The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation is all anyone seems to be talking about. We're all in a bustle about his potential appointment to the highest court in the land. I mean, hardly anyone was watching the video of the seal who threw an octopus at a kayaker this week. Alright, so one of those happenings might be more important than the other.
Poor octopus, though.
Imagine being physically assaulted and later having your story broadcast to the masses through the news (and yes, the octo-throwing seal made it on Fox New's website) as a political tactic by the seal's opposition.
Headline — 'I thought Seal was accidentally going to kill me' Octopus says.
It would no doubt be not only embarrassing to recount the experience, but the cephalopod would likely have some trauma to deal with after being slammed against the bow of the kayak. I don't know if octopi have emotions, but human beings sure do. We've seen them come to the surface of nearly everyone involved in Kavanaugh's hearing. We've seen them on the face of accuser Christine Ford. We've seen them on the face of Kavanaugh himself. We've even seen some emotions on the faces of the Senate Judiciary Committee members.
Some might feel this shouldn't become an emotional issue — that it should come down to facts. I don't disagree with that but, as I've said before, in order to confirm facts, there needs to be an investigation. Of course, Democrats would be pleased by the potential delay. That said, when discussing whether a man accused of such deeds should be in the government's employ, one would think there should be an official finding to demonstrate why he is or isn't the man for the job.
One would think.
Exhibit A — A 35-page document titled "Report of the Independent Investigation Regarding Mr. David Jamison and Alleged Sexual Harassment at the Iowa Finance Authority."
If you've not heard, and I'd wager a guess many haven't, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds fired long-time friend and now-former Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director David Jamison on March 24 this year, after a letter from his subordinate claimed…well the claims are right in the report's title. Anyway, some of the allegations, including one up here in Arnolds Park, were about a year old, and the victims were granted anonymity. But, here's the interesting part — the report's introduction specifies The Weinhardt Law Firm was hired to investigate the claims on April 27, more than a month after Jamison was fired.
According to the report, Jamison was informed "his employment was terminated due to credible allegations of sexual harassment" the same day Reynolds read about the behavior.
I read the firm's report. It's covered in highlighter and pen marks now, and I'd say the governor did the right thing, though perhaps out of order. Aside from that, I doubt anyone in northwest Iowa is opposed to Jamison's removal. Heck, even Reynolds said she would have fired him sooner if she'd known about it.
So, once again, we find ourselves to be the crux of a sort of social conundrum when dealing with matters of justice — note the word justice rather than law. Our own Republican governor fires a government employee sans investigation after a victim — whose name remains redacted — wrote a letter claiming past harassment. Fast forward a few months, and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including our own Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, didn't think an investigation was merited before the vote, even after a victim — whose name was known — wrote a letter claiming past harassment and later testified to the committee. It's possible they didn't find her testimony convincing. An investigation might strengthen that opinion of course.
And we all have our opinions, myself included. But I, for now, will not advocate for one side or the other. I simply want to point out the moral jam into which we've wedged ourselves by strictly pledging allegiance to either the blue or the red. We're stuck between the Iowa rock that is the Jamison case and the Washington hard place that is Kavanaugh's confirmation.
Cunumbrum — If we believe Reynolds did the right thing, the Judiciary Committee is in the wrong to move forward but, if we believe the committee is in the right, Reynolds never should have fired Jamison without an investigation.