Susan Collins called the whole thing an “ugly confirmation process.” Yep. It was ugly alright. Especially the way it ended, with her confirming a man credibly accused of sexual assault and who, it is now well known, told some strange whoppers to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What Collins didImage result for susan collins and joe manchinn’t bother to say was that the confirmation process was ugly because ugly Republicans ran it, from start to finish. And what she didn’t say was that Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony before the committee was itself ugly, filled with vitriol and phony accusations and partisan nonsense, which by anyone’s standard should disqualify a candidate from assuming a lifetime appointment to the world’s now-phoniest “impartial” tribunal.

But most of all, what Senator Collins didn’t say is that her career in the Senate is ugly, as she has somehow gained an undeserved reputation for “moderation,” for being a champion of women. If it weren’t such a serious matter, we could all LOL. But it is serious. And a man, a dishonest man, a dishonest man who lied several times to Senators, will reshape our jurisprudence longer than I will live partly because a so-called champion of women put him there at the request of the Groper-in-Chief.

Senator Collins was right. This was an ugly process. And it was an ugly process because the fix was in from the start. Anyone who thinks that these were earnest Republican senators (and a very politically ugly Democrat named Joe Manchin) just trying to get to the truth, just trying to do the right thing, doesn’t understand anything about our politics, and certainly doesn’t understand anything about the Republican Party or about a Democrat-in-name-only trying to keep his job in a reactionary red state.

The truth is, and we have to face it again and again, is that Republicans, as they now have organized themselves, are an ugly, ugly group of people. And that there are some Democrats, like Joe Manchin, who are almost as ugly as they are.

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  1. I would prefer that Collins and Manchin survive politically, only because they would be replaced by less desirable people. Frustrating, but that’s our system. Somehow, if our form of government is to survive the political divide at all, we need to diminish the partisanship. Maine next Tuesday will be the first state to employ ranked choice voting, a system designed to encourage moderation in primaries. I am hoping it succeeds. It is shocking how vulnerable people are to demagoguery. Tr;mp has driven it to new heights. Make that lows.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I couldn’t have said it better Duane! He will definitely still be on the bench when I’m gone but I wish my kids didn’t have to live through the collapse of our democracy because of people like Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m hoping the thing doesn’t collapse, but it is in very bad shape. And if our side doesn’t win the House this fall, Lord have mercy.


  3. Bayard Pidgeon

     /  October 5, 2018

    Not quite 3 weeks before Halloween, Senator Collins took off her “moderate” mask to show her true face. There is no excusing what she’s done.
    Manchin…well, he didn’t have any mask anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anson Burlingame

     /  October 6, 2018

    Duane (and Jim to a degree, even “Helen”),

    Hellen first. I UNDERSTAND your angst, for sure. My wife feels the same way and we are unable to speak of Kavanaugh at this point, yet we still are together and glad we are. It is a moral dilemma of the highest, political sort.

    Now Duane and Jim,

    I thought Susan Collin’s speech yesterday was one of the best, most thoughtful, analytical even, speeches I have ever heard (or read about) from the floor of the Senate. Of course I agree with her but I suspect had she gone the other way I still would have held the speech in very high regard. On the other hand, while I thought her speech was somewhat naive, shallow if you will, AT LEAST the Alaskan Senator acknowledged that she felt Kavanaugh was a “good man”, etc., thus distancing herself from all the vitrolic, destructive BS heard, read and seen about him.

    For the past 18 (or so) hours I have had a very strange concern given the Senate seems ready, now to confirm Kavanaugh. Ever since I received notification on my phone, while watching a Tennis Tournament (grand daughter) out of town, I have been worried that “someone” might now try to shoot or otherwise physically prevent one or more Senators from going to the floor to vote as they have announced. It would be either Right or Left zealot that could do so.

    My honest concern is driven by the revolutionary zealotry I have been observing across the board over the last 2, actually 10 (since Obama election) years. Either side is capable of literally “killing”, or trying to kill, the other side, now. Senators seem to be discussing banning the public from Senatorial hallways now given the “mob violence” (free speech my ass) seen therein.

    Assuming the vote this afternoon is “peaceful” and Kavanaugh is confirmed, I now wonder where we go as a nation, from here. These are “revolutionary times” in America and we all know what happens in such cases when one side wins. They literally KILL the other side, in France and in Russia.

    Writing herein will do no good to calm these troubled waters. The only solution I have at hand is to vote, which of course I will do. This Nov I will vote to try my best to “divide the House” and return it to Dem hands. That is easy for me to do as I have NEVER voted for OBL (Ozark Billy). On the other hand, my hope is the Senate remains in GOP control, simply to avoid a travesty of attempts to impeach trump and Kavanaugh based .only on political fervor, not the LAW. I am also in favor of pursuing violations of the emolument clause in a court of law. If proven therein, THEN go ahead and impeach trump in House (go Dems!) and see what happens in a trial in the Senate. As I recall it takes a 2/3rd’s vote in Senate to remove him from office. Even with small majority in Senate after Nov 2018 I doubt that will happen. But again, if constitutional violations are proven in court of law then I will be much more prone to support removal from office, of trump.

    But blah, blah, blah and a big so what, what my views and opinions, expressed herein, might be. This blog is a very long and large “rope” and it does no good whatsoever for me to try to “piss up this rope”. I only soil myself!!!

    So I am going to take a time out now from your blog Duane. I respect your intellect and even your passion for what you believe is “right”. Certainly your hard work keeps you standing tall, far above most in this politically heated, “deadly” environment.

    Get well, Duane and stay that way. You have my best wish for your return to health.



    • For what it’s worth, Anson, I wrote a column for the Globe about Kavanaugh yesterday and I included a remark that he was a “good” man, just not the right man for the job. By “good man” I meant that he has apparently conducted himself well since becoming an adult, including high academic achievement, a stable family, scandal-free work as a federal appeals judge. No arrests, no fights, no headlines.

      After thinking about this and considering all the un-interviewed witnesses and their allegations, and this morning reading criticism of a past Dean of Yale law school, I decided the comment was out of context. He is not only unqualified as a Supreme, I am convinced that he should not be a judge at all. I have requested that the Globe remove the remark if they publish my letter.

      As far as Collins speech goes, it is clear to me that she cares more about her political career than she does the welfare of the country or its women, embracing the inadequate travesty of the re-opened background check. Ironic, this, since when she first announced for the senate she declared a self-imposed limit of two terms on herself. It is now 22 years and counting.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Anson,

      First of all, none of us, not you, not me, not Susan Collins, can ever know if Kavanuagh is a “good” or “bad” man. We don’t know him. And we certainly don’t know what happened, exactly, on that day he is accused of getting drunk and attempting to rape a teenager. But we saw with our own eyes his temperament as he appeared, that last time, before the Judiciary Committee. And we can document that he lied about some big things (what he did for W. Bush, for instance) and some little things (definitions in his high school yearbook, etc.). For any rational person concerned with the integrity of the Court, that display of intemperance and those self-serving lies, should have been enough. Alas, party tribalism triumphed.

      Second, you seem to have bought into the “mob” nonsense that Republicans were pushing, in terms of your fearing an assassination. My, oh, my. That’s too bad. I don’t recall, during the Tea Party displays, you being too worried about mob violence. Funny how that works.

      Third, I am happy to hear that you may vote for a House Democrat to check the excesses of Tr-mpism. 

      Fourth and finally, I appreciate the well-wishes but regret that you are taking a “time out” at such a perilous and momentous time. But to each his own.



  5. Cobra lover

     /  October 8, 2018

    I have but all given up on a peaceful and normal progression of laws being passed that provide what the founding fathers envisioned. On CNN this weekend Colin Powell and Madeline Albright had a very thoughtful and agreeable discussion about these times. Albright mentioned in her book “Facism” that Mussolini said it best in the 30’s that no one notices or cares if you pluck the chicken one feather at a time. So goes our nation and the republican rule we have seen these last few years. I think that Anson’s worry about mob violence is a possibility due to the rhetoric of our present leaders. Mitch McConnell and the President are inviting, maybe even daring it to happen with the paths they have chosen. The selection and destruction of our treaties and environmental laws being torn apart is a serious threat to the world and our nations honor of trying to do right. It sickened Powell and Albright and should sicken all who admire our democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw that Fareed program and I couldn’t agree with you more. Appreciate the way you expressed yourself and the way many of us perceive this moment.



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