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The death of decorum

Brett Kavanaugh is now Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He was sworn in as the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court Saturday. The partisan vote to confirm him in the United States Senate came after seven FBI investigations, making Kavanaugh easily the most scrutinized justice ever sworn and possibly the most most scrutinized American citizen ever to draw breath. Thank God the process is over! Our system of selecting those who serve on the high court survived somewhat intact but American civility did not. Selecting a supreme court justice should be a painstaking process. The nominee should be heavily scrutinized and his or her qualifications mulled over at length. Civil debate should follow that and, once all questions are answered as best as is possible, the vote should be called. That’s not what we got this time. We got a circus. We got absurd theatrics. In place of civility we got chaos. Instead of scrutinization, we got vilification. Kavanaugh was clean. The Democrats, who would have opposed anyone nominated by President Trump, could find nothing on him – even after the first six FBI probes. Then, out of nowhere, came accusations of sexual assault three decades old. The prime accuser’s claims were credible to many. Obviously, something traumatic happened to her but her story had more holes than the bodies of Bonnie and Clyde. She had not a single shred of collaboration for her accusations. Yet, she was deified by many in the media. Her claims put Kavanaugh, his wife and two daughters through hell. One cartoonist drew a panel depicting one of those daughters kneeling by her bed saying, ‘Dear God, forgive my angry, lying, alcoholic father for sexually assaulting Dr. Ford.’ There is no evidence that Kavanaugh lied to anyone or that he is an alcoholic and there is certainly no evidence that he was guilty of sexual assault. Of course he was angry. Anyone put through what he was put through would be angry. I am not sure what the newest justice’s legal specialty is but he is certainly an expert in libel and slander after attacks like that one and the many, many others that accompanied it. I am no legal scholar nor do I follow the actions and decisions of the high court but I just don’t see one man making that drastic a difference in how our country fares over the next 30-40 years. Justice Clarence Thomas faced a similar challenge though on a much smaller scale but, by all indications, has been a fair and prudent member of the court during his tenure. Everything now is partisan. One’s politics, it seems, must come first – before God, before family, before country. You are either with us or against us is the war cry from both sides. There is no cooperation or conciliation. Decorum in this country is dead. Regardless of which side you are on, you should mourn its passing. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette and Pike County Journal Reporter. He may be reached at or by calling 770-358-NEWS.

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