Monday, September 17, 2018

We should be a government of laws, and not of men.

In Novanglus Essays/No. 7, John Adams set forth the aspiration that we should be
a government of laws, and not of men.
But establishment interests are averse to laws which constrain their own aspirations, even if it reflects the will of the people.

With the most recent Kavanaugh folderol, with late-breaking claims, that was my first thought.

We are a nation of laws and not of men. Mobs and hysterical antics are not the stuff of greatness. But all the media is focusing on whether this tactic by the Democrats will overturn the Republican's candidate for the Supreme Court.

The fact that Feinstein and the Washington Post were aware of this accusation for two months and chose to sit on it and only deployed it when it was clear that the Democrats were going to fail in their objections seems like extreme politics, but it strikes me that this goes beyond extremist political tactics and is an attack on the system of governance itself. Just as with Trump's victory, when there were those who wished to subvert the Electoral College (and abolish it), impeach him before he took office, impeach him when he took office, impeach him after he took office, indict him on false and so far unsupported charges manufactured out of whole cloth. They are trying to break the system because their establishment interests are threatened, not because of any crime or evidence of impropriety. The establishment is fighting the system in order to destroy a duly elected leader who threatens their sinecures.

Under the Constitution the President proposes and the Senate advises. There is a schedule, there are protocols, there are standards. They have all been observed. Kavanaugh was about to be approved until this late-breaking news.

The problem is the nature of the accusation. It is murky in the extreme. It is leveled by a Democrat. It alleges an action from 35 years ago. It was never earlier brought to public attention prior to some marriage counseling a few years ago. The marriage counseling notes do not identify the alleged assailant. The notes differ materially in key areas from the current allegation. In none of Kavanaugh's prior six clearance investigations was this allegation brought forth.

The date of the alleged incident is identified only by decade. The location is lost in the mists of time. The accuser was unwilling to come forward for 35 years, long after the expiration of statute of limitations. There are no witnesses. There is no supporting evidence or testimony. All these factors are bad enough.

Now it appears that there might be other motives. It seems that the accuser's parents lost their home in a foreclosure overseen by Kavanaugh's mother (also a judge).

It appears that the accuser's brother is also a lawyer who has appeared before Judge Kavanaugh mater. It is now also alleged that the law firm for which the brother works is also the law firm for Fusion/GPS, the oppo research firm at the heart of the effort to construct a Russia collusion story with no supporting evidence.

Is this a real accusation of an event that truly happened? Is it personal vendetta for a long ago foreclosure? Is it a deep state effort to torpedo the choices of a deeply reviled administration (reviled by the deep state)?

Who knows?

The one thing we do know is that there was a public process to address all these questions. It was publicized well in advance. Indeed, the accuser contacted the senior Democratic Senator on the committee two months ago. The hearings were executed with diligence. The hearings followed established protocols (which were repeatedly flouted by activists.) And at the end of the process, the Democrats had lost.

This type of late breaking vague accusation with no earlier history makes a mockery of the rule of law. The accuser had every opportunity to bring her charges and chose not to do so. If the process is stalled or delayed, it makes a mockery of the rule of law. Any sufficiently devoted fanatic can hijack duly sanctioned governance by making baseless accusations at the last minute.

It is, in general, right that all credible accusations should be investigated. There is fair debate as to whether these accusations meet the standard of remotely plausible, much less credible.

However, the accuser is trying to exercise a personal veto on the rule of law at the expense of everyone else. There is no credible reason why shenanigans such as this should be rewarded with any response. Our government should adhere to the rule of law so that the interests of all are served, and not give in to the baseless theatrics of ideological advocates.

We should be a government of laws, and not of men.

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