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Comic Strip of the Day: No Tears Today

I could probably just post Tom Toles cartoon and sign off for the day. For all the Sturm und Drang of the hearings, this is pretty much it.

I knew a girl in college who had gone to a boarding school where her roommate was the daughter of a Mafia figure. (She told me this story before Mafia chic had struck, not only well before the Sopranos but only eight months after “The Godfather” was published and well before it became a cultural icon. And the story itself was at least three years old then.)

Anyway, one day, she came back to the room and found her roommate weeping inconsolably, and, at first, she couldn’t get any sort of explanation, but they were close and, eventually, the roommate explained.

It seems her brother had messed up and there was a hit out on him.

A few weeks later, sure enough, he turned up in the trunk of a car.

The roommate checked out of school for a few days to attend the funeral, but, my friend said, the interesting thing was that, when she got the phone call, she didn’t cry.

Her brother was dead when the hit was put out on him. The actual death was simply an inevitability and she had already mourned him by the time it happened.

I’m sure she was sad. I’m sure she missed him. I’m sure she wished there could have been some reprieve.

But she felt no shock because that moment had come and gone, and I feel much the same way about the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

This is sad and regrettable and all that, but it’s simply the inevitable outcome of something that we screwed up a year and a half ago.

I knew there wasn’t going to be any last-minute change of plans. The time for tears is long past.

 

However, I am not totally without passion, and I got a kick out of Mike Luckovich‘s cartoon, which echoes the revelations in Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book and the report from the anonymous senior staff member whose op-ed piece appeared in yesterday’s New York Times.

 

Reports of staffers sneaking papers off the President’s desk because he won’t remember what foolish, impractical thing he ordered 10 minutes ago are amusing, and remind me of this classic Doonesbury from 1976, which was on my office wall for years.

However, while my response is that I wish someone had snuck the Iraq Invasion orders off W’s desk, there has instead been a response from the knotted-knickers, love-me-I’m-a-liberal crowd that anonymous sources are gutless — oh, wait, that was someone else — but that, they declare, if the person were honest, he or she would resign rather than sit back and booby-trap the presidency from inside.

Which I would assume they also said about Mark Felt, who — gutless coward that he was — remained in place, feeding information to Woodward and Bernstein for months, instead of publicly announcing his disgust and walking out like an honest person would.

And that Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg and Josephine Baker should have stood up publicly to the Nazis, rather than remaining anonymous and surreptitiously undermining the system without having the courage to openly oppose it.

Yes, indeed, what cowards they were.

 

None of this should suggest that I’m comfortable watching a pre-approved lackey named to the Supreme Court, and I appreciate Pat Bagley‘s reminder of what is at stake.

Pat is just a tad younger than me, and, in this case, it means that he was 17 when Roe v Wade was decided, while I was 23. So he was old enough to be paying attention, and I’ll give him credit for understanding what that symbol means.

For those younger, it is simply a meme, a gesture they’ve seen but nothing they’ve lived with.

Bagley was probably not old enough, as I was, to have had someone cautiously approach him and ask if he knew anyone who might know someone who might be able to help a student who had become pregnant.

I’m quite sure he wasn’t old enough to have held anyone while she sobbed and confessed that she had aborted herself with a coat hanger, nearly bled to death and would likely never be able to have children.

For those of us who lived in those days, this is not theoretical. It is not symbolic. It is not some debating point to be scored and decided around a table.

And, age aside, Pat and I are guys, which, however sympathetic we may be, puts us several hundred yards, maybe several hundred miles, away from the stark reality of this issue.

But when I say that I wept when the hit was ordered, rather than when the body was found, bear in mind that I did weep.

 

I join Jen Sorensen in wondering how any of this is even an open question, and in being appalled when some pundit says that “Red-State Democrats” may not want to vote against Kavanaugh in the weeks before the mid-term elections.

If you want to talk about people who should step up and resign on a point of honor, that would be the place to do it.

Vote your conscience and run on your record and trust the people to elect you for who you are.

If you’re only there to protect your job, however, we’ve established what you are and we don’t even have to dicker over the price: It’s set by law.

A lot of the people listed in that article were simply hedging, saying that they’d wait for the hearings before declaring their opposition, in case Kavanaugh said something astonishing and exculpatory.

And then sprouted a pair of wings and flew around the committee room.

Well, we’ll all know what’s at stake when we go to the polls November 6.

We’ll know what we’re voting for and what we’re voting against and who it will help and who it will harm.

And I hope we can respect ourselves in the morning.

It will be way too late for tears.

 

Community Comments

#1 Becky F
September/6/2018
@ 3:53 pm

I haven’t given up hope yet. Both Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have said they wouldn’t vote for anyone who would overturn Roe v Wade. If they stick to that, and if all the Dems vote their party (which presumably is also their conscience), Kavanaugh will be voted down. A long shot, maybe, but still possible.

#2 Hank Gillette
September/7/2018
@ 3:49 am

I think it was Senator Booker who said that the hearings are a sham, and I agree.

Kavanaugh sits there and spouts platitudes about how no one is above the law, and that like Roberts, he is just an umpire calling balls and strikes, and that there are no Republican justices or Democratic justices, and yet we know damn well that once he is confirmed and on the Court he will side with the other four Republican appointed justices, he will vote to protect Trump, and that he will cheerfully vote to overturn Roe as soon as a law challenging it comes before the Court (which will be passed as soon as a red state legislature meets after the confirmation.

I just hope I live long enough to see the Democrats get retribution for what McConnell and the Republicans have done to democracy, and I can’t say I’ll be sorry if they are not gentle about it.

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