edward.luce@ft.com on the Kavanaugh Confirmation. Political Observer shares her thoughts.

The second paragraph of Mr. Luce’s melodramatic  comment on the Kavanaugh nomination and its twists and turns leaves me a bit nonplussed.

But justice is the last thing on Washington’s mind. Regardless of what happened, Mr Kavanaugh and Ms Ford now personify opposite sides of a #MeToo fight that is likely to poison Washington. Mr Trump has made it clear that Ms Ford’s allegations redouble the need to confirm Mr Kavanaugh. “If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man, should be worried,” a Trump lawyer told Politico. All men, by implication, should back Mr Kavanaugh’s swift confirmation. With just 50 days before US midterm elections, both parties have every incentive to escalate.

Every American Political Melodrama needs a villain. All Mr. Luce produces is the notion that this will produce ‘…Ms Ford now personify opposite sides of a #MeToo fight that is likely to poison Washington.’ That  supplants or just reinforces his earlier ‘America’s culture wars have just taken a nosedive. ‘ 

What Mr. Luce leaves out of the story is here explicated in two essays bt Ryan Grim:

Headline: Attorney Sent Letter to Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein Claiming Federal Court Employees Willing to Speak About Brett Kavanaugh

The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee were both approached in July by an attorney claiming to have information relevant to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The attorney claimed in his letter that multiple employees of the federal judiciary would be willing to speak to investigators, but received no reply to multiple attempts to make contact, he told The Intercept.

Cyrus Sanai made his first attempt to reach out to Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a letter dated July 24.

Sanai told the committee leadership that “there are persons who work for, or who have worked for, the federal judiciary who have important stories to tell about disgraced former Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, and his mentee, current United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. I know that there are people who wish to speak out but fear retaliation because I have been contacted by more than a half-dozen such persons since Judge Kozinski resigned in disgrace.”

Sanai is the California attorney who blew the whistle on Kozinski years before a series of articles in the Washington Post in December finally brought about the resignation of the former chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court over sexual harassment revelations. Sanai has long challenged the judiciary and was deemed a “vexatious litigant” by one trial court, an attempted designation that was overturned on appeal.



Headline: Dianne Feinstein Withholding Brett Kavanaugh Document From Fellow Judiciary Committee Democrats

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have privately requested to view a Brett Kavanaugh-related document in possession of the panel’s top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, but the senior California senator has so far refused, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

The specific content of the document, which is a letter from a California constituent, is unclear, but Feinstein’s refusal to share the letter has created tension on the committee, particularly after Feinstein largely took a back seat to her more junior colleagues last week, as they took over Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings with protests around access to documents.


The reader can see that Mr. Luce is concerned with a problem, America’s Culture War. Yet as the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings continue to unfold he fails to consider the very real political question:  that Feinstein and Grassley were/are eager to push through the conformation of Kavanaugh. She failed to share the letter with her Democratic colleges! Why?  Its not the first time Feinstein has demonstrated her political opportunism:

Feinstein supported the Iraq war resolution in the vote of October 11, 2002; she has since claimed that she was misled by President Bush on the reasons for going to war. However, former UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq Scott Ritter has stated that Feinstein in summer 2002 acknowledged to him that she knew the Bush administration had not provided any convincing intelligence to back up its claims about the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.[9]

In February 2007, Feinstein warned Republicans not to block consideration of a measure opposing President Bush’s troop increase in Iraq, saying it would be a “terrible mistake” to prevent debate on the top issue in America.[10]

In May 2007, Feinstein voted for an Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, which continued to fund the Iraq occupation without a firm timetable for withdrawal. The Senator said, “I am deeply disappointed that this bill fails to hold the President accountable for his Administration’s flawed Iraq War policy. The American people have made their voices clear that there must be an exit strategy for Iraq. Yet this President continues to stubbornly adhere to more of the same.”[11]


This Political Melodrama is in the process of finding its  villains.  Mr. Luce ‘s historical ignorance gets in the way of his pronouncements. Some of his readership were  alive to witness Abe Fortas, an associate Justice of the Supreme Court, nominated to succeed Earl Warren as Chief Justice, who eventually resigned tainted with scandal , The Neo-Confederate/Originalist Robert Bork and his ‘victimization’ by the ‘Liberals’ according to Right -Wing Myth. The  nomination of Clarence Thomas, not to speak of Bush The Younger’s nomination of Harriet Miers. This history of corruption, failed nominations, and just political/legal incompetence frames Mr. Luce’s commentary by its absence. Add Kavanaugh, Feinstein, Grassley and Ford to the expanding list of the villains for this melodrama that has devolved into a Telenovela.

Political Observer









About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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