September 28, 2018

Framing Brett Kavanaugh as an exemplar of masculine anger and aggression.

I'm reading "Brett Kavanaugh and the Adolescent Aggression of Conservative Masculinity" by Alexandra Schwartz in The New Yorker. Schwartz writes about Kavanaugh's "wildly emotional performance, in which he alternated between shouting, as he blamed the Clintons and the Democrats for conspiring to torpedo his nomination to the Supreme Court, and weeping, as he spoke about the pain that he and his family have experienced in the weeks since accusations of sexual assault against him became public."

First, Kavanaugh never wept. He struggled to contain his emotion, often sticking his tongue into his left cheek, which seemed to be his way of controlling himself. He was under an immensely powerful attack and fighting for his life. What he did was not "wild" (nor was it tame). It was real emotion, under some degree of control. If he had been completely controlled, I suspect the New Yorker writer would have called him steely and cold, and that would be characterized as masculine (and thus scary and bad).
Kavanaugh choked up and sobbed...
He didn't sob! He came to the verge of breaking down into crying, but he never did. He just stopped talking, did that tongue move, and waited to regain composure. Can men do that? How many times have I heard progressive women assert that men should cry and why don't men cry, come on, men, cry, we'll think better of you if you do, it's a strong man who can cry? But let him approach a breakdown into tears and he's already weeping and sobbing and he's condemned — as he was when he did not cry — as manifesting the bad kind of masculinity.
... as he described his father’s detailed calendars, which apparently inspired his own calendar-keeping practice; he seemed unable to gain control over himself, gasping and taking frequent sips of water. 
He didn't seem that way to me. He seemed that way to you? And actually it seems like bullying to subject a man to emotional torture and then taunt him for approaching tears, even as he fights like hell to control himself. I think of school yard bullies who terrify a targeted boy and make his own vulnerability to tears into further torture by saying things like, What's the matter, is the little baby going to cry?
The initial impression was of naked emotional vulnerability, but Kavanaugh was setting a tone. Embedded in the histrionics were the unmistakable notes of fury and bullying. 
I'm blogging as a read, so I brought up bullying before I saw Schwartz's use of the word. But she's accusing Kavanaugh of bullying! How does that work?
Kavanaugh shouted over Dianne Feinstein to complain about the “outrage” of not being allowed to testify earlier; when asked about his drinking, by Sheldon Whitehouse, he replied, “I like beer. You like beer? What do you like to drink, Senator?” with a note of aggressive petulance that is hard to square with his preferred self-image of judicious impartiality and pious Sunday churchgoing. 
If you protest bullying, you're the bully. Stop bullying me about bullying you. I think maybe Schwartz caught herself making Kavanaugh seem sympathetic — the poor man was weeping and sobbing — that she needed to flip into making him the attacker. He was defending himself, but look: He defended himself with "aggressive petulance."
What we are seeing is a model of American conservative masculinity that has become popular in the past few years, one that is directly tied to the loutish, aggressive frat-boy persona that Kavanaugh is purportedly seeking to dissociate himself from. Gone are the days of a terse John Wayne-style stoicism. Now we have Trump, ranting and raving at his rallies; we have Alex Jones, whose habit of screaming and floridly weeping as he spouts his conspiracy theories is a key part of his appeal to his audience. When Kavanaugh is not crying or shouting, he uses a distinctly adolescent tone that might best be described as “talking back.” He does not respond to senators. He negs them. His response, when he is asked about his drinking, is to flip the question and ask the senators how they like their alcohol; his refusal to say whether he would coöperate with an F.B.I. investigation brings to mind a teen-ager stonewalling his parents. If Kavanaugh is trying to convince the public that he could never have been capable, as a teen-ager, of aggression or peer pressure, this is an odd way to go about it.
Well, that's an interesting observation, and I'll let that part stand for now, because I want to watch the hearing which is beginning again. What Schwartz is describing is something I would not have called "masculine," but men are doing it. Is Kavanaugh like Trump?! Imagine Trump in the position Kavanaugh was in yesterday and how he might have behaved and spoken.

ADDED: Let me get back to that last paragraph. First, Schwartz sets aside an older form of "conservative masculinity" — "the loutish, aggressive frat-boy persona." I don't know why this is considered specifically conservative. There is, indeed, something we call the "frat boy." I've had an aversion to this type of person since I was a college student and no one I knew would want anything to do with a frat boy. At the time, I believed fraternities were obsolescent and would soon be gone. I thought football was about to die too. Clearly, I was wrong, but I'm just saying I never liked the "frat boy" I never wanted anything to do with. I mean, there was one frat boy I once went to a movie with. I can't remember his name. Let's say it was Bob. The friends I had called him "Frat Boy Bob," and though I liked him, I never overcame my aversion to the general stereotype that I and my friends had stamped onto him. I can't remember his name, as I said, but I do remember the movie. It was the 1962 Orson Welles version of "The Trial" — with Anthony Perkins as — in the words of IMDB — "An unassuming office worker [who] is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of his charges." I wonder if Frat Boy Bob ever became aware of my charges against him.

Schwartz sees Kavanaugh as distancing himself from the "frat boy persona." She adds, "Gone are the days of a terse John Wayne-style stoicism." I think she's positing a second older form of "conservative masculinity," the John Wayne type, but maybe she means to conflate John Wayne and the frat boy, which strikes me as ludicrous. I'm not convinced that the stoical and terse masculine type is gone, and Kavanaugh has some of that some of the time. He has a frat boy part to him too. He likes his beer. He went to parties. He owned up to that and he owned up to embarrassment because he didn't have the sexual activity that might seem to go along with that style, but he told us he was also proud of not acting out sexually because he had religious scruples. Schwartz makes no mention of the conservative masculinity that comes from religion and that demands sexual continence.

Schwartz posits a new sort of masculinity that is "is directly tied" to the old frat boy style. What's the direct tie? Did this new thing evolve out of the frat boy or spring from the same inborn impulses? I don't know what she means. She's observing something and it reminds her of something else, so these things are tied. As she proceeds to describe this newly popular form of masculinity, the model is less the frat boy (a college character) than the teenager:
When Kavanaugh is not crying or shouting, he uses a distinctly adolescent tone that might best be described as “talking back.” He does not respond to senators. He negs them. 
Negging is adolescent?! Maybe The New Yorker thinks "negging" is just being negative. But here's the Wikipedia article on negging, which is how I've understood the slang since first hearing it:
Negging is an act of emotional manipulation whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment or otherwise flirtatious remark to another person to undermine their confidence and increase their need of the manipulator's approval. The term was coined and prescribed by the pickup artist community, several of whose members have proposed it as an effective method to build attraction.
And as far as "talking back" — Kavanaugh was responding to questions. Yes, he was resistant to them much of the time, but the Democratic Senators were trying to manipulate and handle him and get him to damage himself. Perhaps Schwartz thinks Kavanaugh seemed like a teenager because she saw the Senators as adopting a parental scolding tone and she liked that and was disappointed that it didn't cow Kavanaugh. He stood up to them. Why isn't that good? It isn't good if you want him to let Senators treat him like a teenager. Then, his failure to accept the position they put him in looks like he's a bad teenager (and not the good little boy you characterize him as trying to be).

But what does any of that say about present-day conservative masculinity?!

182 comments:

Saint Croix said...

What I would like to comment on are the stark differences between

1) people who see Brett Kavanaugh as a human being and respond to him on that level

2) people who see Brett Kavanaugh as a "white male" and respond to him that way

The latter group, relying on sexism and racism to dehumanize, are doing something evil and wrong. Full stop.

Unknown said...

The democrat propaganda wing at work. I notice that their jornolist is still active.

Molly said...

Both of my democratic senators announced in early July that they would oppose Kavanaugh. Now, however, their vote is not about Kavanaugh's legal philosophy or abilities, it is about the Senators' judgment on this allegation. If they vote against Kavanaugh (as they surely will), and I later become convinced that the whole sexual charges were empty or irrelevant, then I will never be able to vote for these Senators because they have not demonstrated strong leadership, willingness to buck their party, and good judgment about qualifications for high office.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Leftists are disgusting moral degenerates.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

He negs them.

Bullshit. Negging has a meaning, as well as an association with pick-up artists. What Kavanaugh did does not in any way meet the definition of negging. The author uses the word for one purpose: to smear Kavanaugh with the negative association with pick-up artists.

Henry said...

I'd like the Senate to call Rooster Cogburn.

Goudy: I believe you testified that you backed away from old man Wharton?

Rooster Cogburn: Yes, sir.

Goudy: Which direction were you going?

Rooster Cogburn: Backward. I always go backward when I'm backin' away.

Caroline Walker said...

I commend you for slogging through so much of this tripe so we don’t have to.
History will not look kindly on the New Jacobins; they will be regarded as barbaric as the last ones.
Try to imagine a world in which we could pick apart Christine Blasey Ford in similar fashion. I’ll start with that “sorority” up-talking voice. Nails on a chalkboard.

rhhardin said...

I didn't do it and the crazy lady deserves our sympathy, was his line.

Darrell said...

The New Yorker. One of my first stops when I want a fair appraisal. Kavanaugh only acted up when the question had been asked and answered before. He assumed the Senators were supposed to have been paying attention. I'm glad the Republican Senators started asking questions directly to Kavanaugh. Going through that sex crimes investigator was wasting too much time and going nowhere.

FIDO said...

When the Left attacks you and takes advantage of your stoicism and your morality, don't expect that ability to attack that way to last forever.

But Kavanaugh is the sorriest excuse for a Frat Boy that I've seen.

Mattman26 said...

“his refusal to say whether he would coöperate with an F.B.I. investigation”

He did no such thing. Liar.

Henry said...

Goudy: [cross-examining Rooster] How many men have you shot since you became a marshal, Mr. Cogburn?

Rooster Cogburn: I never shot nobody I didn't have to.

Goudy: That was not the question. How many?

Rooster Cogburn: Uh... shot or killed?

Goudy: Oh, let's restrict it to "killed" so we may have a manageable figure.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

The striking thing is how little this has resonated, or even registered, with LIVs. I have not heard a single word about Kavanaugh from anyone at work or any of my casual acquaintances. So parsing Kavanaugh’s emotional state is simply a form of masturbation.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Shorter leftwing jurnolister: How dare the white frat boy defend his honor. He didn't do it right.

wild chicken said...

I'm sure if he'd never shown emotion, he'd be cold and calculating, unnatural, etc. Pundits would say he should have shown more healthy anger.

Oh God I don't know what happened if anything, but whatever, he has redeemed himself as an adult for sure.

Unless some angry ex mistress comes out of the woodwork today.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The left's coordinated anti-law attack line about an FBI investigation was a useful tool in the left's corrupt game.

The left are now acting above the law. Fuck them.

Mike Sylwester said...

The New Yorker has funny cartoons.

Henry said...

Mattie Ross: I hope you don't think I'm going to keep you in whiskey?

Rooster Cogburn: I don't buy that, I confiscate it. And a touch of it wouldn't do you any harm against the night air!

Mattie Ross: I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains!

Rooster Cogburn: Well, it's the real article! Genuine, double-rectified bust head. Aged in the keg.

tcrosse said...

"Framing" is le mot juste.

Chuck said...

Flake — “Yes” — as I predicted.
Game over.

buwaya said...

My experience of American frat boys is that they aren't particularly loutish, certainly not in the context of other very young men.

Having recruited in many schools, to me US college boys in general seem polite and good natured.

There seems to be a lot of liberal female mythology in all this.
Social anxiety and group dynamics, and perhaps the effect of self-selection of the scribbling class, looking at it in a non-paranoid way.

Proper paranoia of course has to take into account the powerful element of directed cultural warfare. This is real.

SayAahh said...

The professor should consider broadening or varying her reading. Her perspective is becoming tainted.

Mike Sylwester said...

Lots of young men are becoming Republicans.

EDH said...

'Chistmas Story' helps explain why Kavanaugh's testimony appealed to many Americans. They identify with Ralphie.

Jean Shepherd was a great story teller...

"Deep in the recesses of my brain, a tiny red hot little flame began to grow... Something had happened. A fuse blew and l had gone out of my skull... I have since heard of people under extreme duress speaking in strange tongues. I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed.

The Scut Farkus Democrats

Bay Area Guy said...

Ahh, fuck The New Yorker.

Nice journalisting reporting of Debbie Ramirez' uncorroborated dildo claim from the Yale dorms!

Surely another Pulitzer for that one.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Thank you, Lindsey. You finally stepped up when it was needed most and we normals appreciate it.

Fuck the left.

Lucid-ides said...

Lots of young men are becoming Republicans.

The dems don't think so but this has done HUGE damage to them. What occurred this last week was a "red-pilling" of monumental proportions.

Any young man with two brain cells to rub together saw that the Democratic party is essentially the party of women, gays, etc....basically anything that is not them.

The hatred was on full display. That's right boys. Act accordingly come November.

mezzrow said...

Welcome back, my friends
To the smear that never ends
We're so glad you clicked this link
Come inside! Come inside!

Like many, I too was bullied in middle school. My sense of decorum and upbringing would not allow me to fight back against my female tormentors who simply hit me every time they got a chance. In fifth grade, I had outlasted a couple dozen of them in an elementary school spelling bee (I know) to be the first male winner in living memory. As a pudgy, bookish type I was easy bait. If you hit back you're a monster, if you complain, you're a wimp.

By middle school, it was the subject of a major rift among the female cliques in the top ends of the grade scale. The girls who stood by me are still some of my closest friends. I never complained or whined, I just took it.

How directly do you think this shitshow we just witnessed clicks into my sense of fair play and outrage? I think the people responsible are lucky they got to walk out in one piece. I believe Brett Kavanaugh.

"You can't hit back, we're girls. We'll tell."

Darrell said...

I started off watching Ford with an open mind. After ten minutes or so, I saw that she was playing a character--absent-minded professor, simple girl, careful(must search for and re-read all the info she submitted to answer a question and waste time). Then when someone questioned the strength of a memory, she launched into a technical discussion of how memories are laid down with norepinephrine and epinephrine and how infallible those are. Not a silly beach girl anymore. Did she need two doors because of claustrophobia from the incident or because she thought her house wasn't symmetrical--as she added? I quickly soured on her. I don't like gameplayers.

Not Sure said...

Bush was stoic. How'd that work out for him?

Oso Negro said...

There would be no bottom to the horror of second American civil war, and it is nothing to wish for. But yesterday I realized that the initial shock of emotion for people shooting progressive Democrats in the event of such would be joy. It is one reason that I plan to exit the country in the event of the same. Not only do I not want to shoot anyone, I am afraid it would be difficult to stop once begun.

Darrell said...

The New Yorker has funny cartoons.

Objection! Not in evidence.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Democrats have a new campaign slogan

Men are trash

Steve M. Galbraith said...

The New Yorker was a great magazine. The reporting was in depth and well written.

But under David Remnick - who wrote a brilliant book on the collapse of the Soviet Union - has gone full Trump derangement. It's pieces like this that typify it.

SGT Ted said...

Lefty women are afraid of strong men who stand up for themselves. They complain about toxic masculinity making men hide their emotions and then criticize men when they get emotional.

So, they seek to use typical female passive aggressive shaming language to bully them back in line.

Lefty women are so full of shit.

rcocean said...

Trump in that position.

I'd pay to watch that!

AZ Bob said...

Thank you Althouse for this post. Unfortunately the New Yorker piece is only the tip of the media iceberg.

Matt said...

"as he described his father’s detailed calendars, which apparently inspired his own calendar-keeping practice; he seemed unable to gain control over himself, gasping and taking frequent sips of water."

Kavanaugh got emotional when talking about his elderly father, who was sitting right behind him, next to his wife and mother? What a weirdo. Seriously, are only Democrats allowed to have human emotions?

Steve M. Galbraith said...

If Kavanaugh had been cool and detached then that would have been proof of his dual personality, of his aloofness and callousness. The cool monster.

Whatever he did, however he responded would have been proof of some "toxic" culture. He was too hot, he was too cool, he was too calculating, he was too angry....

We get it.

gg6 said...

Schwartz and Althouse express Deep Thoughts on 'conservative masculinity". Sorry, you're in the early stages of PTSD, Ladies.

JAORE said...

Lots of young men are becoming Republicans.

Lots of mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, nieces and aunts of men are becoming Republican.

I wish the Republicans would highlight the danger to the men in their lives in an ad campaign.

Chest Rockwell said...

"I have not heard a single word about Kavanaugh from anyone at work or any of my casual acquaintances."

Oh man, my office won't shut up about it. Of course it's mostly millenials, single women, and married women with no sons. And it's Ann Arbor. Liberal bubble.

I watched the Clarence Thomas hearings last night, for some comparison. A lot hasn't changed. But I totally forgot that Anita Hill introduced America to Long Dong Silver on CSPAN. Fucking classic.

rcocean said...

She lied about flying. She lied about the Feinstein letter.

Completely unnecessary lies.

She was obviously playing games when asked about the polygraph, her lawyers, and who was paying for what.

Nope - a complete liar.

Dave Begley said...

The New Yorker better be careful here. Kavanaugh has the mother of all defamation lawsuits with the Yale dorm story. Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow ran that story with actual malice toward a public figure.

Kavanaugh could bankrupt the New Yorker. I could see a verdict of $300 million plus.

rcocean said...

I wasn't too happy about the constant "trying to hold back the tears".

Of course, how you PERFORM in front of the cameras, has nothing to do with the truth.

Some people just aren't good at it.

Unknown said...


“Blogger Caroline Walker said...
I commend you for slogging through so much of this tripe so we don’t have to.
History will not look kindly on the New Jacobins; they will be regarded as barbaric as the last ones. “

I wish I could believe that. But I expect the democrat media to push this down a rabbit hole. I mean they paid no price for Clarence Thomas either.

buwaya said...

"Act accordingly come November"

The problem with all this, and so much else over many decades, is that the collateral consequences of such symbolic warfare is permanent. People get enraged, and then never forget that.

It is cumulative. What is done for a specific, limited purpose for a particular situation (maybe), becomes part of the permanent context of everything, for a lifetime and beyond.

rcocean said...

They're talking about floor vote on Tues or Wed.

God, the Senate wastes so much Goddamn time. Its like the Emerald City, they start to work at 10, go to lunch, come back at 1, and then they're done at 2 PM.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Democratic senators Kamala Harris of California, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Patrick Leahy of Vermont walked out of the meeting in protest.

ah. The lying corrupt assholes walked out.
Fuck them.

MayBee said...

WOmen's publications have been putting the idea in girls' heads for decades now that men do not have a full range of emotion and are not capable of love. They have been stripping them of their humanity. On top of it, the campus rape movement and the "me too" movement conflate the idea that most women have had some sort of unwelcome sexual advance with the idea that most men are sexual predators.
Finally, the openness toward divorce and single mother hood has brought a lot of unwelcome men into families that have put young girls in unsafe situations.

All in all, we are creating victims of women and monsters out of men and not allowing either to be human.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Gotta leave more time for false allegations of gang rape to come forward.

Nonapod said...

Now they're characterizing Kavanaugh as angry and unstable. They don't allow for the possibility that he's being falsely accused, which of course would make his response yesterday totally understandable. No sane person could sit by and watch their reputation, everthing they've worked their whole life for, their entire career, be assassinated in public like that all for what is obviously naked power seeking without having a similar reaction.

This whole thing is disgusting and shameful.

rcocean said...

If you only listened to NPR, you would think Ms. Ford's story was much,much stronger than it is.

They rarely mentioned, and only in passing, that she couldn't remember the date and place. In fact, they rarely mentioned it was 35 years ago. And the fact that all the people identified at the party said it never happened was skipped over as well.

Caligula said...

The New Yorker has been a cesspool ever since Trump was elected, with practically every "Talk of the Town" devolving into a rant against Trump's something-or-other. If any of those who write for the New Yorker (or hope to do so) disagree, I'd assume they've had the good sense to keep quiet about it.

And, no Kavanaugh did not weep. Emotional self-restraint is a virtue in all adults, but traditionally has been considered more important in men, presumably because their typically greater strength makes them a more serious threat to others if they do lose control.

No doubt we can rely on feminists to complain about male emotional restraint (when present), and it's lack (when absent). The feminist leitmotif remains: men (white men, anyway) are guilty, you're all guilty; you owe us, we owe you nothing.

Hear us Rage! No emotional restraint required of us, why should we (after millennia of suppression and oppression, etc) restrain ourselves? You restrain yourselves; we need not and will not.

Umm, remind me again why I should listen to this?

rcocean said...

Kavanaugh is Bushie. Hopefully, this will radicalize him.

FWBuff said...

Righteous anger was what I saw, not histrionics. I thought Judge Kavanaugh showed great control under the circumstances.

mezzrow said...

@buwaya - your comment brings me back to this from Richard Fernandez yesterday:

As so often happens what starts as one thing becomes another. This may no longer be about Kavanaugh's nomination at all. That, by his own words, has entered the realm of que sera, sera. It is what comes after, or perhaps more accurately as a consequence that can't be predicted.

It's dawning on a few that they've cheapened the institution they belong to. They've poked holes in the bottom of their own boat. I know: they can drill more holes to let the water out.

Marc Lowenstein said...

his refusal to say whether he would coöperate with an F.B.I. investigation brings to mind a teen-ager stonewalling his parents.

The New Yorker's continued use of an umlaut in this context seems insufferably priggish. Prof A -- what does the unlinkable OED say about the origins of that word?

rcocean said...

The New Yorker used to have Elizabeth Drew, who was Liberal/Left, but also intelligent and well informed. They also had Pauline Kael and Herbert Warren Wind.

Its been on a long downward slide for 30 years.

Spiros Pappas said...

A metaphor for the Republicans and the Kavanaugh nomination:

https://9gag.com/gag/aeMXobO

Rob McLean said...

Of course, if K had stayed cool and calm, the article would've been titled "Brett Kavanaugh and the Cold, Unfeeling Heart of Conservative Masculinity".

Unknown said...

Just a recent example of the heads I win, tails you lose approach by female critics of men. Crying? Crying? There's no crying in Senate testimony! Unless, of course, you don't, then you are cold hearted and, most likely, guilty as accused.

-sw

MayBee said...

Do they want abortion so much, or do they like the political power and money of the pro-choice groups?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The media(D) collectively discuss the "rape" as if it happened yesterday. They discuss it as if it is real and true how dare this man defend his honor.

Fuck the left.

Freder Frederson said...

And the fact that all the people identified at the party said it never happened was skipped over as well.

I am going to say this once. But this point is false. The other people she identified as being at the party claimed they had no recollection of the event. "I don't recall" is a dodge, not an outright "it never happened". The most important witness, Mark Judge, admits that in high school he was often blackout drunk, so his lack of recollection is not surprising. The other two are indeed problematic.

The bottom line is that at the very least Mark Judge should have been compelled to testify if the Republicans were really interested in seeking the truth.

buwaya said...

Oso Negro is correct.

I have been a witness to a low-level civil war, guerillas in the hills and all.

I have met and spoken with these people, in their open, political form, and the covert, military one. In either case these were people prepared to kill or die in their (Maoist) cause. The atmosphere was totally different from modern US politics.

It was I think healthier, as the rebels were FOR something, a concrete vision of the future, not the personal hatred of a class or caste. Almost all of them, for one thing, were members of the class they were rebelling against. And for that matter their opponents acknowledged openly that the rebels cause had some justice behind it.

Can you imagine a situation where two sides kill each other without hatred? It happens.

In the US the hatreds are by now very personal.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The new leftwing law of the land: It is decreed if a leftist uses a 36 year old accusation about your teen years - it is all unquestioned truth and you are guilty as charged. Burn the warlock.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The Left comes out against hate -- and then goes into the business of licensing hate.
The Left comes out against bullying -- and then gets into the business of licensing bullying.
This is because they have never been against hate or bullying, they thought that the wrong people were hated or bullied.
Where a MAGA t-shirt on campus, and the Left will encourage people to hate you and bully you into taking it off.

William said...

Kavanaugh was on the high wire and working without a net. Ford was in the bassinet being gently swathed.

Jeff Brokaw said...

The Left is so clueless on this whole point, so lacking in self-awareness. They have no idea how fooking weird they seem to normal human beings. But they just preach to the choir so who cares, right?

Just don’t then turn around and wonder why you have no influence.

Amadeus 48 said...

That’s why I canceled my subscrition last week. Thanks for reading it. I never wil again.

rcocean said...

Kavanaugh—and Hatch, and Lindsey Graham—seemed to be exterminating, live, for an American audience, the faint notion that a massively successful white man could have his birthright questioned or his character held to the most basic type of scrutiny.

Here's a quote from ANOTHER New Yorker article attacking Kavanaugh. "exterminating live" ?!

Good God, what terrible writing!

Unknown said...

Interesting point Freder. I have to disagree that "I don't recall" is a dodge in this context. If you did not witness an event how can you say "it never happened"? As for Judge, if he was often blackout drunk how reliable would his testimony be?

-sw

hombre said...

Molly: “...and I later become convinced that the whole sexual charges were empty or irrelevant, then I will never be able to vote for these Senators because they have not demonstrated strong leadership, willingness to buck their party, and good judgment about qualifications for high office.”

Later? The evidence is in. All of it, independent of the statements of the accusers themselves, supports Kavanaugh - all of it. Any changes will be wrought only through the expenditure of Democrat bribe money.

Beyond the evidence, this is an attack on a teenage boy. Who in their right mind believes that the course of an adult’s life is, or should be, determined by a few moments during their teenage years, particularly moments that the independent evidence suggests didn’t happen?

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Mark Judge should have been compelled to testify if the Republicans were really interested in seeking the truth.

So Judge is, for you, not a reliable witness - he was blackout drunk on occasion - but you want him to testify. Even though, again, you say he's not a reliable witness.

If he testified that he didn't remember this event, that he never saw Kavanaugh act improperly would you accept his testimony? Or would you say, "Well, of course, he wouldn't remember, he blacked out"?

Question for you: Ford said she was with her best friend at this party. But she leaves the party after this assault and doesn't tell her friend? She doesn't run to her friend - her best friend over 35 years - and tells her, "We have to get out of here, these boys are dangerous."

Even more, she never mentions to her best friend this incident? Never. She doesnt' tell her "You need to stay away from those monsters, they'll try to hurt you."

Never does she tell her best friend this life changing event?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

J Christian Adams:

Ritual defamation has become the favorite tool of the institutional Left to advance policy. If anyone stands up to the Left’s narrative – whether it be voter fraud, race, life, or the purely ideological role of the mainstream media – they are targeted for ritual defamation by Leftist organizations.

Truth doesn’t matter when power is at risk.

Oso Negro said...

@rcocean - about those tears. Someone so worried about being a “good” boy is always going to be a bit of a puss. I have no doubt that this is the worst thing that has happened to him in his life and represents an existential threat to him and his family. It is good that he got mad. It would be better for him if he had been through a divorce, been arrested at least once, had some other traumatic life event. But apparently he hadn’t. If he’s confirmed, he should certainly be immune to civility bullshit.

Matthew Sablan said...

I said something similar where this is why men *don't* show emotion. Because even the people who say they should show it use it against them when it is expedient.

rcocean said...

When you're talking about a 36 y/o event, what is the difference between:

"It didn't happen" and "I don't remember any party with me, Kavanaugh, and Ford ?"

There is none.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Gone are the days of a terse John Wayne-style stoicism. "

Ha ha ha! Yeah, people like this writer *loved* that.

Qwinn said...

"The bottom line is that at the very least Mark Judge should have been compelled to testify if the Republicans were really interested in seeking the truth."

You JUST got done telling us that his lack of recollection is not surprising because he was always black out drunk. He has already stated he doesn't recall anything about it. What the hell else would you - COULD you - ask him to testify about that would have any relevance?

This is bullshit. You just want to smear Republicans, who have been insanely cooperative with this witch hunt, as still hiding something. GFY.

rcocean said...

"@rcocean - about those tears. Someone so worried about being a “good” boy is always going to be a bit of a puss."

Yeah, there's that. Plus, some people cry when they get angry. Which is 180 degrees different from me.

I want to make other people cry, when I'm angry.

Jupiter said...

"Framing Brett Kavanaugh as an exemplar of masculine anger and aggression."

Actually, framing Brett Kavanaugh was pretty clearly an act of female anger and aggression.

mockturtle said...

The only women who would buy this BS are women who hate men. There is apparently a substantial number of them but I'm fairly confident most of us do not. And I'm afraid politicians ignore us because we make less noise.

William said...

A few kind words for Farrow. His report on the Yale dorm thing was self-refuting. The allegation was made and the reasons not to believe that allegation were also reported.......It seems to be a report on how strong political opinions can shape and direct a hazy memory of a past event.......The allegation was far less credible than that of Ford. Ford's allegation was credible, but is that all it takes to destroy a man's life, career, and reputation---a single credible threat from an incident that happened or didn't happen when he was in high school.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The left will lie lie lie lie and lie some more in their never ending pursuit to catch YOU in a lie.

They will trip you and trick you and blackmail you and corner you. Whatever it takes.

rcocean said...

NPR just said that Kavanaugh was trying to please Trump with his Angry Man act.

They can't stay away from Trump.

buwaya said...

Fernandez (Belmont, Wretchard) is a bit limited in his conception of collateral effects. Its not just institutional and political, but social, cultural.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Frederson wrote:
The most important witness, Mark Judge, admits that in high school he was often blackout drunk . . . The bottom line is that at the very least Mark Judge should have been compelled to testify if the Republicans were really interested in seeking the truth.
Since Frederson is oblivious, I'll explain the obvious: since was Judge was often blackout drunk his testimony would be worthless.
"Hey! DiFi and Chuck! I got a great witness for you! He was at the party and he was high as a kite! We got Kavanaugh now!"

MayBee said...

The bottom line is that at the very least Mark Judge should have been compelled to testify if the Republicans were really interested in seeking the truth.

They interviewed him, and he gave a statement under penalty of perjury. That is just as good a method of seeking the truth as bringing him in to the Senate and having everyone ask him about his drinking days in high school. Bringing him in to the Senate wouldn't be about seeking the truth.
And, as you note, nobody else "at the party" recalls it. OK. They don't say it didn't happen. But Ford is the only person saying it did happen. And even then, the details have changed even within the past few weeks.
The "Truth" cannot be gleaned, even from Ford.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I'll explain the obvious: since was Judge was often blackout drunk his testimony would be worthless."

-- It wouldn't be if he agreed with it.

Either way, Judge HAS made a statement under oath.

rcocean said...

John Wayne was stoical.

He was terse - and violent.

If you say "three," mister, you'll never hear the man count "ten."

Michael K said...

Field Marshall Freder is on the case.

I also wondered when he choked up a bit on the calendars. I thought may be his father was ill or something.

This was a catastrophic strategic error by the Democrats. Maybe they have gotten so addicted to the abortion money.

I doubt there will be another public hearing for the Supreme Court. Amy Barrett will be the replacement for RBG and they will have nothing left. Nobody but Freder will believe them.

I am more optimistic about midterms after this.

I still think Ford is a troubled women but there are several examples of her lying, not just the fear of flying.

Apparently her house remodel was in 2008, not 2012.

Lucid-ides said...

@Buwaya

You're right, but this is what they wanted. The way I see it they can have it.

exhelodrvr1 said...

the percentage of those on the left who are political assholes has been steadily climbing for the past 40 or so years; over the past 20 years the percentage of those on the left who let their political assholery cross over into their personal lives has been steadily rising. That's the biggest issue facing our nation.

MayBee said...

Feinstein and her staffers say they are not responsible for leaking Ford's information to the WaPo. There was a moment at the end of the hearing yesterday where the Senate decided it must have been one of Ford's friends who leaked it

So what does that tell us about Ford's friends, and their motivations?

rcocean said...

Judge states in his letter that after suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, and cancer...he is NO shape to testify.

And he does NO public speaking for the same reason.

rcocean said...

"Feinstein and her staffers say they are not responsible"

If you believe them, I have a bridge to sell you.

William said...

The Duke, UVA, and now Kavanaugh. Frat members are the Scotsboro boys of our era.

Fernandistein said...

Funny picture:
"men need to be more open with their feelings, we can end toxic masculinity that is killing men"

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm the "exemplar of masculine anger and aggression" and - if Judge Kavanaugh wants to challenge my reign - BRING IT ON, BUDDY!

Darrell said...

The bottom line is that at the very least Mark Judge should have been compelled to testify if the Republicans were really interested in seeking the truth.

This has nothing to do with the truth. The Left thinks they can get a soundbite out of him--something like saying that it could have happened (while leaving out the if I don't remember part. . . anything could have happened.) They think he's badgerable.

rcocean said...

She scrubbed her social media before the letter was leaked, so she had fore knowledge.

Freeman Hunt said...

The other people she identified as being at the party claimed they had no recollection of the event. "I don't recall" is a dodge, not an outright "it never happened".

No, "I don't recall," is as far as you could possibly go without being omnipotent.

William said...

It may not have been Feinstein's staff. It may have been the lawyer that Feinstein recommended to Ford. Plausible denial or Machiavellian machination?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If Kavanaugh is trying to convince the public that he could never have been capable, as a teen-ager, of aggression or peer pressure, this is an odd way to go about it.

What a complete crock of shit. It's extremely tempting to personally insult the author of this article--and the author certainly deserves the insults--but I'm sure that'd be sexist and/or "ugly" so I'll restrain myself (with masculine stoicism).

No one believes the Alexandra Schwartz-es of the world would be convinced by anything Kavanaugh could say or do. Personally I don't think she'd be convinced of his innocence if she were presented with undeniable proof of it. It's disingenuous to pretend like anything Kavanaugh could have done would have convinced Schwartz (and Leftists like her) that Kavanaugh wasn't "capable of aggression or peer pressure" as a teen. Look at all the articles referencing a "frat boy" type, or knowing "people like that" from HS, etc--it's the worst kind of guilt by association and to pretend like they haven't already bought into it is ridiculous.

BUT! That's not the worst part. The worst part is that the statement nice centrist Professor Althouse thinks is "an interesting observation" is entirely fallacious! It's either wholly a strawman (sorry, strawperson) or a classic motte and bailey. THE ISSUE IS NOT WHETHER KAVANAUGH "WOULD HAVE BEEN CAPABLE" OF AGGRESSION OR PEER PRESSURE AS A TEEN. Of course he would have--literally every human being would have. That's an entirely made up criteria and is meant to imply that IF Kavanaugh was "capable of aggression" as a teen then we should conclude he's likely to be guilty of sexual assault and/or multiple gang rapes. That's an entirely unsupported and unstated premise.


Why would Professor Althouse--who famously enjoys noting the logical deficiencies embedded in bad arguments--find that ridiculously fallacious argument "interesting?"

MayBee said...

rcocean- I don't necessarily believe them, but they said right there in the hearing it must have been one of Ford's friends.
Fords friends are paying for her lawyers and her security and her living arrangements. So I'm not sure what to think of her friends. Are you?

Michael K said...


Blogger rcocean said...
She scrubbed her social media before the letter was leaked, so she had fore knowledge.


Good point. So did the creepy porn lawyer's client.

Lewis Wetzel said...

So much of the Left's opinions these days are based on the idea that can read the minds of conservatives. Kavanaugh was trying to impress Trump by acting angry. When Trump said that there good people on both sides in Charlottesville, he was thinking of the neo-nazis, etc.

Balfegor said...

Cet animal est très méchant: Quand on l'attaque, il se défend.

Saint Croix said...

It is cumulative. What is done for a specific, limited purpose for a particular situation (maybe), becomes part of the permanent context of everything, for a lifetime and beyond.

I think this is spot on.

The rape accusation was done for a specific, limited purpose--to keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court.

That's why the Democrats, and much of the media, were able to gear shift so quickly off of the rape claim. Now they are talking about his demeanor and how judges should not act this way. As if being falsely accused of a rape is no big deal!

I think many people believe the charge, and are now convinced that a rapist, or potential rapist, will be sitting on the Supreme Court. This was a horrific thing for the Democrats to do. To them it was all part of the game of politics. Anything goes! If the rape charge doesn't work, maybe we'll get you with the drinking, or your high school yearbook.

Graham's outburst was shocking to them because it was so emotional. Normally these Senators are very cold and manipulative people. These people have been manipulating emotions for so long to get votes, they don't see how these games can backfire badly in our society.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

I haven't read his books but Judge apparently wrote about extensive drinking in high school. He was a friend of Kavanaugh's. They want to question him not to shed light on Ford's allegation but to further blacken Kavanaugh's reputation.......I'm pretty sure Ford has read all of Judge's books. There's quite a lot of damaging information in those books. I wonder if her reading of his books has in any way shaped her memory of past events.

Sam L. said...

Not that anyone would expect the New Yorker to be honest...

Darrell said...

She scrubbed her social media before the letter was leaked, so she had fore knowledge.

And the scrubbing was one heck of a job--NSA-quality with a Google assist. That is why almost nothing has been ferreted out, only her yearbook. We're talking about deleted caches here. I suspect this was done before any letter was sent. Friends remember she had an extremely active social media presence and lots of affiliations that they had seen on websites (pics, info blurbs, etc.)

Matthew Sablan said...

"I still think Ford is a troubled women but there are several examples of her lying, not just the fear of flying."

-- I think her lawyers treated her poorly; for example, they didn't tell her about her other options to testify. I believe that she may have a mild fear of flying, and her lawyers used it and exaggerated it, possibly without even telling her (like it appears they did a lot of things.)

Francisco D said...

Field Marshall Freder is on the case.

I was thinking more along the lines of Police Inspector Freder (aka Javert)..

Freder Frederson said...

They interviewed him, and he gave a statement under penalty of perjury. That is just as good a method of seeking the truth as bringing him in to the Senate and having everyone ask him about his drinking days in high school. Bringing him in to the Senate wouldn't be about seeking the truth.

Who is "they"? My understanding is that the three other alleged witnesses submitted statements through their lawyers. That is vastly different than being interviewed by a professional, neutral, investigator.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger Matthew Sablan said...
. . .
Either way, Judge HAS made a statement under oath.


Lol. I know, I'm just having fun with the idea that Democrats think that they could nail Kavanaugh if they can only cross examine the guy who spent his teen years sleeping in his vomit.

traditionalguy said...

Lindsay Graham just earned an oak leaf cluster on his silver star from yesterday’s combat. Watching his transformation has been like watching Kim in North Korea after his strings were cut by Trump. Who else will join up the new man with the leverage.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

"They" is the committee staff and the FBI.

Look, if you want to delay things for the elections, fine; just say it. None of this they haven't investigated things enough.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

relying on sexism and racism to dehumanize, are doing something evil and wrong

Ah, diversity or "color" judgments/discrimination. Another wicked solution. I think we should and can do better.

Roughcoat said...

It is cumulative. What is done for a specific, limited purpose for a particular situation (maybe), becomes part of the permanent context of everything, for a lifetime and beyond.

I disagree with this. I believe it is an incorrect assessment of human nature: in other words, wrong. Like the French, you come across as being dazzled (or is it "bedazzled"?) by the "elegance" of your arguments, as formed by your manifestly formidable intellect. But, okay. You have your doom schtick, I have my positive outlook schtick. You work your side of the street, I'll work mine.

mezzrow said...

@buwaya

my sense is that he is as aware as many of us are that politics is downstream of culture. What we saw was brought on my the toxicity of some parts of the bubble world of elite culture that has birthed this madness. The collateral damage from this is as filled with shattered or twisted values and ideas as it is filled with shattered and twisted individuals.

In retrospect, they made the best case they could make without a shard of real evidence or respect for the system. It was Pickett's Charge. The casualty count is always highest toward the end of hostilities. Much more to come. It's on for real.

n.n said...

People get enraged, and then never forget that.

Assimilation and integration. It worked for the slavers. It worked for the classical diversitists. It would work for the modern diversitists. It could work for the abortionists. Repent and sin no more.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

Kavanaugh wasn’t behaving like Trump at all, he was belligerent, but not in Trump’s style. I can imagine Trump was disgusted with the crying.

n.n said...

NPR... They can't stay away from Trump.

Trump is the worst kind of Republican. As was Reagan before him. A former Democrat. Unforgivable. Some may say deplorable.

hombre said...

Freder: ‘I don't recall" is a dodge, not an outright "it never happened".’

First, it is not a dodge when said by someone who has no stake.

Second: “I don’t recall a party where Ford and Kavanaugh were both present,” is about as definitive as one can get for a witness to a 35-year-old event who is named by the accuser.

But just keep pluggin’ away, Freder.

Freder Frederson said...

I'm just having fun with the idea that Democrats think that they could nail Kavanaugh if they can only cross examine the guy who spent his teen years sleeping in his vomit.

You are just being obtuse. Where Kavanaugh's testimony struck me as particularly stretching credulity is that throughout high school, college and law school (contrary to what he implied in his yearbook and in a speech at Yale Law School) Kavanaugh struck that precise balance where he managed to down a few brewskis (sometimes to the point of ralphing because of it, but only because he has a weak stomach), but never, ever, got so drunk that he couldn't remember every single detail of what occurred while he was drinking. Judge, even being a blackout drunk, could certainly shed light on whether or not Kavanaugh was such a responsible drinker.

Laslo Spatula said...

Predictable posts today.

When it mattered, Althouse posited three explanations, two of which involve Kavanaugh being guilty of the charges, and one where Ford has a false memory. This is a McDonald's menu of salads and apple slices, and conspicuous in their absence is any fucking hamburgers.

She later alluded to a fourth possibility, but discounted it because she can't believe Ford could be misremembering AND lying. In her testimony Ford lies numerous times (as has been covered in other comments), but evidently that is not part of any judgment of her truthfulness -- Ford only lies when it matters, not when it REALLY matters, I guess.

I made a comment before about the idea that Ford can't be lying: that this thinking makes evident that Althouse has never had a romantic involvement with a high-maintenance woman.

No, I was not attempting to smoke out that lesbian fling in college that Althouse may or may not have had: I am pointing out that some women can act with men in ways they wouldn't with another woman, and that leaves women blind to recognize the signs of deception when it is used in front of them.

Ford can talk about what Slate calls "gave a precise and scientific account of how memories are formed": memory functions involving "the level of norepinephrine and the epinephrine in the brain that ...encodes that neurotransmitter, encodes memories into the hippocampus.”

Then -- when questioned about inconsistencies in her story -- we get the Little Girl Voice of a scared child afraid to go into the woods. Because sometimes grown women are afraid of the woods: big bad wolves are there, I believe. Elite Preppy Wolves that won't admit to having black-out amnesia and attempted rape.

I believe Althouse may have never encountered a woman adopting this technique -- or at least not recognizing it. But I am willing to bet many men recognized the gambit: I am a Woman, until I am losing, and then I Am A Little Girl. It works, because men fall for it -- this is one of those things where the Patriarchy benefits women, because men instinctively want to protect a woman that they think is frightened or in danger.

So now Althouse runs a post about Kavanaugh that ISN'T asking him to confess to black-out amnesia; my cynicism is this so that, at a later date, she can point to it as proof of aloof-professor neutrality (as I mentioned in a previous comment, I believe Cruel Neutrality™ now belongs to rhhardin).

Except when the lynch mob was in high dudgeon she provided tacit support of Feinstein et all: Ford was closer to the truth because of __________. Or maybe ________. It's like we're watching "The Wheel of Fortune" and are supposed to pretend that we can't figure out what letter to use for ABOR_ION.

The "Forget it, Jake: it's Chinatown" or "I'm shocked, shocked" sign-off can be salt-and-peppered here as desired.

I am Laslo.

Roughcoat said...

As I stated in a post yesterday, I'll start to really worry only when they stop picking up the garbage on Thursday. I am not being facetious.

You all need to cultivate perspective. (I thought I'd say "you" in imitation of buwaya's grimly erudite pronouncements). Watch the village scene in "Come and See". That's what real bad times look like. Nobody here has experienced bad times to that degree. You can be distressed when the Einsatzkommando rolls into your town. What's happening now is just a whole lot of crap. We'll get through it, and over it.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Freder Fredersen wrote:
Judge, even being a blackout drunk, could certainly shed light on whether or not Kavanaugh was such a responsible drinker.
No. Judge was a confessed hard core alcoholic at the time. Why would anyone trust his memory?

Carol said...

Ha ha ha! Yeah, people like this writer *loved* that.

Please, they're trying to talk to us dim flyover types..we all loves us some John Wayne.

Roughcoat said...

Laslo, great post. You are, and have been, batting 1000.

hombre said...

Toxic male aggression, Alexandra, would be if some man read this piece, waited for you in the parking lot and punched you out.

Toxic male aggression held in check, Alexandra, is what allows you and other feminist bimbos, to write divisive trash and then ponce around like you have done something courageous and noble.

Wonder Woman, Lara Croft and Riley North are fictional characters they can’t protect you. Male self-restraint protects you. Without it you couldn’t walk to Starbucks by yourself.

Saint Croix said...

Do they want abortion so much, or do they like the political power and money of the pro-choice groups?

What they want is to empower a woman, so that she can choose to be pregnant or not pregnant whenever she wants.

Abortion, the surgery, is the physical reality of making a pregnant woman "not pregnant."

They don't want to talk about abortion. They don't like to use the word. They really don't want anybody thinking of the unborn child, or the life-or-death issue.

It's an ideology, a pro-woman ideology. "It's my body, it's my choice." They negate the father with that rhetoric. They negate the baby with that rhetoric. There is no father, no baby, no reality that we need to think about.

That's the pro-choice ideology, okay?

Now, for some more reality--abortion upsets people. It upsets us at an emotional level. You've made your baby disappear. We don't want to think about this or talk about this. There's a huge amount of repression and anger over this issue.

The people accusing Kavanaugh of rape feel like it's justified because of Roe v. Wade. They are emotionally hostile to the idea of being "forced" to be pregnant. An aborting woman doesn't consent to the pregnancy. She's against the pregnancy. The "rape" word is used to register the idea that a non-consensual pregnancy is like non-consensual sex--it's a "rape" of a woman. That this is unfair to the father of her child--or some Republican judge--doesn't stop her from using the words.

I'm sorry that this happened to Kavanaugh. I think he was hoping that if he just said Roe was "settled law," he could sail on through. I'm afraid there is no moderate, sneaky, quiet, repressed way to overturn this opinion. To overturn it, Republicans in authority need to start talking about the unborn baby and her right to life.

Kristian Holvoet said...

The left responds to emotion. Calm and Rational Conservative == Nazi Engineer, Angry Conservative == KKK Cross Burning.

The left also uses emotion to manipulate, that is as a tool, as a technique.

True anger, not WWE histrionics, terrifies them. They don't get the Jacksonian Response to assault in the slightest. It's like they are the kids that saw dad go from irritated to truly pissed. Most kids can see the line, but occasionally they miss it and get flat out scared that what they did resulted in a well and truly furious response.

Matthew Sablan said...

" Where Kavanaugh's testimony struck me as particularly stretching credulity is that throughout high school, college and law school (contrary to what he implied in his yearbook and in a speech at Yale Law School) Kavanaugh struck that precise balance where he managed to down a few brewskis (sometimes to the point of ralphing because of it, but only because he has a weak stomach), but never, ever, got so drunk that he couldn't remember every single detail of what occurred while he was drinkin"e"

-- Why does that stretch credulity? Lots of people know their limits. It isn't even that hard, especially for someone who drank for years.

Anthony said...

The Stupid is strong in that one.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also: It doesn't MATTER if Kavanaugh was a black out drunk. That still doesn't put him at a party with Ford. Judge and Kavanaugh's testimony you can ignore; you can't ignore Smyth or especially Leland's. Even if we assume Judge and Kavanaugh would lie about it, that doesn't get you closer to *proving it happened.*

Matthew Sablan said...

Wait -- wait -- wait. By "speech at Yale Law School," do you mean when he used the what happens in X, stays in X, meme?

Is that... is that really the "evidence" you want to hang your hat on? I mean, if lame, meme-y jokes are proof of crimes, then, well...

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Mr. Judge, how many beers did you see Mr. Kavanaugh drink on the evening in question?"
"Thirteen."
"And you are certain of that?"
"Absolutely!"
"And how many beers had you had, Mr. Judge?"
"Oh, Christ, I was so fucking blitzed I couldn't keep track."

virgil xenophon said...

@Laslo/

Regarding the jaded perspective that Chinatown and Casablanca provide us we need only consult a more recent gloss by that still living great political philosopher Lilly Tomlin: "I TRY to be cynical, but I can't keep up."

Bruce Hayden said...

“Kavanaugh could bankrupt the New Yorker. I could see a verdict of $300 million plus. “

The basic problem is that without another conservative vote on the Supreme Court, he would have to recuse himself, and working backwards, that means filing suit in a Circuit that has enough Republicans that the Democratic judges couldn’t flush the suit on political grounds. Not sure where he lives right now, so not sure of all his choices, beyond the obvious of filing in the 2nd or maybe DC Circuits. The longer though that Trump is in office, appointing federal judges, the better for such a suit by Kavenaugh. Of course, he isnt going to do it...

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

ok, so the 'Cruel' part comes across--
it's just the 'neutrality' that's in question?

Freder Frederson said...

Judge and Kavanaugh's testimony you can ignore; you can't ignore Smyth or especially Leland's.

Of the four names you mentioned, we only have testimony from one.

Why does that stretch credulity? Lots of people know their limits. It isn't even that hard, especially for someone who drank for years.

Lots of people know their limits primarily because in the past they exceeded their limits.

One of my favorite quips is "You know you are getting old when you stop saying "I'm never going to drink that much again" and start saying "I can't drink as much as I used to."

Matthew Sablan said...

"Of the four names you mentioned, we only have testimony from one."

-- This is untrue; Smyth, Kavanaugh, Leland and Ford have all given statements to the committee.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Lots of people know their limits primarily because in the past they exceeded their limits."

-- Revisit the question. Why does this stretch credulity? Because... you think it does? What statement, fact or proof do you have that says Kavanaugh is wrong here? Let's say, he WAS black out drunk... how does that get you any closer to putting him in a room with Ford?

Matthew Sablan said...

In case you didn't know that everyone had provided statements to the committee.

Freder Frederson said...

She later alluded to a fourth possibility, but discounted it because she can't believe Ford could be misremembering AND lying. In her testimony Ford lies numerous times (as has been covered in other comments), but evidently that is not part of any judgment of her truthfulness -- Ford only lies when it matters, not when it REALLY matters, I guess.

If you believe that Ford created this story out of whole cloth to "get" Kavanaugh. The question then becomes why? Who put her up to it? Why was she willing to do this? Who coached her brilliant performance? How and by whom was she recruited in the first place?

I would think that if you don't care about investigating Kavanaugh, you would at least want to get to the bottom of the conspiracy that is dead set on destroying Kavanaugh (and punish the conspirators with serious jail time).

Laslo Spatula said...

"If you believe that Ford created this story out of whole cloth to "get" Kavanaugh. ..."

I do not believe this, and said nothing of the sort.

I believe she is misremembering AND lying. I am putting a comment that relates to this in the latest post.

I am Laslo.

Howard said...

Roughcoat: 100% This too will pass.

I think if you didn't feel shitty for Bart O'K during his opening, you are an ideological toady. I'm glad I listened and watched it because it's very hard to judge someone going through an extremely distressful experience second hand. IMO, if he was lying, he must be pure evil because I've never seen anyone lie like that without making tells/mask slips.

MayBee said...

If you believe that Ford created this story out of whole cloth to "get" Kavanaugh. The question then becomes why? Who put her up to it? Why was she willing to do this? Who coached her brilliant performance? How and by whom was she recruited in the first place?

I think you can watch the hearings right now and see "why". She lives in a very left-leaning area, is in fact being finacially helped by those on the left, so who knows what it would take to get someone who grew up in the area of Washington DC to feel encouraged to come forth with a story to protect the Democrat's dearest cause. We know *somebody* took her story and released it publicly, so eager were they to get it out.
And what of the other allegations- the Avanetti allegations. Who put her up to it? Who would have coached her?

I mean, why does anybody make up such a story and carry it so far? And yet people do.

Howard said...

I didn't watch/listen to Ford yesterday, so it's hard to tell what's going on with her. Bottom line, it's he said she said and he has all the facts on his side. Still possible he's guilty, but the Dems got nothing but Ford

MayBee said...

I would like Althouse to describe what she found so good about Ford's testimony that it couldn't be lies. I mean, the details that couldn't be lies.

MayBee said...

Blogger is really acting up today.

gahrie said...

but never, ever, got so drunk that he couldn't remember every single detail of what occurred while he was drinking.

How do you organize and run gang rapes while you are black out drunk?

gahrie said...

I would like Althouse to describe what she found so good about Ford's testimony that it couldn't be lies

She said she didn't think Ford was a good enough liar to be successfully lying.

Jupiter said...

Blogger Laslo Spatula said...

"I made a comment before about the idea that Ford can't be lying: that this thinking makes evident that Althouse has never had a romantic involvement with a high-maintenance woman."

Sorry, Laslo, but you really don't need to get in bed with people to realize that some of us are very good liars, and most of us are very bad lie detectors. What this thinking makes evident is that Althouse felt sorry for Ford, and the idea that her emotions had been manipulated was repugnant to her, so she discounted it. I am fairly sure that as a Law Professor she would have no problem identifying the holes in that logic, but she was not being a Law professor when she wrote that. She was being a woman, and women like to have it both ways.

gahrie said...

If you believe that Ford created this story out of whole cloth to "get" Kavanaugh. The question then becomes why? Who put her up to it? Why was she willing to do this? Who coached her brilliant performance? How and by whom was she recruited in the first place?

{in my best church lady voice} Satan?

Jupiter said...

Freder Frederson said...

"I would think that if you don't care about investigating Kavanaugh, you would at least want to get to the bottom of the conspiracy that is dead set on destroying Kavanaugh (and punish the conspirators with serious jail time)."

And for the first time in your life, you would be right. I would love to see the rat bastards locked up for the rest of their worthless lives. Is there a GoFundMe for that?

hombre said...

Freder: “If you believe that Ford created this story out of whole cloth to "get" Kavanaugh. The question then becomes why? Who put her up to it? Why was she willing to do this? Who coached her brilliant performance? How and by whom was she recruited in the first place?”

You either don’t understand the stakes here or you are being deliberately obtuse. Next to a presidential election this is the most important political event in recent history.

Once again, you are ignoring the evidence and the fact that millions are spent on congressional campaigns. You misrepresent the witnesses’ statements. Joy Behar would vote to confirm a rapist. Feinstein likely leaked the letter to the WaPo. Soros spends millions to influence American politics. Senators and liberal mediaswine have abolished the presumption of innocence in favor of hearsay and anonymous talebearers. Most importantly then, her enablers are Democrats. “Why”, indeed?

hombre said...

Freder: “Of the four names you mentioned, we only have testimony from one.”

All have given statements to the Committee under penalty of perjury, Freder. You need to stop the BS.

Freder Frederson said...

You either don’t understand the stakes here or you are being deliberately obtuse. Next to a presidential election this is the most important political event in recent history.

I understand the bigger picture "why". What I meant was why would she come forward with these claims? There is no evidence I have seen that she is particularly politically active. To be willing to perjure yourself in front of Congress, deal with the inevitable backlash and complete disruption of your life, you would have to be fully committed to the cause, and have contacts deep in the conspiracy swamp you think exists.

As for Soros. For every Soros there is a conservative (e.g., the Kochs) spending just as much, if not more. The First Amendment doesn't only apply to conservatives.

MayBee said...

She said she didn't think Ford was a good enough liar to be successfully lying.

Yeah, I'd like more on that from Althouse. It's ok to believe Ford. I mean none of us know. But is it that she was so obvious when she was dissembling that Althouse doesn't believe she could make up a detail like he had a hand over her mouth?
Althouse is claiming cruel neutrality and I would like to see her put some rigor behind it.

MayBee said...

What I meant was why would she come forward with these claims? There is no evidence I have seen that she is particularly politically active.

Where would you get that evidence?
She says she has been talking to "beach friends" and we know she said people in Palo Alto are helping her pay her expenses. I think if we knew more about thee people, we could know more about why she came forward with the claims. But overall I would say she went to high school near the time and place Kavanaugh did, and so she was someone who could come up with something "credible".

Freder Frederson said...

Where would you get that evidence?

Gee, I don't know. Maybe have an FBI investigation? I know that's crazy and no one has suggested it. I must be the first person who suggested it.

MayBee said...

At a dinner party in Palo Alto:

CBF: I went to high school and I dated a guy who was friends with Brett Kavanaugh
Beach Friend: Really? Any good stories? You know he could be on SCOTUS. He'll destroy women's rights.
CBF: He drank a lot.
BF:Wow. Well just imagine if you knew something bad about him. You could keep him off the court.
Google Employee Friend: We need to screw Republicans They wants to destroy women. There's a war on women. We can't let anyone who hates women on the court.
CBF: Well I can ask around and find out if he has any skeletons...
GEF: Do! That person would be a hero. We'd all owe that person A LOT

MayBee said...

Gee, I don't know. Maybe have an FBI investigation? I know that's crazy and no one has suggested it. I must be the first person who suggested it.

You think the FBI is going to investigate whether Ford is politically active?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Gee, I don't know. Maybe have an FBI investigation?"

-- They passed when Feinstein handed them the letter. So, I don't see the point to keep beating on them to try and force an investigation they've already declined.

Rick said...

Freder Frederson said...
Where would you get that evidence?

Gee, I don't know. Maybe have an FBI investigation? I know that's crazy and no one has suggested it. I must be the first person who suggested it.


This is absurd. Freder claims the absence of such evidence right now justifies a conclusion that Ford is truthful. How would a future FBI investigation be relevant to today's conclusion?

bgates said...

I don't recall" is a dodge

- credibly accused rapist, Freder Frederson.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Freder - also note that Ford was apparently a pussy hatted protester, and has worked for the company making the RU-486 abortifacient, including publishing on six studies of the active ingredient therein, and in two of them was the lead researcher. Which is to say that she appears to be a militant left wing feminist (somewhat estranged from her more conservative parents and siblings) who has taken money for research from the abortion industry, and therefore is likely a rabid abortionist. Should anyone be surprised that someone with those political leanings might cut corners, and maybe shade the truth a bit, if it means keeping another, presumably pro-life, devout Roman Catholic off the Supreme Court?

Rusty said...


Blogger Freder Frederson said...
Where would you get that evidence?

Gee, I don't know. Maybe have an FBI investigation? I know that's crazy and no one has suggested it. I must be the first person who suggested it.

He's already undergone six FBI investigations.
Just admit that you're out for blood.

bgates said...

Maybe have an FBI investigation? I know that's crazy and no one has suggested it.

Certainly nobody suggested it within the first 90 or so days after Feinstein got Ford's letter, though to be fair 90 days is only about 0.7% (rounding up) of the time that has elapsed since the alleged push.

bgates said...

What I meant was why would she come forward with these claims?

Here's half a million reasons.

Jim at said...

There is no evidence I have seen that she is particularly politically active. - Freder

I've just about had my fill of stupid people today.

Her entire Internet history was scrubbed. Maybe you might want to ask why.

gerry said...

Does the New Yorker hire anything other than tired-old-hag pseudointellectuals?

hstad said...


".....Blogger Freder Frederson said..." My friend you are a tiresome commentator trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Your political 'Tribe' loves you for it! Other commentators have pointed out, Dr. Ford is politically active, pictures of her in activist parades, and the fact being an activist, she scrubbed her Facebook page prior to coming out in public - maybe she's a 'stealth activist'.

What struck me about Dr. Ford's Senate testimony, with TWO Masters degrees, a PhD & more than 60 PEER reviewed papers she came across as the stereotypical 'dumb blonde'. This woman could remember the finest of details that could not corroborate her case, but could NOT remember one detail that could corroborate her case. Coincidence? I think not.

William Chadwick said...

This discussion reminds me of the feminist "Chalice and the Sword" thesis: i.e., men as believers and practitioners of aggressive force, while women are seen as conciliatory and essentially pacifist. And yet in the real world, the Gender Gap indicates women as statists, and statism depends on aggressive force. Go figure.

HT said...

Sometimes, Ann, I just wish you would write directly and not through the filter of this or that article.

Having said that, in snippets late last night and early this morning, I listened to some of BK (not from Texas) on CSPAN radio. The two or three main impressions that I can remember were that he totally did not answer Leahy's questions, maybe he negged, I don't know enough about that term. Second, he did seem childish, and I felt he was lying about things - oh, I know what it was: how many times did he brag about his credentials? That was his stock answer for everything, and if all that stuff - being the captain of this or that team at a small school (I think) - was the bees knees, how come none of it seemed to make his year book entry. I can't really deal with the specific allegations. Finally, I did not think he was the brightest bulb in the box, and forgetting the allegations and not even considering that he's a conservative, on the objections above, I would reject him. He ain't no Alito.