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Minds made up before decision


Dear Friends,

Good morning. If you’re old enough to remember the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearing of 1991, the events before the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings concerning the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh should not have been surprising.

My bet is that most voters had their minds made up long before the hearings took place. If you are a President Trump supporter, your inclination is to support his nominee (Kavanaugh), If you are as I am, and oppose most things Trump, you would support Kavanaugh’s accuser.

I was impressed with the speed that GOP Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona) demonstrated to bring the hearings to an unexpected halt after he encountered two of his voters in an elevator on Friday.

With passion, they asked Flake to delay a Judiciary Committee vote so that the FBI could examine the veracity of Judge Kavanaugh.

Several hours later, Sen. Flake surprised his fellow Republicans when he convinced the committee to require the FBI to do more research on Kavanaugh’s truthfulness. The committee will take up deliberations in less than one week.

I am assuming that the U.S. Senate will confirm Kavanaugh by the narrowest of margins anyway. If so, the U.S. Supreme Court will have two justices with asterisks attached to their names and reputations: Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.

Ever since Clarence Thomas’ 1991 confirmation, decisions that he’s made have been followed by an asterisk (that he was confirmed by a razor-thin Senate vote 52 to 48). Kavanaugh decisions will be judged similarly.

Last week, wherever Mighty Betsy and I traveled, we saw people huddling around TV sets watching the hearings. Most were women. What does it mean? Will the women’s vote be crucial at the mid-term elections just four weeks hence? I think so. I sure wouldn’t want to be a male incumbent facing a female challenger.

Terry Madonna, the pollster from Franklin and Marshall College usually gets it right. His predictions from his Sept. 27 polling follows: More Democrats (64%) than Republicans (58%) are very interested in the mid-term elections. Gov. Tom Wolf is doing an excellent or good job; Only 37% of Pennsylvania registered voters believe President Trump is doing an excellent or good job as president.

And if you are a Republican on the ballot, here are the most worrisome statistics: Among likely voters, more favor a Democrat (49%) than a Republican (38%) for the U.S. House of Representatives. President Trump continues to be an essential negative motivating force in the upcoming mid-term elections. Three in four of those who plan to vote for a Democratic congressional candidate are casting their ballot mainly as a vote against President Trump and Republicans in Congress.

If I were Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, I’d be very worried. Ditto for Republican state Sen. Bob Mensch. He’s opposed by Linda Fields, a Democrat from the Palisades area.

Closer to home, friends and colleagues of Pat Edwards, the executive director of the Upper Bucks YMCA, celebrated her 38 years of service (25 years as CEO) last week. Pat will be retiring at the end of the year. Her record is exemplary. She will be a hard act to follow.

Sincerely, Charles Meredith

By the way, I am almost convinced to have one of MB’s and my caregivers drive us to our daily activities. Last week, I set out on my own to find an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor to drain my left ear. The echoing sounds like I’m in a cave.

I was sent to an ENT just north of Bethlehem in an industrial park with many complicated turns. After 90 minutes of frustration and a few near-accidents, I gave up and sulked home. Our caregiver immediately accessed her cell phone and found an ENT near Grandview Hospital, just minutes from our home.

There are obvious lessons out there … chief of which suggests that I should have our caregiver drive us every where.

Stay tuned.