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Brett Kavanaugh's Emotions Don't Disqualify Him, but His Inflammatory and Evasive Strategy May Be Another Matter

While the Supreme Court nominee's anger and frustration last week were understandable, his tactics were troubling.

Senate Judiciary CommitteeSenate Judiciary CommitteeAmid the debate about whether Brett Kavanaugh's performance at last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing showed that he lacks the proper temperament to serve on the Supreme Court, the nominee defends himself in today's Wall Street Journal. Like his testimony last week, his essay is not entirely convincing.

"My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate," writes Kavanaugh, whose nomination cleared a procedural vote today and is expected to be narrowly approved by the Senate tomorrow. "That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me. At times, my testimony—both in my opening statement and in response to questions—reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character. My statement and answers also reflected my deep distress at the unfairness of how this allegation has been handled."

Just as Kavanaugh admitted during his testimony that he sometimes "had too many beers" in high school, he concedes in his Journal piece that he sometimes went too far at the hearing. "I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been," he says. "I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters."

All of this is plausible as far as it goes. If you believe that Kavanaugh did not, in fact, try to rape Christine Blasey Ford 36 years ago, his anger and frustration are not only understandable but justified. As UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh noted here the other day, it would require a complete failure of empathy to be puzzled by Kavanaugh's emotions or view them as evidence of a character flaw. "We see someone being subjected to unbearable, unearned, televised humiliation and disgrace," Volokh wrote. "And when he verbally lashes out in anger, we say, 'Aha! You're not qualified, because you reacted to this dire, extraordinary provocation precisely the way normal human beings would'?"

But neither Volokh nor Kavanaugh acknowledges the extent to which the nominee's "forceful and passionate" defense was also a premediated partisan offensive. The written testimony that Kavanaugh submitted the day before the hearing was relatively restrained. But by the time he sat before the committee, his opening statement included this passage:

This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy.

Since my nomination in July, there's been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation. Shortly after I was nominated, the Democratic Senate leader said he would, quote, "oppose me with everything he's got." A Democratic senator on this committee publicly, publicly referred to me as evil—evil. Think about that word. It's said that those who supported me were, quote, "complicit in evil." Another Democratic senator on this committee said, quote, "Judge Kavanaugh is your worst nightmare." A former head of the Democratic National Committee said, quote, "Judge Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come."

I understand the passions of the moment, but I would say to those senators, your words have meaning. Millions of Americans listen carefully to you. Given comments like those, is it any surprise that people have been willing to do anything—to make any physical threat against my family, to send any violent e-mail to my wife, to make any kind of allegation against me and against my friends—to blow me up and take me down?

You sowed the wind for decades to come. I fear that the whole country will reap the whirlwind.

The behavior of several of the Democratic members of this committee at my hearing a few weeks ago was an embarrassment. But at least it was just a good old-fashioned attempt at Borking.

Those efforts didn't work. When I did at least OK enough at the hearings that it looked like I might actually get confirmed, a new tactic was needed.

Some of you were lying in wait and had it ready. This first allegation was held in secret for weeks by a Democratic member of this committee, and by staff. It would be needed only if you couldn't take me out on the merits....

This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.

Kavanaugh may believe all that. It may even be true. But saying it was not temperate or diplomatic. It was intentionally inflammatory, and its partisan edge went beyond even Clarence Thomas' description of the Anita Hill hearing as "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves." As David Post noted in response to Volokh, "this was a planned assault" that helped turn "a difficult but sober discussion of a complicated issue into a partisan brawl." Kavanaugh's vituperation against Democrats came before they started asking him questions, when, in the heat of the moment, he might have said things he regretted. Things like this:

Amy Klobuchar: Was there ever a time when you drank so much that you couldn't remember what happened, or part of what happened the night before?

Brett Kavanaugh: No, I—no. I remember what happened, and I think you've probably had beers, Senator, and—and so I...

Klobuchar: So you're saying there's never been a case where you drank so much that you didn't remember what happened the night before, or part of what happened.

Klobuchar: It's—you're asking about, you know, blackout. I don't know. Have you?

Kavanaugh later apologized for that exchange, but his irritation was understandable, since he had already answered this question several times and answered it yet again for Klobuchar, who nevertheless asked him one more time. It is harder to understand why Kavanaugh repeatedly resorted to evasion and obfuscation when asked about trivial subjects such as his teenaged drinking and high school yearbook jokes. "In retrospect," he said in his initial written statement, "I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now. But that's not why we are here today. What I've been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior." That is the line he should have taken at the hearing: There is a big difference between stupid teenaged behavior and attempted rape.

I'm not sure Kavanaugh's strategy at the hearing showed he lacks a judicial temperament, which might better be assessed (as he argues) by his dozen years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. But I can understand why his performance might give pause even to someone who was otherwise inclined to support his nomination.

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  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It is harder to understand why Kavanaugh repeatedly resorted to evasion and obfuscation when asked about trivial subjects such as his teenaged drinking and high school yearbook jokes.

    Probably because they're embarrassing. I shudder to think what someone going through my jr high yearbook comments and notes from friends at the time would look like during a Senate investigation televised to the nation, and I never raped anyone.

  • IceTrey||

    "I never raped anyone."

    Exactly what a rapist would say.

  • ||

    Exactly what a rapist would say.

    It's the worst thing about rapists.

  • Quixote||

    Who cares about some god-darn "rape" that took place 36 years ago? We need more patriotic family men like Kavenaugh, especially on the highest Court of our Land, so we can get around some of them there "coonstitutional" arguments that defendants keep coming up with to slow down the Course of Justice in our Great Nation. Look at all that "free speech" and "puerile speech" and "speech with a message" baloney in America's leading criminal "satire" case. Everyone knows it's a crime to send out an email using someone else's god-darn name, no matter what you put in it. See the documentation at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • lap83||

    notice he didn't say he didn't try. (I kid! ....unless Paul gets nominated to the Supreme Court and I find that I don't like the cut of his jib)

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You noticed I said "jr high yearbook". I never got my high school yearbooks because by that time I was above it all and hence, Supreme Court Material.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    It's also exactly what an innocent man would say.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Tell us more about your teenage drinking, DiPaul. It sounds as if you're in denial about your drinking problem.

  • KevinP||

    I guess the sexual assault accusations have lost traction as no corroboration has emerged.

    So now the progitarians are latching onto "high school drunkard" and "unfit temperament" as their Hail Mary pass.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Indeed they are. The rapey stuff wasn't going anywhere, so they are latching onto any and all serendipity.

  • ThomasD||

    They've largely given up trying to stop him, now it's an effort to delegitimize him.

  • ThomasD||

    What I'd like to know is just how often Sullum has observed someone testify under oath about the specific meanings of the juvenile slang they employed some thirty years prior

    Because absent such experience it is not clear why Sullum thinks his behavior 'hard to understand.'

  • colorblindkid||

    While the people claming he lied about BOOFing, FFFFFF, and devil's triangle have been completely refuted (although the press wouldn't let you know it), the Renate thing is still the only thing I think he might have lied about. On the other hand, it was his fucking high school yearbook. I forget like everything about high school. I don't know what inside jokes and slang I was using.

  • Ordinary Person||

    What about him saying he learned about the Ramirez allegation from the newspaper? If that is true it would seem to be critically important. If Kavanaugh is innocent of the Ramirez accusation then he wouldn't have expected it but if there's evidence Kavanaugh was expecting this allegation then it incriminating to say the least. Can any of you resolve this issue?

  • John Cuyle||

    Ramirez had been calling around trying to shore up her allegation, according to the NYT piece on it. The explanation is that a friend in common tipped Kavanaugh off that she was calling around asking vague questions about a party, so he knew she was likely to come forward with something but didn't know exactly what that something was until he read it in the newspaper.

  • Ben of Houston||

    Even if he didn't have a mutual friend, his attorneys would be watching rumors specifically for such a thing. They could easily have gotten word that something was in the works, but not knowing what. In fact, if he wasn't forewarned, I would say his people weren't doing their job.

  • John Cuyle||

    Ramirez had been calling around trying to shore up her allegation, according to the NYT piece on it. The explanation is that a friend in common tipped Kavanaugh off that she was calling around asking vague questions about a party, so he knew she was likely to come forward with something but didn't know exactly what that something was until he read it in the newspaper.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    What about him saying he learned about the Ramirez allegation from the newspaper?

    That it also makes him qualified to be President, per our last Chief Executive?

  • Magnitogorsk||

    I'm sorry but a devil's triangle is 2 dudes plowing a lady. This is widely established nomenclature.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    7 students from the High School stated it was a drinking game. Slang does not always line up from place to place. Unless someone from the school says otherwise, and so far none have, then it appears to have been a drinking game for the kids.

  • tzx4||

    Two dudes plowing a lady sounds like a great drinking game to me,

  • Johnimo||

    The nomenclature from 1982 might have evolved into something more sinister, huh? Perhaps?

  • Dizzle||

    No that's an Eiffel tower

  • El Oso||

    If you don't admit to rape, you are obviously guilty of rape...

  • ||

    So you're a rapist then.

    Rapist.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Personally, I was voted "Most likely to become a mad scientist, and conquer the world." Fortunately for the world, shortly afterwards I discovered libertarianism, and realized that causing humanity's extinction via genetically engineered plagues violated the Non-aggression principle. I'm still not fully certain about my plan to control governments by implanting radio controlled bombs in politicians' nasal cavities, though.

    I could potentially be in trouble if anybody realized the real reason human biology was my 2nd major in college... Good thing nobody is going to nominate me to the Court.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    human biology was my 2nd major in college...

    Check out Mr. White Privilege over here.

  • Ska||

    "I'm German-Irish."

  • Dillinger||

    ich bin ein kartoffelbauer

  • wreckinball||

    I don't even know what I wrote in my HS yearbook. I'd have to find it first. WTF who cares. Is not knowing and not giving a fuck in either case evasion and obfuscation?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Neither do I, which is why I'd probably be a little evasive when it shows up on the six o'clock news and Kamala Harris is demanding an explanation as to what "chumping" means.

  • Ben of Houston||

    That's what I don't get. "I don't remember, it was a very long time ago" would have been a perfectly acceptable answer.

  • Patches O'Houlihan||

    Yes, a perfectly acceptable answer to normal people. But then the headlines come and it's "Kavanaugh doesn't deny that boofing means rape"

  • Number 2||

    Do you have any idea how ridiculous it sounds to say that somebody is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court because he was evasive when answering questions about his high school yearbook?

    Let's remember that at the time of this hearing, Kavanaugh was being accused of planning, implementing and participating in regularly occurring gang rape sessions. And after all that, we are concerned that he was evasive about jokes in his high school yearbook?

  • IceTrey||

    There are a thousand videos on Youtube showing judges acting like tyrannical nutjobs. If anything he's too tame.

  • ||

    Like that cunt who sentenced Ulbricht.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    There's a special place in Canada for people that criticize federal judges.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    I thought that was in Michigan?

  • Morbo||

    Specifically, Detroit.

  • Fancylad||

    It's called Winnipeg, and it's the Ninth Circle.
    Abandon all hope, etc...

  • Eddy||

    "its partisan edge went beyond even Clarence Thomas' description of the Anita Hill hearing as "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves.""

    What on earth? How can you get more "inflammatory" than talking about a lynching of a black man?

    Anyway, Thomas is usually the best Justice.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If Kavanaugh were under indictment at trial, at this point, when the prosecutor called him up to the witness stand, his lawyer would probably tell him it was in his best interest to decline the invitation.

    Kavanaugh should keep his mouth shut. What he says can only hurt him at this point. STFU Kavanaugh.

  • El Oso||

    STFU Donald

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It is harder to understand why Kavanaugh repeatedly resorted to evasion and obfuscation when asked about trivial subjects such as his teenaged drinking and high school yearbook jokes.

    Partisan ambition? Entitlement?

    He knew neither senators nor conservative mouthpieces such as Sean Hannity and Prof. Volokh would hold him to account. He has been accustomed to deference his entire life.

    Justice Bart O'Kavanaugh it may be!

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    This must be one of the other hick handles. I wonder what the real Rev thinks of them.

  • Eddy||

    Yeah, can you imagine all the deference he got?

    Anyway, the important thing is not Kavanaugh as such, rather preventing people like Art from filling the vacancy.

  • wreckinball||

    Eugene is a conservative mouth piece? LOL

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Nah, he's a libertarian . . . just ask him!

  • Ben of Houston||

    I don't see how getting upset when being asked deliberately embarrassing and completely irrelevant questions on an international is expecting deference.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Expecting a line of cranky old white men won't question your evasions and misleading answers under oath or arrange a legitimate investigation demonstrates an expectation of deference.

  • Eddy||

    Then I suppose his expectation was disappointed.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Next on Reason: "Why we need the 'fighting words' doctrine now more than ever".

  • Bearded Spock||

    Sullum will follow this up with "How Kavanaugh's teenage drinking has showed us the wisdom of the 18th Amendment".

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    They should properly be called "fight or flight words."

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    None of this has any bearing on his abilities as a lawyer or judge.

    How would *anyone* react to the kind of inquisition he's had, over something 36 years ago, and even the year is in doubt?

  • Ship of Theseus||

    The man has emotions, therefore he'll rule incorrectly on the issues.

    Sullum and the others pushing this idiocy ought to be mocked to the fullest extent possible.

  • El Oso||

    'Ha, ha' - mocks Sullum...

  • Cathy L||

    I'm not sure Kavanaugh's strategy at the hearing showed he lacks a judicial temperament, which might better be assessed (as he argues) by his dozen years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

    Who should we be mocking, again?

  • Just Say'n||

    "But neither Volokh nor Kavanaugh acknowledges the extent to which the nominee's "forceful and passionate" defense was also a premediated partisan offensive."

    Oh, Cathy

  • Ship of Theseus||

    "But I can understand why his performance might give pause even to someone who was otherwise inclined to support his nomination."

    Keep reading, you useless twat.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    So you can't understand that?

  • DesigNate||

    I can't understand why it would give someone pause whether or not he should be on the court.

  • ||

    I couldn't speak to whether it should give someone pause who didn't already dislike him, since I already disliked him, but it certainly made me even less sympathetic toward him. He came off spoiled, self-righteous, and entitled (in contrast to Thomas' famous "high-tech lynching" speech in which Thomas came across as the bigger person).

    I think most have latched onto the "what goes around comes around" comment as a vow to get revenge once he's seated, which may not be what he meant, but he should at least have been aware of how it was going to sound.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I'm counting on it.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>to the fullest extent possible

    prices billboards...

  • Just Say'n||

    How dare he be upset after being accused of being a gang rapist with absolutely not corroborating evidence?

    Sullum comes in for another beclowning

  • Cathy L||

    Some people think it's illiteracy that beclowns one.

  • DiegoF||

    No its not!

  • Dillinger||

    could care less.

  • Just Say'n||

    "But neither Volokh nor Kavanaugh acknowledges the extent to which the nominee's "forceful and passionate" defense was also a premediated partisan offensive."

    Agreed. You should learn to read better.

    Sullum is attempting to frame Kavanaugh's offensive against spurious accusations with zero corroborating evidence as a partisan offensive.

    Woketarianism is virtually indistinguishable from progressivism.

  • ||

    was also a premediated partisan offensive

    You feel that it was 100% spontaneous and from the heart?

  • ThomasD||

    Responding to partisans will always appear partisan.

    Ain't no tat without tit.

  • ||

    And responses by partisans will always be partisan.

  • Just Say'n||

    I don't know. If I call you a gang rapist, though, with no evidence, sensible people would be more concerned with the person who lied about a gang rape than how the accused responds to the ludicrous accusations.

    I understand, though, that it's unfair to hold Sullum to the standards of a sensible and reasonable person, though.

  • ||

    If I call you a gang rapist, though, with no evidence, sensible people would be more concerned with the person who lied about a gang rape than how the accused responds to the ludicrous accusations.

    All things being equal, sure. The topic at hand, however, is whether Kavanaugh is a good person to have on the Supreme Court.

    "Let's not talk about Kavanaugh, let's talk about the lying hussy who accused that poor, innocent man" is a bit tangential to the central question of the whole proceeding, no?

  • Just Say'n||

    So argument doesn't make a whole lot sense. We need to separate the accusations from his response to the accusations, but that response is what makes him unqualified for the court.

    That's a real convenient paradigm

  • ||

    We need to separate the accusations from his response to the accusations, but that response is what makes him unqualified for the court.

    Try again.

    We've all discussed at great length that we don't think Ford is credible.

    The moment someone says "you know, though, when you look at Kavanaugh - the guy whose character is actually under review here - the way he responded to all of this shows some character traits that might be concerning in a Supreme Court justice" you jump in to scream that we need to be paying attention exclusively to Ford and ignore Kavanaugh because the hearing isn't about him, or something.

    That's a real convenient paradigm

    Careful flinging around those conspiracy theories - you might hurt yourself.

  • tzx4||

    If I were innocent, the last thing I would consciously do is to have a raging temper fit when accused because I would expect people to take that out of control emotional display as a damn strong indicator that I was indeed guilty, particularly if I were in a position to ascend to one of the very most powerful jobs in the US government.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Get back to us when you get accused of being a serial gang rapist. Until then you best STFU.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Sullum, this is utter bullshit, and I think you know it. Why should you, I, or anyone care about his "temperment." All that matters is how he'd rule on the issues. The rest is garbage rationalizing.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think temperament matters. We should want our judges to be someone judicious, probably not too turned by emotional actions in cases. They here a lot of emotional stuff after all.

    I'm just not certain this shows a lack of judicial restraint or anything. Getting frustrated under a nationwide shaming.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Maybe this is like one of those old courtroom dramas where during cross, the hero lawyer is able to frustrate the wealthy white businessman into an angry outburst in the courtroom, casting suspicion on him and relieving the pressure on his poor black client.

    The whole thing practically writes itself. I think Jimmy Smits could play Michael Avenatti and Scarlett Johannson would play Christine Ford, Julia Roberts as Swetnick. Gary Oldman as Kavanaugh. Donald Trump as himself, of course.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Essentially the climax of "A Few Good Men" where Tom Cruise needles Jack Nichols into confessing on the stand. Always thought that was a rather scripted ending.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Sorry, Jack Nicholson.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    But he did it well.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    No, I like where you're going with this. Gary Oldman shouting "you can't handle the truth!" after a blistering cross-examination by Jimmy Smits.

    We'll have to change the dialog up a bit obviously, but this heading in the right direction. I'll have my people call Oldman's people, but only when our writers have banged out a good rough draft. Should be done by Monday.

    Of course Trump playing himself was just a joke, I think Christopher Walken would make a great Trump and his agent owes me a solid.

  • A Thinking Mind||

    Of course, the film will only get the go-ahead once we use it to establish that Ford was totally telling the truth. We'll need to get some younger doubles of the actors and shoot the whole sexual assault in all its horrifying detail, with a sepia-toned filter.

    Then we have a few scenes establishing Scarlett Johansson having panic attacks every time she gets on an airplane, with little tidbits of flashbacks. A real psychological drama.

  • Heddin_South||

    Get Oliver Stone on it, he's good at rewriting history.

  • Eddy||

    In an ideal world, we'd have judges who were true philosophers - intelligent, wise, aware of their own limitations, not provoked to anger - indeed, people who would prefer not to be serving, but who serve out of a sense of patriotic duty.

    Let me know when the Dems are offering candidates like this, and I'll be happy to turn my back on Kavanaugh.

    Until then, Kavanaugh is probably the best bet.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    "Where are you going to find these angels?" - Milton Friedman

  • Eddy||

    "If we cannot find angels to govern men, we ought to settle for pinheads." /James Madison's early draft of the Federalist

  • Ship of Theseus||

    I couldn't give a shit what their temperament is like, so long as the decision is correct. You're conflating concepts. Is it possible for one to influence the other? Sure. But you have to prove that's the case.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I think temperament matters.

    Spelling matters, too, and your familiarity with standard English inclines me to question whether you are a genuine right-winger.

    Is this an elaborate ruse?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Not nearly as elaborate as the one where you pretend to have read more complex books than "Green Eggs and Ham".

  • TuIpa||

    temperament noun
    tem·per·a·ment | \ ˈtem-p(ə-)rə-mənt , -pər-mənt \
    Definition of temperament
    1a : characteristic or habitual inclination or mode of emotional response

    Rev looks stupid again.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    My remark was precipitated by BestUsedCarSales' correct spelling (and by the subliterate usage that preceded it).

    Other than that . . . nice comment, you half-educated, bigoted rube.

  • ||

    It's funny that you think you think you have such superior mastery of the English language.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Liberals are such superior masters of all. Just ask them.

  • ThomasD||

    Sullum knows it's utter bullshit. Seems he's largely phoning it in. Must be pro-forma for maintaining membership in the tribe.

  • esteve7||

    Oh fuck off. Jesus Christ what the hell has happened to you people? Trump winning in 2016 caused you all to lose your damn minds.

    How about you go through the inquisition then tell me what you think of it

  • Cathy L||

    How about you actually read the article then tell us what you think of it?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I've read this and many articles, and they are all takes on a witch hunt.

    Do you like hunting witches?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Quit your bitchin' and get back to the kitchen. Then bake the menfolk a pie.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    ...bitch.

  • TuIpa||

    How about you cry more.

  • lap83||

    Amy Klobuchar: Was there ever a time when you drank so much that you couldn't remember what happened, or part of what happened the night before?

    "Sure....I think I have it right here on my calendar. I blacked out when I was in such-and-such at blah'o'clock "

    "Finally! We have a time and place for this rape! Phew"

    "That was sarcasm"

    "Dammit"

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Translation: the "gang rape ringleader" bullshit fell through, so we've got to come up with some other ludicrous argument.

  • Alcibiades||

    "Kavanaugh may believe all that. It may even be true."

    I'm sure he does and it is.

    Prof. Volokh nailed it the other day.
    This isn't one of Sullum's best.

  • El Oso||

    Actually, up this point I generally liked Sullum's articles, but he really blew it this time...I wonder when Reason will hire some real libertarian writers?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Never. They're past the tipping point, they'll only hire SJW's from now on, and conduct a purge of any remaining libertarians.

  • Alcibiades||

    I still think he's one of best writers around here, just disagree with him here.

  • ||

    I still think he's one of best writers around here, just disagree with him here.

    Fool. Sullum has revealed himself to be a heretic. He has no place at an ostensibly freethinking publication.

  • Nardz||

    "ostensibly freethinking publication."

    That's some damn fine parody.

  • ||

    That's some damn fine parody.

    I know, right! How dare Reason stray from Libertarian dogma!

  • Ron||

    If Kavanaugh hadn't shown any passion everyone would be claiming he is heartless rapist hiding behind his souless white privlage

    I for one am glad he showed passion. If people are to have judge we want those judges to at least lived in the shoes of those being judged

  • Alcibiades||

    His testimony totally did, saved the GOP's hide for sure.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Yeah, he'd be called too well rehearsed to be trusted or something.

  • Heddin_South||

    Rehearsed it was, right down to practicing with Lindsey Graham. They had this pivot to blaming an evil master Democrat plot in their pocket and ready to pull out as soon as it became apparent that Dr. Ford did not implode in testimony.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    It's your fantasy, we'll stay out of it.

  • Mickey Rat||

    So Kavanaugh cannot acknowledge and be offended by the partisan smear campaign on his character? The committee Democrats handled this in the most unethical and grandstanding fashion and the nominee has to pretend the process was legitimate?

    Your expectations are superhuman, Sullum.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    No, his expectations are moronic.

  • Cathy L||

    It's your reading comprehension that's moronic.

  • Just Say'n||

    When not even Cathy can defend Sullum's moronic premise and so pretends as if what you read is not actually what you read

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Fuck off, twat.

  • Sevo||

    Ah, hell. Let's just disqualify him 'cause he's got brown eyes.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Do you know who else disqualified people with different eye colors?

  • El Oso||

    Hitler (Our all-purpose answer)

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That's not how the game works. Jeeesh.

  • Aloysious||

    Bailey?

  • ||

    Lo Pan?

  • ||

    Excellent.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    I laughed

  • Kirk Solo||

    Holy shit did you just go "Big Trouble in Little China" here?

  • Dillinger||

    swedish bikini team

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    BUCS, who wants to keep his blue eyes privilege for himself?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    BTW, BUCS has three blue eyes.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Is one bleached?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Is one bleached?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Or muffin colors.........

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kDWhAKcwyFM

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    People who hate huskies?

    (purebreds have a high incidence of heterochromic eyes)

  • Benitacanova||

    They look blue. He lies!

  • Homple||

    Seems odd to find a rehash of the left's latest partisan talking points on a libertarian website.

  • Azathoth!!||

    This hasn't been a libertarian website for a looooong time now.

    A libertarian comment section is what keeps people coming back.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Every writer here wants to move on to The Atlantic or Slate. Every article is an audition for a 'better' gig with a left wing editor. Never forget that.

  • Alcibiades||

    Jesus Christ, The Atlantic maybe, (I used to subscribe, it's produced some great stuff but I didn't renew cause its "of no party or clique" started being BS a while back).

    ...but Slate?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Compared to Reason, Slate is the NYT, prestige wise.

  • Alcibiades||

    You must be reading off a different Slate then.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Has anyone been here long enough to remember when the genuine libertarians were run off by the right-wing racists, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes, and malcontents?

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Tony isn't right-wing.

  • Just Say'n||

    Considering that this hasn't been a libertarian publication for the past ten years, not really

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    It hasn't? What is a good libertarian publication in your opinion?

  • Alcibiades||

    Read the stuff at CATO.

  • MattXIV||

    Yes, it Kavanaugh's testimony that turned it into a partisan shitshow. Before that it was an excellent example of the world's greatest deliberative body engaging in dispassionate fact finding.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  • Vernon Depner||

    There is a big difference between stupid teenaged behavior and attempted rape.

    Really? I would say the line between the two can be wide and blurry, especially when alcohol or drugs are involved, and the perceptions of those involved can be very different.

  • ||

    There is a big difference between stupid teenaged behavior and attempted rape.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Yes, Hollywood movies can be relied upon to give us The Truth.

  • ||

    Wide and blurry lines with differing perceptions is how innocent people get convicted of non-crimes.

    If a one-piece bathing suit is what saved you from rape, unless you strangled the guy with it or zip-lined away off the fire escape, you weren't being raped.

  • CityGuySailing||

    Normally, I don't comment unless I see something really stupid going on.

    This is one of those times.

    I get that some people don't want to see him on the Supreme Court. It's pretty obvious. However, all I see are SUBJECTIVE arguments, and nothing OBJECTIVE. Sure, you disagree with his decisions, his demeanor, the color of tie he wore in the 8th grade on picture day in school.

    Great.

    How many of his decisions have been reversed upon appeal to a higher court?
    How does that compare to Any/All of the sitting Justices?

  • Vernon Depner||

    That could be a bug or a feature, depending on the content of the decisions.

  • CityGuySailing||

    Vernon, that could be Subjective, or... Subjective, depending upon your point of view. The basic tenet, I mean before this traveling circus, was that the person sitting on the court be a good judge. There were multiple instances going back in history (Kagan, Rehnquist) where the justices selected weren't even judges. Sometimes that is good. Sometimes it isn't. In THIS case, it appears that he IS a good judge (very few reversals).

  • Vernon Depner||

    My point was that, depending your political views, a judge with many reversals could be consistently making decisions you agree with.

  • Heddin_South||

    What about his dissents? Some of his most prominent opinions were written in the minority.

  • CityGuySailing||

    And the key objective measurement to this is, in the opinions in which he dissented, and were appealed to the Supreme Court, how many were overturned?

  • Benitacanova||

    How dare he ask a woman about her drinking habits. Women don't hurl and they certainly don't blow farts. We are delicate flowers, look but don't touch. Actually, don't even look...

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    "Women don't hurl and they certainly don't blow farts."

    That there is some pretty funny sarcasm, speaking from 30+ years of marriage.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""How dare he ask a woman about her drinking habits."'

    Something I do ever since I saw "Blind Date" with Kim Basinger.

  • NoVaNick||

    I know that there have been SCOTUS justices famous for their womanizing on the job (William O Douglas - a prog hero)
    And at least one POTUS known for his boozing, again on the job (FDR - another prog hero)

    Why suddenly all the outrage over someone who did both when they were, according to current prog standards, still a child? According to SCIENCE, the brain is not fully developed, especially for impulse control, until at least 25 years of age.

  • Dillinger||

    first, you have Klobuchar responding to Klobuchar in your exchange above you guys need extra eyes on your work,

    >>>But I can understand why his performance might give pause even to someone who was otherwise inclined to support his nomination.

    especially if you're super-biased against him and grasping at straws

  • ||

    Always ask yourself Jacob: If that were my son....

  • geo1113||

    Do the #MeToo women have sons?

  • Vernon Depner||

    They did before they transitioned.

  • DiegoF||

    When the kid comes out the womb fat with purple hair, the doc knows not to announce what it is after slapping it.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Wow, you're really groping around for reasons at this point.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I can't WAAAAIT until the HBO Drama airs in ten years.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    When it comes to anything supposedly "factual" HBO dramas are indistinguishable from their "documentaries".

    Both are always leftist fairy tales.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    He got mad at being accused of rape, thus proving his temper disqualifies him from the bench. Free minds and free markets means letting false charges go if it helps the Dems who want to turn this country into Venezuela.

    WOW! Ford's witness and friend Leland Keyser just dropped a BOMBSHELL on her and it's bad (like REALLY bad)
    A friend of Christine Blasey Ford told FBI investigators that she felt pressured by Dr. Ford's allies to revisit her initial statement that she knew nothing about an alleged sexual assault by a teenage Brett Kavanaugh, which she later updated to say that she believed but couldn't corroborate Dr. Ford's account, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Leland Keyser, who Dr. Ford has said was present at the gathering where she was allegedly assaulted in the 1980s, told investigators that Monica McLean, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and a friend of Dr. Ford's, had urged her to clarify her statement, the people said.

    The statement to the FBI offers a glimpse into how Dr. Ford's allies were working behind the scenes to lobby old classmates to bolster their versions of the alleged incident, as were Judge Kavanaugh's.

  • Just Say'n||

    I posted that in the morning links (which surprisingly didn't have a link to the WSJ article).

    I'd put the odds at somewhere around 0% that Reason addresses this. There is too much evidence to support the WSJ article and Reason has decided to only push progressive conspiracy theories.

    They should consider renaming themselves "Beclown"

  • Idle Hands||

    In fairness the WSJ is hearsay based on corroboration from second hand sources so it would probably be....lol.

  • Just Say'n||

    Corroboration is so 90's

  • Idle Hands||

    Corroboration has gone from can confirm the story is true based on first hand knowledge to can confirm that I was told a story by party the who is telling a story.

  • ThomasD||

    And apparently the 'FBI friend' of Blasey Ford has connections to Preet Bharara...

    Swell bunch of people.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    To the woodchipper ?

  • DiegoF||

    When I caught a brief sideways glance of that photo just now I thought Kav was vaping at his hearing and I missed it.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    You made me look. I see what you mean.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    < mic drop >

    Oh wait, it's on a stand on the table, never mind....

  • ||

    Next time I'm accused of rape in front of a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing, you better believe I'm knocking the mic off the table after I'm done making my point.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    This is a Senate Committee Hearing chamber. The mics are probably bolted down to prevent exactly that sort of thing.. :)

  • Jerryskids||

    I have to agree with Sullum here regarding both the emotional display and the evasive answers. I've seen many hearings and they're nothing if not bold and forthright answers to vague questions - we always know how SCOTUS nominees are going to rule, for example, because they are always eager to comment on cases which may be coming before the Court and how they intend to rule. And as far as his over-the-top anger over being falsely accused of rape - c'mon, man, it's not like he was accused of shoplifting or writing a bad check or something serious like that, it's just rape. Everybody knows that with Trump in the White House women don't have any rights that men are bound to respect and you can rape them all you want with no more than perhaps a stern lecture. It's kind of like keeping black people as slaves or stoning the gays to death or threatening mob violence against the A-rabs and the Mexicans, it's no big deal so why make such a big fuss about it? I could see if Kavanaugh were a Democrat that such things might be unseemly, but a Republican? Pfft, everybody knows they're black-hearted evil Nazi Satan-worshippers so this is just normal behavior for them.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    You're aping OBLT, aren't you? Only a bit more windy about it.

  • tgrondo||

    AND......everybody knows.....the bitch was askin' for it......!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    But I can understand why his performance might give pause even to someone who was otherwise inclined to support his nomination.

    He acted more restrained than I would.

    Kavanaugh wants the SCOTUS seat. I would not care, so I would let each Lefty on the Committee have it with both barrels.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    When Sen. Turban asked BK if he agreed there should have been an FBI investigation I would have said yes, as long as said investigation also went through the entire lives and all wrongdoing of every democrat member of the judiciary committee. I would also reference septic I instances, such as Booker's own rapes, Blumenthal lies, Turban's subversive behavior regarding the Iraq war. Plus a full investigation into DF's Chinese spy driver and her husbands busimess activities.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Just as Kavanaugh admitted during his testimony that he sometimes "had too many beers" in high school

    High school and college Brett Kavanaugh were not nominated.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    That's a great point from the birther side of the aisle.

  • Rebel Scum||

    birther side of the aisle.

    Huh?

    *checks handle*

    Oh, right. I remember you. You are as much of a disingenuous retard as Tony and PB. Kindly run along now and try to limit your glue intake.

  • JeremyR||

    Hillary's aisle?

  • Just Say'n||

    "I'm not sure Kavanaugh's strategy at the hearing showed he lacks a judicial temperament, which might better be assessed (as he argues) by his dozen years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. But I can understand why his performance might give pause even to someone who was otherwise inclined to support his nomination."

    Translation: I'm devestated. Everyone was so glum at yesterday's cocktail party. As a good progressive, I'm going to ignore all the latest evidence proving that these accusations are not only unsubstantiated, but also ever changing, and just parrot the latest progressive talking point.

  • jcw||

    How the hell are those two paragraphs the same thing? This isn't a reading comprehension issue or reading in between the lines issue. This is you shoving words into the author's mouth, plain and simple.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Yea, but it could be true, maybe and that is the standard we are now at.

    Also, it is funny.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You mean the same way the author is shoving motivations into kavanaugh's head? Plain and simple.

  • Marshal||

    "As David Post noted in response to Volokh, "this was a planned assault" that helped turn "a difficult but sober discussion of a complicated issue into a partisan brawl."

    It was already a partisan brawl and pretending it wasn't should be beneath Reason.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Difficult and sober discussions don't make good daytime TV.

    #JerrySpringerNation

  • geo1113||

    Personally, I like when Maury says, "You...are not the father".

  • Dillinger||

    how many times has he had to tell you this?

  • GeoffB1972||

    Every time!

  • FreeRadical||

    The fact that all of what Kavanaugh said is true makes all the overwrought pearl clutching irrelevant.

    Also, et tu Sullum?

  • Alcibiades||

    This has all revealed another truth, the New Yorker is tabloid garbage only with a bigger vocabulary.

    I prefer the genuine article, it's more honest.

  • ||

    Can we all stop pretending like judges are any less partisan the rest of us? For crying out loud, CNN once reported that Ginsburg is the "new face of the Trump resistance."

    Everyone knows that there are four liberal justices who pretty much vote in lockstep, and there are four conservative justices who do the same. The resistance to Kavanaugh is simply that he would provide the 5th for Republicans.

    Democrats took a gamble back before and during the Obama administration to go far to the left with identity politics, grievance politics, and socialist policies--Notably, they decided to stop pursuing the white working class vote. As a result, they first lost the House (2010), then the Senate (2014), then finally the presidency (2016). Now they're crying foul that Republicans are getting their 5th vote in the SCOTUS.
    Sorry, but tough shit!

  • Alcibiades||

    ^ ^ ^ ^

    This.
    For the other side the stakes here are huge and of enormous consequence.
    Two years in and SCOTUS after tomorrow will have a conservative majority.
    Trump could have another 6 years in the White House and several more SCJ picks.

    The other side is facing the prospect of a conservative SCOTUS for the next 50 years, foreclosing the possibility of achieving any of their political goals or reversing the SCOTUS decisions that HRC promised them.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    You guys are getting me all hot and bothered.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It's a good opportunity to destroy the democrats as a national party. If followed by investigations into their increasingly subversive activities, then they can be cool,eerily crushed in a decade or so.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It sounds like some of you goobers are going to be surprised -- as usual -- when Democrats enlarge the Supreme Court and crush this fleeting resurgence of ignorance, superstition, and intolerance.

    Right-wingers have lost the culture war, as they deserved. The future will be shaped by their betters.

  • Nardz||

    Awww, he's so shrill and desperate

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "Right-wingers have lost the culture war, as they deserved. The future will be shaped by their betters."

    Actually, the future will be shaped by a very pissed off Brett Kavanaugh. God help you and your fellow progtards.

    Eat it, bitch.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I expect Justice Bart O'Kavanaugh to be unleashing seething, retrograde dissents for years, until he quits in disgust and becomes a bitter, old alcoholic.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Pity wou will never now how it turns out. You will have long been executed for Marxism and treason.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "foreclosing the possibility of achieving any of their political goals" without winning elections.

    That's the key thing they're losing. Even a conservative judiciary would probably let them have most of their victories if they were the Congressional majority and passed them as legislation. What's got them hot and bothered is a combination of having to forget about the starkly unconstitutional victories that had seemed within their grasp, and losing the ability to impose policy from the bench.

  • Alcibiades||

    So many hopes dashed, so many speens vented...

    I feel their pain... and am uplifted.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Imposing policy from the bench?

    How long has it been since we have had a Democratic majority on the Supreme Court? Not as long as it has been since we had a Democratic FBI director, but plenty long. And America has moved toward tolerance, reason, science, liberty, education, and modernity nevertheless. Winning the culture war has consequences.

    The emerging era of raw power -- coupled with conservatives' damning failure to perfect a machine that mass-produces unskilled, superstitious, half-educated, intolerant, easily frightened, stale-thinking, disaffected, elderly, southern white males -- indicates we should have a Democratic Supreme Court majority, a Democratic FBI director, a Democratic Congress, and a Democratic president within a few years.

    Anyone who doesn't expect Democrats to use power when they get it is probably dopey enough to believe that Obama was born in Kenya, that fairy tales are true, and that Donald Trump was going to rework economic fundamentals to enable unskilled, half-educated white men to prosper at the expense of the "elites" in our modern, successful communities.

    Speaking of former Pres. Obama, I hope he is the first of the nominees for an enlarged Supreme Court in a few years. The court could always benefit from class and character.

  • Kirk Solo||

    Wait you are a master Troll. I get it now.

  • msimmons||

    "And America has moved toward tolerance, reason, science, liberty, education, and modernity nevertheless."

    Like 71 gender options at Fakebook?

    It's telling that you think attempts to normalize mental illness (gender identity disorder) are a sign of progress.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It's almot time to force all the dirty hippie trash that call themselves 'progressives' back under their rocks.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But neither Volokh nor Kavanaugh acknowledges the extent to which the nominee's "forceful and passionate" defense was also a premediated partisan offensive.

    BREAKING NEWS: JUDGE NOMINATED FOR SUPREME COURT ALSO A LAWYER.

  • ||

    Not surprisingly, Reason's "pox-on-both-houses" editors can't fathom why Kavanaugh would be attacking his accuser's advocates in a partisan manner rather than attacking his accuser or just spewing venom indiscriminately. I'm sure if they keep the "What has he got against Democrats?" ruse up long enough, people will buy it.

  • Johnimo||

    I think they've come a little bit unhinged by the whole affair. Many people have never been attacked viciously, as was Judge Kavanaugh, and they are understandably unfamiliar with the emotions aroused in such a circumstance.

    It's like Winston Churchill once opined ... (paraphrased as best I can) ... "there's nothing quite as thrilling as being shot at, without result!"

    Well, there is one thing that's equally exciting: shooting back at the bloody fuckers. That's what the Judge was doing and some folks just don't get it.

  • smalleyd||

    Was Reason bought by Vox?

  • Dillinger||

    ^^^

  • John||

    So the staff of a Democratic Senator leaks a totally uncorroborated claim that Kavanaugh raped someone whom he likely didn't ever even meet. This followed a by series of increasingly bizarre and outrageous accusations made against him by a parade of woman whom are all known to be Democratic activists. So when called to account for this before Congress and questioned about the meaning of things written in his high school year book and his drinking habits in high school, Kavanugh calls the whole thing a partisan hit job. And for this sin, Sulumn calls him to task for giving a "premeditated partisan offensive". FUCK YOU is not a strong enough reaction to Sulumn here. So how about this.

    Sulmn you are worthless piece of human garbage who will latch onto any talking point no matter how stupid or offensive if you think doing so will keep your membership with the partisan media mob in good standing.

  • FreeRadical||

    And Sullum was always one of the good ones. Sigh...

  • Eddy||

  • Alcibiades||

    It's a tough audience.

    I still like Sullum and will always read his articles, his "drug" book is excellent.

    I thought Prof. Volokh nailed it in his response to his colleagues why he wasn't going to sign that letter.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Prof. Volokh apparently was so persuasive that only 2,4000 law professors -- many from the nation's best law schools, but not so much from the conservative-controlled, censorship-shackled, dissent-stifling, third- and fourth-tier campuses -- signed that letter.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It will make it easier to have them investigated, and then rounded up later.

  • creech||

    I'd have even more respect for Kavanaugh had he told one of the senators to "Go Fuck Yourself."

  • Alcibiades||

    That would have been awesome!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Even better if he challenged Sen. Turban, Blumenthal or abooker to a duel with pistols on the Capitol steps.

  • Seamus||

    Only gentlemen (or the female equivalent, I suppose these days) can be challenged to duels. Non-gentlemen get horsewhipped.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    The level of politically correct bullshit about this whole thing is off the scale.

    It's perfectly fine to target Kavanugh for ridicule, mockery, absurd scrutiny about every word he says and being too "partisan" in his defense. But don't dare subject any of the accusing women to the same type of treatment or point out that, in fact, the entire thing was an orchestrated hit job by the Democrats as there are copious amounts of evidence that show their fingerprints all over it.

    The left wing mainstream media certainly aren't going to do that and it seems on this issue that most of the Reason writers have been indistinguishable from them.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Good point, Ford's testimony should be subjected to the same treatment as Kavanaugh's. Instead everyone's walking on egg shells avoiding questioning it. I think Sullum fails on both his arguments Kavanaugh shouldn't be confirmed because he was inflammatory and evasive.
    Temperament for discussing Constitutional issues is one thing.. These hearing, last minute allegations of sexual misconduct that can't be proven or disproven exist. So we've a mini-trial and defense with a temperament including the use of emotion (just as Ford used) so I'd expect some emotion. He's defending himself and if he's attacking the Democrats' actions of how these accusations were made, to make his case. What he said was the truth. The way the Democrats handled this was entirely partisan.

    Is someone's school drinking behavior and yearbook contents really relevant in choosing a judge? Is bringing that up plan B in attacking Kavanaugh, and is it a standard that should be applied to all judges and politicians? I'd expect many people have done things they regret (that aren't crimes) documented in their year book.

    As for Ford's allegations, there's no EVIDENCE to support them. Read Mitchell's report, and read about her FBI friend McLean. The Democrats' actions are obviously character assassination.

    Finally, it seems to me Kavanaugh is a good libertarian choice, compared to the government expanding judges we usually get from either the GOP or Dems.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    John also thinks George W is a great painter.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    *yawn*

    Is that your big 'jerk store' response to John?

  • AlmightyJB||

    First he drank beer in High School and then as an adult he showed feelings? Put him up against the Wall.

  • FreeRadical||

    The Democrats: "We have never heard before, of someone more deserving of the full penalty of law!!!"

  • wreckinball||

    So what we have is a partisan bunch of pols supporting false accusations and the suspension of due process with zero corroborating evidence

    And calling it such is bad demeanor? Because he was upset and said it in a "mean" way? WTF who was responsible for the circus? Spartacus and his gang. Who are a bunch of partisan idiots? Spartacus and his gang.

    Telling the truth is a bad thing if it brings up the obvious. You can't make this shit up.

  • Alcibiades||

    Look for demands in the media, to start any day now, we have a "national conversation" on reworking the Supreme Court to bring it in line with contemporary political and democratic norms.

  • Eddy||

  • AlmightyJB||

    Lol. That's great.

  • Agammamon||

    But neither Volokh nor Kavanaugh acknowledges the extent to which the nominee's "forceful and passionate" defense was also a premediated partisan offensive.

    So, let me get this straight.

    The rape accusation was a premeditated partisan offensive - and yes, even if its true it was still deployed as a partisan offensive - but we're supposed to ignore that and jump on the guy because he stepped back, took a deep breath, and then came back in swinging?

    But saying it was not temperate or diplomatic. It was intentionally inflammatory, and its partisan edge went beyond even Clarence Thomas' description of the Anita Hill hearing as "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves."

    Right, right. Because we're not supposed to acknowledge the reason for the rape accusation. Not that there was rape and a victim seeking justice after all this time but being one political party using it as a weapon against another, specifically against a *single, particular, politician* the people in that party don't like. Not politic to acknowledge that these people are trying to destroy a dude as a way to get at another dude.

  • wreckinball||

    It was a response to a partisan offensive. He called THEM out as partisan which is correct. I mean you have to be the biggest dumb fuck of all time not see that the attack was partisan.

    But the author like most of the Reason staff is an idiot

  • Johnimo||

    "But the author like most of the Reason staff is an idiot"

    I agree. It's really difficult to comprehend a reason for this article. I didn't really care too much for Kavanaugh before these hearings. But after this witch hunt .... I'm all in for this Supreme!

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Leftists don't like fighters who give them any pushback. They're not accustomed to that at all.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    SJWs are the biggest pussies ever. A fight only works for them when their target can't hit back.

  • Here for the outrage||

    Your tears are delicious

    IT WAS HER TUUUUUURN!

    I didn't care for the guy until you assholes called him a gang rapist

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Open wider. The liberal-libertarian alliance is not done shoving more than a half-century of great American progress down your whiny right-wing throat.

    Speaking of tears . . . be nicer, or your betters might think about positioning that progress sideways.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Pretty weird stuff coming from someone who's a day away from becoming a minority on the top court in the land for years to come.

    Better hope Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn't croak soon, because she's not looking too good to say the least, ROFL.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Of course they won't take any chances with the next one. Some lefty professors will accuse them of molesting them when they were small children.

  • Nardz||

    No, they'll just kill the first few nominees.

    / not sarc

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That would be the start of the Civil War for me.

    We are either in this Republic and pick politicians via voting and bureaucrats via our politicians or we dont. Assassinating bureaucrats and politicians to get 'yours' in the position is not how we do it.

  • ThomasD||

    I think it quite possible that key Dems know more about her health status, and that explains why they went to the mattresses over Kavanaugh.

    If they don't take the Senate and then RGB goes TU?

    Oh my...

  • Johnimo||

    "then RGB foes TU?" REALLY? Be slightly more "delicate," please. This is such a civil comment section.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Pretty weird stuff coming from someone who's a day away from becoming a minority on the top court in the land for years to come.

    For two years, maybe three.

    The wingnuts can put as many justices in place as they wish. The liberal-libertarian alliance will add enough to establish a progressive majority. That's what the exercise of raw power means.

  • Sevo||

    "That's what the exercise of raw power means."

    Yeah, that and mass murder; you guys do it so well!

  • Kirk Solo||

    You really are a fucking dumbass how did that work for FDR? Also, any rule change that the Left implements tends to back fire in their faces. Like 60 votes to confirm. so yeah, pack the court, then the Repubs will just pack it again when the tides turn.

    For all your talk about education you say the most uninformed idiotic shit on here. What online school did you "attend"?

  • NashTiger||

    but Amy Comey Barrett is. She looks REAL good

  • ||

    Open wider. The liberal-libertarian alliance is not done shoving more than a half-century of great American progress down your whiny right-wing throat.

    Speaking of tears . . . be nicer, or your betters might think about positioning that progress sideways.

    You are a deeply disturbed individual. Please seek help before you hurt someone.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Just describing the reality-based world.

  • ||

    Just describing the reality-based world.

    It's more the consistently rapey way of putting things that is concerning. The glee with which you describe carrying out sadistic fantasies.

  • Freelancelot||

    "Just describing the reality-based world, like any faithful member of the Flat Earth Society," said the Reviled Arthur Licking Cultland.

  • Freelancelot||

    "The liberal-libertarian alliance is not done..."

    Given the fact that it doesn't exist in the first place, I would say that, yeah, it really is done. All done.

  • Here for the outrage||

    Just for that, you get a handmaids outfit too

  • mamabug||

    This is the most Orwellian (or Vonneguttian? Kafkaesque? Hell - take your pick from any 20th century satirist/prophet at this point) line of reasoning I've heard yet.

    "The fact that you directly called us out on our highly personal, inflammatory, premeditated, uncobberated, and completely partisan attack on you makes you too partisan to be impartial."

    All I know is, I'm just going to laugh my ass off the first time the ACLU comes up before him lobbing for the rights of gay, trans-gendered squirrels and asks him to recuse himself on the basis of not being partial after they called him a rapist.

  • ||

    I'm just going to laugh my ass off the first time the ACLU comes up before him lobbing for the rights of gay, trans-gendered squirrels and asks him to recuse himself on the basis of not being partial after they called him a rapist

    Because you're so amused at how impartial he's going to be?

  • Just Say'n||

    FYI- RBG is on the court, which makes this whole concern about partisanship a very strange and disingenuous talking point.

    You may want to revisit RBG remarks during the 2016 election

  • ||

    Yup. Everyone knows I'm a yuuuge RBG fan. You've sure got me nailed. I guess I'll stop trying to foist my secret agenda on people now.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So do you think the judge that trump accused of racial bias/loyalty (hispanic) against trump should have had to recuse himself in that case? Or is that different?

  • ||

    So do you think the judge that trump accused of racial bias/loyalty (hispanic) against trump should have had to recuse himself in that case?

    Yes. Why do you ask?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So all you need to do to remove a judge you don't like is attack them personally. I can't see how that would cause any problems, can you?

  • ||

    Thomas handled it just fine. Or are you addressing what you wish I was saying rather than what I'm actually saying?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So do you think the judge that trump accused of racial bias/loyalty (hispanic) against trump should have had to recuse himself in that case?

    Yes. Why do you ask?

    Perhaps you'd like to clarify.

    As well, perhaps you'd like to clarify this implication:

    Because you're so amused at how impartial he's going to be?

  • ||

    Let's recap what's being discussed here.

    Lots of people screaming "OMG its ABSURD to say there was ANYTHING wrong with Kavanaugh's reactions, and it's STUPID PARTISANS who think he gave ANY SIGNS of bringing partisanship to the bench, and OMG it's going to be SO AWESOME to watch him OWN THE LIBS when he's on the bench. REVENGE MUTHERFUCKER!!! But in totally non-partisan way."

    It's amazing what a libertarian hero he transformed into the moment he was hated by the left.

    Judge Curiel should have recused himself because he obviously had strong personal feelings about the issue at hand.

  • ||

    Here's what I said above, in case you missed it:

    I couldn't speak to whether it should give someone pause who didn't already dislike him, since I already disliked him, but it certainly made me even less sympathetic toward him. He came off spoiled, self-righteous, and entitled (in contrast to Thomas' famous "high-tech lynching" speech in which Thomas came across as the bigger person).

    I think most have latched onto the "what goes around comes around" comment as a vow to get revenge once he's seated, which may not be what he meant, but he should at least have been aware of how it was going to sound.
  • Freelancelot||

    You love being racist against white people, don't you, Idiocy = Logic?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Judge Curiel should have recused himself because he obviously had strong personal feelings about the issue at hand.

    So tell me again how you reconcile that with this:

    Thomas handled it just fine. Or are you addressing what you wish I was saying rather than what I'm actually saying?

    And you still haven't answered this question:
    So all you need to do to remove a judge you don't like is attack them personally. I can't see how that would cause any problems, can you?

    So basically, make up your mind.

  • ||

    Thomas showed himself able to rise above the fray and adopt a stance of objectivity. Curiel did not. Kavanaugh did not.

    So all you need to do to remove a judge you don't like is attack them personally. I can't see how that would cause any problems, can you?

    Which is why I argued that Thomas shouldn't have been confirmed, since he was personally attacked. Oh, wait. No, I didn't.

    I'm talking about the response to the personal attack.

    I feel like we're playing "gotcha," but I don't get what you're trying to catch me at.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Kavanaugh did not.

    Really? So it was because Kavanaugh mentioned pent up rage on the part of the left which proves that he didn't rise above the fray? Do you think that was an unreasonable assertion on his part given Schumer's opposition 23 minutes after his nomination or the fact that NARAL, PP, and all the usual Team Left suspects where protesting (literally) "XX's nomination?" Versus Thomas not using specific democratic names but referring to it is a "...it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you." Do you honestly believe that latter wouldn't be characterized as a conspiracy theory if spoken today?

    And I'm not aware of Curiel saying anything about Trump, but maybe something is out there. Hence you still need to reconcile that fact with this:

    Which is why I argued that Thomas shouldn't have been confirmed, since he was personally attacked. Oh, wait. No, I didn't.

    and this:

    Curiel did not.
  • tgrondo||

    Well....RBG is a real babe.....so I understand your fandom.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Evasion is a weakness here after the Climate Cassandras made Dems unelectable. Hizonner need only promise the death sentence for Planned Parenthood physicians, and to declare unconstitutional all funding of the Center for Disease Control to guarantee a yes vote from Randal Paul and every other Republican--plus a few Dixiecrats. Shoo-in City!

  • Freelancelot||

    Stop hitting the bottle and put down that ceramic pipe before writing.

  • Rebel Scum||

    So whatever happened to Tuccile? Did he get purged for being too libertarian?

  • ||

    So whatever happened to Tuccile? Did he get purged for being too libertarian?

    They published him just yesterday?

  • josh||

    I think the temperament argument is what people grasp on too when they can't make the case on constitutional grounds and/or don't want to get all messy with the sexual assault stuff. They pick something that feels more dignified, and that they think no one can take an issue with. It's sort of the safe space argument for a controversial judicial nominee.

  • Johnimo||

    gosh, josh ... you've nailed it perfectly. Well said.

  • Freelancelot||

    "grasp on too"??

  • L.G. Balzac||

    premediated ain't a word.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    SCENE: The stark libertarian star chamber of Reason HQ (being redecorated in unicorns and rainbows, because love). KMW presides over the staff of Nick, Welch, Shikha, Bailey, Sullum, Tucille, Bobby, and Liz -- the latter two at the kiddie table watching Joey, Chris, and Eric.

    KMW: Well, the future of the wokatarian movement did their best echoing the provided talking points, but it looks like Kavanaugh is going to make it after all.

    Bobby: I picked the BEST talkings. It's not my fault! The best, to be sure!

    Liz: I only printed what was credible!

    KMW: And as usual we were too far ahead of the times for our own good. So we need one of the adults to pitch in to prove that we applied only the soundest of reasoning and judgement in our commentary. So who do we have?

    Nick: FUCK!! FFFFFFuck!!! Did you know Lou Reed died? FUCK!

    KMW: Someone tighten the straps on the jacket please. Remember what happened last time.

    Welch: Well, being in the temperature center, all I can say is that we didn't have these sorts of partisan wrangling before FATCA.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    (cont.)
    KMW: Tucille?

    Tucille: What? I can't hear you over my 3D gun printer.

    Shikha: Kavanaugh should be deported!

    KMW: Bailey?

    Bailey: I'm waiting for 23andMe to tell me what to think.

    KMW: OK, Jacob-

    Jacob: Wait. Wait, a minute! Look, I've stuck to the facts and tried to keep any personal bias out of this. Why do I have to justify it?

    KMW: Well, Jacob, both engines are out, we're gliding over the densest population center on the east coast. We need you, Sully, we need you!

    Sullum: Fine, but I get all the extra orphans.

  • WillPaine||

    Even the title: ...may be another matter? Whoa, folks; everybody hedging your bets. Fatally flawed FBI "report", apparently (I haven't read it yet), and a wholly incomplete and erroneous view of the weight and veracity of evidence by Senator Collins; many people, people. Look at the evidence. We are in the midst of talking our way through clear and insidious lying, threatening (what goes around comes around said in anger; karma; when it goes out in anger, so it returns- very low stuff, folks), did I say he lies under sworn oath? How much do you need? He is first a political operative, and second a judge, and a liar for sure. "He's a good man; he's just not fit for the Supreme Court." Job interview, legal case; it has been admixed. And the legal status of the weight and veracity of evidence is a shadow and a mirror at once, being used by many. Many on both sides of the Kavanaugh issue are fond of pointing out that there are situations, called under oath, wherein a lie is a felony. Judge Kavanaugh is a clear and known liar under oath. WTF?; 'scuse my language. And why are so many of his papers being hidden? And what kind of Faustian deal did Mr. Rosenstein make to send the FBI on a mission that will go down in history as completely shamefully incompetent. I don't believe it.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You forgot to mention the ice throwing. Someone's not gonna get their full MoveOn check this month...

  • Freelancelot||

    Why don't you first learn how to write competently in the English language, Pained Willy?

  • simplybe||

    I have to disagree. It is high time somebody called out this disgusting group we laughing call our leaders. The Democrats have always been the party of division from the days they ruled the South to today when they make speeches that sound like a bunch of illiterate clowns. First I don't believe Kavanaugh would vote to get rid of abortion but I have no doubt he would be find with a Police State. Maybe even with Martial Law. And for all you Democrats out there that may take offense about my remarks about the Democrat politicians please rest assured I have even a lower opinion of Republican politicians.

  • RonGood||

    Re: "Kavanaugh may believe all that. It may even be true. But saying it was not temperate or diplomatic."

    Well, if it *is* true, then what is a Judge supposed to say except to note what's true and his views on it. What does temperate or diplomatic have to do with it? His attackers were neither, as well.

    "Gee Mr. Murderer, I hope you're having a pleasant day today. I may have some news regarding my verdict and your consequences that you will regard as unfortunate in a short while, but first: I hope you're not too disturbed by what your victims may say to you. May we please proceed, and by the way, who is your tailor? The cut of that suit is spectacular."

  • KKCE967||

    He's still better than anyone the Democrats would have made a Supreme.

    No due process, guilty until proven innocent and believe the women / no equal protection under the law should disqualify the Democrats from ever appointing another justice again.

  • AngelaM||

    Over 2000 law professors beileve this man is unqualified for the Supreme Court. The ABA lowered his rating. In his opening statements, Judge Kavanaugh proved to be hyper partisan and a conspiuracy theorist. Any 5 to 4 decision of the court in which he is the fifth vote will now be tainted. He has demonstrated that he cannot be impartial and any decision will cause people refuse to accept that judgment as definitive..

  • Don't look at me!||

    conspiuracy
    You make it difficult to take you seriously.

  • Freelancelot||

    My, my, my...your projection is almost tear-inducing. You just described a radical leftist or feminist. Which is the overwhelmingly probable viewpoint of what a selected sample of ~2,000 academic American law professors would come up with.

  • Johnimo||

    What in the hell is the author of this article trying to get at? He got really upset by what he was unjustly accused of and then hounded by a bunch of blood-sucking assholes. Perhaps the author has never been in a dogfight. This is one, and Kavanaugh fought back with his emotions on his sleeve, just as he should have.

  • Sultan||

    The hell debate is going on here.
    Thanks for informing us and got a lot of new stuff here.
    Thanks again.
    Regards,
    http://bit.ly/2OELr6d

  • Realus||

    Jacob Sullum,

    You are just trolling for clicks and are a complete idiot.

    You've been caught in the simple (yet surprisingly effective) Double Standards Trap(TM).

    Here you have people with ZERO moral compunction doing everything possible to stop the Kavanaugh nomination including bribery and assault of sitting US Senators, withholding evidence until the last minute (that is obstruction of justice), defamation, and lying, lying, lying. Are ANY of these people going to pay ANY price for this? Well, maybe somebody might pay something, but their wrists will heal quickly.

    And yet when Kavanaugh might have implemented (hopefully deliberately) a strategy that didn't quite fit into the Marquess of Queensberry Rules that Republicans and Conservatives have been playing by (until Trump came along to show us the way), you are aghast. Oh my God!! Something that is (or could be) slightly underhanded. That makes us just as bad as them. Hah!

    Can you not see that we are in a war that likely you or I have never seen before? And while not quite all is fair in love and war, much is. Especially when the fates of our children and grand-children are stake. Are you really too blind to see?

    So I will read some of your articles to see how much of an idiot (or troll) you really are.

    But please. Do what you need to do to keep your career on track but don't bring this stuff (and I don't mean stuff) unless you want a smackdown.

    Realus

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Signing your comment? What is this 1789? Anyway, Kavanaugh lied as well, and this was a Senate hearing not a court case. The rules are different and very informal, none of what you are accusing people of makes any sense.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    With Sollum's record of political success, we know that his advice will not be heeded, nor sought.

  • texexpatriate||

    The sole thing I can come up with after wasting time reading this essay is the obvious. The writer's politics prevent him from thinking clearly.

  • ME2R||

    "This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups."

    "Kavanaugh may believe all that. It may even be true. But saying it was not temperate or diplomatic."

    And this is why Trump won. We little ppl of great common sense are so tired of being told, don't speak the truth, it's impolite. We not suppose to notice ( and God forbid verbalize) which gender, race, age group, etc. is most likely to kill you. We're not suppose to say, per capita, which demographic is most likely to cut off your head, throw gays from rooftops, and bomb public gatherings.nope, it is not polite. We're not suppose to say which group uses the lion's share of welfare and/or other types of government aid. And so on. We the little ppl of great common sense have finally had enough of this bs, and are are beginning to fight back. I am so glad to see someone stand up and fight back with the truth.

  • ME2R||

    Don't.

    And, as a woman, I am a mother (of a son) first - everything else pales. Liberals may think they are galvanizing the women's vote, but I believe the opposite is most likely to occur. If it comes between throwing the women's movement under the bus and my son, I'll not only throw them under, I'll drive the fr*cking bus. I want justice for my son far more than I need anything from the government. I do not want a ravenous mob of hysterical witch hunters stalking young men with unprovable accusations.

    I also am greatly offended by those women who play the damsel in distress card. It is they, not any man, that sets the woman's movement back a 100 years. Women do not, and should not, be protected like a child. I'm beginning to think having gender on a sliding scale is not such a bad idea. I don't want to characterized as part of the child-like, wimpy women who wail for rescue (used to be by a man, but now is by the government - difference without a distinction ). Grow up! Take responsibility!

  • Freelancelot||

    You are an authentic and noble "feminist". And your son is fortunate.

  • Gary in Texas||

    As has been pointed out by Robert Tracinski and probable a number of others, a judge is not required to be neutral, unemotional, or "judicial" about things affecting himself but rather only to recuse himself from ruling on them. Neither is he required to behave in every setting and situation as he behaves on the bench. Kavanaugh's vigorous defense and counterattack against the slanderous Democrats are thus irrelevant to any question about whether he is level headed enough to be a judge. I think what he said was accurate and justified and hope other Republicans and other targets of the leftists will show a similar amount of guts when. We should all be well past the point of fretting over hurting some leftist mudslinger's feelings.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    His cry baby antics and lying under oath will carry over to the Supreme Court without a doubt.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Here's hoping Mr Sullum will notice how well-founded charges of "inflammatory and evasive" sho 'nuff shot the Trump candidacy out of the water year before last.

  • ||

    this article is why Libertarians can't have nice things

  • Freelancelot||

    I AM JACOB SULLUM. MY FATHER WAS R. DANEEL OLIVAW. I DESPISE PRESIDENT TRUMP. BY RAMIFICATION, I DESPISE ANYONE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP EVEN REMOTELY ENDORSES.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Queue the apologists who say lying under oath doesn't matter. Boof that floof!

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