Blog: What Winning Looks Like
Trump turned Washington into a circus. Now the world is laughing at the US clown-in-chief.
Oakland, California, October, 2018
Donald Trump boasted at the UN General Assembly that his administration had accomplished more than any US administration in history. The assembled group of world leaders laughed at him. The next day, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, showed himself to be a weakling and a cry-baby. The testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, the woman Kavanaugh had molested in 1982, had unmanned the Republican’s dirty trickster. In the court of public opinion, Dr. Blasey-Ford was believable and earned the public’s sympathy. And despite copious tears splashing into his water glass, Brett Kavanaugh was neither a believable nor sympathetic figure. Kavanaugh’s lies convicted him, while Dr. Blasey-Ford became the heroine of sexual abuse victims, everywhere.
“Winning Isn’t Everything, It’s The Only Thing.”
Sports Illustrated 1956 Rose Bowl issue
Democrats haven’t been winners for years. Even before the Obama years, Democrats lacked the political will to oppose the Republican’s right wing agenda. When the Republicans called them, ‘liberal’, Democrats cowered. Republican propaganda branded ‘liberalism’ as anti-American and unpatriotic. They called liberalism the political belief of the poor and non-white minorities. Republicans define liberals as tax and spend Democrats. Trump and his Republican supporters claimed that liberals wanted to bring America down.
Democrats were not just afraid, they seemed to be intellectually inadequate. When Democrats won elections, they postured for their constituents, put their names on public buildings and played it safe. ‘Bag men’ chose Democratic candidates who didn’t ‘make waves’ and did as they were told. At every turn and on every issue, Republicans out thought, out smarted and out maneuvered Democrats. Republicans chose their candidates to act boldly, represent their base and give billionaire plutocrats tax cuts, bailouts and corporate advantages. Democrats only offered excuses for why they were such losers.
Even when Americans, all over the country, rose up in 2008 to choose a Negro president and give Democrats control over both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Democratic Party rejected their mandate and allowed the ‘deep state’ and billionaire plutocrats to tighten their control over the American economy and the America’s society. The entire Democratic Party played stooges for tea party politics, neo-con schemes and war liberal aggressions.
‘I am Spartacus’
But somehow, Democrats found the courage to oppose Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh is an unscrupulous Republican operative, a liar, a drunk ___ and someone who stands accused of numerous sexual assaults. Declaring ‘I am Spartacus,’ Senator Cory Booker revealed documents that Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, marked committee confidential. And in the ensuing struggle, the Democrats ___ at long last ___ began to act like winners.
Yale’s Truth and Courage Society
With the confidence of someone accustomed to the privilege and status, Brett Kavanugh entered his confirmation hearings arrogant, self-assured and self-absorbed. Kavanaugh’s Irish Catholic arrogance, reenforced by an elite Jesuit prep school education, was on full display in his confirmation hearings. When the father of a sexual abuse victim attempted to shake his hand, Kavanaugh rudely brushed him aside. Kavanaugh exhibited the same attitude towards Senator Amy Klobuchar. When the senator questioned him about his drunkenness, Kavanaugh snapped back “Have you ever passed out drunk, Senator?”
In his freshman year at Yale, James Roche roomed with Brett Kavanaugh. He said the Supreme Court nominee was belligerent and mean when he drank ___ and he always drank. Kavanaugh belonged to one of Yale’s secret societies, the all-male, Truth and Courage [TNC] club. Unlike some of the other Yale societies, which sought members from prestigious family backgrounds or members with superior GPAs, Truth and Courage attracted members who drank excessively and were obsessed with sex. Yale insiders nicknamed the Truth and Courage club, the Tit and Clit society for its obsession with chasing coeds. Truth and Courage initiated new members with elaborate drinking games where initiates drink until they pass out. A private Facebook group of 20,000 Yale alumni lists Brett Kavanaugh as a member of the Truth and Courage society.
As Bush’s staff secretary from 2003 to 2006, Kavanaugh played a critical role in the Bush administration’s most significant activities. During those years, Kavanaugh was known as Bush’s brain. He surreptitiously helped plan the Iraq War and its aftermath, the Abu Ghraib scandal and other torture-related policies, the reauthorization of the Patriot Act and the controversial federal abortion ban. In his confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh confided that his activities as Bush’s staff secretary would guide his performance on the Supreme Court.
Senator Patrick Leahy said that Bush’s brain was a liar. In his 2006 federal court confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh claimed that he had not received stolen documents when he served in the Bush White House. But Senator Leahy said that Kavanaugh received stolen documents from a spy for the Republicans who had broke into the offices of Senate Democrats, copied their emails and forwarded the information to the White House. A 2004 report by the Senate Sergeant at Arms supported Leahy’s charges. The report concluded that Manuel Miranda, who worked for Republican Senator, Orrin Hatch, had stolen the Democrat’s internal memos and passed them to Kavanaugh. These confidential memos outlined the Democrats’ strategies for opposing Bush’s judicial nominees. Since Bush’s brain could not deny that he had received the stolen documents, he denied that he had known that the documents were stolen. Democrats also charged Bush’s brain with lying about his handling of warrantless wiretapping and detainee policy. Yet, despite his lies, Kavanaugh was appointed United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
In a 2015 lecture to law students, Kavanaugh said that his role as Bush’s brain influenced his judicial decisions. He said that it was his opinion that presidents could disobey laws that they didn’t like. “It’s about the most controversial thing a president can do,” Kavanaugh told the students. In this opinion, Kavanaugh declared that the President of the United States is above the law ___ and, by extension, those serving the president are also unencumbered by any legal restraint. Kavanaugh’s opinion demonstrates the role he played in implementing Bush’s policy of American Exceptualism. Kavanaugh’s opinion ___ that the president of the United States is above the law____ is the reason Trump picked him for a seat on the Supreme Court. This view of the law is consistent with Kavanaugh’s stealing confidential information and lying to cover up his crimes. Kavanaugh’s view of the law is founded on the Machiavellian beliefs, which are the basis of Jesuit Catholicism. Do what you want. If you get caught, lie your way out ... and if lies don’t work, throw a tantrum and use force. This is how fascism operates. Deus vult!
Ken Starr’s Star
Kavanaugh’s political career began in Washington with Ken Starr, the independent counsel chosen by the Justice Department to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton’s scandals. During his three years with Ken Starr, Kavanaugh coordinated the independent counsel’s grand jury activities. Democrats claimed that Kavanaugh lied to the Senate in his 2006 confirmation hearing when he claimed that he never broke any grand jury rules. However, Senator Dianne Feinstein says that Kavanaugh systematically violated grand jury secrecy laws. Citing a memo from the National Archives, Senator Feinstein claimed that Kavanaugh instructed Hickman Ewing, a colleague and deputy independent counsel, to inform Chris Ruddy, CEO of the NewsMax Media Group, about matters that Starr was submitting to the grand jury. Disclosing grand jury information is the type of criminal offense that should have disqualified Kavanaugh from sitting on the highest court in the land. But since Kavanaugh and his backers do not believe in obeying the law, the Republicans are pushing his nomination through the Senate and Kavanaugh’s political, fraternal and religious affiliations have done everything necessary to protect Kavanaugh from his past.
Graham Melts Down During Kavanaugh Hearing
Kavanauagh’s Democratic opposition enraged Senator Lindsey Graham, the usually smug South Carolina Republican. Though normally suave and unflappable, Graham ___ staged his own temper tantrum, angrily blasting the Democrats for characterizing Kavanaugh as a liar, a drunk and a sexual pervert. The South Carolina senator shouted that “this hearing is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”
Lindsey Graham, along with Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was apoplectic over the Democratic obstruction to their plans to score another easy victory by discrediting Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford’s testimony. Midway through the hearing , however, the Republicans realized that their strategy had gone awry. Not only had the Republicans been outsmarted, but, worse, their own lies had blown up in their faces. They knew that Kavanaugh’s behavior as a sexual pervert and a drunk could not bear close scrutiny. Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, had told Trump so. But Graham and Grassley believed they could use Rachel Mitchell, a female prosecutor from Maricopa County, Arizona, to destroy Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford’s credibility and ram Kavanaugh’s nomination through the Senate. Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley soon realized, however, that their plan was backfiring. Unaccustomed to being outsmarted by Democrats, Graham resorted to ‘Plan B’. He threw a temper tantrum.
In a shaking voice, Graham screeched to the Judiciary Committee Democrats, “If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could have come to us.” Then he fumed, “What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020. This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics, and if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell shouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy.”
Finally, foaming at the mouth, the South Carolina Senator identified his real concern, snarling “To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you are legitimizing the most despicable thing I’ve seen in my time in politics.”
But, in the face of Lindsey Graham’s temper tantrum, the Democrats remained nonplussed. To them, this is what winning looked like.