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Cockburn

Mark Judge, apostle of Washington

From Georgetown Prepper to City Paper stringer, a Supreme Court nominee’s friend is the city incarnate

September 20, 2018

9:37 AM

20 September 2018

9:37 AM

‘The year is 2020,’ Mark Gauvreau Judge writes in a 1998 column for Washington City Paper. ‘I’m the communications director for the Forbes administration,’ Judge continues, apparently referencing the billionaire mogul who’d run for president two years prior.

That’s where his prescience stops. He adds: ‘Political correctness is a memory, a bad joke from the turn of the century.’

Judge, of course, has been flung into the fore of the political arena in recent days. The high school pal of SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh denies the allegations of depravity against him.

He repudiates violence against women, despite a record of joking about it that extends into adulthood, and up to the First Lady.

‘Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs,’ Judge wrote in his days at Georgetown Prep, the prestigious Catholic high school in the suburbs of Washington. It is also the alma mater of Donald Trump’s other Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch. ‘Oh for the days when president George W. Bush gave his wife Laura a loving but firm pat on the backside in public,’ Judge later wrote.

Most people who live in and around Washington aren’t from there, as any local will tell you.

But there is another caste: scion of the elite, the children of the professionals that make the town run. In another life, Judge could very well have been a silver-spooned, latter day Patrick J. Buchanan. A local Catholic kid who made good, more or less.

Instead, his family story has been aired out before in the pages of the city’s keynote lifestyle magazine, the Washingtonian. When Judge wrote about the alleged alcoholism of his father, the late National Geographic writer and editor, his brother felt compelled to rebut him, formally, in the same pages.

‘My father, Joseph Judge, is not alive to respond to my brother’s recent literary activity,’ his brother Michael Judge wrote more than twenty years ago, in 1997. ‘If asked whether he was wounded by the book’s portrait of him, my father would have shrugged with his palms spread wide like Chico Marx. “Mark called it as he saw it,” he would have said, laughing with that laugh peculiar to him, beginning at the first word of the sentence and carrying through, increasing in volume, until the laughter and the words became one. “I never knew I was that much of a son of a bitch.” Then, truth be told, he would have poured himself a drink. Truth be told, I’d have joined him.’

‘They could dump Kavanaugh and have another equally conservative nominee in about 10 seconds. So why won’t they?’ opined liberal journalist Michael Tracey on Wednesday. ‘Most plausible explanation: particular GOP elite affinity for Kavanaugh, and the sense that ‘sacrificing’ him would be a rebuke of their larger professional network.’

It’s not, of course, all noir.

Former colleagues of Judge that Cockburn spoke to say he was fine to work with, if eccentric. ‘Fussy, in both good and bad ways,’ a former editor told Cockburn on Wednesday. And importantly, the editor added: ‘Honest.’

Judge is Brett Kavanaugh’s doppelgänger.

For every memo in the Bush administration jotted off while Kavanaugh was White House staff secretary, or decision authored at the D.C. Circuit, the all-but-official second-highest court in the land, Judge answers his old school mate with a City Paper column or rock music review in Claremont Review of Books, a conservative staple. Judge’s writing reveals a man decidedly of the right, having like much of the American over-fifty set renounced a past life on the left. His writing reveals he’s accepted Catholicism, ‘despite 20 years of Catholic schooling. ’ The only quote he’s given — aside from a lawyer’s letter to the Senate — since the Ford allegations surfaced was to The Weekly Standard, still the standard-bearer of neoconservatism.

‘My friends and I were snobs whose only religious heroes were the saints of the left: Beat poets of the Fifties, street fighters of the Sixties, and punk rockers of the Seventies, sticking it to The Man by getting funny haircuts, staying out late drinking, and annoying neighbours with loud music,’ Judge wrote in 2001 in Claremont. ‘It was lifestyle politics masquerading as something more, because there were so few taboos left to break. The attitudes and politics of prior rebel movements had conquered American culture.’

Judge felt compelled to add: ‘Premarital sex was rampant, as was divorce. At the Washington, D.C., record store I worked in, I was the odd man out because I’m not gay.’

As of this writing, both Judge and their accuser (Judge is accused of at one point blocking Christine Blasey Ford, the alleged victim, from leaving the room) look poised to not testify. That’s good news for Kavanaugh. If Ford doesn’t testify in open hearing, Kavanaugh will secure narrow confirmation, predicted New Yorker legal reporter Jeffrey Toobin Wednesday.

And Kavanaugh is in no hurry to have to have Judge take the podium. They are old drinking buddies: Judge is a nightmare of a character witness for these purposes.

Judge claims that Kavanaugh is not the sort of fellow Ms Ford alleges, and that was is alleged to have transpired could never have occurred. But he’s also the writer of a book confessing his alcoholism and correspondingly-bleached memory of much of the 1980s and 90s.

Confessions of a Gen-X Drunk starts at a cool $95 on Amazon, and Cockburn hasn’t fully worked out expensing that with Spectator USA.

But an examination of his CV readily available online reveals a character in full.

A YouTube page of his where he posted odd pictures of attractive women appears to have been redacted in wake of the Kavanaugh furore. ‘He also had dozens of weird videos on his YouTube channel of young women standing against lamppost and on bridge and whatnot, clearly a pretext for him to get in touch with women,’ a former colleague recalls.

A former editor at the Daily Caller recalls: ‘You know the story about him, right? How he put up a Craigslist ad for hot babes at CPAC?…That’s why we canned him as a contributor. He claimed he needed the hot babes to film a video for the Daily Caller.’


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