September 28, 2018

Historic Hearing

Yesterday, Brett Kavanaugh proved beyond doubt that he is unqualified to be a judge, much less a Supreme Court justice. After showing himself to be a mean and vindictive witness, it is easy to imagine him as a mean drunk, as he has been characterized by a number of women.

After being coached by Trump’s minions at the White House, Kavanaugh changed his demeanor from innocent choir boy to cornered and enraged tiger. He exhibited a huge chip on his shoulder and wove a conspiracy theory about Democrats out to get him to even the score for Trump’s electoral victory, oppose his political views, and repay him for his role in the Ken Starr investigation. He complained about the millions spent to oppose his candidacy, ignoring the millions spent in its favor. He inveighed against damage to his reputation and family but showed no sympathy for the trauma and indignity endured by Dr. Blasey.

Kavanaugh evaded questions and talked incessantly in order to use up the little time each senator was allotted for questioning. He had the nerve to ask one senator a question, as if she were on trial. Most importantly, when repeatedly asked if he would request an FBI investigation of the charges against him, he consistently evaded the question, saying that such an investigation was up to the committee and, in any case, would not draw conclusions. (This last assertion is beside the point, of course. The FBI could solicit sworn testimony that would likely cast doubt on Kavanaugh’s indignant show of innocence.)

Kavanaugh’s questioning followed that of  Christine Blasey Ford. Dr. Blasey’s performance was nothing short of totally believable. Even an outside prosecutor could find no contradictions or suspicious details in her story. Though admittedly nervous, she maintained her composure and was forthright about what she could and could not remember. She declared herself 100% certain of the identity of her attacker and was even helpful in pointing out how some missing details of her story could be filled in. She, too, asked for additional FBI investigation.

It was expected that the hearing would be a he-said-she-said affair requiring a difficult choice of whom to believe. It was not! Any reasonable, objective person—apparently no GOP senator on the committee is in this class—would conclude that Blasey told the truth and that Kavanaugh lied and evaded. If Christine Blasey Ford was not telling the truth, she should be scooped up by Hollywood, as her performance was of Oscar caliber. If she was not telling the truth, she is the greatest actress of this age, perhaps of any age.

Kavanaugh, on the other hand, has shown himself to have a mean streak in his personality and a disregard for truth and the search for it. He is a privileged white male angry that anyone should attempt to limit his privilege. He lacks a judicial temperament. Not only should he not be a Supreme Court justice, but he also should be removed from his current position as a federal appellate judge.

NOTE: I am writing this about an hour before the Senate Judiciary Committee is almost certainly going to forward Kavanaugh’s nomination with a positive recommendation to the full Senate. I hope his nomination will be stopped in that body.

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