In Greek and Roman mythology, the Furies were female spirits of justice and vengeance. They were also called the Erinyes (angry ones). Known especially for pursuing people who had murdered family members, the Furies punished their victims by driving them mad. When not punishing wrongdoers on earth, they lived in the underworld and tortured the damned.
According to some stories, the Furies were sisters born from the blood of Uranus, the primaeval god of the sky, when he was wounded by his son Cronus*. In other stories, they were the children of Nyx(night). In either case, their primaeval origin set them apart from the other deities of the Greek and Roman pantheons.
Most tales mention three Furies: Allecto (endless), Tisiphone (punishment), and Megaera(jealous rage). Usually imagined as monstrous, foul-smelling hags, the sisters had bats’ wings, coal-black skin, and hair entwined with serpents. They carried torches, whips, and cups of venom with which to torment wrongdoers. The Furies could also appear as storm clouds or swarms of insects. http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Fi-Go/Furies.html#ixzz5TDlXW176
My American friends have gone through a couple of weeks in which scurrilous accusations threatened to ruin a man. Today that man was sworn in as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The Furies have been defeated.
I have no idea what sort of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh will be. Based on his record on the bench, I suspect he will be a bit less conservative than the liberals make him out to be. His Establishment credentials are impeccable and he is a good long way from the googly-eyed right.
For the Democrats, this rather staid man had to be the Devil himself. Apparently, the best way to rally the troops and the “Handmaidens” was to allege all manner of sexual impropriety. The evidence didn’t matter, the objective was smear and a smear which would motivate the democratic base. So, well, sex. Sexual assault. Frat bro behaviour. Drinking and such like.
It didn’t work.
Why it didn’t work is interesting because it came down to character. The character of Justice Kavanaugh and the character of President Donald Trump.
Kavanaugh was willing to stand up for himself, get angry, name names, and call out the Democratic smear. He showed the fight and the courage and the willingness to demand justice be done that I would hope any aspirant to the Supreme Court would have shown in the face of baseless allegations. He was willing to attack those baseless allegations and refute them as best he could.
Which showed real character and real grit. After all, Kavanaugh could have made it all go away by withdrawing his candidacy. Or he could have pretended to accept some or all of the allegations and provided an explanation. Instead, he stared down his Senatorial accusers and left them naked with their shabby accusations. He won his seat on the Court by refusing to play the scummy Democratic Party game.
However, the real show of character came from President Trump himself when he refused to withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Court. Trump thought he’d picked the right guy and he stuck by him. He didn’t have to. He could have withdrawn the nomination and moved on to the next person on the list.
Not how Trump plays. Trump plays to win. Trump plays to crush his opposition and, because he does, Trump never plays by the patty cake rules of the Washington Establishment. Trump was roundly criticized for imitating and mocking Dr Ford. Not “how the game” is played and so on.
Trump’s great gift is that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass how “the game is played”. He’ll make fun of people he thinks are lying, of people who are hypocrites (yes, Sen. Blumenthal, you get mocked for your non-service) and people who pull political stunts like Sen. Feinstein. He is not “Presidential” in any of the accepted senses of that term. My American friends elected a street fighter and Trump knows it.
Coming up to the mid-terms Trump is doing 3-4 MAGA rallies a week in states where the Republicans can win or hold Senate and House seats. No President has ever done that. 10,000 people in the room, 10-15,000 outside. Day after day, week after week.
In themselves, Trump’s rallies would probably hold the Senate and might, at a stretch, keep the House. But with the Kavanaugh win, the momentum has shifted. With the crazed anti-Kavanaugh harpies shouting down the Senate, Trump has his theme. “Elect them, you get this.”
Most fundamentally, Trump is underscoring a very serious point about American politics. Stand up guys can win. Simply by demonstrating their character, their resilience, their willingness to be truthful and forceful on their own behalf, stand up guys can win.
The “Resistance” is crumbling. Its Furies have been unleashed, its flying monkeys unchained, and they just bounced off.
I suspect Trump will be exploding more bombs over the next month. The October Surprises will all be coming from the White House. Trump’s character demands a denouement. A reckoning with what he is referring to as the “radical Democrats”. The looney women who were screaming in the Senate galleries, the deceitful Democratic Senators, the increasingly crazed mainstream media are all feeding into the season finale of Year 2 of the Trump Show. How will the viewers respond? Who will get voted off the island?
Thirty days from now we will know; but right now we know that Trump has given Republican Senators backbones, the Supreme Court an eminently qualified Justice and assorted celebrities, blue check media and whackadoo feminists, aneurysms.
It’s a good thing.
Did the Democrats make a serious miscalculation based on their not seeing the utter collapse of media influence? This has worked really well before; they float some rumours, there is a flurry of news reports and people pay attention and some Republican gets disappeared.
Kavanaugh got appointed because there wasn’t a flood of people calling Republican senators suggesting they pass on the guy. The delay of a week wasn’t about some investigation; it was time for the Senators to see how people back home were reacting. The result gives the answer; few were paying attention and those who were didn’t believe a word that CNN and other media outlets were saying.
The events of August 2016 were a sea change in how politics worked. A three week long media barrage, 24 hour channels all on the attack, and Trump came out with the same numbers as he went in. Since then there is a hard reality; if you get your information and news by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and other networks (including Fox), you are less informed than when you started.
I think we are seeing a very significant political realignment. Not because of policy, or some pressing concern, or not a new one but rather a dramatic change in the mechanics of power. It has a name, Trump, but he is only significant for his recognition of the change and his ability to ride it like a surfer dude. It isn’t social media, or the power of Facebook, except their part in the disruption of money flows to legacy media organizations. Twitter is eminently ignorable. He has been working to convince Republicans in Washington that the rules have changed, and this confirmation was the result.
I agree Derek.
The collapse of media authority is not, of course, being reported in the MSM. But it is a real factor. Partially it is a collapse brought about by declining audiences and the fragmentation of the audiences which remain. But it is also the rise of alternative information sources due to the internet. And those alternative sources are reporting on the decline of media authority.
The other, related, phenomena is the arrival of a very tight, very thick, establishment/elite bubble. If you want to retain your elite status you have to avoid mentioning non-sanctioned media/information sources. Which means that people inside the bubble have only a dim idea of the sheer numbers of people who are reading Instapundit or The Conservative Treehouse or listening to Rush and talking about what they read and hear. Which goes a long way towards explaining why the Establishment/elite understanding of the political world was so devasted by Trump’s victory and remains dazed as Trump keeps winning on the policy side.
Then there are those rallies. Again, elite media has no idea what to say or do about Trump’s rallies. Holding three or four overtly political rallies a week is not what “Presidents” do. Presidents sit in the oval office and preside. Watching a Trump rally is extraordinary. He has a set speech but he also has topical, unscripted, bits. Plus he brings various Republican candidates up on stage and lets them speak. Before he even gets to the venue, his campaign people are out pumping up the crowd and tossing MAGA hats into the crowd. It is pure showmanship and the media have no idea how to deal with it much less cover it.
Finally, there is Trump’s total indifference to the previous Presidential press norms. He’ll take questions pretty much anywhere, he’ll call out particular members of the press as fake media, he tweets and sets the day’s news agenda, he phones in to talk radio, he does one on ones with his favoured reporters. Most of all, he is not at all afraid of the media. He knows he is getting 99% unfavourable coverage. But he also knows that his polling numbers keep improving. So why should he care or even pretend he cares about what the media think of him?
All of which makes the Establishment media less and less important. Which makes them crazy and partisan and rabidly anti-Trump. Which no longer matters.
I do not have any insight really about what goes on in Trump’s mind, nor the Republicans nor the Democrats. But I would not use the word character to describe either Trump or Kavanaugh. You wrote: “My American friends have gone through a couple of weeks in which scurrilous accusations threatened to ruin a man.” So what does it take to “ruin” a man. Suppose someone told a lie about you and a thousand fools repeated it. Would you care about these thousand fools? I suggest that a person of character as it used to be understand would disdain the accusation – or as my father asked me “do you worry about barking dogs?
Anyway, from this standpoint, Kavanaugh seems at best weak, and at worst guilty of the charges.
Well, so nearly as I have been able to make out, none of the accusations against Kavanaugh were remotely true. They were the lies repeated by thousands of fools in the media and millions out in the public. And Kavanaugh had the character to continue.
As for Trump, previous Presidents have folded the tent with a quarter the noise the harpies were making. Trump stuck by his nominee. Which suggests a reservoir of character I had not suspected.
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