How Partisan are You?

When it comes to Kavanaugh vs. Ford in 2018 or Trump vs. Clinton in 2016, it seems the American people are so divided, two people could come out of the same movie screening and swear they saw completely different films.

We might quietly admit to ourselves that maybe we are slightly biased and maybe we see things through the lens of our chosen political affiliation. Or we might staunchly claim that we are above such biases. But I wonder how many of us have actually stopped to closely examine our bias?

I think a relatively easy two-minute thought experiment would illuminate this matter, so I ask the SDMB to participate. The Kavanaugh hearings provide a good backdrop.

Step 1: Write down your initial thoughts. Do you side with Kavanaugh or Ford?

Step 2: Let’s switch [Republican] with [Democrat]. Imagine all the key players have a [R] or [D] sign around their necks. Flip the signs to the opposite, switching the values. Ford is now a conservative accuser; Kavanaugh is a liberal nominee to the Supreme Court.

Step 3: Do you still side with the same person in Step 1?

Step 4: For added fun, switch [male] with [female]. What if Christopher Ford is a Republican male accuser and Brenda Kavanaugh is a liberal female judge nominated by a Democrat president?

I wonder if anyone would admit their opinion would change, if the facts and evidences are unchanged, only the politics. Personally, I would side with Kavanaugh regardless of political part or gender.

I absolutely believe Ford is telling what she truly believes happened. And the attacks on her are despicable.

It wouldn’t matter which party.

If a an accuser made these exact accusations against a Democratic nominee for SCOTUS, I would not support that nominee. There are plenty of qualified people who can be nominated. If the Democrats in the Senate acted like Grassley or Graham, I would be ashamed of them.

By the way, I may have missed it, but I haven’t seen anything indicating Ford is a liberal or a democrat. She might be, and it wouldn’t change anything, but I am unaware of her political orientation.

1- Ford. I generally side with someone making credible accusations, particularly when the accused has a record of alcoholism and lying.

2- Again Ford. There are plenty of liberal judges out there, we can choose from many who were not credibly accused.

3- Yes.

4- Again Ford. And I would think a Democratic president would have the integrity to withdraw the nomination of someone credibly accused.

Kavanaugh’s performance of dodging, dishonesty, and blatant partisanism disqualifies him from the court as far as I’m concerned. If he were a liberal, I’d be embarrassed, and would expect my senators to demand better.

As I don’t identify with either party, mostly because I view them as far more similar than different (excluding the recent alt-right power grab) it wouldn’t matter to me personally.

The data does though.

[li]Kavanaugh has lied multiple times, including about previous knowledge and events and this adds to my suspicions and an investigation should move forward.[/li][li]False accusations of this nature are extremely rare and almost always related to immediate events, Ford seems more credible and in investigation should move forward.[/li][li]The fact that the FBI is not even talking to Dr Ford or Kavanaugh and probably won’t demonstrates this is a diversion tactic and irrespective of what party is in power I am not a fan of mustang courts.[/li][li]Because the Republicans intentionally blocked the nomination for over a year and fear losing the house it makes sense that they failed to take proper care during the vetting process.[/li][li]As the Republicans followed the Newts advice and lead in the 1990’s and broke off all bi-partisan efforts intentionally I view them as intentionally acting in bad faith and contrary to the wishes of our founding fathers.[/li][/ul]

As I am seeing no actions on part of the Republicans to even explain why Kavanaugh is an exceptional candidate I have no reason to believe that they are moving forward for any reason but a desire to “win” even if it is at the expense of our country.

I’d believe Ford in both cases.

She’s a Dem. Registered Dem, donated to the DNC, and attended the “Women’s March”

As for the OP’s question, it’s an interesting one that I want to mull over some more before answering.

I’m always for the victims. I don’t care what party. On the other hand, I am not for victims who grind their heels into other victims in order to feel less like victims. Those people can twist.

Kavenaugh is not a victim. In any way whatsoever.

Thanks for posting the link. And everyone please do take your time to answer. Instead of “oh, he’s a liberal now? yeah, still guilty”, I want us to pretend Thanos snapped his fingers and changed literally everything around about the politics. If Kavanaugh is the enemy, he just became the last, best hope of keeping the Supreme Court on your side. If you were swayed by the media, imagine they were pushing just as hard for the opposite viewpoint. If you dislike Republicans, imagine your most hated Republican’s face (for example, Newt Gingrich) pasted over Ford’s face.

If you were just telling your friends about the lurid details in Kavanaugh’s yearbook, after the snap, the yearbook is suddenly scrubbed from existence on the web, but an equally lurid yearbook on Chrissy Blasey is on the news and everyone is talking about her underage drinking. (I’ve seen both yearbooks, and it’s telling how nobody talks about the other yearbook).

I know SDMB is left leaning, so I’m adding this on to try to shake loose the truth. It doesn’t really say anything if everyone easily answers “nope, no bias here”. So forgive me if I really push the test… then at least we can say “nope, no bias even in the ludicrously extreme version of the test.”

I doubt that I’m very partisan since I’m not even American. I don’t give a rat’s behind about Republicans or Democrats. I’m not even very partisan with respect to politics in Canada since I’ve voted about 60% of the time for one political party and 40% of the time for a different political party. I think I’m one of those “independent” voters that the parties are always hoping to capture.

Certainly with respect to Kavanaugh and Ford. Ford seems believable regardless of political affiliation. Kavanaugh seems unsuited to be a judge at all, let alone on the Supreme Court, based entirely on his demeanor. And this ignores lying under oath, making hypocritical statements (e.g. with respect to polygraphs), and the at least a reasonable possiblity that he’s a sex criminal.

If a person were nominated to be on the Supreme Court of Canada, and there was a reasonable possibility that they were a sex criminal, then as a Canadian I wouldn’t want them on the Supreme Court. I do not understand how there is even a scintilla of support for Kavanaugh. There’s plenty of conservative judges to pick from. Pick somebody else to be on the Supreme Court. Somebody for whom there is no doubt at all that they are a sex criminal, perjurer or hypocrite. Somebody who doesn’t scream conspiracy theories and vows revenge on a political party.

I’m sure I have some bias, but fighting sexual assault and rape really is far, far more important to me than partisan politics. I’ve been highly critical of many Democrats on this board who either were credibly accused of sexual assault or tried to cover or excuse those who were. It really is as simple as treating allegations with seriousness, which means not rushing confirmations, and not fighting or limiting investigations, regardless of political party and partisan concerns.

Both parties were abysmal on this issue until very, very recently (perhaps only the last year or two), when one party (the Democrats) started to change in a small but real way. They still have a long, long way to go on fighting sexual assault and rape, but unlike the Republican party, they’ve actually taken a few steps in the right direction. And at the same time, the Republicans have gone in the opposite direction – covering for, defending, and even celebrating a President who was credibly accused by multiple women, and who repeatedly bragged about violating the consent of women.

I’ll say it yet again – our society is profoundly fucked up on this issue. Being on the wrong side of it is no less wrong, or less immoral, then being on the wrong side of Jim Crow or slavery. Every decent person should be demanding that our society take allegations of sexual assault and rape seriously, and shunning anyone and everyone who doesn’t, who minimizes sexual assault and rape, and/or who attacks accusers for reasons other than clear evidence of malice.

To add to my previous claims, if one of the parties better fit my personal beliefs I would probably be more partisan. While due to my beliefs I haven’t voted on R without an exceptional reason for a long time I did take lots of flak for being against Bill Clinton back in the 1990’s

Bill Clinton was pretty conservative in several areas.

The point being I was not dismissing the possibility that I would be partisan, just that it doesn’t apply in this specific case.

Al Franken is a liberal Democrat. One of his accusers was conservative. I still wanted him to resign. Weinstein was a big supporter of Democrats. He should be jailed.

You don’t have to come up with this hypothetical – Democrats have been accused by all kinds of people and have been pressured to resign by fellow Democrats. Where have you been?

I don’t think your thought experiment is going to shake loose anything valuable. You’re pushing it away from an examination of partisanship and into sort of a forced positional flip by changing the details about the accused and the accuser. IOW, you’re introducing two levels of changes -the hypothetical partisan change you say you want to examine, and some drastic reversals involving credibility and character of the individuals involved.

Changing party majorities and affiliations is a useful hypothetical; changing all details is kinda pointless, IMNSHO

With respect, I am not attempting to push it away from an examination of partisanship. In the test, the evidence that has come to light is unchanged. However, I do believe the lens through which we view the evidence shades it, through subtle and possibly unconscious means.

If we really switched the party affiliations, the left and right leaning media channels would be singing a different tune. The idealogical echo chamber would change. Your friends might be pushing the opposite side. The evidence might have been presented to you differently. You, yourself might be pushing a different set of arguments because you want to be right and you believe your side to be more correct.

Some examples of opposite arguments:

A: I’m with Ford because accusers ought to be believed
B: I’m with Kavanaugh because false accusations without corroborating evidence can be dangerous

A: Kavanaugh is lying about the yearbook
B: It is laughable to make this about a yearbook from 30 years ago with some juvenile entries. We don’t know that he’s lying; he could be truthful, but his truth happens to not match your interpretation of the entries. And Ford has an equally damning yearbook that would undoubtedly have been trotted out.

A: Kavanaugh is not a victim whatsoever
B: A good and innocent person had his name and reputation trashed by a hazy, mistaken accusation of sexual assault. He will never be able to work, teach or coach again. His family has been destroyed, because they will be endlessly hounded by people who believe the accuser, or get asked about it relentlessly. He will forever be treated like a criminal.

A: I believe the women
B: I believe the women also – the hundreds of women who rushed to support the innocent judge

A: Kavanaugh does not have the demeanor to sit on the highest court
B: Wouldn’t you be pissed if you lived an honest and decent life and some random stranger accused you of a heinous crime that runs counter to everything you believe in? And now you are forever lumped in with the likes of Bill Cosby and Weinstein. And the matter is out of your hands and you have no recourse.

Kavanaugh is serving as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. This is a Life appointment. So, even if he doesnt get confirmed as SCOTUS, he had a very nice career for the rest of his life.

Even if you ignore the sex crime allegations (which is awful and should not be ignored at all), then he still lied under oath (how can anybody be a judge who lies under oath), made hypocritical statements, and avoided answering questions (would Kavanaugh tolerate such behavior in his courtroom?). I can understand being upset but he was screaming conspiracy theories and vowing revenge. Democrat, Republican, Green, Blue, Kang, Kodos, doesn’t matter. This is not somebody who should be a judge at all, let alone on a national Supreme Court.

Does Dr. Ford’s yearbook entry have details for which she had input and which she’s been asked about and given evasive answers? Was she mentioned within that yearbook in contexts which suggest heavy drinking, partying and sexual misadventure? I ask, because I honestly don’t know what’s in her yearbook(s), but I highly doubt those sorts of things wouldn’t have come up in right wing circles by now. Do you have a link?

-Just before hitting “Submit Reply”, I realize I haven’t answered the hypothetical given in the OP, so here goes. All other aspects of the situation being the same (lateness of the process at which the allegations made public, severe partisan atmosphere in the Senate, same testimonies and speeches given) but the partisan roles reversed (Kavanaugh a Dem with heavy Democratic operative history who’s been nominated and is supported by a Democratic POTUS, Dr. Ford a registered Republican, midterms just around the corner), I would believe Dr. Ford’s testimony, be aghast at the belligerence and conspiracy-minded performance given by Kavanaugh, and I’d want Kav to withdraw his nomination, or for the Democratic POTUS to withdraw it. Failing that, I’d expect Democratic Senators to do the right thing and vote “No” on confirmation.

For me the political alignments and sexes of the parties are irrelevant; I believe in the presumption of innocence. A serious charge has been made, with no corroborating evidence. I do not believe in mob rule, either.