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Summary: The Devil’s Triangle is a mysterious phrase that appears in Brett Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook. The question is what does it mean. Kavanaugh himself claims that it is a reference to a drinking game. However, there is disturbing evidence that it is actually a reference to three-way sex, with the woman an unwilling partner.
What the hell is the Devil’s Triangle?
The answer depends on who and when you ask. When the present author was a boy of sixteen (this would have been about 45 years ago), it was a mysterious place in the Atlantic where ships and planes vanished with tedious regularity. It was supposed to be a place occupied by supernatural beings, sea monsters, Kraken, or maybe UFOs, who snatched up the unwary and took them off to Pluto, or someplace.
Now, though, the term has a completely different meaning, or many meanings, and what is headed off to oblivion is not ships and planes, but Brett Kavanaugh’s career.
Here’s the tale: Brett Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook from the 1980s was recently introduced into evidence in Congress. The book can only be described as an amazing collection of stuff, referencing everything from “boofing” (supposedly farting) to heavy drinking.
(All I know, personally, is that by comparison by own high school yearbook looks like it was compiled by a band of celibate monks at St. Ignatz’s Institute for the Advanced Study of Total Abstaining In Absolutely Everything. The most exciting part of it is that I was president of the science fiction and fantasy club. But that’s another, and sadder story.)
But, anyway, in the entry for Kavanaugh, there is a reference to the Devil’s Triangle as one of his extra-curricular activities. He was questioned on it, and he responded that this was a drinking game played with three cups.
Okay, let’s be honest about this. He may be telling the truth. Maybe there really is such a game out there, though it is odd that no one else seems to have ever heard of it. But, still, the inescapable reality is that we don’t know for certain that when the yearbook’s editors used the term, they didn’t mean drinking and nothing else. (Though, in a minute, I will explain why that worries me just as much as any more sinister explanation.)
But, moving on with the story, there then appeared another explanation. According to several sources, the meaning of Devil’s Triangle in this context had nothing to do with drinking and everything to do with sex. According to this interpretation, it is a “game” in which two men have sex with one woman, and that woman may be unwilling, or is at the very least inebriated or drugged.
If that interpretation is correct, then everything changes. If it is so, and remember it hasn’t been proven, then we confront the prospect of a Supreme Court justice who in his youth practiced what could at best be called genuinely perverted sex, or, at worse, something akin to rape.
Take a moment to consider what that would mean. Envision a court in which women’s control of their own body, their own sexuality, was suspect. Envision a court in which rape and other forms of criminal sexual penetration might be subject to debate (is it rape or “merely” rape-ish?). Envision a court in which a law criminalizing sexual abuse might be considered unconstitutional on the grounds that it was an unwarranted and semi-socialist intrusion of the Nanny State into personal matters.
If you can envision that, and not feel a spasm of horror, then you are either utterly without empathy, or you are yourself degenerate and sadistic, and a genuine resident of the Devil’s Triangle.
And for that reason alone, Kavanaugh’s confirmation should be halted.
But I am going to go further than that.
Many liberals, and even some conservatives, say that the confirmation process should be put on hold until the Devil’s Triangle references in Kavanaugh’s yearbook can be fully investigated. If, they say, it transpires that there is genuinely no evidence of sexual abuse in Kavanaugh’s past, then the confirmation process can proceed. We can move on, and, perhaps, Kavanaugh can still win his place on the Supreme Court.
I, however, am going to say something quite different. I am going to suggest that even if it is proved that the Devil’s Triangle has nothing to do with sex…and even if Kavanaugh is telling the truth when he says he was a virgin in high school, and that he never harassed a woman…he should not be on the Court, anyway.
Why? Consider: even if, as Kavanaugh claims the “Devil’s Triangle” refers to a drinking game, what does it say about this man that his high school yearbook makes overt reference to a pattern of drinking to excess? And by excess, I don’t just mean drunkenness. I mean, drunk to the point of abject helplessness.
Do we really want, then, a man on our highest court who seems to have had a history of such swinish behavior?
I would submit that we do not.
I would submit that in this time of crisis, what we need on the Court is a learned jurist, a talented lawyer, and …a perfect gentleman.
Of whatever sex.