Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Averted, for now


So...that was not a brief blog break. I'm sorry.

As it turned out, I discovered that once the move from Createspace to Kindle Print is complete, books in progress would be pretty much in need of a complete do-over.

I had six books in progress.

So, between Aug. 30 and Oct. 5 I published all six new books, which brings my current total of published works to fourteen. (And I would be deeply honored if you would check out that link, especially if you have children ages 8 and up who enjoy books of magic and adventure.)

The nice part of all of that was that I was so busy during the Kavanaugh circus that I was able to restrain most of my impulses to write about it. It's not that I didn't have anything to say, but that other, better, more political commentators were already saying what I would. Regular readers of both this and my old blog know that in the years since I started blogging, I went from being a GOP supporter to being a politically homeless independent who wishes every election cycle that there were better choices.  I haven't voted for Republicans for years, and I've never voted for a Democrat (because the opportunity to vote for a pro-life one has never existed anywhere that I've lived).

So my opinions in the matter of the Kavanaugh confirmation were not partisan; rather, they were motivated by the issue of the rule of law. Many people pointed out that Kavanaugh was not on trial and that the standard of "innocent until proven guilty" need not apply, but I was struck by the number of times observers used the civil law's standard of proof--that is, that it takes a preponderance of the evidence to impute guilt. The one time I was summoned for potential service on a civil case (I was not one of those selected for the jury) the lawyers spent a good bit of time discussing that standard, and what it means, as I understood it (and I may be wrong), is that if the evidence tilts as little as 51% in favor of one person or the other, you have to rule in favor of that 51%.

But in the case of the Ford allegations there wasn't anything like a weight of 51% of the evidence on her side. She could not recall the date of the event or the exact location. The number of people she said were present changed from one account to another. She was not old enough to drive, but she couldn't remember how she got to the party or how she got home after allegedly fleeing the house. And none of the people she alleged were present could verify that the gathering had even happened, let alone remember that Ford fled the house earlier than anyone else and presumably found some way to go home.

I think it's important to be respectful of Dr. Ford. She certainly seems to have had a traumatic experience and to believe that Brett Kavanaugh was the person responsible for her trauma. But memory can be a fickle thing, and without at least one person able to say that they recalled that party or could confirm the date and year it took place, there just wasn't anything like a corroboration of her story.

Do I think Kavanuagh will be a brilliant justice, that he will overturn Roe v. Wade, that he will bolster religious liberty and defend the Constitution? Well, it would be nice, but let's face it: there's no way to know. Plenty of justices appointed by Republican presidents have been just plain awful. We wouldn't be in the cultural and societal mess we are in without willing and eager collusion between both parties, who are not as different as we like to believe every two to four years.

But I think that something was averted with this confirmation and what it was can be summed up as the loss of the rule of law. We don't want to select our judges based on which side of the aisle can scream louder or hold more protests. We don't want to hand the governance of our nation over to whichever party can throw the biggest tantrums. We don't want Social Justice Warriors crafting party platforms behind the scenes under the threat of blockades and violence.

We got a look at what that would be like, and for once, the American people decided not to embrace that kind of progressivism as the Next Big Thing. I think that means we can breathe a sigh of relief.

For now.