I’m addressing these questions to those on this board who would like to see Kavanaugh confirmed. Is it possible to keep this thread civil?
Do you think he lied when asked about the definitions of boof, Devil’s Triangle, and other such terms?
Do you think he lied when asked about the meaning of the Renate thing?
Do you think he lied when asked about his drinking habits, such as blacking out and vomiting?
Do you think he lied when he stated that Judge’s letter said the party didn’t happen, “upon penalty of felony”? Apparently, the letter just said Judge didn’t recall the party, but it was signed by his lawyer, so I don’t think he was at any perjury risk.
My view: I think he lied directly to the Senators during that testimony for items 1-3. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on 4, since he may not have recalled the details (what the letter said, who signed it).
Anyway, if you do think he lied, should that be disqualifying? Why/why not? If you don’t think he lied, how do you explain the above? Faulty memory?
(Full disclosure – I think he should have been disqualified based on his belief in the Foster conspiracy theory. I also think the (IMO) lies above should disqualify him.)
I have a related question, assuming that our Kavanaugh supporters are willing to accept the facts that he clearly has lied about various items during this process.
The issue of course is that these lies and his behavior decades past are not considered disqualifying given what they believe his views are and how he will impact the court’s decisions going forward. But that is what I don’t get. A quick withdrawal without admission of guilt would have allowed another equally or more conservative jurist to have been selected and sail through. The ONLY advantage this particular selection now has that I can see is its divisiveness, is its Trumpian creating distrust in all the branches and institutions of American governance, its destruction of American representative democracy as a model worthy of emulation by other nations, and its thumbing the nose at #metoo putting those uppity wommin in their places. And maybe revving a circle the wagons mentality for key senate seat races.
So the question, given that the high probability if withdrawn quickly was still a very conservative jurist still getting in, what are your other reasons that make sticking this one out worthwhile?
Teenage boys, speaking generally, probably misunderstand at least as many dirty slang phrases as they understand. I’m confident some of them have taken dirty slang terms and used them to mean something less-dirty, if only by accident. I think we can probably agree on this much though: while possible, it seems less likely that Kav’s pals were using “Devil’s Triange” and “boof” in some innocuous way than that they understood, at least vaguely, something of the common definition and were using the words to hint at their commonly-understood meanings.
This is what I’d like to explore a little bit. First of all, lying under oath to the Senate is a big deal. You believe he’s probably lying, so it seems that should be a big problem for his supporters.
Second, his (probable) lies were all about drinking and sex, in a situation where he has been accused of sexual misconduct while drinking. To me, that casts more doubt on his literal cries of innocence.
Third, his (probable) lies were pretty transparent, so he’s really treating the process and the Senate with contempt and didn’t seem to have treated the process with seriousness it deserved.
Fourth, this was basically part of a job interview. If I were interviewing someone and they apparently lied to my face in a pretty transparent fashion, that would certainly disqualify that person as a candidate for the job.
ETA: Just saw your other response. We aren’t talking about a 13 or 15 year-old boy. He was a 17 or 18 year-old senior. I have a 17 year-old senior and he knows a lot.
I’d probably feel like it was a bigger problem if I knew he definitely had lied to the Senate rather than just suspecting it was likely. Even then though, I’m under the vague impression that people regularly lie to the Senate, so I’m not certain I would.
If you were interviewing someone for a job interview, hopefully you would be approaching it with an open mind. In this case, 90+% of the “interviewers” did not have an open mind. They already knew how they were going to vote. I don’t believe all the comparisons to a job interview are all that apt for this reason.
This bit of political theater is a mockery of anything resembling a serious process. While a nominee not treating it seriously certainly doesn’t improve that situation, given the current state of the process, I’m not sure it’s necessary, and I’m fairly certain the unseriousness of it is not all the nominee’s fault.
That’s an interesting perspective, and it’s certainly not my recollection that people lie to the Senate regularly. Do you have any examples? And, regarding your first sentence, there’s almost no way you would ever know absolutely one way or the other whether he definitely lied, or simply mis-remembered or something else. However, the evidence is pretty clear that he was lying, as you also believe is probable.
I don’t see how whether my mind was open or not affects whether someone should treat me with contempt by (probably) lying right to my face. OK, forget about the job interview (for some reason), but if I know someone is being pretty obviously untruthful to me, and expects me to just take it in any situation, that’s a person I lose pretty much all respect for. He wasn’t just lying to the “No” votes, he was lying to the “Yes” votes as well. I don’t know why any Senator would just take that.
I’m not sure what you mean that this process is not a serious process. Nominating and approving a Supreme Court Justice is a serious process. The allegations were quite serious. Every nomination comes with Senators grandstanding and mugging for the cameras, and this one is no different. Anyway, whatever he thought of the process, it was his duty as the nominee to rise above and take it seriously. That’s the kind of thing I would look for in a Supreme Court Justice.
Anyway, thank you for the responses. I don’t really think that the difference between our positions is a gap that can be bridged, and I’ll be honest that I don’t really understand your thinking on this any better than when we started, but I’m not sure how to clear that up.
If you have questions for me about my position that I didn’t make clear above, I’m happy to respond.
I do want to just point out that the reason for these hearings is not to convince 90% of the senate that already has its mind made up, and it’s not even really about appealing to the 10ish% of the senators that may be a swing.
The hearings are for the public, to see the type and character of the person who is going to be their employee for a lifetime position. When you are lying to the senate, you are not lying just to the hundred people in the chamber, you are lying to the hundreds of millions of people that you will have considerable influence over.
I would treat that responsibility seriously, and as a member of the public, I would expect any person being interviewed for the job to do so as well.
How about neither strongly opposed to or supportive of Kavanagh?
Memories are fallible. Eye witnesses 30 minutes after an event frequently remember things that contradict other eye witnesses and physical evidence. We’re more than 30 years from the events that are being talked about. Even if we created a time machine tomorrow that allowed us confirm all the facts we can’t really say that any given error is a lie. Memories change with time; everytime we remember an event our memory of that event changes. It’s possible to tell the truth the whole truth, and nothing but the truth based on memory and still be wildly wrong. The truth as we remember it just isn’t very well correlated with fact. I simply haven’t seen enough to reliably assess fact about the allegations lets alone try to determine if someone is lying.
I have personal experience with a relatively extreme example. One of my fellow volunteers at the crisis center I worked at for many years had been in counseling on and off for years dealing with a number of issues. Somewhere along the line someone had suggested hypnosis. The hypnotist performed regression therapy. She was one of many that remembered her parents being part of a Satanic cult that sexually abused children and performed human sacrifice. Her traumatic feelings were real. Her PTSD was real. Her memories were real. They were as real as my memory of lunch today. Those real memories were unlikely to have even the slightest basis in fact, though. I listened to her and supported her working through the real trauma brought on by those memories; fact didn’t matter for that. I wouldn’t, however, have held her memories against her parents or felt a need to decide who was lying if they refuted those memories.
I think this is the same fallacy as those who criticized the Democrats’ nominating process after Hillary Clinton lost to Trump. The Democrats, it was said, should have nominated someone else, someone without so much negative baggage. The thing is, whoever they nominated would have been subject to the finest of fine-tooth combs from the Republicans looking for whatever negative baggage they could find.
Same thing here; you think a different nominee for the court could just breeze right through. That’s not necessarily true. If a different person was put forward for the court, they’d get the same scrutiny that Kavanaugh got. I think (at least, I hope) that there are conservative judges with fewer and smaller skeletons in their closets than were found in Kavanaugh’s, but we can’t just assume that Trump would pick one.
For that matter, I’m not even sure Trump could pick someone with a cleaner record. As I understand it, all the accusations against Kavanaugh were made after his name was announced. It didn’t matter how carefully Trump vetted Kavanaugh, there was no information on his assault(s) to be found. You make your pick, announce the name, and hope nothing awful like this comes to light. That was true for Kavanaugh, it would be true for anyone Trump put up in his place.