Brett Kavanaugh Should Withdraw

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few — or the one.

W.J. Astore

For the good of the country, Brett Kavanaugh should withdraw his name as a nominee to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court justices are public servants.  They need to appear as unbiased and objective as possible.  Their reputations should be as unsullied as possible.  They should not be known for partisanship.  Their public temperament should be sober, serious, and balanced, while making room for empathy and compassion and humility.

Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation, fairly or unfairly, is now sullied.  A quick and limited FBI investigation will not remove the taint surrounding his name.  Based upon last Thursday’s hearing and his own testimony, Kavanaugh stood revealed as a hyper-partisan associated with a particular brand of hard-right conservatism.  Instead of sober and balanced, he came across as belligerent, angry, self-righteous, and self-pitying.  He evaded questions as he demanded answers of senators questioning him.  When he did deign to answer, his responses were often unconvincing.

Put bluntly, Kavanaugh failed to display the demeanor Americans expect of any judge, let alone a judge with a lifetime appointment to America’s highest court.

Judge Kavanaugh says he’s a fighter who will never quit.  Yet there comes a time to withdraw from a fight when that withdrawal is for the greater good of the country.

An oft-quoted line from the “Star Trek” movies is Spock’s explanation of why he sacrifices his life to save the ship.  The needs of the many, Spock says, outweigh the needs of the few — or the one.  Spock’s rule applies here.  Kavanaugh’s appointment to the court will further divide this country along partisan and gender lines.  It will be interpreted as a slap in the face to sufferers of sexual assault.  It will cause many more Americans to lose faith in the Supreme Court — this at a time when Americans already express little faith in Congress, and highly polarized opinions of the president.

The Supreme Court’s reputation is more important than any one man.  The needs of the country outweigh the needs of the few who vociferously support him, or the one.

For the reputation of the court, and for the unity of our country, Kavanaugh should withdraw.

Update (10/2/18): There appear to be only four “swing” senators: Collins, Flake, Manchin, and Murkowski.  All the other senators are reportedly voting along party lines.  I’ve been sending notes to these four “swing” senators to vote “no” on Kavanaugh.  Here is the note I sent to them this morning:

Dear Senator XXX: Why vote for Brett Kavanaugh?

It’s a serious question. A vote for him will divide the country further. It will reduce our country’s faith in the Supreme Court as a fair-minded and non-partisan institution. It will be interpreted by many as a slap in the face to women, and especially to women brave enough to come forward to share their horrific stories of sexual assault.

Why this flawed man, and no other? As a retired military officer who voted for a third-party candidate in 2016 (though I voted for Reagan in 1984), it makes no sense to me. Unless it’s all about “winning” for the Republican party, but even that makes little sense to me. Country, after all, comes before party. I learned that as a military officer.

Put country first. Please vote “no.”

13 thoughts on “Brett Kavanaugh Should Withdraw

  1. You could go through your Thesaurus and find many words to describe Kavanaugh’s sorry performance: hostile, aggressive, threatening, antagonistic, pugnacious, bellicose, truculent, confrontational, contentious, militant, or combative. These traits are now admired and treasured by the Party of President Agent Orange.

    His demeanor was not anything you would expect of someone who is essentially interviewing for a job. I can not imagine Kavanaugh being placed in any position of command or management. The whole world was watching as he displayed his temperament and near total lack of control. As someone on a another Web Site wrote he resembled a toddler throwing a tantrum in the grocery store check-out line when the parents refuse to buy the toddler a candy bar.

    Kavanaugh was more like Lt. Cmdr. Queeg at the Court-Martial.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A small addendum don’t insult Commander Queeg in the Caine Mutiny please. One of my fave W.W.ll Movies. I believe Queeg was mentally unstable for Command! Kavanaugh in comparison is just a spoiled little Frat boy who still thinks per his rank in Society can do, say and pretty much get away with all sorts of indiscretions, and violations by the omerta of his Social Class!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Completely agree!

    We all know that Justices have their pet ideological preferences. They’re people too. But they have remained (by and large) visibly committed to the law’s unique set of professional ethics. Which state Bar organizations do take seriously, because collective belief in the impartiality of the justice system is absolutely essential to maintaining a common society.

    Somewhere in the Circuit Courts, I guarantee there’s some boring professional lacking a checkered past, because they’ve been too busy, you know, studying and working. I guarantee their colleagues know who they are. Kavanaugh should withdraw and allow a bipartisan committee to convene and find this person.


  4. The SCOTUS turned into a partisan bench long before Trump. Notice how the DNC was acting as if states had no rights when it came to substituting interpretation of the law with ammending it. Ginsberg was right when it came to the subject of Roe v Wade, and the same applies to the across-the-union legalisation of same-sex marriage: you’ll never get the legislation you need to solve these issues, because the court already broke the law to begin with in favour of a quick fix. Remember, “the illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a bit longer.” I really wish I knew who said that.

    On the flip side, when the subject of illegal immigration comes up, the dems turn 180 and are all for states’ rights, and partisan district judges who struck down Obama’s travel ban (which Trump merely signed off on) reflect that. Of course, since the dems are such sore losers, they will treat every single candidate that Trump appoints with the same contempt as Kavanaugh, whether they deserve it or not. They already lost the Executive and Legislative branches, they don’t want to lose the Judicial branch as well, especially since the SCOTUS can override both the President AND Congress.

    In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, never interrupt your enemy while they are making a mistake. If the dems truly want to discredit Trump and win again, then approving Kavanaugh is a mistake that must be allowed to happen. If the partisanship of the SCOTUS completely flips and becomes blatantly obvious even to the oblivious Congresspeople, which will most certainly happen if Ginsberg dies and Trump gets a second nominee, then perhaps new legislation will be introduced to curb the court’s power and begin reforming the entire legal system – a reform that many people believe we are in dire need of. On the flip side, if you want the Democratic Party to die (as I do), then let them keep trying to undermine the entire system until they piss off every last American citizen and no-one will vote for them anymore. There won’t be a viable third party until one of the two major parties dies off (preferably both).


    1. Kaja: Your attacks on the Democrats are inconsistent with how they treated Gorsuch. Sure, they opposed him. But he got on the court with votes from Democrats.

      Also, if Ginsburg steps down, Trump would have his third nominee, not his second.


      1. Well, that’s certainly an embarassing gap in my knowledge. I’m going to have to look that up and see when that happened – there was probably something more interesting going on across the pond at the time (feel free to give me a hard time over that lame excuse). Anyway, I still think that Congress is going about Kavanaugh the wrong way, and embarassing themselves in the process. If it’s really about his inability to conduct himself with impartiality in a courtroom, then why even entertain the idea of an investigation and delay the vote for, what is it, a third time?

        By the way, I do actually agree with you about Kavanaugh withdrawing. Not for his sake (for his own sake, he should try to clear his name), but for the sake of the system. However, I also like chaos, so I really want to see what happens if this drags out and all of Congress devolves into Lindsey Graham over the matter (you know what I mean). Call this zloradstvo (a.k.a. schadenfreude), but I enjoy seeing politics in general transmogrify into self-parody.

        One final point: the reason I attack the Democrats is because they disappoint me far more than the Republicans (whom I have very low expectations of to begin with). When the left starts acting like the religious right, but with completely opposite views, on one level it’s funny, but on another, it’s scary.


  5. Good letter to the Senators. I seem to always find something of value in Orwell’s book 1984:

    ‘Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.’
    Side Bar: Kavanaugh has exposed himself as an angry man carrying a tremendous rage, when his strong sense of entitlement as part of the elite is hindered.

    I hope I am wrong, I suspect party Orthodoxy of the Republicans will triumph over good judgement.

    One more quote from 1984 seems to apt: “He was a fattish but active man of paralyzing stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasm—one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more even than on the Thought Police, the stability of the Party depended.”


    1. The fix is in, ML. A limited and super-secret FBI investigation allegedly exonerates Kavanaugh. Surprise!


      1. The “Fix Is In, Folks”: Though She Admits Not Fully Reading It, Susan Collins Describes FBI Probe as “Very Thorough” “I’d love [the senator] to explain how a ‘very thorough investigation’ didn’t find time to interview the accuser, the accused, or dozens of corroborating witnesses.”

        I believe it was Howard Zinn who wrote about Congressional Investigations as having a goal of publicly whitewashing what they do not want to surface. Sometimes there will be political posturing allowed, just to reassure us Proles the “system” works.

        The super-secret FBI Investigation is like the Volkswagen Emissions Fraud. From Wiki: The agency (EPA) had found that Volkswagen had intentionally programmed turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines to activate their emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing which caused the vehicles’ NOx output to meet US standards during regulatory testing, but emit up to 40 times more NOx in real-world driving.

        This super-super secret FBI investigation had to be carefully controlled/programmed to produce the desired result which was to conclude that no further damaging information or emissions on Kavanaugh would be discovered.


        1. Yes. And senators had to go to a SCIF (usually for Top Secret national security info) to read the report, and only for an hour at a time.

          A very limited investigation — only one copy — kept in a SCIF — only reviewable at hourly intervals. This is democracy and transparency?


Comments are closed.