Over the past couple of weeks, the left’s political tactics have been on full display. They have been slandering an opponent and any opinion in support of that opponent. They have spent little time formulating or defending an argument, and a lot of time playing into people’s emotions about a sensitive subject. They have employed identity politics, pitting men versus women and women versus men. And they have propped up a victim, and used her as a human shield in the debate, by smearing any questioning of the victim and her account of events as some inhumane, vicious attack on decency. The Kavanaugh confirmation is a case study in how the old right allows itself to be played by the left. And in how the rules have changed.
Multiple people have pointed this out, but it is quite possible to believe and support Judge Kavanaugh, and not think that Dr Ford is lying. The difficulty of the situation is that we don’t know anything with certainty. Something traumatic may or may not have happened to Dr Ford, and if it did, it may or may not have involved Judge Kavanaugh. If Dr Ford had had any evidence, we might have had a sensible debate about what it would mean to have someone on the Supreme Court with a credible accusation hanging over them. But there was none of that. Dr Ford had little more than her own word, and the Democrat Party actually cast the biggest doubt on Dr Ford’s credibility by turning her trauma into a political tool; with that, a huge ulterior motive was entered into the equation.
Appeal to emotion
The ‘argument’ they have presented was little more than a cheap appeal to emotion, based on a false dichotomy (“You support Kavanaugh? WHY DO YOU HATE WOMEN??”). This is how the Democrat Party and the mainstream media slandered not only Judge Kavanaugh himself, but anyone who would dare come out in support of him. The only aim here is to engineer a social consensus in favor of Dr Ford and against Judge Kavanaugh.
The left has been using this tactic very successfully for a very long time against critics of mass immigration and multiculturalism, suggesting that they could not possibly have any other argument than racism. But in other areas, too: “You don’t think the government should give tax money to a guy canning his own excrement? Why do you hate art??”
…but not those emotions
It is all painfully predictable – when a progressive or a woman shows emotion, we’re supposed to be impressed with how raw, pure and sincere they were. When a conservative shows emotion, he or she is portrayed as an unhinged lunatic. One of The Netherlands’ leading newspapers ran a headline stating “Convincing testimony Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh lashes out crying”. But in America, too, Kavanaugh’s emotional demeanour was greedily jumped upon as evidence of his guilt, or that he would be unfit for SCOTUS.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 27, 2018
This red-faced, petulant, belligerent rant against "left wing opposition" isn't exactly helping Kavanaugh's case. Sounds like a spoiled brat crying over not being treated specially enough. Isn't he supposed to be wise, stately, and venerable?? #KavanaughHearings
— Joan K. Smith (@wassilyk) September 27, 2018
Democrats are probably just upset that they attacked a conservative and he didn’t roll over and surrender like they always used to.
Presumption of innocence
Perhaps most shockingly, there are Democratic senators, like Mazie Hirono (a member of the Judiciary Committee no less!) would not grant Judge Kavanaugh the presumption of innocence – which sits at the core of western justice systems. The left has little more to offer than “Believe her” / “Believe women”. Empty, but extremely dangerous slogans. We cannot have “A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Except when a woman says a man has been mean to her.” That doesn’t seem like a very sensible basis for a justice system, does it?
Sadly, this is not a single instance either. The witch hunt special counsel investigating President Trump seems to have taken its target and now intends to keep looking until it can find a crime, which is distinctly not how a fair and reasonable justice system works.
The Democrats know perfectly well, of course, that withdrawing Kavanaugh would set a dangerous precedent. Even if Dr Ford was telling the truth, This would make every appointment and every election vulnerable to abuse in the form of unverifiable accusations. Their big advantage there would be that they have the vast majority of the mainstream media on their side; if we would continue along this way, their candidates would likely get away with much more than GOP candidates.
Exploitation of victims
Democrats have been painting any challenge to Dr Ford’s testimony as added ‘abuse’ – an affront to all women, an insult to all victims of sexual assault. As always, the right has been portrayed as cold and evil, and the left as the protectors of victims. In actuality, it is the Democrats who have been exploiting Dr Ford by turning her trauma into a political weapon. I have seen exactly one person on the left calling this out.
Even if you believe Dr Ford, and even if it was through no fault of her own, it is undeniable that the Democrats reduced her experiences to maximum political leverage. Their timing in coming forward was aimed at delaying the vote, delaying the confirmation, hoping they would be able to stop it altogether after the midterm elections.
The exploitation of victims for political gain is nothing new either. The left has done the same with David Hogg: get a victim, insert them rather aggressively into the political arena and then proclaim them immune from any challenge based on their victimhood. I wrote last March:
The most notable development has been the propping up of a couple of high school kids into a very heated and polarized national debate. The left is pushing these kids onto every platform they own, to spew rhetoric they know they wouldn’t get away with themselves. But now they have something to hide behind, denouncing any criticism as an attack on the poor, traumatized children.
So they get David Hogg to equate the NRA with child murderers on national TV, without any rebuttal or nuance. But gun rights advocates are not to respond to that, even with significantly milder language, because when they do the left paints that as the most immoral harassment imaginable. The left has turned the anti-gun Parkland shooting survivors into a human shield, pushing them into the fray to do their dirty work, while they must be aware of the pushback that would provoke.
For the Democrats, this was never about Dr Ford or her experiences, this was not about resolving anything for her. This was and is about power, plain and simple. How is it that everybody on the left seems to be OK with this disrespect? How are they (almost) all blind to this?
This whole episode has been shameful – a vile attempt to deliberately destroy a man, and the very basis of the American justice system for political power. It has no place in the democratic process, and the Democrats deserve to be wiped out for it in the midterm elections.
Associated Press ran an article today, one day after the hearing, that proclaimed “Republicans fear political fallout from Kavanaugh turmoil”, which appears based mostly on statements from a “frequent Trump critic” – and that perfectly encapsulates the old right: the old right always wants to take the high road. Be respectful, go by the book, and – ultimately – give in at the slightest resistance.
It is a noble approach to politics, but it betrays a vast underestimation of the tenacity of the left, and their commitment to their agenda. The old right still doesn’t understand that they have been played like this by the Democrats for decades, and they still think rolling over and surrendering will get them anywhere.
If you don’t like Trump because of his manners and his crudeness, guess what: President Trump is what the left has created. Only a man like Trump could endure the endless attacks that have been coming his way. And make no mistake: if any other Republican would have become president in 2017, they would have faced the same amount of abuse. But they would likely have cracked under the pressure. The Republican Party needs someone as stubborn as Trump at the helm, because the Democrats will stop at nothing in pursuit of political power. Backing down only makes them stronger. There is a President in the White House who understands that – and now there is at least one judge on the Supreme Court who understands that.
Even Lindsay Graham seems to get it now.