Let Us Model Honorable Disagreement

If I were a Senator, I would vote AGAINST confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

I dislike the conservative judicial positions he holds, so I was a “NO” early on. Then, the way he handled the accusations of sexual assault, especially lying under oath about his drinking habits, disqualified him on a character level, in my opinion.

Moreover, I believe Dr. Ford’s account of what happened one afternoon 30-something years ago is accurate and that Brett Kavanaugh did what she said he did. I also suspect that he was blind drunk and does not remember the incident, or probably the gathering, or maybe even the week. There is no excuse for what he did, but it’s not clear to me that he lied about attacking anyone. It is clear from the chorus of his friends and classmates that he was a heavy, black-out drinker, and his sworn testimony to the contrary is either a lie or supreme self delusion. Either way, he doesn’t have the morals I want in a Supreme Court justice.

Preppy Man with a beer in front of the Flag

And, the YES Team’s work to confirm Kavanaugh has too often been an orchestrated shotgun assault of calculated anti-democratic, misogynistic, hyperbolic misstatements, and swarmy accusations and smears. I wish I believed in hell so I could take comfort that the deliberate flame throwers would eventually get what they deserve for their inflammatory actions.

Still, I do believe that principled Senators can rationalize themselves into voting for Kavanaugh. I listened to Senator Susan Collins’ speech today, and I believe her to be measured, honest, and worthy of respectful treatment.

In her statement, she said some unpleasant truths that, in my mind, give her some leeway to make bad judgment calls. For example, she mentioned how our left-wing advocacy groups opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination even before he was named. One group on our side apparently didn’t bother to edit their press release after Kavanaugh was named and  came out against President Trumps nominee “XX”. The blind opposition and rage of the left is not excusable, and I understand how it could push a moderate Republican like Collins into disbelieving anything bad that later comes up about the nominee.

I liked her careful thought process in trying to determine what in the Ford-Kavanaugh situation is knowable. I liked her use of logic, her defense of Senator Feinstein, and her coolness.

Senator Susan Collins

Senator Susan Collins

In short, Senator Collins was honorable and, in my opinion, deserves respectful treatment.

By “treatment”, of course, I do mean disagreement.

I expected Senator Collins to like Kavanaugh’s conservative outlook. But, to me, it’s very, very disappointing that Collins didn’t deal with Kavanaugh’s temperament.  In the supplemental hearing, Kavenagh acted too much like my alcoholic step-father for me to want him on the court. Collins never dealt with the fact that Kavanaugh was, and apparently still is, a drunk.

While Collins bemoaned the vehemence of the opposition to Kavanaugh, she apparently gave the nominee a pass on his anti-Clinton, anti-Democratic party rant. His initial righteous indignation that morphed into diagnosable paranoia didn’t bother her.

So, Collins based her decision on selective facts that I find far less compelling than the factors she left out of her equations. In my opinion, she’s wrong. She should be held accountable, that is, voted out of office. She failed to make the right decision in an important case.

I am all for helping an opponent of hers. She should be defeated at the polls as a reward for her narrow and bad selection of facts. She emphasized the inability to prove what Dr. Ford said happened 30+ years ago, and paid little or no emphasis on evaluating the character of the person the President nominated. She erred.

But, let us not suggest that Senator Collins acted out of bad intentions. Or, that this is pay back, pay forward, or anything quid pro quo-ish.

She should be voted out of office in two years, but not hounded in the meantime.

She made a terrible decision. Bad. Bad. Awful.

Dumb. Limited.

But, let us not doubt her motives. Not suggest that we know her soul (and decide that it’s impure). Not say that’s she’s anyone’s puppet (besides that is misogynistic in its own right).

Senator Collins is the kind of Republican I used always hate (politically) and vote against. Those Republicans would latch on to elite and pro-business arguments and ignore the middle- and working classes. Their positions on social and economic issues were bad for the country, in my opinion.  Now, let us tell Senator Collins how awful her position on Kavanaugh is.

But, we must also appreciate that Senator Susan Collins is a veteran of the Senator, a power, and a logical human being. She is doing something now that we disagree with. She has values some facts more than others that we value.

I wish I could convince the woman and have her vote NO. But, I also hope that we all will respect her in the morning…

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1 Response to Let Us Model Honorable Disagreement

  1. Patty Ronney says:

    I do so agree with what you wrote. It is measured, As Ms Collins was in her speech. She was so logical, you can’t find fault with it, excepting that she didn’t take all the things that I felt were important in her decision. I disagreed with her, but as you put it, “her careful thought process in trying to determine what in the Ford-Kavanaugh situation is knowable. I liked her use of logic, her defense of Senator Feinstein, and her coolness.”, and agreed she is worthy of respect and proper treatment, but I believe she didn’t take important facts into consideration and I disagree with her.

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