Like a bow-legged cowboy swinging down from his horse to the middle of a dusty street, Brett Kavanaugh appears to be finally facing a showdown. The witnesses for and against him have sounded off, the FBI has poked around, Donald Trump has aired his opinion (when doesn’t he?) and Saturday the U.S. Senate is expected to finally confirm Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice or send him and his briefcase off into the sunset.
As I write this, confirmation seems slightly more likely than not for Kavanaugh, or Bart as his friends once called him. But who knows?
For opponents, the whole idea is a travesty. As various women, school chums, and others have paraded around on cable TV attesting to his once wild – potentially criminal – ways, the anti-Barts have howled. From their viewpoint, he behaved badly, exploited women, drank to excess, and then lied about it under oath. Toss in his belligerent response before that Senate committee late last week, and it’s all more than enough to send them charging toward the Capitol to shout, get arrested, and do anything it takes to deny him a black robe.
But on the other side of the corral? That’s a different story. While many of you may read this in a city where Democrats and liberals hold sway, in vast swaths of this country Republicans and conservatives rule. And they are not nearly as convinced that Bart did anything wrong. Many have embraced an amalgam of answers to the critics, including: 1) He was young/that was long ago 2) Men get falsely accused all the time (a presidential favorite!) 3) Democrats are just out to get him, and 4) There’s no real proof.
I’m not saying all or any of those pass the smell test. That’s for you and your pals to sort out amid cool brews and hot words. What I am saying is this: As Bart squints and squares off to face the vote this weekend, a lot of Americans will be looking not for “a justice” but for justice itself. And whichever way the votes goes, many will find it missing.