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Greg Olear @gregolear
, 37 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Let's talk about the Putin/Alt-Right/GOP propaganda machine—the REAL Devil's Triangle—as it relates to Brett #Kavanaugh:

[THREAD]
1/ This cozy little messaging arrangement, which operates happily in the dark most of the time, is now being exposed because of the fatally flawed candidate Donald Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court.
2/ The problem with Kavanaugh is manifold: first, that he had six-figure credit card debts paid off by creditors whose identity we still don’t know; second, that he lied during his initial testimony...
3/ ...third, that he has been credibly accused of sexual assault, and all available evidence appears to bolster the charge (I’m not counting his denials as evidence, however vehement, or however much he swears to God);
4/ and, fourth, that he lied repeatedly about almost everything about the accusation, under oath, as he angrily snapped at the (mostly female) senators who dared to question him.
5/ If Kavanaugh were a leftist progressive, I would still be opposed to his appointment to such a prestigious and important position, based on these reasons. Plenty of rational outfits, including the American Bar Association and the Jesuits seem to agree.
6/ But let’s review, so we can see just how this media feedback loop works:
7/ When Justice Kennedy unexpectedly decided to retire, we learned that his son, Justin, was global head of Deutsche Bank’s real-estate capital markets division when that division was literally the only financial institution in the Western world that would lend money to Trump.
8/ Brett Kavanaugh, for years a GOP legal operative, once clerked for Justice Kennedy, and reportedly it was Kennedy who suggested, if not insisted, that he succeed him. For Kavanaugh was not on the original list of nominees Trump had been given, the astute reader may recall.
9/ But his record, and experience toeing the far-right party line, suggests that Kavanaugh, alone among the potential nominees, would rule in Trump’s favor, should questions reach the Court concerning, say, whether a president can pardon himself.
10/ Kavanaugh was introduced to Judiciary in a manner that was odd at the time & now seems positively creepy. Members of the girls basketball team he coaches were brought in, to create a “first impression” of him as a fatherly, kind man who therefore couldn’t possibly hate women.
11/ (While this was going on, the former Trump staffer Zina Bash, who was sitting directly behind Kavanaugh, ostensibly to make him seem softer, may or may not have been making “white power” hand gestures behind him — perhaps spoiling the wholesome tableau just a tad).
12/ Then we found out about the sexual assault claim. No sooner did this happen then Chuck Grassley, the bumbling chair of the Judiciary Committee, produced a letter, signed by 65 former classmates and friends, all women, attesting to Kavanaugh’s good-guy-ness.
13/ It was almost like Grassley had that letter ready, waiting for unseemly news he knew might leak out. There was GOP insistence that the vote process was accelerated — as if they knew what was coming and wanted to get Kavanaugh seated before the shit hit the fan.
14/ The accuser was revealed as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Her allegations were highly credible. To defend himself, Kavanaugh produced, to great fanfare, his calendar from 1982, which contains entries that support Dr. Ford’s claim.
15/ (Even the prosecutor brought in to question Dr. Ford was benched as soon as she started asking about a July 1 party he noted.)
16/ The notion of Kavanaugh as a heavy drinker was also bolstered by the calendar and his high school yearbook, as well as subsequent sworn statements by his contemporaries. All but two of the 65 letter-signers recanted support.
17/ This is when the propaganda machine sprung into action. Because Kavanaugh was clearly at the drinking night in question, a theory was concocted to pin the sexual assault on someone else — Kavanaugh’s high school drinking buddy Chris Garrett, aka “Squi.”
18/ Ed Whelan, head of the rightwing CRC PR firm, almost certainly pitched this little fantasy to his media contacts, none of whom bit at the obvious grasping of straws. So Whelan posted the theory to his own Twitter feed — explicitly accusing Garrett of sexual assault.
19/ Read this by @WarfareNavel for more detail:
threadreaderapp.com/thread/1043257…
20/ Never mind that this is defamation, or that Garrett and Dr. Ford were dating in high school, and thus she was unlikely to confuse Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge with her own boyfriend.
21/ Whelan’s “mistaken rapist” theory has won the day. When the GOP Senators say that they believe both Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh, they are tacitly endorsing this Loony Tunes conspiracy theory.
22/ These propaganda forces are also in play this week, albeit more invisibly, in the GOP’s deployment of the toothless “innocent until proven guilty” argument, which would apply if Kavanaugh were on trial for sexual assault, rather than a lifetime appointment to SCOTUS.
23/ But when repeated indignantly over and over by ostensibly respectable old white men, the messaging is effective.
24/ If the objective were to seat an ultra-conservative SCJ, the savvy move now would be to withdraw the Kavanaugh nomination and replace him with someone else — someone equally conservative but who has not been accused of sexual assault, who is not in hock to unknown creditors.
25/ Instead, the GOP has doubled, and now tripled, down on Kavanaugh.

Why is this the hill they want to die on?
26/ As horrible as the sexual assault allegations are, and as despicable the response by the non-Jeff Flake Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh’s shady financials, to me, are the more ominous development in the long term.
27/ This has been largely ignored by both the media and, curiously, the Democrats on the Committee.

The math simply doesn’t add up, and Kavanaugh’s cover story about baseball tickets is as believable as his claims that the Devil’s Triangle is a drinking game.
29/ Whatever happens with Dr. Ford and the sexual assault claim, whoever paid off those debts owns Judge Kavanaugh. I have stated many times that he will not withdraw his nomination because his creditors will not allow it.
30/ Nothing we’ve learned in the last week has changed that opinion. Kavanaugh exactly fits the profile of a guy the FSB targets to turn. We already have a Russian asset in the White House, & a bunch more in Congress. We cannot risk having the Supreme Court contaminated as well.
31/ The FBI is now conducting its investigation. The press no doubt is investing major resources into digging into Kavanaugh’s past (like the song by Asia: “And now you find yourself in ‘82…”).
32/ Perhaps a silver lining of this ugliness is that the curtain will be pulled back, and the American people can see, once and for all, how the propaganda machine really works.
33/ “There is a lot of money flowing,” @LincolnsBible says. “As the money, and operatives, are getting pulled at by researchers and law enforcement, the PROPAGANDA machine will unravel.”
Let’s hope this happens while there is still a republic, and the press is still free. Because one thing seems clear: the GOP don’t want Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court because he’s conservative. They want him on the Supreme Court because he’s compromised.

[END]
PS

Full piece lives here: medium.com/@gregolear/the…
PPS
If you want a summation of Trump/Russia, please read my short book, #DirtyRubles:
amazon.com/dp/1641849266
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