Brett Kavanaugh: His confirmation will mean that almost 1/4 of the Supreme Court Justices are credibly accused sex offenders.
Here is a devastating testimonial to the otherworldly inhumanity of the man who, barring an outbreak of common sense or conscience, will be deciding our fates and those of our children for the next several decades, unless we’re lucky enough for him to drink himself into an early grave. My good friend Michael Gerber, editor of the brilliant American Bystander, recounts here his days at the Yale that vomited up the likes of this potato-faced drunken sex offender:
As this whole Kavanaugh thing has unfolded, I’ve had a lot of thoughts, as we all have, and wondered what to say about it. I hope the following is interesting.
I entered Yale in 1987, the fall after Brett Kavanaugh graduated. I remember that time and place very well. I knew a handful of guys like Brett, mostly during Freshman Year, before they all self-selected, scattering off campus in a kind of Asshole Diaspora. [Editor’s note: Boldface mine] They were invariably athletes, or wannabe athletes, and invariably joined DKE, a down-at-heel fraternity whose only obvious attraction was a kind of weaponized drunkenness and misogyny. For the next three years, you’d occasionally see them in the dining hall, laughing too loud and making a mess, or they’d run past you late at night, nearly knocking you over, in the midst of doing something stupid with a DKE pledge (pungently called “buttholes”). Every time I see Brett Kavanaugh I think, “That man had to run around Old Campus three times with a frozen hot dog shoved up his ass.”
It is, as they say, cold comfort.
Guys like that — like Brett — were decent enough…if you were white and male, and they were sober, and there were witnesses. But for anybody who wasn’t white and male, or you happened to catch them during a moment where the malt liquor was hitting them wrong, all f***ing bets were off, especially that first year. They exuded menace.
As a kid from a good public high school in the Midwest, I was shocked that people like this had made it to Yale. People who I, with a slight case of cerebral palsy, had good reason to be afraid of. In part because they might do something physical to me “as a joke,” but also because they were so secure in their privilege that they thought (and I suspected), they’d get away with it.
I want to add here that these Bretts weren’t REAL athletes; or REAL preppies; or even REAL frat boys. All those authentic campus types were strongly represented in Davenport, my residential college, and my major, History. You could like a person, or not, but those guys exuded no sense of menace. Unlike the Bretts, they cared about the institutions around those identities, and that caring kept them human.
But the Bretts were… lost. I’m guessing, but I think it was probably because their egos had been crushed the first few weeks of freshman year. They were suddenly surrounded by people who were better athletes, more popular, even richer, and so banded together with others nursing that same rage-filled wound. I felt bad for them — but I also wasn’t sorry to see them all move off-campus, and I sure as shit wouldn’t have ever gone to one of their parties. Their version of Yale was a very different place than the one the rest of us were attending; Yale was great — open, intellectual, generally respectful — and if the political correctness could occasionally get a little silly, well, we all knew that people were trying to create something better.
It was weird to show up at a place like Yale, and pick a group like DKE. Guys like Kavanaugh seemed determined to create a version of Yale that represented the worst of American collegiate life — all the unearned privilege, the sneering at difference, the racism/sexism/homophobia, the date rape and blackout drinking… The nicest interpretation is that they were determined to live out “Animal House,” but with cushy Wall Street jobs at the end. A nastier, and probably more accurate, version is what we’re seeing play out in the Senate: Rage and defiance. Contempt for anyone not like them. Naked selfishness, cruelty, and utter obsequiousness to power. A bone-deep ignorance. People like Brett didn’t vomit in the sink and not clean it up because they were lazy; laziness and Yale don’t mix. They wanted Yale’s working-class Black and Latino custodial staff to have to clean up their mess. For guys like Brett, doing stuff while drunk was a assertion of power.
They were convinced that their Yale was somehow more authentic than the current version of the school. Their Yale, the “great” Yale, had been unfairly supplanted by Kingman Brewster and a bunch of other hippie-ish class traitors. White, rich and privileged, yet THEY were the rebels; DKE was underground in Brett’s years, so too was “Truth and Courage,” his Senior Society. Each ugly action became symbolic, a small rebellion in the face of an elite they did not accept, leading us to a future they wish to deny. But these doughy suburban Che Guevaras could also deny this lib-owning whenever it was convenient, saying it was “just a joke” or “she was crazy.” Or, of course, “I don’t remember.”
I’m sorry to say that their pea-brained revanchist vision of Yale was largely accepted by the rest of us, for three reasons. First, the Bretts cared so much about it. Second, no older Yalies were around to tell us how the place really had been in 1960 or 1930 or 1910. And third, it flatters young people to believe that they are rebels. The Bretts had their crusade, the SJWs had theirs, and the rest of us were following our own, littler jihads.
Which brings me to my final point: as the fella who brought Yale’s hoary student humor magazine back to life, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a million Old Yalies, and develop, over the course of decades, a sense of what the place was like in earlier times. I can honestly say that the Bretts are wrong. Their vision of Yale never existed, any more than Trump’s zombie 1950s did. While there was racism, sexism, and homophobia at Yale — while it has often been a place where a person like me, disabled and merely middle-class, would feel out-of-place — the Bretts were never in charge.
And while we’re talking about it: Feeling out-of-place is part of the process by which any institution changes you from high school kid to quasi-adult. Ego-injuries are normal. It’s what you do with those feelings that matters. Bretts have always been at Yale — and at lots of other schools — drunkenly nursing their grievances in the dark, making messes like angry toddlers, sneering at the other kids, plotting revenge against the world for denying them “what they’re owed.” In all this he is the perfect nominee for Donald Trump — and both Trump and Kavanaugh are products of a 40-year campaign of grievance, where the most cosseted, most privileged men in our country rage at the rest of us. Sometimes for saying “no,” but just as often simply because they are miserable, and it’s easier to ignorantly blame others for your misery than to realize that the guy who put the hot dog up your ass…is you.