Patterico's Pontifications


It’s Election Day, So Now for the Stories on the Herculean Burdens of Voting

Filed under: General — JVW @ 5:47 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Happy Election Day, my fellow deluded sheep.

It’s a tradition on the left every election day to lament the seemingly insurmountable hardships that are placed before the voter who is simply trying to accomplish the task of exercising his or her Constitutional right to participate in our democratic republic. Four years ago, for example, I relayed the MSNBC guest who tried to insist that college kids in Gainesville, Florida were being disenfranchised because there were only about about nine polling locations within walking distance of the University of Florida. Today we’re treated to the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, Jonathan Tepperman, picking up the theme on the utter impossibility of voting:

Fortunately, most of Twitter isn’t having it:

And a couple of other responses:

Voting Tweets

I can imagine what Jonathan Tepperman would think of my first voting experience in the Presidential election of 1988. I was in school in Massachusetts at the time, but I wanted to vote in my native Colorado, so I had to write the Colorado Secretary of State requesting an absentee ballot, then when it was mailed to me I actually had to take it in and have it notarized before I could return it. And what with deadlines and the U.S. Postal Service and all of that, I had to make sure I mailed it in at least a week before Election Day. Since then of course, we have had rounds of “voting reforms” which include the motor-voter law which allowed people to register when they renewed drivers licenses, permanent absentee ballots which allow people like me to get the ballot in advance and dispense with it at our leisure, polling stations that open a week before the election so you can vote when the mood strikes you, same day registration for those who are so lazy that they can’t rouse themselves to register until the day of the election, provisional voting so that even if you probably aren’t eligible to vote you get to cast a ballot that Democrats can then insist gets counted later, and now even automatic voter registration that adds you to the polls on your eighteenth birthday without you having to do a damn thing. Next comes a bad idea imported in from overseas: mandatory voting, a favorite of academic leftists who are adverse to personal freedom.

There may come a day when the advocates of loose and easy voting win, and exercising your sacred right to the ballot becomes as easy and, in fact, pretty much the same thing as clicking a “Like” button on your smartphone from the safety and comfort of your couch. I hope not to be around should that day come, but I can be reasonably sure it won’t be some glorious day in the annals of democracy, it will instead be yet another step on the long and, I regret to say, seemingly inexorable slide into national mediocrity.


The Kavanaugh Effect: Yes, Women (and Men) Sometimes Lie

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:40 am

I’m a few days late to this remarkable story, but on a day when the “Kavanaugh effect” could be motivating voters across the country, I think it’s still worth talking about. So remember how, on the day of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, we were being told to believe all women? Yeah, about that:

A woman who made graphic allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has admitted to investigators that she fabricated them to “get attention.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has referred Judy Munro-Leighton to the Justice Departement and FBI for investigation into potentially materially false statements and obstruction.

. . . .

On September 25, “Jane Doe” from Oceanside, California sent an anonymous letter to Senator Kamala Harris alleging that the then-nominee for Supreme Court and his friend raped her “several times each” in the back of a car. Details were sparse, such as the time frame and location of the alleged attack. . . .

Later on October 3, Judy Munro-Leighton emailed the committee claiming to be the “Jane Doe” of the letter and said she was “sharing with you the story of the night that Brett Kavanaugh and his friend sexually assaulted and raped me in his car,” calling it a “vicious assault.”

. . . .

Investigators located Munro-Leighton living in Kentucky, not California, and discovered that she is a left-wing activist decades older than Judge Kavanaugh.

She admitted to investigators that her story was a “tactic” and “that was just a ploy.”

“No, no, no. I did that as a way to grab attention,” she told investigators. “I am not Jane Doe . . . but I did read Jane Doe’s letter. I read the transcript of the call to your Committee. . . . I saw it online. It was news.”

“I was angry, and I sent it out,” she said of her email to the committee describing the allegations.

“Oh, Lord no,” she responded on whether she has ever met Kavanaugh.

The #MeToo movement has revealed a lot of terrible and even criminal behavior that was covered up for years. Many women were reluctant to come forward with their stories, for fear that they wouldn’t be believed. That is a real problem and it deserves discussion.

But I heard from a lot of people during the Kavanaugh hearings who said that women could not have an improper motivation to come forward about Kavanaugh. They told me that no amount of #ResistanceBucks, no amount of fame, and no amount of political influence could cause someone to put themselves and their families through the kind of scrutiny to which women like Christine Blasey Ford were subjecting themselves.

That’s … not necessarily true. And stories like this confirm it.

Which is why every case has to be judged on its own merits. Because women (and men) often tell the truth. But, women (and men) sometimes also lie.

A blanket rule that says “believe all victims” is never appropriate.

SEEMINGLY UNRELATED BUT IN THE END VERY RELATED STORY: I enjoy attending outdoor plays at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. As befits the area, the clientele and the actors are reliably lefty and wear their politics on their sleeves. This past summer, for the second time since I have been attending, the company put on a production of Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible.” Ostensibly about the Salem witch trials, the play was a thinly disguised parable of the Red Scare during the 1950s. The play means something to the company because it is run by the Geer family, and Will Geer (like Arthur Miller) was one of the folks dragged in front of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

The last showing of the play was happening right in the middle of the Kavanaugh hearings, and I was so tempted to buy a ticket and wear a giant “I BELIEVE VICTIMS” shirt.

P.S. Speaking of the Kavanaugh effect:


P.P.S. Totally unrelated, but amusing: Why We Don’t Trust Reporters #4,936:

Story here.

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