Ethos, Logos, Pathos

God Stalks the Kavanaugh Hearings. Roger L Simon – “For the first time I had a visceral understanding of what Dennis Prager meant when he said God was involved in the American founding.”

“I guess it first hit me when Judge Kavanaugh, in the midst of his powerful and heartfelt opening statement, one few expected him to make, choked up, fighting back tears as he spoke of his ten-year old daughter’s desire to pray for Dr. Ford. I had trouble choking back my own and it dawned on me I was watching an event that I thought was political being transformed into a spiritual one.

Nothing was as expected. A real rape had taken place but it wasn’t the one everyone was talking about. It was simultaneously a rape of Judge Kavanaugh, his family, and the American people themselves. The collateral damage was Dr. Ford, her friends, and her family. And the perpetrator was the Democratic Party, principally their Judiciary Committee members, their ranking member, and the minority leader.

It also dawned me that whatever the pundits were saying had become irrelevant. The American people were watching now — they would make up their own minds — and… I thought I’d never say this… God was looking down on the proceedings.

The Feinstein Farce Will Let Rapists Go Free. Mytheos Holt – “#BelieveWomen, in short, is merely the first step to #IgnoreWomen.”

“A better way is necessary, which is why the correct response to rape allegations was enunciated by President Ronald Reagan on a much different subject: “Trust, but verify.”

And therein lies the rub. It is not for nothing that our society holds to the aphorism that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

In other words, like Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, these women either had to provide a mountain of evidence themselves, or make their accusations with such conviction that the dam would break and the evidence would come out naturally.

Were Kavanaugh to fall to these accusations, it would set an example not merely for every Supreme Court nominee, but for what society should assume about men accused of rape, period. Given the high stakes involved in that sort of confrontation, Ford, Ramirez, and Swetnick should’ve known that, in the words of “The Wire,” “you come at the king, you best not miss.”

Well, not only did they miss, but they shot themselves in the foot—repeatedly. To put it bluntly, these women have behaved in every way that fake rape victims out of Incel message board Central Casting would behave.

And what happens when young men, seeing that teenage drinking and fratty behavior can condemn them as rapists by association without their so much as losing their virginity, decide that there is no reason to strive for goodness, having already been damned by the cultural elite?

But the Democrats believe the accuser be she seems so earnest and nice. Evidence isn’t in their thoughts.

Democrats abused Ford (and Kavanaugh). Washington Examiner – “The party of the Left has shown that there is no calumny it will not retail, no false or uncorroborated allegation it will not use to whip up ideological passions, and no depths to which it will not stoop to win and hold power.”

“Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh came to the Senate Judiciary Committee with emotional and powerful testimony on Thursday. Ford told a story of trauma and bravery. Kavanaugh brought outrage and righteous anger. The anger and suffering of both had the same just cause — the disgusting perfidy of Senate Democrats. …

Let’s hope voters look at the noisome spectacle that has just taken place on Capitol Hill and deliver a resounding rebuke to the people who perpetrated it. Their behavior during the Kavanaugh confirmation process outstrips even the disgraceful conduct of their partisan forebears at the confirmation hearings for Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. Thursday was a black day, capping a period of bleak weeks in the history of American governance.

Many questions will not be answered by these confirmation hearings. But they have established one fact beyond peradventure. It is that Democrats are not interested in truth. They are only interested in power. Let us hope they do not get it.

Kavanaugh is the poster child for the perils of politicizing pain. Liz Harrison – “explaining to my son that these hearings should be focused on Ethos, or the character of especially Kavanaugh, since he’s being considered for the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, Pathos, or the emotional arguments, have been ruling the day, primarily because there is a lack of Logos, or logic and reason being applied.”

“I know they weren’t pleased when I admitted that I mostly believed Ford’s testimony, but the key word is “mostly.” The fact is that I believe Ford described a real attack she suffered at some point in her life. The questionable part is in the important details of when, where, and by whom.

We have become accustomed to hyper-partisan politicking, but now it has moved on to exploiting victims of sex crimes, and destroying reputations without the benefit of fair warning, let alone due process.

At the end of the day, there were two victims in the Judiciary Committee hearings today – Ford and Kavanaugh. The only question is “who is truly guilty of exploitation?” Based on what I had seen from both sides, I have to say the guilty parties sit in our Senate. If I’m brutally honest, I would expand that to include the media gallery, and across our entire nation, because as Americans with a seemingly endless appetite for the salacious and sadistic, we are all guilty of encouraging this reprehensible kind of politicking.

Kavanaugh and Graham used political jiu-jitsu on the Judiciary Committee Dems. Thomas Lifson – “Judge Kavanaugh seems to have surprised many observers and shocked the Committee’s Democrats with his emotional testimony on the impact on his children of seeing their father portrayed as a horrendous brute.”

“A couple of hours after Judge Kavanaugh’s emotional statement, Senator Lindsey Graham delivered the knockout punch, denouncing his former “friends” on the committee for their duplicitous handling of the July 30 letter to Senator Feinstein, victimizing both Professor Blasey Ford (and her family) and Judge Kavanaugh (and his family). If you missed his use of his five minutes to question Judge Kavanaugh, watch it below. It was a historic moment, one that will be mentioned in Senator Graham’s obituary and cited by historians of our era’s politics: …

Yesterday, I called for someone other than Judge Kavanaugh to shame the Democrats in the same manner that Joseph Welch, counsel to the United States Army, shamed Senator Joe McCarthy in 1954. That is precisely what Senator Graham did. Jeffrey Lord called it Senator Graham’s “Joseph Welch moment.”

The Nuclear Option: Cory Booker, Dems Defeated in Kavanaugh Hearing Despite Orgy of Leaks, Lies, Smears. Charles Hurt – “The only bright speck in the whole circus of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings has been the honorable behavior of Republicans on the SenateJudiciary Committee.”

“Though her claims are strenuously disputed, entirely uncorroborated and riddled with inconsistencies and shifting versions, the woman deserved to make her case. Mr. Grassley made sure she was able to.

She was not shouted down by protesters. She was not silenced. Nobody called her a murderer.

We have come a long way since Paula Jones was called a liar and trailer-park trash by Bill Clinton’s war dogs after she accused the then-governor of exposing himself to her and sexually harassing her. Those charges were corroborated, and Mrs. Jones was ultimately vindicated.

But James Carville’s disgusting treatment of her could never be erased.

Mr. Grassley does not play those vile games. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about others.

Over the past two weeks, sitting senators have publicly and enthusiastically denounced the single most fundamental tenet of fairness in America: the notion that an accused person is presumed innocent until proved guilty.

Now it’s doxxing – Committee Republicans’ addresses, phone numbers splashed on WIKIPEDIA

WaPo: Bush to the barricades for Kavanaugh. Ed Morrissey – “Trump wisely chose Kavanaugh based on his long experience, but part of that choice was at least a tacit outreach to the Bush wing of the party.”

“Last night, my friend Erick Erickson made an astute observation about one outcome from the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing debacle. It’s creating a kind of unity among the GOP, perhaps especially in the leadership caste, that’s been notably absent for the last couple of years

Bush might be the one man who can unlock those three votes for Mitch McConnell, in part by reminding them that Kavanaugh represents a critical norm in more ways than one. Kavanaugh is no nihilist, on the bench or anywhere else; he’s spent a lot of time in Washington and hasn’t thrown tables around the room anywhere he’s been. Collins, Murkowski, and perhaps Flake would appreciate that reminder, as well as another that what follows after a Kavanaugh character assassination might be not only much less part of a norm, but also impossible to oppose after the injustice seen in this process. In fact, if Bush is smart (and he most certainly is), he’ll argue that Trump’s selection of Kavanaugh is a defense of norms, while rewarding Democrats’ character assassination would be abetting their destruction.

This brings us to another missed point — Rachel Mitchell’s hiring. Chuck Grassley certainly wanted to avoid the optics of Republican men pressing Ford for details, but he also knew that he’d have to produce a line of questioning that would satisfy the three holdouts that the allegation wasn’t substantiated. That’s precisely what he got

Who Won [Updated]. John Hinderaker – “I think it is important to keep in mind the audiences for whom today’s performance was enacted. There were two.”

“The first is the public, or that portion of it that watched some of the hearing or will read and hear about it. The Democrats seem to think that “believe women” is a majority sentiment–regardless, apparently, of what the woman says, and subject to such exceptions as may be convenient. I doubt that is correct. I think a great many Americans have had it with #MeToo and associated abuses and can sympathize with a wrongly accused public figure. We may or may not ever know who won the public battle.

The second and more important audience for today’s hearing was Republican senators who could possibly vote No on Kavanaugh’s nomination.

So I think Kavanaugh will be confirmed. Will the Democrats be disappointed? It is hard to say. If Kavanaugh isn’t confirmed, the next Justice will be the younger and more conservative Amy Barrett. The fact is that Kavanaugh is as moderate a nominee as the Democrats are going to see. So they may be content with the pleasure of slandering an innocent man, the damage they have done to the Supreme Court as an institution, the fundraising they are feverishly doing at this moment, and another bogus issue to fire up their low-information base in November. The damage they are doing to our republic? They don’t care.

I was wrong. The Ford, Kavanaugh hearings were worth the effort. Jazz Shaw – “the value didn’t come from the question and answer sessions with committee members of each party, which were, for the most part, worse than worthless.”

“The real value of these hearings came in the opening statements of the two subjects. Blasey Ford gave a startling performance which even caught me by surprise. By the time she was done, I was ready to concede that either something happened to her all those years ago or she’s an actress who missed her calling and should be up for several Academy Awards. But it was Kavanaugh’s opening remarks which really sealed the deal as far as I was concerned. His presentation was either ignored by most of the media or mocked as being overly “loud” or “defiant.” But that ignores the reality of what we saw.

But never in a million years did Kavanaugh see Christine Blasey Ford coming as the doomsday weapon Democrats would pin their hopes and dreams on. Rather than being accused of being a partisan or even bad judge, Brett Kavanaugh was accused of being a bad person. In the opinion of one committee member, an evil person. And like any normal human being, such attacks wounded him. It was that wounded individual we saw on display yesterday, genuinely hurting from the assaults on his character but refusing to get on his knees and beg or accept the labels applied to him.

Cornyn: This is the Senate’s worst moment since the McCarthy hearings; Update: Has the votes? Ed Morrissey – “Lindsey Graham’s angry speech may have been the most satisfying moment of the second half of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Republicans, at least after Brett Kavanaugh’s opening statement. However, John Cornyn may have hit closest to the mark in his five minutes.”

“Cornyn tells Kavanaugh that this is the Senate’s most embarrassing moment since the McCarthy hearings, focusing on the abandonment of the normal standard of the burden of proof when allegations arise

We have revived the specter of McCarthyism thanks to the demolition of due process and reliance on the proper burden of proof. The Senate Judiciary Committee all but signaled open season on Brett Kavanaugh, encouraging a slew of uncorroborated and unsubstantiated allegations to become public, all while insisting that we must “believe” the allegation rather than examine the evidence, or even wait to see if any evidence exists.

It’s a disgrace, all the more so because we clearly haven’t learned from history. Cornyn hits the nail on the head here, and delivered a speech which should be remembered for its wisdom, clarity, and purpose.

There is a lot of perfidy in this case. See Dianne Feinstein: I didn’t leak Dr. Ford’s letter to the media for a bit about who leaked confidential information to get the ball rolling. Kavanaugh would be done already if the Dems hadn’t filibustered Gorsuch, right? This is about tactics and cites Byron York to discuss what happens when you go full tilt obstructionism without examining consequences and implications.

The Truths Behind Our Current Political Turmoil. Victor Davis Hanson – “Reading between the lines to understand the overwhelming cycle of sensational news.”

“There are a few subtexts to all these spectacles, scandals, and melodramas.

First, those in power had never imagined that Donald Trump either could or should win the 2016 election.

Second, both the Democratic and Republican establishments, as well as the proverbial “deep state” bureaucracy, agreed that President Trump was so crude and uncouth that he must not continue in office.

Third, had Trump simply failed, as predicted, there would be far less frenzy.

Fourth, if Trump could not be removed by impeachment, a lawsuit citing the emoluments clause of the Constitution, application of the 25th Amendment, indictment or forced resignation, then the only remaining mechanisms of aborting his presidency were either through the courts or by winning the midterm elections to facilitate impeachment and a trial in the Senate in 2019.

Fifth, Trump did not follow the examples of John McCain and Mitt Romney by adhering to the usual Republican Marquess of Queensberry etiquette.

The day’s blaring headlines, of course, differ in details. But the common themes behind the headlines are that Trump should never have been president, that he is an inexplicably successful ogre, and that he won’t shut up — and therefore he must be forced to go away by any means necessary.

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