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Jeb Bladine: A ‘Supreme’ test of ends and means

Dramatic Thursday testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee occurred too late for this column’s mid-morning deadline. But not too late to consider the unfortunate reality that for too many Americans, the ends justify the means.

This week’s controversy revolves around accusations by Professor Christine Blasey Ford of past sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Both testified Thursday as a prelude to the committee’s important vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The stakes are high.

Political conservatives believe Supreme Court decisions have leaned liberal for too long. They cheered President Donald Trump’s first appointment of Neil Gorsuch, and they believe adding Kavanaugh will move the Supreme Court needle to their philosophical direction.

Political liberals and progressives, to their great dismay, believe the same about Kavanaugh.

Many people awaiting Thursday’s dramatic testimony seemed more intent on confirming “their truth” than on learning “the truth.”

Whatchamacolumn

Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

> See his column

It’s one thing when people reach opinions based on news of the day; it’s different when people consider answers to important questions irrelevant to their pre-formed beliefs.

Is Ford telling the truth? Could her claims be a case of mistaken identity or flawed memory? Are Kavanaugh’s denials truthful? Is he wrongfully accused? Are both Ford and Kavanaugh going to become collateral damage?

Ford and Kavanaugh are pawns in a larger war in which opponents sometimes violate current moral imperatives in their quest of the greater good. They consider future directions of the U.S. Supreme Court an end that can justify almost any means.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, President Trump called it “a big fat con job.” He added, as quoted by The Atlantic, this clarification:

“The people that have complained to me about it the most, about what’s happening, are women. Women are very angry … And I, frankly, think that — I think they like what the Republicans are doing. But I think they would have liked to have seen it go a lot faster. But give them their day in court. Let somebody else have a day in court. But the ones that I find — I mean, I have men that don’t like it. But I have women that are incensed at what’s going on. I’ve always said, women are smarter than men. I’ve said that a lot. And I mean it. But women are incensed at what’s going on.”

Sometimes, when the president speaks, it is difficult to identify either the ends or the means.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.

Comments

Don Dix

Our Constitution (separation of powers) allows protection for the minority party, and, at the same time, limits the majority.

This clown act we call congress is equivalent to a third grade recess dispute. And both sides of the isle are equally responsible.

The Rs want another right-leaning member on the SC, and wish to rush the decision. The Ds will do anything to stop it, and have proven to the public there is no limit.

The softball questions to each side's witness were tempered by the rude and accusing from the other. It seems as though each side had completely abandoned dignity, truth, and facts to have their way.

Looking at the events -- why would Sen. Feinstein's withhold supposedly damaging evidence (about Kavanaugh) from the judicial committee if it wasn't partisan politics? And the Rs hid behind a female prosecutor to question Ford.

About the only truth that emerged was the fiery speech from Sen. Graham, who rightly pointed out how deceptive and underhanded the process had become -- and he promised the same tactic if and when the Ds gain the majority.

Lastly, if even one of those on the judicial committee (or any congressional position) had to answer for a sexual accusation 36 years old, never reported, no knowledge of when or where, what would be the reaction? I'm guessing righteous indignation right off -- and then demand solid proof from named witnesses, who would be exposed to all kinds of scrutiny and public shame. It's a sad commentary on how some are given a pass because of their position or who they are, while others are made to run an impossible gauntlet to prove a negative -- nearly every congressman/congresswomen have something in their youth that might cause the public to shudder -- it just hasn't been made public -- just wait!

Bill B

Well said Don!

T.W.S.

Yes, well said Don!

Mudstump

Don Dix - "About the only truth that emerged was the fiery speech from Sen. Graham, who rightly pointed out how deceptive and underhanded the process had become -- and he promised the same tactic if and when the Ds gain the majority."

Really?....All norms were shattered when the republicans refused to hold a single hearing for Pres. Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland....for more than 400 days. They agrued that a Supreme Court nominee shouldn't be seated in an election year, yet since 1900 the Senate has voted on a justice eight times during an election year and seated six. Republicans stole a seat that rightfully belonged to Pres. Obama and the millions of people who voted for him. It's rather rich that they want to whine now.

Don Dix

Mudstump -- To me, it's not about Ds or Rs -- it's about the deception and smear politics exhibited by both sides. It seems there are no limits that can't be 'justified' if the opponent is the other party.

And for any of these members to feel and act as if they are above the scrutiny because they are senators? There are numerous 'members' of both parties that could not pass the same 'smell test' that is applied to all coming before them. Not a single one of these clowns are there for the American public -- they are there to enrich themselves and special interests who pay to play. It is blatant hypocrisy, right there for anyone without a partisan filter to examine.

tagup

It appears to me that the only people that are willing to buck the tide of partisan politics are the one's that aren't running for office in the future.......Seems to make a case for term limits from my view....

Don Dix

Exactly, tagup! Boy, would there be a cluster of panties in bunches! And without the 'congressional influence' for a cushy position, job opportunities would be nearly barren. Just imagine!

Mudstump

Don Dix - I agree with much of what you said about politics in general, but I think it would be disingenuous to say that the democrats started this Supreme Court battle. The republicans refused Obama and his voters their rightful Supreme Court pick which was a huge mistake that won't be forgotten anytime soon.....and, for republicans to act righteous and indignant about what the democrats are doing now is nothing but a bunch of bs. If republicans didn't get greedy I'm sure democrats would be much more willing to confirm their nominee.

Don Dix

Mudstump -- There is no singular blame to be distributed. It is spread equally to both sides of the isle. One instance from the past is not the only cause of this cluster***k. Years of dirty, partisan politics have led us to this point.

The judicial committee is all about partisan beliefs and ideology (that's D.C. in general). Unfortunately, Judge Kav and Dr. Ford are just two more sacrificial lambs who's lives will be forever changed, and not in a good way. This happens to any who stand in the way of the calculated partisan gamesmanship. That is fundamentally wrong on many levels, but that requires a conscience without a lean in either direction to notice.