Make the Rules, Break the Rules and Prosper

Photo Source the White House | CC BY 2.0

Brett Kavanaugh cannot prove a negative, his supporters say, and should not be judged on something he may or may not have done when he was a youth. On those two points, they are correct. I might think they were also sincere if the right-wing powers behind him had ever cared about poor people, black and brown people, asylum-seekers, anyone who’s been in prison, any kid being tried as an adult, anyone branded a sex offender, anyone convicted by the press before trial, or by police on the side of the road, or by the architects of Guantanamo—that is, the multitude in the cross-hairs of suspicion, commonly denied equity, due process and the possibility of redemption.

Kavanaugh’s sexual inquisitors are similarly flippant about justice. They ignore the problem of proving a negative and simply declare him a liar; they then focus on the story of Christine Blasey Ford, declare it true and steam ahead, affirming that accusation equals guilt and the bad acts of youth should forever color the life chances of an adult—scourges that those in the cross-hairs mentioned above know intimately. The sophomoric cruelties of Kavanaugh’s partisans, belching from the internet and in live threats, only bolster their opposite number’s argument that man is forever an adolescent. The late-hour accusation by a former Yale classmate has the odor of pile-on, and its flimsiness, in The New Yorker’s new panting approach to reporting, could be used…

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