One year after Brett Kavanaugh: ‘They just make it feel better—until they do not’

Apparently this happened last week: The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday filed a motion for summary judgment in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit aimed at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) controversial supplemental background check on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. This means the FBI wants the case, initiated byContinue reading “One year after Brett Kavanaugh: ‘They just make it feel better—until they do not’”

Another allegation against Brett Kavanaugh

The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings almost exactly year ago belong among the more sordid affairs of my life, and it hurts to recall how our two political parties responded. Worse still was watching the real-time devolution of the sleazes who sided with Kavanaugh; their  dismissals of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony went from “Well, I believeContinue reading “Another allegation against Brett Kavanaugh”

What Kavanaugh did to the right

I haven’t written much about Pride for uncomplicated reasons, but one of the reasons for which I’m glad, in the era of casual experimentation, that we gays still carve a month out of the year is to anger twerps like Sohrab Ahmari, for whom drag queens reading books to children in Sacramento libraries is analogousContinue reading “What Kavanaugh did to the right”

Supreme Court keeps its powder dry

Ian Millhiser’s explanation for why the Supreme Court refused to hear two cases brought by conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood makes sense to me, and so does his theory of why Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett “Bart” Kavanaugh sided with the liberal faction to deny certiori: It’s very doubtful that this equilibrium willContinue reading “Supreme Court keeps its powder dry”

Waving magic wands: the myth of Democratic power

Pressing his ears against the commentariat’s din, Matthew Yglesias comes to obvious conclusions: only a Democratic majority in the Senate could have stopped the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. Conversely, Mitch McConnell’s legislative genius, such as it is, consisted in whipping a bare majority. Even in those halcyon days of the sixty-vote filibuster over which Harry ReidContinue reading “Waving magic wands: the myth of Democratic power”

What is a neoconf?

After reading W.E.B. Du Bois, Eric Foner, and Lawrence Goldstone, I’ve distilled decades of scholarship about the ways in which the Democratic Party looked the other way when the South defied the federal government and encouraged racist violence while maintaining a kind of apartheid. Starting in 1968, the two political parties switched its worst members.Continue reading “What is a neoconf?”

A political party dedicated to hating women

Last week’s truce has ended. Now the GOP can return to hating women and hating women who have sex. First, the GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee attack the lowest hanging fruit: Julie Swetnick. The statement, which was circulated to the hundreds of journalists on the Judiciary Committee’s press list, was from Dennis Ketterer,Continue reading “A political party dedicated to hating women”

Seeing villains as misunderstood victims

“There was, in this performance, not even a hint of the sagacity one expects from a potential Supreme Court Justice,” Doreen St. Félix writes in The New Yorker. More than presenting a convincing rebuttal to Ford’s extremely credible account, Kavanaugh—and Hatch, and Lindsey Graham—seemed to be exterminating, live, for an American audience, the faint notionContinue reading “Seeing villains as misunderstood victims”