Culture

The Witches of Bushwick

A self-proclaimed witch performs a hex on an effigy of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at Catland Books in Brooklyn, N.Y., October 20, 2018. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
Emotionally healthy adults do not wish to inflict suffering on people over political disagreements.

In Brooklyn, there is an occult bookshop called Catland Books. “Catland” is, one imagines, an apt description of the homes of the women who congregate there.

The operators of the establishment have announced that they are planning to hold a special hex session this weekend to make Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh “suffer.” It is sure to be a popular event.

Because progressives belong to the Party of Science, they may wish to visit some of their like-minded fellow partisans at Catland Books, where they can also take a few courses: Demonology 101, Plant Magik [sic] 101, or Potions & Tinctures 101, which all are on the current schedule. Everything seems to be 101 — that’s a lot of introductory classes, a lot of foreplay for a master’s course in horsesh**.

Dakota Bracciale, owner of the shop, tells Newsweek: “We know the system is broken, and the people in charge need to be taken down by any means necessary, magical or otherwise. . . . This is basically Antifa witches — we’re coming for these people’s throats.”

Question: Does that sound like a disagreement about politics to you?

Occasionally, our friends on the left do us the favor of making plain that which conservative critics have inferred about their ranks: that they are intellectually unserious, that they are damaged, that they are high on rage, that they have made a religion of politics. Father Gary Thomas, an exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose who may be taking the Catland gang more seriously than they deserve, will be saying a special Mass to counter the proffered hex. One welcomes the efforts of a Catholic priest who takes his faith seriously enough to invite ridicule — a fool for Christ, as Paul put it. But in much the same way that it is difficult to imagine the Almighty choosing the likes of Jerry Falwell as His emissary, it is difficult to imagine the other guy choosing as his agents a couple of sad dopes in Brooklyn — not in a world in which Kim Jong-un and Taylor Swift exist.

Bracciale: “We will never stop, we will never be silenced. There are a lot of angry people who are righteously filled with rage that are going to take back our country.”

“Righteous rage” is the great addiction of the moment — not opiates, not nicotine, not sugar — and it is a very tough habit to kick. (Ask Sean Hannity.) Justice Kavanaugh is a product of the Yale Law School, Republican politics, and the time in which he lives. He has ideas about the interpretation of the Constitution and statutes that are different from those of, say, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a product of Rutgers Law School and a testament to the sustaining powers of “Pow Wow Chow,” or those of Alan Dershowitz, another Yale Law man. Kavanaugh and Dershowitz might have an interesting debate on the subject. (Not Senator Warren, who has never to my knowledge spoken or written an interesting sentence in her life.) Our friends over at Intelligence Squared host interesting debates of just that kind, e.g.: Resolved: “Tech Companies Should Be Required To Help Law Enforcement Execute Search Warrants To Access Customer Data.”

The witches of Bushwick are not resolved that Justice Kavanaugh has erroneous views about constitutional interpretation — they are resolved that he must suffer.

Suffering was the secondary aim of the smear campaign launched against Kavanaugh by Senator Dianne Feinstein and other Democrats during his confirmation hearing: If the primary objective (defeating Kavanaugh’s nomination and delaying another until Democrats are in a better position in Congress) could not be accomplished, then at least the Democrats could pursue the secondary objective: using any means necessary, magical or otherwise, to inflict suffering on Kavanaugh — and on his wife, on his children, on his friends and colleagues — as a warning to future nominees, a strong disincentive for leading legal minds to forgo the relative ease and affluence of a top-flight legal career for the relatively low pay, drudgery — and, now, obligatory and systematic slander — of public service.

There are decent people acting in good faith on different sides of many political issues, from abortion (difficult as that is to concede) to tax policy. Emotionally healthy adults do not wish to inflict suffering on people over political disagreements. Emotionally healthy adults are not so bewitched by partisanship that they engage in what the nice bookstore ladies in Brooklyn are engaged in here, which is the 21st-century progressive version of a cross-burning — a lot of mystical mumbo-jumbo piled on top of a sentiment that could easily be communicated in three little words: “I Hate You.”

The hex ceremony is going down in the district of Democratic Representative Nydia M. Velazquez, who represents a largely Catholic Latino constituency. Perhaps they could be persuaded to pray along with Father Gary.

Oh, but we moderns don’t take that sort of thing too seriously, do we?

Do we?

Over to you, Party of Science.

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