by Jeffery Rendall
If the United States republic ultimately burns to ashes people will likely remember yesterday, September 27, 2018, as the beginning of the end. Or, in the alternative, if the political system somehow reforms itself citizens may look back fondly on that date as the reemergence of truth and due process.
The country’s end of it all — or a possible new birth — were at stake as Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a “hearing” into Ford’s allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her sometime in the summer of 1982. I use the term “hearing” loosely because what transpired was more like a cage match (in two parts) than a high-level exchange between professional adults.
These people represent (some of) our states? Lord help us.
The behavior of the minority Democrats during the first three hours (when Blasey Ford testified) was so disgraceful and compromised as to call into question the legitimacy of the entire government. Instead of probing Ford with inquiries regarding the enormous holes in her recollections the ten Democrat senators used the majority of their time to lavishly bathe Ford in tributes, complimenting the witness on her “bravery” and heroic choice to elaborate on the unsubstantiated charges that have ripped apart a judge with a heretofore impeccable reputation and practically brought the nation’s political business to a standstill.
My initial impression was ‘What a gigantic waste of time. Do we truly have nothing better to do?’
The frenzied atmosphere accompanying the hearing was more akin to a sporting event than a meeting in the capital complex. It was so tense I was a little surprised the powers that be didn’t open the proceedings by asking everyone to stand and having a marching band play the national anthem. Of course, Democrat senators probably would’ve taken a knee to protest patriarchal America. It was pathetic.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley read a brief opening statement laying out the background of the proceedings; then Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein pontificated for a few minutes before turning over the microphone to a visibly edgy Ford who admitted (no doubt at the advice of her handlers flanking her on either side) that she was “scared to death” to be telling her tale before the whole world.
Instead of having each Republican take their five minutes of interview time the GOP majority turned to Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to ask questions. Mitchell’s conservative appearance and tentative approach to interrogating Ford was instantly recognizable as a mistake. Mitchell didn’t delve deeply into Ford’s flawed narrative and seemed to accept at face value that the notorious “party” did take place and all of the people Ford claimed were in attendance were actually there.
In other words, it was almost a complete waste of time. We didn’t find out anything we didn’t know before.
When it was their turn Democrat senators each gushed with praise about how “heroic” it was for Ford to speak on behalf of the alleged millions of sexual assault victims across the country. Most of them mentioned the commonality of women keeping their stories to themselves over the course of decades and didn’t find it the least bit odd that not a single living soul has corroborated Ford’s fantastic account.
On the whole Mitchell was not effective, yet slowly established the fact Ford was less than credible as to the reasons why she wouldn’t appear before the committee sooner. Ford flatly stated she was afraid to fly yet Mitchell got her to concede she’d flown all over the world in the course of her travels. Ford said it was “easier” to get used to the idea of flying when she was going on “vacation.”
That’s a no brainer. Taking an airplane to Washington to be alternatively quizzed and slobbered over about something you can’t remember from 36 years ago can’t be easy. Empathy is not in short supply – Ford deserves a token of credit for even showing up. But that’s where it ends.
All the while Democrats reassured Ford that she “wasn’t on trial” and for her own sake it’s a good thing because any competent antagonistic interrogator would have torn her inconsistencies to shreds on cross-examination. Mitchell didn’t bother asking Ford the leading questions necessary to accomplish that goal – but in Mitchell’s defense it was almost impossible to get at anything meaningful within the span of the five minutes she was allotted.
It really didn’t matter that the senate committee chamber wasn’t a formal courtroom either – Democrats were clearly playing to the court of public opinion where they sought to besmirch Kavanaugh’s reputation for all eternity. It looked like Republicans, through Rachel Mitchell, were trying to make a legal case while Democrat senators used their minutes and seconds to present the political arguments.
I wouldn’t exactly label it a slaughter but it didn’t seem like a fair fight. Republicans sat on their hands and the tone was decidedly against them.
During breaks in the hearing Fox News commentators droned on about how “credible” Ford was as a witness and how she clearly believed her own story. They speculated that President Trump would be “nervous” and “angry” over the Republicans’ strategy of allowing the timid bob-haircut-ed Mitchell to do the cross-questioning for them instead of going at Ford head-on.
Mitchell would fit in well at an Amish meeting house. Intimidating? Heck no. Republicans would’ve been much better off bringing in Joe Pesci from “My Cousin Vinny” to do the questioning.
Having Mitchell do the grilling only reinforced the stereotypes of the parties. Republicans are boring and process oriented, Democrats are emotional, sensitive, drippy and compassionate. Mitchell was apprehensive and stoic. Didn’t they tell her to be a little more confrontational/defensive of Kavanaugh’s side of the story?
Somebody must’ve kept track of the number of times Democrats called for an FBI investigation despite Grassley’s thorough explanation of what such a probe would entail. Everyone knows Kavanaugh’s already been through a half dozen FBI background checks and all that goes with those. Democrats also ignored the gaping chasm of why they didn’t introduce the matter earlier in the confirmation process, arguing the witness herself asked that it be kept confidential.
Democrats also profusely praised Ford for coming forward without anything to gain from it. Are they serious? A book deal contract is likely waiting on Blasey Ford’s kitchen table this very moment. The left will reward her handsomely…even her attorneys say they’re representing her pro bono.
Ford did testify she brought up the incident prior to Kavanaugh’s being named as Trump’s nominee, frequently citing the advice of “beach friends” as to why she proceeded as she did. Yes, that’s correct – the left plotted their sinister aims on the sunny shores of California’s beaches. Somewhat shockingly Ford also indicated she only brought up the assault in the first place (during a therapy session) because she and her husband had a dispute over a home remodel project.
Gee, doc, I was sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh once and that’s why we need a certain type of front door!
As would be expected the most nauseating Democrats were Senators Corey Booker and Kamala Harris, both slobbering over Ford like she was the savior of the politically correct universe. For two lawmakers assigned a vital constitutional duty they obviously displayed a great deal of partiality. Booker and Harris are the poster children for everything that’s wrong with politics today. By the amount of times Anita Hill’s name was tossed out you’d think Kavanaugh had talked about a pubic hair on a coke can and Long Dong Silver while engaging in drinking binges.
During the lunchbreak the TV commentators interviewed several of the senators. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a notorious proven liar, all-but implied a criminal investigation should be opened to cashier Kavanaugh, flog him relentlessly and compel him to carry his own cross to the nearest hill for summary crucifixion. Blumenthal said he couldn’t “in good conscience” have a vote today since the nominee has no credibility. Kavanaugh hadn’t even uttered a word yet (in the hearing) and already Democrats were trying to stall further.
Everyone thought Ford had sealed Kavanaugh’s fate at that point.
When it was Kavanaugh’s turn to speak the mood changed on a dime. From the outset it was evident the judge was shaking with rage at the entire process. It was the defense of truth Republicans and conservatives have waited for since the beginning. Kavanaugh came out swinging, noticeably angry and practically quivering. Talk about “emotional,” Mrs. Kavanaugh looked like she was about to breakdown during his opening statement.
“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace.” … “You have replaced advice and consent with ‘search and destroy.’” … “This has destroyed my family and my good name.”
Kavanaugh didn’t say anything quite as memorable as “high tech lynching” but his opening statement will be remembered in the same light as Clarence Thomas’s nonetheless. The judge was criticized for being far too passive during his “regular” hearings – not so on Thursday. It was so impressive his oration is destined to be etched in marble someday.
Kavanaugh got visibly emotional when he mentioned his parents’ influence on his life and nearly lost it when mentioning his 10-year old daughter praying for Dr. Ford. He had to pause numerous times during his half-hour long talk and expressed gratitude to the many people who’ve stood up for him during his time of trial. Couldn’t it be said Kavanaugh’s the one who’s “incredibly courageous” for meticulously going through the details of his personal life in so public a manner?
In the larger sense it’s a shame that this process became so vicious and cruel that Supreme Court nominees break down weeping during a public hearing. What the h–l is going on here?
Curiously, Ford’s attorneys were in camera view seated behind Kavanaugh, three rows back. They sat stoic as Kavanaugh laid out his impressive background and emphatically denied their client’s wild story. “This is a circus and the consequences will extend long past my nomination and be with us for decades,” Kavanaugh predicted.
“I’m an optimistic guy but today, I have to say, I fear for the future.”
Who can blame him? Close observers of politics all feel that way. Everyone understands American politics is a huge Las Vegas show full of freaks and liars but the Kavanaugh hearings have been a special case even then. Rhode Island Senator Whitehouse forced Kavanaugh to explain inscriptions in his high school yearbook, such as a “Devil’s triangle” – which turned out to be a drinking game, like quarters. And “Squee” – a nickname for Kavanaugh’s friend – was a windup to the F-word!
Oh the horrors!
Time and again Democrats returned to the topic of Kavanaugh’s fondness for beer. The nominee confessed to enjoying suds in his high school days – and still likes it – and even asked some of the Democrat senators (particularly Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar) if they enjoyed the drink too. Expect to see Kavanaugh featured prominently in one of those “Yes we like beeeerrrr!!!!” Michelob Ultra commercials sometime soon.
The highlight of the afternoon session came from an unlikely source, Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. As a close pal of John McCain, Graham’s known as a conciliator and “moderate” – but those days are gone. Graham was angry and pointed in shaming his Democrat colleagues and questioned their integrity if they intended to vote against Kavanaugh.
There just aren’t any reasonable Democrats anymore. Derek Hunter wrote at Townhall, “As Chuck Schumer and his army of elected flying monkeys attack Kavanaugh and Republicans with absurd and obvious lies, not one Democrat has stepped up to say enough. No one has come forward to say the presumption of innocence is fundamentally American, and Judge Kavanaugh deserves it, politics be damned.
“There used to be Democratic Members of Congress who called themselves ‘Blue Dogs,’ moderate Democrats who were concerned about our border and national security and were concerned with out of control spending and government growth. They’re gone now, extinct. Replaced by people embracing socialism and demanding a man’s life be destroyed because he thinks wrong. They’re chasing public officials out of restaurants and threatening their children. They’re demanding people be fired for tweeting something they deem offensive or donated to a cause they oppose.”
Thursday’s hearings gave no indication any Democrats have grown a conscience or a soul. Even when they’d clearly been blown back by Kavanaugh’s fierce defense of his family, friends and professional reputation they still came at him with repeated requests to delay the process in order to conduct a faux FBI investigation into Ford’s unprovable claims. It’s like they won’t even admit there isn’t a single person – other than Ford herself – who even suggested the party took place.
Is everyone lying, Democrats?
At the same token Republicans should never have allowed the confirmation process to sink down to the depths of political sleaze. All are guilty…no one’s clean. Will it get better going forward?
In the end, as expected, it’s a question of he said versus she said – what else could it be? In the alternative, even assuming you’d believe Ford’s implausible story with no one to back it up – would Kavanaugh’s lifetime of service and atonement make up for a teen indiscretion? This shouldn’t even be a consideration – because nothing is proven – but would a youthful drunken rage disqualify everyone for a lifetime?
Many of us hope not…or the prisons would be awful full. Every Democrat in the senate better take a look at themselves…it could get ugly.
Thanks to this political circus it now comes down to Republican vs. Democrat. If Republicans fail to confirm Kavanaugh they’ll get slaughtered on Election Day. Now even red state Democrats can’t vote for Kavanaugh. Will Jeff Flake take down the Republican Party – like George Will and Max Boot advised? Will Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski wilt under the pressure?
If Kavanaugh goes down Trump’s strategy is still the same – send forward qualified originalist conservatives and let the Democrats keep disemboweling themselves ahead of the 2020 election. Regardless, the country will never be the same after this is all over – is it the end or a new beginning?