Post-Kavanaugh Stress Disorder

In this essay, I reflected on the damage that the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee has done to democracy, in its insistence that as damaged a candidate as Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed.

Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, and Brett Kavanaugh’s unhinged response to her charges, was an epic installment of the Trump Show, now in season two. It’s probably safe to say that neither Kavanaugh or the GOP leadership care whether they alienate women voters by dismissing Blasey’s certainty that she was sexually assaulted by the nominee in question while his bestie, Mark Judge, looked on. According to a CBS poll taken in the three days after Blasey and Kavanaugh told their stories, “41 % of men said they think Kavanaugh should be confirmed, compared with 29% of women,” while 70% of female registered Republicans “said they thought that Kavanaugh should be confirmed.”

The Trump administration has rallied behind a damaged candidate whose best defense seems to be that everyone loves a beer or two — or six. (I don’t: it makes me fat. And Brett, it makes you fat too. I’m just saying.) As of last night, news outlets were reporting that the reopened FBI investigation that was originally scheduled to last until Friday might be foreclosed as early as today; Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority leader, plans to move for a cloture vote on Kavanaugh by the end of the week. Meanwhile, at a campaign rally last night, Trump mocked Blasey for things she could not remember about the assault.

While two Republican senators have condemned what is now routine behavior from the President, Kellyanne Conway, the President’s designated sexual assault spokesperson in the West Wing, indicated that Blasey had caused everyone enough trouble and she should go away now. “The woman has been accommodated by all of us, including Senate Judiciary Committee,” Conway snapped. “She’s been treated like a Faberge egg by all of us, beginning with me and the President. He’s pointing out factual inconsistencies.”

You know what seems like a Faberge egg right now? Democracy. Process. Human decency. The damage that the Kavanaugh hearings has done is so thick you can practically taste it floating in the air. Not only must we deal with a bully President for at least the next two years, but Trump’s surrogate bully – a man who makes Clarence Thomas look like a guy with a dorky sense of humor and a few bad pick-up lines – now threatens to perpetuate a lifetime dry drunk from the Supreme Court.

For the rest of this essay, published at Public Seminar on October 3, 2018, click here.

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