Trump and His Gang: “It Doesn’t Matter. We Won.”

Donald Trump’s five words, “It doesn’t matter. We won,” say all we need to know about his character. In an interview with Lesley Stahl on 60 minutes, Stahl asked him if he felt he was respecting Christine Blasey Ford when he mocked her during a recent rally in Mississippi. “It doesn’t matter. We won,” said Trump.

At the rally, Trump imitated Christine Blasey Ford’s retelling of her alleged sexual assault, decades before, by Brett Kavanaugh. As the crowd responded with enthusiastic gladiator-like cheering and laughter, Trump mocked Ford, saying “I don’t remember,” and “I don’t know,” and “But I had one beer, that’s the only thing I remember.” Some members of the crowd shouted, “Lock her up,” presumably referring to Ford.

Trump in fact told Stahl that if he hadn’t made that speech (which Trump referred to as “the famous Mississippi speech”), his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, “would not have been confirmed.”

There is a lot to examine in Donald Trump’s statement on 60 Minutes and the event that led up to it. We could address the bloated perception he has of his own power when he claims that his speech was what got Kavanaugh nominated. We could look at the response of the crowd at the rally in Mississippi where he made the speech We could examine (perhaps in shocked disbelief) the words Trump said at the rally, as he mimicked Christine Blasey Ford.

But let’s consider Trump’s unapologetic summing up of the entire event with “It doesn’t matter. We won.”

Once upon a time, at least some of the people who now support Donald Trump would have been appalled had, say, the school bully, said those words if asked if he felt any remorse about having made fun of a traumatized child. There was a time when those who now support Trump, many of whom consider themselves guardians of morality and uprightness, might have held up Trump and his words as a symbol of who not to be.

Though many people are still inclined to ask, “Is Trump really the example you’d want your child to emulate?” in this brave new world, a Trump supporter’s response might actually be, “Yes.” Donald Trump’s supporters have been willing to compromise and overlook a growing list of standards of decency and character in support of Donald Trump. It seems that Donald Trump himself summarized their rationale when he said, “It doesn’t matter. We won.”

‘I don’t know’: laughter as Trump mocks Ford’s sexual assault testimony | Guardian News [2018-10-02]

Trump on his treatment of Christine Blasey Ford at rally: “It doesn’t matter. We won.” | 60 Minutes [2018-10-14]

Brett Kavanaugh: Judicial Temperament, or Adolescent Temper?

The issue of whether Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford is much more complex than a simple “he-said, she-said” situation. For the Republicans, it’s not about what Kavanaugh did or didn’t do…It’s about having their man on the Supreme Court. Indeed, Fifty-four percent of Republicans said that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed, “regardless of whether (Christine Blasey) Ford’s allegations are true,” according to a recent NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll.

But putting aside (for a moment) the question of whether Kavanaugh did the things he is accused of (by two women in addition to Blasey Ford), Kavanaugh showed some worrisome traits – traits that are the opposite of those befitting a Supreme Court Justice.

First, he demonstrated an adolescent belligerence at various times during his questioning. When asked by Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, whether he had ever drunk so much that he blacked out, Kavanaugh responded, “You’re asking about black out, I don’t know, have you?”

If he were a teenager and spoke to his parents in that manner, he’d likely be grounded. But he’s an adult who spoke to a U.S. Senator that way, and the Republicans want to reward him with a Supreme Court judgeship.

Second, Kavanaugh lost his temper and general composure at various times during questioning, lashing out at Democrats and accusing them of conspiring against him as revenge “on behalf of the Clintons.” (Kavanaugh was an associate counsel for Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated Bill Clinton.) This and other accusations of Democrat conspiracy, along with his warning that he would “threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come,” should alarm us. Not only do Brett Kavanaugh’s statements and manner reveal his ability to maintain calm under pressure, they also underline his clear partisanship.

Third, Kavanaugh has been caught in several “small” lies from his testimony. He claimed that he had no connections to Yale, and that he got in by “working his butt off.” In reality, his grandfather attended Yale, and this makes Kavanaugh a legacy student. When asked about an item on his calendar (“Devil’s Triangle”) from when he was in high school, he claimed it was the name of a drinking game though, in reality, it is the name for a sexual situation with two men and one woman. Since Thursday’s hearing, several classmates of Kavanaugh’s have come forward, saying that he downplayed the degree to which he drank, as well as having lied about never blacking out.

Though the lies in Kavanaugh’s testimony may seem small, they are still lies. Lying under oath is perjury.

As Chad Ludington, a former Yale classmate of Kavanaugh, said, “I do believe that Brett’s actions as a 53-year-old federal judge matter. If he lied about his past actions on national television, and more especially while speaking under oath in front of the United States Senate, I believe those lies should have consequences. It is truth that is at stake, and I believe that the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon oneself, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation’s most powerful judges.”

Kavanaugh has clearly shown himself to be lacking the temperament and integrity that is crucial for one of our country’s highest interpreters of the law. Republicans were willing to put aside one man’s blatant misogyny, proven dishonesty, and lack of respect for others, and elect him president. Should it surprise us, then, that the Republicans maintain their support for Kavanaugh?

Kavanaugh classmate: He has not told the truth | CNN [2018-10-01]

Trump expands scope of FBI probe into Kavanaugh | Fox New [2018-10-01]