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MATTHEW BOOSE: No, Kavanaugh is not on a job interview
Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is not just a “job interview.”
At least not anymore. It’s hard to imagine a job interview scenario where failure to get the job results in ruinous, life-lasting damage to a person’s reputation.
In the last several weeks, the idea that Kavanaugh is being evaluated in a good faith, fact-finding interview process has been one of the more salient taking points on the left.
The Democrats are correct that Kavanaugh is not entitled to sit on the Supreme Court. But they have turned what ought to have been a fair advise-and-consent process into a show trial.
A job interview is done in good faith, something that has been wholly lacking in the Democrats’ conduct since the allegations surfaced and long before that.
Before Kavanaugh even showed up to testify, the Democrats had their minds made up about his guilt. In the week since the hearing, they have acted as maliciously as ever, disingenuously shifting the goalposts to disqualify him on the basis of his “credibility,” though they decided in July that he had none.
As the Democrats would have it, Brett Kavanaugh is on a job interview in which half the people asking the questions have already made up their minds to reject him — and destroy his life in the meantime — putting him through an impossible process of proving his innocence of a crime that allegedly happened more than 30 years ago.
You know, one of those job interviews.
While Kavanaugh may not be on trial for a crime, his reputation is still being adjudicated in the court of public opinion. He stands to lose much more than a job. The Democrats have presented a false binary.
Describing the Democrats’ show trial as a good-faith job interview is a disingenuous attempt to disguise the true nature of an unfair process, make the stakes for Kavanaugh seem lower than they actually are, and deny him the presumption of innocence.
In a job interview, it is the prospective employee’s job to prove their skills, character, and worth. In a fair process, it would be reasonable to hold Kavanaugh to this standard. That always was, and still should be, the rule.
But this is not a fair process anymore. The Democrats have already presumed his guilt. They are only pretending to earnestly assess his qualifications.
If the Democrats were not trying to destroy Kavanaugh’s life, then the stakes would be as they describe, and the burden would be entirely on Kavanaugh to prove his worthiness of the job.
But that is no longer the case. Kavanaugh has been accused of heinous things. His name and family have already been irreparably damaged.
The Democrats have placed Kavanaugh in a process trap. They have accused him of serious wrongdoing while pretending that he only stands to lose a job. This rhetorical sleight of hand justifies denying him his rights.
They are conflating two processes — a hypothetical job interview, where Kavanaugh has no right to anything and stands only to lose a job, and the public trial it has actually become, where he stands to lose his name and reputation — to justify unfairly shifting the burden onto Kavanaugh to prove his innocence.
This places Kavanaugh in an impossible position. Naturally, when he takes umbrage at the unfairness of this process, the Democrats say that his anger is disqualifying.
Describing this process as an innocuous job interview — besides placing the burden on Kavanaugh to exonerate himself — is an attempt to disguise its unfairness (however badly) and make his anger look unjustified.
They say that since it’s just a job interview, Kavanaugh has no right to complain or show emotion. He’s not allowed to take offense at being accused of gang rape without proof.
A rash temperament might be disqualifying if Kavanaugh were otherwise being evaluated in a fair process, but this was not a fair process.
The outrage Kavanaugh showed last week would be unacceptable on any normal job interview, but his reaction was also not unprompted. Most people on job interviews don’t get that emotional, because most people on job interviews aren’t fending off salacious accusations of gang rape.
The Democrats have branded Kavanaugh guilty of serious wrongdoing while simultaneously holding him to professional standards of composure. They are denying him not only the right to due process, but also the right to his emotions. This is gas-lighting, pure and simple.
There are genuine reasons to deny Kavanaugh the nomination. A credible allegation of sexual assault ought to be disqualifying. A rash temperament is also a concern.
But the Democrats are not evaluating the allegations or his temperament in good faith. They never intended to judge him fairly.
That’s because this is not a job interview anymore. It’s a show trial. And the Democrats have only themselves to blame for corrupting the process.
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