I’ll Drink to Confirmation

It’s pretty clear that with Blasey-Ford’s already thin story wilting further, Democrats are now going to Plan B—attacking Kavanaugh for supposed perjury over his alcohol consumption as a student and young man. (Once again, Mary Jo Kopechne is unavailable for comment about the alcohol consumption habits of Democratic political figures, or their fondness for sandwiches.)

Which brought up a memory from about a decade ago. I’m sitting around my house on a lazy Sunday afternoon when I respond to a knock at the front door. An FBI agent. He wanted to talk to me about my neighbor, a very senior FBI agent whose top security clearance was up for renewal. (How senior? He once showed me his picture of being sworn in by J. Edgar himself back around 1970, and he was on the team that investigated and arrested CIA traitor Aldrich Ames.)

The agent wanted to know the usual things: How long had I known this person? In what capacity (i.e., socially or professionally, etc)? How often did I interact with him? (Often: we went jogging together on a few occasions, and I’d see him as lots of school functions as he had kids in elementary school a couple years ahead of my kids.) Did I observe anything unusual about him or his goings and comings? (Not a bit. But how would I know anyway? My agent neighbor told me some fascinating—and harrowing—stories of long stakeouts on drug cases, which involved a lot of odd hours.)

And the agent asked several questions about . . . alcohol consumption. Did I ever observe him drinking? Where and in what context? (Yes: wine and snacks at my house and at backyard parties, and vice versa—ordinary social occasions.) Did I ever observe him inebriated? (No: his habits seemed the picture of moderation.)

The point ought to be clear: With six previous FBI background checks of Kavanaugh, unless the FBI is unusually incompetent (possible, as we’ve seen in the whole Trump campaign saga), testimony of overconsumption would very likely have come up before. And some of Kavanaugh’s accusers on this point, such as one of his freshman year roommates at Yale, have obvious motives for lying about him, as it is well established that they didn’t get along.

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