The Hearing: My Response

There are a vanishingly small number of reasons why I might miss my daily exercise: a travel day, where I have no access to a gym. An illness severe enough to keep me sidelined. An unexpected crisis, like my smoke alarm system going loudly kerflooey and needing to be silenced and rebooted, including various trips to get the components required.

On Thursday I was riveted to the hearings, which began here on the west coast at 7am. I had one mid-day appointment, which I kept and during which I recorded that part of the hearing that I was missing. Otherwise, I watched from 7am through Anderson Cooper on CNN at 5pm and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC at 6pm.  That’s almost twelve hours of hearing and commentary, much of it wrenching. I never watch that much TV.

I found Dr. Blasey Ford extremely persuasive, and am convinced Brett Kavanaugh is lying. I think Kavanaugh’s lie is that of a deeply entitled man who has a certain image of himself as the darling of the Federalist Society, a sureness that he is not to be challenged, and a burning ambition to be on the Supreme Court. The choir boy Brett Kavanaugh could not have done this, therefore Judge Kavanaugh did not. To that end he can swear his innocence with no guilty conscience or moral conflict at all.

He reminded me of Trump and the credible accusations of groping women. In Trump’s mind, that is what powerful men do, what their wealth and privilege entitle them to do. When he says “I did nothing wrong”, he means it. In his mind, taking sexual advantage of women is a benefit of being Trump.

After the gut wrenching morning, I was taken aback by Kavanaugh’s blistering attack. When Lindsey Graham took over from the prosecutor Rachel Mitchell and delivered his scorched earth diatribe against Democrats, all bets were off. The rest of the Republicans piled on too. It was an ugly scene, hard to watch our American governance so irretrievably broken. One commentator said it was an image of America in decline, and I have to agree.

Republican men have learned one thing since the Anita Hill hearings: they did not attack Dr. Blasey Ford directly. Instead they attacked Senator Diane Feinstein. They left their hired female prosecutor sitting silent and useless for the duration of the afternoon. And Kavanaugh, in a truly bizarre moment, went after Senator Amy Klobuchar, demanding to know about her drinking habits.

The Republicans on the committee, with the goading of Trump, are prepared to go full steam ahead and ram this nomination through.

Jeffrey Toobin, a former federal prosecutor and legal analyst for CNN, put is succinctly. “In the Senate of the United States, women lose.”

I am hoping Republicans pay a huge price for this in the November elections, and in 2020. Right now, the day feels like a disaster. I can’t imagine another woman coming forward after Dr. Blasey Ford was so flippantly disregarded and her integrity attacked, albeit by proxy.

I can’t imagine Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Joe Manchin or Jeff Flake having one iota of credibility if they go along with this. Shame, shame, shame.

6 thoughts on “The Hearing: My Response

  1. Like you, I watched the whole thing and agree with everything you have said. Heard someone say last night that the Republicans are playing the long game. This hurried vote and their disdain for women may cost them the House or even the Senate in November. But that will be a small price to pay. Someday they will win back Congress – it eventually happens. But in the meantime they will have a conservative Supreme Court for the next 35 plus years!

  2. for Katie: We don’t, though. I wish Senator Amy Klobuchar, whom I like very much, had responded more forcefully to Kavanaugh’s disrespect at her questioning him. Instead we are reasonable, and civil, and understanding. Lindsey Graham or Kavanaugh get to storm and vent and whine. Look what happens when a woman does that — or even if she doesn’t.

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