Senate Committee or Kangaroo Court?

I seem to recall a line from an old movie, I think it was a Western and it goes something like this.  "Sure we'll give you a fair trial. THEN we'll hang you!".  At the risk of sounding a bit snarky, that seems to be the attitude of the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of objectivity being shown Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when it comes to her up-coming testimony before that august body.

Look, I'm not saying that Brett Kavanaugh did anything salacious with Christine Blasey Ford.  The fact is we don't definitively know what happened in that bedroom thirty-six years ago and it's not likely that we'll ever find out the truth.  But there are a couple of things we can infer from the actions of the parties involved that should give us cause to consider who's telling the truth and who's not.  Most importantly, there's the question of who's asking for an objective investigation of the incident.  Dr. Ford has made it quite clear from the beginning that she favored a full and complete investigation into the matter by the FBI.  Judge Kavanaugh has essentially hidden behind the Senate Judiciary Committee and the White House in opposing such an investigations.  Dr. Ford has asked that witnesses who can either corroborate or at least illuminate what happened at that party be allowed to testify before the Judiciary Committee.  Once again, Judge Kavanaugh has been more than somewhat reluctant to do likewise.

Now if I were an innocent party under similar circumstances, I'd be shouting from the rooftops to have the FBI investigate the situation so that I can have the opportunity to prove my innocence and vindicate my candidacy for the Supreme Court.  But Judge Kavanaugh has been anything but positive about having an outside investigatory body look into the situation.  That leads me to ask why is he so reluctant?  What does he have to hide?

It is conceivable that what Judge Kavanaugh is afraid of is that the FBI might discover that he lead a more than somewhat profligate life as a young man during the 1980s.  This is not, in and of itself, reason to disqualify Judge Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court.  But it is not beyond the realm of the possible that the FBI might find some embarrassing facts about the judge, facts he would want to have kept hidden from public consideration.  From my point of view, this wouldn't knock him out of consideration for a seat on the Supreme Court.  Lots of people have lead riotous lives, only to settle down and become model citizens.  This might be the case with Judge Kavanaugh.

This then switches the focus of my observations to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  What are THEY afraid of?  Why wouldn't they want their candidate for a seat on the Supreme Court to be cleaner than a hound's tooth?  And here's where we descend into the despicable.  This has nothing to do with Judge Kavanaugh or Dr. Ford.  It has everything to do with the political implications of this nomination battle.

Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch and others among the Republican leaders on the Senate Judiciary Committee have made it clear that they are determined to push through the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court no matter what.  Senator Graham has gone so far as to say that he intends to vote for Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation no matter what Dr. Ford testifies to on Thursday.  It is clear that the Republicans view this whole contretemps over Judge Kavanaugh as nothing more than a charade, that in effect they intend to act as a kangaroo court in which they will respectfully listen to what Dr. Ford has to say on Thursday and then completely ignore it as they vote to confirm.

As I have said before, that is the Republicans' right.  They won the elections in November of 2016 and that gives them the authority to do pretty much whatever they want to.  From a purely practical point of view, there isn't much of anything the Democrats can do about it.  The chairman of the Judiciary Committee makes committee rules.  In the Senate at large, the Senate Majority Leader makes the rules.  The only way that arrangement can be changed is in the next election.  So if honestly concerned citizens want the Congress to be more vigilant with respect to this Supreme Court nomination, they are going to have to register and they are going to have to vote!

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  • There's going to be so many kangaroos jumping around it's going to look like Australia.

  • In essence, it doesn't make any difference what the Judiciary Committee does if it discharges the nomination to the floor. What matters is the Senate vote to unprincipled guys like Cruz who suddenly is facing a close race.

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