‘He said, she said’ futility

By BOB FRANKEN

Even in their agony, all of those who despise anyone or anything having to do with Donald Trump at least can take some comfort in the ridicule that accompanies his every buffoonish action and the preposterously polluted stream of consciousness that spills out of the very impaired frontal lobe of his brain. He was at it again — not on Twitter, where he usually vents his spleen, but in an interview with Hill.TV. He was escalating his relentless attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had the audacity to recuse himself and leave the president (meaning him) exposed to a Robert Mueller investigation to determine whether he cooperated with Vladimir Putin’s Russian government with its insidious influence over the election. “I don’t have an attorney general,” he complained. “It’s very sad.” What’s really sad, of course, is that Trump seems to believe that his Cabinet members are there to serve him and not the people of the United States. That is particularly outrageous when it come to the attorney general, who is the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Nothing in the AG’s job description states that he must have Trump’s back. But this chief executive believes, like any Mafia chieftain, that loyalty is the No. 1 qualification for his subordinates.

There are certainly indications that this assumption of absolute fealty extends to those he would put in place on the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh’s record as a judge showing extreme deference to the presidency in the constant tug of war over the country’s balance of power makes Kavanaugh the ideal Donald Trump nomination, particularly a Donald Trump who faces such legal challenges and with a Congress that might actually resist his abuses. Successfully pushing through Kavanaugh would mean that the nation’s highest court would be packed with his right wingmen.

In that regard, it’s a shame that Senate Republicans can ignore such substantive questions as the entire “advise and consent” process once again deteriorates into a “he said, she said” debate over whether Kavanaugh nearly raped a fellow teenager at a drunken party of students from private prep schools back in the 1980s. Even though the GOP senators publicly are, uh, groping to find ways to leave an impression that they are sensitive to the woman, now college professor Christine Blasey Ford, who is making that charge, they really are not. Unsurprisingly the Trumpster doesn’t even try to hide his disdain for females who blow the whistle on male piggish behavior, tweeting: “I have no doubt that if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.”

He and the Republican senators are hell-bent on rushing through Kavanaugh’s elevation to the high court before the midterm elections. Even so, the last-minute accusations of sexual assault raise important issues, just like the Clarence Thomas hearings brought workplace harassment to the forefront back in 1991. But all that overwhelmed the real debate about whether Thomas was qualified to assume a spot in the SCOTUS bench. Today, 27 years later, similar questions are raised as the “Me Too” movement has forced us to grapple with society’s unresolved struggles with sexual relations. Certainly, we can agree that such an assault like the one alleged about Brett Kavanaugh is reprehensible, that “boys will be boys” attitudes don’t cut it. But should such conduct by a high school kid with raging hormones ever be forgiven? By the way, Kavanaugh adamantly denies he ever did any such thing.

We will find almost no certain proof one way or the other. Brett Kavanaugh probably will become Justice Kavanaugh in spite of the fact he’s a predictable partisan and not the impartial judge he claims to be. Trump will have another protector in place. Kavanaugh’s only risk will be, like Jeff Sessions, he will never do enough to please his master, Donald Trump.

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