Saturday, September 29, 2018
Melanie Phillips: America’s Revolutionary MomentLabels: Brett Kavanaugh, Melanie Phillips, US Politics
Finally – finally! – a Republican has expressed appropriate fury, disgust and contempt for the way in which the Democratic Party turned Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court into a political lynching.
Christine Blasey Ford had accused Kavanaugh of having sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers in high school. She had taken her allegation, made for the first time after 36 years, to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Feinstein sat on it for six weeks until virtually the last moment in the Senate’s consideration of Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Having heard both Ford’s accusation and Kavanaugh’s emotional and angry response at yesterday’s hearing, a scarcely less emotional and angry Senator Lyndsey Graham could contain himself no longer and denounced the whole circus as “the most unethical sham” during his entire time in politics (view this here).
He accused the Democrats of having boasted they would destroy Kavanaugh’s life in order to hold his Supreme Court seat open in the hope they would win the presidency in 2020.
“If you really wanted to know the truth”, he erupted at the Democrats, “you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy. Boy, y’all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you knew about it and you held it! You had no intention of protecting Dr Ford! None! She’s as much of a victim as you are [pointing at Kavanaugh]. God I hate to say it ’cause these have been my friends. But let me tell you, when it comes to this: you’re looking for fair process? You came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend… Would you say you’ve been through hell?”
KAVANAUGH: “I’ve been through hell and then some”.
GRAHAM:”This is not a job interview. This is hell.”
Ford’s testimony garnered widespread sympathy. Many have concluded she was sincere and that she probably did experience a traumatic sexual encounter. The question, though, is whether her assailant was Brett Kavanaugh or someone else, especially given the many contradictions and lacunae in her account. Those concerned about this affair are not seeking to judge Ford herself. The concerns, and they could hardly be more grave, are about an abuse of process by the Democratic party which has been engaged in character assassination on the basis of wholly uncorroborated and flaky claims.
To this travesty of justice and decency must also be added a travesty of journalism.
The New Yorker decided to say #MeToo to this lynching. Its reporters, Ronan Farrow and Jane Meyer, suddenly produced one Deborah Ramirez, who claimed Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her at a drunken party in their freshman year at Yale. Kavanaugh says forcefully that this didn’t happen and that the claim is a smear.
In their own story, Farrow and Meyer wrote:
“In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, Deborah Ramirez was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty”, not least because “her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking”. But then: “After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections…”
The reporters further admitted they contacted “several dozens of classmates of Ramirez and Kavanaugh” and yet had “not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party.” All they obtained was a classmate of Ramirez who “declined to be identified,” and who said that “another student told him about the incident either on the night of the party or in the next day or two.”
Oh dear. And Farrow and Meyer thought this somehow held their story up?
Even the New York Times, which has itself systematically junked journalistic norms in the Democratic cause, balked at endorsing this patent insult to the intelligence. As it told us, it wasn’t for want of trying. “The Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge. Ms. Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates asking if they recalled the incident and told some of them that she could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself.”
Farrow, whose story said that the allegation by Ramirez “was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer”, told “Good Morning America” that Ramirez had come forward “because Senate Democrats came looking for this claim. She did not flag this.”
A responsible editor – no, more than that, an editor with even a vestigial understanding of the distinction between journalism and propaganda – would have told Farrow and Meyer to junk the story as ancient, unproveable and utterly suspect. But the New Yorker editor, David Remnick – whose publication’s on-line ad boasts that it is “Fighting fake stories with real ones” – ran it.
This is the same Remnick who, under pressure from the same kind of people who believe that rabid hatred of Donald J Trump is the non-negotiable condition for freedom of expression, censored his own festival event when its glittering participants threatened to boycott it if he went ahead with his planned interview of Trump’s erstwhile eminence grise, Steve Bannon.
Despite (or because of) all this, Democrats and their partisans knew for a fact that Kavanaugh was guilty as charged. At Yale, some 31 law classes were reportedly cancelled due to protests against Kavanaugh’s nomination. These law students just knew he was guilty – because he was accused of sexual assault by a woman, and as the #MeToo movement has schooled us, any man thus accused is axiomatically guilty as charged.
So we can now see how these future lawyers will treat the the presumption of innocence, the core premise of the justice system in a free society. They will stamp all over it. And we can now also see, if the Democrats regain power in the mid-term elections or in 2020, how they will treat their constitutional duty to uphold the presumption of innocence. They will stamp all over it, along with the sterling reputations they will grind to dust under their heels.
This is nothing less than the substitution of justice by the abuse of power, the hallmark of the former Soviet Union and now adopted in all its brain-frying, fact-twisting, totalitarian cynicism by America’s Democratic party.
All this is taking place against the backdrop of the rolling coup against President Trump, with elements of America’s justice department and others in the administration collaborating with the Democratic party and their partisan panders in the media to bring Trump down and impeach him for the high crime and misdemeanour of having been elected President of the United States.
And that, in turn, represents America’s current revolutionary moment: its toleration and even endorsement of thuggery first with the Occupy anti-capitalist movement and then Black Lives Matter and Antifa; the #MeToo war against men; the onslaught against the traditional family and the willed production of children made feral through mass fatherlessness; the systemic hijack of schooling by anti-western propaganda; the stamping out of dissent on a myriad topics, and the transformation of the university from the crucible of enlightenment into the funeral pyre of reason itself.
And along with the media, which has betrayed its own historic role as the ultimate guarantor of liberty by promulgating falsehoods, suppressing factual evidence and conducting witch-hunts against dissenters, the worst thing of all about them is this: that those committing these gross abuses of power actually believe their own lies.
More is at at stake than the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a justice of the Supreme Court. More is at stake than the political survival of Donald J Trump.
What’s at stake is the survival of justice and freedom against tyranny and chaos. What’s at stake is the very soul of America itself.
Melanie Phillips is a British journalist, broadcaster and author - you can follow her work on her website HERE.
at 11:04 PM