Monday, September 24, 2018

The staggering hypocrisy of Brett Kavanaugh and his supporters

I stole the title of this entry from this op ed in The Washington Post, which is worth reading.  It contrasts Brett Kavanaugh's indignation at being asked questions about his personal life with his shameless willingness to ask deeply personal questions of Bill Clinton when the shoe was on the other foot.

But the hypocrisy goes well beyond Kavanaugh.  There is so much of it that it is hard to know where to begin, but we have to start somewhere.  So OK, Mitch McConnell: his response upon hearing charges of attempted rape leveled against Kavanaugh was not to say, "Whoa, we'd better get this cleared up."  Oh no.  It was to say, that Republicans are going to "plow right through" with the confirmation, facts and the possibility that their nominee might actually be a sex offender and a felon be damned.  Of course, when it was a Democrat accused of sexual impropriety (not even sexual assault, but merely lying about a consensual relationship) he sang a very different tune:
“Our nation is indeed at a crossroads. Will we pursue the search for truth or will we dodge, weave and evade the truth? I am of course referring to the investigation into serious allegations of illegal conduct by the president of the United States — that the president has engaged in a persistent pattern and practice of obstruction of justice. The allegations are grave, the investigation is legitimate and ascertaining the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the unqualified, unevasive truth is absolutely critical.”
That Mitch McConnell is nowhere to be found today.

Then there is this panel of Republican women assembled by CNN.  All of them support Kavanaugh, asking rhetorically “How can we believe the word of a woman of something that happened 36 years ago?" and then almost with the same breath, "What boy hasn't done this in high school?"

Think about that for a moment: on the one hand they don't believe the accuser, and on the other hand they are trying to defend Kavanaugh on the grounds that all boys try to rape girls in high school!  Sorry, ladies, you can't have it both ways.  Either all boys try to rape girls in high school, in which case Kavanaugh probably did too, or they didn't, in which case you can't use that as an excuse.  (As someone who used to be a boy in high school I can tell you categorically that it is not the case that all boys try to rape girls, tempting though the prospect may be at times.)

Then, of course, we have the hypocrite-in-chief saying that he is "with [Kavanaugh] all the way", an eerie reflection of his own supporters who will follow him "no matter what."  The irony here is that Trump launched his campaign for president by saying that Mexicans needed to be kept out of the country altogether because they were rapists (a claim on which he recently doubled-down), but he has no qualms about putting someone who has been credibly accused of attempted rape on the supreme court.  He doesn't even think the charges merit an investigation.  Hardly surprising from a man who celebrates sexual assault.

So on Donald Trump's view, if you tried to rape a woman in high school, that is perfectly OK.  But if, say, your birth certificate was not issued by a hospital, well, that is a serious problem.  No supreme court nomination for you.  In fact, no U.S. citizenship for you.  The fact that you've lived your entire life as a productive law-abiding tax-paying U.S. citizen doesn't matter.  The only thing that matters is that your papers are not in order.  (Oh, and that you have brown skin, of course.)

And let us not forget too what is the prize for which the Republicans are selling their souls and selling out their fellow citizens: it is all so they can overturn Roe v. Wade and deny women the right to reproductive freedom.  If there is any doubt in your mind that this is all about oppressing women and not "protecting babies" then you need to read this.

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