52 votes

How We Know Kavanaugh Is Lying

20 comments

  1. [8]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    That was an unexpectedly fascinating read. I'm an Australian with minimal interest in this matter of who gets appointed to an American court, but I couldn't stop reading this point-by-point...

    That was an unexpectedly fascinating read. I'm an Australian with minimal interest in this matter of who gets appointed to an American court, but I couldn't stop reading this point-by-point breakdown of how an alleged sexual abuser deflects the accusation against him, through misdirection, bluster, and outright lies.

    34 votes
    1. [2]
      TurdFerguson
      Link Parent
      Agreed. I didn't expect that I would read the whole thing after seeing its length but it sucked me in. To the haters saying this is slimy reporting... It's a detailed breakdown of his...

      Agreed. I didn't expect that I would read the whole thing after seeing its length but it sucked me in.

      To the haters saying this is slimy reporting... It's a detailed breakdown of his inconsistencies and blatant time wasting techniques. In the absence of a fair investigation and trial, we have a charade, and we have to do with it what we can.

      23 votes
      1. Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        For me the biggest red flag is the number of inconsistencies. There's a large number of quotes directly refuting the character that Kavanaugh is trying to build as his defense. No such character...

        For me the biggest red flag is the number of inconsistencies. There's a large number of quotes directly refuting the character that Kavanaugh is trying to build as his defense. No such character is built up by Ford, and no quotes are emerging with contradictions about any of what Ford is portraying.

        7 votes
    2. [5]
      trojanhorse
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Well no matter how he defends (presents) himself people are going to say, "See - He is acting that way because he is guilty." Then when he doesn't defend himself they will say he is guilty because...

      Well no matter how he defends (presents) himself people are going to say, "See - He is acting that way because he is guilty." Then when he doesn't defend himself they will say he is guilty because he isn't fighting / defending himself. It's a lose lose. People want him to be guilty at this point more than they care if he is or isn't. This is all just about how he presented himself. And no one was going to like him no matter how he presented himself. I feel like this is all about presentation not whether he is guilty or not and he could have gone in there and presented himself any which way and people would still pick him apart.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        Cyhchan
        Link Parent
        I think that may be a bit of an unfair blanket statement. While I'm sure both the republican and democratic sides can carry their own biases, the article is a breakdown of obvious lies and...

        I think that may be a bit of an unfair blanket statement. While I'm sure both the republican and democratic sides can carry their own biases, the article is a breakdown of obvious lies and deflections that were said and made by Kavanagh. For example:

        LEAHY: Now, you’ve talked about your yearbook. In your yearbook, you talked about drinking and sexual exploits, did you not?

        KAVANAUGH: Senator, let me — let me take a step back and explain high school. I was number one in the class… [crosstalk]

        Objectively speaking, is Kavaugh's response not strange if the answer were just "no?" If someone asked you if you stole something that you did not, would you go off on a tangent about your commitment to community service?

        This is all just about how he presented himself.

        I don't think it's just about how he presented himself (whether he is guilty of sexual assault or not obviously matters too), but I would argue that how he presents himself is important. He might be a Supreme Court judge, so he needs to show that he is capable of behaving in a rational, logical, unbiased, professional, honest way.

        17 votes
        1. [2]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          Just as importantly, he is already a judge, and has been for over a decade (according to his Wikipedia page). He should already be capable of behaving in a rational, logical, unbiased,...

          He might be a Supreme Court judge,

          Just as importantly, he is already a judge, and has been for over a decade (according to his Wikipedia page). He should already be capable of behaving in a rational, logical, unbiased, professional, honest way.

          9 votes
          1. Cyhchan
            Link Parent
            I agree with you 100% on this. I guess the cynical part of me doesn't think his current job is in any kind of jeopardy regardless of how he behaved during the hearing. I'm still holding out some...

            Just as importantly, he is already a judge, and has been for over a decade (according to his Wikipedia page). He should already be capable of behaving in a rational, logical, unbiased, professional, honest way.

            I agree with you 100% on this. I guess the cynical part of me doesn't think his current job is in any kind of jeopardy regardless of how he behaved during the hearing. I'm still holding out some hope that it might affect his chances of serving on the supreme court though.

            4 votes
      2. Pilgrim
        Link Parent
        For a lot of people the issue isn't whether or not if he's guilty, but how he's presented himself.

        For a lot of people the issue isn't whether or not if he's guilty, but how he's presented himself.

        5 votes
  2. [5]
    Cyhchan
    Link
    That was a very interesting read. I've heard somewhere before that liars still try to stick as close to the truth as they can and it seems to fit with the way Kavanagh was responding to some of...

    That was a very interesting read. I've heard somewhere before that liars still try to stick as close to the truth as they can and it seems to fit with the way Kavanagh was responding to some of those questions relating to his partying, drinking and sexual exploits.

    I also found it particularly interesting that he repeatedly says that everyone who was at the party denied that anything happened when they actually said they didn't recall anything happened. A judge would undoubtedly know the difference between those statements so to treat them as the same is purposefully misleading.

    Slightly unrelated, but it's nice to hear that both parties' testimonies shouldn't just automatically be given equal weight in "he said/she said" cases. I've always thought that the criminal justice system was particularly poor at handling sexual assault cases in general, but dissections like this article give me hope that perhaps in the future, courts can look at the strength and quality of statements in their decision-making instead of relying so heavily on physical evidence.

    16 votes
    1. [4]
      princeofparalogism
      Link Parent
      It's also possible that a distinguished judge and lawyer might speak in specific terms that might sound weird to the layperson, while not being at all vague.

      It's also possible that a distinguished judge and lawyer might speak in specific terms that might sound weird to the layperson, while not being at all vague.

      1. spit-evil-olive-tips
        Link Parent
        There are specific examples given in the article where it's clear that Kavanaugh is not using legalese, but in fact the opposite - he's using lay terminology that's vague and ambiguous. He also...

        There are specific examples given in the article where it's clear that Kavanaugh is not using legalese, but in fact the opposite - he's using lay terminology that's vague and ambiguous.

        I want to dwell just a little longer on Kavanaugh’s statement that “all the witnesses” said it “didn’t happen.” Even Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s close friend who allegedly participated in the assault, pulled a bit of a shady “don’t recall”: “I have no memory of this alleged incident. Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford’s letter. More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.” That last bit is a denial that Judge himself participated in or witnessed such an assault, but here’s P.J.:

        “I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”

        Kavanaugh says P.J. denied that the event happened. That’s not what the statement says. Kavanaugh is a federal judge, a real smart cookie. I hope he knows the difference between the absence of an awareness of an event and an awareness of the absence of an event.

        He also plays subtle word games:

        Kavanaugh concluded that “Dr. Ford’s allegation is not merely uncorroborated, it is refuted by the very people she says were there, including by a long-time friend of hers. Refuted.” It wasn’t refuted in the least. (Kavanaugh also plays a canny trick with the word here: “refuted” can mean both “denied” and “disproven,” so it’s true to say that Mark Judge “refuted” Ford in the sense of denying involvement, but not true that Judge’s denial actually disproved anything. By using refuted this way, one can blur the distinction and imply to the audience that an accusation has been disproven that has merely been denied!)

        In the most generous interpretation, being this sloppy with words while speaking under oath is a warning sign for a potential Supreme Court justice. In a more cynical interpretation, you might think Kavanaugh is pulling off a "that depends on what the meaning of is is" style lie.

        8 votes
      2. Cyhchan
        Link Parent
        I'm not really sure what you are saying here. Are you talking about the example I gave about the difference between denying something happened and not recalling whether something happened? Or are...

        It's also possible that a distinguished judge and lawyer might speak in specific terms that might sound weird to the layperson, while not being at all vague.

        I'm not really sure what you are saying here. Are you talking about the example I gave about the difference between denying something happened and not recalling whether something happened? Or are you talking about something else he said entirely? If it's the former, then I would say that there is definitely a difference and a specificity to both statements that a judge or lawyer would understand.

        Was there another statement that Kavanagh made that would sound weird to a layperson but specific to a judge?

        6 votes
      3. Catt
        Link Parent
        Can you expand on that? Judges do speak publicly about various issues and write their judgements for the layperson to understand.

        Can you expand on that? Judges do speak publicly about various issues and write their judgements for the layperson to understand.

        4 votes
  3. [7]
    Akir
    Link
    While I am inclined to believe the arguments the article is putting forward, it is written in such an "ah-ha, gotcha" way that I couldn't get very far in it before I closed it.

    While I am inclined to believe the arguments the article is putting forward, it is written in such an "ah-ha, gotcha" way that I couldn't get very far in it before I closed it.

    10 votes
    1. [5]
      spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      Well, it is written in a rather "here's something Kavanaugh said...he's the evidence that that isn't the truth" style, repeated over and over again. But...isn't that the whole point? A candidate...

      Well, it is written in a rather "here's something Kavanaugh said...he's the evidence that that isn't the truth" style, repeated over and over again.

      But...isn't that the whole point? A candidate for a lifetime appointment to the highest judicial office in the country testified under oath, and it's possible to step through his testimony line-by-line annotating the parts that aren't true. Not "that's a slip of the tongue but it's obvious from context what he meant" type of mistakes - these are obvious lies and half-truths and lies of omission, and they go on for so long that his lies almost get boring.

      34 votes
      1. [4]
        Erik
        Link Parent
        Current Affairs is kind of known for this type of thing too. They are willing to play along with a lot of bad faith arguing from the "facts and logic" crowd. They actually list out all these...

        Current Affairs is kind of known for this type of thing too. They are willing to play along with a lot of bad faith arguing from the "facts and logic" crowd. They actually list out all these details that those types usually ask for during online debates, knowing it's basically a homework assignment and no one will do it, and then declare themselves the winners when people refuse to get in the mud with them. They also did a very detailed take down of Jordan Peterson, for example.

        15 votes
        1. [3]
          elcuello
          Link Parent
          Can you explain this a bit more? I don't have any experience with Current Affairs. What are the "facts and logic" crowd and what are these online debates?

          Can you explain this a bit more? I don't have any experience with Current Affairs. What are the "facts and logic" crowd and what are these online debates?

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Erik
            Link Parent
            Sure, it's a bit "online," so, if you don't spend a lot of time in certain online spaces, you may have missed it (and I'm jealous of you). The facts and logic crowd is the sort of pedantic online...

            Sure, it's a bit "online," so, if you don't spend a lot of time in certain online spaces, you may have missed it (and I'm jealous of you).

            The facts and logic crowd is the sort of pedantic online right that kind of grew out of new atheism and GamerGate. This isn't an official name for them, this sort of online right seems to rebrand monthly, so it's just sort of a blanket term. They will often keyword search twitter or go to the replies in popular posts and start shit with people under the guise of "just wanting to talk," or something similar to that. They are usually younger folks with a lot of time on their hands and they nitpick in bad faith not because they're curious what other people think, but because they want to overwhelm people with questions in an attempt to silence them. This was kind of famously satirized in this Wondermark cartoon to the point where "sea lioning" became a verb.

            Current Affairs is a leftist magazine that has some writers and editors that seem to be willing to play along in this game and be exhaustive in their critiques of the right. This is sort of in contrast to say, Chapo Trap House, the somewhat well known lefist podcast. (It's biggest podcast in the history of Patreon, and constantly in the top 3 earners). Chapo tends to see the obvious bad faith in a lot of these folks and just goofs on them instead of engaging.

            14 votes
            1. elcuello
              Link Parent
              Thanks, that cleared it up a bit. I'm familiar with Sea lioning I was just unsure what you meant and didn't really know CA or Chapo Trap for that matter.

              Thanks, that cleared it up a bit. I'm familiar with Sea lioning I was just unsure what you meant and didn't really know CA or Chapo Trap for that matter.

              3 votes
    2. boot20
      Link Parent
      It basically takes each lie and fabrication and breaks it down one by one. That's the only way to analyze the testimony.

      It basically takes each lie and fabrication and breaks it down one by one. That's the only way to analyze the testimony.

      20 votes