The vanished vestiges of civility
These are lonely times. The whole world, it seems, is talking past each other, not listening. Whatever vestiges of civility were left after the 2016 election have vanished. People are openly judged as trash and liars — entirely based on their gender.
Which is kind of strange, considering that gender is supposed to be so fluid these days. Perhaps the world would calm down if we just all went the way of Bruce Jenner.
Though, technically speaking, as a species I don’t think the experiment would last for very long. Or maybe that’s the point.
If all men would just become women, humans would presumably no longer be able to procreate. (Ladies, you have not quite rendered us useless yet!) And then humans would die off like the greedy dinosaurs we are and the planet would be left to the peaceful, righteous and just animals.
TRIGGER WARNING: If this is what you think you want, do NOT watch footage of wild animals on the Serengeti. It is savage justice where might makes right. It is more appalling than Harvey Weinstein’s casting couch or former President Bill Clinton’s intern program. It’s even worse than a toga keg party at Yale Law.
We are so broken today that everybody says last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featuring Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh and his accuser did not change a single mind. That is not true.
My mind was entirely changed by the gut-wrenching testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Going in, I thought she was a lying opportunist who popped up on the scene at the very last minute to derail Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. By her own admission, the first time she ever uttered the man’s name to someone else was when she thought he might get nominated to the Supreme Court.
When she spoke, however, I could not help but find her believable — if a bit daffy.
Then Judge Kavanaugh spoke. He was every bit as convincing. Understandably, he was furious over the injustice of being accused of something he knows he did not do. (Despite the babbling of Democrats on the committee, rage against injustice is a GOOD quality in a judge, not a bad quality.)
So, what do you do when you have two believable witnesses describing starkly different versions of events from nearly 40 years ago? You look at all the other evidence.
From the outset, Judge Kavanaugh is at a disadvantage since he has to prove a negative. Even worse, the accusation against him doesn’t even come with a date or a location.
Still, Judge Kavanaugh comes off as a better witness because Dr. Ford’s testimony — as earnest as it seemed — is riddled with holes and saddled with inconsistencies. Even worse, Dr. Ford’s story has altered over time.
Who was there? Where? How many people? Was the guy she was “going out with” at the time there or not?
And then there are the tricks of memory. Surely, traumatic incidents burn more deeply. But this is a person who could not even answer who is paying her legal bills.
And we are expected to trust her precise memory from 36 years ago and use that memory to utterly destroy a man who has spent his entire adult life building an impressive career and impeccable reputation?
At the very, very, very least, we should summon the spirit of the late Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, who famously invoked Scottish Law to find impeachment charges against ex-President Bill Clinton “not proven.”
Only this time, the verdict would actually fit. Contact Charles Hurt at [email protected]ingtontimes.com or on Twitter @charleshurt.
Christine Blasey Ford