Kavanaugh/Blasey Ford

I am posting this before the Senate Judiciary Committee casts their vote.

My parents were good about keeping things, and I’ve followed the tradition.  So it was easy to find my First Grade Report Card for St. Elizabeth’s School in 1946-47.  Here is part of Sr. Mary’s report:

I did pretty well that year.  A’s, except for Bs in Penmanship and Art.  The following 71 years haven’t changed much, at least in penmanship and art….

Deportment“, of course, is conduct.  It’s probably a Catholic word, as its root is Latin.  It seems a good place to start this piece, since Brett Kavanaugh possibly had a Catholic education, similar to mine.


I watched only parts of the Senate Judiciary Committee gathering yesterday.  It wasn’t a hearing, that is for certain.  It will be, and should be, discussed for many years to follow.

My brief comments flow from my own education and experience.  The last 27 years of my work career I represented school teachers. I was one of about 40 of us with a similar job in my state, so we had ample opportunities to learn about issues we were dealing with, and help advise each other.  We all worked constantly with, around and against lawyers and we got to know the Law and Contracts very well.  Since our work was with people, we saw clients every day.  During a part of my career, in the 1980s, came increased attention to allegations of sex abuse against teachers.  We were usually the ‘first call’ from someone accused.

I have been very open about my own feelings about the topic which is at the core of Kavanaugh/Blesey Ford.  My own “script” has a rather long history:   In my own career representing members of a profession with several million members, the number of abuse incidents were rare, but always front page news, with a presumption of guilt of the perpetrator by most everyone.

Most of those charged were guilty, but not all.  Rarely did even an obviously innocent person make a legal challenge.  The damage had been done.  Each charge left the entire profession of teaching with a black eye.

So, in watching this affair unfold I have been most struck by the obvious fear of evidence by the promoters of Kavanaugh’s candidacy.

But beyond that, I was not prepared for the horrid deportment of Kavanaugh in the Senate Judiciary meeting room yesterday.  His was not the protestation of an innocent man.  Nor were his handlers approaching this matter with pure intention.

This was a “show trial” for a certain constituency.


September 26 a reader of my Justice post sent me a note whose topic line was: “What did Jesus mean when He said, “He who is without sin can cast the first stone”?”  (Her entire comment is at the end of that post.)

I sent a brief response to her, including a letter I had written to then Sen. Joe Lieberman on Sep. 7, 1998.  The topic, then, was the Bill Clinton matter.  And I especially noted my letter to the editor at the time.  You can read it here: Clinton Lieberman 1998001

Yesterdays post  was several hours before Senate Judiciary convened.  Today I refer everyone to the Otto Sotnak letter which was also included in the 1998 letter, as follows: “Thirty-seven years as a Lutheran minister taught me much about the dark side of human nature.  For example, I learned that everyone has secrets they would rather not disclose.  Moreover, in counseling I learned that whenever a client’s defenses and denials increased it signaled that we were getting dangerously close to the truth.”

Personal opinion: I think the truth has been outed.

Shortly we will see how this plays out for Brett Kavanaugh.

POSTNOTE:  Donald Trump is not much of a moral arbiter in this case.  He has abundant baggage of his own.  My belief is that the only reason he has not yet been sued is that he’s wealthy, with a habit of countersuing; or buying off potential litigants….

POSTNOTE 2: Have I been an “A” student my whole life?  Plenty of people get this post, and doubtless they’ll straighten me out if I get very uppity.  I’m not looking for any lifetime appointment to in effect control other people’s lives, either.

POSTNOTE 3: I highly recommend Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9.  For those who instinctively dislike Michael Moore or perceive his politics a certain way, this is an equal opportunity criticism of all of us, whatever our ideology or activity.  It will hold your attention.

COMMENTS Sat Sep 29: – The overnight Just Above Sunset, Making Rage Moot, is an excellent summary of Friday events.  You can read it here.

3 replies
  1. John Bernard
    John Bernard says:

    I did not watch the Kavanagh hearings either – I spent an enjoyable summer day in California watching some workers replace a sewer line at a public works project. In retrospect, they probably they had a cleaner job than anybody involved in the hearing.
    I feel that everybody has secrets they prefer not to disclose. The difference here is this part of the process to secure a lifetime appointment to a very powerful position.
    This striking thing to me here was the description (from various sides of the written press spectrum) as to the demeanor of the two primary testifiers yesterday. It seems like the roles were reversed, in that the emotional overwrought party, which you would usually presume to be the defendant in a trial, was actually interviewing for a spot on the bench.

    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      Well said, John. These situations are never as simple as they are portrayed. After I published this, I learned that one Republican Senator, Jeff Flake, got the one week delay for FBI investigation, as “the other side” wanted. Of course, no one knows the outcome, but the fact that there will be an investigation is a positive outcome. Thanks.

  2. Florence Hedeen
    Florence Hedeen says:

    Regardless of Brett Kavanaugh’s claim of innocence in this case, he very much demonstrated his judicial demeanor, disqualifying him from a post on the Supreme Court. He was extremely partisan, combative, insulting, thin-skinned, you name it!


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