Just when you thought the chaos surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh couldn’t get any weirder, UB40 gets added to the mix.
The 1980s soft reggae act has been dragged back into the news after yet another story of Kavanaugh behaving badly in his youth has surfaced. This one involves a 1985 bar fight in New Haven, Connecticut, while the judge was attending Yale. It was first mentioned by Kavanaugh’s former classmate Chad Ludington in a statement over the weekend to the New York Times.
The paper then reported the following on the fight after obtaining a copy of the police report:
[Ludington] said that the altercation happened after a UB40 concert on Sept. 25, when he and a group of people went to Demery’s and were drinking pints. At one point, they were sitting near a man who, they thought, resembled Ali Campbell, the lead singer of UB40.
“We’re trying to figure out if it’s him,” he said.
When the man noticed Mr. Ludington, Mr. Kavanaugh and the others looking at him, he objected and told them to stop it, adding an expletive, Mr. Ludington said.
Mr. Kavanaugh cursed, he said, and then “threw his beer at the guy.”
Of course, the main point here is that another figure from Kavanaugh’s past has come forward with evidence of the sort of boorish behavior Kavanaugh has been accused of but steadfastly denied while under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
But the UB40 reference has also provided Twitter with plenty of fodder for memes.
Next he’ll claim a devil’s triangle is when three guys get caught listening to UB40.
— Kashana (@kashanacauley) October 2, 2018
Kavanaugh’s statement tomorrow “UB40 was what we called high fiving. I have never heard of a band by that name”
— maura quint (@behindyourback) October 2, 2018
And, of course, there were references to the band’s biggest hit which is about, yes, abusing alcohol.
Leave it to a political fight under Trump to weaponize one of the most benign soft rock hits in history.
Odds are still good that Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.
But odds have SKYROCKETED that the song “Red, Red Wine” will be played every time he ventures into public.
— Nell Scovell (@NellSco) October 2, 2018
True story (and there might not be another chance to share this): First concert I ever went to was UB40. “Red Red Wine” was the third song they played & the crowd went nuts. After that we all seemed genuinely confused about what we were doing there. I punched no one that evening.
— Josh Radnor (@JoshRadnor) October 2, 2018
i thought kavanaugh loved beer not…red, red wine
— Natalie Weiner (@natalieweiner) October 2, 2018
And, the coup de grâce.
Okay, fine, this is now part of our discourse but so help me, if “Never Gonna Give You Up” is dragged into this fight next.
UPDATE: Oct. 2, 2018, 1:30 p.m. EDT Vocalist Ali Campbell, who left the band in 2008, said in an op-ed for The Guardian that he wasn’t present at the bar at which the fight — and mistaken identity — occurred. Also, a spokesperson for founding UB40 guitarist Robin Campbell told Billboard, “Obviously, there must have been an assault because the police were called and a report was filed, but this is a case of mistaken identity and has nothing to do with UB40.”