Profile picture
Steven Mazie @stevenmazie
, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Kavanaugh's furious performance before senators on Thursday reminds me of an exchange early in Plato's Republic. Both Kavanaugh's style and implicit message resemble those of Thrasymachus, Socrates' red-faced nemesis. He has dealt a huge blow to SCOTUS's legitimacy. 1/
Like Kavanaugh, Thrasymachus didn't really figure into the discussion at first. He sat off to the side while others discussed several accounts of the meaning of justice. But near the end of Book 1, ire growing, he "came at us like a wild beast, seeking to devour us" 2/
Thrasymachus thought the whole discussion of justice to be nonsense. There is no universal conception of the word to be found. Instead, he offered, "justice is the interest of the stronger". It's whatever serves those in power; it's what those in power say it is. 3/
Kavanaugh was defending himself from charges of sexual assault, not proffering a take on what justice is. But in his seething attacks on the Democratic members of the committee and blatantly partisan references ("revenge on behalf of the Clintons")...4/
...he asserted that tribal politics alone lay behind the charges against him. His troubles have nothing to do with Dr. Ford's credibly recounted sexual assault. They have everything to do with political opponents smearing him: "a calculated and orchestrated political hit" 5/
And by jumping in with a theory on the purported conspiracy against him, Kavanaugh placed himself solidly on the Republican side of the line: "millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups", "apparent pent-up anger about President Trump" 6/
This was a brazen ascription of bad faith to those who took Dr. Ford's claims seriously and sought to give her a forum to air them. 7/
By identifying himself with one political party and excoriating the other party as corrupt and an "embarrassment", Kavanaugh gave America a clear view of the kind of justice he would be: a Republican justice who sneers at the other side of the aisle and lets them have it. 8/
The eight sitting Supreme Court justices have well-known ideological tendencies that line up pretty well with the party of their nominating presidents. But they are never this openly partisan or issue unveiled threats, as Kav did, that "what goes around comes around". 9/
What will come around, if Kavanaugh is confirmed, is a justice not just with ideological priors but with an evident hatred for Democrats. 10/
What will come around is a fifth justice to solidify a conservative bloc voting 5-4 against abortion access, affirmative action, environmental regulations and more. 11/
And the rulings in these cases ("justice" writ small) will be a function of the interest of the stronger SCOTUS bloc, just as Thrasymachus asserts in the Republic. 12/
There are more charitable ways to describe what's happening when SCOTUS divides 5-4: reasonable judges with coherent approaches to the law earnestly listening to arguments on both sides but disagreeing in close cases. 13/
That's not a completely laugh-worthy account, I think. But it won't be available to Kavanaugh or to people analyzing his decisions if he makes it to the Supreme Court. He has told us quite clearly, with contemptuous fury, where he stands. 14/14
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Steven Mazie
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!