A Kavanaugh Roundup

These were a few of my favorite tweets:


A Heroine

Sen. Susan Collins has stood up to the mob and our republic will be the better for it. From her speech on the Senate floor:

Some argue that, because this is a lifetime appointment to our highest courts, public interest requires that doubts be resolved against the nominee. Others see the public interest as abiding to our longest tradition of affording to those accused of misconduct a presumption of innocence. In cases in which the facts are unclear, they would argue that the question should be resolved in favor of the nominee. Mr. President, I understand both viewpoints. This debate is complicated further by the fact that the Senate confirmation process is not a trial. But certain fundamental legal principles about due process, the presumption of innocence and fairness do bear on my thinking and I cannot abandon them. In evaluating any given claim of misconduct, we will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be. We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy. The presumption of innocence is relevant to the advice and consent function when an accusation departs from a nominee’s otherwise exemplary record.


The Human Rights Campaign, which believes women (except for Juanita Broaddrick…‎Paula Jones…‎Kathleen Willey…et al) responded predictably.

And here:

And the Women’s March weighed in:


Versus:


More, you say:


Let’s remember what’s driving the hysteria. Other than reflexive Trump hatred, it’s the demand for a Supreme Court that will oppose state restrictions on abortion, including limits on late-term abortion on demand, preferably done at taxpayer expense. (I agree with more-knowledgeable court-watchers that the likelihood of a whole-scale overturning of Roe by the conservatives on the court, especially under an incrementalist like Chief Justice Roberts, is virtually none.)
I know, I am not entitled to an opinion about terminating the lives of unborn babies.


Flashback
I wrote in September 2011 about Collins’ pivotal actions in overturning the military ban against openly gay service members:

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, it should be noted, never pushed for repeal or any other pro-gay equality legislation, but his role with “don’t ask, don’t tell” was particularly egregious. In late 2010, he insisted that the repeal bill be combined with an appropriations measure that the GOP was determined to block, and did with its filibuster. Reid then declared it was the GOP’s fault that the repeal failed. An incensed Sen. Collins and Sen. Lieberman demanded that a separate, stand-alone “don’t ask” repeal bill be brought forward, and the media glare [they generated] forced Sen. Reid to capitulate. The stand-alone repeal was brought up for a vote and easily passed with the support of many senators, including Sen. Brown, who had voted against the combined appropriations/repeal bill. …

…Sen. Collins shared that she simply couldn’t, at first, believe what Sen. Reid was doing (and then charged to the podium to protest the maneuver and its foregone conclusion—to no avail).

Keeping “don’t ask, don’t tell” in place as a campaign and fundraising issue while blaming the GOP for blocking repeal was the strategy all along. For the same reasons, when Democrats had a big majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate majority for nearly two years (2009-10), and with a “progressive” president in the White House, they choose not to pass comprehensive immigration reform (or vote on a federal LGBT anti-discrimination measure, for that matter).

Sorrow and Pity

Andrew Sullivan writes:

And it is the distinguishing mark of specifically totalitarian societies that this safety is eradicated altogether by design. … You are, in fact, always guilty before being proven innocent. You always have to prove a negative. …
Perhaps gay people are particularly sensitive to this danger, because our private lives have long been the target of moral absolutists, and we have learned to be vigilant about moral or sex panics. For much of history, a mere accusation could destroy a gay person’s life or career, and this power to expose private behavior for political purposes is immense.
I’m not equating an accusation of attempted rape in the distant past with sodomy. I am noting a more general accusatory dynamic that surrounded Ford’s specific allegation. This is particularly dangerous when there are no editors or gatekeepers in the media to prevent any accusation about someone’s private life being aired, when economic incentives online favor outrageous charges, and when journalists have begun to see themselves as vanguards of a cultural revolution, rather than skeptics of everything.

Annals of Hypocrisy


More.

The New McCarthyism


Walter Olson blogged:

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) took a quote in which Brett Kavanaugh summarized the positions taken by litigants in a lawsuit, snipped off his “But they said” language introducing the summary, and represented the remainder as Kavanaugh’s own position. News organizations like CNN, along with many persons in my timeline, ran with her version as a story.

I’ve been warning about Sen. Harris since back when she was California Attorney General and kept ignoring the ethical rules in high-profile cases. Among those cases: the Moonlight Fire litigation (judge, ordering state to pay $32 million to its opponent, said he could recall “no instance in experience over 47 years as an advocate and a judge, in which the conduct of the Attorney General so thoroughly departed from the high standard it represents”) and the Backpage prosecution (courts reject her theory of criminal liability over online sex ads, she orders execs raided and arrested anyway).

McCain’s Passing

Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo issued the following statement:

Log Cabin Republicans had a long and positive history with Senator McCain. The support of Log Cabin Republicans members in his 2000 bid for President of the United States that was derided by then-candidate George W. Bush became a badge of honor for our organization. Our PAC was proud to endorse him in his 2008 bid for that same office, as we were for his most recent reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2016. His support for ENDA in 2013 opposing employment discrimination against the LGBT community will go down in history as a legacy vote proving his evolution in support of LGBT Americans followed in the historic footsteps of Barry Goldwater, the United States Senator whose seat he inherited. Tonight Log Cabin Republicans join in mourning with Senator McCain’s family, and stand in solidarity with a man who will go down in history as a maverick and American patriot.

But a great many liberal political and media voices, praising McCain for his feud with Donald Trump, we’re saying something quite different about him when he ran for president against Obama.

GOP Pride

Counter narrative:

Self-Inflicted Wounds

Progressives running the political organizing group Wellstone Action directed their energies toward “work with communities of color and the LGBTQI community.” When the late Sen. Paul Wellstone’s sons raised the issue of focusing as well on economic issues and the plight of working class voters, they were ousted from the group.

Related: Democratic pollster Charles Cook recently wrote, “It’s not clear that Democrats fully understood why they lost the last presidential election and why their congressional gains were so paltry….” He added, “I met last week with leaders and members of a manufacturing union that was still livid over the Obama administration’s ‘war on coal’ that they believe put many of their members out of work or cut their hours,” and concludes, “A bit of self-reflection rather than just scapegoating might be in order.”

More. Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. is “done trying to understand Trump supporters”:

Besides which, is there really so much left to “understand?” Not from where I sit. Long before Trump even existed as a political force, many of us noted with alarm the rise of a backlash among right wingers deeply angry and profoundly terrified by the writing on the demographic wall. Said writing foretold — and for that matter, still foretells — the declining preeminence of white, Christian America.

A basket of deplorables, clinging to their guns and religion.