The GOP Kavanaugh responses simplified

“There’s someone accusing Kavanaugh”

“Well, that’s just one woman. That’s meaningless.”

“Here’s a second one.”

“Big deal, you can’t believe them. It’s only two.”

“A third one has just come forward.”

“Oh, three out of everyone who has ever known him? Not believable.”

“Number four has just talked.”

“Well, that’s just four women. That’s meaningless.”

(continue ad infinitum)

mansplain

cartoon by Clay Bennett

“Women sometimes lie about these things!”

“I agree. So let’s have the FBI investigate.”

“Uhhhhhh…. no, let’s just attack her without making any attempt to ascertain the truth. We’re Republicans, after all. Truth doesn’t matter any more.”

“It’s clear this is all just a smear campaign — women do this to destroy powerful men!”

“Yes, that’s why so many women came out and accused Obama of sexual misconduct.  Oh, wait…”

“If every man is held to this standard, then we’ll never be able to choose someone!”

“Really? Every one of you Republican men did something like this to women in your past? Guess we’ll just have to fill the court with women.”

“If women are to always be believed, then no man is safe!”

“Uh, you do realize that most of us men have absolutely nothing to worry about, right?”

“Kavanaugh deserves a fair hearing!”

“Oh so now you’re concerned about fair hearings. Too bad Judge Garland didn’t get one.”

“We’re going to push this through like we want without any regard for the desires or wishes of any women!”

“Hey, what a coincidence! That’s what Kavanaugh said.”

This is a job application, not a criminal trial

This is not about guilt or innocence. It’s a job application. We’re allowed to take into consideration references from people who knew you in the past.

The fact that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may have attempted to rape someone when he was younger is indeed relevant.

Yes, people can change. But this is the friggin’ Supreme Court. Let’s have higher standards! It’s not like there aren’t thousands of other highly qualified judges and lawyers out there  that have very clean backgrounds.

But the GOP apologists are bending over backwards to try to slander the victim, while presenting the most ludicrous conspiracy theories to explain away the facts.

Kavanugh

cartoon by Darrin Bell

Apparently, according to the GOP, the victim in this matter knew years ago that Kavanaugh was going to be nominated 35 years into the future, so she made a record by telling other people, going into therapy for it, and notifying her friends. Then, clever woman she is, she defeated a lie detector test and demanded an FBI investigation, promising to cooperate fully with the police. Because, of course, that’s what all people who bring false claims (and have their lives ruined because of it) do. (No, wait, I remember now: She doesn’t fit the profile of a false accuser at all.)

Anyway, back to the conspiracy: Kavanuagh, being completely innocent, then got 65 women to claim he had never raped them and had that letter sitting around waiting for a false allegation to be filed against him so he could produce the record instantly. (Come on guys, who doesn’t have that kind of letter on their desk just waiting for the right moment?) I’m going to use this in my next trial: “I know my client is accused of robbing the victim, but I have here a list of 65 people he didn’t rob!”  “Impeccable logic, counselor. Not guilty.”

Kavanaugh’s buddy had written a book about how he and Kavanaugh would get so drunk in High School that they would black out and forget everything. So it is certainly possible that Kavanaugh could just not remember this. (Notice how I didn’t mention that they belonged to a frat that regularly debased women, and who would chant “No means yes, yes means anal” and who eventually had to be removed from campus because of their Animal-House antics.  Oops, I guess I did mention that after all.)

The GOP, seeing that the majority of the population is against this appointment, and realizing their conspiracy theories weren’t being bought, has now turned to even more outlandish defenses, such as “boys will be boys“, “hey, it was a long time ago” and “maybe she’s confused and it’s actually someone else who looks like him.” My favorite is the one where Kavanugh denies having been at that party when the victim has never once said exactly when and where the party was.

If only Kavanaugh was an immigrant. Then the GOP would gladly demand a vetting process! But no, let’s not kid ourselves. This is a party that nominated and supported someone for President who bragged about sexual assault. Why, being a sexual assaulter is practically a requirement for power in that party.

The GOP may lose the Senate as well as the House in the next election if they continue to support Kavanaugh, but they don’t care, because they know having Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court will push their agenda for many years to come.

The Supreme Court, Hate Speech, and the Washington Redskins

The United States Supreme Court just ruled that the government cannot stop someone from getting a trademark on a name that the government considers “hate speech.”

This is an important win for freedom of speech. As I’ve said here many times, the 1st Amendment is meaningless if it only protects speech we all agree with. As the Court held:

[The idea that the government may restrict] speech expressing ideas that offend. . .strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”

The case involved an Asian-American rock band called “The Slants.” They wanted to trademark their name, but the government said no, you can’t, because it’s hate speech.

This case basically puts an end to the lawsuits against the sports teams with insulting names, such as the Washington Redskins.

Should the Redskins change their name? Absolutely. Should they be forced to do so by the government, making the determination as to what speech is acceptable for us to use? Absolutely not.

Speech we all agree with doesn’t need a 1st Amendment.

The Slants

The Slants

 

Why Democrats should block Gorsuch

Last year, Obama nominated a highly-qualified person to the Supreme Court but the Republicans, using their “block everything” strategy that they’d held during all eight years of the Obama administration, refused to “advise and consent” as the Constitution requires and didn’t even hold a single hearing on the nominee — something completely unprecedented in American history.Courtroom-Gavel

Now they’re upset that Democrats are planning to do something similar to them.

Oh, you big babies. You can dish it out but you can’t take it.

“But this is different,” they say. “We didn’t think the President should appoint someone when there was an election near, because they people should decide this.”

Well, guess what? The people did decide. The people supported Hillary Clinton by a pretty big margin. The Electoral College may have decided differently, but that’s not what you said. The majority of the people didn’t want you or your President to pick the next Supreme Court Justice.

How’s this, then? The President shouldn’t appoint a Supreme Court Justice when he is being investigated for treason. Isn’t that much better reason to deny it? Oh, right — it’s very different when it’s your leader who is accused of crimes that could have him impeached and removed soon.

Typical Republican logic:  “Never hold us to the same standards by which we hold you!”

 

Supreme Court sees through Republican bullshit

One of the key strategies of Republicans lately has been to create a fake problem and then “solve it” in such a way that the real result takes away rights from people they don’t like.

There’s the fake “voting fraud” issue where their solution just happens to have the side effect of removing many Democrats from the voting rolls.

There’s the fake “transgender bathroom” issue where their solution just happens to take the rights away from people who merely want to pee in peace.

And of course, there are plenty of other fake issues they create, sometimes for the sole purpose of riling up their base and raising money. (War on Christmas, Benghazi, Obama is going to take all your guns, etc. etc.)

One of their more successful fake problems was the “protection of women” one. In many states, laws were passed to require clinics that provide abortions to meet standards that were completely unnecessary and which have nothing to do with the health of women. These restrictions made half of the clinics in Texas shut down.

The Supreme Court saw through all that today. The decision found that these restrictions “provide few if any health benefits for women, pose a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes a, ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”

Cartoon by Ann Telnaes. Yes, I know Scalia isn’t there any more, but I just love this drawing.

Do not underestimate the importance of the Court on your life. They are a way to protect your rights against rabid legislatures. And that’s why it is so important that you vote for Democrats, not just for the presidency but for Senate (so the President can get her nominees approved).

 

Don’t Listen to Republicans telling you the Democrats do the Same Thing

Republican Senators announced today that they would refuse to even consider anyone Obama nominates for the Supreme Court, despite the fact that the President has almost an entire year left in his term. (Apparently, in their minds, Obama only gets 3/5ths of a term).

This is completely unprecedented.w936uez3tdwl6tlcz20y (1)

But hey, don’t let facts stand in your way, Republicans. You never have before.

I’ve certainly seen a lot of it recently.

First, they claimed that Senator Chuck Schumer had given a speech where he said that the Senate should not approve of a Bush nominee in his final year. Of course, all you have to do is read the transcript of that speech to see that the comment was followed by “except in extraordinary circumstances” — and then he explained that the Senate should not approve someone so far out of the mainstream as to be unacceptable.

In other words, the Senate should do its job, have hearings, but should exercise its Constitutional duty to deny a candidate they disagree with.

This is not the same thing as refusing to consider ANY candidate, no matter how qualified.

Then they pointed out how Obama had objected to Justice Alito when he was a Senator, and had threatened a filibuster over it. Yet the Senate still had hearings about the candidate and ultimately did approve him.

This is not the same thing as refusing to consider ANY candidate, no matter how qualified.

Then they found a quote from Joe Biden which basically said that the Senate should not be a rubber-stamp and should refuse to accept any candidate they don’t think would be a good choice.

This is not the same thing as refusing to consider ANY candidate, no matter how qualified.

And it goes on. The right wing blogs post articles about how the Democrats have stood up to Supreme Court nominees in the past, and then they feebly try to fool their gullible readers into thinking this is the same thing as refusing to even hold hearings on any candidate.

It’s sad that some of my more intelligent conservative friends fall for this bullshit, but that’s what it is. There is no way to compare the Senate’s legitimate function to “advise and consent” and even to reject nominees they don’t want with the current Republican policy of sticking their fingers in their ears and saying “Lalalalala I can’t hear you” concerning any candidate.

 

 

 

Why you should be happy Scalia’s gone

No, I am not celebrating Scalia’s death. I am celebrating him not being on the Court any more. I am happy that he can no longer cause harm. I would be just as happy had he merely resigned. CbIYxk6UAAAdFXX

Much of the problem with Scalia concerned his religious beliefs. He believed in a literal devil — that Satan was coercing other people to support gay rights and liberal politics. Since Scalia saw himself as doing God’s work, therefore anyone who held a different position from him was not only wrong, but evil. That is a dangerous and frankly unAmerican view for someone on the Supreme Court to have.

Intertwined with that was his conviction that not only should we consider what the Founding Fathers wanted when they wrote the Constitution, but his belief that he, and he alone, knew exactly what that was — and, amazingly, it always fit perfectly with his own views!

I’ve ranted against this kind of Constitutional fundamentalism before, pointing out that writing from the time clearly indicates that even the Founding Fathers disagreed. Hell, within a few years there were cases before the Supreme Court to determine the meaning of the Constitution because they couldn’t agree.

This attitude of “there is only one interpretation of the Constitution and it’s mine” falls squarely into his religious belief again, since he had the same view of the Bible.

And then for him to pretend that politics had nothing to do with his decisions! He’d claim to care about “state’s rights” unless a state wanted to manage its own electoral process (“but that could allow Gore to be President and we can’t have that!”). He’d say “we can’t overturn the decisions made by a democratically elected legislature” while striking down the Voting Rights Act passed by a huge majority. The only consistent thing about his decisions were his arrogant opinions that insulted everyone who disagreed with him.

But mostly I loathed the man for being so evil, so hateful of anyone different from him — for comparing gays to child molesters and saying blacks should attend lesser colleges because they’re not as smart as white people; for not caring if innocent people get executed; for arguing that discrimination against women was perfectly fine; for saying the sort of thing that, had he been head of the KKK (where he’d fit right in), you would all be saying “I’m glad he’s gone.”

Scalia is one of the main reasons that trust in the Supreme Court has dropped over the years. We used to hold our Court in high esteem, because they were the best and brightest, separate from politics, incorruptible. Then Scalia came along, thumbed his nose at Court ethics (claiming that he didn’t have to follow the same rules other federal judges follow concerning conflict-of-interest laws, “gifts” from people who had cases before the Court, and so on), insulted the other judges in his opinions, ranted publicly about “homosexual agendas” while commenting about upcoming cases, pushed the court to make political decisions like Bush v. Gore, and otherwise did everything he could to ruin hundreds of years of the Court’s image.

Damn right I’m glad he’s gone.