Do you remember when the State of The Union got infected with governing via vignette? At some point, a president couldn’t simply argue for a policy they thought sound. Instead of saying “we’re going to cut taxes,” it became “Mary Johnson is in the audience tonight. With this tax cut, she can buy more groceries for her family.” It’s policy-making by anecdote, and it favors government intervention in most cases. This is now a part of the Supreme Court confirmation process as Dianne Feinstein brought “guests” to the hearing to make a point, and make a point they did.
This Oprahization paid dividends as Democrats brought out the heavy guns – dead white girls. Yes, if sending women into back alleys for “healthcare” and marching gays off to the ovens weren’t enough to turn you against Kavanaugh, his support for the killing of young white girls might. Enter Fred Guttenberg. Guttenberg’s daughter, Jamie, was murdered at the Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School massacre. Since then, he has become a fervent gun control supporter who has pledged to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination, as the judge has made rulings supporting the Second Amendment. Guttenberg said, “I will be at Kavanaugh hearings, and I hope to play a role in ensuring that this man does not become the next Supreme Court Justice.”
Guttenberg was a guest of Senator Feinstein. Presumably, they concocted a scheme where, at a hearing break, Guttenberg would confront Kavanaugh. There was just such a break, and Guttenberg hurried up to Kavanaugh while speaking and extending his hand. Kavanaugh approached from behind by Guttenberg, turned to face him, and then continued exiting the hearing room. He did not shake Guttenberg’s hand.
Anybody who tells you Kavanaugh “refused” to shake Guttenberg’s hand is telling you fake news. It is literally true, but a lie nonetheless. The lie that you are to take away is that Judge Kavanaugh is so craven, and so bought by the NRA and gun-lobby, that he won’t even shake the hand of this murder victim’s kin. All the while, the news stories – video and print alike – will show the compelling photo of young Jamie and all that’s been lost due, in their eyes, to people like Brett Kavanaugh.
Well done by Feinstein, Schumer, and the Senate Democrats. As so many legacy media outlets are practically Democrat operatives with bylines, the anti-Kavanaugh narrative had a ready-sold market. The real story is unknown to all but Judge Kavanaugh at present.
A charitable re-telling would include, and not in the last paragraph, that the Judge was just seconds beyond a ridiculously contentious and chaotic hearing when he was onstage before the world, and very likely had no idea who the man rushing up to him was. Guttenberg himself lied about the encounter in a tweet after the fact. He claimed Kavanaugh pulled his hand back from Guttenberg, again selling the idea that after hearing the man was a murder victim’s father, Kavanaugh wanted nothing to do with him.
Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg’s dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.
The burlesque was complete with tweets from Senator Blumenthal, letting us know “@fred_guttenberg deserves better than a cold shoulder—not just because he’s Jaime’s dad & a dedicated advocate for gun violence reform, but because he’s an American citizen, here in DC participating in our democracy.” And from Kamala Harris asking, “[i]f Kavanaugh won’t even give him a handshake, how can we believe he would give gun violence victims a fair shake in court?” How indeed, Senator.
Right Wing Fake News Too
Not to be left in the dark on the Fake News front, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah joined in with a pair of lies. He tweeted:
“As Judge Kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him. Before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened.”
Two false statements there: Kavanaugh didn’t make a single move to shake the man’s hand, and security did not “intervene” in any way Shah would have us think. There was a security person there. That person in no way presented an obstacle for Judge Kavanaugh to shake hands with Fred Guttenberg, had he wanted to.
Another Fake News story, from the other right, says or intimates that Kavanaugh’s two daughters were rushed from the hearing room for their protection. If you only read the headlines, you wouldn’t know this is not true. The hearings were chaotic, with protestors shouting, but they were chaotic for a Senate hearing, not for life, and anyone who tries to convey the sense that these girls’ safety was imperiled by the protestors is not being forthright.