(Photo Credit: Rose McGowan/Instagram)
“Show me the spot where American blood has been shed upon American soil.”
The Spot Resolution
- On Saturday, eleven people were killed in a shooting Saturday morning at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, by 46-year-old Robert Bowers, and that the suspect made anti-Semitic statements during the shooting.
- On Friday Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida, was charged with five federal crimes related to the 7 pipe bombs the White Male Christian sent to Democrats who had been criticized by Donald Trump. Attorney general Sessions says Sayoc ‘appears to be partisan’ and FoxNews echoed those descriptions.
- On Wednesday, two African-Americans, Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones, were shot in the grocery store and the parking lot, respectively, by Gregory A. Bush, 51. Bush, who is a White Male had tried to enter a predominantly black church just minutes earlier.
- Two weeks ago, on Friday, October 12th, members of the far-right men’s group Proud Boys violently beat three apparent protestors after a protestor knocked a hat off one Proud Boy’s head. According to a local photojournalist, Shay Horse, who filmed a widely circulated video of the incident, approximately 30 members of the group participated in the alleged assault, after being escorted out of the club along with other event attendees by members of the NYPD following a speech by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes at the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City. The NYPD has stated it has enough evidence to charge nine members of the right-wing group, as well as three protesters, with rioting, assault, and/or attempted assault.
Yes, violence is wide-spread and know no one race, religion, or gender.
- On April 3, 2018, at 12:46 p.m. PDT, a shooting occurred at the headquarters of the video-sharing website YouTube in San Bruno, California. The suspect was later identified as 38-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam, who entered through an exterior parking garage, approached an outdoor patio, and opened fire with a Smith & Wesson 9 mm caliber semi-automatic pistol. Aghdam wounded three people, one of them critically, before killing herself.
- In July, Jonathan Copeland Jr. assassinated Milwaukee Police Officer Michael J. Michalski shooting him once in the head from a pile of clothing as the officer climbed a rear staircase.
However, sadly it seems an aspect of being human that we divide ourselves into tribes, whether those tribes be national, racial, ethnic, religious, or -increasingly- political neotribalism.
- The Unabomber: White Male
- The Austin serial bombings (March 2 and 20, 2018), five package bombs exploded, killing two people and injuring another five. The suspect, 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt of Pflugerville, Texas, blew himself up inside his vehicle after he was pulled over by police: White Male
- And now the Florida-NY Political Pipe Bomber: White Male
Moreover, we seem to have an inherent expectation that demographic tribes share a hive mind. Those other demographic tribes are blinded by their identity politics, but when members of my demographic tribe disagree, well there must be a self-hating Uncle Tom ruining our tribal cohesion.
Humanity’s inexhaustible ability to judge other demographic tribes is matched only by our ability to judge the demographic loyalty of our own tribes. “Can you believe those Americans won’t stand for the National Anthem?”; “Do you see that African-American Republican, what an Uncle Tom!”; “Those Catholic Democrats obviously aren’t really Catholic, they’re baby-killers!”; “Log Cabin Republicans, they’re just traitors to the gay community.” And so on, and so on…
One of the limitations of the human condition is our propensity to remember history as a series of ethnic or national accomplishments and defeats. “We” won wars against England and Germany, even though most Americans have German and English ancestry. Our identity construction also seems to limit our ability to objectivity; instead, we say, “Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,” at the same time we have a plank in your own eye (Luke 6:42)? The voices that talk of Nazi atrocities in Germany, or Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide, are often silent about the treatment of Native Americans and enslaved Africans.
More recently, the voices that complain about White Supremacists in Charlottesville are often silent about Antifa violence, and those who complain about AntiFa ignore violence by the Proud Boys or other alt-right organizations. Rural thugs like the Sovereign Citizens movement and anti-BLM terrorists are treated like heroes by the very people who decry urban violence by brown and black gangs.
What’s my point exactly?
My point is that rhetoric points the finger at African-Americans. It points its ugly finger at immigrants and Muslims. The prevailing wisdom of the mob, I mean public opinion, is that Muslims terrorists and Latin American gangs are behind all the violence in America. In fact, the president has labeled all asylum -seekers as MS-13 and, more recently regarding the caravan of Central Americans heading norther through Mexico, now the President has said that ISIS has infiltrated the caravan.
As the facts continue to erode the narratives that protect White America, then the narratives shift: it must be a lone wolf or mental health, yeah, that’s it, mental illness. How come it’s never ‘lone wolf’ or mental illness’ when the perp is not a White Male Christian?
The three terrible crimes committed this week were not committed by women, nor Hindus, nor immigrants…. and not by Jews either… in fact, the victims this week we Jews and African-Americans. The phenomenon is a uniquely male, Caucasian, Christian, problem. This is not opinion, not conjecture; it simply is true that the perpetrators of mass shootings, bombings and political terrorism in America are statistically likely to be Caucasian, Male, Christians. To my knowledge, for example, until the YouTube Shooting, the only female school shooter was Brenda Spicer. And neither the Unabomber nor Austin bomber was female. And now we know that the Anti-Democrat Pipe Bomber was an angry White Male as well. That’s right, not only are the perpetrators of political terrorism in America likely to be Caucasian, Male, Christians, they are also more likely to be conservative. Again, not that there is not leftwing violence, but it is more likely that acts of recent political terrorism are conducted by self-described conservatives. Ted Kaczynski in his manifesto Industrial Society and Its Future, criticizes leftists and rightists both. James Hodgkinson is the only recent liberal political terrorist that comes to mind at the moment. the Weather Underground and extremist elements of the Students for a Democratic Society. Between 1973 and 1975, the Symbionese Liberation Army was active but has ebbed since the end of the Cold War.
According to George Michael, “right-wing terrorism and violence has a long history in America”. The term “white terrorism” is used by scholars to label terrorism committed against African Americans during the Reconstruction era. Right-wing violent incidents began to outnumber Marxist incidents in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s Michael observes the waning of left-wing terrorism accompanying the rise of right-wing terrorism, with a noticeable “convergence” of the goals of militant Islam with those of the extreme right. Islamic studies scholar Youssef M. Choueiri classified Islamic fundamentalist movements involving revivalism, reformism, and radicalism as within the scope of “right-wing politics”.
During the 1980s, more than 75 right-wing extremists were prosecuted in the United States for acts of terrorism, carrying out six attacks. In 1983, Gordon Kahl, a Posse Comitatus activist, killed two federal marshals and he was later killed by police. Also that year, the white nationalist revolutionary group The Order (also known as the Brüder Schweigen or the Silent Brotherhood) robbed banks and armored cars, as well as a sex shop, bombed a theater and a synagogue and murdered radio talk show host Alan Berg.
The April 19, 1995 attack on the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 people and it was the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in the history of the United States. McVeigh stated that it was committed in retaliation for the government’s actions at Ruby Ridge and Waco.
Eric Rudolph executed a series of terrorist attacks between 1996 and 1998. He carried out the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing—which claimed two lives and injured 111—aiming to cancel the games, claiming they promoted global socialism and to embarrass the U.S. government. Rudolph confessed to bombing an abortion clinic in Sandy Springs, an Atlanta suburb, on January 16, 1997, the Otherside Lounge, an Atlanta lesbian bar, on February 21, 1997, injuring five and an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama on January 29, 1998, killing Birmingham police officer and part-time clinic security guard Robert Sanderson and critically injuring nurse Emily Lyons.
As of August 2018, the New America Foundation placed the number killed in terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11 as follows: 104 killed in jihadist terrorist attacks, 73 killed in far-right attacks, and 8 killed in black separatist, nationalist, or supremacist attacks. The politically conservative Daily Caller News Foundation using data from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), found 92% of all “ideologically motivated homicide incidents” committed in the United States from 2007 to 2016 were motivated by right-wing extremism or white supremacism. According to the Government Accountability Office of the United States, 73% of violent extremist incidents that resulted in deaths since September 12, 2001, were caused by right-wing extremist groups.
New America’s tally shows that since September 11, 2001, incidents of right-wing extremism have caused 73 deaths. Incidents causing death were:
- The Murder of Blaze Bernstein (2018)
- The murder of MeShon Cooper-Williams (2018)
- The University of Maryland stabbing (2017)
- The Unite the Right rally (2017)
- The Portland train attack (2017)
- The Stabbing of Timothy Caughman (2017)
- The Shooting at a showing of the film Trainwreck (2015)
- The Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs, CO (2015)
- The Shooting attack on worshippers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (2015)
- The attack on Pennsylvania State Police barracks (2015)
- The Ambush attack on Las Vegas police officers (2014)
- The Overland Park Jewish Community Center shooting (2014)
- The Los Angeles International Airport shooting attack on TSA officer (2013)
- The Double murder committed by Jeremy Lee Moody and Christine Moody (2013)
- The Ambush attack against St. John the Baptist Parish police (2012)
- The Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting (2012)
- The Tri-state killing spree by white supremacists David Pedersen and Holly Grigsby (2012)
- The FEAR group attacks (2011)
- The murder of James Craig Anderson (2011)
- The murder committed by Aryan Brotherhood members (2010)
- Shooting at bookstore cafe perpetrated by Ross William Muehlberger (2010)
- The murder of Todd Getgen (2010)
- The Austin (TX) Suicide attack by airplane (2010)
- The murder of sex offender by white supremacists in North Palm Springs, California (2009)
- The murder committed by Charles Francis Gaskins (2009)
- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting (2009)
- The assassination of George Tiller (2009)
- The murders of Raul and Brisenia Flores (2009)
- The shooting of Pittsburgh police officers (2009)
- The Woodburn bank bombing (2009)
- The Knoxville Unitarian Universalist church shooting (2008)
- The Murder of a homeless man by Aryan Soldiers (2007)
- The Murder committed by John Ditullio (2006)
- The Tulsa Bank Robbery (2004)
- The Salinas, California, Torture, Abduction, and Murder (2003)
How do you want to slice the data? Top 10? Twenty largest mass shootings? Only include school shootings? Top 30? 35? 50? The data is consistent:
- Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock, American-born, Caucasian male.
- Orlando, Omar Mateen, American-born, Afghan male
- VA Tech, Seung-Hui Cho, Korean-born male
- Sandy Hook, Adam Lanza, American-born, Caucasian male.
- Sutherland Springs, Devin Patrick Kelley, American-born, Caucasian male.
Analysis: 4/5’s American-born. 4/5’s Raised-Christian. 3/5’s Caucasian male. 0/5’s female. 1/5 Muslim. 0/5 African-American. And, sadly, 3/5’s in the past 3 years.
- Luby’s Shooting, Georges Pierre Hennard, American-born, Caucasian male.
- San Ysidro McDonald’s, James Huberty, American-born, Caucasian male.
- University of Texas, Charles Joseph Whitman, American-born, Caucasian male.
- Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Nikolau Jacob Cruz, American-born, Caucasian male.
- San Bernadino, Syed Rizwan Farook, American-born Pakistani male, and Tashfeen Malik, Pakistani-born, Pakistani female.
Analysis: 8/11’s American-born. 8/11’s Raised-Christian. 7/11’s Caucasian male. 1/11’s female. 3/11 Muslim. 0/11 African-American. And, sadly, 6/10’s in the past 6 years.
- Edmond, Oklahoma, Patrick Sherrill, American-born, Caucasian male.
- Columbine High School, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, American-born, Caucasian males.
- Birmingham, New York, Jiverly Antares Wong, Vietnam-born male.
- Camden, New Jersey, Howard Barton Unruh, American-born, Caucasian male.
- Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, George Emil Banks, American-born, African-American male
- Fort Hood, Nidal Hasan, American-born, a Palestinian male
- Washington Naval Yard, Aaron Alexis, American-born, African-American male
- Aurora, James Eagan Holmes, American-born, Caucasian male.
- Geneva County, Michael Kenneth McLendon, American-born, Caucasian male.
- GMAC, James Edward Pough, American-born, African-American male
- Atlanta, Mark Orrin Barton, American-born, Caucasian male.
- Red Lake, Jeffrey Weise, American-born, Native American/Caucasian male.
- Umpqua Community College shooting, Chris Harper-Mercer, American-born, Caucasian male.
We can play games of statistics; we can play games of per capita ratio. We can redefine ‘mass shootings’ and shift the focus to gang violence and inner-city shootings. Does it matter? Does it make the victims of mass shootings lie calmer in the graves we’ve wrought? We can dance the dance; we can play the demographic game. Did you see what *they* did? ‘They’ did it first!! ‘They’ did it worse! Or we can own the facts. White male Christians kill. The mass killers in American society are not foreign-born; they are not Muslims, they are not Black or Brown. The Americans with a propensity to shoot other American indiscriminately tend to be young, male, Caucasians.
When suicide vests detonate, and bombs explode, I often read and hear: “If Muslims are so innocent, when are they going to denounce their own?!” When gang-bangers shoot each other and catch a passerby, I hear: “We need tougher punishments, no parole!!” I read of violence by the destitute poor and hear resolute disdain: “Lock them up! They should get a job!”
But when it comes to mass shootings, it must be mental illness, isolated incidents… it’s so sad, how could we have known? No, no, the President didn’t cause this, and by the way, what about Maxine Waters and that crazy Dem who shot up the Congressional Softball practice?
But we do know. We’ve known for a long time before, but now it’s impossible to ignore. Instead of telling Turks to apologize; Russia and Mexico too, perhaps it’s time to recognize the role Americans play, in the death of Americans too.
I’m not just a “Self-Hating” White male; I’m the father of one too. I guess I’m just an Uncle Tom ruining my White male Christian tribal cohesion. It’s time to own our demographics, and not just label the others we see stumble and fall. Doesn’t White Christian American expect the same of other American and non-American demographic groups? The thing with snowflakes is that, at some point, they brake the tree branch and fall. Let’s own the weight of each snowflake big and small; let’s take responsibility for our own tribes as easily as we blame the other tribes. Acknowledge and build-up, rather than rip apart and talk down. No demographic tribes ought to own the narrative high-ground.
To White America, I say, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Luke 6:42).
We’ve all heard the Aesop’s Fables of The Hare and the Tortoise, The Ant and the Grasshopper, and The Mouse and the Lion, but have you heard of The Nurse and the Wolf (Photo Credit Milo Winter, 1919)?
“Be quiet now,” said an old Nurse to a child sitting on her lap.
“If you make that noise again I will throw you to the Wolf.”
Now it chanced that a Wolf was passing close under the window as this was said.
So he crouched down by the side of the house and waited.
“I am in good luck to-day,” thought he. “It is sure to cry soon, and a daintier morsel I haven’t had for many a long day.”
So he waited, and he waited, and he waited, till at last the child began to cry, and the Wolf came forward before the window, and looked up to the Nurse, wagging his tail.
But all the Nurse did was to shut down the window and call for help, and the dogs of the house came rushing out.
“Ah,” said the Wolf as he galloped away, “Enemies promises were made to be broken.”
“He [The President] shall have Power [sic], by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present Concur.”
(U.S. Constitution, Article II, § 2, clause 2)
And what, after all, is a treaty anyway?
A trea·ty /ˈtrēdē/ is a noun, meaning a formally concluded and ratified agreement between countries. Synonyms include an agreement, settlement, pact, deal, entente, concordat, accord, protocol, convention, contract, covenant, bargain, pledge.
In Goldwater v. Carter, several Republican members of Congress challenged the constitutionality of then-president Jimmy Carter’s unilateral termination of a defense treaty. The senators were Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), Strom Thurmond (R-SC), Carl Curtis (R-NE), Jake Garn (R-UT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jesse A. Helms (R-NC), Gordon Humphrey (R-NH), Representative Robert Bauman (R-MD), Representative Steve Symms (R-ID), Representative Larry McDonald (R-GA), Representative Robert Daniel Jr. (R-VA), Representative Bob Stump (R-AZ), Representative Eldon Rudd (R-AZ), Representative John Ashbrook (R-OH, and George Hansen (R-ID).
The case went before the U.S. Supreme Court and was never heard; a majority of six Justices ruled that the case should be dismissed without hearing an oral argument, holding that “The issue at hand … was essentially a political question and could not be reviewed by the court, as Congress had not issued a formal opposition.”
Justice William Brennan dissented, “The issue of decision-making authority must be resolved as a matter of constitutional law, not political discretion; accordingly, it falls within the competence of the courts”.
As a result, presently, there is no official Supreme Court ruling on whether the President has the power to break a treaty without the approval of Congress.
Complicating the issue even more, in 1987, President Reagan presented to Congress a proposed nuclear cooperation “agreement” with Japan. More than one-third of the Senate voted in opposition to the pact. Nevertheless, this U.S.-Japan Pact was enforced, in violation of the Article II treaty clause which had prevailed since 1787.
The federal courts also declined to interfere when President George W. Bush unilaterally withdrew the United States from the ABM Treaty in 2002, six months after giving the required notice of intent.
George W. Bush also withdrew the United States from the UN Small Weapons Ban and the Kyoto Agreement. And, while Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute to create the ICC, the Bush Administration withdrew from the Rome Statute as well. One of his advisors? A man named John Bolton.
And now, in the Age of Trump? Paris Accord, Iran Agreement, and this week the INF Treaty.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (or formally Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles) is a 1987 arms control agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union (and later its successor state the Russian Federation). Signed in Washington, D.C. by President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on December 8, 1987, the treaty was ratified by the United States Senate on May 27, 1988, and came into force on 1 June 1, 1988.
The vote? 93-5 (Senators Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Gordon J. Humphrey of New Hampshire, Steve Symms of Idaho, and Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming; Senator Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina was the lone Democrat to oppose the accord. And Orrin Hatch voted for the treaty, sued the president when Carter withdrew from the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, and now sits silently as Trump withdraws from a treaty that Senator Hatch himself voted in favor of. Just as silently as Hatch sat as President Bush 43 withdrew from treaty after treaty.
Apparently, Senator Hatch only cares about Article II of the Constitution when it’s a Democratic president?
And Trump. The guy whose book is entitled the Art of the Deal seems to be better abridging deals, not making them.
Trade talks with China…
Negotiations with North Korea…
Who would want to make a deal with the current US President? Clearly, this Wolf “believes that Enemies promises,” as well as promises and treaties with friends, “were made to be broken.”
It is selective and hypocritical for so-called originalists to ignore the continued attacks on Article II, Section II of the US Constitution. If 2/3 of Senators present ratify a treaty, why is it not equally logical that 2/3’s of Senators present must withdraw the US government from an international treaty. The same section of the Constitution gives the president the authority to appoint judges to the Supreme Court; if the US President can withdraw from a ratified treaty, then would that not also infer that a US President can withdraw the appointment of a judge to the Supreme Court as well? Is that the chaos that our Founding Father’s envisioned?
Stop appeasing the arbitrary whims of Donald Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton, protect the Constitution, protect our treaty obligations. How can America be the shining beacon of the hill, if we have become Aesop’s Nurse, or worse, the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
(Photo Credit: Associated Press)
Did I ever tell you that my great-great-great-great-great-great gramma was an Indian princess? No?
Let me ask you, what percentage “White” are you? And you “Blackness”? What percentage African-American are you?
On October 17, 2018, I logged into my Ancestry.com account and was met with an update:
Woe! What happened?!?!?! Am I still “me”?
A pretty dumb question, isn’t it? Of course, I’m still me, right? I’m a product of my DNA, yes, but I just received my DNA results last year, and already the science has changed and revised the analysis. What’s more, there are numerous articles and lived experiences of that have shown differing results from Ancestry, 23andMe, and others. Go ahead, google “ancestry and 23andme different results” and be astounded.
I am a construct of my nurture, more than my nature. My mother said I’m Hungarian and English, so that’s how I’ve viewed myself. My dad says his side is a 100% Irish, so that’s how I’ve viewed myself. I believe I’m Irish, Hungarian, and English. And, as such, because I have an Irish surname, and grew up in a part of the country with a high Irish population, I have self-identified as Irish. And, yes, that is for both personal and social gain. Do I really want to go around telling people that I’m Hungarian and that my Hungarian surname is “Naczi”?
So, to the geriatric mumbling man that stopped me at the end of my presentation today, and told me that I should be ashamed of my self, I say to you, what percentage White-American are you? In my presentation, I said that Elizabeth Warren was 1/32 or something Native American and that it really didn’t matter because -before contact with Europeans, Native Americans did not define tribal membership by blood percentages, but by lived experiences. Some of the great Oglalas were not actually Oglala. All of this was lost on my aging white male critic. Why? Perhaps because the President of the United States tweeted and spoke about how ‘Pocahontas’ is only 1/1000th Native American? Because, My White Male friend, gets to determine the ethnic and racial identity of others? Isn’t that what Plessy v Ferguson was about? Go ahead, google “Homer Plessy” and tell me that he’s “Black”? Dear geriatric vanilla White Male who told me that I should be ashamed of myself, tell me, did you too believe as the White Jeffersons did, that there were no Black Jeffersons? What is this really about? What is the fear from?
President Nixon went to Ireland, and as Ireland does for any US President, the Office of Genealogy searched and searched but couldn’t find a connection to the Milhouse family that Nixon said was Irish, did geriatric WHite male then tell Nixon he could no longer call himself Irish?
Barack Obama, too Black, or not White enough? Born in Hawaii? Really, he doesn’t LOOK “American” – Let’s see his birth certificate! (So says the same man who questions Elizabeth Warren’s claim of being Native American.) And, it doesn’t matter, really, does it? What matters is what/who we think we are… for better or worse…
Wait! But Elizabeth Warren used her claim to get a job!! Really? And, if I humored Angry White Male in this regard, how is that different from any other bloated resume like, say, I’m a self-made millionaire…. but I won’t show you the DNA of my taxes…
Why, why, are assimilated Europeans trying to compartmentalize and determine the racial and ethnic identities of others?
Warren is not Native American enough, but Brack Obama is too Black.
What percentage of whatever you say you are, are you really?
Don’t take my identity from me because you don’t understand Identity Construction, don’t take others’ away because you are an aging vanilla Caucasian who doesn’t even know what you are. Don’t tell me to be ashamed of myself; go to Charlottesville and join your needy, wanting, angry folks who have lost their identity and hide behind jingoistic labels of I’m an ‘American’. Join your watered down club of Johnsons, Smiths, and Joneses… There are no O’Reilly’s or Jaworski’s at United the Right rallies. Because you don’t know who you are, don’t judge those who have an identity. And, if you don’t think someone else is Black enough, or White enough, or Native enough, go ahead and join the KKK, Church of the Creator, or other sectarian organization, and stop claiming to be an American. Because that is not America. American is not, and has never been a White Nation. The hypocrisy of arguing to Make America Great Again, while undervaluing the diversity that has made America great, will forever doom you to the shadows of history, you, you, my geriatric old friend should be ashamed of yourself. I am a proud American, a proud Irish_American whether I be 62, or 71%, a proud Hungarian_American, whether I be 25%, or 12%….
Web results (Google | 10/17/2018 | 5:41 PM:
What to Make of Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test – The Atlantic
Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test: why the Cherokee Nation is mad about …
Elizabeth Warren: Cherokee Nation responds to DNA test – The …
Kelly Hayes and Jacqueline Keeler: Elizabeth Warren connected DNA …
Elizabeth Warren releases DNA test with ‘strong evidence’ of Native …
Elizabeth Warren might have actually made things worse with her …
Elizabeth Warren Falls for Trump’s Trap—and Promotes Insidious …
Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test: why so many Native Americans are …
It’s all about Sunday morning quarterbacking, isn’t it?
(Photo Credit: Getty /Images)
Optics for Republicans
Trump wins… on several fronts: his nominee has been confirmed; the GOP rallied behind his nominee and thus by absentia, the party rallied behind Trump, just four weeks before the midterm elections.
McConnell, again, looks like a master tactician and legislator… Henry Clay, Sam Rayburn, Lyndon Johnson, Tip O’Neill, Newt Gingrich, and Mitch McConnell?
In Nevada, in perhaps one of the most closely watched Senate races, Democratic Congresswoman Jacky Rosen is now leading Republican incumbent Dean Heller in the polls:
- CNN* 9/25 – 9/29 693 LV 4.6 47 43 Rosen +4
- Gravis 9/11 – 9/12 700 LV 3.7 47 45 Rosen +2
- Suffolk* 9/5 – 9/10 500 LV 4.4 42 41 Rosen +1
[Of course, that makes me wonder why Heller wasn’t invited into the meetings with Collins, Murkowski, and Flake; or why he wasn’t more targeted by the liberal media, activists, and Senators. Heller is hardly the most conservative and ideological member of the GOP Caucus: according to Senate Report Cards, Heller is the 36th most conservative U.S. Senator out of a possible 52/53 (the ranking was conducted before Sen. McCain’s death; McCain was ranked 45th).]
To Democrats, Mitch McConnell’s insistence on a procedural vote on Friday 10/5/18 and his pre-announcement of that vote before the supplemental FBI investigation was even concluded, smacks of political disdain for the investigatory process and a rush to judgment (after all, the final vote was essentially a straight party vote).
To Republicans, Brett Kavanaugh is a victim of slander, liberal conspiracies, and collusion between the female accusers… Each incident seemingly brought to light at the last possible moment in an apparent and orchestrated attempt to slow down the process to get the final floor vote closer and closer to the November midterms. Yet, in terms of optics, the all White-Male Republican members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the nomination of a fellow White-Male to the floor for a full vote. It looks like almost everything Republican have accused Democrats of regarding race warfare and identity politics.
Optics for Democrats
The Democrats look bipolar at best:
First and foremost, the Senate Democrats lost. In particular, Diane Feinstein (CA-D) seems to have lost political points with her GOP colleagues. [And soon-to-be Governor Garvin Newsom is waiting in the wings; he needs Feinstein to hang on, just a little bit longer before he runs for her (lifetime) seat.]
I don’t remember the Senate Democrats fighting for Merrick Garland this aggressively? But, of course, most pundits thought the Hillary Clinton would become the 45th U.S. President so that the fight wasn’t necessarily worth the Senate Democrats’ political capital.
Nor do I remember the Senate Democrats attacking Neil Gorsuch this aggressively? Of course, Gorsuch’s nomination didn’t change the net math of the political alignment of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Gorsuch nomination process occurred 15 months before Kavanaugh’s nomination process began, almost 19 months before the next election.
Which brings me to my next point: There are two ways to interpret the political theater of the past month or so, and the two lenses are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
First, there is the moral line of thinking. As mentioned in the previous commentary on the Kavanaugh nomination, three successful career-driven women accused Kavanaugh of various sexual inappropriateness, from attempted rape to sexual harassment.
Secondly, there is the political line of thinking. Democrats can be political and moral, just as easily as either party can be political and immoral.
To Democrats, this is an example of why Gorsuch was treated differently; no allegations were made against Justice Gorsuch, whereas allegations were made against Kavanaugh. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” argument necessitated further hearings and, at the insistence of Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona, a supplementary FBI investigation.
[To Republicans, the Kavanaugh nomination was treated differently because of the calendar. Each incident seemingly brought to light at the last possible moment in an apparent and orchestrated attempt to slow down the process to get the final floor vote closer and closer to the November midterms.]
There is a Difference between Partisanship and Political Ideology
Of course, the partisan division of the Senate is 51-47(2), so within the context of the exercised nuclear option in 2017 and party cohesion, the Democrats were always going to lose. A lot of their political strategy was based upon the new Gang of Six and the tightness of the calendar.
But disturbing to me was the rhetoric from Republican Senators and the President that identifying the allegations, calls for supplementary hearings, and supplemental investigations… Senate Republicans and the Trump Administration blamed it all on “The Democrats.” I don’t remember the same ire being directed at the Republican members of the Gang of Six?
Even more disturbing, was Justice Kavanaugh’s usage of the phrase, “The Democrats.”
As I said in earlier podcast, this nomination was always about the new (temporary) Gang of Six: Susan Collins (ME-R), Lisa Murkowski (AK-R), and Jeff Flake (AZ-R), and to a lesser extent, Joe Manchin (WV-D), Heidi Heitkamp (ND-D), Joe Donnelly (IN-D). [And, the Gang of Six, didn’t invite Donnelly or Heitkamp to that secret meeting last week, did they?] Heitkamp is likely going down in the November election, Manchin may save his seat, but leave many wondering, why he is a Democrat again? Essentially Manchin and Murkowski swapped votes; the Kavanaugh confirmation belongs to Susan Collins (ME-R).
And, again, in Nevada, in perhaps one of the most closely watched Senate races, Democratic Congresswoman Jacky Rosen is now leading Republican incumbent Dean Heller in the polls. Why was this not more of an issue in the Kavanaugh proceedings?
The Future of Brett Kavanaugh
Pyrrhic victory? For many Democrats, he is now forever tainted. He is the Clarence Thomas of the 21st century. Does he, Kavanaugh, care? Does he attempt a remake of his image? Or does Kavanaugh, as Bethany Mandel (editor of Ricochet) suggests, become more radicalized himself in terms of cases of due process and the presumption of innocence?
In my Op-Ed in the Providence Journal on July 26, 2018, I definitively stated that Kavanaugh was qualified to be confirmed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. I firmly believe the President of the United States has the right to nominate his person to the Court. Barack Obama had that right, and Donald Trump has that right too. But that was before the sexual accusations and the apparent perjury before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as the woefully inappropriate display of temperament, particularly toward Amy Klobuchar (MI-D) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI-D).
Even more disturbing than the rhetoric from President Trump and many Republican Senators who used the phrase “The Democrats” as a swear and explain-it-all for all the evils in the Universe, however, was Justice Kavanaugh’s usage of the phrase, “The Democrats.” The veil of judicial apolitical independence and nonpartisan neutrality continues to be shredded.
The Future of the US Supreme Court
Sad and partisan… Pathetic. This is the ugliness of the so-called nuclear option which both parties had been threatening for years…
Specifically, the political mess of the Kavanaugh Nomination was created on April 7, 2017, when the Republican-led U.S. Senate exercised the “nuclear option” but its roots lay in the blocking of Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. That’s a fact, not ideological blame. [Neither party is innocent: Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (MT-D) eliminated the ability to halt all proceedings with the introduction of the “two-track system” and, in 1975, Mansfield revised the Senate cloture rule so that three-fifths of sworn senators (60 votes out of 100) could limit debate, except for changing Senate rules which still requires a two-thirds majority of those present and voting to invoke cloture. On January 25, 2013, Harry Reid (NV-D) changed the Senate rules to prohibit a filibuster on a motion to begin consideration of a bill. No, neither party is innocent, but the GOP desperation to hold on to a 5-4 majority in terms of Merrick Garland, and the even more eager, gluttonous desire to move the court to a solid 5-4 regardless of the cost is the most acute reason that we’ve arrived at this point. In the past three decades, there have only been two nominations which were confirmed by a Senate Majority of the opposite party:
- In 1990, the Democrat-led Senate Judiciary Committee reported Republican-nominated Souter out the committee by a vote of 14–3, the Senate confirmed the nomination by a vote of 90–9.
- 106. In the 1991 Thomas’ confirmation process, the Democrat-led Judiciary Committee split 7–7 on September 27, sending the nomination to the full Senate without a recommendation. Republican-nominated Thomas was confirmed by a 52–48 vote by the Democrat-controlled US Senate on October 15, 1991, the narrowest margin for approval in more than a century. The final floor vote was: 41 Republicans and 11 Democrats voted to confirm while 46 Democrats and two Republicans voted to reject the nomination.
Both times Democrats confirmed Republican nominees and, in the case of one of those nominations, it could have been filibustered but was not. This is what fuels Democrat ire and accusations of hypocrisy.
In my podcast on September 15, 2018, I think I made the point, though it is worth reiterating: Eleven justices have been appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court since O’Connor, with a twelfth confirmation and appointment imminent: Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, RBG, Stephen Breyer, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch. Confirmations used to be more unanimous with the exception of Clarance Thomas.
It is also worth noting, that only from 2009–2011 in the 111th Congress did either party have a super-majority. In most other years, the U.S. Senate was split roughly 50-50, plus or minus two to 5 seats. What has happened? We have increasingly politicized the Court, we have nominated more and more ideological candidates to the U.S. Supreme Court instead of nominating people, we’re nominating party. A return to civility in SCOTUS nominations is long overdue.
And the 2018 Midterm Elections
Which is the excited political base(s): The party with the momentum is usually hurt the most in the impending election.
Is it the Blue Wave that cometh?
Or is the upcoming wave For the GOP? By Bryan Dean Wright | Fox News
For Dems or Gop? by Alex Seitz-Wald and Benjy Sarlin
The Recap in Rhetoric
Look at the language: the language from Trump, Kavanaugh, and McConnell was about “Democrats,” Democrats,” and “Democrats.” This was never about “The Democrats,” yet the Right has continuously framed it about the so-called “Democrats” for political expediency.
The Recap in Politics
The vote on Saturday was 50 GOP in favor (with the noted absence of proud father Steve Daines), 1 GOP against, and one Democrat in favor. Straight party blindness on both sides.
This process, ever since the announcement of Anthony Kennedy’s decision to take senior status, was always about the (temporary) new Gang of Six: Susan Collins (ME-R), Lisa Murkowski (AK-R), and Jeff Flake (AZ-R), and to a lesser extent, Joe Manchin (WV-D), Heidi Heitkamp (ND-D), Joe Donnelly (IN-D). Really it was about the Gang of Four of Susan Collins (ME-R), Lisa Murkowski (AK-R), and Jeff Flake (AZ-R), and Joe Manchin (WV-D). ANd, if you really want to tighten it further, it was always about the two pro-choice Republican women: Susan Collins (ME-R) and Lisa Murkowski (AK-R).
Negative Societal Effects (and hopefully a few positive societal effects as well)
The neotribalism of politics continues… tell me, how many Republicans do you know who believe the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, or think his apparent perjury regarding alcohol? How many Democrats do you know who believe Brett Kavanaugh is innocent of all the allegations against him and is a victim of partisan games and revenge tactics? Exactly…
Then there is the racial or social status aspect to the debate; if students of all-male Catholic prep schools are just kids and, “boys will be boys” then why do we charge young minority children -or any children- as adults for crimes those children commit?
Then there is the gender aspect of the debate. Honestly, one of the more reassuring details (though to many it seems like a possible hypocritical detail) is that Brett Kavanaugh is the father of two young girls, Liza and Margaret Kavanaugh.
While this is unfair, I really have trouble listening to defenses of Kavanaugh by anyone who doesn’t have daughters, especially men without daughters. As my good friend Dana, oh, let’s call her DKD. DKD, a conservative woman with a daughter and a son said to me recently, “As a mother, it scares the s*** out of me that any girl can come forward and make an accusation like that that makes a boy guilty before proven innocent.”
That’s a real concern. How do we protect the women in our lives from predatory males, how do we educate our boys not be predatory males, how do we encourage women who are assaulted to speak up, while at the same time, protect males from fraudulent allegations? My greatest hope was so eloquently written and spoke by Monica Hesse of the Washington Post.
I don’t have the answer to all those questions, but those are the questions we should all be asking right now, regardless of political ideology. And those questions must be asked collectively, or the questions become a reflection of neotribalistic bias, in this case, gender bias or at least gender preference. [Off the top of my head, the only issue of similar complexity, in my opinion, is the question of male paternity rights in the face of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.]
[DKD also asked rhetorically: “As an employer, do I not hire women because it may be ‘risky’ and expose the business to more liability?” But that’s another discussion for another podcast.]
What are we to believe? Who are we to believe?
We will never know the truth about the sexual allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. And it will take a career on the Supreme Court to completely understand his ideology. As I concluded in the July Op-Ed, “Who is the real Brett Kavanaugh? We’ll just have to wait until he’s been confirmed and begins his tenure. Ultimately, we won’t really know until he’s been on the court for 30 years — like his old boss, Anthony Kennedy.”