Why Republicans Are ‘Kavanaughing’ With Trump

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I don’t know what to tell you folks. We’re definitely in an unprecedented political crisis that could go either way, but the fact that Republican thought leaders are Newt and Graham are now attempting to “Kavanaugh” the current Trump situation is telling.

I dunno.

As you may recall, back in the quaint olden days, there was something called “borking.” This was the successful effort to paint Bork as too extreme for the Supreme Court on the part of the Democrats. Flash forward about 30 years and we now have entered the age of kavanaughing. I feel this is more of a Republican thing than Democratic thing because of how significant the sexual assault accusations against Kavanaugh affected them. They are still seething over all that because they felt as though they were forced to address something other than Kavanaugh’s policies, which they love. They had to address things about his character that happened when he was significantly younger man. So, in their eyes, to kavanaugh someone is to attack someone’s character when political reality puts you in a losing situation.

But there’s another way to look at kavanaughing. And that’s from the Republican standpoint. To kavanaugh from the GOP’s standpoint is to reference what happened to Kavanaugh as kind of an updated version of “waving the bloody flag” that happened in post-Civil War America. Whenever someone got in a bind, they would tout their courage in the Civil War.

So, for Republicans, kavanaugh is code for the Democrats going after someone not on policy, but on character. But in the specific instance of Trump, they want to switch out policy for facts. Their message to Republicans is this exactly what happened to Kavanaugh. We won that battle, so we can win this one.

I guess they can win. They seem to win every other battle. But there are two issues for Republicans like Newt and Graham going forward. One is that Trump is likely to go completely bonkers and the other is policy is not fact. Facts are harder to deny and harder to spin as a simple disagreement. When you start denying facts that are provable and equating whistleblowers with women accusing someone of character flaws you got a massive messaging problem ahead of you.

It’s easy to get an angry, white middle-aged man feeling “economic anxiety” that a young Kavanaugh sexually assaulting someone is just another attempt by “woke” #MeToo radicals out to ruin the career of someone whose thought on abortion they disagree with. It’s a lot more difficult — but hardly impossible — to tell that same angry white middle aged man that a whistleblower documenting “light treason” on the part of the president as an adult is the same thing.

I dunno. This is now the biggest political crisis in American history since late 1860. I have no idea what is going to happen. Republicans are going to ride the Trump Train all the way down to a Singularity. So, in that sense, they’re likely to win from a long-term strategic standpoint. All they care about is power for power’s sake. Their first task is to acquit Trump in the Senate. Their next step is to get him re-elected using whatever means necessary.

Once he’s safe in his second term, then they can sit back and relax. They can start fighting over who’s the biggest racist or misogynist. They can begin to jockey for their position in the Politburo. There are at least six would-be God King Trumps lusting after the throne. And those guys have to get past Don Jr. and Ivanka first.

The good guys don’t always win.

Why The Fight Over Kavanaugh Is An Ominous Portent

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

First, let’s get something out of the way — MAGA is, at its core, an illiberal movement. It’s really simply Putinism with an American accent. The whole point of MAGA is to use its control of the Executive and Legislative (Senate) branches of government to destroy liberal democracy in America long-term via young hack conservative judges who care more about their partisan agenda than the good of the country. Conservatives since at least Watergate have felt like victims of evil liberals. The MAGA attack on basic American democratic norms is a strategic and well-planned agenda that was set in motion decades ago.

My current analogy is this: if this was 9/11, Trump’s election was the two airplanes striking the towers. Liberals are firefighters in the lobby, trying to figure out what they’re going to do, not fully realizing they’re going to be in rubble in a few minutes. In other words, America is already a Russian-style managed-democracy, only the details have to be worked out. That, and Trump is criminally incompetent. So it may be one of his successors who finishes the job.

Having said all that, the reason why Kavanaugh is so significant is he took the positions staked out after the Access Hollywood tape to their next logical extreme. MAGA is upset because they see the efforts to “cancel” Kavanaugh for things he did as a young man as just another overreach by liberals who want to destroy traditional masculinity.

Liberal-progressives, meanwhile, are at a loss. They feel they have Kavanaugh caught red handed and yet they can’t seem to get any traction. This pretty much sums up how disorganized and ineffective the modern center-Left is in the United States in general. They can be so wrapped up in the finer points of who is more oppressed that they lose sight of the importances of messaging. Which, of course, what Donald Trump lives and breaths. (Another term for messaging would be, of course, branding.)

And so we’re at something of an impasse. But not really. MAGA will continue to plunder the treasury and destroy democratic norms at will. They will never be held accountable for anything they do. But they demand anyone they oppose be destroyed for the smallest slight.

Really, it seems that our absolute best-case scenario long-term is some sort of moderate, centrist military junta steps in at some point to keep the country together. But far more likely is Trump will go after individual Electors on a personal basis and “win’ the 2020 race on strict Constitutional grounds. Then Blue States revolt and Trump uses that as an excuse to abolish Blue State governments, turning them into military districts.

And that, as they say, will be that.

ICE will be weaponized. The camp infrastructure already in existence will be used for anyone not wise enough to shut up — like me! — and, then…well…I guess that’s it.

…..One Last Idle Musing About Kavanaugh & Usenet

by Shelton Bumgarner

…….this is just a very, very casual mulling of something….interesting….going on with my Webstats……why is someone from New York City looking at this Website repeatedly today?

…..it could be anything….maybe they like my lyrics (ha!)…..or….dare I even speculate that….maybe…..just….maybe….something might be up on the Kavanaugh-Usenet front?

I’m 99.9% sure this isn’t the case and it’s probably something much more prosaic than that…..it’s just…if you could dig up (even at this late date) Usenet posts from Kavanaugh at Yale, that would be significant.

but….who am I kidding. I’m just spinning dumb tales as I always do.

it’s just interesting. very interesting. what does it mean?

Idle Rambling About Kavanaugh & Usenet

by Shelton Bumgarner

Now, I did a quick search of Google’s Usenet archive and I didn’t find anything to indicate Brett Kavanaugh used Usenet while in college. So, that’s pretty conclusive evidence that my barely-a-hunch that he might have used it while he was in college didn’t pan out.

I guess what made what made that whole thing a least a little bit interesting was the fact that if you could find Kavanaugh Usenet posts from his college days, it would be a unique snapshot of his mentality during the period of time everyone is concerned about. Usenet was pretty free wheeling at that moment in its history and the conditions, at least, are there for us to get some sense of his drinking and other behavior.

But, like I said, doesn’t look that my hunch paid off. The only way I could possibly see it panning out would be if you were with a major news organization and you could talk to Google directly about its archive and see if maybe they could find any archive evidence from Yale specific newsgroups. That might be something that might have a greater likelihood of panning out. But barring something pretty dramatic, this definitely seems like a dead end.

There’s just no there there.

But it definitely was an interesting idea for a moment or two. If you could have found Kavanaugh Usenet posts, that could have really changed the game. It would have been pretty dramatic.

A Challenge To The News Media: Use Google’s Usenet Archive To See If Kavanaugh Used It

by Shelton Bumgarner

As I understand it, Google has — or at least had — an extensive Usenet News archive stretching back to its beginning. It wouldn’t take too much work to track down Kavanaugh’s Yale ID if he used the service. It’s worth spending a few moments digging around Google’s archive, if nothing else.

The Fate Of The Republic Hinges On Apoplectic Women

by Shelton Bumgarner

This is just my personal back-of-the-envelope observation about the coming 2018 mid-terms, but it seem as though things have grown significantly more dicey for The Resistance since the Brett Kavanaugh hearing on Thursday. The MAGA base is stoked now in a way they weren’t previously and they could come to the polls in significantly higher numbers than were expected. There might not be a Blue Wave — or at least not enough of one to flip the House — and America continues it’s lurch towards autocracy.

Honestly, my only hope at this point is women are angry. Really angry. That’s it. If it wasn’t for that, I would give up hope entirely and simply try not to watch any news between now and November 6th. Women are in a historic rage about Republicans not believing Dr. Ford and so there’s at least a minor possibility that their excitement to make a statement at the polls might be enough to at least match the MAGA people who think Kavanaugh is getting a raw deal.

And, remember, this all boils down to Republicans wanting a 30 year 5-4 lock on the Supreme Court. It’s a win-win for Republicans. It doesn’t really matter what happens at this point. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, they get a 5-4 lock on SCOTUS. If he isn’t they probably keep both houses of Congress and continue to ram through tax breaks for the 1%.

Really, the only way I could see anything of note happening at this point is if Kavanaugh is not confirmed and somehow The Resistance gets the Senate. THEN I will have some hope. But that is extremely, extremely unlikely to happen. In fact, I would be flabbergasted if it happened or even came close to happening.

We’re in the darkest timeline and there’s nothing, in real terms, we can do about it.

‘Kavanaugh’ — #Lyrics To A 80s Pop Rock Song

Sometimes, it takes a little while for my mind to notice something. In this case, how well Kavanaugh fits with the song Panama by Van Halen. I usually don’t like to do one-for-one remakes of songs and this isn’t really one, more just a matter of playing off the familiarity of Panama.

lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
please give credit if you produce or perform

going to have some skis this weekend
losing all my inhibitions
getting into Yale
bustin my butt
oh yeah


all the girls love a Devil’s Triangle
pulling a train into station
don’t you forget to dangle some law
when at a best friend’s house
beach week will never end
with a dabble of sin


hold her down
turn the radio up
we’re going to boof
whether she likes it or not

there’s nothing she can do
once you’re through with her
lust is it’s own reward
you’re going to be a judge
when you’re this smart and young