He punched the clock

Then there’s the whole “I got into Yale!!” thing.

At one point, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse pursued a line of questioning about the “Beach Week Ralph Club,” a phrase that appeared in Kavanaugh’s yearbook next to his senior photo. Kavanaugh told Whitehouse that “Ralph” probably referred to vomiting, something that Kavanaugh attributed to his “weak stomach, whether it’s with beer or with spicy food or anything.” Whitehouse asked if the “Ralph Club” reference had to do specifically with alcohol, and Kavanaugh responded:

Senator, I was at the top of my class academically, busted my butt in school. Captain of the varsity basketball team. Got in Yale College. When I got into Yale College, got into Yale Law School. Worked my tail off.

It was a deflection, but the particular shield he raised was telling. His response seems to suggest a belief that a prestigious education stands as evidence of moral rightness.

I interpreted it a bit differently. Whitehouse was pressing on the drinking too much theme, and I think Kavanaugh was saying “Drunk or not, I still worked hard and got into Yale.” I think it was more about not being a sloppy drunk, a loser, a wastrel, a schmuck who drank away his future. He got drunk on his ass, he ralphed a lot, but by god he also put in the hours and grabbed the brass ring.

Which is true, and even sort of relevant if his point is that drinking a lot doesn’t mean he won’t do the work of a Supreme Court justice. It’s sort of relevant that he can both drink and do his job.

Sort of relevant, but also sort of not, because it’s more than the hours, it’s more even than the work. There is also for instance the matter of judgement: problem drinkers tend to have bad judgement. Maybe Kavanaugh is the exception to that tendency, but by god he spectacularly failed to demonstrate any such immunity on Thursday. I can’t begin to express how much I do not want an entitled enraged screaming asshole like that on the Supreme Court, and I am far from the only one.

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