Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Sober as a judge

I don't mind if Judge Kavanaugh drinks so long as it's not before hearings. I am not sure he should drink as much as the great reactionary Lord Chancellor Eldon whose judgments after sharing 3 bottles of port over lunch with a friend "continued to perplex the law of equity for a half century after his death", according to Lord Campbell's Lives of the Lords Chancellors, a delightful forgotten classic.

What he did as a teenager is a long time ago. Nowadays Judge Kavanaugh seems to be a respectable church-going paterfamilias. I suppose that is what leftists call 'hetero-normative'. By contrast, Lady Justice Hale's divorce did not prevent her being made President of the English Supreme Court. Though 
Melanie Phillips was not talking about her private life but her record as a law commissioner arguing for no-fault divorce when she described her as a marriage wrecker.


  1. Lord Eldon was a true Tory of the old school, who insisted on retaining hanging for a score of crimes. How little he and Mrs May would approve of one another.

  2. The entire focus of the left now is on investigating underage drinking and looking for the timecards to show when Mark Judge worked at a Safeway. The drumbeat is on “perjury,” as though Kavanaugh could commit perjury based on his own assessment of his own drinking in high school and college.

    1. Don't you understand that it is not about facts? You are taking a potato peeler to an art exhibition, or whatever.

  3. Nail on head;

    The Banality of Brett Kavanaugh

    Meagan Day

    The guys like Brett Kavanaugh who run the show have no special qualities or insights that should oblige us to put up with their bullshit. They would hate for us to realize that.

    The masters of the universe, it turns out, are losers.

    The Brett Kavanaugh hearing was a kaleidoscope of family and God and prestigious clerkships spliced with boofing and ralphing and brewskis. It was a thorough dressing-down. In the end, one was left with the impression of an unremarkable guy who was born on a conveyor belt to power, without much obligation to distinguish himself from his peers. On the contrary, his success was relatively guaranteed on the condition that he didn’t distinguish himself from them, that he simply play nice with the fellas — and not necessarily so nice with women — from prep school to the Ivy League to the White House and beyond.

    What struck me most about yesterday’s hearing, cutting through Kavanaugh’s tone-deaf retorts and indignant whinging and his frequent professions of love for beer, is how utterly ordinary he is. This guy is juvenile, arrogant, sexist — and very familiar. It pointed to a larger truth: the people running the show are callous and dangerous, but they’re also astonishingly average. They have no irreplaceable qualities or insights that would oblige us to put up with their bullshit. They would hate for us to realize this.

    It was a familiar feeling to me. The Hillary Clinton campaign was my big emperor-wears-no-clothes moment, when the mundane ineptitude of the ruling elite exposed itself and demolished whatever faith I retained in rule-by-the-most-excellent. Until then I’d entertained the latent notion that, despite the Democratic Party’s frequent refusal to stand on the side of working people, there was probably a reason its top brass were the ones in charge of battling Republicans. Because they knew how to win. Because they were in charge. It was tautological.

    When I balked at yet another corporate compromise floated by the Democrats, a small voice assured me it was just an encounter with the dark arts of pragmatism. I wouldn’t understand — after all it wasn’t me who was appointed to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, it was presumably someone who knew what they were doing. Their suitability to a task as critical as defeating the Right was self-evident, since they were the ones charged with the task.

    That voice fell permanently quiet for me during the 2016 presidential election. Politics provides no shortage of moments such as these, when the mask of power slips and you realize the people at the top are not worthy of the respect you afford them — not just as individuals, but as a class. I suspect George W. Bush’s aggressive vacuity as he ramped up austerity and shepherded the nation into interminable war prompted similar revelations for many. But as our society continues to rear new people instilled with the belief that decisions about the fates of millions are made by those whose rarified expertise, superior talents, and impressive families qualify them to make those decisions, the illusion regenerates perpetually and must be shattered time and time again.

    1. I don't know who said that. Count Oxenstierna said this: “Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?”

  4. David in Belgrade2 October 2018 at 13:47

    F. E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead

    Smith (to witness): So, you were as drunk as a judge?
    Judge (interjecting): You mean as drunk as a lord?
    Smith: Yes, My Lord.

    More such (unsourced) quotations here:


    1. I first called this blog Drunk as a lord or sober as a judge but the joke doesn't work with American judges.

  5. The Supreme Court ought to have rather higher standards. It is not wise to seat a member with alcohol problems. Neil Gorsuch, also a conservative, did not come under this scrutiny because he know how to handle himself.

    Mr Kavanaugh could have avoided a lot of this trouble if he had just said, "I got drunk a lot as a young man, but I have turned my life around." It was the posing as a virginal choirboy that has gotten him into hot water.