. Is there no end to it? Stalin would approve. So would Goebbels. If this Democrat trick works, there simply is no meaningful legal protection in this country any longer.

This is a defining moment for the Constitution. Republicans. Democrats who still love America. All hands on deck. This is about protecting the whole country and our future. If the gossip of the beautiful people overrule the Constitution, it’s a catastrophe…”

The Kavanaugh Battle Is The Culmination Of Unanswered Leftist Kulturkampf

“…Consider the Democrat game. As Andrew McCarthy pointed out in his superlative essay, in the history of recent judicial nominations it has been only Republicans showing bipartisanship for Democrat-nominated judges. Why? Because conservative instinct dictates judging a person by merit.

How was that paid in return? Robert Bork was blocked, Miguel Estrada was blocked (which led his wife to suicide), and Samuel Alito was filibustered. What did Republicans give in return? Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Brayer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor sailed through, until Merrick Garland was finally stopped, and then not based on his judicial philosophy but timing.

Even then, the process was within the letters of the law, unlike the coordinated character assassination against Kavanaugh, or the public humiliation of Judge Amy Coney Barett during her circuit court confirmation. As McCarthy writes, “Republicans have defeated Democratic nominees, but they never Bork them. They never demagogue Democratic nominees as sex offenders, racists, or homophobes. There are no ‘Spartacus’ moments.”

This is common sense, but something Republican leadership apparently fails to understand…”

BOMBSHELL: Two Men Tell Judiciary Committee They Did It, Not Kavanaugh

“…On the eve the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining the stories of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, two men have reportedly come forward claiming that they, not Judge Kavanaugh, were the ones who had the encounter in question with Ford.

Burgess Everett, a reporter for Politico, broke the news on Twitter. “[Senate Judiciary] Committee staff have a second interview with a man who believes he, not Judge Kavanaugh, had the encounter with Dr. Ford in the summer of 1982 that is the basis of her allegation,” Everett wrote. “He described his recollection of their interaction in some detail.”

“For people asking for more info,” Burgess added in a second tweet, “this is from a long investigation summary from Judiciary Republicans distributed tonight. These interviews happened this week, according to the committee.”…”

Amy Dryden: Banned From Facebook For Sharing Truth About CNN’s Kavanaugh Investigation

“…Facebook is currently doing everything in their power to protect CNN after they censored evidence that one of their producers, Scott Bronstein has been randomly calling people who used to attend school with Judge Brett Kavanaugh in an attempt to dig up dirt on the Supreme Court nominee that might be used to prevent his confirmation to the Supreme Court from taking place. Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform took things a step further when they not only censored the evidence, but they deleted all media articles related to the evidence that was presented by Amy Dryden and banned Amy Dryden herself from the social media platform.

In response to being banned by Facebook for the audio that she shared Amy Dryden tweeted “This is what happens when you post an actual recording of a CNN producer’s dirty journalism on Facebook. #banned So wrong!” Dryden felt the information that was contained in the video showing Bronstein calling random people from the Yale class of 1987 who may have known Judge Brett Kavanaugh was important enough for the rest of America to see. She apparently was right with this belief given the fact that liberal controlled Facebook has done everything possible to keep people from learning about the video and what took place…”


It would be ironic if the Democrats blocked Kavanaugh only for the GOP to pick up Senate seats. Trump could reasonably see two additional supreme court vacancies.

Despite new accusers, Democrats war on Brett Kavanaugh could cost them midterm elections

The danger of Democratic overreach: The Kavanaugh hearings could fuel Republican turnout, as many Americans see the weaponization of #MeToo

If you thought what Google was doing to conservatives was bad, look at what it is doing in China

Monica Showalter:

Google has drawn a lot of scrutiny, and not in a good way, for biasing search results against conservatives, artificially promoting leftists and leftwing causes, and smearing and blacklisting conservatives.  This 2016 account by psychologist, artificial intelligence maven, and tech whiz Robert Epstein gives a superb point-by-point breakdown of what Google’s been up to so far.  (Epstein is the same guy in the news two days ago who said there is credible evidence that Google manipulated search results to swing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.)

So much for not being evil.

But all of this is nuisanceware compared to what the people at Google have been caught doing in China and are now trying to cover up.  According to Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept:

Google bosses have forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, The Intercept has learned.

The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location – and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data.

CNET adds:

According to the report, the so-called Dragonfly search engine would require Chinese citizens to log in to perform searches, track their physical location, and then share all of its data with a Chinese partner company that could presumably share it with the Chinese government.  The company would reportedly have “unilateral access” to the data.  That might also presumably include Chinese citizens’ phone numbers, as described in an earlier Intercept report. 

Plus, that Chinese company would reportedly be able to independently add new words to the blacklist of searches to be censored, according to today’s report.

Sounds like the Orwellian dream come true.  Anyone who wants to have a cell phone and look up information in China would become a target for communist China’s odious secret police, and they will be looking.

Vulnerable Democrats face Kavanaugh crisis: Vote for decency or smears

“…When President Trump nominated D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, red-state Democrats up for re-election knew they faced a difficult choice: betray either liberal party leaders or the conservative voters who could end their political career.

Kavanaugh’s solid performance during Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings eliminated the possibility of a misstep that Democrats hoped for, leaving Sens. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Jon Tester, D-Montana, Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Joe Manchin, D-W.V., with the same no-good-option dilemma.

Delay was the best hope for the political future of these five moderate Democrats. And for a week, it looked like the last-minute referral from Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to the FBI of Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault accusation against Kavanaugh would stall the vote until after the November midterms. But now that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has vowed a floor vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination “in the near future,” red-state Democrats face an impossible choice.

The choice awaiting Democrats is now between confirming Kavanaugh or endorsing a “grotesque and obvious character assassination” of public servants to achieve political ends.

While the public at first seemed sympathetic toward Ford, as more details emerged it became clear that Ford’s last-minute charge lacked merit. But as Ford’s allegations fell apart, the New Yorker ran an uncorroborated hit piece promoting Deborah Ramirez’s claim that, after “six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney,” she believed that, while in college, Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her.

Concern for putative victims turned to righteous anger on behalf of Kavanaugh, his wife, and two young daughters. And before Senate Democrats could reclaim the narrative, Stormy Daniels’ gadfly attorney Michael Avenatti cemented the public’s disgust over the treatment of Kavanaugh, with Avenatti claiming he has evidence that Kavanaugh promoted and participated in gang rape.

Red-state Democrats will soon have a choice to make. But it is a much different one than they faced just a month ago: A “no” vote on Kavanaugh now is not merely bucking the desires of their conservative electorate, but it is a “yes” vote on vile character assassination.

Donnelly, Tester, Heitkamp, and Manchin must now decide and publicly proclaim whether they are for decency, or smears…”

Self Inflicted Damage

Pew: 68% say the media are biased, just 21% trust ‘a lot’

“…More than two-thirds of the nation believe the media are biased, and among Republicans, a huge 86 percent believe reporters favor one side, presumably not theirs, according to a new survey.

The Pew Research Center reported Tuesday that 68 percent of a huge poll of over 5,000 sees bias. 

Most Americans also continue to think the news media favor one side when covering political and social issues. About two-thirds (68 percent) say this, compared with three-in-10 who say they deal fairly with all sides. And as in previous years, Republicans (86 percent) are far more likely than Democrats (52 percent) to say news organizations favor one side,” said the survey analysis.

Trust in the media is also miserably low, but not as bad as for social media. Said Pew, “While one-in-five Americans (21 percent) have a lot of trust in the information they get from national news organizations, that share is about five times as high as the portion that have a lot of trust in the information they get from social media sites (4 percent)…”

Consumer confidence hits 138.4 in September, vs. 132 estimate

  • September’s index print is near the all-time high of 144.7 reached in 2000, the Conference Board said Tuesday.
  • “These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending, and should be welcome news for retailers as they begin gearing up for the holiday season,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.


I want to say again how despicable the democrat/media smear campaign against Brett Kavanaugh is. It is truly unbelievable. Democrat senators act like peevish high school children. Recovered memories from democrat activists are not evidence. The accused is not required to prove his innocence. He is innocent until proven guilty by the accuser. The left has lost its mind—Trump Derangement Syndrome writ large.

Doug Santo