TRUTH BE TOLD

I’m sick and tired of hearing things from

Uptight short sighted narrowminded hypocritics

All I want is the truth, just give me some truth

I’ve had enough of reading things

By neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians

All I want is the truth, just give me some truth

-John Lennon

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing

Among the most toxic accusations one someone can make against another someone is to call that other someone a liar. Such an accusation is an affront to that someone’s basic essence.  You might as well call them Satan. For those who truly believe that Mr. Beelzebub makes nightly rounds literally collecting souls  to create  as many  images  of his (or herself)in our worldly domain as inhumanly possible ,it is to insinuate that the accused would  be delighted to dine with Adolph Hitler or Dr. Hannibal Lechter.   For the rare human being of whom this assignation might be even remotely true  I would recommend whilst dining with the good doctor to exercise caution before savoring that first bite. Use the brain that god gave you because you might very well be dining on it. Forget for the moment that one  of the chaps is dead and the other is fictional. Their fans are still out there.

Truth be told, most of us have borne “false witness” sometime or another.  Scattered acts of mendacity should not warrant the same classification as the present president of these presently less than united states. Donald J. Trump tells so many prevarications that news organizations now feel compelled to chronicle them daily. With each toxic spew I can almost hear Jon Lovitz’s “Tommy Flanagan” crying out “Yeah, that’s the ticket”.

Truth be told, lying is not necessarily a good thing, but it is sometimes eminently  practical. It may or may not be “a sin to tell a lie” depending on ones’ opinion of concepts of sin in the first place but in the second and other places it is often prudent. For example, your boss invites you to dinner, bragging about his wife’s “authentic” lasagna. For the sake of practicality, you momentarily put aside the fact that you know his wife to be of 100% Norwegian extraction and in fact played real reindeer games with real reindeer while growing up. And her name is Inga.  Upon tasting the much-anticipated dish you notice that the boss himself has taken leave of his senses in the form of his own taste buds, perhaps erased after  some horrible accident involving an overwhelming amount of radiation during their recent visit to Russia and their stay at Lake Chernobyl. When you see the boss Monday morning and he asks you what you thought of his wife’s “amazing” lasagna do you say “are you kidding? What the hell is wrong with you? My wife and I vomited all night and had Maalox shakes for breakfast” Or, do you answer with the non-committal but less judgmental “interesting”? Of course, when likely asked to elaborate the more likely answer will be somewhere along the lines of “loved it, where did she get that recipe?” It likely wasn’t Hannibal Lechter because for all his faults, epicurean disaster wasn’t one of them. At some point you should be grateful that the wine wasn’t a nice Chianti served with a side of fava beans.

Not everything we will sometimes hasten to call a lie necessarily is. When Barack Obama told the nation that the ACA will ensure that everyone will be able to keep their doctors he was not really telling the truth, but he wasn’t exactly lying either. He was overstating the case. Truth be told, however well intentioned the legislation was, it was not all that it was cracked up to be. Still, it was a marked improvement for most Americans over their former insurance options. Which for too many was-none.

Truth be told, I don’t believe I ever cast a vote for someone I considered an out an out liar. I expect a certain amount of falsifications merely because unless that candidate is actually “The lord thy god himself (or herself)” I can only assume my candidate, like myself is human. And truth be told-humans lie.

Which brings me to the present state of mendacity in the upper echelons of power in the land of the ever so decreasingly free and the home of the brave when the opinion is popular.

Truth be told, by every conceivable measure Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was telling the truth during the hearings on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Truth be told, the now newly minted justice very often- didn’t. While Dr. Ford’s memory was ridiculed by the Offender in Chief, Mr. Kavanaugh’s  was positively vague, at best.

Truth be told, I really don’t know where to begin. Let’s start at the very beginning, it has been said and even sung that that’s a very good place to start. The judge said he drank legally in 1982  when in fact the legal drinking age at that time in Maryland was 21. It had  been 18 and was changed the previous year. True, 18, 19, and 20-year old’s were “grandfathered”  under the old law. But Mr. Kavanaugh  was a mere 17 when the law was changed. He was not eligible to be grand fathered, so legally having a pop of Old Granddad was out of the question. So, he was either lying or he was wrong on the law which is kind of a deal if you want to be on the Supreme Court.

Truth be told, the justice who “busted his butt” to get accepted to Yale as a legacy admission did not grow up , as he claimed surrounded by the gang violence and drugs afflicting inner city Baltimore but rather in affluent Bethesda, where the only gang violence likely took place on the country club golf courses as when one or another party and their carts tried to play through a bit inconveniently.

He said that in those days he did not travel in the same social circles as Dr. Ford yet, truth be told, one of his best friends, the infamous “Squi” AKA Chris Garrett dated Dr. Ford during that same summer of 1982.

He said he had no knowledge of stolen Democratic Party documents while serving in the White House of George W. Bush yet truth be told, his own emails from that period refute such a claim. The same can be said of his knowledge of warrant-less wiretapping by the same administration.

He said that witnesses refuted Dr. Ford’s claims. Truth be told, they did not. Rather they said they have no memory of the time. In his statement Justice Kavanaugh suggested believing several people and he named names. One of those named was Leland Keyser who truth be told, says she she did know Judge Kavanaugh and could not remember being at the party. However in testimony the judge admitted knowing Ms. Keyser, so the possibility that she was at the party remains open. Ms. Keyser also said she believes Dr. Ford and it needs to be mentioned that not remembering is not the same as “refuting”.

He testified that he never attended a gathering like the ones Dr. Ford describes in her allegations, yet truth be told,  his own calendar, submitted to the committee as evidence refutes this claim. The same people she says attended these parties are listed on his calendars. Both describe them as “small gatherings”.

He was not truthful about the timing of his knowledge of the Deborah Ramirez allegations. He testified that he found out about them when the New Yorker article was published but, truth be told, there is evidence that he was contacting people regarding refuting such allegations before the article appeared.

His testimony on the nominations of Charles Pickering and William Pryor to federal judgeships,  truth be told appeared evasive and not entirely accurate.  Nor was his testimony about his knowledge of Judge  Alex Kosinski’s behavior whom he clerked for from 1991-1992 and continued to remain close to after leaving that position.

To be fair, truth be told, he is not alone in this march of mendacity. Sen. Chuck Grassley, the head of the Judiciary committee at first tried to thwart an FBI investigation into Dr. Ford’s claims with the novel excuse that there was not enough time. Truth be told, there is no time limit to these hearings. Twenty- seven years ago during the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas the same  Sen. Grassley went to the well of the Senate and said it was only appropriate to have an FBI investigation into the claims of Anita Hill and there was no squawking about how much time it would take. For the record it only took three days, or less than half the time it took for Dr. Ford’s investigation. To my mind neither woman got a fair investigation, but the point here is that, truth be told, Sen. Grassley was either lying about the necessity of rushing this nomination along or his memory is faulty.

Let us not forget Sen. Orrin Hatch and his own brushes with historical inadequacy. When democrats pushed back on the nomination of some of the President’s less auspicious cabinet choices the senior senator from Utah was aghast, completely forgetting that he and his brethren in the Caucus to Undermine Democracy, henceforth referred to as the CUD, never even gave Barack Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court seat now held by Neil Gorsuch a hearing. In fact, most members of the CUD never extended the candidate the courtesy of a meeting. The seat remained empty for a year on the excuse given by Sen. Hatch that it was a tradition not to hold hearings and confirm nominees in an election year. Truth be told, there is not an ounce of truth to that. In 1912, soon to be defeated Republican incumbent William Howard Taft nominated Mahlon Pitney who was confirmed by the Republican Senate by a vote of 50-26.Democrat Woodrow Wilson in 1916 nominated two Justices, Louis Brandeis and John Clarke both of whom were confirmed. In 1932 Herbert Hoover nominated Benjamin Cardozo to replace Oliver Wendall Holmes. In 1940 FDR nominated Frank Murphy who was also confirmed. With the Senate in recess in 1956 Dwight Eisenhower  appointed William J. Brennan and he was formally confirmed in 1957 with only one nay vote, that of  the infamous Joe McCarthy. Brennan was a democrat and a liberal and he was nominated by a Republican President. He went on to become the seventh longest serving justice in history.  Abe Fortas was filibustered out of being elevated to the Chief Justice seat in 1968 but he was already on the court. When Earl Warren  decided to remain the court never became  shorthanded.  Anthony Kennedy, Justice Kavanaugh’s predecessor was nominated by Republican President Ronald Reagan  just a year before the 1988 election in Nov. of 1987, roughly a mere two months longer than the length of time before the Presidential election quoted as being a disqualifier for Merrick Garland in 2016. Justice Kennedy was confirmed by a vote of 97-0. The democrats held the majority at the time.  Sen. Hatch is either lying or is a horrible student of Senate history. At 84 and with 41 years in the senate he should know better. BTW Senator Hatch previously said that Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee was eminently qualified for the position and so far, no one has claimed that he tried to assault them sexually.

Which brings us to Lindsey “Which Side am I on Today?” Graham who famously said that firing Robert Mueller would mark the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency and that there would be holy hell to pay if his buddy Jeff Sessions were fired. Truth be told, he sort of just threw old Beauregard under the bus by saying that the President has a right to have an AG of his own choosing, conveniently forgetting that Sessions was his choice. But the president thinks the AG is supposed to be his personal attorney and not  ours and Senator “Coin Flip” is up for the job as he watches his popularity in his home state begin to plummet.

Truth be told, contrary to the chorus of weeping Senators in the CUD, this was not the longest nomination process in history. Justice Thomas’s was longer. So was the waiting period for Merrick Garland to not get a hearing. His nomination was left to wither and die on the vine for close to a year. There were others as well in our history who waited longer, and most of them did not have the kinds of disqualifying  charges hanging over them that Justice Kavanaugh did.  Republicans, and the President himself are also fond of suggesting that whoever is nominated will get this treatment because it is just about the politics, but truth be told, Neil Gorsuch, even though he was taking the rightful seat of a previous nominee did not receive this kind of brushback. Sure, he did not get a lot of democratic votes but there was no call for an FBI investigation. Truth be told, there was no reason for one. Also, and this should go without saying but I will say it anyway, this was not a criminal trial so references to the  nominee being found “not guilty” are fundamentally inaccurate. Truth be told, there are and will always be doubts regarding the Justice’s behavior for a significant portion of the American citizenry. Truth be told, Mr. Chief Executive adulterer, such doubts make you the kind of moral ally he really should not want to have. But hey that’s his choice.  And, truth be told, I do not need you to apologize to the Justice on my behalf. I don’t happen to think he was wronged. However, maybe you can apologize to Dr. Ford but you won’t. Just as well because any apology from you would have about the same value as a Trump University diploma. And yes, I did steal that line from Mitt Romney who is almost as disingenuous as you but, well it was a great line. I figured the two of you have stolen from enough of us, so I’m at least entitled to a great gag and this one fits you so well.

Regarding Justice Kavanaugh’s behavior during the hearings,  I have seen better behavior from protesting children denied ice cream after dinner for using inappropriate language at the  table. But even more than that, truth be told, the content of what he said during those hearings should strip him of any veneer of the impartiality that is somewhat (if not entirely) expected of a SCOTUS nominee. Without evidence he accused the democrats, the Clintons and some vague left-wing conspiracy of a hit job on him. Ironic that a nominee appointed by a president who in his days as a “builder” associated with many known mobsters should use a phrase like “hit” in his statement.   Truth be told, that alone should have been the chief dis-qualifier for a seat on the bench. Any Senator who witnessed this performance and can still profess that this man can be impartial is simply not telling the truth. The path we are on is dangerous, and only we can fix it. Get out and vote because truth be told, if you don’t the time may come when it won’t matter anymore.

 

 

One thought on “TRUTH BE TOLD

  1. I found the repetition of Truth be told a little irritating, but loved the article, thank you! 45 seems to take great delight in being a liar, no matter what he says. take care, Margaret

    Like

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