The Democrat Judgement game

The ongoing saga of the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, at the time of writing, is now being drawn out for another agonising week while the United States achingly waddles to the mid-term elections. The process of confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court must now be subject to another FBI probe to check on 36-year old allegations of sexual assault.

I have read and heard reams of commentary that focusses upon the veracity of the claim being made by the alleged victim, a matter that appears to be the fulcrum of the issue, where the weights of “Believe Victims” and “Due Process” fight over the prominent heights. I do not wish to weigh into this aspect of the debate, however choosing to focus upon the behaviours observed by the interested parties.

I have written before about the current tactic of using issues as ammunition, and I think it fair to raise it again here. Because it appears here that Democrats, in waiting until the 11th hour to raise the matter of Kavanaugh’s alleged malfeasance, has sought to deploy and weaponise the #MeToo movement – not for genuine justice, but for their own gain.

And like the previous issue of DACA recipients, I fully expect Democrats to completely discard the alleged victim, Doctor Christine Blasey Ford, the moment her political fuel has been spent.

Dr Ford is just as much a victim of this process as anyone else who is in this crosshairs – particularly that of Kavanaugh, and his family, who at this point seem to be guilty only of having been nominated to the Supreme Court.

To repeat the timeline, Senator Dianne Feinstein received advice from Dr Ford in July 2018 about the alleged incident with Judge Kavanaugh in 1982. Since then, Feinstein had not referred the matter to the FBI, had not discussed the matter with her Democrat colleagues, had not questioned Kavanaugh during any hearings on the matter, and only saw fit to finally reveal her hand in the final week of deliberations of Kavanaugh’s appointment.

And let’s not forget to mention that Feinstein has denied leaking Dr Ford’s identity to the press, an assertion that clangs as hollow as an empty tin.

Does her sitting on the allegation for literally weeks sound like the behaviour of someone who was genuinely concerned about victims of assault? That Feinstein deployed the allegation at the last possible moment in order to delay Kavanaugh’s certain confirmation sounds only of political gamesmanship – the aim being to delay filling the seat on the Supreme Court until after the mid-term elections, after which Democrats hope to obtain control of the Senate, and keep the seat unoccupied until after the next General Election.

And by using their media – all of whom cannot claim any kind of impartiality at this point in time – will attempt to oust Trump.

This is the lowest of the low. To use someone’s pain for political gain is the absolute gutter level of politics of which I would have hoped that any civil society dispensed ages ago. As much of the debate centre’s on whether the incident occurred in 1982 as per Dr Ford’s recollection, it is the sheer cynicism on display from the Democrats.

I find it incredibly difficult to believe that Democrats care for victims of sexual assault when they only elect to address the matter at a time that is most politically beneficial. And, with the media in tow, they lambast the accused for daring to deny the allegation with the passion of someone who might have felt just a little but slighted at having their name besmirched by an allegation only.

This is the Democrats – and their media lackeys – pulling out all the stops to prevent the Supreme Court seat from being occupied. However, as I have mentioned before, the tactics they employ today are the tactics they must welcome in return. If anyone accuses one of their party of improper or criminal behaviour, the victim simply must be believed on the allegation alone, with no corroborating evidence. To not is simply hypocrisy.

But when you have the media running defence for your party, Democratic bold hypocrisy is not a surprise.

Now, it must be also mentioned that Republicans stymied the appointment of Judge Merrick Garland during the last nine months of Obama’s presidency. Was this political gamesmanship, with Republicans holding up the process for their own political gain? Undoubtedly. They had control and they used their power to prevent someone from a lifelong Supreme Court appointment.

But their reasoning was that, according to the Wikipedia entry, they:

“… would not consider any nominee put forth by Obama, and that a Supreme Court nomination should be left to the next President of the United States.”

There is currently no precedent in place to say when or whenever a President should be able to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. The rationale here could be considered dirty and dishonest, and I would certainly agree with the sentiment. However, Merrick Garland did not have to face down serious allegations of a crime that would serve to sully his name, and muddy his entire career for actions he (allegedly) performed while in High School.

Disagree with Republicans on their rationale with Garland, sure. It was dirty, but at least the reasoning was perhaps worthy of debate. But if the counter from the Democrats is to unearth decades-old (alleged) felonies, and ruin the name of an entire family and a life-long public servant because they were nominated, then I am not on board.

This is rich people laughing, and to not recognise the giant temper tantrum that the Democrat party is throwing is sheer unadulterated blindness. The willingness to destroy someone for the simple act of being promoted is the kind of psychopathic coldness that needs to leave politics. It is as vicious as it is open and naked, for all to see.

Mid-terms are going to be interesting, at least in terms of whether the public are seeing the cold, naked viciousness that I am seeing.

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The headline versus the story

I often find that there can be a disparity between what a headline says, and what the contents are within the story. In some cases, this is referred to as “burying the lede”, in where the headline information is either burying deep within a distant paragraph, or in some cases, including information that refutes the headline as a castaway sentence.

However, there is this other thing I find in where a story’s headline seems to be secondary to the actual story that is important. Take, for instance, the recent address by United States President Donald Trump to the UN General Assembly, in where he was openly laughed at.

If you were to read the headline, you’d sigh and resign yourself to the known fact that Trump is a buffoon and has somehow, yet again, self-flagellated on the world stage. The story itself is littered with descriptions of how the world seemingly mocked him, along with Reactions From Twitter that reinforced this notion.

But, there are some aspects to his speech that warrant some discussion, and even would suggest that he didn’t completely muff the entire thing up. Please note that I write this as someone who actually hasn’t viewed the President’s routine in front of the UN, and the story I linked certainly doesn’t compel me to watch.

Consider some excerpts posted in the article:

He also talked up his administration’s relationship with North Korea and its progress towards denuclearisation.

“I would like to thank Chairman Kim for his courage and for the steps that he’s taken — though more work remains to be done,” Mr Trump said, noting existing “sanctions will remain in place until denuclearisation occurs.”

So, aside from acknowledging a despot, isn’t the continued pressure to denuclearise the Korean peninsula a good thing?

Mr Trump declared that the “bloodthirsty killers known as ISIS have been driven out of the territory they once held in Iraq and Syria,” and he called for a “political solution” in the latter country that reflects “the will of the Syrian people.”

Seeing as the insurgence of ISIS is what created the refugee crisis with people fleeing Syria, isn’t progress to nullify the influence of the known terror group another success? Certainly refugees fleeing would like to see that their homeland has loosened the grip of the problem that caused their initial flee in the first place?

And he delivered a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying the United States “will respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Assad regime.”

Right, so we mock someone who is stating that there are severe repercussions for, you know, perpetrating a war crime?

Mr Trump said he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to take a “hard look” at US foreign assistance, saying that the US is the world’s largest donor of foreign aid “but few give anything to us.”

He said the review will examine what is working and what is not working and whether countries that receive US aid “have our interests at heart.”

Didn’t Trump go to an election on a platform of “America First”? Look back a decade, and I distinctly remember much tut-tutting over a United States that considered itself a World Police, and meddling in affairs of other sovereign nations, yet now we laugh because the President wants to be insular?

But no, let’s publish the intellectual waste that gets posted on Twitter and call that news.

Twitter being snarky is not news. In fact, it is such a passe notion, I’m surprised it ever get reported at all. But I guess having major news sources pull quotes from Twitter only serves to fuel Twitter users into trying to make the snarkiest snark and the belly-aching gotcha.

I’m sure I’ve said it before on this blog, but the media really need to step up their game. they need to do better. the issues, it appears, are being missed in favour of entertainment. If the media don’t want to be seen as untrustworthy hacks, then perhaps they’d better try being a little more trustworthy, rather than reporting tweets.

Because, at the moment, I’m pretty sure if a nuclear holocaust suddenly broke out, the news would report that Twitter collectively pointed at the bombs and lolled.

Just do a better job

As the media seem intent to call themselves a “vital part of democracy”, all the while failing to do even the most basic of reporting, I think it worthwhile to point out why the public rally behind Trump’s call of “fake news”

If the media is in any way confused about this, the solution to their problem of people distrusting the media is actually quite simple:

Do better.

This isn’t to say that the media needs to be Trump’s lapdog. Quite the opposite. But the media seem hell bent on taking any report about Trump, and blowing it well out of proportion. It’s doing nothing to endear the people to the media, and it’s further worsened when the media sees fit to compare themselves literally to soldiers on the front line.

So when every single discussion in the news focuses on the stupid shit that Trump says, while ignoring how policy actually manifests, it tells the public that the media have an ulterior motive. A motive to portray the President in the worst possible light.

… as though the President has trouble doing so without their help.

But it also confirms in peoples’ minds that the media are so far in the tank for one side of the political divide, that they cannot trust what is being reported. The place from where the reporting is coming from is dishonest, and tainted with partisanship.

Take, for example, the recent Antifa skirmishes with Police and journalists. CNN’s talking head will blindly whistle and hand-wave away Antifa’s behaviour on the grounds of it being a moral right. I sincerely doubt that this is a luxury they would afford had it been a conservative group attacking journalists – especially since CNN’s Jim Acosta apparently feared for his safety when he was taunted with jibes of “CNN sucks” at a recent Trump rally.

If the media really wants to earn the trust back from the people, they simply need to do one thing.

Do better.

Stop appearing like the propaganda wing of the Democrat party. Stop treating conservative views like they’re evil. Give opposing views respectful treatment. And be honest about your leanings.

Fox News has been rightly labelled as a right-wing outlet, and they appear to make no apologies for it. CNN, however, purports to be impartial and fair – when the proof provides little to back up the allusion. In fact, I would even think a good start for CNN would be to admit that they’re not impartial, and that they are partisan.

It would be a good start in having people trust them a little more.

But when Obama did it

From conservatives I often hear the excuse for atrocities happening under Trump that “no one cared when these things happened when Obama was in office.”

On the face of it, it’s a fair criticism. However, it does tend to gloss over that things are happening today that need to be fixed. You can’t hand-wave away terrible things because the other guy did it too. We must all strive to be better people, rather than just fall back on “well they do it too”.

Having said all that, it’s the media here who are ultimately culpable for this. Take, for instance, the issue of children being separated from parents and detained. A horrible thing which cannot be denied. However, the media only sought to bring it to the public’s attention now, rather than a few years ago.

This isn’t a defense of Trump, but an indictment on the media.

Now I hear protestors making small sound bites at their demonstrations that Trump is “imprisoning children” – a provocative claim that is both dramatic and light on substance. It sounds good, is simple to digest and horrifies anyone listening. Except it’s a superficial examination of what is happening.

The protestors don’t care about the children being supposedly imprisoned. They only care about the points they can score to smear Trump. If they truly cared about these children, they’d be at the border or at detention centres rather than in London beneath a Trump baby balloon.

And they’d have done it well before Trump came into office.

So when conservatives respond with “But Obama did it”, it’s not to defend Trump, but to call people out on their dishonesty. These people don’t care about incarcerated children. They just care about getting their anti-Christ out of the White House.

To the defense of Trump

Now that the clock ticks on and we gradually eke toward the US election mid-terms, it is becoming more and more clear that the media is having less and less interest in doing its job of reporting facts. Frankly, it appears that their modus operandi has gone from being self-appointed bastions of truth and cornerstones of democracy into “Get Trump”.

This is where we, as citizens, need to be astute in what we consume, and recognise the media’s operations. Like any decent investigator, we must always ask ourselves, “Is our source of information reliable, and do they have an interest in selling us a skewed version of events?”

Because, in all likelihood, they have an interest. If it hasn’t been obvious so far, then I fear people haven’t been paying attention. Look at any news story that features Trump versus another person, and the photo of Trump’s target is one showing a face of stoicism, whereas Trumps face is contorted into some stupid way to make it look like he’s trying to shit out a tree stump.

If the media were truly interested in impartial reporting, they wouldn’t need to stoop to such tactics, and they would trust that the reader could formulate their own solutions.

But that’s a big fat nope, and now we have media doing all they can to smear Trump in the hope that the midterm elections will rout Republicans from the House and Senate so that impeachment proceedings can commence.

Because that’s the end game. Impeachment and removal from office.

So, why does that bother me? Despite all my recent postings here, I am not a Trump supporter.

I have long held a belief that politics had been polluted by ultra-wealthy and well-connected types who knew how to say the right things in order to get in. They were hyper-polished but ultimately milquetoast individuals who said nothing committal and spoke in roundabouts and fog. They weren’t motivated by actual serving of the people, but rather by their legacy.

They wanted to rule, and to rule for as long as they could. To stay in power, they just needed to say the right things and avoid the bad things – not necessarily do what is right.

I felt that politics needed a good flush out. It needed someone willing to do what they felt was right, and not what was popular by polls. For all the flaws of Trump – and there are many – I can honestly say with some certainty that he’s doing what he thinks is right and not what is popular. He does what he thinks will take the US where he wants it to go, and not what he thinks will get him reelected.

And regardless of whether you think he’s wrong (and he can be very wrong), you cannot fault him for not following through.

I don’t want politicians motivated by reelection. I want them motivated by doing what they think is right – yes, even if i disagree with them.

Because I prefer someone doing something because it’s their idea, not because they think their idea will get them what they want.

And because in Trump I see this person, and because I see a malicious monolith of entrenched power (in the media and established politicians) seemingly conspiring to have Trump thrown out on the most specious of reasons, it feels like a fight between two parties; the ultra powerful and wealthy individuals of an ultra upper class who believe they were born to rule versus, well, the people.

So, I don’t defend Trump because I like him. I defend him because he won the election and because those forces that are trying to remove him shouldn’t be so powerful in the first place. Politicians serve the people. The people spoke. The politicians should listen and try again next election instead of trying to throw out the peoples’ choice.

A Royal Memory

The media certainly aren’t afraid to turn up the largesse when it comes to certain things. There are a number of things that happen so utterly infrequently, that when that particular something does occur, the media flip out and scramble their top brass. They will turn on all the lights, and turn the spotlight to the event with such great gusto, you wonder where this enthusiasm is whenever something actually fucking important happens.

Because, before you know it, there’s round-the-clock coverage of a mildly successful actress marrying a largely inconsequential Royal.

It has struck me as somewhat bizarre that the US media has given any airtime whatsover to the Royal Wedding of the Next-Next-Next-Next-Next-Next In Line To The Throne. I suppose that the bride being of the nation of traitors that buggered off from England way-back-when gives the media an impression of having some kind of tie.

Much like how Tom Cruise said he’d married Australia itself after marrying Nicole Kidman, I suppose. This was a sentiment which sent a large swathe of the island nation into thetan exorcism.

In a world where outrage drives the gears of almost everything, I found the fawning over Harry to be somewhat confounding. All the discussion that permeates politics and culture seems to centred around combating the worrying rise of fascism and nazism. Anything which looks like it might even think about being Nazism is highlighted, and shouted down as Literally The Worst.

“Don’t normalise nazism!” is how I would paraphrase the message.

How odd it is that people seemed to have forgotten that Prince Harry, in 2005, dressed up as a Nazi.

“Oh that was so long ago!” I hear some people cry, “People change over time!”

You know what else happened in 2005? Trump’s comments about grabbing women. Yet this didn’t stop us from hearing about it for fucking weeks on end, and how horrible his words were.

“But this is different!” I hear the same people cry, “Harry was young and didn’t know better!”

Alright, keep moving those goalposts. But let’s be honest here. Let’s really be honest here. This isn’t about Nazism, or misogyny, or about how moral we expect our social betters to be. This is about ensuring that People We Like have prominence, and People We Don’t Like are buried.

This is about having the right ideology at the forefront of culture, because when you lead culture, that’s where politicians and lawmakers follow.  Prince Harry married a political activist who toes the correct line, and that makes Harry fine, despite his cavalier brandishing of the logo of one of history’s greatest stains.

And how we scowl and sneer at someone who bragged like a douche to his friends about his abhorrent and boorish behaviour. Trump’s comments, as dry-reachingly vomitous as they sounded, were only a secondary crime compared to his first: being a political opponent of someone who was cherished by culture activists.

The Russians are/aren’t coming

I’ll spare people the “sorry I’ve been away” spiel. I haven’t been forthcoming on updates to this blog, and that’s on me. My bad. Mea culpa and all that.

So, it’s time to address the issue of the Special Counsel into Russian interference in the 2016 US General Election. To date a couple people have been indicted on this case, on matters that do not seem to link back to Trump. Paul Manafort has been indicted on matters relating to money laundering and ties with nations that are notably not Russia.

Other charges, like Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos seem to be more (with the former) in line with “lying to the FBI” and (with the latter) something which seems to have fairly little substance – everything is still in the air on that one.

Yet it seems telling that the Special Counsel seems to have pivoted a little on the Russian story and has now turned an eye to Obstruction of Justice and maybe even campaign finance issues.

But this all needs to wash out over time. I don’t know one thing or another, but am just commenting on the matter as a layman.

Let’s get this down to brass tacks. What exactly is this all about?

The contention originally made was the Russian influence affected the outcome of the US General Election. Okay, fine. To date, it seems that very little has come forward to implicate Trump in these allegations. From the beginning of his presidency, Trump has had these allegations on his back, and there has been a constant question of the legitimacy of his win. The investigation is ongoing, and seems to yield very little substance so far.

So, I am surprised that all these extra items have popped up that have gained some legs. Not because I think Trump is a man of substance and purity. Oh hell, no.

Because this whole mess was to focus on how Russia might have skewed the results of the election. So, first we were worried about the election being turned, and now we’re worried that Trump might have broken a rule about buying off a porn star to keep her quiet? Or that he’s tried to obstruct his own witch-hunt?

What about collusion with Russia?

Because, it seems to me that if this is no longer about Russia, then we basically have an investigation in search of a crime, as opposed to a crime requiring an investigation.

Why is this a problem?

Because if not by intent, then at least by appearances, this whole special counsel theatre is basically a sign that very powerful and well-backed people will stop at nothing to depose someone who was actually democratically elected to his position.

Forget for a moment about the other charges and look at the Russian narrative. If it was found that Trump did not collude or conspire with Russia, and that there was no effect on the results of the election, then why is the special counsel continuing to dig for other random charges? If there was no influence, then Trump is and was – for better or worse – the winner of the election.

If you are not troubled by the idea rich and powerful people can overturn the result of a legitimate democratically elected leader, then I fear for your priorities.

This is beyond cheering for left over right. This is about the democratic process and respect for the will of the people. Whether you like Trump or not, if his win was legitimate, then you should be very worried. If you have no problem with the incessant probing of Trump’s affairs, but perceive Trump to be a tyrant, then you should be doubly worried, because it means that he can turn the tables back on your preferred candidate.