Even Kavanaugh’s now-notorious yearbook page, with its references to the “100 kegs or bust” and the like, seems less like an honest reflection of a fun guy than a representation of a try-hard willing to say or do anything as long as his bros think he’s cool. In other words: The awful things Kavanaugh allegedly did only imperfectly correlate to the familiar frame of sexual desire run amok; they appear to more easily fit into a different category—a toxic homosociality—that involves males wooing other males over the comedy of being cruel to women.
Those are high stakes, and thus the burden of proof is on the state.
The stakes are different when we are talking about whether a person merits a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the country. Therefore, the balance and burden of proof ought to be different as well.
This question seems neither difficult nor controversial to me.
What struck me most about yesterday’s hearing, cutting through Kavanaugh’s tone-deaf retorts and indignant whinging and his frequent professions of love for beer, is how utterly ordinary he is. This guy is juvenile, arrogant, sexist — and very familiar. It pointed to a larger truth: the people running the show are callous and dangerous, but they’re also astonishingly average. They have no irreplaceable qualities or insights that would oblige us to put up with their bullshit. They would hate for us to realize this.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and not just in regards to the Kavanaugh nomination.
Trump’s 2016 victory has simply brought GOP officials and the conservative movement leadership out in the open, and forced them to admit that they are not organized on the basis of a long intellectual tradition, but are, instead, a cynical political faction that uses propaganda and unscrupulous tactics to obtain and hold power.
Go read the whole thing.