This article from The Atlantic should be read by everyone: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/10/conservative-women-kavanaugh-ford/572023/
It doesn’t draw a conclusion, but it brings to light a very real conundrum regarding methods and goals and the partisan divides.
The word “hypocritical” is being used by both sides in the Kavanaugh debate. Calling this “extreme partisan politics” has traction on both sides, as well. Hypocrisy does abound and this IS partisan politics. But it goes deeper than this issue, it goes to the heart of a socio/political civil war in America.
Denying a hearing to Merrick Garland was partisan politics, too. Every bit as damaging to our constitutional framework as the vitriolic war going on regarding how the Kavanaugh hearing is unfolding. And if we drill down to the reason for supporting Kavanaugh or being against him, or for blocking the Garland hearing, it is a political directive in and of itself.
Republicans will clearly put anyone into the Supreme Court to reverse Roe vs Wade (at this point I sincerely believe if human remains were found in Kavanaugh’s basement, it wouldn’t alter their support). On the other side (the left), this is about the directive to retain Roe vs Wade by opposing a conservative majority in the Supreme Court.
If we are now to argue Roe vs Wade as a morality issue in supporting a woman’s right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy (in early term), or immoral to do so, then we are sidestepping the Supreme Court debate back into partisanship because Roe vs. Wade has been engineered into a party plank disagreement.
It wasn’t originally. In 1973, Roe vs. Wade was decided by a Court that was comprised of a majority of justices who were nominated by Republican presidents. The vote was 7-2.
Ideally the Supreme Court would be comprised entirely of non-partisan members who weigh, examine and determine constitutional adherence in a consciousness-expanding society. But that is not what our debate is about. I don’t (and you don’t) know what happened between Kavanaugh and Ford. I don’t know if his friends who support him are being honest, or if others who say he is a pathological intoxicant are the more forthright. What I know is that a hearing to determine his credibility as an impartial judge with respect to our constitutional constructs is at stake.
Being repeated quite often is: “What happened to innocent until proven guilty?” But this is not a trial, it is a hearing. In a hearing for a Supreme Court Justice, it actually is, in a somewhat abstract way, “guilty until proven innocent.” The Senate must argue, debate, scour, investigate, dig in and dig out, to determine the degree of adherence to constitutional justice that both sides can live with.
I know several people, women in particular, as the Atlantic article suggests, who are sick and tired of political correctness and what they perceive as “liberalism gone wild.” They are afraid for their young sons who are navigating sexuality, they are afraid that #metoo has become “Fire-Aim-Ready!” and too many lives are too easily caught in the crosshairs.
I won’t argue that. I’ve seen colleagues brought down by indiscretions that were undeniably ugly, but were also sexuality-as-usual in the context of time and place. At the end of the day, however, we are talking about abuse, toxic-masculinity, and equal rights. We are talking about sexism, racism, privilege, and systemic issues that have gone on far too long.
While “collateral damage” is not acceptable in any measure of moral combat, we can emerge from this as strong as we collectively choose. We lose if we allow this divide to be defined only by the methods in play and not by what it is we are trying to accomplish in the first place. Shouldn’t that goal be to sustain a constitutional Republic governed by just laws predicated on equal rights and freedom?
Is either side going to disagree on that?