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America’s Overcompensated and Underachieving Elites, The Teenage Years


Good story about Bart O’Kavanaugh’s social milieu:

But Kavanaugh and many of his friends were known to take their privilege as license to act with obnoxious abandon. This type of group wasn’t unique in the history of Georgetown Prep. Every senior class had a version—a band of bros, usually football players, who staked their claim as kings of the school. Indeed, anyone who’s gone to any high school in America, or watched a John Hughes film, inherently gets this world order. On an individual level, some from Kavanaugh’s group weren’t so bad. Their schoolmates say Bernie and P.J. were pretty decent. Squi was a sloppy drunk, according to a friend, but basically O.K.

But an unholy trinity was at the top. J. C. del Real, whose father was a lawyer in the Reagan administration, was the classic bully. Consider the afternoon, in the fall of 1982, when he walked through the student lounge with his crew, picked up a small freshman named Tim, and stuffed him in a garbage can, while J.C.’s friends erupted in laughter. Bill Barbot, Tim’s self-described pipsqueak buddy, pulled him out. He can still recall Tim’s light-colored khakis, which now had pizza sauce all over them. “I was like, Man, this sucks,” Barbot recalls thinking, as it dawned on him what he was in for that year.

Kavanaugh, according to some former classmates, was not the central showman, but rather an eager sidekick. An alum who knew Kavanaugh well recalls, “He had the attitude of ‘I’m the man, I’m a badass, and everybody else is kind of a loser. I do what I want. I get what I want.’ He was more of a dick, for lack of a better word. I wish I had a more descriptive word. He was just a dick.” Another alum, from ’84, dismisses Kavanaugh as a hopeless wannabe: “He was kind of lame.” According to Paul Rendon, class of ’83, who provided a declaration to Congress, “Kavanaugh never did anything to stop this physical and verbal abuse, but stood by and laughed at the victims. . . . Brett Kavanaugh would always laugh the loudest when it was in response to Mark Judge’s jokes and antics.”

Judge took the cake. He was the loudest, edgiest, baddest ass. He was also the heartthrob. In Breakfast Club terms, you might say he had the dangerous allure of Judd Nelson’s Bender combined with the popularity of Emilio Estevez’s Andrew Clark. His body couldn’t contain his energy. He would leap onto people’s backs to start games of chicken. He could place his hands on a banister and jettison his body over an entire stairwell. Anyone wanting deep insight into his character can find it in his memoir Wasted, a chronicle of his early alcoholism and sputtering moral compass. He writes about his irritation at having to journal his service experiences. He recounts taking part in ritual toilet-papering of girls’ houses wearing religious robes. (One classmate says this likely gave rise to the term “Ridge Klux Klan,” which appears on the yearbook pages of Urgo, Finizio, and Kane.) He tells of the underground newspaper The Unknown Hoya, which he and others started with the intention “to insult people and to report on . . . who had what party, who had embarrassed themselves, who had the worst haircuts on campus, who was getting laid, and most important, how much we were drinking.” The Hoya, he says, “was the official journal of the 100-keg quest and everything that happened on the way.” (Judge, Kavanaugh, and del Real all declined to comment for this story.)

The fact that a fifth-tier winger pundit and world-class asshole like Judge would be a significant part of a scandalous Supreme Court appointment is yet another sign that the showrunners have gotten stale.

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