Clarity on Brett Kavanaugh

Lindsey Graham ought to be ashamed of himself:

“What am I supposed to do, go and ruin this guy’s life based on an accusation?” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said on “Fox News Sunday.” [Christine Blasey] Ford’s allegations that [Brett] Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party in the early 1980s would be too thin to hold up in court, Graham said. “I don’t know when it happened, I don’t know where it happened, and everybody named in regard to being there said it didn’t happen. I’m just being honest: Unless there’s something more, no, I’m not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life over this.”[1]

We are not talking about “ruin[ing] this guy’s life.” We are talking about confirming a possible sex offender,[2] who enjoys the protections the rich and powerful afford to each other,[3] to the highest court in the land, where he would, for better or for worse, participate in decisions affecting hundreds of millions of people.

All this in a system that already favors wealthy white males. Astonishingly, Kavanaugh’s supporters bellow “innocent until proven guilty!” when the system has notoriously failed women on sexual abuse claims for as long as such claims have existed. Hillary Clinton’s defense of an accused rapist[4] and her attacks, joined by other prominent women, on women who have had affairs with her husband or who have accused her husband of rape[5] comprise but just a few examples.

And we should not forget that “innocent until proven guilty” is for those who can afford lawyers: The poor are more generally railroaded into plea bargains in a system that targets the poor and people of color; subjects them to proceedings rife with multiple forms of bias; and finally, with an epidemic of incarceration, damages them, their families, and their communities.[6] All this in a context where the poor are systematically scapegoated, apparently to divert attention from the crimes of the rich.[7]

But Donald Trump thinks “it could be — chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything.”[8]

Wow. Just wow.

  1. [1]Karoun Demirjian, Amy Gardner, and Seung Min Kim, “Senate Judiciary panel’s top Democrat calls for delay in Kavanaugh hearing after new allegation,” Washington Post, September 23, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/as-hearing-on-kavanaugh-assault-allegations-loom-senators-seem-unwilling-to-budge/2018/09/23/99f3fd3e-bf37-11e8-90c9-23f963eea204_story.html
  2. [2]Emma Brown, “California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault,” Washington Post, September 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/california-professor-writer-of-confidential-brett-kavanaugh-letter-speaks-out-about-her-allegation-of-sexual-assault/2018/09/16/46982194-b846-11e8-94eb-3bd52dfe917b_story.html; Karoun Demirjian, Amy Gardner, and Seung Min Kim, “Senate Judiciary panel’s top Democrat calls for delay in Kavanaugh hearing after new allegation,” Washington Post, September 23, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/as-hearing-on-kavanaugh-assault-allegations-loom-senators-seem-unwilling-to-budge/2018/09/23/99f3fd3e-bf37-11e8-90c9-23f963eea204_story.html; Deanna Paul, “A former sex-crimes prosecutor analyzed Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh. Here’s her take,” Washington Post, September 18, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/09/18/former-sex-crimes-prosecutor-analyzed-fords-allegations-against-kavanaugh-heres-her-take/
  3. [3]Eliot A. Cohen, “The Crisis of the American Elites,” Atlantic, September 23, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/the-crisis-of-the-american-elites/571060/; Emily Witt, “The Boys’ Club That Protects Brett Kavanaugh,” New Yorker, September 22, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-boys-club-that-protects-brett-kavanaugh
  4. [4]Alana Goodman, “The Hillary Tapes,” Washington Free Beacon, June 15, 2014, http://freebeacon.com/politics/the-hillary-tapes/
  5. [5]Maureen Dowd, “When Hillary Clinton Killed Feminism,” New York Times, February 13, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/opinion/sunday/when-hillary-clinton-killed-feminism.html; Liza Featherstone, “Hillary Clinton’s Faux Feminism,” Truthout, February 28, 2016, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/35006-hillary-clinton-s-faux-feminism
  6. [6]Ernest Drucker, A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America (New York: New Press, 2011); Jeffrey Reiman, The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, 7th ed. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2004); Dan Simon, In Doubt: The Psychology of the Criminal Justice Process (Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 2012).
  7. [7]Kristina Cooke, David Rohde, and Ryan McNeill, “The Undeserving Poor,” Atlantic, December 20, 2012, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/12/the-undeserving-poor/266507/; Herbert J. Gans, The War Against The Poor: The Underclass And Antipoverty Policy (New York: Basic, 1995); Henry A. Giroux, “Neoliberalism and the Machinery of Disposability,” Truthout, April 8, 2014, http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/22958-neoliberalism-and-the-machinery-of-disposability; Michael B. Katz, “How America abandoned its ‘undeserving’ poor,” Salon, December 21, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/12/21/how_america_abandoned_its_undeserving_poor; Lucy Mangan, “If you don’t understand how people fall into poverty, you’re probably a sociopath,” Guardian, January 24, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/24/if-you-dont-understand-poverty-youre-a-sociopath; Jeffrey Reiman, The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, 7th ed. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2004).
  8. [8]Donald Trump, quoted in Alexander Bolton, “Trump calls Kavanaugh accusations ‘totally political,’” Hill, September 24, 2018, https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/408056-trump-doubles-down-calls-kavanaugh-accusations-totally-political

Author: benfell

David Benfell holds a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University. He earned a M.A. in Speech Communication from CSU East Bay in 2009 and has studied at California Institute of Integral Studies. He is an anarchist, a vegetarian ecofeminist, a naturist, and a Taoist.

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