Monday, September 17, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh, The Entitled

This is disturbing, or should be to anyone who believes Twitter should have a future. The Atlantic's David Frum tweeted
The response- now deleted, as you will discover- from the managing director of an asset management firm  was brief, unemotional, and something to the effect of "are you making the argument that all juveniles should be tried as adults?" Then Frum:
So far, a reasoned debate. However, Chovenac then replied "I have deleted my tweet because it is evident my opinion is unwanted and will only result in harassment."

In reply, Frum again:

Then Chovanec explained (in a tweet also now deleted, but caught here) "No, it became crystal clear within minutes that what was a sincere query about how and why we treat juvenile offenses differently was going to be twisted (not by you) into another evil white male’s apology for sexual assault. Not interested in playing that game."

Something is seriously off in the Twitter culture, and by extension in the larger culture, if someone erases his own remark because his "opinion is unwanted and will only result in harassment." This has been clear to most of you.

There is no reason to make a comment if it is wanted by all. Try "candy is sweet" or "most Democrats are liberal and most Republicans are conservative."  Or perhaps "God is good" (which everyone agrees on, except people have a different concept of "God"). Harassment obviously is appalling, and occurs too often on Twitter. Worse, some people will find questionable the notion that harassment is appalling.

Notwithstanding the sarcastic "another evil white male's apology," Chovanec's assurance that he expected Frum to play fair ("not by you") suggests the former's sincerity.

I personally disagreed with Mr. Chovanec and responded "In some circumstances- such as, oh, attempted rape or rape- the Prosecutor should have the option of requesting that the accused be prosecuted as an adult, in which case the decision as to whether to approve the motion should be made by the presiding Judge."

The obvious point, and Frum's, is that the story looks different from a girl's perspective than from a boy's perspective (man and woman now, but 17-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl then). However, there is another point.

When the letter from the woman, now identified as professor and clinical psychologist Christine Blasey Ford,“ became public, Brett Kavanaugh did not admit to misbehavior nor simply remain silent. Instead, he definitively declared "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”  Senate Judiciary Committee chairperson Chuck Grassley promptly released a letter attesting to the strong character of Kavanaugh and signed by 65 women who allegedly knew him in that period.

It now appears probable, though not certain, that something seriously untoward took place in a bedroom at a house in Montgomery County, Maryland. Though it was 36 years ago, it's hardly likely- despite the protestations of those 65 signatories- that the nominee "has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day."

Assuming Ford's story is not a total fabrication, Kavanaugh knows that is not true, at least as applied to "always" and "when he was in high school."  Given that the letter materialized so quickly, Grassley and/or Majority Leader McConnell very likely knew there was a serious allegation out there.

Still, Grassley- presumably with the acquiescence of Leader McConnell- applied a show of force with dozens of women asserting the Judge has "stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity" throughout those 35 years.

However, he may have "stood out" or appeared, Kavanaugh prior to this attempted rape allegation already had revealed a deficiency of rectitude. Although I disagree, Patrick Chovanec may be right to imply that juveniles never should be prosecuted as adults. But the issue is less what Brett Kavanaugh was decades ago at tony Georgetown Prep than a juvenile incident which may shed light on a pattern of deception he has exhibited as an adult.

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