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GOP may have upper hand now, but not for long

After 10 hours of watching the spectacle and aftermath Thursday, I realized that we on the left may have lost the battle, as they say, but we might have won the war. The gleeful gaggle of smug Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee showed the whole world what total corruption looks like on an international stage, much to the shame of the American public.

Their Jekyll and Hyde candidate for the Supreme Court veered from weepy subject of victimization to contemptuous anger when questioned by the ineffective Democrats on the panel, thus showing his true nature for all to see.

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But the overall effect of Republicans shredding our Constitution in order to gain a conservative Supreme Court majority could backfire on them. The American people might be so disgusted by their corrupt behavior that they vote enough of them out of office to give the Democrats the upper hand.

William Morrison

North Chatham

We’ve devolved into a reality-show culture

In 1973, as a 26-year-old grad student, I watched the compelling Watergate hearings. All networks, all day. Sam Ervin, chairman. At issue: alleged dirty political tricks one year earlier.

In 1991, I watched the Anita Hill hearings. All networks, all day. Joe Biden, chairman. At issue: alleged bad sexual behavior 10 years earlier, involving two lawyers, adults age 35 and 43 in 1991.

In 2018, I watched the Kavanaugh-Ford hearings. All networks and cable channels, all day. Chuck Grassley, chair. At issue: alleged sexual assault involving two (or more) teenagers 36 years earlier, pitting two professionals today age 51 and 53.

Does anyone see a trend here? I do. Within 10 years, a 60-year-old person, working in government, will be accused of sexual assault 50 years earlier, at the age of 10, and be subject to hearings on national television.

In the 45 years since Watergate, we have devolved from a government, and society, that comports itself with dignity to one that is merely looking for the next reality show opportunity. Democrats, Republicans, and the media are equally to blame. God help us all.

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Tom Pawlina

Melrose

One of them has to be lying

Time to stop the fuzzy thinking. We’re a nation of laws. Despite the recent trend to rely on “alternative facts,” facts still do matter. Our democracy is dependent on a vigorous discourse based on facts and the truth.

On Thursday during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Christine Blasey Ford testified under oath that she was 100 percent certain that her assailant was Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh, in turn, under oath, said he didn’t do it. One of them is lying.

This is serious, and we should continue an examination until one is proved to be the liar. And that person should suffer the full consequences of having lied.

I have testified dozens of times under oath, and I have watched dozens of others doing the same. I watched the full hearings yesterday, carefully tracked every word, and watched the body language.

Kavanaugh may deserve an Oscar for his performance, but not a seat on the Supreme Court.

Anthony D. Lee

Wayland

A teachable moment, for sure

Re “Must we be judged by our adolescent behavior?” (Letters, Sept. 28): John Clark’s response to the Kavanaugh situation is a good question. If we were all judged by what we did as teens and young adults, none of us would be anywhere. But it does make one think that what we do at any age could come back to haunt us later. Let today’s young people learn from society’s mistakes and always take the high road.

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Debra Collins

Danvers

Kavanaugh, Graham, and the whole process looked bad

Until this week, although not particularly impressed with Judge Kavanaugh, I was more concerned with the gotcha approach employed by the Senate and the media. Most applicants for public service have committed some adolescent transgression. Haven’t we all?

My opinion has changed, however, and only partially due to the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. His attitude as a witness, while understandably sensitive, showed a lack of respect he would not condone from witnesses in a courtroom. He politicized the process, personally attacking senators. He showed a sanctimonious attitude that his lifelong experience reflects the moral high ground. If Kavanaugh had simply stated that he had made mistakes and learned from them, most of the American public might well have identified with him, and even tended to believe and like him.

Instead, he took refuge in the womb of the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh’s attempt to elevate himself to sainthood is as phony as a three dollar bill.

Equally disappointing was Senator Lindsey Graham. A few weeks ago he extolled the virtues of his mentor, John McCain, and vowed to honor his memory. On Thursday, he tore into his colleagues in an unprofessional and embarrassing demonstration before a national audience.

The process occurs basically in the wake of the GOP’s refusal to even consider Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a thoroughly qualified jurist. The committee members have abandoned any evenhanded inclination in the selection of qualified judges. Refusing to consider Garland in 2016 while advocating now for the tainted nominee of a president under investigation by the special counsel is a disgraceful hypocrisy.

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That is where we are today.

Merit once was the predominant criterion for the Supreme Court. Now, the selection process rewards the candidate who best can survive the nasty political food fight.

Steve Kramer

Mashpee