On Spartacus and Crucifixion, Democrats and Kavanaugh
Redacted from an article by RABBI DOV FISCHER
Wall Street Journal
September 17, 2018
I find myself so upset now over the viciousness of the Democrats these past several weeks, trying in every imaginable way to character-assassinate Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, that I have to write.
Kavanaugh is a good man. Beyond being a great legal scholar, a published author of profound legal consequence, a graduate of Yale Law School, a law professor at Harvard Law School invited at the behest of then-dean Elena Kagan, he clerked in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, then clerked in the Ninth Circuit, and thereafter for Justice Anthony Kennedy in the United States Supreme Court.
He has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, often regarded as the second most important court in the land. From that bench others have risen to the United States Supreme Court, including but not limited to present-day Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Chief Justice Roberts.
From the moment that this fine man — an honored husband, devoted father, children’s basketball coach, church lector who has tutored inner-city children and personally has served meals to the homeless — was nominated to the seat held by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, Brett Kavanaugh has been subjected to nonstop oral brutality and vicious verbal assault.
In contrast to the way that Republicans have encountered and even opposed Democrat Supreme Court nominees like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, this man has been “Borked” from the moment he was named. It is back to the character assassination at which Democrats shamelessly excel. It is a return to the high-tech lynching of Clarence Thomas.
I never believed Anita Hill. A few years later, when I served as Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, I received a manuscript submission from her, a law article for our editorial consideration. Our entire articles editorial team unanimously agreed that it was so sub-par that it was not publishable. But well before I had come to see the quality of her academic scholarship for what it was, I agreed with Clarence Thomas as he condemned Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, charging that they were politically lynching a Black man.
In the world of Democrat liberalism and diversity, there is no room for an African American who is conservative. It is the Progressive Credo of Diversity: Black conservatives must be destroyed. They must be politically lynched. Destroy Herman Cain. Try to destroy Dr. Ben Carson. I personally heard a graduation speech denouncing Condoleezza Rice, attacking her in part for being a Black woman in the Bush White House.
At the Barnard College graduation of one of my daughters, the keynote speaker laid into Rice, leveling that attack among others. Disgusted, I finally stood up in the middle of the speech, centered amid a crowd of many hundred parents at graduation, and I turned my back to that woman. I stood that way, with my back to her, for the last ten minutes of her speech. She saw only my yarmulka, the back of my head. Democrat liberals have no room in their world for Black conservatives.
I never went to another Barnard graduation for either of my other two daughters. I never again donated another penny to Barnard nor to my undergraduate alma mater, Columbia University. I will not support those who support the political lynchings and character assassinations of good people.
The Democrats, led by Ted Kennedy, lynched Bork in an era when there was no conservative talk radio, nor online conservative media, nor Fox News to defend him. So that good and decent man went down in flames, assassinated by the one political Kennedy brother who had not been assassinated. It hardly seems sufficient to note that Judge Bork continued the rest of his life to live and teach and write with dignity and honor, while his character assassin ultimately would leave his own name and reputation drenched by the waters of Chappaquiddick.
And now these same “Progressives” would character-assassinate Judge Kavanaugh.
Cory Booker, while making a fool of himself for national view, described his “‘I am Spartacus’ moment” when, with false bravado, he stated that he defiantly would release embargoed documents that in fact already had been cleared for release. It happens to be that the Stanley Kubrick movie Spartacus was the most impactful movie in my youth.
When I began clerking for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit — who puts all his judicial clerkship applicants through one heck of a challenging questionnaire that is known, far and wide, both lovingly and fearfully, as “The Quiz” — I identified Spartacus to him as the movie that had changed my life. Kirk Douglas’s portrayal of the defiant gladiator who stood up to Rome inspired me for a lifetime. The Roman dictator, Marcus Licinius Crassus, had just subdued the mighty gladiator army whom he had prevented from escaping Italy, and now he wanted to crucify the leader of their revolt, Spartacus.
Facing his thousands of prisoners, Crassus offered the captured gladiators life, albeit a return to slavery, if they only would hand over Spartacus, their leader. If they would not, then they all would face crucifixion. And yet, one by one, each gladiator arose and said “I am Spartacus!” They all submitted themselves to crucifixion rather than hand over their leader.
But in our modern context, it is not Cory Booker who is the “I am Spartacus” hero and martyr. Rather, he found himself instead in the wrong movie, playing Navin R. Johnson — The Jerk. Instead, the hero facing crucifixion turns out to be Brett Kavanaugh. And now, the Democrat attempt unfolds to crucify this wonderful and decent man.
And now 85-year-old Dianne Feinstein of California — who is in the political battle of her life, facing a much younger opponent to her left in left-dominated California — desperately has emerged to submit a letter from a woman purporting to depict this fine and refined, righteous and restrained, dignified and kind man as having been a teenage Bill Clinton. Only Bill Clinton would proceed to live the unrepentant life of a rapist and serial sexual predator.
First, I do not believe the letter writer. She now has submitted her name publicly. She therefore now may expect to enjoy the “Omarosa Fifteen Minutes of Fame” treatment at CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of those slime-slingers. Perhaps she will get a book contract. But I do not believe her. Rather, I believe the 65 women who have signed their names to a letter affirming that they knew Brett Kavanaugh during that very same time frame as a gentleman who treated women with respect. I absolutely believe them.
That is what is happening here — and it is disgusting. I cannot hold my peace. I cannot be silent. I stand with Kavanaugh.
It is fundamental to our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage that people can and do grow, change, evolve, improve. That is why the Congress begins each day with a prayer from a religious figure. And — for the social humanists who reject religion — do they not advocate prison rehabilitation, drug or alcohol treatment, therapy and counseling? Of course people can and do change. And when a society creates a perverse social order that says, “If you did wrong at age 15, then you are branded for life as someone who never outgrew 15,” that society denies its population any motivation to improve.
For the sake of justice I cannot hold my peace, and for the sake of the future Justice I cannot remain silent. There has to come a point in time when Americans of all stripes band together and say, “Enough of the character assassination and social crucifixion! We do not want America to go any farther down this road. It has to stop — here and now.”
Rabbi Dov Fischer
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