To call the Kavanaugh hearings ridiculous, stupid and a circus, just doesn’t do this embarrassing event justice. What we can say though, is that this is the first true Gen X culture war moment in national politics, relitigating not the Boomers’ Days of Rage or Summer of Love but John Hughes movie tropes, drinking ages, yearbook quotes & Trapper Keeper day planners. As Dr. Ford testified on Thursday, it struck me that we were really witnessing a very expensive PR campaign. I felt bad for Dr. Ford, and she is a very credible witness (I believe she believes she is telling the truth, but memory and time are never as reliable as even Dr. Ford feels they are), but I realize she was being used as a pawn. There are just too many holes in the story to believe Judge Kavanaugh had anything to do with what happened to her. The political hit against Kavanaugh was not about allowing Dr. Ford to fulfill her “civic duty”, or even worries about Kavanaugh’s character, but about flipping one of two Senators, thus scuttling a Trump nominee. They were going through the guy’s high school yearbook, talking about beer and flatulence–at a hearing to appoint a man to the highest court in the land.
Let’s review some of the stupid stuff that has happened.
Democratic senators demanded that the Judiciary Committee hearing be postponed so they could study more material about a nominee they had already vowed to oppose.
One senator’s “I am Spartacus” moment about releasing confidential documents fizzled because the committee had already agreed to release them.
Yelling and screaming protesters were hauled away during the confirmation hearing, but many had no idea what they were actually protesting.
Senators said that the previous judicial record of Democratic nominees was more important than the hearing itself, but ignored Kavanaugh’s even larger previous judicial record.
Senators accused Kavanaugh of believing that President Donald Trump cannot be investigated or prosecuted. He had actually only suggested that Congress consider legislation to delay the investigation or prosecution of a president until he is out of office. (And he said this back in 2008).
Senators who said that the American Bar Association’s rating is the “gold standard” for evaluating judicial nominees ignored its unanimous “well qualified” rating for Kavanaugh.
Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said that Kavanaugh does not deserve the presumption of innocence because of the way he “approaches his cases” and his alleged views on “women’s reproductive choice.”
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., even earned the rare “4 Pinocchios” from the Washington Post FactChecker for claiming that Kavanaugh’s description of a client’s views were actually his own.
The Senate Judiciary Committee interviewed two men this week who say that they, not Brett Kavanaugh, were involved in the sexual assault that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford alleged happened in the summer of 1982.
And then, as if on cue, uncorroborated accusations of sexual misconduct from nearly four decades ago surfaced—not when they were made, but when Kavanaugh’s opponents might use them to maximum political advantage. (Like that never happened before).