Hirono’s Perjury Trap

It must be a good question to ask of nominees for the federal bench, since Hawaiian* Senator Mazie Hirono is a lawyer, and she should know how to ask a simple question. If there was any doubt, it received the official seal of approval of Dahlia Lithwick, graduate of Stanford Law School, and sycophant of Judge Alex Kozinski until she revealed that she was a victim of stare rape.

Sen. Hirono actually came up with two questions, taking upon herself the weight of female angst and fear, tears and pain.

Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature?

Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct?

No, they’re not actually two questions, and they would evoke a stentorian “sustained” if tried in court after an objection. But this isn’t court. The second question is pure show, as the answers would already be in the questionnaire completed in advance of a hearing, to the extent the question is comprehensible.

But the first question? It’s not just silly, but reflects a depth of absurdity that would be obvious to any rational lawyer. Naturally, Lithwick thinks it’s “crucial.”

What Hirono is trying to do, and what everyone on the Senate Judiciary Committee should be striving to do, is simple but vitally important: If, as we learned last month, there is virtually no off-ramp for lifetime-appointed judges who behave in inappropriate ways toward women, serious scrutiny on the front end becomes even more crucial.

The problem is that it’s anything but “serious scrutiny.” The little parts of the compound question relate to “harassment,” which has devolved from a legal word into a meaningless epithet defined only by the feelings of discomfort by the “victim” at any time, then or later. No person can answer the question of what someone else may feel about something you said or did years, decades earlier, in light of the current trend of manufacturing sexual victimhood to be a due-paid member of a girl-gang.

Ask any women with whom the nominee ever interacted at any time whether they felt some unpleasantness, now called “harassment,” at any word or deed ever done at any time in the past. Only they could know, and even if they say no today, they can always claim otherwise tomorrow.

The core of the question, however, nails the trap: have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors? Of course. That’s how you find out whether someone is interested in sexual engagement. And if the answer is no, not at the moment, or any variation shy of “wanted,” the answer is obviously false. Is there any married man whose wife didn’t want to have sex, who never heard the “not now, I have a headache” classic excuse?

Even when someone responded affirmatively to a request, that doesn’t make it wanted. Maybe they acquiesced. Maybe they were afraid to say no. Maybe they failed to give any indication that it was unwanted, but can fall back on the laundry list of excuses for why their lie was forgivable and completely understandable, but the man was told otherwise.

So these are stupid questions? Of course they are, stupid and unanswerable. But that doesn’t mean a United States senator and her lackey doesn’t believe in their symbolic virtue.

Mazie Hirono has no illusions that her sequence of two questions will topple any nominee. That isn’t the point. She is laying down a moral marker, putting the nominees, and her colleagues, and the country on notice that the only way to change the culture of harassment, including on the federal bench, is by asking the questions, getting on-the-record answers, and making it clear that this will not be swept back under the carpet.

As a legal commentator, one might suspect Lithwick to end her post with a strong conclusion. So what does “laying down a moral marker” mean? LIthwick is incapable of expressing a cogent point using actual words, but then, there is no cogent point to be made. She’s putting the nominees “on notice”? On notice of what, that the Senator from Hawaii is a legal idiot incapable of asking a proper question?

It would be completely understandable that Mazie Hirono would use her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to put on a show for the intellectually challenged by very weepy women who want someone to express their weakness in Washington. Pandering to unduly passionate is nothing new. And it’s understandable that her teammate in tears would pretend these questions weren’t ridiculous, even support her even if the best she could come up with is the meaningless “moral marker.”

But if you are a nominee, how do you respond to a question like this without appearing like a rapist to the ignorant or getting caught in a perjury trap by saying “no” when the obvious answer is “of course, every person has.”

*Following the false “incoming ballistic missiles” error in Hawaii, it was explained that “Hawaiian” was offensively used to describe people who lived in the State of Hawaii, as it referred to indigenous natives. Instead, the politically correct reference is to call Hawaiians “residents of Hawaii.”

19 thoughts on “Hirono’s Perjury Trap

    1. SHG Post author

      Thanks, Beth. It’s good to be back. And I appreciate David throwing away up Barleycorn’s empties. No small feat.

  1. Richard Kopf

    The Senator has forgotten the most crucial question to ask any married male nominee for any position: “When did you stop beating your wife?”

    She could also go full McCarthy. If so, she might ask male nominees: “Have you, or any male member of your family within the third degree of sanguinity, ever had an impure thought about a female?”

    All the best.


    1. SHG Post author

      At least those would be better questions that what she came up with on her own. At least it would be possible that they would know the answers.

  2. Beth Clarkson

    “if you are a nominee, how do you respond to a question like this without appearing like a rapist to the ignorant or getting caught in a perjury trap by saying “no” when the obvious answer is “of course, every person has.” – Some female nominees could truthfully answer ‘no’.

    1. LocoYokel

      Your comment is sexually biased and I feel offended and hurt by it. You are now guilty of verbal sexual harassment. And I am pretty sure that at some time you have looked at a male and thought he was attractive when he had no interest in you so you are also guilty of “thought rape” or maybe “stare rape”. And any complement you have ever made to any male also makes you guilty of verbal sexual harassment.

      See how that works? Welcome to the club.

  3. B. McLeod

    Unless a person has been in a coma or otherwise silent through life up to that point (which would rather preclude being a judicial candidate), the only possible honest answer to her idiot question is some variant of “I don’t know.”

      1. B. McLeod

        Presumably, they would want to reexamine the nominee’s life, moment-by-moment, to try to identify any possible offenses. The problem is, it would take as long to do that as it took the nominee to live those moments. So, even with the youngest and least seasoned nominees, they would never complete a hearing before the president who made the nomination was long gone.

  4. PseudonymousKid

    Dear Papa,

    “I’m Spartacus” is the only response needed. At least we’ll demonstrate solidarity before our inevitable crucifixions.


  5. Fubar

    So what does “laying down a moral marker” mean?

    Check your front lawn.

    Senator Hirono’s question, translated from the original Hawaiian:

    Are you now, or have you ever been
    Either, or, anything in between
    A rapist by staring?
    A pig for not caring?
    You’ll be held to your answer. Come clean!

  6. NickM

    Perhaps we should all tweet Senator Hirono to ask her if she has ever turned her husband down when he asked her for sex.

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