0 0 Colin McGinn Colin McGinn2018-09-27 21:35:352018-09-28 19:46:25Civil War
The civil war begins today in the Senate. Just because the facts will likely never be established it is possible for either side to take exception to the other side. The bad feeling and distrust is now turned up very high.
I found Professor Ford convincing and Judge Kavanaugh unconvincing. If they appoint him to the Supreme Court it will be a political liability for the Republicans for many years to come. They should hope that they can’t get the votes (though they can’t say this). The GOP has already discredited itself in the eyes of most voters with the antics of Trump, but appointing Kavanaugh would really turn many people against them for ever.
I’m going on vacation for a week—by which I mean reducing my on-line presence. Some might relievedly consider themselves equally on vacation. But I leave you with this: The FBI report on Kavanaugh will go to one person, Trump, who can 1.) invoke executive privilege and keep it to himself (doubtless while maintaining that there is nothing important in it) or 2.) “redact” any new compromising information before giving it to the Republican-controlled Senate judiciary committee, members of which might further “redact” the report before giving it to minority members. In any case, there is no binding legal obligation on the President or on the majority members of the committee to share ANY of the report with the minority. Republicans opposed this latest FBI investigation because they feared some of it could be “leaked”. But this is all for naught. Trump, you may be sure, will so “limit” the scope of the investigation into these recent allegations that nothing of importance will be revealed.
The moral degradation of the United States is now on full display and it is not a pretty sight. That “hearing” was truly shocking. Trump’s nasty comment to Cecilia Vega was typical, as was the ham fisted attempt at a cover up by the WH.
Once Kavanaugh is confirmed there will be a never-ending battle about his presence on the SC throughout the land.
Sometimes I think I’m being sucked into conspiracy theories, slowly but surely. I might soon begin to believe that the earth is flat. But with Trump in the White House, one’s extremity might be forgiven. The President’s latest ruse is that the Chinese are meddling in our elections—on behalf of the Democrats. He knows that the Democrats are likely to re-take the House, if not the Senate, in November. If this should happen, well, then there is a convenient excuse why. I’m on vacation, yes—but never completely so.
Soon the only theories will be conspiracy theories. I’m tempted by the idea that Trump is a hologram placed here by the Russians.
This is probably more complicated than most people are willing to admit. I more or less take Chris Hedges’ view of the US: sliding into fascism and ruin. What that means is that, although Kavanaugh and the Republicans are an odious lot, it’s hard to find a good guy in the piece. The Democrats mishandled this, and the #metoo approach may not be uniformly successful among all women voters.
On October 2 CNN ran a piece by Ronald Brownstein entitled “Educated White Women Were Already Recoiling from Trump. Then came Kavanaugh.” In reading the article, I found it interesting that some polls indicate that many women – a majority of white women without a college degree – believe Kavanaugh’s denial. Here is a key sentence in the article: “That divergence is a reminder that for all the talk of an undifferentiated gender gap, a key political dynamic of the Trump era has been the widening ‘class gap’ between white women with and without college degrees.”
I too found Blasey Ford credible. But, as I watched her, I had the nagging feeling that plenty of women outside her social class would find it hard to relate to her on some levels. She is white, educated, relatively prosperous and successful in a world that is far removed from the abject poverty and violence that many African American women live in, and the stagnation and despair that many working class families face. They may indeed see her as a member of the “liberal elites” who have, in fact, largely abandoned them.
I have never believed that women unanimously see the world and its problems as cleaving solely along a gender axis. I may be wrong about this. And even if I am right, outrage at the Kavanaugh thing may tip the election in the Democrats’ favour. But, remember what all the pollsters and pundits said before the 2016 election. These days nearly anything can happen.
A possible, even if chimerical, Democratic strategy for dealing with Trump. Trump is a greedy, vain, opportunistic child. For most of his life he leaned Democratic—of an edgy, populist sort, true. True, also, is that he’s an instinctive racist. But he acts on that instinct only opportunistically. A delegation of Democrats should visit the Oval Office and propose this: enrich yourself and your family as much as you like. But liberalize your policies—we will conditionally back you—and you might see your approval ratings (which you hold so dear) at last soar above 40%
Not a bad strategy actually.