Point for Discussion:
When we’re young, most of us are taught to respect others. Or at least I thought we were. We have seen enough public disrespect in the past few weeks to last us a lifetime. Politics is certainly ugly.
Following the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, the Republicans are thinking they have the midterms wrapped up. They have turned the spin machine on and are forsaking integrity in the name of retaining control of our legislative branch of government.
Our Points of View:
Well here we are after another week of disrespect and chaos in our Federal Government. All we learned the past week is that our current President will disrespect everyone to get what he wants. While it appears to be firing up his base, it all just further divides the citizens of this country. Judge, now Justice, Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was confirmed on Saturday by a clearly divided Senate. Our legislators want us to believe that a fair and thorough review of the issues was conducted and that there was no proof of wrongdoing on the part of the nominee, even though there was a whole lot of noise surrounding all of this.
Now I’ll admit that I may be just a bit sensitive about all of this, but it offends me. We had a very public hearing where a credible Dr. Blasey Ford answered questions posed by Senators and a former Prosecutor. She never wavered from her story. Her failing, according to our President, is that she couldn’t remember the details from 35 years ago. While he showed her respect in the beginning, by last Thursday, he was back to mocking her and making Kavanaugh look like a choirboy. Kavanaugh was a whiny, belligerent witness who sidestepped some questions and stubbornly refused to answer others. I would love to be a fly on the wall when his daughters ask him about all of this and he tries to explain away bad behavior from his youth. I wonder how he will feel if his daughters come home from a party after having been assaulted or otherwise violated. Will they feel empowered to talk to their parents about it and seek recourse, or will they feel like they should suck it up and move on. How much has really changed?
The Judiciary Committee was clearly uncomfortable during the hearings. The Republicans, not wanting to be seen as accusing Dr. Blasey Ford of lying, hired a female former prosecutor to ask questions for them, likely because the optics of an all white male panel asking questions would have been horrible. While the prosecutor did not believe there was enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that certain events occurred 35 years ago, that does not mean it didn’t happen. Something must have happened for Dr. Blasey Ford to still be traumatized by it.
The truth is, I found Dr. Blasey Ford to be far more credible. By moving forward with this confirmation, she was disrespected yet again. I’m curious how far the FBI went in their investigation of the situation. It hasn’t escaped me though that our President is now back on friendly terms with the FBI. Coincidence? I think not.
Add to that, the President is spinning this “victory” and misrepresenting the results. Kavanaugh was not “proven innocent”. There just wasn’t enough evidence to get past reasonable doubt and prove him guilty. We all need to dig deeper than spin and sound bites to get to the facts.
The circus is over, but the long term implications of all of it have yet to be felt. The Democrats would have us believe that this will fire up their base for the midterms. The Republicans are just giddy in their belief of the same. They can’t both be right, so we will have to see what happens in a month. For now, we all need to take a good look at what just happened and think about who we are, and who we want to be.
I am proud to be an American. I understand that things are much worse for women elsewhere, but it isn’t all sunshine and roses here, and it’s time we stand up, really stand up. The USA is a highly developed and theoretically, evolved nation. Yet, we still discriminate against everyone that is not like our founding fathers. Read that as white male elite. This country was founded as a place for the oppressed to live the American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Too bad we don’t live this everyday. In the press, on social media, in day to day politics, people in this country are discriminated against and disrespected for personal and political gain. Who determined that to be putting our best foot forward? When did we become so mean?
As I’ve said before, our democracy affords us the privilege of participating in the type of country we want to live in. It’s time to stand up and be counted. The past two years since we (the collective “we” as Americans) elected this President show that we must all take the election process more seriously so that we elect representation that mirrors our principles and beliefs as Americans. A President should not be making decisions on his own that impact our lives. Our government has been established with checks and balances in place to prevent a President from acting like a king or other despot. Let’s all educate ourselves and make the best decisions possible on November 6th. The future of our democracy depends on it.
With the Kavanaugh hearing being televised live, or as a main headline in the news for so long, most people have an opinion about the proceedings. People are divided about what and who they believe, but rather than “he said” vs. “she said,” shouldn’t the conversation really be about character and leadership of Kavanaugh to determine his fit for the high court?
What would we have thought if Christine Blasey Ford had not come forward, or if Senator Feinstein had not ultimately (albeit a bit late and with dubious timing) shared the letter? It would be his judicial record and adult life (coaching, mentoring, teaching, raising a family) that would have been evaluated, rather than a high school situation (whatever poor behavior may have transpired).
The judicial branch of government is supposed to be non-partisan, giving us, as citizens, an unbiased assessment of candidates. This is not what we saw in the behavior of our representatives. Whichever “side” you are on, it was very political, whether or not the truth prevails. And for Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh, it was an emotional roller coaster.
If our focus were on character exhibited during the hearing, many, including myself, were shocked by Kavanaugh’s lack of temperament, lack of focusing on his record and why he should be chosen, his rage against Democrats, and just, frankly, not admitting that he might not remember what happened when he was drinking back in high school. I think he should have admitted he doesn’t remember, apologize if something happened, and demonstrate how he is not that person today. None of this happened. His angry testimony was like a child unwilling to be caught in a lie. (And I might add, sounded like the denial of a potential sexual assailant. They will rarely, if ever, admit it).
I highly respect Dr. Ford for coming forward and expressing what she recalled. I do not respect Kavanaugh for how he behaved.
That said, I do think that the confirmation was the right decision – and I am not a Republican. I just wish Kavanaugh had enough character to tell the truth of what he did or did not remember. To say he didn’t do it, with 100% certainty, is just not believable.
I want to believe those who are representing us, and his character is now in question, and will be for years to come.
Our Question for You:
Would you have confirmed Kavanaugh? Why or Why not?