The past is never dead. It’s not even past.
— William Faulkner
(I wrote the following before a third accuser came forward today.)
I’d just got back from a sales job upstate at a ski resort that doubles as a venue for dog shows. A pit bull had tried to bite me. My glasses fell into the little lake near the slopes and it took me a half-hour to fish them out. I was mad when I got home.
Swamp Rabbit was on the porch at my shack, watching breaking news on TV. Senate Republicans were hurrying to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a proud graduate of the spoiled rich boy’s club, before Democrats could push to investigate the allegation that he tried to rape a girl back in prep school.
“Did you see him on Fox News pretending he never ran with a gang of preppies, that he was never a drunk?” I said. “Did you see him sniveling? You were right, he’s a weasel.”
“He’s a weasel, but that don’t mean the attempted rape story is true,” Swamp Rabbit replied.”Them Dems can’t go around presuming he’s guilty if they ain’t got the dirt on him.”
No one’s calling Kavanaugh guilty, I told the rabbit. They’re just asking for a background check now that two women (so far) have accused him of sexual assault. They want to hear from his old buddy Mark Judge, the recovering alcoholic who wrote a book about the boozing and harassment of girls that went on when Judge and Kavanaugh were preppies together. And from his roomy at Yale who says Kavanaugh was a drunk and a braggart. And from the other women who say he was a dirtball back in the day.
“How many dudes you know were goody-goodies when they was young?” the rabbit countered. “I wasn’t into sex assault, but I was a drunk and I wasn’t nice to all the girls. I bet you were just as bad, Odd Man.”
“You’re still a drunk,” I reminded him. “The difference is you and I don’t pretend we were choir boys.”
I tried to explain. Kavanaugh could have admitted he was rowdy in his school days, that he drank too much and did stuff he now regrets. Instead, he told Fox News he never did the sort of things he’s been accused of, and treated women with “dignity and respect.” He’s stuck with the squeaky-clean persona constructed for him by Republicans. If he gets caught in a lie, the structure will collapse.
“By that time he’ll have a gig with the Supremes,” the rabbit said. “He won’t need no structure.”
The rabbit was right, of course. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he gets a life-long appointment to the Court, which means he’ll have decades to take part in rulings that could screw up the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans.
“What a system,” I said. “What a world.”
“What a weasel,” the rabbit replied. “You got any whiskey around here?”