Seedpods from the Garden of Stupid

Greg Gutfeld looks out on the sea of demonstrators against Brett Kavanaugh this week and characterized the display as "seedpods from the garden of stupid are blooming," and it's impossible not to agree.  The people who planted those seeds include more than 1,700 law professors who said Kavanaugh should be denied confirmation because he "displayed a lack of judicial temperament" in responding to the baseless, uncorroborated charges by Christine Blasey Ford of sexual misconduct.

Reviewing this campus insanity, Heather MacDonald contends – with ample basis:

The Kavanaugh hysteria has provided the country with a crash course in academic victim politics.  The tribal denunciations of "privileged white males," the moral panic over fantastical accounts of sexual predation, the spectacle of Ivy League law students claiming to feel "unsafe," the assertion that a single uncorroborated outbreak of male teen hormones should cancel a lifetime of achievement in the law – all originate in the anti-Enlightenment ethos of the academy, embodied in critical race studies, feminist legal theory, and the attacks on the Socratic teaching method as anti-female and anti-"survivor." 

The #BelieveSurvivors mantra is a cornerstone of the campus grievance industry but inimical to everything that a law school should teach.  It's a religious gesture, not a legal one: Such belief is independent of proof, arising out of a pre-existing commitment to a narrative of ubiquitous female abuse by patriarchal white males.  The "survivor" label presupposes the conclusion that evidence should establish: that the accused is guilty of an offense.  The fact-finder, if there even is one, regards contradictions or holes in a woman's story as evidence of "trauma" and thus as further corroboration.  According to #BelieveSurvivors logic, the Innocence Project, which exists to vacate wrongful convictions and has a presence at law schools across the country, should be disbanded. 

Examples abound of student rape allegations arising out of voluntary drunken hookups, following which the self-described victim sought further sexual contact with her alleged rapist.  Even if such cases weren't so common, to presume the guilt of the accused based on an accusation alone would still be an affront to due process. 

The current generation of elite law students will one day become judges themselves.  If they remain committed to the circular logic of #BelieveSurvivors, the rule of law is in trouble.

Here's a quick recap of the flimsiness of Christine Blasey Ford's allegations by an online friend, Max Madison:

She refused to hand over the results of her polygraph

She refused to hand over her 2012 therapist's notes

She said she was afraid to fly, but has flown dozens of times. 

Since she did in fact fly, she offered no other reason for the delay

She said she wanted anonymity but contacted [the Washington Post] multiple times

Said she got advice from "beach friends" but didn't mention that the primary one was a former FBI lawyer, Monica McLean, who worked for Preet Bharara, a man Trump fired. She also failed to mention, when talking of her Beach friends at the hearing, that Monica was sitting right behind her. 

She had a perfect memory of 1982 but couldn't remember basic things from the previous 10 weeks

She'd been drinking. 

She changed the year of the alleged attack

She named 4 people, but had no backers

She couldn't remember how she got home even though her story had her escaping the house far from home, pre-cell phone.

She gave no location or any details that could be researched for verification.

She never told anyone and never claimed PTSD prior to Kavanaugh's name circulating 30 years later.

She said that she put the 2nd door on her house because of PTSD, but evidence shows it was to get around zoning laws to create a rentable apartment.

She said she didn't know that Grassley offered to come to her, even though it was broadcast nationally.

She feigned no knowledge of polygraphs even though her ex's sworn statement said she'd coached Monica McLean how to beat it in the 1990s, and in any case her profession should have at least well acquainted her with it.

She co-authored a paper on repressed memory creation years before she claimed to have one

Nothing is known of her pharmacology, but given her past alcoholism, her visits to a therapist and her general presentation, odds are high that it's extensive.

She scrubbed her social media. We know from a pussy hat photo that she was rabidly anti-Trump. 

She had zero family or friends with her, not from the 80s nor from today. She was surrounded only by Democrat Party handlers.

Constant cries of bravery & "nothing to gain" vs a $700,000 GoFundMe and a career boosted a la Anita Hill

Literally all there is her word vs all of the above. Not a shred of evidence.

I would add to this excellent summary – one of those she claimed at the "event" in question, Leland Keyser, whom she characterized as a lifelong friend, informed the committee that McLean had pressured her in a vain attempt to get her to change her statement to support Ford's account.

The later claims of sexual predation by the nominee were even more fantastical and were rightly dismissed out of hand.

At the insistence of senators Collins, Flake, Feinstein, and others, the FBI conducted a seventh background check of Kavanaugh.  All the senators were invited to read the report.  Here's a video of Senator Feinstein after she read it.


She looks to be fighting back tears, and she should.  Despite her denials and Senator Susan Collins's generous endorsement of her probity, it is clear that Feinstein or her staff outed Christine Ford, a reluctant witness; secured counsel for her; and otherwise orchestrated this show, something that by credible accounts is creating blowback – an increase of support for the president and his party as we near the midterms.  This shabby conduct is not likely to pass without further investigation, as Senator Graham and others have advocated.

In any event, the most compelling arguments were from Senator Collins, who graduated from St. Lawrence University, not Yale Law School, but who took a great deal of time to actually review the decisions Kavanaugh wrote and participated in and spent time with the Congressional Research Office and the candidate to understand the legal bases of his decisions.  She also has a far firmer grasp of the constitutional provisions on due process and separation of powers.

If you missed her endorsement speech, a masterpiece of logic and persuasion, you can hear it here or read the full transcript.  (In the absence of civics classes in most high schools, you might want to share this with any high school-age people in your household.)

In the meantime, crowds of what would certainly in another, savvier, age be dubbed "useful idiots" of the left mobbed senators.  Included among their targets were Senator Collins and Senator Paul.  The latter, having already barely missed assassination by a Bernie Sanders fan along with being badly beaten by a neighbor, was now being chased through the airport by these crazed harpies.  Senator Graham, accosted in the halls of the Senate by one of these loonies for not insisting Kavanaugh submit to a polygraph, responded that maybe the candidate should just be dunked to see if he floats, leaving the shouter nonplussed.  Another congressional staffer – this one on Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee's staff – illegally released personal information about senators McConnell, Graham, and (Mike) Lee, who were likely to vote for confirmation, encouraging crank home calls and mobs at their doorsteps.  When caught by another staffer, he allegedly threatened to release, among other things, the medical records and Social Security numbers of the children of senators who supported Kavanaugh. 

Sheila Jackson Lee (B.A. Yale, J.D. UVA) promptly fired the arrested staffer, Jackson Cosko, and claimed no knowledge of his activities.  (She was a prominent visitor at the Ford hearing and was seen passing an envelope to one of Ford's lawyers, an envelope she said contained notes from Ford-supporters.)

After Collins's speech, which virtually assured Kavanaugh's confirmation, the Maenads (female "raving ones" in Greek mythology) gathered on Capitol Hill to continue their temper tantrum.  Among their designated speakers against the patriarchy and sexual abuse of women was the advocate of female genital mutilation and sharia law, which by any sane account, remains the most anti-woman law in the world.  She tweeted:

It's impossible for me not to laugh at these dingbats.

On the right, there is puzzlement as to why such a centrist jurist was Trump's choice.  I think Professor Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit got it exactly right:  

Trump knew he'd been vetted enough that there would be no real skeletons, and he no doubt expected that the Democrats would be so desperate they'd invent some.  They would have done that with anyone he put up – but, precisely because Kavanaugh was a milquetoasty DC Establishment type, seeing the Democrats go into full b‑‑‑‑‑‑ assault mode on him galvanized the other milquetoasty DC Establishment types.  You could see the light bulbs go off in their heads:  The Democrats don't hate Trump because he's Trump.  They hate all Republicans and want to ruin them.  Even me!  And they always will.

The result is that the Kavanaugh affair has welded the Trump and NeverTrump forces (except for a few sad outliers who don't matter) into a solid force.  And it's simultaneously galvanized GOP voters around the country, closing the "enthusiasm gap," as the normals become more militant.  Plus, it seems that minority voters aren't as excited about empowering neurotic upper-class white feminists as you might – well, actually, I guess they're just about exactly as excited about empowering neurotic upper-class white feminists as you might expect, but it seems Dems didn't give that much thought.  So Kavanaugh was, in fact, the perfect pick to trigger this reaction.

I'm reminded of the scene in Absence of Malice where Wilford Brimley asks Paul Newman, who has cleverly set a trap that the press and the rogue DOJ guy fall into, "Are you that smart?"

I mentioned this analysis to the Insta-Wife, a Trump fan who has followed him closely since the 1980s and her comment was, "Of course."

Well, with five strict constructionists likely to be on the Court, Congress will finally have to spend less time fundraising and more time doing its job – writing and passing legislation.  For decades now, they've simply been relying on their wishes being carried out subjectively by like-minded jurists who seek penumbras and such instead of reading text.

So it looks like another really winning week for the president, as Matthew Continetti (and I) see it – on trade, judicial nominations, the economy, and foreign policy.

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