Cirque de l’Absurde

Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today began with  opening remarks by Committee Chair Senator Chuck Grassley (R).  Thereafter, the committee and America listened as Christine Blasey Ford read her opening statement, and began answering questions posed by Democrat Senators and the proxy, Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, for questions from Republican Senators.

When I learned that the Senators would be asking their questions through a proxy, I wondered at the wisdom of their choice. After watching today, I believe they made the correct decision. Attorney Mitchell was relaxed, offered a reassuring demeanor towards the victim, and frankly, led me to wonder why she wasn’t the nominee to the Supreme Court. She had a difficult task, and she did it well. She asked key questions, and allowed for complete responses, and it was evident she was on a truth-finding mission.

Dr. Ford answered all questions asked, with her attorneys flanking her on each side, and there is no doubt that she was reporting an assault that had occurred; that she knew her assaulter as Brett Kavanaugh, and that she stepped forward when candidates were being considered as nominees to anonymously report that she believed Brett Kavanaugh to be an unsuitable candidate because of the 1982 assault.

Following the morning hearing and a break for lunch, the committee reconvened to begin the process again. Judge Kavanaugh began with his opening statement

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D), Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, began the afternoon session with the question – interrupted repeatedly by a blustering nominee – trying to get to the core of a central question: “Why wasn’t he asking the president to reopen the FBI background check in light of these allegations?”.

Then Attorney Mitchell began asking questions of the nominee. As with Dr. Ford, she was patient and asking for truthful answers. When the nominee began wandering off-topic, she did what she was hired to do – she returned to the question.

And that is the moment when the hearing went to hell. She was abruptly cut-off by Republican senators. And we who were viewing the hearings from our televisions never saw Attorney Mitchell again.

I’m going from memory here, but three things will remain in my memory from today.

Dr. Ford was completely credible.

Senator Lindsey Graham engaged in the most absurd histrionics that will play well to anyone who likes to watch Tucker Carlson’s entertainment program on FOX.

Brett Kavanaugh came across as a privileged, spoiled brat throwing a tantrum. One question was persistently asked over and over: “Would he (Kavanaugh) ask the president to reopen the FBI background check in light of the new allegations?”. That question was repeatedly asked by Democrat committee members. And repeatedly, he refused to answer with a simple yes or no.

What the hell did I just watch?!?

Is this the version of reality filtering down from a pathology-laden GOP?

I prefer to return to rational, carefully considered words. Dr. Ford provided that even in the midst of an emotionally challenging setting. Kavanaugh and Graham were pathologically aggressive and emphatic … liars.