Right Ways and Wrong Ways

For those who’ve decided that Brett Kavanaugh is guilty of everything of which he’s been accused and/or that he is not legitimately a Supreme Court Justice and that the Supreme Court itself is now illegitimate, the right way to respond is by organizing and voting.

The wrong way is to use violent imagery in doing so. So, for example, “this is war” (Charles Blow in the New York Times), “fighting” (David Leonhardt in the same outlet), “assault” (Dana Milbank in the Washington Post), and “political hit” (now-Justice Kavanaugh in testimony). In contrast E. J. Dionne’s recent writings are a good model of how to express dismay without resorting to violent imagery.

There is danger in violent imagery being a standard part of political discourse. In a country of more than 300 million people there are bound to be a certain number of crazy people who will be moved to actual violence by it. It won’t take a lot of violence to set this tinderbox ablaze.

One more thought. Two wrongs still do not make a right. The notion that the Republicans are solely to blame or the Democrats are solely to blame is just partisan flummery. No one is wholly innocent. No one is wholly guilty. If you need absolutes, look somewhere other than politics.

4 comments… add one
  • Guarneri

    “No one is wholly innocent. No one is wholly guilty. If you need absolutes, look somewhere other than politics.”

    I’m not sure what the point of this is, except a weak attempt to absolve the Democrats of the overwhelming preponderance of guilt. It was Democrat politicians and sympathizers who leaked and ran with a wholly unsubstantiated claim. It’s was Clinton and Obama handlers, not a non-partisan private attorney located and hired by Ford, who managed her case. It was Democrats and Democrat sympathizers who turfed up and pronounced as credible Ramirez and Swetnick, two women whose stories rapidly and predictably wilted under scrutiny. It was Democrat pols and sympathizers who serially changed the charges and acceptable standards of conduct, and demanded delay after delay, as prior charges fell by the wayside. I could go on.

    Invoking an absolutist standard is simply an argument of convenience, like an arsonist blaming the ABC Match Company for inventing matches.

  • I’m not sure what the point of this is, except a weak attempt to absolve the Democrats of the overwhelming preponderance of guilt.

    I’ve already been castigated for trying to absolve Republicans of the overwhelming preponderance of guilt so I guess I’m even.

    I think that the number of people who have covered themselves in glory in this matter is vanishingly small.

  • Ben Wolf

    The Supreme Court has been illegitimate since it claimed powers not granted it. That happened over 200 years ago.

    As for Kavanaugh, I see no reason to respect or accept as legitimate a suited poltroon who has spent his professional life assisting others in shredding what few liberties remain to us.

  • steve

    See Drew. See Drew rant.

    Steve

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