We arrive at the end of the week.
Yesterday morning, the yard crew were putting up a stake on the Capitol lawn and laying around it a supply of tinder.
It was to be a small fire…hot and slow.
Brett Kavanaugh was duly tied to the post with his eyes wide open…neither offering an apology nor appealing to God for redemption.
Strike the match
The first match was struck when Christine Blasey Ford took the oath and began her ‘high-stakes testimony’ to a panel of grave-looking senators, each pretending that the fate of the nation hung in the balance.
Ms Ford played along, citing the ‘civic duty’ that required her to tell what happened to her in a suburban bedroom 36 years ago.
Ms Ford says Mr Kavanaugh tried to ravish her. Mr Kavanaugh denies it. Obviously, one of them is bearing false witness.
And the august committee, along with the entire nation, was invited to spend another 100 million hours of its most precious and most irreplaceable resource — time — guessing which.
Committee members went to great lengths to treat Ms Ford with the kind of cautious respect usually reserved for armed maniacs. None wanted to join Mr Kavanaugh on the stake. They applauded her ‘courage’ and thanked her as a heroine for coming forward.
We had our doubts. We wondered what a truly brave woman would have done. And is it really such a good idea to eliminate Supreme Court justices based on disturbing old memories that can’t be proven?
Shouldn’t she have told her parents…risking their displeasure, but getting a chance to right a wrong? Or maybe even forgotten the ‘uproarious laughter’…and shrugged off the incident as a learning experience? (Don’t go to parties with drunken teenagers!)
Instead, Ms Ford turned the laughter into background music — almost a theme song — for her whole life. It explained so much, she said: her troubles in college and her troubles with men…therapy…and even her profession.
And now, with the whole nation looking…she had an opportunity to finally turn off the dreadful sound…to finally get even…to finally get justice…and to finally confirm that all her tears and fears were authentic and worthwhile.
What a glorious moment in the history of reality TV! Ms Ford…girlish, even in her fifties…and still fragile and vulnerable…
But she was taking down a Supreme Court nominee, damaging his career, reputation, and dignity. And it was all on the basis of such an antique recollection; like an old sofa, surely it has been reupholstered, maybe several times. Mr Kavanaugh didn’t seem to recognise it.
But the day’s circus events ended satisfactorily. The cameras smiled and the gawkers were pleased as Mr Kavanaugh cried out in pain and anger as the flames roasted his feet.
‘The whole thing just makes me sick,’ said a friend.
Here at the Diary, we have no way of knowing whether Mr Kavanaugh is an angel or a devil. But who cares; the stakes are trivial.
In the past, Supreme Court nominees weren’t asked how they treated their wives or what they got up to as teenagers. Many were probably cads or scoundrels; somehow, the Republic survived. One more rascal is not going to make any difference.
The real problem is that the Supreme Court has been derelict in its duty for the last 80 years.
It has failed to defend the Constitution against what Eisenhower called ‘unwarranted influence,’ and what we call the Deep State.
And today, nobody who would pose a serious threat to the Deep State — Republican or Democrat — would be allowed anywhere near a seat on the court.
Show goes on
Meanwhile, the show goes on. The US is going in the hole at a rate of $4 billion every business day. Both the bull market on Wall Street and the expansion on Main Street are nearing an end — with $250 trillion of debt outstanding worldwide.
And the president thinks Canada — Canada, with whom we have no trade deficit — has been cheating the US for decades.
He also thinks the US loses $800 billion a year in bad trade deals (we send foreigners fake money; they send us real goods).
But he told the United Nations that the US economy is doing great…
And the Fed is delusional, too. As good as this economy is, it thinks it can make it even better by raising its key interest rate, putting it about even with consumer price inflation.
Early in the century, the whole silly spectacle would have been preposterous.
Nobody cared about a Supreme Court justice’s teenage sex life; they only cared if he was a decent judge. Nobody cared what the president thought of trade between Canada and the US; it was none of his business.
And nobody would have imagined that POTUS would tell them with whom they could do business (the US now ‘sanctions’ some 30 different countries)…
Or that the Fed — we didn’t even have a central bank until 1913 — would decide who made money and who didn’t, transferring $4 trillion of fake money to the rich and not a dime to the working classes.
But that was then. This is now.
And today, we live with a Carnival of Claptrap that never stops.