IT looks like Trump will get his judge.
The unedifying spectacle of a man accused of sexual assault being defended by a president accused of the same sins has hogged the news this past week.
While the truth of what happened cannot be proved either way, it is hard to see why a respected but otherwise unremarkable professor would risk upending her life unless she truly knew that she had been assaulted in her student days.
There was nothing in all this for Christine Blasey Ford except her belief that Judge Brett Kavanaugh was an unsuitable man to be a judge.
That unsuitability was broadcast when accuser and accused stood before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Blasey Ford was a credible witness, calm and psychologically precise in what she had to say, even though that testimony caused her distress.
Then Kavanaugh stepped up and gave a perfect display of why he lacked the balance necessary in a judge. He ranted and raved, cried, accused the Clintons of having a hand in doing him down, dragged his 10-year-old daughter’s prayers into the argument, spoke with the sneer of entitlement, and generally behaved like a man you whose judgement you wouldn’t trust in recommending the best way to put on your shoes.
Away from the bitterness, away from the protesters being arrested – go Amy Schumer, with your raised fist and your justifiable anger – and away the internecine corridors of US politics, there is a horrible contradiction here.
Why this appointment matters to Trump is that it would give him two right-wing judges in the Supreme Court. This would tilt America’s highest court in favour of conservatives – a long-lasting tilt of the legal pinball machine, as the appointments are for life.
But here’s the nasty thing. The court has the final say on divisive issues such as abortion and gun control. Right-wing Americans tend to be against both. Stop to think about that for a horrified moment: the right in the US cares desperately that babies are born, and yet cares not a bloodied jot if those babies grow up and are then shot.
That is a cruel and unreasonable divide. And one the gun-toting opponents of abortion and gun control will continue to ignore.
AMERICAN politics is horribly divided; and so is ours, as uncovered by the endless rows over Brexit.
Here is one finger-smudged snippet from this morning’s newspapers. Unilever has scrapped plans to move its headquarters from London to Holland, “after investors revolt”, as the headline in the Financial Times puts it.
Over at the Daily Express – or the Brexit Beano – this news is greeted with the ridiculous headline: “VICTORY FOR BREXIT BRITAIN.”
Er, no. Whether Unilever chose to stay or go wasn’t connected to Brexit. So that can’t be a victory for Brexit Britain or, indeed, a defeat for non-Brexit Britain. But it is, I suppose, a victory for Brexit bollocks, of which we seem to have a plentiful supply.