During yesterday’s 80-minutes long rambling word salad of a press conference that may have actually been a public service announcement on the effects of mixing Rogaine with Diet Coke, Trump hinted that he’s open to ditching his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
In fact, there may be several Republicans kinda hoping today’s hearing with Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is convincing enough to let him go without much political damage from their base, who is adamant about his confirmation. With more women making accusations against the nominee for sexual harassment, and even being involved in something called a “train rape,” his baggage has gotten so heavy that winning his confirmation may not be much of a win in the culture war at this point.
But, under the leadership of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the party as a whole is still trying to seat him on the court. Many don’t fear a legacy of putting Justice Rape Train on the nation’s highest court with a lifetime appointment. That’s not what they fear. What they do fear is coming off as insensitive to the very credible Blasey Ford in today’s hearing.
They’re right to be afraid. With several senators promising to confirm Kavanaugh, they’ve made it clear that it doesn’t matter what Ms. Ford says, or how poorly Kavanaugh comes off. Other senators have questioned why women wait so long to report, and others asking why they would even go to a party where they would be sexually assaulted, in addition to the president saying this is just a sham with fake accusers. McConnell gave a speech where he repeated the word “smear” several times. I was waiting for him to eventually create a new term in “smeary smears.”
Not wanting a reenactment of the late Senator Howell Heflin’s question to Anita Hill in 1991 of, “Are you a scorned woman?” The Republicans don’t plan to ask Ms. Ford any questions at all. For this, they’re bringing in a woman to question Ms. Ford. And, they’ve even messed that up with McConnell referring to her as a “female assistant,” and Joe Kennedy forgetting her name.
Her name is Rachel Mitchell, and this “assistant” has nearly 30 years experience working in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Arizona. The Republicans will be present and you’ll find them hiding behind her skirt.
The Judiciary Committee has been around for 202 years and the Republican Party has never had a woman serve on it. The Democrats currently have four, and two of them aren’t white.
Ms. Ford’s attorney sent a letter to Chuck Grassley, the committee chairman stating, “The central point is that there is no precedent for this Committee to bring in outside counsel for the sole purpose of shielding the members of the Committee from performing their responsibility to question witnesses.” He’s right. The all-white Republican men on the committee will not be doing the jobs they were elected to do tomorrow.
If the Republican men on the committee need an inspiration for courage, they can look across the aisle at their colleagues on the same committee, Dianne Feinstein, Amy Klobuchar, Mazie Hirono, and Kamala Harris.
Maybe then they can “man up.”
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