It’s been nearly 24 hours since eight people (at last count) were murdered while shopping at an outlet mall in Texas. We’re still in that interstitial political period between ‘giving the families of the victims some privacy so they can grieve’ and ‘it’s time to move on and deal with other issues.’ Mass murder has a weird shelf life.
So here’s another issue: today a Manhattan jury will hear the closing arguments in the civil lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll against former president Comrade Donald J. Trump. She’s testified under oath that he raped her in the mid-1990s; he’s posted on social media that she’s lying. Her attorney has brought in supporting witnesses, whose testimony has substantiated Carroll’s claim; his attorney hasn’t offered any affirmative defense.
Remember, this is a civil matter rather than a criminal case. That means the standard of proof is lower. In a criminal case, a jury has to be convinced ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ In a civil case, the jury only has to believe ‘the preponderance of evidence’ favors one side or the other.
Given that the standard of proof is the preponderance of evidence, and that Comrade Trump’s lawyer hasn’t offered any evidence in defense (other than “What? Trump rape? Her? C’mon.”), the verdict seems pretty predictable. Except that juries are, by nature, unpredictable beasts.
If the jury does what any common sense jury would do, Comrade Trump becomes a confirmed rapist. Not a convicted rapist, but a confirmed one. And remember, twenty-six different women have accused Trump of some form of sexual assault. Twenty-six!
Will the Republican Party choose a confirmed rapist to be their nominee for President of the United States? Will they support a man who will very likely be facing even more damning criminal charges? Yep. Almost certainly. That’s the state of the modern GOP.
The next few days will be interesting. We may get a quick verdict’ possibly even today. Almost certainly by tomorrow (this is assuming there are no disruptions in the closing arguments–and that’s NOT a safe assumption).
Regardless of the verdict, Trump is scheduled to hold a ‘town hall’ meeting on CNN on Wednesday night. Will he be there if he’s found liable in the Carroll suit? If he shows up, will CNN ask him about the trial? Will they mention the other 25 women who’ve accused him of sexual assault? Will Comrade Trump, for maybe the first time in his adult life, actually be held accountable for JUST ONE of the countless awful things he’s done?
I don’t know. This is a weird time in history. We can’t rely on anything being ‘normal’ anymore. But…lawdy, we’re close and getting closer.
ADDENDUM: For some reason, the images of Ms. Carroll I see in the news lately make me think of Eowyn in Lord of the Rings.
A sword rang as it was drawn. “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.”
“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”
Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am.”
Which also reminds me:
EDITORIAL NOTE: Burn the patriarchal system to the ground. Burn it, pound the ashes into dust, scatter the dust, and salt the fucking earth. Then nuke the site from orbit; you know why.
UPDATE 5/9: Jury has found Trump liable for Sexual Abuse, Forcible Touching, Injury of E. Jean Carroll, Willful and Wanton Negligence, Defamation. False Statements. Malicious Intent, Injury for Defamation, and Acting Maliciously. NOT liable for rape. US$5 million in damages.
That passage from LOTR is one of those beautiful bits of writing that you can read many times, but you can only experience it once.
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Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
I have ALL my fingers crossed!! Dare I hope? … “If the jury does what any common sense jury would do, Comrade Trump becomes a confirmed rapist. Not a convicted rapist, but a confirmed one. And remember, twenty-six different women have accused Trump of some form of sexual assault. Twenty-six!”
Reblogged this on The Truth Seeking Atheist and commented:
I have little doubt that the Republican party will choose Trump, no matter what kind of a scumbag he’s shown to be. The party of MAGA won’t give up on him easily. To them it’s all about “owning the libs”, and they don’t care if they have to cut off their noses to spite the faces.
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