Over the past few weeks in the U.S., the nomination of and Senate hearing for Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh has been front and center of both local and national news, watercooler conversations and most other exchanges between people. Kavanaugh, a federal judge was under investigation due to being accused of a drunken sexual assault in high school. His accuser also testified about the incident. People are divided – some believe her, others believe him and whichever side one leans toward, there is major debate and divide. While television news outlets interview people from both sides to offer varying perspectives, online digital platforms have a better opportunity to convey more persuasive reporting that reflects personal opinion. Huffington Post allows its writers to publish pieces that calls its subject matter to the carpet when reporting. An October 5, 2018 article entitled, “Brett Kavanaugh is proof Republicans will never hold the elite accountable,” is such a piece. The author’s view, Zach Carter, of the subject is very clear, and he uses sarcasm, bold declarations and cynicism to appeal to readers.
In the first sentence, Carter begins the article by boldly calling Kavanaugh a liar. Carter states that the Supreme Court Nominee perjured himself – and that the sexual allegation assault was credible. In this sentence Carter uses clear language, does not beat around the bush, and says that he believes that Kavanaugh committed the assault his is accused of, or some form of the accusation, and was not truthful about his part in the incident. In the rest of that first paragraph, Carter continues to paint Kavanaugh as someone untrustworthy, as he lied about his drinking, lied about boofing and threesomes, and lied about using high school yearbook to bully another classmate. There are other words that Carter could have used to express the idea that Kavanaugh was not telling the truth, but the use of the word ‘lied’ a commonly used term that regular every-day people use to shame people for being untruthful. By using this term, Carter is cutting out politeness and decorum and uses a sentiment that actually angers people. This sets the tone of the entire article – Carter is clearly against Kavanaugh and uses this article to ask why would American want a liar to be confirmed for a lifetime appointment in a position that can set the course for society as a whole.
In the second paragraph Carter uses sarcasm to note that while what Kavanaugh did in the past, an incident that happened when he was a teenager, may not be so relevant; rather the fact that he would not tell the truth, under oath, would make him an unlikely choice for one the most influential seats in the government. Carter ends the paragraph by answering his own question, a definitive no, dishonestly would not stop conservatives or Republicans from making him a justice.
While during the hearing Kavanaugh is said to dodge or sidestep questions, Carter in no certain terms articulates the reasons why Kavanaugh the liar, is not needed to help push the Republican agenda. Carter states that there is time to propose one of the other 24 potential justices that the conservative movement pre-approved, making pushing the Kavanaugh agenda unnecessary. Carter also states that because the Kavanaugh confirmation does not directly impact one of their platforms, i.e., Roe v Wade, campaign finance or affirmative action, conservatives are lax about pushing the Kavanaugh nomination through. This statement also calls the conservative movement unconcerned.
Carter digs his heels deeper into his recommendation of the inappropriateness of Kavanaugh due to his inability to answer a direct question and uses this recall to introduce the true concept of the article. Carter’s verbiage declares that the elite stick together and that they will always support each other – and not take responsibility for or excuse away questionable behavior. Carter backed up his claims by citing others and statements that declare the Kavanaugh questioning a conspiracy and his dishonesty vague and something that would not hold up in court. Again, he uses statements like this to further support his claim that the Kavanaugh questioning and his inability to tell the truth would not stop the process.
Carter furthers his arguement by also referring to how the accuser’s credibility is called into question more so than Kavanaugh’s. Carter says that it does not matter what Kavanaugh did – he is part of the elite crowd, the conservative elite crowd and that is more important that lying under oath. As a member of the elite, it does not matter what he is accused of doing. It does not matter who is accuser is and her credibility. She is not part of the elite crowd so what she says is not credible. They only believe their own, stick up for their own, and will discredit and humiliate others who attempt to slander one of their own.
In a particular biting sentence, one that is further emphasized by being ‘printed’ alone, Carter brings the President into the argument. This isolated sentence says that an when they receive an endorsement from the president for the elites, they will also side with him, regardless of what the president has done, or no matter how many immigrant children have been locked in cages. Another piercing statement of how Carter sees how government is working today – a collection of people who are governing for the people, yet do not understand what the people are going through, how others outside of their circle are living, and will tarnish the reputation of others to keep their status quo.
Carter concludes his position statement article by indicating that political changes have occurred, even in dominate elite states, where the regular people voted and the old elite guard has changed. There are people who are rising up against the elite crowd. His article is meant to be a persuasive argument to incite the non-elite crowd to vote so that there is someone in political office that will hold the elite responsible for their actions. Outsiders are needed to stop and prevent future railroading of the system. This very public incidents are proof that politics need new blood.