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Partisan Hackery, Supreme Court Confirmations, and the Decline of Public Trust

The Kavanaugh hearings are a great example of why voters rightly hold Congress in contempt.

Alex Edelman/picture alliance / Consolidated/NewscomAlex Edelman/picture alliance / Consolidated/NewscomIf nothing else, the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh are an object lesson in how purely partisan politics can reduce human beings to utter garbage.

Following a late-breaking, credible accusation of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the early 1980s, when future Judge Kavanaugh was in high school, the outcome of his confirmation proceedings is far from clear. The details haven't been worked out fully, but there will be some sort of extra hearings next week in which Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, will directly address the issue. There will likely be a vote next week too, which, with perhaps one or two GOP defections, will almost certainly proceed along strict party lines. That is, of course, what everyone knew would happen before Kavanaugh's hearings even started.

Virtually everyone acknowledges that given the nature of the accusations and the passage of time it may be impossible to ever know the truth of exactly what happened in that Bethesda bedroom so many years ago. Even Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who basically brought the charges to public view, admits as much. People of good faith can disagree about what should come next. But politics, especially in D.C. and especially when it comes to Supreme Court nominations, are rarely conducted in good faith. An astonishing set of statements makes that clear.

Ed Whelan is the head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), a conservative think tank that describes its mission as "defending American ideals." He's a former clerk for Antonin Scalia, co-editor of a bestselling collection of Scalia speeches, and a pioneer of legal blogging. He's also personally close to Kavanaugh and has helped various Republican nominees (John Roberts, Samuel Alito) thread their way through their Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Last night, in a series of detailed tweets that included floor plans of houses pulled from Zillow and other real-estate sites, he propounded a theory that Kavanaugh's accuser was confusing the judge with a lookalike classmate. Whelan advertised the coming tweetstorm days ago, writing, "By one week from today, I expect that Judge Kavanaugh will have been clearly vindicated on this matter. Specifically, I expect that compelling evidence will show his categorical denial to be truthful. There will be no cloud over him."

It didn't work out that way. Media, including many prominent voices on the right, immediately called out Whelan's fact-light speculation in real time:

Whelan deleted the tweets and it's almost impossible to reconstruct their sheer craziness, especially as they unfolded in real time. He has apologized not so much for spinning a mistaken-identity theory out of thin air but for naming the person he thinks Ford confused with Kavanaugh. Ford has said unambiguously, "There is zero chance that I would confuse them."

If Whelan's fantasy trip shows the lengths to which a partisan activist will go in defense of a specific outcome, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) represents an even more disturbing case. Feinstein knew about Ford's accusations since July but reportedly dismissed their importance and relevance to the Kavanaugh confirmation process. According to The New Yorker,

A source familiar with the committee's activities said that Feinstein's staff initially conveyed to other Democratic members' offices that the incident was too distant in the past to merit public discussion, and that Feinstein had "taken care of it."

After the letter's existence was outed by The Intercept, Feinstein finally shared a version of the letter with her colleagues and the FBI. Feinstein's reticence to show them the document sooner remains a mystery. She insists that it was partly out of concern for Ford, who originally wished to remain anonymous, but there were any number of ways the senator could have raised the issue without compromising her source. Did she think the story too old, unprovable, or unreliable? Did she think the die was cast for Kavanaugh no matter what, so why bother? Or did she or someone in her office leak the news as a hail-mary to stop the confirmation?

In any case, Feinstein's opposition to Kavanaugh has little or nothing to do with the sexual assault charge. In an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times that was published on September 16, she lays out her case for why she'll be voting no regardless of anything that might have come up in the confirmation process:

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee entered the confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with concerns about his record and his views. After four days of testimony and questions, those concerns remain—and in some cases have increased considerably....

We already knew that Judge Kavanaugh held highly ideological views on the 2nd Amendment, women's reproductive rights and the executive power of the presidency. Judge Kavanaugh's testimony shed new light on these positions and on his loyalty to President Trump and his political agenda.

Supreme Court justices should not be an extension of the Republican Party. They must also have unquestionable character and integrity, and serious questions remain about Judge Kavanaugh in this regard, as indicated in information I referred to the FBI. For these and other reasons detailed below, I strongly oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Pew ResearchPew ResearchThe charges by Christine Blasey Ford need to be addressed and will be next week, almost certainly in a manner that fully pleases no one. That is in large part due to Feinstein's own actions. As even Donald Trump could realize, she should have brought the matter up sooner in the process. Instead of a confirmation hearing that allows for a full airing of competing ideas and the exploration of different governing philosophies, we're treated to a spectacle that has collapsed into the worst sort of partisan mudslinging. The only achievement here is that right-wing partisans will walk away feeling as if the media and Democrats are using any means possible to stymie them. And liberals, feminists, and Democrats will feel like their concerns haven't been taken seriously. Both sides will have a point.

The last-gasp fabulism coming from the Ed Whelans of the world is pathetic, risible, and destructive. The only saving grace is that it isn't coming an actual elected leader such as Feinstein. According to one survey, just 3 percent of us strongly approve of Congress. Is it any wonder, given the way that its members act? In the waning months of the Obama presidency, the Republican Senate refused to hold confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland even though they had the votes to deny his confirmation to the Supreme Court. From a legal perspective, the Senate majority was within its rights to stall until a new president was in office (even if it had no reason to believe that a Republican, much less Donald Trump, would eventually be in power). But such an action is immensely corrosive of public trust even if it's technically permissible.

Nothing good comes when high-trust societies became low-trust societies. Americans aren't born cynical. We're made that way by the actions of elites such as Ed Whelan and officials such as Dianne Feinstein. And the trend toward cynicism won't end until they change their behavior.

Photo Credit: Alex Edelman/picture alliance / Consolidated/Newscom

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  • Curt||

    "The Kavanaugh hearings are a great example of why voters rightly hold Congress in contempt."

    That's just ridiculous. You can't seriously try to suggest that the voters are somehow impartial observers who aren't guilty of their own partisan hackery.

    Maybe it's a chicken and egg thing. Which came first: the partisan hackery of politicians or the partisan hackery of the general voting public?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Rather, This--

    Following a late-breaking, credible accusation of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the early 1980s, when future Judge Kavanaugh was in high school,

    --is why the American public hold the media in contempt.

    Credible?

    It purportedly happened some year, on some day in some month when the accuser was a teen. It may or may not have been at a party. The accuser and accused may or mat not have been intoxicated. The only named person besides accused and accuser says that it categorically did not happen.

    Where is ANY credibility in that?

    Any. At all.

    There is none.

    Contemptible.

  • BigT||

    Yeah. This is a perfect example of a 'just so' story that drops at just the right time and hits just the right hot issue and is impossible to prove/disprove, but advances an agenda.

    It is utter BS.

  • JesseAz||

    At this point I'm convinced the media and democrats have a different dictionary than I do.

  • BigT||

    This story was birthed the day Kennedy retired. It was only a matter of finding a fuzzy enough account to pin on Kavanaugh since he was too nerdy to make a physical pass at a girl when he was 17, and too gentlemanly ever since. I can relate.

  • Nardz||

    If the accusation were credible, hacks like NG wouldn't feel the need to constantly refer to it as a "credible accusation".
    If the accusation were credible, calling it an accusation would suffice.

  • ThomasD||

    Blasey Ford tells a story and some conservatives respond with skepticism. Whelan tells a story and some 'conservatives' ( Tapper, really???) respond with skepticism.

    This is called being intellectually consistent.

    Meanwhile Gillespie deems one 'credible' but when presented with the other goes to great pains to tells who and what he is (as if Blasey Ford is not likewise a known partisan), and that he doubts the possibility of what that person describes.,

    This is something other than intellectual consistency. Gillespie clearly privileges the assertions of one over the other even though both have about the same amount of factual basis as the other.

    I do not believe Whelan. But I do believe that what he offered is no less plausible than what Blasey Ford has offered. Maybe it is nothing more than a gambit, intended to smoke out those committed idealogues who are unwilling to entertain alternatives, maybe it is offered in earnest, I cannot say either with certainty but clearly someone believes he can.

  • Incredulous||

    Yes, it's anything but credible. The timing alone, decades late and just in time to derail a SC nomination, discredits it. But even if it was a fresh allegation, it would not be "credible" but a he said/she said coin flip at best.

    And the allegation isn't even a sexual assault either, maybe a possible attempted sexual assault. No sex act was attempted or performed, no clothes were shed, intent was very murky at best, all parties were likely intoxicated - even if you accept her account at face value.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>credible accusation

    que?

  • Ryan Frank||

    They keep using this word, I don't think it means what they think it means.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Every article by every Reason writer from the day this story hit has called the accusation 'credible' in cut and paste fashion. None of the writers has ever attempted to support this assertion.

  • JesseAz||

    At the same time the media and liberals used that same exact phrase in tweets concurrently.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    "Plausible" fits better. Never has been credible.

  • Just Say'n||

    Agreed. "Plausible" is a better descriptor

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I'd argue for "possible", but "plausible" at least doesn't carry the implication that we have any reason to believe it. Fiction can be "plausible".

  • n00bdragon||

    Is it even "plausible" though? I mean, every character witness that for teenage Kavanaugh seems to point to him being a rather straight shooter, who even if he did engage in some underage drinking was not known for his aggressive sexual habits, the accused accomplice has denied it ever happening and none of the supposed witnesses can even remember the event that it supposedly occurred at. The accuser still hasn't provided a date (other than a vague range of years in which they shared a high school), a location, or any sort of evidence whatsoever. If the described encounter is "plausible" then it is as equally plausible as any encounter (legal or otherwise) anywhere with anyone at any time. Maybe I was the one who raped Christine Ford. Maybe it was you. Maybe it was Donald Trump himself. Maybe it happened in 1984. Maybe it happened in 1975. Maybe it will happen in 2022.

  • n00bdragon||

    I feel like the term "plausible" requires, at the very minimum, a set of known circumstances under which a reasonable person could expect the outcome to occur. "Plausible" is firing a gun into a wall and someone on the other side getting shot. "Plausible" is a known burglar being found in the vicinity of a burglary. "Plausible" is two people known to be at the exact same place at the exact same time getting into an altercation. But that's not what we have here. Maybe if someone could prove that there was a party that both of them attended in the vague time frame. Maybe if Kavanaugh had a history of drunken misbehavior. Maybe if Ford had reported this to the police within 30 years of it happening (is that really asking too much? Three decades? Just for reference, about 40% of the entire US population isn't even 30 years old, this is a supposed crime so old that Ronald Reagan would have been in his first term at the time and Return of the Jedi had just come out in theaters)?

  • n00bdragon||

    As a disclaimer, I don't have a particular interest in Kavanaugh as a judge. I'm not a member of "team red". There's enough opinions of his that I agree and disagree with to the point I figure he's basically a wash and I don't care if they confirm him or someone else, though I'm slightly inclined to just say confirm him because I prefer the devil I know to the devil I don't and the fact that Donald Trump has nominated someone who is not completely 100% awful is... sure okay I guess. But this accusation is a farce and seeing Reason enthusiastically grab onto it for the most cynical of reasons is extremely disappointing. Why not write an article about how you dislike Kavanaugh's positions on abortion or something? You can even go all "it should disqualify him!" with it. There's lots of extremely legitimate reasons you could oppose Kavanaugh's nomination that rational people could respect, even if they disagreed. Seeing a publication wallow in the mud like this though debases its other more serious reporting and that's a real shame. If Backpage.com had been soliciting gay conversion therapy for children would they have exposed the corruption behind its prosecution? If drug warriors weren't busy busting people for pot specifically would Reason care? Do free minds and free markets only matter so long as they think and sell the right things?

  • Incredulous||

    Yes, it's definitely implausible.

  • Eddy||

    Possible in the sense I wasn't there and can't say definitively it didn't happen, but that this is an illustration of why we have statutes of limitations and why the Senate needs an analagous rule about old allegations of misconduct.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Exactly....appatently to Nicky, "Something happened at sometime to someone..." is credible.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    "...credible accusation of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the early 1980s,"

    Lost me at the outset. Perhaps you should state exactly what you mean by "credible."

  • Rat on a train||

    It normally means "supports my tribe".

  • JWatts||

    I wouldn't use the word for this accusation regardless of the tilt. It's an extremely vague accusation from a long time ago.

  • Fk_Censorship||

    "credible" in this context means "I want to keep on receiving those DC cocktail invitations"

  • Mickey Rat||

    It might be easier to define what Gillespie considers an incredible accusation would be. It sounds like it would be the smaller set.

  • JesseAz||

    2 contemporary notes from medical officials describing abuse would be incredible for a dem candidate. No facts or even guess of where or when is credible as the counter example if conservative accused. Simple.

  • damikesc||

    It might be easier to define what Gillespie considers an incredible accusation would be. It sounds like it would be the smaller set.

    I'm curious as well. For a site that claims to be outraged over the kangaroo trials of men on colleges over sexual assaults, THIS claim --- which is even MORE dubious than the already laughable claims in college star chambers --- doesn't smell fishy to them?

    Or the demand that the accused testify BEFORE the accuser, a bastardization of every known precept of justice known to man? That doesn't raise a ton of red flags?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I think a shared definition of credible would be useful in this context. To my mind, the accusation at this point is neither credible nor not credible. There are not enough details or any corroborating evidence to make it one thing or the other. The default setting should probably be innocent, but this is not a court of law but of public opinion so who knows.

  • JonBlack||

    There isn't even a real "accusation" at this point.

    If you're going to call a guy a rapist, at least put your name on an actual allegation. What the fucking fuck with this garbage?!

  • Just Say'n||

    By this standard, though, than Whelan's nonsense is no less credible. The accuser's narrative has been disputed by two people. Only the accuser has disputed Whelan's nonesense

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    " The accuser's narrative has been disputed by two people."

    Three actually, at this point, she has named three men who were at the "gathering " at which the attempted rape supposedly happened.

    The man who was supposedly there but not involved in the attempted rape denied not only knowing about the alleged attack, but that the alleged gathering even took place.

    Mark Judge, who was supposedly with Kavanaugh when the attack happened has denied any knowledge of the attack and denied any knowledge of the alleged gathering.

    Kavanaugh has denied attacking Ford.

    Has anyone seen any statement by the second woman who was supposedly there?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    They are waiting, hoping, and praying [to the God of Altruistic Humanism] that she show up, soon. And naturally back Ford, and really make a men against women thing.

  • Bearded Spock||

    She hasn't been "found" yet, but rest assured the Democrats are scouring the country to find any woman who attended a DC-area private school during 1982 and who would be willing to publicly state she was at the party, regardless of whether or not she was actually there.

    They thought they had a female "witness" with that classmate of Ford who claimed everyone at her school knew about the assault, but she chickened out and disappeared when she found out she'd have to attest to that fact under oath.

  • CDRSchafer||

    No doubt if she is found she'll share the same hazy recollection of key details as the accuser. Don't know where, don't know when, didn't say anything about it but GUILTY.

  • JWatts||

    "that classmate of Ford who claimed everyone at her school knew about the assault"

    Since Ford's original claim was that she didn't tell anyone till 30 years later, that claim would have been yet another contradiction in the narrative.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Unless, JWatts, the word got back to Holton Arms via some contact at Georgetown Prep. In that case, if the alleged general knowledge at Holton Arms were corroborated, it would become powerful evidence—amounting to proof—against either Kavanaugh, Judge, or both.

  • damikesc||

    Unless, JWatts, the word got back to Holton Arms via some contact at Georgetown Prep. In that case, if the alleged general knowledge at Holton Arms were corroborated, it would become powerful evidence—amounting to proof—against either Kavanaugh, Judge, or both.

    The person who posted the tweet admitted she lied about it.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    I wasn't referring to any particular person. The question is what might turn up, not what we know now.

  • Luxferia||

    They thought they had a female "witness" with that classmate of Ford who claimed everyone at her school knew about the assault, but she chickened out and disappeared when she found out she'd have to attest to that fact under oath.

    It's even worse than that. She literally admitted on NPR that she posted her nonsense because she was feeling "empowered," not because she had any knowledge relating to Kavanaugh. Think about that: in this woman's mind, feeling empowered about an event is more probative than having personal knowledge of it.

    Wait for the day when this stuff qualifies as corroborating testimony.

  • damikesc||

    We also shouldn't compare this to Ellison's issues, where HE says women make this stuff up.

    I'll assume no Democrat will be asked to comment on what the co-chair of their party believes.

  • ThomasD||

    "Has anyone seen any statement by the second woman who was supposedly there?"

    Oliver Stone just tweeted that she was last seen walking up the grassy knoll.

  • Jerry B.||

    I think it's sort of like the definition of "Socialist" to a Progressive. If it confirms their bias (Norway), it's Socialism. If it doesn't (Venezuela), it isn't.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I agree. Also I wonder if he would have considered the woman that accused the Duke lacrosse team credible when she accused them.

    A false accusation can have the smell of credibility, even when it's an outright lie.

  • JWatts||

    Actually that woman had a far more credible assertion.

  • JesseAz||

    She had a place and location at least. Which was her downfall. It allowed them to find evidence she was a lying bitch.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Speaking of which, this latest twist in the Kavanaugh drama is ripe for a "Downfall" parody.

    Like "Hitler finds out that Ford will not testify" or "Hitler finds out that Kavanaugh will be confirmed anyway."

    Don't fail me now, Great Glorious /pol.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    By this standard it's equally credible to say she was raped by aliens of the ET variety. The details provided don't preclude it and there is no corroborating or exclusionary evidence to make it not so.

  • JesseAz||

    Why does it have to be the ET variety racist? Are you saying rape is a job illegal aliens won't do?

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Gillespie is a left-liberal Block Yomommatard. If Kavanaugh had a billion sworn public testimonials in his favor and one against, he would dismiss the one billion for and believe the one against.

    He doesn't want Kavanaugh to be confirmed; he wants more Ruth Bader Ginsburgs and Sonio Sotomayors on the court instead.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I don't know what a "Block Yomommatard" is, but I'm a libertarian and I want more RBGs on the court too. That was one of the many reasons I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

    #StillWithHer

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    #StillWithHim
    #InternsToo
    $ChildrenToo

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    #StillbutthurtaboutMerrickGarlandandalwayswillbe

  • El Oso||

    I am no so certain that you are even a small lllllllllibertarian. You sound more like a Capital S Shithead. I don't know if that is a credible accusation, but I will check with the Commentariat....

  • BigT||

    OBL is a parody.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    You'd be well advised to stop advertising your schizophrenia quite so boldly

  • Robert Crim||

    If you were a libertarian, you should have voted for Gary Johnson. I did and am not sorry for it.

  • Juice||

    I love the spike in govt trust after 9/11 followed swiftly by its decline around the time of the Iraq War.

    Baffling that trust would greatly increase right after the govt fucked up so badly and allow the attack to happen in the first place. Amusing to see it degrade to new lows when the same govt's solution to the problem was to give itself greatly expanded powers and go to war in multiple places that had nothing to do with the attack.

  • JoeBlow123||

    The Iraq War was the devil and GW Bush is a flaming trash monster.

  • Juice||

    This guy knows his stuff.

  • Cy||

    "Following a late-breaking, credible accusation of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the early 1980s."

    Fuck you.

  • Dillinger||

    ^^

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    ^^^

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    ^^^^

  • Shirley Knott||

    ^^^^^

  • Just Say'n||

    ^^^^^^

  • JonBlack||

    ^^^^^^^

  • JonBlack||

    Now, I feel like I let the team down.

  • JesseAz||

    You did.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    ^^^^^^^^ You put it way better, and much pithier, than I did.

  • CDRSchafer||

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^

  • SRVolunteer||

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  • JesseAz||

    ^^^^

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    ^^^^^^^ (I've lost count here and don't know how to make that character on my keyboard but Fuck Yeah!)

  • ThomasD||

    I find the 'late-breaking' characterization to be more offensive than the 'credible' assertion.

    It wasn't 'late-breaking' it was 'sat on by both a Senator, and the Washington Post for over a month and not shared until the last minute.'

    And if Blasey Ford didn't like the month long wait she could have sent out more letters at any time.

    Some might see the difference as being significant. But only if they can remove their partisan blinders.

  • Robert Crim||

    Good point.

  • Billy Bones||

    Credible my ass. If we have learned nothing else during this #metoo movement, these acts of aggression are not one time event. As soon as an allegation of sexual assault is levied against someone, many more come out of the woodwork. So, Brett was so enthralled with Christine that he was about to forcibly rape her, but not even an inappropriate comment in the 30+ years since? Where are all the other accusers? Was that one time event a wake up call for him? He turned over a new leaf after that event? I hardly think so. What I believe to be the most credible situation is that a California Senator and a professor at a California university conspired against a person that does not hold their political views, with the purpose of denying him a job for which he has been nominated.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    That speaks the obvious, or what should be obvious, Bones. I've been wondering the same myself as to where is the bevy of other Metoo's that normally glom onto such public accusations. My bet is Feinstein simply held onto this for several weeks leading up to and through the hearing, decided they needed to play it, and hoped to God [or whatever they believe in] that at least a few others would take the bait and come out of the woodwork. And now it comes down to all being on poor little Professor Christine to carry the burden of confronting the accused, albeit indirectly and largely by proxy.

  • JFree||

    More likely imo is that in fact it was a one-time sort of teen binge a la Animal House. I think the Dem pol expectation was that it would lead to more coming out of the woodwork which is why that particular allegation was kept anonymous and a bit hidden. When that didn't happen, the way that one allegation is treated looks a bit suspicious.

  • MasterThief||

    I find that explanation plausible. One of my biggest problems with the accusation is how thin on details it is. Aside from the standard who what when where questions we are given no context. We've not been told that the two even knew each other. Was it common for these kids and specifically Kavanaugh or his accuser to engage in sexual activities at these parties? If it is, then it is possible the whole thing was a misunderstanding of a young boy in a sexually charged atmosphere. There is also the possibility that it was a bad prank that went wrong. On top of that, it could even be a completely different person. Even if I charitably accept that events occurred as she claims there are many details that could shed a different light on the situation. As it is, the details are flimsy and many factors make it not look credible

  • damikesc||

    Aside from the standard who what when where questions we are given no context.

    Well. except we have no where or when.

  • Incredulous||

    True. But even additional accusations would be discredited by the timing. And without objective evidence or real corroboration, all such accusations should be dismissed out of hand.

  • MasterThief||

    While I definitely agree with your take, I'll argue one small point. I could see someone who is generally a good person make a mistake and stop before that escalates then never do anything like it again. I don't think it's the norm and recidivism in prisons attests to how common it is for people to repeat certain crimes.

  • Robert Crim||

    FLASH: THIS JUST IN!

    The U.S. edition of The Guardian has picked up a story that a professor named Chua at Yale University was instructing potential applicants for one of Kavanaugh's clerkships on how to groom themselves and dress so that they could achieve a "model" look, since according to what the left-wingers at Yale Law School claim, Chua told her minions that Kavanaugh only hired women who looked like "models." Yale has responded by subjecting Chua and her husband (also a conservative professor there) to an "internal investigation" which it declines to talk about; but, WHO CARES! We want all the people whom Chua coached to come forward ASAP and talk about her "sexual misconduct" so that we can paint Brett Kavanaugh as SOMEONE WHO SEXUALLY HARASSES HIS HELP!

  • Kirk Solo||

    Hear hear!. Don't think for a minute the DEMS are not trying to find another

  • Mickey Rat||

    Apparently the accuser never reported it to any kind of authority when it happened and never told anyone for thirty years. Does not remember much details as to when and where it happened and offers no proof but her word, which she seems reluctant to give under oath. The accused and the only witness named has categorically denied it happened.

    The only thing supporting its credibility are that it is vaguely plausible that they may have attended some party during the time frame and Ford credentials as an academic, which is not much to stand on.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "The accused and the only witness named has categorically denied it happened."

    Actually, there are two more potential witnesses, even if they didn't see the attack. According to Fords most current account there were three men/boys and two women/girls there, including herself. By her account, the third man and the second woman did not witness the actual assault. Still, they would be witnesses at least that the party/gathering happened.

    Of course the third man has denied the existence of the party/gathering.

    Has the other woman been identified?

  • Social Justice is neither||

    She has, it's Haven Monahan's mom. For some reason she's unavailable for comment.

  • Robert Crim||

    Ford remembers that the incident was SO indelibly etched in her mind that it traumatized her for more than three decades.

    That should tell us something.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Is there any evidence they knew each other at the time, where she would recognized him back then, and knew back then who attacked her?

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    She or her husband heard his name a few years back.

    She recalled he went to a high school near hers - one that had a reputation for parties or some such bullshit.

    She contacted Feinstein who had her staff come up with salacious bullshit about the cause du jour, and here we are.

  • CDRSchafer||

    She told her husband his name when his name was brought up as a possible MItt Romney SCOTUS nominee in 2012. Convenient.

  • Toranth||

    Did she tell her husband the name? I've only read that she says she told her husband about the alleged assault, but did not name anyone at that time. Her husband says she told him the name, but the statement I read from him did not indicate it was in 2012.

    Do you have a source for her telling her husband the name, in 2012?

  • JFree||

    There's a lot of indirect evidence that they would have known each other. From both yearbooks, there is a constant stream of parties and drunkenness between those two schools. Which makes perfect sense cuz that is exactly what two elite prep schools that are about 2 miles from each other - one boys one girls - is gonna do.

  • Ron||

    I know more people who I went to high school with now, then I did when I was in high school. In a school of 2800 I only new a couple of dozen names. maybe their schools were small but still not even indirect evidence of knowledge

  • JFree||

    If he didn't know her, the easiest denial is "I don't know who this woman is". That's not his denial.

  • BigT||

    That would be a foolish statement to make for anyone. Do you remember every person you met 36 years ago?

  • Robert Crim||

    There probably would be HS yearbooks possessed by someone (mine is online; anyone should be able to find it). If he were 17 at the time, he'd probably have been a junior, and at 15, that would make Ford a freshman.

    The real fly in the ointment here is that, so far, Ford (who says she was traumatized by the incident for life, it impressed her memory so) can't even tell us the YEAR it happened. For this allegation to be "credible" (Nick), we have to have a date, e.g., 03 September 1982. In that case, Judge, who says he has no recollection of the incident and therefore declines to appear, can say her revelation "jogged" his memory, "and, by the way, I still have a gasoline receipt that shows I was in New York City on that day."

    Oops: End of story!

  • damikesc||

    Hell, I work with 2000 people at my place of work.

    I've taken pictures with people right next to me that I do not know. At all. Don't know names or anything.

    Them going to schools nearby hardly means that he knows her.

  • Just Say'n||

    I learned from Reason today that unsubstantiated allegations are wrong, unless protecting Roe v. Wade is on the line. Then you can smear someone without a shred of evidence

  • Just Say'n||

    "Unsubstantiated allegations are wrong" and "Kavanaugh has been credibly accused by a woman who cannot recall the time, date, or place of her assault and the only witnesses that she has identified have disputed her story"

    How can someone hold both ideas in their head at the same time?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I believe his name is Oxy; Oxy Moron.

  • tgrondo||

    Just Say'n...

    How can someone hold both ideas in their head at the same time?

    It is possible, but only if their head....is a vast empty space....(think, Royal Gorge/Grand Canyon)

  • Robert Crim||

    Easy: It all happened in 1984! And, the other person at the party was George Orwell!

  • SteveMG||

    How would a libertarian controlled Senate handled this controversy? Instead of just criticizing both sides, give us the libertarian solution.

    Frankly, this is simply more libertarian pox on both houses criticism without offering us something to consider. I'll just add that if this had happened, say, a century ago we would have had a similar sort of party fighting. There may be a less terrible past but controversial court nominees have always led to this type of mud slinging. It's not new.

  • Just Say'n||

    If you're talking libertarian in the sense of Gary Johnson, he'd switch positions multiple times until he settled on the status quo opinion and then stick by that unflinchingly. So, basically what Reason has done here with regards to unsubstantiated sexual assault allegations.

    If we're talking about libertarian in the sense of Rand Paul, he's skeptical of an allegation in which the accused cannot recall the time, place, or time of year that the accusation occurred and the only witnesses named by the accuser have denied her story.

    One is governed by logic and facts, the other is governed by a conservative impulse to defend institutions and cling to status quo narratives. That's why, if we're being honest, Reason and Gary Johnson aren't really much of an alternative to anything.

  • JesseAz||

    Gary Johnson would ask what kavanaugh is.

  • ThomasD||

    When Reason goes pox-on-both-houses you can easily guess which side of the partisan divide is losing.

  • Fats of Fury||

    I hear there was another guy in the room. Dark hair, leather jacket and carrying a pair of water skis. It's absolutely credible.

  • Just Say'n||

    I believe it.

    Fonzie needs to submit to an FBI investigation right now. This accusation is credible.

    What say you, Fonz?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Sources have confirmed the Fonz's response as "ayyyyy".

  • tgrondo||

    And two thumbs up....!

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    ROFLMAO.

  • Drig||

    No one ever looks at it this way, but Republicans did Merrick Garland a favor by not holding a confirmation hearing. He wasn't going to get the consent of the Senate anyway so why drag his ass through this whole humiliating shit-show of a process we're going through right now with Kavanaugh?

  • CDRSchafer||

    Except the Republicans, although worthless, are not side show carnies like the Democrat three million ring circus.

  • JonBlack||

    If the Ford accusation is "credible", the Whelan accusation is the most powerful case in history.

    And the Whelan accusation is fucking moronic.

    You can't have a legal-rational political system if the people under it don't want it. After the last week, it's pretty clear that a huge number of people don't want reason anywhere near their political system. I didn't expect to find them working here.

  • Just Say'n||

    ^

    This.

    Reason is really floating an epic turd here. How can Whelan's nonsense be any more unsubstantiated than the already unsubstantiated allegation?

  • lap83||

    Because Dr. Ford is a woman, duh. Her story could only be more credible if she was in prison

  • Just Say'n||

    I tend to side with the position that we should take all such accusations seriously, but her story has already been refuted by two people that she identified as witnesses and she has provided no other corroborating evidence.

    What pisses me off the most about this is that it impugns actual allegations going forward. For people who supposedly support women, Democrats have done women who have suffered actual sexual assault a serious disservice here.

  • lap83||

    If Democrats secretly wanted to give all rape victims a bad name, I don't know that they would act any differently.

  • Just Say'n||

    True.

  • CDRSchafer||

    That went out the window with the Duke Lacrosse case with the media's assist. Any reasonable person looks at media hysteria surrounding sexual accusations with severe skepticism.

  • JWatts||

    "What pisses me off the most about this is that it impugns actual allegations going forward. For people who supposedly support women, Democrats have done women who have suffered actual sexual assault a serious disservice here."

    I'll point out Bill Clinton's long career and multiple accusations of assault and rape, Corey Booker's self admitted assault, and the current Keith Ellison that Democrats only care when a Republican is the accused.

    "Only 5% Of MN Democrats "Believe The Woman" When It Comes To Ellison"

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Actually, Just Say'n, she identified the two people not as witnesses, but as participants in the assault. Given that, there is zero reason to accept their self-serving denials in preference to her equally unsupported charges. Everything has to be held in abeyance until more information turns up, or until an attempt to turn it up proves it can't be found.

    Which is why this hot mess demands more investigation, for the sake of the Supreme Court's legitimacy, and for the sake of the nation's trust in the Senate.

    By the way, as you will see if an investigation is held, she provided notably more (somewhat) corroborating evidence. We already know enough to be able to identify other folks (classmates on both sides) who may have heard about the event shortly afterwards. Given Ford's comments to her counselor, long pre-dating Kavanaugh's candidacy, if any classmate evidence of that sort turns up, and can be supported, Kavanaugh's confirmation would be in grave jeopardy.

  • JesseAz||

    Please stay at volokh. We already have Kirkland bleed through.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    So ancient rumor and innuendo are your bar for credible corroboration of events 36 years ago.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Indeed, they can be. I'm surprised if you think otherwise. The existence of a contemporaneous rumor at, for instance, Holton Arms, if it could be shown to have existed, would utterly refute most of the claims now being offered against the accuser's credibility—or at least all the claims which rely on an assertion that she made her story up this year, or in 2012.

  • Nardz||

    So all it takes to utterly refute (logical) skepticism of her claim is a hypothetical?

    ...umm

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    How would classmates have heard about an event shortly afterwards that by her own account she didn't reveal for 30 years? Your comment makes no sense.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    As I mentioned in another comment, her own memory of what she said, and to whom, may have failed her. Or others present may have noted something and talked about it. Or even Kavanaugh and Judge could have done what she accused them of doing, and then talked about it to girls at Holton Arms, or to boys at Georgetown Prep, setting off rumors at both schools.

    I am not saying any of that happened. I am saying anyone who says investigation is pointless, because it's impossible to discover corroboration now, has not taken those reasonable possibilities into account.

  • Nardz||

    This brings to mind an interesting conundrum for the Ds.

    If they succeed in their quest to ban all straws nationwide, whatever will they have to grasp at?

  • JoeB||

    Nothing needs to be held in abeyance. Hearsay is not a valid reason to paralyze the process of governance of 300 million people.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    JoeB, you seem to have a view of the "process of governance," which excludes my own view of it. Mine includes conscientious background checks for would-be Supreme Court justices. Why should we resolve that disagreement in your favor, and not mine?

  • Robert Crim||

    Well, the first thing the FBI would do were it to become involved again would be to take a "302" statement from the complaining witness. So, if what you are saying is, "Stop everything: We need an FBI investigation first!" the Bureau wouldn't do anything that the Senate, itself, can't do on its own.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    I suppose, Robert Crim, that the Senate could, hypothetically, interview every alumnus and alumna who were enrolled at the two schools during the relevant time period. But as a practical matter, the FBI, giving the problem a high enough priority, could largely accomplish that task, and expeditiously.

  • BigT||

    "What pisses me off the most about this is that it impugns actual allegations going forward."

    Ford was crying wolf!

  • JoeB||

    You're asking Democrats to promote fairness, honesty, and civic responsibility. You are expecting them to actually be sincere in their support for women, minorities, and the disadvantaged. Sucker!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Whelan deleted the tweets and it's almost impossible to reconstruct their sheer craziness...

    Come on, they weren't all that crazy if you've ever seen a David E. Kelley courtroom series. It was just completely irresponsible.

    The partisan hackery could "credibly" be assigned at this point to Ford herself as much as to Kavanaugh. One of them is lying and, in this hysterical environment where "women's lives are at stake" both of them have incentive. Certainly Feinstein or her handlers were playing politics with the entire affair. So far, the most adult of them to chime is has been the president. Take that.

  • ATXChappy||

    Yea, it was completely irresponsible, but not crazy given the fact that the allegations where first brought up during a therapy session. You would think that Reason would be well aware of false memories being brought out in therapy. There are 100's of scientific papers written on the subject, and quite a few on the impacts false memories have on false criminal convictions.

  • ThomasD||

    1. An earnest attempt to convey an honest belief?

    2. A confused assertion influenced by partisan leanings?

    3. A deliberate attempt to spread a damaging falsehood for specific goals?

    Whelan's posts could be any of those three.

    But, then again, so could Blasey Ford's.

    If you entertain the possibilities for one then intellectual honesty demands you do so for both.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Following a late-breaking, credible accusation of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the early 1980s

    I have no love for Kavanaugh, I seriously doubt he will usher in a libertarian era on the court-- or even nudge it in that direction. But when we keep calling this accusation "credible", it's like we're trying to goose the narrative here.

    There's little about her accusation that's credible. If anything, it's quite incredible.

    And yes, he may be guilty of what she accuses him, but that doesn't make the accusation credible.

  • ||

    "But when we keep calling this accusation "credible", it's like we're trying to goose the narrative here"

    This is gaslighting, pure and simple. The direct implication of at least 3 different Reason articles by different authors that I have now read is that anyone who does not find her story credible is a partisan hack. This is ludicrous.

    There are no verifiable details in her story other than who was there, and the identified parties have denied any knowledge or memory of such events. She admits she told no one else. She admits there was drinking (at 15, one beer is quite a buzz). There is no definition of credible for which that story qualifies.

    Add to that the fact that it occured 35 years ago and not one similar accusation was made in the intervening years, and I have to say that anyone who thinks Ford SHOULD be allowed to testify is a partsan hack.

    Shame on you Gillespie! We are not crazy for thinking Ford is. The demand that she testify after Kav and then not be subject to any questions afterward is the smoking gun in this hit job.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    There are no verifiable details in her story other than who was there, and the identified parties have denied any knowledge or memory of such events. She admits she told no one else.

    1. Kavanaugh and Judge have not said they told no one else. They might have done so and not even remembered. Ford might not have remembered, too.

    2. The time frame is narrowed usefully by the ages of the participants and the bathing suit.

    3. The venue is probably recoverable, given the small number said to have been there. One of them will be found to have a connection, and it won't be Ford.

    4. If these events occurred, they occurred in the context of an extended social community comprising both schools, essentially all the members of which can be identified, located, and potentially interviewed.

    I suggest there is quite a bit known that could support a search for corroboration, and almost all of it has yet to be investigated.

    Your point about Ford's desire to structure the proceedings is largely canceled by the demands on Kavanaugh's side for absolute control of the proceedings—and their obvious intent to limit the scope of fact-finding prior to the hearing.

    That said, of course, even after investigation, Ford's charge could remain uncorroborated. Given the clear intent to put Kavanaugh on the Court regardless, that would be a good thing. Putting him there without an investigation would be a very bad thing.

  • BigT||

    "I suggest there is quite a bit known that could support a search for corroboration, and almost all of it has yet to be investigated."

    Ridiculous!! You think for one NY second the Donkeys haven't been digging into this for weeks? If so, I've got this bridge...

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    BigT, the point of calling for formal investigation is, in important part, to remove from the historical record, insofar as possible, need for reliance on speculation. That is especially important in this case, because Supreme Court legitimacy is at stake. That is true as a matter of fact, and no matter who thinks it should be, or shouldn't be. And you are demanding reliance on speculation, instead of investigation. That seems unwise.

  • JesseAz||

    Throwing spaghetti in the wall might form the winning lotto numbers too. We don't ruin a man's career because of it.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Well, of course his career will not be ruined if nothing is found. If evidence in support of Ford's account is found, then it will be Kavanaugh who damaged his career.

  • ThomasD||

    " Kavanaugh and Judge have not said they told no one else."

    Nice begging of the question there Stephen.

    Both have already said they weren't there. So they could not have 'told' anyone else anything about the alleged event.

    Stephen, when did you stop sexually abusing your pet turtle?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    I suppose it is customary at the outset of an investigation to discount to zero any potentially self-serving statements by targets of the investigation, and instead check for proof of the allegations. What do you suppose about how investigations ought to be conducted? Complete deference to any and all statements from the targets?

  • ThomasD||

    I will lay that all out once you publicly swear you have stopped sexually abusing your pet turtle.

    Until then your silly goalpost shiftings and subject changings will have no effect.

  • Robert Crim||

    Maybe we should turn this over to Robert Mueller!

    For some kind of report come 2021!

    The first thing one does in an FBI investigation is take a "302" interview statement from the complaining witness. The Senate does not need the FBI to do that.

  • Bearded Spock||

    "The Kavanaugh hearings are a great example of why voters rightly hold Congress in contempt."

    This column is a great example of why readers rightly hold Reason in contempt.

  • Nardz||

    ^

  • ThomasD||

    ^^

  • Just Say'n||

    I wish the writers at Reason would just be honest here. This has nothing to do with a credible accusation (because it is really not credible by any objective measure) and everything to do with believing the accusation, because they fear that Kavanaugh my weaken the ruling of Roe v. Wade.

    Just admit what is so plainly obvious.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Reason: "You cannot trust the government at any level to do the right thing."

    Also Reason: "Bad things happen when people don't trust the government."

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Dr. Ford can't possibly be lying. She's asking for an FBI investigation, which people simply don't do if they're just making things up.

    #CancelKavanaugh
    #LibertariansForFeinstein
    #MeToo
    #Resist

  • lap83||

    #LibertariansForFeinstein
    That cracks me up every time. Almost as much as #StandwithPP

  • JonBlack||

    That tag really needs some kind of flashing lights to go with it. It's fabulous.

  • Mr. JD||

    You people do realize that the '#' symbol means "not", right?

    Seriously, for what hashtag movement has that ever # been true?

  • chipper me timbers||

    ^^ NICE. This is one of your better in recent days. Bravo.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Indeed, that was rather clever. 8/10.

  • SchillMcGuffin||

    What the hell would the FBI do here? Dust for prints? Track down other party attendees who just happen not to have heard about this controversy somehow?

    And people trying to drag out a confirmation process for another six weeks surely have an incentive to call for an investigation that's bound to be inconclusive.

  • JonBlack||

    They're going to canvass the neighborhood- even if the "victim" isn't sure which neighborhood it is- and see if anyone has information on a local high-school party from 1982. Or so.

    They'll probably have a firm answer in 2 or 3 days or so.

  • Ron||

    you would have to start by interviewing every person in that school within four years of the students in questions, thats an eight year time frame. and every student will remember a party(s) but which if any are this particular party. then you have to interview everyone at every party etc...... it would be an investigation that would last longer than Bretts remaining life span and that is the goal.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    The first step would be to interview the complainant.

    I'm guessing Ford wants the FBI to only interview Kavanagh.

  • JoeB||

    They will note that in her old neighborhood, the water drains out of the sink counterclockwise, which means...ALIENS!!

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Finally, some decent and strait forward parody.

  • Robert Crim||

    I've done criminal investigations.

    I can tell you, for example, that the Government's attorneys suppressed witnesses and altered evidence to get Patty Hearst. I know that happened (I have the Bureau's own records). Unless the Bureau lied to me about the Government lying to everyone else, this CANNOT be false.

    I recently had someone come to me who insisted he saw Hearst's kidnappers push her into a van in Los Angeles, says his uncle was a Buagent, and that he told him about it. This account also was suppressed. But, when I questioned him re the details, it was obvious that his account could not be true. He subsequently changed his account to "spruce it up" -- make it more believable. And, he's POSITIVE he's telling the truth. BUT...

    Without any supporting evidence, even any FBI records, this is not a credible claim no matter how much it would help my own contentions.

    Ford may actually believe her claim. There is such a thing as the will to believe. But, she told no one for three decades and now recalls no specific details even though she says the incident so impressed her memory that it has traumatized her for life. Should I hold her to a looser standard of proof than someone I very much would like to believe?

    That's not the way to do an investigation.

  • Nardz||

    I believe I can fly
    I believe I can touch the sky
    I think about it every night and day
    Spread my wings and fly away

    I believe i can soar
    I see me running through that open door

  • Rich||

    Virtually everyone acknowledges that given the nature of the accusations and the passage of time it may be impossible to ever know the truth of exactly what happened in that Bethesda bedroom so many years ago.

    OK, then, move on to the confirmation vote.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    You misogynist!

  • Microaggressor||

    If one thing's for certain, more ink needs to be spilled on this matter of great importance.

  • CDRSchafer||

    I can't think of a more pressing issue than an alleged four decade old hazily recalled dry hump in a Maryland basement.

  • chipper me timbers||

    Public trust in government has gone down because of how these hearings went?

    Sweet! Let's have more of that then.

    Public trust in government is never good. The more distrust the better.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Except that public distrust in government has the contradictory effect of calling for expansions of government authority in a vicious feedback loop.

  • Number 2||

    Yes, it is curious how distrust of government never seems to lead to reduction of government.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Nothing good comes when high-trust societies became low-trust societies.

    A skeptical voter is a vigilant voter and, God willing, an independent-minded voter.

  • Red Tony||

    From the way things have played out, a skeptical voter is an apathetic voter.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Often a valid choice.

  • SchillMcGuffin||

    I suppose the bar for "credibility" is simply "fundamentally plausible, and not coming from an obviously insane person".

    I can accept not remembering details of the gathering after all this time, but unless Ford can name one or more other attendees who could potentially corroborate her story (at least her alleged abrupt departure), or such a person comes forward voluntarily, I don't see how there's anything further to investigate.

    And whether or not Whelan's "Devil's Advocate" efforts were conducted insensitively, they seem pretty reasonable in terms of pointing out potential weaknesses in testimony about alleged events 36 years ago. People assert their "certainty" about crimes committed against them 24 hours previous that turn out to be erroneous. It's the idea that anybody's testimony should be sacrosanct for reasons of "class guilt" that's truly egregious.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I suppose the bar for "credibility" is simply "fundamentally plausible, and not coming from an obviously insane person".

    That's the best definition of "credible" I can glean from it's constant, repeated use in this Ford situation.

  • JonBlack||

    And we still can't be sure it's accurate in this case.

  • OGREtheTroll||

    My contextual interpretation of the term "credible" as its used at Reason would be simply "not logically impossible." Unless shes claiming she drew some square circles, shes credible.

    By Reason's standard, Al Gore's claim that he invented the internet is credible.

  • ThomasD||

    Yet, somehow, Whelan's claims are not credible. Even though they are possible, and cannot be disproved.

  • Robert Crim||

    Well, the fellow he named could say he was never there and has no recollection of the incident.

  • NoVaNick||

    No worries. Once we elect a solidly democrat congress and POTUS, we will love the government again and they will love us back./sarc

  • Just Say'n||

    To be fair, at least Reason won't be so hyperbolic about everything.

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    Ha! TRUTH!

  • ThomasD||

    Yep nothing says 'nuanced view of deficit spending' quite like Reason when the Democrats are in charge of the spending.

  • FreeRadical||

    Nick committed violent anal debauchery on me when I was a virile teenage boy exuding a kind of raw maleness that was irresistible to just about everyone.

    Even though I kind of enjoyed it at the time, I've decided after many years that it was icky.

    There, I've made a credible accusation of sexual assault against Nick Gillespie.

  • Microaggressor||

    We need to complete an FBI investigation before Nick writes another article.

  • Just Say'n||

    Why won't you answer for your crimes, Fonzie? What are you hiding?

  • Here for the outrage||

    I believe him!

    This can't possibly have negative consequences down the road... surely republicans wont drag anyone and everyone in a similar way in the future. And Nick definitely won't at the time, choose to call it nonsense, after claiming this current nonsense is credible.

    Nancy Pelosi raped me! Start your writeup on believing the victim now Nick.

  • Just Say'n||

    "And Nick definitely won't at the time, choose to call it nonsense, after claiming this current nonsense is credible."

    That depends. If abortion is on the line, the writers here drop all principles and become hacks

  • Just Say'n||

    That's the only natural right they care about. The entirety of the Bill of Rights can go take a walk.

  • CDRSchafer||

    Mao Stalin HItler is fine as long as he lets us kill unborn kids. Everything else is just details.

  • Here for the outrage||

    It's crazy the shifts that go on here week to week.

    http://reason.com/blog/2018/09.....-york-time

    I have a hard time understanding how Nick can balance these two opinions in his head.

  • Nardz||

    ^

    That's what I expected when clicking on this article.
    Instead, I stopped reading after the second sentence because Nick had decided that gaslighting on behalf of (other) progressives was more important than the approach he took in his only decent article.
    Stronger together, Reason
    Stronger together.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    #METOO! I want to be credible!

  • FreeRadical||

    Ooo, tell me your hot credible stories. Please.

  • DPICM||

    No, no, it's not credible until Nick is up for nomination to SCOTUS. The close you make this accusation to the 11th hour before the confirmation vote, the more credible it becomes. This is known by all woke folk.

  • Robert Crim||

    No, but I once actually did spend an evening at Bob Poole's home, when he was living in Santa Barbara. I can give you a reasonably detailed description of his place, from the giant photo/painting of New York City above his mantle to the rabbit hutches in the back. Were I to choose to malign him all these years after the fact, how could he prove it DIDN'T happen? Of course he could deny it (it didn't happen), but other than that, what is there?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Right. She can't remember the year, date, or how many people were there, but she knows it wasn't one particular guy. Nice how selective her amnesia and memory are.

  • Just Say'n||

    The allegations against Roy Moore were credible. This is not. You look like the hack that people have always suspected you were, Fonz

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    The allegations against Moore had substance. Ford's crackpot notions reek of a bad dream she had.

  • ThomasD||

    The greatest substance against Moore was his much younger wife, which confirmed the truth of the allegations. That he had been faithful to her over the intervening decades also confirmed that his actions were never really sinister.

  • Robert Crim||

    Nor illegal. What all the press avoided reporting was that, in Alabama at the time, women could marry at 14 on their own and at 12 with a parent's consent. The law since has been changed, and what got reported was the change, making Moore look despicable.

  • Nardz||

    I think it was more his interview with Sean Hannity.
    He really, really bombed it.
    I'd bet that kept a lot of Rs home

  • Mazakon||

    "And liberals, feminists, and Democrats will feel like their concerns haven't been taken seriously. Both sides will have a point."

    I'll grant that the left will feel like their concerns haven't been taken seriously. But that's because it's absolutely incredulous to believe an accusation 30+ years after the fact, with no recollection of basic details, denials from the only people mentioned other than the accuser, at such a convenient point in time for the accuser and her sympathizers to stop someone they were already trying to stop.

  • creech||

    Credible - an adjective meaning "able to be believed." Synonyms range from "plausible" to "likely."
    Was the alleged attack "plausible?" Certainly; many of us probably heard of such parties in high school, maybe even fondled a boob and stopped when she complained. That accuser and accused were in somewhat proximity to each other makes it plausible. If accuser was in North Carolina and accused was in Maryland prep school, then not so plausible. Was it likely or positively did happen? None of us knows and, assuming it did happen as she stated, given his subsequent behavior and career, it alone should not be disqualifying.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Following a late-breaking, credible accusation of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the early 1980s, "

    Sad, five words in, and you've already self-identified as one of the partisan hacks. What the hell is credible about this accusation, aside from the fact that it's physically possible?

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    "Ford has said unambiguously, 'There is zero chance that I would confuse them.'"

    The person who can't remember the date, can't remember the location, places the party at a house nowhere near ANY of the alleged party-goers; the person who didn't tell another soul for thirty years; the person who has been told she's wrong by every person she names from that party; the person who *coincidentally* is a registered Democrat who contributed to the DNC and protested President Trump; that person is absolutely dead certain about one thing:

    It was Brett Kavanaugh.

    And we all know very, very well that eye witnesses of a thirty-five-year-old event are as rock-solid as anything in the universe. Absolutely no way she could be wrong.

    And I agree with that 100 percent. There is no way she could be wrong. Because you can't be wrong about a lie. You have to be wrong about facts, what you saw, your interpretation of events. You can't be wrong about something you made up out of whole cloth as an eleventh hour Hail Mary.

  • Just Say'n||

    "The person who can't remember the date, can't remember the location, places the party at a house nowhere near ANY of the alleged party-goers; the person who didn't tell another soul for thirty years; the person who has been told she's wrong by every person she names from that party; the person who *coincidentally* is a registered Democrat who contributed to the DNC and protested President Trump; that person is absolutely dead certain about one thing:

    It was Brett Kavanaugh."

    It's so strange how the woketarian writers here continue to leave out these details

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    Amen!

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Yeah. Her story isn't credible at this point in any case but the fact that she's partisan represented by a partisan attorney and furthering a partisan agenda might be worth a mention.

  • Nardz||

    Why is it strange?
    How long are legitimate libertarians going to deny the obvious: that Reason magazine is clearly a Progressive front?
    It's not at all strange. They push The Narrative.
    During the Battle of the Bulge, Nazi soldiers didn't announce themselves as Nazis to infiltrate Allied lines, they dressed in Allied uniforms and used Allied vehicles.
    What better way to push totalitarian socialism on that segment of the population most opposed to it? Dress it up in a libertarian uniform and use libertarian vehicles to convince legitimate libertarians both to stand against the same "evils" as progressivism and slowly accept it into their psyches.

  • Tony||

    More creepy shit about Kavanaugh is leaking out by the hour.

    Let's agree on one totally noncontroversial thing: let's delay a vote on confirmation to the fucking supreme court until after we're mostly certain he's not a rapey, sexist freak.

  • lap83||

    Which will never happen and then, oh look, now the Democrats are in control... Funny how that worked out!

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""after we're mostly certain"'

    And what is the objective criteria that would qualify almost certain?

  • Brian||

    So, never?

  • Just Say'n||

    Literally nothing new has been disclosed about Kavanaugh other than he drank in high school, which woketarians now think is problematic.

  • Tony||

    Attempted rape and if you want to clerk for him be sure to look like a sexy conservative.

  • lap83||

    Oh for the good ol' days when the homely girls had equal opportunity to be raped in Washington

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Why are you supporting the accusations of the Chinese spy? They're communists and fascists like you hate that version of socialist competitor.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Fake news already debunked
    https://tinyurl.com/yakyop3o
    Meanwhile the notorious RGB has managed to hire one minority clerk since 1998.
    https://tinyurl.com/y7qu8ssc

  • Tony||

    I don't know about anyone else, but all the Republican cocksucking going on here is giving me nausea.

    I hope Democrats made it all up. Maybe if they're 1/10th as evil and cynical as Mitch McConnell they'll actually accomplish some good in the world.

  • Incredulous||

    No it's the cock in your mouth that's giving you nausea.

    But I'm not judging since I don't share your homophobia.

  • Robert Crim||

    I was wondering how long it would take for that squirrelly claim to get to Reason.

    For those not up on the latest "news": A female professor named Chua has been accused by left-wing supporters at Yale of advising potential applicants for one of Kavanaugh's clerkships on how to dress and groom themselves, and on what kinds of pleasantries to exchange, if they want to maximize their chances for the job. Her husband, also a tenured professor there, has been placed under "internal investigation" that Yale won't discuss, BUT WHO CARES! Because now its possible for Feinstein & Co. to throw more shit in the fan by screaming that left-wing contortions at Yale characterizing efforts of a professor AT YALE now constitute evidence that Kavanaugh sexually harasses his help!

    Witnesses: None. Dates: None. Details: None. Allegations against Kavanaugh: NONE!

    Tony, I love it!

  • TuIpa||

    "until after we're mostly certain he's not a rapey, sexist freak."

    So you want a vote yesterday.

  • DPICM||

    Who's this "we"? I'm already convinced that he's not a rapey, sexist freak.

  • BigT||

    "Let's agree on one totally noncontroversial thing: let's delay a vote on confirmation to the fucking supreme court until after we're mostly certain he's not a rapey, sexist freak."

    Absolutely! Let's go through the 3.7 billion females one at a time and make Kavanaugh supply a credible alibi for why he didn't rape them!

    Feinstein goes first.

  • Robert Crim||

    That one is easy: No one would rape Feinstein.

    Unless they were stark raving nuts.

    Which would disqualify them for the Supreme Court out of hand.

  • wreckinball||

    I was letting a lot if shit go but God you're a dumb fuck

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Add, her favorite party game, according to the yearbook was "pass-out". So she was probably dead drunk at the time.

    I think it's possible something happened to her at a party some time that year, and she has no real recollection of who the assailant was. Which would explain why the therapists' notes don't give a name.

    Then Kavanaugh gets nominated for the Supreme court, and she finds a good reason to "remember" who it was.

  • Robert Crim||

    A source please for the "pass-out" allegation -- this is too rich to pass up.

  • Toranth||

    There's no sign that Ford's "favorite game" was drinking until she passed out. However, her class yearbook has a vast celebration of drinking and sex, and includes the line "and everyone's favorite, Pass-out" about drinking games.

    It's as relevant to the situation as Kavanaugh's yearbook talking about drinking 100 kegs.

  • tgrondo||

    Dr Ford underwent, Selective Repressed Memory Therapy....That's a therapy where the patient identifies Pres.Trump's supreme court nominee as her attacker....

    You would know that if you weren't such a sexist pig and charter member of the patriarchy.....(duh!)

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Saw this on a tweet yesterday from an anti-Kavanaugh: "He will efficiently dismantle the modern regulatory state in record time."

    Why isn't reason writing about that? Is that not what we want? I personally cannot think of a better endorsement.

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    Because he might be against pot and abortion. Maybe. Hypothetically.

    And that's far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far more important to them than regulations.

    After all, what will their high girlfriends do when the "Reason" writers knock 'em up while also high? THIS SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED!

  • lap83||

    In fairness, that's how the left describes almost everyone in government who is remotely conservative. It would be nice if it ever turned out to be true

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    We lock folks up every day with way, way, way more credible evidence than the so-called credible story of Clearly Blazing Ford. And those people are then set free when the DNA evidence proves it wasn't them.

    If this guy were some inner city kid accused of rape on such flimsy evidence, every "Reason" (and I use the quotes not to differentiate that they're a publication, but to indicate that they're not very reasonable) writer would be up in arms about the travesty of justice that was occurring.

    But this is a guy that they're AFRAID will rule in a way they don't like on hypothetical cases. So suddenly, flimsy bullshit is "credible."

    Fuck, I got find a better libertarian site. I'll probably disagree with half of this guy's views and rulings, but I sure as shit don't think I'd start calling these plainly bullshit stories of CBF "credible" and tainting a man who'd done nothing of the sort in order to keep him off the court.

    Man, for a bunch always whining about tribal politics, the notion that you'd call these charges "credible" when you'd blow a gasket FOR ANY OTHER DEFENDANT with this level of "evidence" shows that you're just as tribal, just as base, just as thick-headed as any Repubs or Dems.

  • Tony||

    Nobody's talking about sending him to prison. And nobody is owed a seat on the supreme court.

  • Just Say'n||

    "And nobody is owed a seat on the supreme court."

    I thought you said Merrick Garland was owed a seat?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    It's different when it's his team

    Partisan hackery 101

  • Bearded Spock||

    Thank goodness Tony finally recognizes the term "rubber stamp" appears nowhere in the Advice and Consent clause in Article II.

    And lest I be accused of hypocrisy, if by some miracle the Dems block Kavanaugh and take control of the Senate then they are under no obligation to approve any of Trump's nominees to any court. That's the Senate's constutional prerogative.

  • Tony||

    Perhaps he was owed at least a hearing.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Elections have consequences. And tell that to Miguel Estrada.

  • Tony||

    What I gather is that you think that whatever yahoo Republicans nominate is automatically owed a judgeship.

  • MasterThief||

    I wouldn't say he is "owed" anything. I will agree that it was bad partisan behaviour that allowed him to be denied a hearing. I would have preferred that they went through with the hearing and then denied his nomination based upon his record and principles. However, I would say this is worse. It's tarring a person's reputation because he might not do exactly what one team wants politically.

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    You seem slow as fuck. It's an analogy, dumb ass. The point is the evidence, not the punishment.

    Seriously, were you deprived of oxygen during childbirth?

  • Brian||

    It's not his turn now?

  • Tony||

    Do you take turns in a devil's triangle?

  • ||

    I find it credible that Tony is a douchebag troll. There is plenty of evidence in his comments to corroborate this accusation.

    And, I will glady testify on Monday about it and answer questions afterwards.

  • Tony||

    Oh good, we have a new snarky person.

  • Here for the outrage||

    I have previously made these claims and will also testify

  • Robert Crim||

    Tony, if you had anything substantive, you might have a point. Right now, you have a financial contributor to Bernie Sanders and ActBlue teaming with the biggest liar in the Senate (Reason, itself, has reported that) to present a non-claim about a non-incident that happened at a non-time in a non-place with non-witnesses and, by the way, another cabal of desperate leftists at Yale are saying that, because Prof. Chua instructed potential candidates for a Kavanaugh clerkship on dress, grooming, and etiquette to maximize their chances of getting the job, that's proof enough to you that he sexually harasses his help.

    This is a non-argument.

  • Tony||

    Do you have any idea how Nazi-like it sounds to discredit people outright based on their political beliefs? Want me to do Republicans?

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    I've figured out how to turn this whole thing around. At least for the writers at "Reason."

    Brett Kavanaugh should come out TODAY and say that federal laws restricting marijuana are unconstitutional and he intends to rule accordingly.

    "Reason" will turn faster than a quarter bag at the "Reason" holiday party.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    No, they won't, because he's still a threat to a number of liberal causes, and that would trump his merely being liable to advance libertarian ones.

  • Nardz||

    He is a threat to progressive rule via judicial fiat, and this is Reazon's real priority.

  • Ron||

    I thought you were going to write Kavanaugh should come as gay and the only woman he ever touched was his wife and even hated doing that. would that silence them I doubt it.

  • MasterThief||

    How did that defense go for Spacey? Different circumstances, but the "I'm gay" defense didn't seem to do much for his consequences besides that he was dealt with quickly and everyone was quiet about it immediately after.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Imagine for just a moment how stupid all the fake libertarians of Reason will look if she ends up not even showing up at all in Washington to testify.

    And I still don't think she has any real intention whatsoever of doing so, especially if it means being put under oath.

  • Here for the outrage||

    Last week you spit hot fire, this week you opened your mouth and let liars spit in your mouth

  • FreeRadical||

    All this talk of credible stories has got my heart beating!

    I want to hear everyone's credible stories. Ummm, all the details please. I especially want to hear Tony's credible stories. Ohh, so hot!

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Tony was sexually assaulted by a scarecrow, and has been building strawmen ever since.

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That explains it!

  • JeffreyL||

    Nick:

    By saying its a "credible accusation" you are no longer a libertarian. Resign from reason

    Thanks

  • Just Say'n||

    Do you know how ashamed the leather jacket is of him right now?

  • Trigger Warning||

    Credible? Fucking really?

    Nick Gillespie tried touch my balls in 1998. FBI please investigate. It's a credible accusation!

  • Tony||

    But it's not credible for easily discernible reasons. See how that works?

  • ||

    Yes, and pointing out it is not credible is not partisan hackery. Did we teach you something today?

  • Tony||

    I don't see why Ford isn't credible.

  • Trigger Warning||

    Thirty-six years ago, high school, never said a word until now, DiFi sat on it for months, no witnesses, no possibility of material evidence, he-said-she-said fuckery: that is your definition of credible?

  • Robert Crim||

    She's a Bernie Sanders contributor and sends money to ActBlue. She appears at anti-Trump rallies, and she alleges an incident she says was so memorable that it traumatized her for life; but, she cannot say when it happened, where it happened, who all was there, and the one other person she says was there says he has no recollection of such a party and never saw Kavanaugh behave in such a manner. She didn't report the matter for more than thirty years, and when she mentioned it to a psychiatrist in a reconstructed-memory session, she failed to mention the name of her attacker.

    Would that every case I ever tried be presented with such witnesses against me!

    If Ford can give us a date for when this incident supposedly occurred, that might jog Mr. Judge's memory or allow him to present, e.g., a gasoline receipt showing he was in New York City at the time. Of course, all that probably wouldn't change your judgment any.

  • Trigger Warning||

    You thought about my hard, rippled ass in a lascivious manner yesterday. Pretty sure it was mine. Could have been Warty's. Whoever's ass it was, it constitutes sexual battery. Prove your innocence.

  • CDRSchafer||

    "Nick Gillespie tried touch my balls in 1998. FBI please investigate. It's a credible accusation!"

    Already you have more details than Dictor Ford. You have an actual year.

  • Fk_Censorship||

    Republicans will never understand women. Women will forgive everything except weakness. Even serial killers have (lots of dedicated) groupies.
    The Republicans, including God Emperor, exuded so much weakness in their reaction to the Democrats' delay tactic. The proper Republican response to Feinstein's bombshell should have been "you could have put more effort into a more clever delay tactic than this, you had your chance to bring this up during the hearings, now it's too late, sorry". They should have never legitimized the accuser or the story.
    Trying to appease women voters with yet another disgusting display of utter spinelessness will backfire spectacularly.

  • Mark22||

    Republicans will never understand women. Women will forgive everything except weakness.

    This. If Republicans are thinking that they are getting the women's vote by coddling Ford, they are mistaken.

    The proper Republican response to Feinstein's bombshell should have been "you could have put more effort into a more clever delay tactic than this, you had your chance to bring this up during the hearings, now it's too late, sorry". They should have never legitimized the accuser or the story.

    There are other options. For example, they could have summoned Ford and her therapist via a subpoena and had a prosecutor cross-examine them; my guess is they would have fallen apart. At the same time, they should have motioned to censure Feinstein for her appalling conduct.

    That way, they would have avoided claims of trying to sweep things under the rug without appearing like the spineless wimps they are.

  • Robert Crim||

    "At the same time, they should have motioned to censure Feinstein for her appalling conduct."

    I suspect that's coming.

  • pro bonobo||

    "Following a late-breaking, credible accusation of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the early 1980s"

    Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'credible' that I wasn't previously aware of.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well this thread petered out faster than I thought it would. Booooo.

  • Rockabilly||

    Fuck the government

    Fuck the media

    And fuck the democrat party

    And if I left anyone out who is responsible - well fuck you too!!!

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The only thing certain from all of this is that Reason doesn't understand the term 'credible' and certainly has no credibility.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    ROFLMAO, now apparently this nutcase Ford is claiming that she's afraid of flying!

    Poor Gillespie, you and the rest of your fellow lying lefties you work with really picked some kind of winner to hang your hat on this time, buddy.

  • Eddy||

    Fear of airplane flight, or Erica Jong style fear of flying?

  • DPICM||

    Kavanaugh is already a judge with a life time appointment to the D.C. Circuit, commonly known as the second highest court in the land. Even in a fantasy land where I was willing to suppose that this obvious bullshit was true and he should not be placed on the Supreme Court, all that would mean is that he would remain on the second most powerful court in the country for the rest of his life, helping to determine what cases the Supreme Court can even hear. But no one will push this for ten seconds after his nomination was withdrawn in such a fantasy land, and that only reveals how full of shit all these "I believe" morons are.

    It also demonstrates why someone like Ford is worth or scorn and public condemnation. If what she says is true, she has allowed a predator to walk among us for three and a half decades, steadily working his way into a position of considerable power all the while raping who knows how many people. There's a word for someone who keeps this type of thing to herself - an accomplice. Fuck her. If this story is true, she is every bit as bad as the person she's now accusing.

  • Eddy||

    How about a new Senate rule - except in cases of murder/treason/genocide, don't consider damaging allegations which didn't get reported within a reasonable time after the alleged event.

    Some true charges will be squelched this way, but on the positive side, a whole mass of dubious last-minute, decades-old accusations will get thrown out in favor of more contemporary stuff.

    This would be analagous to statutes of limitations - again, murders could still be considered at any time, but lesser crimes/misconduct, not so much, unless reported within a reasonable time of when it supposedly happened.

  • Jimbo||

    Following a late-breaking, credible accusation of a sexual assault...

    "Credible"

    There's a reason I haven't renewed my subscription or given my usual $100-$200 donation.

  • NoVaNick||

    OK, so I confess I did something once more than 20 years ago with a young woman that goes beyond what Kavanaugh is accused of doing, but I do not have the excuse of being a minor or (that) drunk at the time. She didn't seem to mind at first, but after a while got up and quickly left. Most would now consider me a quiet, sensitive man and I haven't done anything like it since. That said, I guess I can only run for office as a democrat now.

  • JeffreyL||

    Actually if you run as a democrat, you can leave a women to die by driving your car off a bridge and then leaving the scene, or you can harass, sexually assault and beat a couple of women and still be the Vice Chair of the DNC, but best of all - wait for it - rape 3 women and still run for president even.

  • NoVaNick||

    Shucks! I guess I can only run for dog catcher then, or maybe school board.

  • Norm A Tive||

    The obligatory "credible" in front of accusation reminds me of "Brave and Stunning" from South Park. I'm not sure that word means what y'all think it does. The earliest report of her naming Kavanaugh post dates the alleged incident by 3 decades or so, and the earliest accounts do not match the most recent in key details. In none of the recollections are the when or where supplied, and the logistics of her escape appear to have been lost to the mists of time. None of this means it didn't happen as she says, but it does prevent it from being a credible statement with no more as long as credible still means "able to be believed, convincing".

    And, regarding the possibility it is a malicious smear, it is hard to ignore that, according to the original WP account, the first known instance of her telling someone (her husband) it was Kavanaugh was twinned with an airing of her concern that he might one day be a SC Justice. How can that be ignored?

    If this is what passes for the "Reason" standard of credible from its own Editor at Large, then I would like to know what limiting principles are in view which may prevent an accusation such as this from becoming standard operating procedure. Nonpartisan hackery is still hackery.

  • Norm A Tive||

    Forgot to mention the necessary context regarding her original naming of Kavanaugh: there was a presidential election going on in 2012, and Kavanaugh was a popular SC appointment prediction for Romney. So, it's not like the original mention is devoid of all possible partisan angling. People seem to think that her accusation predating the 2018 appointment disinfects it of all possible political bias and adds to the credibility, but the potential for a politically-motivated fabrication existed in the moment she named him in 2012.

  • MasterThief||

    Was he named at this time or is the narrative now that she told her husband that it was him at the time? From what I've seen the sexual assault accusation popped up in 2012 and Kavanaugh's name didn't officially come into it until he was being appointed to the SC. I'm not even certain if the husband is currently saying that she told him then or if she is the one claiming he was told. Either way, his testimony is simply a possibly corrupt recitation of her claim. If anything, the fact that until a couple months ago he is the only one who knows the name of someone who assaulted her just adds another chink in the claim's credibility to me.

  • Norm A Tive||

    According to the original WaPo story, she told him it was Kavanaugh and that she was worried he might one day be an SC Justice.

    From the WP story:
    "He said he recalled that his wife used Kavanaugh's last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court."

    It doesn't say much one way or the other, but it does show his identity and his potential SC nomination were in her mind simultaneously the first time she said his name to another person (after 3 decades). The point being, the accusation has always born some relation to his potential nomination, and the fact that she made it years before he was actually nominated is not the air tight proof people make it out to be. No conclusions can be drawn either way, and that's the point - we can't assign credibility one way or the other. The passage of time between the disclosure and his nomination doesn't carry the weight people are assigning to it.

  • Ron||

    credible accusation of a sexual assault

    I quite reading at that line nothing credible about it this rag is no better than the huffington post these days

  • BigT||

    Gillespie's Declaration of Incompetence.

  • wreckinball||

    Well I guess this article explains the general dumb fuckery at Reason

    The head guy is an idiot

    Stossel still seems unaffected but Volokh got infected in his last article which was stupid as shit

    Congrats Nick

    This is "credibly" the dumb fuck Reason article of the day

    There is tough competition

  • Mike Gates||

    ...and they won't change their behavior until there are consequences. That is the real source of frustration (for me) around Whelan's stunt. He won't experience any real consequence for defamation. Same thing applies to Sen. Feinstein; she won't experience any consequence, either. She's very wealthy and powerful and likely to remain so.

    How can we expect public officials to be accountable when they regularly aren't?

  • JoeB||

    There is absolutely no reason to give this whore the benefit of the doubt. We gave Mueller the benefit of the doubt when he hired an all-Clinton-donor legal team. We gave Rosenstein the benefit of the doubt when he became acting AG for the Russian investigation. Is Gillespie completely insensate?

  • PG23COLO||

    Nick Gillespie still doesn't get it. We Americans were born cynical, or skeptical of government power. That distrust of government power, and experience with the abuse of power, provided the basis for the design of the American "limited government."
    What history has shown is that the experimental design crafted by the Founders, has failed to limit the grown of abusive government. Americans who value their freedom will always distrust the government.
    The problem today is that too many people have too much trust in the efficacy of government, in the benevolent potential of government - if we just have the right people in power. Distrust of government is not a problem to be cured, it is a strength of American character which should be encouraged and applauded.
    The truth still is, and always will be, that power corrupts.

  • Spookk||

    After the crap pulled over Garland, there is no credibility in the system at all, and I think it is completely right to do everything possible to stop Trump from nominating anybody. I also think the Dems should pack the court with 5 seats of the gayest, most radical anti-cop/anti-corp people they can scrounge up once they regain power. Or drag Slappy and Alito out into the street and put a bullet in their heads. Or both.

  • wreckinball||

    Yea sure I'm still butt hurt over Bork

    Not really

    What an idiot

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Democrats anti-cop? You funny!

  • Sevo||

    Spookk|9.21.18 @ 7:29PM|#
    "After the crap pulled over Garland, there is no credibility in the system at all, and I think it is completely right to do everything possible to stop Trump from nominating anybody>"

    That's because you're a fucking ignoramus.
    You lost, loser. Grow up.

  • ThomasD||

    "the crap pulled over Garland"

    What crap? Obama nominated someone unacceptable to the Senate, so they declined to approve him.

    That's the way it works. Would you rather have had them hold hearings, and waste everyone's time before voting him down?

  • Nardz||

    Thought this might be another decent article from Nick, along the lines of the one a few weeks ago when he laid into everyone pretty good, but had to stop reading after one paragraph.

    "Following a late-breaking, credible accusation..."

    Credible?
    By what standards?
    And even we grant Nick that its credible, why the need or desire for him to push a one sided narrative through immediate baseless assertion (as if fact) by using the word credible?
    Does he think his readers are so stupid that they'll simply accept his (baseless) characterization without question?
    Yes, Nick, this melodrama has revealed that humans can be absolute garbage - and you've joined the rubbish heap.

  • Mark22||

    Following a late-breaking, credible accusation of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the early 1980s

    Memories of decades old events recovered with a therapist and no verifiable facts are only "credible" if you are utterly gullible.

    Nothing good comes when high-trust societies became low-trust societies.

    High trust and low trust refer to interpersonal trust, not trust in government. I trust my neighbors, I don't trust federal or state politicians. That's precisely why I don't want those politicians running my life.

    Americans aren't born cynical. We're made that way by the actions of elites such as Ed Whelan and officials such as Dianne Feinstein. And the trend toward cynicism won't end until they change their behavior.

    I think it is great that Americans are increasingly seeing government for what it is; the Internet has made that possible.

    If you think that's a bad thing, you're not a libertarian.

  • Ishrugged||

    Nick is a leftist and not a libertarian, as evidenced by his statement of a "credible accusation". What's credible about a fallopian tube wearing leftist who doesn't know the year or location or correct witnesses to the alleged assault. Nick is the one who lacks credibility.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Funny how the slope of the trust curve changes sign right after Oswald shoots Connally from six stories up while someone else shot JFK through the throat at an angle level with the railroad tracks...

  • Ishrugged||

    Nick, objectivism doesn't mean pounding both the left and the right to make yourself some shining example of righteousness. Just call a spade a spade and you might gain some sorely lacking credibility. The socialists, aka democrats, never had any intention of voting in good conscience and they caused this confirmation circus.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "credible accusation"?

    ROTFLMAO

  • UCrawford||

    Reason Magazine Translator

    "credible" = "I believe it because I want it to be true."

  • UCrawford||

    After the mid-terms, the Republicans (who will maintain the majority) should vote to expel Dianne Feinstein from the Senate for violating Senate rules by withholding information on the Supreme Court nominee. Her behavior was beneath contempt and a clear announcement that she and the Democrats who support her do not believe those rules apply to them or that they have any obligation to follow them. Expulsion is the only appropriate punishment for her behavior.

    And if the Democrats refuse to go along with it, the GOP should consider that as confirmation that Republicans have no obligation to follow Senate rules either, and should immediately change Senate rules to strip Democrats of anything involving a voice as the minority party. Don't allow them to block nominees. Allow committees to vote without consulting minority chairs or having any minority party members present. Censure the minority party for all floor debates and don't allow them to voice an opinion at all.

    After all, if the rules don't apply to Democrats, then what they're really saying is that the Senate should be run on the whims of whoever can get away with abusing power, so why should the Democrats get to enjoy any of the protections or privileges of those rules? Force them to live in the world they apparently want to create...until they come to their senses and realize protecting a geriatric failure like Feinstein isn't worth it.

  • jcbinok||

    It does seem like a bad idea for a prospective judge to work inside of a political organization like Kavanaugh did as lawyer for GWB.

  • Sevo||

    jcbinok|9.22.18 @ 12:48AM|#
    "It does seem like a bad idea for a prospective judge to work inside of a political organization like Kavanaugh did as lawyer for GWB."

    Joking or totally ignorant US history? Or sarc.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I'd say that the best possible outcome here would be if Kavanaugh declined the nomination, and devoted all of his legal skills to suing everyone who's slandered him.

    In his place, I'd love to see Trump nominate Andrew Napolitano, who would very politely eviscerate the likes of Kamala Harris or Diane Feinstein without breaking a sweat. His off-the-cuff lectures on the constitution in the committee room would be historical treasures for generations to come.

    -jcr

  • ThomasD||

    I'm concerned that Brett Kavanaugh and his supporters have something to hide. Why not have the FBI investigate? Why not accommodate Dr. Ford as she spends her days with the FBI dealing with death threats and protecting her family? It's one day. Why the rush? Why the bullying?
    The recalcitrance, stubbornness and lack of cooperation we've seen from Republicans is unprecedented. And candidly, the dismissive treatment of Dr. Ford is insulting to all sexual assault survivors.
    These actions are irresponsible at best, a threat to democracy at worst. Rushing a nomination in order to hide facts is dangerous and disrespectful. Republicans have learned the wrong lessons. We must treat sexual assault survivors with respect, not bully or try to silence them.

    Tweets by Diane Feinstein, the Senator who sat on Blasey Frod's letter for over a month, and only produced it at the very last moment. And a letter that she still will not share in undredacted form. A situation Nick somehow considers 'late-breaking.

    Yeah, sure. She's been totes on the level from the start, and nobody could possibly be faulted for thinking otherwise.

    And where the Hell is the WaPo in all this? They had the exact same letter for about the same amount of time? Why do these Reason authors insist on talking about the 'partisan hackery' without noting the multiple levels of journalistic malfeasance.

  • ThomasD||

    But pay no attention to the Fonzi behind the curtain.

  • Robert Crim||

    Nick,

    They WON'T change their behavior.

    In the words of Harry Reid, "Who cares if it's true: He LOST, didn't he?"

    If people want something different, they have to punish those perpetrating bad behavior by electing someone else. But, the last I checked, Feinstein will be a shoe-in, and Gary Johnson will finish last. To be sure, winning a U.S. Senate seat as a candidate for a third party is difficult and maybe impossible; however, everyone in New Mexico knows who he is, knows what he stands for, and knows what they'll get if they elect him. That he's so far behind says everything we need to know about how our system works -- and doesn't.

    Given that, we pretty much are condemned to accept not better behavior or even more of the same. If Kavanaugh's nomination fails because of something like this, there will be no doubt that throwing shit all around works, and what we will see subsequently will be the lowest of the low.

    Things are going to get worse.

  • librich||

    About 20 years ago, I shared my suspicion with friends that America would be a dictatorship within a century. We're right on track. Our two parties are at war with each other, the spooks and the military operate with little public oversight, and the Executive Branch continues to gain power as Congress abrogates it, either intentionally or through unresolvable conflicts. If Congress reaches a point of complete dysfunction and the public trust is at zero, people will welcome a leader who sweeps aside democracy in the interests of restoring harmony and getting things done.

  • BigT||

    I've never met Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, but over the past few days, I feel as I've gotten to know her very well—well enough that I feel as if I could call her my friend. A very close friend who knows all of her secrets. Therefore, I feel more than qualified—indeed, I feel empowered!—to come forward and say that I believe everything she says. If she says it happened, then it happened! It must have happened, because everyone I know who has read or heard the story has been talking about nothing else since it broke.

    Her account of what happened is so vivid, it's as if I were there in the thick of it. Yes, every time I read about it, I am right there in the room with her and Kavanaugh and that other guy. Even writing about it, I can picture the scene in my mind. Those two guys on top of her, threatening her virtue. Threatening her life. And I'm standing there feeling helpless and terrified, wishing I could do something to help her. Then I remember that I never go anywhere without my shovel. It's there in my hands. I must use it!

    And so I do. I whack both Kavanaugh and the other guy upside their stupid heads, hard enough to beat them right off of her and send them tumbling to the floor.

    "Go, Christine!" I shout. "Flee! Flee for your life! Flee for your virtue! Flee to the bathroom and lock yourself inside! And don't ever tell anyone I was here. These guys have rich and powerful friends who could kill me in retaliation for what I just did!"

  • BigT||

    She flees. Her two assailants are crawling around the floor, moaning and groaning and spitting out blood and teeth. I raise my shovel over their heads. "Are you guys gonna tell anyone what happened here? Huh? Are you? Do you really want your stupid macho preppy friends to know you were bested by not one, but two girls? Huh? Huh?"

    On his knees by now, Kavanaugh holds his hands in front of his face in a pathetic, protective gesture. He is totally afraid of my shovel. "No, I won't tell anyone. Ever." He spits out another tooth. "I thwear if anyone ever athkth me about thith, I will deny it ever happened and I know nothin'. Abtholutely nothin'!"

    "Me too," pipes in his friend. "Pleath don't hit uth again with your thovel. We never thaw you before and we pray now to Thethuth Chrith our Lord and Thavior that we never thee you and your thovel ever again! Anyone ever athkth 'bout thith, I'll thay I dunno wha' anyone'th talkin' 'bout!"

    You see, comrades? Not only did it happen, but they even admitted at the time that if this incident ever came up in the future, they would deny it through whatever remains of their lying teeth.

    Can you not picture all of this, the way I do? Surely you do! You must! You're a bigot and a hater if you don't believe I was really there, too!

  • BigT||

    Let me conclude by saying that I have no wish to testify before the Senate. My statement here should suffice. In the meantime, please visit my GimmeYourMoney page so my ongoing efforts to tell the Current Truth will continue to be fully funded.

    http://thepeoplescube.com/peop.....20323.html

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Really, all I want to know at this point is precisely when the public trust market is going to bottom out.

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