“Before you cross the street, look both ways.” It’s what we tell our children. Perhaps the Republicans running the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Brett Kavanaugh would have done well to learn this lesson and heeded this sound advice. What we see as a street, they see as a race track and their approach to managing the hearings is to restrict the view by putting blinders on the racehorse and giving it a kick. Ah, but it still has to cross the ever-widening street and currently it’s running loose on the track with no direction home as Bob Dylan might have said.
Kavanaugh is sounding less and less believable as evidenced by his appearance on Fox News last night. Stumbling and stuttering through his interview he kept falling back on the same weak talking points fed him by his handlers in the long hours spent at the Whitehouse the past two days. Interesting? Sure, it betrays the true nature of the relationship between Kavanaugh and the GOP, more specifically Trump. Kavanaugh is all too willing to do as he’s told and say whatever they feed him. Do we expect this to change if confirmed? Is this the man we want in the Supreme Court, a puppet? I think not.
After managing the hearings to suppress evidence of Kavanaugh’s record in office, some 90% of his documents, Grassley as chair of the committee has attempted to control the testimony of witnesses to the GOP’s advantage and now the anger he has aroused is rising like vomit following food poisoning and erupting uncontrollably. Lies and a gavel cannot clean up this mess.
First came the allegation of Professor Christine Blasey Ford of a sexual assault in high school. That was followed by the accusation of Deborah Ramirez as reported by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker, that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and thrust his genitals in her face while at Yale. Next, the New York Times turned up his high school yearbook where he boasts being part of the “Renate Alumnius,” a group of his high school football buds who all have said to have a “relationship” with one Renate Schroeder, now Dolphin, of a nearby Catholic girl’s school, the implication being that they all knew her sexually and were reveling in their shared conquest of this spoiled maiden. Further digging reveals that Kavanaugh belonged to a secret all male society at Yale known as TNC (for “Truth and Courage”) but euphemistically referred to as the “Tit and Clit” club, later shut down by Yale. Additionally, Kavanaugh was also a member of the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon, which later was banned from the Yale campus for five years after fraternity brothers gathered outside a women’s center chanting “no means yes, yes means anal.” The record of Kavanaugh’s associations is a series of bad choices at best and criminality at worst.
Just when it seems that it can’t get any darker enters Michael Avenatti who announces that he represents a woman who will be making a televised interview on Wednesday revealing yet one more sexual charge to add to the growing list, one entirely more substantial and disgustingly repulsive, that Brett Kavanaugh participated in her gang rape, a rape that Avenatti claims is supported by several witnesses who he has secured to support her assertion.
Who holds the moral high ground in this farce? In placating the evangelical religious right with a right-to-life candidate, nominated by an immoral President, the GOP has abrogated any right to a moral position, backing Trump’s selection of a nominee that shares his values in ways both obvious and hidden. Kavanaugh reveals his weakness by willingly following the GOP’s direction and has confirmed that he knows he must pass his exam by getting the “cheat sheet” from fellow student, Trump, who passed his test by simply lying and never waivering from the lie. These are our leaders? This is what we teach our kids? The decline of truth and accountability produces cynicism, an infection that erodes participation in our democracy and the future of this nation. In the year of “Me Too” lesser figures have fallen from grace and office, for offenses dwarfed by Kavanaugh’s activities and associations. Today, as “America’s dad”, Bill Cosby, faces sentencing, it’s time to realize that there can be no sacred cows. No one is above the law and certainly not those who administer it.