Tuesday, September 25, 2018


As Jennifer Rubin points out, President Trump rebuts accusations by simply denying them:
President Trump’s modus operandi in cases in which he or others are accused of sexual assault or harassment is “deny, deny, deny,” Bob Woodward reported in his new book “Fear.”
Rubin says Trump's Supreme Court pick is imitating the man who chose him:
As a dutiful and increasingly political appointee following Trump’s advice, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh has taken this to an extreme.
It's not just that Kavanaugh denies all accusations of sexual misconduct. It's not just that he denies any past ill will toward Renate Schroeder Dolphin, who's the subject of undoubtedly sexualized references in Kavanaugh's high school yearbook, on his own page and elsewhere. And it's not just that Kavanaugh denies being an excessive drinker, even though there are blatant references to significant consumption of beer on his yearbook page.

Kavanaugh also denies what he's clearly done throughout his career in politics and law:
While he considered former judge Alex Kozinski a mentor and close friend, he somehow cannot recall (which differs from “denies”) being included on email chains with clerks that contained crude sexual jokes.

... his continual denial of participation in the confirmation proceedings of Charles Pickering did not live up to the “truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” standard we’d expect of a federal judge....

In the same vein, his insistence that he had no clue as a lawyer during the George W. Bush administration that information he received from a GOP operative was purloined from Democrats strains credulity....
But here's the difference: Trump frequently gets away with denying what he's accused of because his supporters don't really care if he's guilty. He denies cheating on his wife with porn stars, but the fan base finds it titillating to believe he did. He denies collusion with Russia, but the base agrees with him that Putin is cool. He denies actually doing the things he describes in the Access Hollywood tape, but the fans, well...

Kavanaugh can't pull this off. He was marketed to us as an overgrown Boy Scout -- a carpool dad, a girls' basketball coach, you know the drill. So he couldn't even pull off the George W. Bush line from the 2000 campaign: "When I was young and foolish, I was young and foolish."

That would be risky now that he's being accused of sex assaults brought on by binge drinking -- but by foreclosing the option of saying, "I got a little crazy when I was young, but I was never that crazy," he comes off as thoroughly unconvincing in his denials of misconduct now. We expect moral uprightness from our judicial appointees, but I suspect that, for better or worse, an appointee who'd all but confessed to being a teenage bad boy would have more public support right now than Kavanaugh does. That would be for creepy reasons, but it would help Kavanaugh. The paradox is that he's portrayed himself as too nice to effectively fight off the charges that he's nasty.

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