I don’t even want to write this column.
Because who wants to wade into the nasty, vile muck that is the Supreme Court Justice confirmation process? But I guess I will. Because I am a glutton for punishment, and I am just so disgusted by all of it.
When I was pregnant with my both of my kids and trying to pick names for them, I would say the ones on my short list aloud with different titles to see if they sounded like solid choices, no matter if they turned out to be the lead singer of a punk band or nominated to the highest court in the land.
Both “lead singer of The Mutilated Puppies Anders Trice” and “Supreme Court Justice Anders Trice” had a nice ring to it, so we decided to go with that name for our first offspring.
Side note: I obviously made up the band name The Mutilated Puppies as my fake punk band for name testing purposes. A quick Google search confirmed there is no such real band named that (at least that I could find). However, the search did turn up a Canadian punk band named Mutilated Puppy Fetus, so clearly I was on the right track. It seems any combination of baby animals, fetuses and mutilation works for this genre.
But I digress.
After last week, though, I think I would rather Anders be the lead singer of The Mutilated Puppies (or Mutilated Puppy Fetus, if that position should ever become available) than have to go through what this Supreme Court confirmation process has become — an absolute circus.
I have no idea who or what to believe right now. How can anyone on the outside looking in really know with any certainty?
Judge Brett Kavanaugh categorically and emphatically denies what Professor Christine Blasey Ford says he did to her at a high school party almost four decades ago. She says it absolutely did happen, told her therapist years ago and voluntarily took a polygraph test that said she was speaking truthfully, but no one can confirm that he was even there and he steadfastly maintains he was not. He has friends and supporters who say he is a great person, full of integrity, who would never lie, and so does she.
Like most Americans, I don’t know either of these people personally. I have no reason to believe or disbelieve either of them at this point. Maybe these answers will eventually emerge or maybe they never will.
A lot of folks (like me) are reserving judgment until all of this plays out more and to see if any additional information comes to light.
But there are many, many people who have already decided Kavanaugh is either a lying, sexual predator or Ford is a crazy, opportunistic nutjob, and they have based this decision on nothing more than their personal politics. Tribalism at its very worst.
And that is what absolutely terrifies me for this country. Even something as serious as the validity of a sexual assault has become something that can be determined along party lines. And used and exploited for political purposes.
While I don’t really know what happened at a Maryland high school party 30-something years ago, I do know the senators on the Judiciary Committee — both Democrats and Republicans — care nothing about Kavanaugh, Ford, their families or the truth itself, all of which are completely expendable and ruining their lives are just a means to an end. They only want to get their guy through or to prevent it from happening, depending on which “side” they are on. The truth be damned! Which is very sickening, considering they are the very body in charge of finding said truth.
Democrats purposefully held this back — information they had for months — until the very end of this process so they could try and delay a confirmation of anyone until after the midterms. Again, who cares what Dr. Ford wanted (which was allegedly, anonymity), this is more about political gamesmanship. And who can blame the Dems for playing this “game” after what the Republicans did to Merrick Garland? It’s all just so gross. And I fear this vicious cycle of “destroy at whatever means necessary” will never end.
Hopefully, despite these circus acts being in charge of this, it will somehow play out as it should, with the right person eventually being named to the court. But no matter what ultimately happens with Kavanaugh, I think we have a lot of soul searching to do as a country. There is just so much lunacy on the fringes of both sides, and this confirmation process has certainly further illustrated that.
I have to wonder if we are ever going to find our way back from this hyper-partisan world we live in. A place where we value truth over political agendas. Where our political system and leaders can be admired and the ones other nations aspire to be.
I do wholeheartedly believe the majority of people in this country still want that — the silent middle. The people who want to truly understand complex issues from all sides, the ones who can see that every single issue isn’t absolute, or black or white, or red or blue and that truth and solutions are most often found in the gray or purple. And the other “side” isn’t “evil,” just folks you need to work with to find common ground.
I don’t know how we get back there, or if it’s even possible anymore, but I sure think it’s well past time to try.
But I guess if all else fails, I can just go out on tour with The Mutilated Puppies one day. That is, if the lead singer will let me.
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