Saturday, September 29, 2018

Kavanaugh's Belligerence And Casual Lies Are Telling

Set aside the "carpool dad" mask and the evasions uttered during his previous confirmation hearings. Here are some reads about the "performance" of Republican operative- turned SCOTUS nominee Brett "KavaNut" Kavanaugh in his denial of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegations.

Rolling Stone's Jamil Smith (written before the Flake timeout) on KavaNut's belligerent display of fragile machismo to distract from the allegations made against him:
... Kavanaugh had the act down cold. Petulant and entitled, he took advantage of the leeway that his gender affords him. While Ford painfully adhered to standards of female decorum, perhaps in order to be believed — note how often she asked “Is this good?” — Kavanaugh clearly felt that he had license to misbehave. In lieu of exonerating information, he testified as though his belligerence would ensure that he was believed. Even more than denying the accusations, he openly resented having to endure this “national disgrace,” as he called it. 
The Supreme Court nominee began his virtuoso performance of Trumpian machismo with a line that the president must have loved. “I wrote it myself yesterday afternoon and evening,” Kavanaugh said at the top of his opening remarks. “No one has seen a draft of it except for one of my former law clerks,” he continued. “This is my statement.” Kavanaugh chose to wing it on what could have been the most significant day of his career, relying more on arrogance than aptitude. [snip] 
... Is Kavanaugh the stilted choirboy who celebrated his adolescent virginity on Fox News? Or is he the belligerent and condescending prep-school brat? Is he the guy who, as we’ve been told by accusers and former classmates alike, was a sloppy and mean drunk? After yesterday, I think we know him a little better. [snip] 
Kavanaugh, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration, exposed himself anew as a naked partisan, railing that the resistance to his nomination was about “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” I laughed to keep from crying as I imagined him giving a fair hearing to a case involving Planned Parenthood or any other group associated with the left. 
In normal political times, such a display would have immediately disqualified Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court... (our emphasis)
The WaPo's Philip Bump has the extensive list of lies and misdirection KavaNut deployed at the hearing.  Many centered around his answers to questions (for example, by Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse) on KavaNut's contemporaneous calendar notations:
Whitehouse is referring to comments in Kavanaugh’s yearbook that read, “Judge — have you boofed yet?” and simply “Devil’s Triangle.” 
Some have claimed that this is a clear reference to vomiting, suggesting drunkenness, or perhaps that it refers to a form of alcohol ingestion meant to avoid the smell of alcohol on one’s breath. Others have said that “devil’s triangle” refers to a sexual encounter involving three people. There is not contemporaneous documentation of those terms available online that would suggest those meanings were Kavanaugh’s real intent. (Sites such as Urban Dictionary emerged only in the Internet era and may not be instructive about past slang.) 
Update: Several readers who attended high school at about the same time as Kavanaugh have written in to suggest that “boof” is a compression of a vulgar term for anal sex. One noted a similar usage in the Frank Zappa song, “Valley Girl.” 
High school slang is often very specific to small groups of people, so it’s hard to say that Kavanaugh was misleading here. We’ll note, though, that the New York Times’s David Enrich says he spoke with a number of Kavanaugh’s former classmates and that he thinks Kavanaugh was not being truthful(our emphasis)
With all that, Bump's still being too easy on the slug ("some have claimed," "it's hard to say"). It's ok to grow a full pair, Philip.  See Greg, below.  (The New York Effing Times also has a problem with calling a lie a lie. If you boys can't manage that, you don't deserve your paycheck.)

The WaPo's Greg Sargent zeroes in on KavaNut's lying about the most trivial things:
The question of just how deep Kavanaugh’s misrepresentations run will probably remain inconclusive and mostly confined to the realm of he-said/she-said. But as Lili Loofbourow persuasively argues, the preponderance of the evidence does lean toward a decent amount of falsification, particularly since he is “doubling down on an unsustainable and untrue account of himself” as “all innocence,” which he did not have to do. 
Never mind, for now, the bigger matters that Kavanaugh stands accused of misrepresenting and falsifying. This sort of casual lying about trivial things that one should own up to belongs in its own category of reprehensibleness. It betrays a special order of contempt for one’s listeners to feed them obvious crap about matters that most ordinary people would forgive, if only the speaker copped to them. 
My guess is that Kavanaugh panicked. All that grooming for this position — Georgetown Prep, Yale, the Federalist Society gatherings and schmoozing, all the slimy, sordid partisan committee grunt work against Democrats, and, in fairness, all the grinding study and hard work — flashed before his eyes.  (our emphasis)
And, a reminder --

Not hard to imagine what this guy's like drunk if he's this uncontrolled (presumably) sober.

BONUS: The Intercept has a good rundown of KavaNut's lies -- big and small -- at Thursday's hearing.

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