On the Brink of the Second Civil War

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Screenshot of my twitter feed

Disclaimer/Trigger Warning: Sorry for another political rant, but I’m so astonished at the total farce of the Kavanaugh hearings and what all this means for America going forward.

Judiciary Committee To Vote On Kavanaugh Friday, With Eyes On Undecided Jeff Flake.

Wait! What?

I totally didn’t see this one coming. As far as I could tell, Brett Kavanaugh went down in flames yesterday. True, it was easy to see how the Democrats manipulated the situation and their delay tactics, so I guess the Republicans felt they had no other way to go then to call for an immediate vote.

According to the live blog at Fox News (I know, but it’s the only one I could find), Grassley called for a vote at 1:30 PM today Eastern Time. It was approved 11-8, so I guess it’s going to happen, and all eyes are on Jeff Flake, a Republican Senator from Arizona (a state a lot more conservative than Idaho).

I had a hard time finding a text version of the story (though there are plenty of videos), but apparently two rape victims confronted Jeff Flake in an elevator yesterday, blocking the doors and refusing to let him leave for five minutes. This was after Flake announced he would vote to confirm Cavanaugh.

In a separate incident, another rape victim confronted Lindsey Graham as he was talking to reporters. The belief that Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh are true is so strong, that for a lot of people, a vote to confirm him would be a vote to harm rape victims.

I’ve also been following the discussions about the hearing and its aftermath on twitter and opinions there also seem heavily against confirming Kavanaugh.

Kav Fam

Photo Credit: CNN

Whether he’s confirmed or not, I can’t see anyone winning here. Even if Kavanaugh is confirmed, his reputation is destroyed. He and his family, including his two little girls (one is age 10 and I can’t immediately find the age of the other child) have received death threats (and what sort of person goes to war against children?). Christine Ford, who testified to being sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh over 30 years ago, has also received death threats (which is just as heinous as the threats against Kavanaugh).

Here’s a few examples of the threat’s against Kavanaugh’s family from the USA Today article:

“My condolences to you for being married to a rapist. Although you probably deserve it,” one person wrote in an email obtained by CNN.

Another message sent this week said “F*** YOU AND YOUR RAPIST HUSBAND,” according to CNN.

The Wall Street Journal cited two other emails sent to Ashely Kavanaugh’s government email account. She works as town manager for a suburb of the Village of Chevy Chase. A phone number listed for her office went straight to voicemail and a message from USA TODAY was not returned.

“May you, your husband and your kids burn in hell,” one message read. Another said she should tell her husband to “put a bullet in his … skull,” according to the WSJ.

And then there’s this:

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, viewed as a potential swing vote against Kavanaugh, has reported receiving threatening calls and letters as well as more than 3,000 wire coat hangers in grim a reference to the unsafe, illegal abortions that abortion-rights defenders say would follow the end of Roe v. Wade.

Collins told The Wall Street Journal that she finds “the out-of-state voicemails being left on the answering machines of my state offices” to be “incredibly offensive.”

“In one case – and we are going to turn this over to the police, but unfortunately, of course, the person didn’t leave a name or number – but they actually threatened to rape one of my young female staffers,” Collins told the Journal.

One incensed voter left a voicemail for Collins, which her office shared with USA TODAY, in which he repeatedly screamed insults while wondering how Collins could accept Kavanaugh’s statement that he considers Roe v. Wade to be “settled law” when he was “handpicked by the Federalist Society specifically to overturn” that decision.

“You will go down in history as the most naive person ever to be in Congress you (expletive), (expletive), feckless, naive woman!” the caller yelled.

No one wins here. This is the worst travesty in politics I can remember in my over six decades of life.

I know that before this three-ring circus occurred, Democrats opposed Kavanaugh’s stand on a number of key issues and protests against him were particularly impassioned. Now it would be easy to say that the Dems were sufficiently and even passionately motivated, especially given a Republican majority in the Senate, to do absolutely anything in order to prevent Kavanaugh from being confirmed to SCOTUS, but imagination and innuendo isn’t proof, and I have none to support the allegation. Certainly Lindsey Graham believes the Dems are participating in a political lynching and ritual defamation of Kavanaugh, but yet again, these are matters of opinion and subjective viewpoints, not fact.

If Kavanaugh fails to receive sufficient votes for confirmation, Democrats will be emboldened next month to turn the conservative tide and replace as many Republicans with Democrats in the Senate as possible in order to further thwart any of Trumps nominees for SCOTUS. I predict record high voter participation of both Republican and Democrat citizens.

If he’s confirmed, he still doesn’t win. Democratic/liberal outrage will go through the roof, and that rage will also fuel a Democratic surge at the polls in November. There will be more protests and more marches. There will probably be more violence as the political and social schism that began in this nation in 2009 continues to widen into the Grand Canyon.

I don’t know where it’s going to end or if it ever will. I already believe we’re heading for a second civil war (or maybe it’s already happening) and I’m not the only one.

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Black-clad Antifa anarchists at Berkeley, August 27, 2017 – Photo: Josh Edelson, AP

My Mom is 86 years old, in an assisted living home, and has a failing memory. My Dad’s dead. Neither one has to go through this mess, but my wife and I do. My children are adults, and two of them are pretty liberal so I suppose they’ll be okay. But one son, who served in the Marine Corps, is conservative, and he’s the Dad to my two little grandchildren. I’m afraid for them, growing up in a topsy-turvy world where nothing makes sense, and where if you don’t like someone, the immediate response is to attack them.

As the divide widens, each side becomes increasingly afraid of the other, and as we’ve seen, fear drives anger, hate, and violence.

No, I’m not writing this in support of Kavanaugh’s nomination. I’m writing it because the political landscape, both sides of the aisle, has gone from contentious to insane.

I created this blog so I could write fiction. Unfortunately, real life has become far more dramatic.

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31 thoughts on “On the Brink of the Second Civil War

  1. Looking from the other side of the border, I agree: if you’re not in one already, it’s well on its way to happening, and it wont be pretty. What I dont understand — and I say this with all due respect — is how the GOP went from slightly bonkers to utterly unhinged. Yes, both parties have been more than adept at tossing the insults back and forth (I’ve had to call down some of my Facebook friends for their unwarranted and unnecessary attacks on Melania Trump), but it seemed that when Obama was elected, and suddenly a black man was living in the pristine white house, the GOP became positively unglued, calling Michelle a man when she wasnt a gorilla and saying the most incomprehensibly vile things about their daughters.

    Seriously, James, is this what things have been reduced to? One party going totally, insanely ruthless in its need for power, and the other party responding in kind because it probably doesnt have much choice?

    Perhaps this means the end of the Great American Experiment and we write it off as an interesting failure. Problem is, it’s a failure that has tentacles all over the world, with almost 900 military bases on every continent except Antartica — and even then I’m not so sure there isnt one already. This isnt like Germany, which imploded after WW2 and had to be taken care of by the rest of the world powers; this is far, far more frightening, and I have to say that, as a Canadian who lives only a short ways north of your border, your national insanity will find its way here as well, whether we want it or not.

    And right now I dont think there’s any real way to stop it. Thanks muchly for an import we didnt need.

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  2. In this case it may be characterized as a war over the repudiation of civility in public discourse. And, interestingly, it is the same political party as in the first Civil War that is fighting for the wrong values.

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  3. One of the senators on the Judiciary Committee today quoted the Bible to say people who he didn’t agree with are going to hell (in a stepped back way, not to say it directly).

    Apparently that’s how strictly he felt about bringing Dr. Ford to testify before the committee and America.

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      • I strongly suspect that they made a difference. During the incident, he wasn’t going to react to them, but he’s had a day to think it over and I’d say he’s struggling with his conscience. I’m actually encouraged a bit. I’m sure he’s under tremendous pressure from his party, but unlike some of the memes I’ve seen, he seems to be able to consider the allegations outside the political arena.

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  4. I agree James, the divide in this country grows bigger and bigger every day. A lot of people are angry, and a lot of people are stubborn. I think we are definitely on the brink of a second civil war, and it’s terrifying to watch it unfold, in and out of Congress.

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    • Actually, although Jeff Flake moved to advance the confirmation vote for Kavanaugh to the full Senate, it was on the condition that there be a one week delay for the FBI to do an investigation. Presumably, if the FBI finds evidence of Kavanaugh having sexually assaulted young women over 30 years ago, Flake would vote against confirmation, so I think there’s a bit of hope. If Flake were only going to vote along party lines, this would never have taken place. Here’s the “takeaways” at CNN:

      • Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination has been approved. It now heads to the floor.
      • Sen. Jeff Flake voted yes on the grounds that he would get support to request a floor vote delay and a one week FBI investigation.
      • However, Flake has been given NO commitment by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
      • If McConnell moves forward without that investigation, Flake will vote against Kavanaugh.
      • Whether this happens or not rests with senators such as Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, who have not announced how they plan to vote.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “…and two of them are pretty liberal so I suppose they’ll be okay.” Really? You think being liberal if a civil war or new American revolution occurs will mean they’ll be okay when the bulk of guns and rifles are in the hands of the right?

    I have posted a couple of times about my belief that our country is headed towards a civil war, like last December when I wrote, “What might happen should Donald Trump move to fire Mueller or to sabotage the Russia investigation? Will our democracy survive or will it trigger a new American civil war?” I know you will disagree, but even though our politicians have been behaving in an extremely partisan way for most of this century, Donald Trump has encouraged and promoted a divide among the citizens of the country that was there but mostly under the radar.

    Obviously, James, you and I don’t see eye-to-eye on this, but in your post you characterized poor Brett Kavanaugh, his wife and kids, as the victims of this whole situation and implied that Dr. Ford and the Democrats are the perpetrators. Dr. Ford, who claims to have been sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh, has had to move out of her home and has had to send her children away due to death threats against her AND her kids. It’s all reprehensible, but don’t make it sound like it’s only being perpetrated by the left.

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    • It might be more accurate to say that my blog post cast Kavanaugh’s wife and children as victims, which they are. I agree we don’t see eye to eye, but I don’t base my relationships with other people upon having to agree with each other all of the time.

      As far as the potential for violence, that’s a human characteristic, not a political one. Any person, if they feel hurt or threatened enough, will either try to run away, or failing that, strike back. Also, as we know from sociology, groups of aggitated people are more likely to commit violence than individuals, so if it comes down to groups on opposite sides of politics feeling threatened, we could see more riots.

      Yes, with the whole “Antifa punch a Nazi in the face,” yes I have concerns.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just in from CNN:

    Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn says there will still be a motion to proceed vote in the Senate tomorrow, with an agreement for a supplemental background check for no longer than one week.

    Background check? Is that the same as investigating the allegations?

    EDIT: Seems there’s a discussion on twitter as to whether or not the FBI can get the investigation done in a week.

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    • At least one Democrat on the committee yesterday said they could call it a background check rather than investigation. It’s just terminology.

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      • Usually legal terminology has very specific meanings, and I just want to be sure the FBI doesn’t soft soap this one. To the best of my knowledge, Trump has yet to order the FBI to do the investigation, although he has said he’s fine with Flake’s call. The investigation has to be done before the vote on October 5th, which is exactly one week from today. Time’s a’wasting.

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      • Different terminology can mean different things; true. I do think in this situation it can involve the same activity one way or the other. On the other hand, Trump — when he gets around to making the order (no matter what he calls it) — can limit what is done. It would be very tragic if he makes it cursory (which is a real risk as stupid as he is about how process works).

        Liked by 1 person

      • According to Sarah Sanders’ tweet, Trump said: “I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file. As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”

        The “limited in scope” probably means they’ll focus on only Ford’s allegations, probably for time.

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  7. CNN’s live blog coverage of events has ended for the day. Here’s their last update:

    Ford’s lawyer welcomes FBI investigation, warns agains “artificial” time limits
    From CNN’s MJ Lee
    Debra S. Katz, one of Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers, released a statement Friday afternoon welcoming the FBI investigation:

    “A thorough FBI investigation is critical to developing all the relevant facts. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford welcomes this step in the process, and appreciates the efforts of Senators Flake, Murkowski, Manchin and Collins — and all other senators who have supported an FBI investigation — to ensure it is completed before the Senate votes on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. No artificial limits as to time or scope should be imposed on this investigation.” (emph. in original text)

    I don’t think Ms. Katz is going to get to call the shots on this one. The GOP is anxious to get to the vote and confirm Kavanaugh and my guess is that both sides of the aisle agreed to limit the investigation to one week. Of course, assuming Kavanaugh is guilty of assaulting Dr. Ford when they were teenagers, and assuming he’s guilty of other, similar acts with other girls, it’s in Katz’s and Ford’s best interest that there be a lengthy and thorough investigation. Also, for reasons I’ve expressed elsewhere, the longer the vote to confirm is delayed, the closer we get to mid-term elections, which the Dems are counting on to shift the Senate majority in their favor and thus how the vote will come out.

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  8. I think you made good points, all of the comments above, but resent the fact you are falling back to side with T trying to blame everything on Obama. T has tried to undo all the good he did and I for one, would like to see him as president again. How can you possibly think T has done anything but divide this country?

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    • I’m not blaming everything on Obama. I’m saying that as our first African-American President, he was uniquely positioned to help heal racial strife in this nation and he didn’t do it, which was deeply disappointing to me. What’s worse, in my opinion, is that he increased it. That said, Trump took that divide and widened it with a crowbar.

      Interestingly enough, in the early days of his Presidency, when people disagreed with Obama’s policies, his defenders said, “Well he’s better than Bush. Presidents always blame their predecessors for leaving a mess, so to speak. It think it’s possible to be critical of Obama and Trump, since even in the former’s case, there’s no such thing as a perfect President.

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      • Bush really, REALLY did leave a mess. And it’s the case still that Obama was better than Bush. What was disappointing about that timeframe is NOBODY wanted to face the situation with conservative policies (or the principles conservatives are taught or fooled into thinking politicians on the right are for). Now, the thing is you wouldn’t expect a President from the Democrats to do what the right “would” supposedly… but the right didn’t really want to either.

        Now, as for race attitudes… that is something that got worse, in terms of more traditional racism coming out. That’s not because of anything Obama did… other than BE in office. The right did what they really do, count on prejudice to be able to stir up unrest. But then a character who had spent his life adding to the cacophony stepped forward; his time had really arrived to Trump it all. A black president HAS to be guilty, like the Central Park Five.

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