Well America, that was a tough, emotional day.
I did not watch the hearing, but caught up with it through the day by reading the Guardian's minute by minute coverage. I find if you can't watch something, be it the Chelsea v. Liverpool match or a politically motivated witch hunt, I find its minute by minute coverage second to none. And yes, I read all the coverage, both of Blasey's testimony and Kavanaugh's.
|"BEER! NOW!" - the Hon. Brett Kavanaugh|
That leaves us in murky territory. If Kavanaugh had been accused of pulling the Great Clockmand Diamond Heist, but never was found guilty in a court of law, he’d still be innocent and would be eligible for the Court, at least in my eyes. You might even respect him a bit for having the audacity to pull something like that off. But with assault it’s different, because the victims rarely get their day in court, rarely come forward for a number of reasons, and even if they do are often not believed. While Kavanaugh may have forcefully denounced Blasey Ford’s accusations as a political charade, much to the delight of Trump who seems to equate anger and fight with credibility, I find it difficult to trust him. Senator Mike Lee extended his "most profound sympathies" to Kavanaugh, but I find mine are much more solidly with the accuser unless her claims can be credibly disproved.
I would think the way forward would be to pause the nomination and investigate the claims against him. I, for one, would certainly like to be assured that we are not about to send someone with a history of assault to the Supreme Court where he will make rulings for decades to come. Further, if this is all a sham, if it's all an elaborate Left Wing Conspiracy to keep Kavanaugh off the court, I would kind of like to know, because that would be a horrible thing indeed. An FBI investigation is the only way to get to the bottom of any of that, to get as close to the truth as we can.
And yes, of course there is a political aspect to this. I would not be surprised if the Democracts did leak the letter at the last minute to try and stall the process; they are justly angry over what happened with the Merrit Garland nomination and want to stick it to the Republicans as they try to consolidate power in the Courts. I can't blame them for that. But I don't think that automatically makes Ford's claims null and void. Far from it. It means that they must be handled with greater urgency, nothing more.
And they must be handled with respect. Try as they might, the angry Republican men of the Judiciary Committee have not done that. When Kavanaugh came out swinging, they smelled blood, got whipped into a frenzy, and had no problem extending their support to Kavanaugh, denouncing the whole process, and effectively dismissing the accusations. Yet they cowardly refused to say anything, really, to Dr. Ford during her testimony. I understand the political calculation in all of that, that it would look bad for these men to be questioning Ford on such sensitive matters. But what you saw was cowardice writ large, plain and simple. In their efforts to be respectful, they ended up dehumanizing her by treating her differently and acting through an intermediary.
Likely, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to confirm him on party lines, and then it goes to the full Senate. Based on today's performance, even if he IS actually innocent, I do not want this angry, condescending, blowhard to get onto the Court. I didn't want him anyway, of course, as his politics and mine are, shall we say, "not aligned". But I was willing to shrug it off, say "those are the breaks", and try to get on with my life as best I can.
All I can do is open a whiskey (no beer for me tonight, thank you), drink to the good health of Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, and wonder what in the world we have become.
Some of the Republicans said this was worse than the Anita Hill hearings, and they are right; it shows how little things have changed and how much further we, as a nation, have left to get when it comes to understanding rape, assault, and harassment.