About That New New York Times Article

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I just read the new Times piece about this letter Brett Kavanaugh wrote to his pals in advance of a big beach weekend during high school. That is only one part of the piece. The piece illustrates what I think we already know: that Kavanaugh was part of that gang of jocks who dominated your high school, ran the circuit of underground but cool kid parties, drank to insane levels of excess. We know these guys. There’s a different version of the story if it’s a hard-charging elite private school like Georgetown Prep or one of America’s countless public high schools. But I think we all know these guys. It’s pre-Fraternity Life in high school, filled with ridiculous over-consumption of alcohol and jocular innuendo and shout-outs to predatory sexuality. There’s even a clip from the gangs underground high school paper calling out the girls from Holton Arms – which Kavanaugh said his social set didn’t overlap with – as worthless and promiscuous “Holton Hosebag[s]”. Nothing is held back. 

What I think this story tells us is that Kavanaugh obviously misled the Judiciary Committee about his high school and college drinking habits. People are clearly divided over whether that matters. But there’s really not much question that it’s true. It’s also the kind of subculture that makes Dr. Blasey Ford’s accusation quite plausible. Not proven by any means. But quite plausible.

To me though there’s really only one part of the story that is meaningful in terms of getting to the bottom of Blasey Ford’s accusation. It’s this passage …

Judge Kavanaugh, an only child and sports fanatic, surrounded himself in high school with athletes. Among his closest friends, classmates said, were Mr. Judge, Christopher C. Garrett and Don Urgo Jr. Other members of the clique included Mr. Gaudette and DeLancey Davis.

Judge Kavanaugh and his friends had their own language and traditions. There was Mr. Garrett, nicknamed early on as “Squee” because of his resemblance to an upperclassman with a similar last name.

When he drank, Mr. Garrett would stutter words that began with the letter F. It became such a joke that many football teammates, including Judge Kavanaugh and Mr. Garrett himself, had “FFFFF” references in their personal yearbook pages. Mr. Garrett, now a middle-school teacher in Georgia, sometimes hosted gatherings, including one when the Washington Redskins won the 1983 Super Bowl. Classmates said some seniors were too hung over to attend school the next day.

We’ve been over this before. Let’s look at the questions.

Christopher Garrett was one of Kavanaugh’s “closest friends”. He hosted many of their parties. Inexplicably he was the guy one of Kavanaugh’s closest friends and conservative legal collaborators, Ed Whelan, identified as Blasey Ford’s actual attacker in his self-immolating twitter thread. Garrett also dated Blasey Ford at around the time of the alleged attack. Of all the various friends of Brett we’ve now heard from either publicly or indirectly through leaks, we have heard nothing from Garrett. As far as I know there has yet to be a single published article that even mentions getting a refusal to talk or no comment from Garrett, let alone any response.

The extreme drinking, the lying about it, the frat type behavior. These are all relevant to Kavanaugh’s nomination in various degrees. But here is a thicket of connections in the midst of which are almost certainly the answers or at least some of the answers to the questions about Blasey Ford’s accusation. And yet … nothing.

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