Now we know.

The republican senate is going to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh over the clear disapproval of a large majority of the people of the United States. When they do, they will confirm a person who clearly lied about big things (stealing documents from the opposing political party) and small (pick your poison). They will confirm a person who put his partisan politics on full display. They will confirm a person who chose to be belligerent under questioning, and then let his emotions fly. They will confirm a person who is almost certain to have committed both an attempted rape and exposure, and may well have also orchestrated or even participated in an actual rape. A person who the public clearly dislikes.

This was, of course, completely expected.

I’ve heard people talk about this confirmation as if it is privilege in action, and, you know, I get that. But as a white guy of a certain age, I’m struggling with that frame of reference—not because it’s inappropriate, but because it doesn’t go far enough. It misses the real point. To my mind, privilege is advantage. Privilege is extra opportunity. Privilege (among other things) has gotten us to this point, yes, but what we are seeing right now not actually that.

What we are seeing here is power.

Pure, unvarnished power.

Yes, this power is protecting its privilege (and its privileged), but when you peel the onion here all that’s left at the core of this confirmation is that a group of people are ignoring what the bulk of the American people can see, merely because they want to—simply because they can.

Perhaps you think I’m splitting hairs here. That’s fine. But the distinction is important to consider because in our system we ask the people we privilege with an office to wield power in the ways we want. I think it’s important to understand that the American public does not give people we elect privilege, per se. We give them power. If Dr. Ford’s patriotic testimony accomplished anything, it’s to show the country clearly and coldly what is happening. Dr. Ford has removed any pretension of the republican party being concerned about truth. It wants Judge Kavanaugh on the bench, and so it will have Judge Kavanaugh on the bench.

A few days back I posted that the system isn’t broken, but the people are.

Come next month, we’re going to find out if that is true.

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