KavaYashi Maru

Jonah Goldberg has a piece titled, “The Price of Victory“. Essentially, whoever won was going to pay a very high price.  The culture war will only escalate from here.

Along the way, he cites some tweets from PoliMath:

Here’s a #TerribleOpinion for you:
1) I think Kavanaugh is likely innocent
2) It may be better for the country (and SCOTUS) if he withdraw
3) He can’t do that w/o essentially committing reputational and career suicide
4) No one should ever have to be in that position
5) Assuming innocence, we as a culture have absolutely no path for Kavanaugh to take. If he withdraws for the good of the country, his career is over. His family will be vilified. Big chunks of the cultural left will parade his head on a pike for YEARS.
6) that is all bad

7) My ideal scenario is for Kavanaugh to withdraw on the condition that Senate Dems take out a full page groveling apology to him and his family in the NYT.
Then Dems can get what they want, but only if they can give up the cultural political win it would have provided them.

8) I don’t think you can overstate how furious the right is at Kavanaugh’s treatment.
The first allegation caused pause among center-right.
The second *looked* like a political calculation.
But people (esp the media) taking the Avenati thing seriously blew it all apart.

Last thing: For Kavanaugh to withdraw, you would have to convince the right that the *next* nominee would be treated fairly.
That is impossible.
The die is cast, the ship has sailed, the right firmly believes the next nominee will see the same vilification.

The right was willing to at least consider the first allegation, despite the way the timing of the whole thing stank to high heaven. When a second and third came along, not only did the timing stink, they lacked even the credibility the first had. What’s more, Kavanaugh had already been through six full-field FBI background investigations.

While I’ve never been through such an investigation myself, although at one point it was a possibility, I’ve heard quite a bit about them.

FBI agents interview everyone they can find who’s been in the live of the target of the investigation. And they ask the people they interview if they can think of anyone else who might have something to contribute. Then everything that is said, good, bad, indifferent, unhinged — everything — is put in the file. This is the “raw” file. They don’t try to assess truth, falsity, or even credibility.

I work at what amounts to the complaint department for any matters regarding water quality in my city. We get phone calls whenever the water is misbehaving. If it’s discolored, we get calls. If it smells bad, we get calls. If it crawls from the glass and chases the customer around the kitchen, we get calls.

I personally have dealt with at least two people who were convinced their neighbors were poisoning their water. One of them claimed the neighbor was spraying plutonium on her roof. My staff has dealt with their own callers who have been a step away from reality. Imagine the FBI doing a background check on someone who lived next to one of these people. What do you imagine they told the FBI about their neighbors?

And it would wind up in the background file.

The point here is not just to point out that the FBI doesn’t try to reach conclusions about the contents of the raw file, but to make the point that the more people come forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, the more it destroys any credibilty that might otherwise attach. It’s vaguely possible that one instance, one time, three and a half decades ago, might have escaped this background check process. It’s much less likely two would. When we get to three, with the third involving a rape factory, it’s just not conceivable that the FBI would have missed it.

Maybe the first has some truth to it, but when everyone involved in bringing these accusations seems to accept the lot of the accusations as Gospel, they sacrifice any credibility they have.