The Trump regime’s determination to employ the worst possible people has yet another notch in its belt with the Kavanaugh hearings this week. Somewhat forgotten after all the claims and denials surrounding the attempted rape accusations of Christine Blasey Ford is the appearance of Kavanaugh having lied under oath about several things even before the allegations became public and Dr. Ford’s name was revealed.
Utterly without integrity, the Republicans are trying to force Kanavaugh on the women of this country in their determination to deny us bodily autonomy and agency. That there’s an attempted rape to complete the picture of the privileged male seeking control over women is really not that surprising, is it?
Early in the hearing, in an attempt to humanize Kavanaugh and soften his image, much was made of his role as a girls’ basketball coach. He even jokingly referred to himself as “Coach K.” Later, members of the team were brought in to sit behind him. He used those girls as props, and more than likely, as an attempt to shield himself from protesters who would likely be less vocal with the young team there.
But no amount of political theater can disguise what’s happening here. Behind Brett Kavanaugh’s smug smoothness is perhaps the final nail in the coffin for Roe v. Wade, the potential further restriction of the availability of birth control, described by Kavanaugh as “abortion inducing drugs.” Though he claimed to be using the words of the plaintiffs in that case, the dog whistle was pretty clear.
As of this writing Dr. Ford is negotiating the terms of her testimony to the committee. Among other things, she is asking for her named witness, Kavanaugh’s alleged accomplice, to be subpoenaed a well. As others have noted, these are not the moves of someone making a false accusation.
Not surprisingly, Republicans are doing all they can to undermine her testimony before it even happens. The eleven Republicans on the judiciary committee are all white males, some of whom presided over the Clarence Thomas nomination and the grilling of Anita Hill and should know better, but they are doing all they can to bully Dr. Ford before she even comes to their hearing. Kavanaugh is being coached for his testimony on the accusation by staff in the White House including Don McGahn and Bill Shine, who has plenty of experience with unwanted sexual advances, having enabled Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly at FOX News.
A few have attempted to discredit the accusation by suggesting that Dr. Ford was confused or had mistaken Kavanaugh for a classmate (who is undoubtedly surprised to have been dragged into this thing). Now a main proponent of that theory has given the game away by posting the whole thing on Twitter (since removed), so who knows if they’ll bring that up in the hearing itself. For his part, Mitch McConnell vowed “we’re gonna plow right through it.” He was speaking about the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to Family Research Council Values Voter Summit.
Republicans are making it clear that they do not value women. They don’t care about women’s rights, their safety, or their agency. They are determined to walk back the rights we have gained and make it as difficult as possible to be equal partners. They used to be more deceptive about it. Now they are throwing it in our faces. There are plenty of anti-abortion judges that could have been nominated here. By elevating their second justice accused of sexual misconduct, Republicans are forcefully declaring open season on women.
The way we viewed and spoke about the sexual activity of teenagers in the 80s is different from the messages and expectations of today. I understand that. As this story unfolds, I keep thinking about Fast Times at Ridgemont High or an attack that took place not far from where I grew up in New Jersey, told in the book Our Guys. Even as the attitudes of privileged white boys go though, Kavanaugh seems pretty egregious. His yearbook entry from his elite private high school reads like a how-to manual for toxic masculinity. His activities at Yale run along the same vein.
It makes you wonder how the parents of that girls’ basketball team feel about “Coach K” now?