After the Kavanaugh Riot, Now What? Sweeping Up the Mess
At a recent American Film Institute tribute to George Clooney, an actor pal recounted a story. It was the tail end of the L.A. Riots. The friend was desperate to get out of town to Palm Springs and escape the destruction. Clooney would not hear of it. “Grab the boys,” Clooney said. “We’re going down to South Central with brooms and trash cans.”
After the Kavanaugh Riot of 2018, who wouldn’t want to flee town this weekend? Who doesn’t want to escape the carnage this process has caused? The shards of shattered reputations and guiding principles. But no, boys and girls, we’ve got to head into the Swamp with our brooms and trash cans to help clean up the mess.
Still Lighting Fires
Sure, at this hour there are still anti-Kavanaugh forces still trying to light fires. Marchers are marching. HuffPost is still tweeting about Julie Swetnick despite her completely discrediting herself on NBC the other night. Democrat Senators are still complaining about the FBI investigation they themselves requested, knowing full well they are no closer to finding evidence to support Dr. Ford’s allegations while further evidence piles up to undermine her credibility.
Protesters are still hounding Sen. Jeff Flake. He won’t be able to order a bagel without someone hounding him about his choice of schmear.
Still, some Democrat sages threw down their sword. Chuck Schumer’s former aide Chris Kahn, was on Fox News last night. For two weeks he’s been fiercely attacking Kavanaugh and the GOP, getting more personal and vicious with each appearance. Last night he was talking Senate cloture procedures.
You know it’s over when partisan pundits go from warrior to wonk. Apparently Kahn was heeding the advice of famed political strategist Kenny Rogers: “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.”
As for President Trump, he will have to deal with the fallout from calling out Dr. Ford’s testimony at his Tuesday night rally. Pretty? No. But what closing defense argument is? And that’s precisely what Trump did. He summarized much of Dr. Ford’s testimony in a devastating way.
And the mainstream media played right into his hands, playing it over and over. They forgot a simple fact: Everybody saw her testimony. And now the MSM was letting Trump get the last word in summarizing what they had seen.
Still, however effective, it seemed mean, put unfair heat on Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and was likely unnecessary. Mr. President, you could have finished off the game with a layup. You didn’t need the two handed, backboard shattering dunk.
But we know President Trump by now. Come the vote, he’ll be saying “Dr. Ford seems a sweet woman. I wish her all the best. I really do mean that.”
Two Little Girls
And who doesn’t? If Kavanaugh’s daughter can pray for Christine Blasey Ford, seems the least the rest of America can do is do likewise. We’re a fair people. Even those of us fairly convinced Kavanaugh is innocent think something happened to her at some point.
I keep thinking about a therapist who had only heard audio of the hearing. She was struck by how Ford would sink into a little girl’s voice when talking about the attack. Not a teen girl, mind you. A little girl. Acting, some would say. An affectation. Just silly, some mocked. But the therapist thought otherwise. She wondered if the real trauma occurred when Ford was a little girl.
Wouldn’t it be nice if in the quiet far from the cameras sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell had the chance to speak to the little girl? Mitchell seemed to pick up on it when Ford said her high school incident “contributed” to her assorted anxieties. “Contributed? Was there another factor?” Ford quickly danced away from an answer.
And What About Our Boys?
Here’s another question we need to think over as we sweep up the mess: What about our boys? Yes, it’s fantastic that sexual assault hotlines are ringing, that women and girls are coming forward. I do hope and expect a family member who has been through this will be be able to use this opportunity to guide other women out to help and justice.
However I do wonder about the boys. What’s a young boy to say in the wake of what he’s seen? “Why walk the straight and narrow when the slings and arrows find you anyway?” Can he talk to a girl? Play tag? Hug?
Where do we go when we teach the opposite sex is a danger? When Jack and Jill cannot go up the hill without a lawyer?
The Cost of Clean-up
Yes, long after Judge Kavanaugh is sitting on the High Court and the media moves onto the next great outrage, we will be paying the cost of the past couple weeks. We cannot know the damage done to the families of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. We must pray for their healing. Pray for their peace.
But we must also pray for our nation. People in positions of power expressed loud and clear a disregard for our foundational principles. Due process and the presumption of innocence were left beaten and bloody and near death on Constitution Avenue. Decency and fairness are dead and nothing but the resurrection power of Jesus can bring it back. The trash has piled so high as to bury the Capitol Building and cover the National Mall down to the Lincoln Memorial.
As we sweep up, Lincoln looks down on us from his marble perch. He offers a prophetic warning: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
But old Abe also offers us hope: “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
And finally, he offers a word to antagonistic partisans hellbent on making political opponents out to be evil. “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”