It is doubtful that there has been a more ignominious exemplification of seedy political theater in America than what is now occurring in the Washington Beltway. While I am not solely referencing the ongoing controversy over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, this debacle could certainly be called central to the plot thereof.
Here we have, within days of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s up-or-down vote on Kavanaugh, an individual who appeared from the shadows making allegations of sexual impropriety against the nominee. Some pundits were quick to recognize the similarity between this ploy and the craven attempts to torpedo the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with equally feeble charges when President George H.W. Bush nominated him in 1991.
Now that I think about it, perhaps I shouldn’t have said “appeared from the shadows” as regards Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, because she has not as yet made much of an appearance at all. Since leveling her charges, she has remained comfortably in the shadows, almost assuming an air of expectation that simply making her accusations ought to be enough to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination.
And perhaps I shouldn’t have said “almost,” because this is more or less exactly the deportment Ford has assumed. Amidst requisites for her open testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ford has – through her attorneys, of course – attempted to remain at arm’s length from the entire process. Throughout this process, Ford has resisted giving actual in-person testimony, preferring instead to parcel out embellishments to her already thin charges piecemeal. She has also dragged out the process via a number of ridiculous quid pro quos relating to what conditions under which she would deign to testify.
And perhaps I shouldn’t have said “sexual assault” in referencing the charges against Kavanaugh either, because this plays into the idea – no doubt proffered by design – that an actual sexual assault occurred.
From the onset of this charade, quite a few observers and analysts noted that Ford’s charges, which pertain to an incident that allegedly took place while Ford and Kavanaugh were high school students in 1982, have very little in the way of teeth. Ford cannot remember precisely what happened, when it happened, or who else was involved in this dirty deed; despite admitting to having been quite intoxicated, she nevertheless maintains that Kavanaugh did “something” to her that probably did not involve physical contact.
On Wednesday, Ford’s attorneys sent documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee with declarations from four people who they say can corroborate her story.
More communiqués from the shadows, and thus my reference to “theater.”
Meanwhile, internecine feuding amongst Republican lawmakers has been ongoing ahead of a key vote on a $1.3 trillion spending bill – most notably over the funding of President Trump’s campaign promise of a wall on the southern border. Trump had requested $1.6 billion in funding for the border wall, with additional money for border technology. The border wall funding seemed to be a lock, but now it appears that the bill’s appropriations differ drastically from what Trump requested.
Not to worry, GOP leaders have told the president. They promise that they’ll be forthcoming with the lion’s share of his requested border wall spending after the midterm election.
Does this sound familiar? If you’re old enough, it should: It’s the same sort of ploy lawmakers used to gain President Ronald Reagan’s cooperation with an amnesty plan for illegal immigrants in 1986 – after which Reagan’s border security concerns were never addressed.
In this theater of tragic comedy (if I may call it such), what’s important here are the players, as opposed to the plot or the acts themselves. Those who are attempting to thwart Kavanaugh’s nomination and those GOP lawmakers who are resisting funding the president’s border wall are all seasoned, establishment (Deep State) players.
What’s central to the theme is their motivation, which is that of stonewalling not just Trump’s agenda, but more importantly those elements that represent long-term impediments to their own agendas. An ostensibly conservative new Supreme Court justice could hamper their efforts for decades, and the mere notion of border security is anathema as far as Beltway politicos are concerned.