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A point-by-point rebuttal to Kavanaugh's WSJ op-ed

On Life

Ruminations and provocations.

A point-by-point rebuttal to Kavanaugh's WSJ op-ed

Stephen H. Provost

Breaking down key excerpts in Brett Kavanaugh's Wall Street Journal op-ed, headlined "I Am an Independent, Impartial Judge," with my point-by-point response:

"I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been."

More than on your wedding day, more than at the birth of your children. This is troubling, especially since you go on to say how important your family supposedly is to you.

"I might have been too emotional at times."

Saying you "might have been" is a hedge. It means you realize others think you were, and you don't agree with them, but because you want to save face, you're going to pretend they might have a point. Instead of taking responsibility for your actions, you’re seeking to minimize them, in the same way you sought to minimize your excessive drinking and bad behavior in high school and college. No wonder you were grounded so often on that calendar of yours.

"I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said.:"

Minimizing, again. “Sharp?” Try rude and belligerent. "A few things?" Many, things, some of which were distortions, others of which were simply false.

"I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad."

This has nothing to do with your ability to be an impartial judge, . In fact, impartiality demands that you set aside personal biases. This is not evidence of your ability to do so, but the exact opposite. If this is the kind of logic you use making legal arguments, I'm amazed that you were even considered for the bench, much less the highest court in the land.

"I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters."

No, you didn't. You testified with yourself foremost in your mind. This is clear from the testimony itself. You're using your family as human shields in a war against, how did you put it? Democrats who hate Trump and are seeking revenge for the 2016 election? You certainly didn’t have the sexual assault victim who says you were the perpetrator foremost in your mind - either then or now.

“Going forward, you can count on me to be … hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good.”

Let’s take this one at a time. Hardworking? Except when you’re getting drunk at frat parties that make “Animal House” look tame by comparison. Even-keeled? After Thursday’s hearing, you really expect me to believe that? Open-minded? When you respond to an allegation of sexual assault by calling it a “calculated and orchestrated political hit” on behalf of the Clintons and blaming your opponents instead of expressing even a shred of empathy for survivors? Independent? In light of your history working in a political capacity for Republican politicians (whatever happened to separation of powers?) Dedicated to the Constitution: The same document prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude. News flash: Sexual assault is an attempt to subject another person to exactly that. The public good? More like your own ambition, ego and reputation.

“As a judge, I have always treated colleagues and litigants with the utmost respect.”

As a judge? The implicit admission here is that, in other facets of your life, you don’t accord such respect to others. Again, this is supported by your behavior in high school, college and at Thursday’s hearing. Always? Not on Thursday. Or don’t you consider senators to be your colleagues in upholding the Constitution you claim to hold so dear?

"I have been known for my courtesy on and off the bench. I have not changed."

Your angry, defensive and sometimes belligerent behavior during Thursday's hearing suggests otherwise. Or maybe you HAVEN'T changed. Maybe you were a discourteous jerk all along. Your behavior in high school and college would seem to confirm precisely that.

Oh, and one last thing. This op-ed piece? The Fox interview? The words “protest too much” come to mind. On top of that, any good lawyer will tell you it’s a bad idea to act as your own defense attorney. But then, you’re not a very good lawyer, are you, Mr. Kavanaugh? You’re just an insecure overachiever who has risen to the top on the coattails of political hacks who want to use you for their own purposes. Being used by others shouldn’t make you feel good, Mr. Kavanaugh, but if you’ve done it yourself, you probably don’t have any room to complain.