Sunday, October 7, 2018

Response to Trump Change

(See: Just Above Sunset: Trump Change)

If the truth be told, it’s was not all that difficult to figure out what to do.

When we — or at least those of us who understand that words do matter — acknowledge out loud that Dr. Christine Ford was a “credible witness”, we need to understand that this means she’s “believable” — which is just another way of saying, “Yes! Yes! We believe her!”

And no, not only was Brett Kavanau’s performance not believable, it was, in itself, disqualifying for the job, at least to most people who watched it, including many who are experts at law and the Constitution. To anyone with good judgement, it was unforgivable and irreversible: You can’t just undo it by admitting the next day that you said some things you probably shouldn’t have said, but you promise to be good from now on.

(Okay, behave yourself from now on, but how about doing it somewhere else than in the Supreme Court of the United States?)

And who knew that Trump would get the FBI to join his cabal! One problem with the investigation is that nobody was sure what the FBI was looking for — evidence that Dr. Ford was telling the truth? Evidence that Kavanaugh was lying? Both? The veracity of the woman he allegedly exposed himself to at Yale? We may never know, but it’s hard not to suspect the whole FBI thing was faked.

And this whole idea of finding anyone who remembers being at that party? Try this yourself: Do you remember ever being at a high school party in which something was going on upstairs that you were not aware of?

Of course not! If you weren’t aware of what was going on at some party, why would you remember the party? And if you do remember, it’s probably because you were the one doing what was going on, in which case you won’t want to admit it. The whole thing was silly.

And because we really don’t want to talk about sex anyway, there may be another reason to be in denial about the event at the party: Even if it did happen, what’s the big deal, you may ask? After all, it’s only sex! Sex happens all the time, people of both genders will admit, and much of it by girls who change their minds later about wanting to do it in the first place. But it's certainly not something that should ruin the life of a good man who we desperately need to get onto the Supreme Court.

And, in fact, in this case, it’s not even sex, it was only attempted sex! And what if it had actually been rape? What’s the big deal! Once again, I’m sure there are still plenty of people who believe, as my neighbor suggested the other day, that “Rape is just having sex with someone you don’t like!"

So the truth be told? But that’s just it: For obvious reasons, the truth is not going to be told, at least not by Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate Republican Booster Club, and what each and every one of them won’t tell you is, they spent all that time and energy looking for a credible “Yes”, and were not going to settle for “No", which is why the Republicans arranged to keep the discussion in the realm of “He said, she said”, which “he” always seems to win by default.

Here’s where Susan Collins’s logic went off the tracks in her Senate speech
"Some argue that because this is a lifetime appointment to our highest court, the public interest requires that doubts be resolved against the nominee. 
Others see the public interest as embodied in our long-established tradition of affording to those accused of misconduct a presumption of innocence. In cases in which the facts are unclear, they would argue that the question should be resolved in favor of the nominee."
A more specific statement of the American version of this “presumption of innocence” is, in this country, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty  in a court of law!

And to integrate that into something that has been mentioned by those on both sides in the last two weeks, what has been going on in the Senate is not a court trial, it’s a job interview, and while there may be a presumption of innocence in a courtroom, there is none when you’re interviewing for a job.

An example:

Suppose you’re a middle manager, looking to hire a specific person for your company, and you hear several rumors he was let go from his previous job after being under suspicion of molesting some of the children in the company-run daycare center.

So you call his previous employer and ask someone in the HR department about the rumors, and are told they’ve been advised by the legal department to not discuss this person at all, and you ask why, and you’re told “We just don’t want to get involved in any legal disputes.”

So you ask the applicant about the rumors, and this is his angry reply:

“First of all, I was in the top of my class in school! I was also captain of the football team and basketball team! Let me tell you, I worked my friggin’ ass off!”

Okay, you say, but what I’m asking is, what can you tell me about the rumors? And his answer is, “Okay, they have absolutely no evidence I did any of that! Zero! None!"

So what do you do? You have no evidence that the applicant did anything wrong, and so you ask yourself, shouldn’t I give this guy the benefit of the doubt?

Answer: Maybe, but not necessarily. If you think he’s most likely not guilty, you might decide to take a chance on him. On the other hand, if you get the feeling he’s probably guilty, feel free to cut him loose. So you do.

And that’s that? Not so fast.

Because then, after you tell the guy no, you get a call from your upper management, maybe your boss’s boss, who informs you the applicant is the son of a good friend, and so he tells you to call the guy back in and hire him. So then you tell the high-up mucky-muck about the daycare rumors, and that you can’t, in good conscience, hire some child molester.

Then he says, hmm, oh yeah, that would look pretty bad, but then he orders you to find a way to hire the guy anyway. In other words, make the problem go away, and then hire the guy.

So you do. After all, you tell yourself — and anybody else that asks — that, here in America, you’re presumed innocent until proven guilty, and since we have no actual evidence of any wrongdoing…

You then call the guy back and give him the good news!

“That’s great!”, the guy says.

But just before you both hang up, the guy says, “Oh, by the way, one more question?”

“Sure. What?”

“Does the company have onsite daycare?"

Now for the big question: Did you do the right thing?

Maybe, maybe not. But whichever, just remember to make sure you send your daughter elsewhere for daycare.

Will there be an upside to all that Kavanaugh crap we just went through?

Yes, I do believe that it only helps Democrats to realize that, no matter what they lead you believe time and time again, Republicans like Jeff Flake and Susan Collins will always be like Lucy with the football, and that when it comes to doing the right thing, we Democrats will need to find some way to do that ourselves.