I appreciate political commentator S.E. Cupp immensely. I almost always find her thoughtful, well-reasoned, and even in moments of disagreement with her ideological foundations or explanations, I come away appreciative of having been pushed or challenged intellectually.
But I admit that I was perplexed by her recent condemnation of the “dunking” on shameful anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti over his legal troubles. As most are aware, Avenatti was recently arrested for domestic violence.
Following the arrest, Avenatti tweeted his fervent disavowal:
“I want to be clear: I DID NOT commit domestic violence nor have I ever committed domestic violence. I did not strike any woman nor have I ever. I did not strike my ex-wife in the face nor did I hit anyone else in the face.”
The irony could not be missed. Supreme Court nominee had declared virtually the same thing about the allegations against him. But those allegations were over three decades old, were not corroborated, and in the case of the specific claims of Avenatti’s client, were completely without evidence.
Remember also that NBC News has now reluctantly acknowledged that they had twice interviewed Avenatti’s alleged corroborating witness who testified that Avenatti had exaggerated and even fabricated her claims.
He callously and brazenly attempted to destroy the lives of Brett Kavanaugh and his family. He intentionally placed the promotion of his own personal brand over any regard for the truth. He knowingly lied in his effort to permanently injure the reputation of an innocent man.
And now he faces accusations of a woman not from 35 years ago, but from days ago. And she has physical wounds corroborating her claims.
Still, a normally thoughtful analyst, S.E. Cupp for some reason seemed primarily concerned with not “dunking” on Avenatti?
“I hate to be a wet blanket, but if this Avenatti story is true, it’s no reason to dunk or high five. There’s a victim at its center who likely doesn’t care about the political chess pieces. But carry on…”
Huh? I hate to accuse Cupp of virtue signaling, but it’s hard to see this as anything but. Of course, no one should ignore the pain of the victim in question. And at least in mainstream channels on the right, no one was. Cupp’s implicit suggestion that acknowledging Avenatti’s glaring hypocrisy, or noting the accuracy of the Scriptural affirmation that your sins will eventually catch up with you, falls flat.
Avenatti has demonstrated himself to be a political opportunist of the highest, and most depraved order. He has already willfully exploited real victims of sexual assault for his own political ambition, and has shown no remorse for what we now know was flagrantly false slander against a distinguished jurist.
I hope that Avenatti finds grace in Christ, and that he seeks forgiveness through true repentance. But that doesn’t – nor should it – preclude anyone from appreciating the unscrupulous lawyer reaping the whirlwind that he willfully sowed.