High Stakes Democracy

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I’ve been watching the proceedings surrounding the question of whether or not Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is approved by the United States Senate with great interest these past few weeks. In the past few days, and a week since the Senate Judiciary hearings took place, an accuser came forward: Christine Blasey Ford. The accusation: that a 17-year-old Kavanaugh forced himself onto her at a party over three and a half decades ago.

It sounds a bit sketchy to me. I can’t recall ever there was a time in my 47-year-old life that something occurring in high school has received such scrutiny. Usually, you have to impregnate, kill, or go to jail to get someone to notice what you did in your high school years, provided that it’s something negative. But, in the era of President Trump, the Democrats have been known to make an out of context argument or twenty.

I would think Ford’s story will have to be air-tight and otherwise convincing enough to woo more moderate Republicans away from confirming Mr. Kavanaugh. On top of which, it’s a huge gamble for the Democrats that could go off the rails. What if Ford flops at the hearing on Monday? I’d think they could lose votes in the November elections.

There are some senators who want to keep Ford’s testimony private, proposing a closed session take place. I tend to think that would be a total disservice to the public as well. The accusations against Kavanaugh gave the nominee no quarter – so it would only be fitting that if Ford testified, that it would be open to the public view, circus atmosphere or no.

I’m sure there will be more on this in the days ahead. Six days out from the proposed hearing date, the media seems to be already in a feeding frenzy – shades of 1991 and Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. That didn’t go too well for the Democrats, either.


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