In one word: FRUSTRATED.
And two other words: NOT SURPRISED.
I know only so much about this complicated issue, but I’ve followed it as closely as I could.
At its core, the story is not that complex.
An old white president nominated a middle-aged white man for the Supreme Court. His name is Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh’s judicial record is not that great. He is super conservative and all signs point to his being bit of a manipulative psycho when it comes to anything involving the right to safe abortions. The press has reported that he lied numerous times during his background check.
As soon as news of his nomination broke, a woman wrote a letter to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee that the nominee is, well, a complete sleazeball. The kind of sleazeball that drinks too much and forces himself on women.
The woman is a professor. She was terrified to come forward and make herself known because she knew she’d be called a slut and her name will be raked through the muck for the next twenty years. She’s old enough to remember what happened to Anita Hill… and she’s far from stupid.
But she broke her silence and came forward, because she felt the truth needed to be heard. And instead of giving her due process, the other old white guys gave her the choice to put up or shut up — and do it quickly. (They have more important things to do.)
Before she even got to testify, she was threatened and she and her family had to relocate for their safety.
On Thursday, she testified about the worst night of her life… something she had only told her husband and therapist… and she had to do it in front of men she doesn’t know. And although she spoke bravely, there was undeniable fear and shame in her voice.
Deep down, she is ashamed she allowed the events of that night to happen. She tells herself, I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation. I should’ve known better. As women, we know our own shame is unjustified and misdirected, but it doesn’t matter... we feel it anyway.
So, long story short, Kavanaugh denied it. He said he did nothing of the sort. He mentioned keeping his own calendar from the time he was in 9th grade. He talked about going to church and having intense football practices. He talked about being sure that he and Dr. Ford had different social circles. Oh — and in his statement — he mentioned the 2016 election being the reason “left wing” groups were targeting him.
It’s one person’s word against another.
On one hand, you have a victim who was hurt and traumatized; a person who admitted years ago in a therapist’s session and said Kavanaugh’s name. A person who came forward at great personal risk. A person who had no agenda other than to tell what happened.
On the other hand, you have a person who has been accused of drinking until he blacked out. How can we be sure his own memory of the event was accurate? He was — after all — drunk. Do you remember everything you do when you’re drunk? I know I don’t.
Why, oh why did you have to go and retire, Justice Kennedy? You couldn’t have waited one more year?
So where do we stand right now? Well, one Republican senator had the guts to make a stand… sort of. The FBI has a week (yes, just a week) to investigate the situation.
In the meantime, we all have to deal with what we witnessed after Kavanaugh made his statement: his super weird, explosive temper when he was questioned.
But in fact, Kavanaugh reacted the way we all expect an entitled Ivy-league douchebag to react: like he deserved the Supreme Court gig. He became petulant and arrogant. He felt he earned his place among the other Supreme Court justices… and how dare Dr. Ford — or any of us for that matter — stand in his way?
I was flabbergasted at his behavior. Judges are supposed to be cool, calm, and collected. Not explosive.
It looked more and more like a criminal trial than a judicial hearing.
Look — the key to this whole process — for both Democrats and Republicans — is time. For Republicans, Kavanaugh represents their chance to even the score against the liberals and get more people who look and feel the way they do into lifetime positions. For Democrats, it’s another gut-wrenching loss that they’ll have to deal with as long as they’re in politics.
And the Democrats are stalling, for one very good reason: due process.
I’m not saying all that I want to in this post because God knows I don’t need any death threats myself… but here’s the question I pose to you:
Is Kavanaugh really the best candidate for a lifetime job that requires wisdom, deliberation, collegiality, and good judgment? Is he?
Do you look at him and feel comfortable? Because I don’t.
Do you hear Professor Ford’s testimony and think she’s a liar? I don’t.
Do you think that we could damn well do better than this guy? I do.
What bothers me more than anything is that people who support him cannot give any good reasons why. He’s Trump’s man — and that’s all they care about.
So let me break it down for you:
A woman was hurt by a man who eventually got interviewed for a really big job in government.
That big government job was created to ensure that everyone’s constitutional rights stay in place. Like the right to due process. And the right to control what happens with your own [female] body. And the right to justice when someone tries to rape you.
Someone who is accused of that level of poor judgment simply cannot be trusted to be a judge and create new laws that allow us to live freely.
Because he is one of the people we need to fear.
And we need to have higher standards.
And that is all.