For a brief moment last Thursday, as Brett Kavanaugh began his opening remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I mistakenly thought he sounded contrite, and the sound that I mistook for contrition led me to believe for just a split second that he might actually take responsibility for his actions, apologize to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and withdraw his own nomination.
I think we all can agree it truly is adorable that, nearly two years into Donald Trump’s presidency and long after having had the concomitant realization that everyone with whom Trump surrounds himself is profoundly broken and unfailingly awful, I still was somehow capable of such unrealistic optimism.
Far from being contrite, Kavanaugh, in the immediate wake of Dr. Ford’s disturbing, heartfelt and extremely believable testimony — testimony that Kavanaugh, in an admission demonstrative of his own hubris, said he didn’t even bother to watch — summarily dismissed his accuser and then launched into a scathing, hyper-partisan, conspiracy-theory-fueled attack against those who had the audacity to stand between him and a seat of power that a life defined by white-male privilege has convinced him should now be his without further question or delay, regardless of how serious and credible a charge has been leveled against him.
“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace,” he huffed, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he had, just moments earlier, been identified with 100% certainty by a sexual-assault survivor who claimed he had once tried to rape her. “The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy.”
No, Brett Kavanaugh did not come to his hearing with thoughts of contrition — and if he is, in fact, innocent of that which he has been accused, then his lack of contrition is understandable. What is neither understandable nor acceptable, however, is a Supreme Court nominee throwing a childish temper tantrum at a time and in a place that most sane people would agree called for a person in his position to demonstrate the utmost in calm, level-headed restraint.
Instead, Kavanaugh behaved not like a man eager to clear his name (as best evidenced by his repeated refusals to agree with calls for an FBI investigation that, were he innocent, would do just that), but, rather, like an obnoxious, spoiled, petulant child who has grown far too accustomed to getting his own way. It was a spectacle wholly unbecoming of the position for which he is vying, and should have been disqualifying in and of itself.
“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups,” an unhinged Kavanaugh whined while revealing a toxic combination of poor temperament and partisan ideology that would render him incapable of serving as an impartial arbiter on our nation’s highest court.
You know where he’d fit right in, though? On the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose homogeneous majority is itself a testament to the white-male privilege that defines the Republican party, and whose members last week demonstrated the same self-important, overly dramatic, patriarchal outrage that Kavanaugh displayed throughout his testimony.
Of course, Senators Grassley, Hatch, Graham and their Republican cohorts long ago exposed themselves as disingenuous, self-interested, hyper-partisan frauds … but what was new last Thursday was the insight Kavanaugh gave us as to the depth and breadth of his own sense of entitlement, poor temperament, and lack of self control.
At no time were all three of the aforementioned damning and disqualifying character traits more clearly demonstrated than during Kavanaugh’s exchange with Senator Amy Klobuchar, which I can only hope will prove to be the most disgusting display of disrespect by a nominee speaking to a United States Senator that I will ever witness in my lifetime.
KLOBUCHAR: So you’re saying there’s never been a case where you drank so much that you didn’t remember what happened the night before, or part of what happened.
KAVANAUGH: It’s — you’re asking about, you know, blackout. I don’t know. Have you?
KLOBUCHAR: Could you answer the question, Judge? I just — so you — that’s not happened. Is that your answer?
KAVANAUGH: Yeah … and I’m curious if you have.
KLOBUCHAR: I have no drinking problem, Judge.
KAVANAUGH: Yeah, nor do I.
I have watched this exchange numerous times in the days that have passed since it occurred, and my disgust for Brett Kavanaugh has only deepened which each subsequent viewing. Based on his behavior in that moment alone, I would not hire him to seat customers during the midnight shift at a rundown Denny’s, let alone make him the deciding vote on the Supreme Court.
The disrespect with which Kavanaugh treated Senator Klobuchar ranks a distant second, of course, to the disrespect he showed for the brave woman above — both by the dismissive manner in which he responded to her testimony, and, if you believe her account of the incident (and I do), by attempting to rape her when she was just 15 years old. And that is the part of all of this that bothers me most: If she’s telling the truth (and I believe she is), then not only is Brett Kavanaugh an unfit, hotheaded, grossly biased jurist undeserving of a SCOTUS seat, but he also is an attempted rapist and a despicable liar who is victimizing Dr. Ford once again, in front of the entire world, for his own personal benefit.
In either case, the bottom line remains the same: By any measure, Brett Kavanaugh — a man, it is worth noting, was nominated by a fellow credibly accused sexual predator who stands to personally benefit from his confirmation — is not fit to be seated on the Supreme Court … regardless of just how entitled to that position he and his fellow white-male Republicans insist that he is.