Nicholas Kristof from the NY Times has three questions for Judge Kavanaugh. It’s not the type of article I would normally read and I’m shocked it’s not behind a paywall as most NY Times links I try to read usually are, but it was listed at the top of Google News for me so I figured it might have substance.
It did, but only enough to deserve a response. Since it’s highly unlikely Judge Kavanaugh will answer the questions in an article that he probably won’t read, I’ll offer answers of my own. I’m not speaking for Kavanaugh. I’m not a Republican, though I do consider myself conservative. Mr. Kristof likely won’t read these answers, but just as his article was intended for the NY Times audience even if it was directed at Judge Kavanaugh, so too are my answers directed at our readership.
For full disclosure, I support Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation for political reasons. Most Democrats who oppose his nomination do so for political reasons as well, though many will rewrite their personal histories and claim the sexual abuse allegations made them change their minds. However, most were like Senator Chuck Schumer and opposed his nomination within minutes of President Trump announcing it. Many opposed any nominee by Trump even before he announced.
Here’s the article by Kristof first in case you want to read it:
Judge Kavanaugh, I don’t know what happened in 1982. But I’m deeply troubled by what I perceive as your lack of integrity last week. You told the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath that your “have you boofed” yearbook question referred to farting, that “devil’s triangle” was a drinking game, that a “Renate alumnius” was simply a friend of Renate with no sexual insinuations, that the drinking age was 18.
Now, here are my answers:
1. Isn’t an itsy-bitsy lie still a lie?
Yes. Any intentional untruth spoken under oath is still a lie. There are, however, degrees of importance that sensible people consider when attempting to discredit someone or prepare them to be charged with perjury.
That’s really what Kristof’s question is about. At the very least, he hopes Judge Kavanaugh can be discredited by his lies, but that’s the consolation prize. What he and many Democrats really want is a perjury charge and investigation. If it’s done soon, it can derail the confirmation. If it’s done after the midterm elections (and if Democrats can win a majority in the House), then they can launch an impeachment. It wouldn’t make it through the Senate even with the most Democrat-friendly math, but getting him on record as going through an impeachment proceeding will damage President Trump and Republicans in 2020.
I’m not a fan of whataboutisms, so I’m not going to point the finger at Christine Blasey Ford’s “inconsistencies” that could be construed as outright lies. What I’ll do instead is argue that none of the points Kristof made have a chance of standing up to a criminal perjury litmus test.
I recently watched a video my friends and I made in the late 80s. I’m not as old as Judge Kavanaugh but I had a hard time recalling the circumstances surrounding the video. In fact, I had to Facebook Message one of my old friends to find out what I was talking about at one point in the video. He reminded me of the context and it all came back to me.
I’m not suggesting Judge Kavanaugh did not knowingly lie about the meanings of “boofing” or “Devil’s Triangle.” I personally think he probably did, but here’s the thing. These were personal questions that did not hold material value to the intent of the hearing. Perjury requires intent and relevance. Intent would be impossible to prove because the terms in question were used over three decades ago. As for being relevant, that’s a stretch few prosecutors would be willing to pursue.
2. Do you have empathy for those who aren’t so blessed as yourself?
Of the three questions, this is the one I wish I could avoid. It’s not that it’s a hard one to answer. It’s that Kristof’s insinuations and his attempt to make us draw a valid conclusion from them are manipulative.
It starts off by saying this:
An air of entitlement hangs over both your testimony and the sexual assaults, if they happened as alleged, and it leaves many of us with misgivings even as we acknowledge that you are a smart, hardworking and distinguished public servant.
“…if they happened as alleged…”
This is the biggest problem with the question and associated explanation for it. What Kristof insinuates is that the sexual assaults happened and Judge Kavanaugh is not showing proper empathy towards his victims. This is silly on its surface and dangerous when you dig deeper.
It’s silly because it’s saying Judge Kavanaugh should have empathy for his victims instead of having an air of entitlement. For him to have empathy, we have to assume that he’s guilty of the accusations, which the author clearly believes. He is begging the question, a shameful debate tactic that assumes his audience either already agrees or will fall into his trap.
What Kristof says with this question is that Judge Kavanaugh committed the sexual assaults and we should be worried about him as a Supreme Court Justice because he doesn’t show empathy towards his victims. Seriously?
If he didn’t commit the sexual assaults, we shouldn’t expect him to have empathy towards people who have harmed his family and tarnished his name for the sake of political posturing.
Kristof’s question would be insanely stupid in any context other than this one. The NY Times assumes guilt and wants everyone else to as well. Therefore, begging the question is technically brilliant because it takes the sheep and soon-to-be sheep and paints them into a corner where they must either stipulate the accusations as factual or defend a lack of empathy where none should exist.
3. What should we make of your rage and partisanship?
With this final question, Kristof brings up a valid point. As Matt Damon said while playing Judge Kavanaugh on SNL this weekend, he started at an 11 and took it up to 15.
Either someone got in his ear after his milquetoast Fox News interview the previous week or he decided it on his own, but at some point between the interview and the hearing he chose to be indignant towards the accusations, angry at the failed process, and preemptively combative towards Democrats. If I were guessing, I’d say he got a private call from the President on how to “punch back harder” as he is wont to do.
Judge Kavanaugh took it too far and came across poorly to those who didn’t already fully support him. That’s the extent of the validity of Kristof’s third question.
From there, he misses the mark once again, perhaps on purpose. The judge has the right to an emotional response during his testimony. Democrats have acted like obstructionists and have been treating him unfairly since well before the accusations were made. They peppered him with more written questions than all other Supreme Court Justice nominees combined. Many declared they would oppose him before he stepped foot on Capitol Hill.
This has been a partisan trap from the start. To say that Judge Kavanaugh is being overly partisan for speaking the truth about the party that opposes him is disingenuous. Yes, he invoked “revenge for Clinton” in a way that can be called conspiratorial and partisan. It could also be called quite obviously true.
The final portion of Kristoff’s article attaches Judge Kavanaugh to the Republicans defending him, in particular President Trump. Nobody ever accused Kristof of lacking intelligence or being a bad writer, which is why I must give him kudos for this tactic. To achieve his goal of discrediting Kavanaugh and preparing his readership for whatever the next play against Kavanaugh might be, he lays out this attachment to place anything negative from the Republican Party squarely on the judge’s shoulders. The sins of all become the sins of one.
When all is said and done, article’s like Kristof’s want the ire to be on President Trump. Judge Kavanaugh is his current newsworthy proxy, so attacking him is as important to the left as attacking the President himself.
What does San Francisco Mayor London Breed have to hide about Jeff Adachi’s death?
San Francisco politicians would be in an absolute uproar if the Trump administration ordered the suspension of an unambiguous liberty for the sake of expediency. They would declare a Constitutional crisis was underway and would demand the rights of their citizens be upheld while those who violated them should be held accountable. But when the rights of a citizen are trampled on to benefit their corrupt politicians, they stand by the trampling and pretend like nothing foul is afoot.
Such is the story of journalist Bryan Carmody. His 1st Amendment rights were disregarded so blatantly and so frivolously that it’s obvious there’s a major cover up underway that is protecting very powerful people in the progressive mecca of San Francisco. Following Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s death, a leaked police report was released by Carmody, prompting the San Francisco Police to illegally attempt to force him to reveal his source. He is protected by the Freedom of the Press from divulging his source, but strong-arm techniques reminiscent of the actions of third-world dictators doesn’t seem to be making a dent in the official stories from San Francisco politicians, most notably Mayor London Breed.
Carmody claims he was restrained in handcuffs for nearly six hours as the authorities ransacked his home, seizing “laptops, phones and hard drives — including all the images and documents he had archived from his 29-year career as a reporter and cameraman,” the report adds.
Law enforcement officials have neither denied nor contradicted the freelancer’s version of events. The San Francisco Police Department has not yet returned Carmody’s equipment. The raid, which was approved by two trial court judges, also included agents from the FBI.
And all because Carmody refused to give up a confidential source, as is his right. The mayor sees it differently, though, and she is digging in.
The Mayor took the unconstitutional route from the start and hasn’t looked back.
“San Francisco Police Department is in the process of conducting an investigation into how confidential information was released within the Department. As part of this investigation, the Department went through the appropriate legal process to request a search warrant, which was approved by two judges,” her office said in a statement last week.
Mayor Breed releases statement on the police raid of a journalist's home that appears to have been parsed with Valyrian steel pic.twitter.com/ZaAxNCbGoO
— Demian Bulwa (@demianbulwa) May 14, 2019
Even now, as the pressure mounts from news outlets across the country for the far-left political machine of San Francisco to denounce the attack on the press, one that is so much more direct and heinous than anything President Trump has done, they continue to focus on the legality of the search warrants (even though they clearly were not legal by any stretch of the imagination) and the imperative of finding out who leaked the memos, something that no average San Francisco resident could ever actually care about if they’re being honest.
Instead of defending the Constitution and the rights of their citizens, they’re redirecting.
As much as anyone, I want a thorough investigation into how the police report related to Jeff Adachi’s death was leaked. I made it clear to the Police Department that responsible parties within the department needed to be held accountable…https://t.co/5PtYuX4U8l
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) May 19, 2019
Their unabashed willingness to continue forward despite all the bad press they’re getting can easily lead someone to one conclusion: There’s something really bad surrounding Adechi’s death that has San Francisco Democrats terrified. There’s a cover up happening right before our eyes, one that has politicians, police, and judges involved and unwavering in their willingness to discard the 1st Amendment altogether.
Whatever has London Breed and her cronies spooked about Adechi’s death, it has to be huge. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be pressing so adamantly against the Constitution of the United States in the broad daylight of public condemnation.
Trump hits Fox News, Chris Wallace for Pete Buttigieg town hall
President Trump has always been a supporter of Fox News. Some have noted how many of his talking points came from the news network; during the day he quotes Fox & Friends, while in the evening he quotes Sean Hannity and others. But there’s one show host he doesn’t care for and one activity he’s lashed out against at the network.
He doesn’t like Chris Wallace and he isn’t happy when they have Democratic presidential candidates on.
….who got them there. Chris Wallace said, “I actually think, whether you like his opinions or not, that Mayor Pete has a lot of substance…fascinating biography.” Gee, he never speaks well of me – I like Mike Wallace better…and Alfred E. Newman will never be President!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
He spoke out last month when the network had Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on for a a town hall with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum. Though the hosts were critical of Sanders and asked him tough questions, the event was considered a win by many for Sanders as he deflected some issues and turned others in his favor. This peeved the President, but not as much as Wallace did this morning.
The son of famed newsman Mike Wallace had South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on for a town hall Sunday and proceeded to not only throw him softballs for questions, but at times praise the Democratic candidate. This didn’t sit well with the President.
I understand the premise of the news is that it’s supposed to be unbiased. But I also recognize the reality that all news is biased. The President has very few allies in the media and Fox News is the biggest, so when they seem to be helping the opposition, it’s bound to tweak the President.
In a perfect world, the major news networks would be truly fair and balanced. This isn’t a perfect world and the cards are stacked against conservatives. Just as the education system leans left, so too do most mainstream media news outlets.
Chris Wallace sticks out at Fox News as one of the few outspoken detractors of President Trump. It puts them in a pickle because they don’t want to get rid of the popular show host over his political views, but their core audience is comprised almost entirely of Trump supporters. It doesn’t behoove them to have someone so outspoken, especially when the opposition is using his shows a platform to take down the President.
“Gee, he never speaks well of me – I like Mike Wallace better…and Alfred E. Newman will never be President!” – President Trump
In a media atmosphere in which news outlets are picking sides, the President only has one major outlet on his. The days of news outlets simply reporting the news may be behind us. This is a side effect of the polarization in America.
Conservative Media, we need to blacklist Trump-Russia story and move on
To The Daily Wire, One America News, Washington Times, Blaze Media, and all others to the right of Fox News,
There was no collusion and no obstruction. It took over two years for this narrative to search under every stone and exhaust millions of dollars to, in the end, find nothing. The leftist media will not make many concessions, especially as it relates to obstruction for a crime that was not committed. We cannot as conservatives prove beyond an unreasonable doubt that Trump did not collude or obstruct. As Democrats in Congress keep the narrative on life support, the Conservative media needs to pull the plug.
The average American is fatigued by the Trump-Russia collusion/obstruction narrative. Meanwhile our effort is playing defense against a leftist narrative rather than reporting on issues both our base and the politically uninvolved care far more about. When the economy is strong and the border crisis is pressing, why is so much of our attention directed towards the soap opera clown show that takes place? Instead of countering this narrative, conservative media should starve the narrative of as much attention as possible.
An area which Conservatives have long failed, but have made great improvements towards, is controlling the narrative, the language and Overton Window of society. If we continue to counter the leftist narrative of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory, we will continue to feed their power in controlling the narrative in the American political and cultural arena. Instead, let us make an effort to not only counter the narrative but set the narrative.
In our friendly rivalry as Conservative outlets, let us come together and collectively move on from the Trump-Russia story, discarding it as if it were a flat-earth conspiracy and move on.
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