On September 26th my mother told me that the following day her friend Sally would be staying home to watch the Kavanaugh hearing. I’d heard that Brett Kavanaugh had sexual assault charges brought against him and that his supreme court nomination was being called in to question but I didn’t know the hearing was the following day. Since Sally was staying home to watch it, I figured it must be a big deal and I decided I would watch it myself.
Being jobless and home alone all day is a real sore spot for me and in general I hate it but on September 27th, 2018, I was grateful to not have a job and to be free to watch the Kavanaugh trial in its entirety. Ultimately I would have wished for the Kavanaugh hearing to not be happening in the first place because I wish that no women were sexually assaulted and I wish that Kavanaugh was never nominated and I wish that the man who nominated him had never been elected president but since it was happening and it was all the rage and all the buzz across the nation, I was glad to have the privilege of being glued to my television set.
I actually fell asleep waiting for the hearing to begin and as I drifted in that no man’s land between sleep and wakefulness, I heard the horrifying details of Dr. Ford’s account of being sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh. I was fully awake as Ford was questioned and “cross examined” for hours regarding her experience.
Going in to the hearing I was pretty sure Dr. Ford was telling the truth. By the time Dr. Ford finished giving her testimony I was 100% positive she was telling the truth, just like she was 100% certain Kavanaugh was the one who assaulted her. When asked how she was so certain by someone in the courtroom she replied “The same way I’m certain you’re the one standing in front of me now.” I thought that was a solid answer but I also liked it when she responded to questions about her memory with her expert knowledge of neuroscience and how human memory works.
It was clear that she did not want to be there but she felt compelled to be there out of a sense of duty to our country and to all the women who have been sexually assaulted. It was clear that being there took tremendous courage on her part. She had no reason to lie. It would have been much easier for her to stay quiet but she chose to speak out. As a result other women who have been sexually assaulted have spoken out and more will continue to do so because as one of the judges said, courage is contagious.
Everyone acknowledged that Dr. Ford’s testimony was convincing, heartbreaking and harrowing. Everyone acknowledged that it would present a challenge to Kavanaugh. And then Kavanaugh walked in to the room with all guns blazing.
Like Dr. Ford he cried throughout his testimony but unlike Dr. Ford, he also yelled and got belligerent. He swore he never assaulted anyone. He went on about how unfair and outrageous it was that he was being accused of such a thing when he’d always been such an upstanding citizen.
Some people thought he seemed credible and that the intensity of his emotions suggested he had been wrongfully accused while others suggested he was putting on an act and crying crocodile tears. I personally do not doubt that his emotions were genuine. I think he was every bit as angry and upset as he appeared to me. However, I don’t think it was the anger of a man who was wrongfully accused. I think it was the anger of a man who was rightfully accused. It was the anger of a man who was suddenly being held accountable for actions he had gotten away with all his life. It was the anger of a man who was used to praise and adulation having harsh words spoken against him. It was the anger of a man having a position he felt he was entitled to jeopardized.
He opened with some conspiracy theories about how the democrats were out to get him and shared some anecdote about how at dinner the other night his little daughter said the family should pray for Dr. Ford. I guess the anecdote was supposed to be heartwarming but I found it nauseating because the subtext seemed to be “My daughter is so pure of heart that she was able to find compassion for this evil woman who wronged our family.”
Kavanaugh acknowledged that someone may have assaulted Dr. Ford but was adamant that it wasn’t him. If someone assaulted Ford and several years ago Ford claimed that someone was Kavanaugh and this whole thing is a Democrat conspiracy against him, how exactly does Ford fit in to that conspiracy? I guess in 2012 the Democrats anticipated that six years later Kavanaugh would be nominated for Supreme Court justice and they realized they had to somehow stop him from getting the position so they came up with a devious plan. They searched far and wide for a woman who had been sexually assaulted by an unknown man until they found Dr. Ford and hypnotized her in to believing it was Kavanaugh that did it.
I don’t really know what the supposed explanation is because maddeningly, Kavanaugh was never asked to give one. This was in contrast to Ford who was asked to explain everything. She freely admitted when she didn’t remember some things and later that scumbag Trump mocked her for it.
Kavanaugh kept trying to claim he was exonerated by the other people at the party saying they don’t remember the event but it doesn’t work like that. What are the chances you would remember a small party you went to 36 years ago if nothing significant happened to you there?
Even putting aside the issue of sexual assault, Kavanaugh clearly lied in court multiple times. For example, boofing is not farting like he claimed and Devil’s Triangle is not a drinking game like he claimed. In other words, he committed perjury but sadly no one seems to care. It’s just another example of him being immune from consequences for his actions.
As I listened to Kavanaugh repeatedly evade the questions he was asked, I was reminded of something my friend Delilah says. When she asks someone a question and they reply in a way that doesn’t answer the question, she replies to them “That’s the answer to the question …… I asked you…….”
Brett Kavanaugh, “I went to church every Sunday, I was captain of the basketball team, I graduated at the top of my class, I got in to Yale, I volunteered with the developmentally disabled, I’m a respected lawyer” is the answer to the question “What life accomplishments are you most proud of?” You were asked if you would consent to an FBI investigation.
Of course that begged the question of why he wasn’t advocating for an FBI investigation. Dr. Ford said an FBI investigation would be helpful and you’d think Kavanaugh would be eager to have his name cleared by the FBI since he’s so innocent. Also, I hate to burst anyone’s bubble but going to church, going to Yale, getting good grades-none of that precludes being a rapist or sexual assaulter, just like being an alcoholic does not preclude achieving any of those things. I don’t know if Kavanaugh is an alcoholic but does anyone actually believe that he only drank in moderation and never blacked out from drinking? I’ve got a bridge to sell you…
I realize this is kind of like criticizing the paint job on the Titanic but was anyone else horrified that all those creepy, rapey, sexual comments were published in the school yearbook? When I heard about them I assumed one of the dirtbag students had written them in pen when he signed Kavanaugh’s yearbook but no, they were there in print with the school’s approval
Anyway, the hearing was a circus and a shit show. The Republicans became outraged on Kavanaugh’s behalf and made him out to be the victim. Men turning themselves in to the victims in this me too era is really disgusting and I have to agree with the commentator who said this hearing was a big “you know what” to women but since I don’t have to abide by FCC guidelines, I’ll say it was a big fuck you to women.
As I said on Facebook, with all the men whining about how terrified they are by the me too movement, a business that specializes in manufacturing microscopic violins could make a real killing right now.
Most of the commentators seemed to agree that nothing was really accomplished by the hearing because people were just going to see what they wanted to see. It was described as a political Rorschach. Sometimes Rorschach tests are used to diagnose mental illness and I say that if you watched that hearing and your sympathy is with Brett Kavanaugh and not Dr. Ford, there’s something wrong with you.
Most of the commentators also believed that Brett Kavanaugh would be appointed to the Supreme Court. My heart sunk when I heard that because I’m afraid they’re right. I was happy when after being pressured by sexual assault survivors in the elevator, Jeff Flake delayed the vote and ordered an FBI investigation in to Kavanaugh but I’m afraid that was just a stopgap measure meant to appease. Now the FBI investigation is complete and signs are pointing to Kavanaugh getting confirmed. I’ll probably have more to say when/if that happens but for now I’m going to hope against hope that the senate does the right thing and votes against Kavanaugh. This is not a man who deserves to be a Supreme Court justice.