Kavanaugh Hearing: The Aftermath

[NB: CHECK THE BYLINE.]

It was a disaster, no matter how Republicans spin it. As after a disaster, damage continues.

Brett Kavanaugh was an aggressive and belligerent drunk according to a former Yale roommate. His incredibly rude behavior before the Senate yesterday proved his belligerence didn’t require alcohol. Yelling at seated senators, talking over the women who asked him questions — he did not demonstrate either respect for their office as the representatives of the people, nor did he display appropriate judicial temperament.

He also lied several times. Call it prevarication, untruthiness, fib, whatever label makes you feel more comfortable but what came out of his mouth did not match facts.

The SJC’s GOP faction knew he was at extreme risk, particularly so when their hired girl reverted to a prosecutor’s role and asked Kavanaugh about his calendar. It was at this point that Mitchell was ‘disappeared’ and Lindsey Graham flipped his wig, stepping up to put on an act worthy of an Academy Award for a supporting actor. So very Shakespearean in his castigation; woe, woe betide those who dared to ignore the wholly arbitrary deadline the GOP forced on this train wreck confirmation.

Poppycock and nonsense. We haven’t forgotten Merrick Garland and the unacceptable theft of his place on the Supreme Court.

Lest anyone claim Graham wasn’t acting: he was seen laughing in the hallway after the hearing, yucking it up with a couple other GOP senators. His cadre welcomed him later with applause as he entered a closed door meeting.

EDIT — I’d thought of this Carl Sandburg quote yesterday during Graham’s ‘performance’, meant to include it here:

“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”

Nice drama, babe. You’ve got a second career waiting for you after you leave office — hopefully sooner than later.

The Jesuit magazine which had endorsed Kavanaugh saw through the acts; they revoked their endorsement last night, saying they “recognize that this nomination is no longer in the best interests of the country.”

The American Bar Association expressed its concerns about Kavanaugh’s confirmation and asked the confirmation to be delayed until after a more thorough investigation.

Somebody else is worried about the confirmation, enough that they dispatched George W. Bush to lean on fencesittng GOP holdouts.

Imagine how bad it is that Bush must get engaged in this mess to cover for Trump’s inadequacies as a negotiator, though we shouldn’t overlook the possibility Bush has skin in the game if any cases come before the Supreme Court in which he is a defendant.

And Alan Dershowitz called for a delay to allow for an FBI investigation. Yeah, it was that bad.

In minutes the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet and then we’ll know whether this farcical nomination will continue on to the full Senate.

EDIT — 10:19 AM — AP News reports Senate Judiciary Committee will vote at 1:30 pm today on forwarding Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full senate.

Be sure to check out Marcy’s more detailed analysis of yesterday’s hearing. This is an open thread.

If you haven’t called your senators, do so. Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121.

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40 replies
  1. JTS says:

    If anyone can provide me with a list of every time Kavanaugh has lied under oath, in this year and others, I would love to provide that information to my Senators.

  2. Tracy says:

    I think we need a light note: Stephen Colbert on K’s rants (hilarious), finishes (at 7:40) with a serious comment about how the REAL lead-up to this was when REPUBLICANS supported a candidate credibly accused 19 times of sexual harassment and assault:

  3. BobCon says:

    During the 1930s, the Supreme Court notoriously struck down New Deal laws over and over on the weakest justification.

    It took the the threat of Roosevelt packing the Court with non-ideologues to get the conservatives to back off from their activism.

    I think it’s fair to say this bunch will never back off. It will take court packing, impeachment, and/or a lucky set of vacancies to drive this majority off the bench, and then years to reverse the illogical, anti-historical, anti-precedent, flat out crazy rulings they will issue. Right to privacy, one man one vote, equal protection, basic elements of the Bill of Rights, these things all have targets on their backs.

  4. Rayne says:

    Whoa. There’s a protest going on outside the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting this morning.

    Jackie Kucinich tweeted that Capitol police threatened to arrest House Dems.

    The committee voted along party lines 11-8 to forward confirmation to full Senate for a vote at 1:30 pm today.

    Check Ben Wikler’s tweet for a list of protests scheduled today.

    CALL YOUR SENATORS. FAX THEM IF YOU CAN’T GET THROUGH.

    Celeste_pewter tweeted a link for folks in the DC area who can help.

    • Tracy says:

      OMG!! A full Senate confirmation vote today???

      Aren’t there a few more steps – like the cloture vote, and one other?

      • Rayne says:

        Looks like full senate. This is another abortion of justice designed to cut off the people’s voice.

        The rolling coup as some commenter called it earlier this week.

        EDIT — 10:19 AM — It’s the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at 1:30 pm according to AP news. Still looking for another news source on this.

        Don’t know what this morning’s SJC meeting was. Any way one looks at this situation we should still be protesting.

        Jeff Flake did the right thing announcing his retirement, that’s for damned sure. His bullshit spinelessness and corruption is his legacy.

        • Tracy says:

          Called!!

          WOW – powerful clip! I cannot believe he just stood there like a stone while she poured her heart and soul out. CRAVEN!!!!!

          Women and assault victims everywhere are OUTRAGED!

          THIS WILL NOT GO AWAY FOR YOU, GOP!!!! This is going to be the NOOSE around your neck in November and in 2020, and FOR GENERATIONS TO COME!!!!! You cannot paper over this like you did in 1991 – you will lose as much as you did then, and a million times more. These are different times and you are SUNK!!!!!

  5. Tracy says:

    Just seen Rayne’s update, I will call my R-Senator!

    I agree w/ Trip from yesterday on term limits – the stakes are just too high around who gets to shift the dynamics of the court for a generation, overriding all morality and decency.

    The Cuomo clip I posted on the last thread is really instructive – Graham’s meltdown was about the incredible FEAR of losing the entitlement to that seat on the court.

    I think that if this goes the way of Kavanaugh – it’s shameful for our country, first, but second, Dems just need to win in 2018 and add seats. I mean, they took Merrick Garland’s seat from us. The stakes ARE too high for Dems to sit back.

    YES, AMAZING that women can come forward and speak up, holding perpetrators publicly accountable since #MeToo – but what are the consequences for the perpetrators?? I don’t see them SUFFERING CONSEQUENCES beyond losing an important job for a while. We have not figured out the part past public shaming – which is detrimental for public figures, to be sure – but we need to figure out a better way of having consequences, IMO.

    • Anon says:

      The Guardian is liveblogging the committee hearings. Grahm has just explained that he will speak despite people believing that white men like him should not do so. He then for whatever reason gave a telling explanation for the difference between Merrick Garland and this. Garland was up for a “conservative” seat and thus was not allowed while Kavanaugh is up for a swing seat and is. I’m not sure why he brought that up but it does add to their clear obsession here.

      • Tracy says:

        Whaaaaat? I don’t understand his reasoning around “not allowed.” Does he think the American people are stupid? When a seat comes up, the president nominates, Senate are RESPONSIBLE for advice and consent – NOT obstruction. Maybe this gaslighting works on the uneducated segment of GOP voters, but most of us out here know the BASIC rules and understand that the Repugs were morally and ethically wrong to do what they did w/ Garland.

        Thanks for letting me know about the livestream! Dunno if I can stomach it. :-/

        What a loser, and unfit for the Senate let alone to be AG!!!! OMG, no!!!!

      • orionATL says:

        this is absolute gaslighting, methane horseshit from graham.why? because graham is up for re-election in 2 yrs, i.e., 2020.

        graham, with mccain, opposed trump and supported special counsel protection. mccain dies, rep. mark sanford (rep, s.c.) gets his ass kicked good by trump and trump-proxy in this year’s primary. suddenly ol’ lindsey done seen the light. his senatorial soul needs saving, and so:

        ” hallelujah! praise be to trump, our lord and master. where my lord wishes me to go, i shall go. what my lord asks me to do, i shall do. shall i speak in tongues, loudly? i have done so. praise be to trump lord.”

      • orionATL says:

        there is no such thing as a “swing seat”, a “conservative seat”, or a “liberal” seat in the supreme court. there never has been.

        individual justice are sometimes given labels like these by observers of the court. these labels are not characteristics of any of the nine places (seats) on the supreme. in the intervening 250 yrs. the individuals holding these seats have gone by many different labels, none are in the constitution, and none have ever been enshrined in custom. ever!

        senator graham knows all this very well. he is being overtly deceptive, overtly dishonest in away i’ve never seen this slicker be before.

        aside:
        does anyone know if sen. graham has a reputation for trouble with alcohol? i asked not because i know, but because some yrs ago i was watching a hearing on cspan and graham came in after lunch (maybe around 1:30) and i would swear from his speech and face he was really loaded. i had never seen anything like this before from any member of congress.

        • JD12 says:

          This is nothing more than speculation, but the essence of the Kavanaugh allegations are his behavior while intoxicated, and Graham’s rant was so intense it had me wondering if there was some personal component to it.

  6. Fran of the North says:

    Kavanaugh was exposed yesterday for what he is, an aggressive, entitled, holier-than-thou hypocrite along with being a partisan bully.

    Even more than that, he showed that he is a conspiracy theorist, willing to latch onto whatever fantastic theory furthers the federalist narrative. How far the legislative branch has fallen that it is an open question whether more than 48 senators would believe that this obviously flawed and biased individual could evaluate the most important legal matters in an unbiased manner.

    I don’t think tin foil hats go well with a SC judges robes.

    • Anon says:

      I’m actually not sure he is a conspiracy theorist. Entitled, bullying, yes. But I think what he really showed was just how much he is a politician who wanted this more than anything else and to that end he did everything he had to to get his political patron (Trump) back on board.

      Just called both of my senators busy in one case and voicemail in the other.

      • gkbakies says:

        Anyone who so aggresively pursued Vince Foster’s death despite credible rulings of suicide is definatwly a conspiracy theorist.

  7. yogarhythms says:

    Rayne,

    Thank you! EoH Ty. Thank you to all of the survivors who continue to struggle for a better future.

    BK has won nomination. Justice is waiting to be served.

    The next opportunity to reverse Toadus’s posse will be if new Dem majority in house occurs 6NOV18 followed by resolution to investigate these sexual assaults thoroughly and then impeach sitting SC Justice BK. Today 28SEP18 party power is blinding all. Nothing new: absolute  power corrupts absolutely.

  8. Barb says:

    I’ve been musing today about the interweaving of Clinton and Kavanaugh. K was really obsessed and quite morally outraged about Clinton and his behavior, wanting sexually detailed questions to be asked, and pursuing the whole Vince Foster thing way beyond reason. Some armchair analysis suggests he might be ashamed of who he was as a teen, but feeling morally superior because he overcame that while Clinton did not.
    And yet, now he’s Clinton. He not only will be hung with a sexual deviance label, but he’s perjured himself to boot. He thought he was so much better, but he’s not. His time on the court will always have a big, huge, Clintonesque asterisk next to it. Karma is a bitch.

    • orionATL says:

      karma is indeed a bitch. i hope kavanaugh’s assiduous, obscene hunting of the clintons as ken starr’s foul hell-hound haunts his mind for the rest of his life

      it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving church-going, boy scout, girls-i-knew-were-just-my-pals hypocrite.

  9. cwradio says:

    I’ve read numerous times that Kavie cried during the hearing; I’ve seen a sad face, but no tears. I assume his fake tears were part of an act to show women how sensitive he is.

    I watched his wife, sitting behind him during his caterwauling display; her lips were frozen downward in dismay and she hardly moved. It was hard to tell whether she was mortified over hubby’s victimization, or slowly becoming aware of the fact that he’s a lying sonofa…

    I can’t say “bitch”; it’s an insult to the good name of canine mothers.

  10. Bruce Olsen says:

    I’m surprised nobody with a platform and first-hand knowledge of substance use disorder hasn’t pointed out how much Kavanaugh’s testimony resembled a failed intervention. Nothing but denial and deflection.

    As an alcoholic, I’m comfortable with saying he’s also alcoholic. I’m not a therapist so I can’t really say whether he knows he is, or rather hasn’t gotten there yet. To me, some of his bizarre behavior reads as if he’s aware, but feels he’s not in the position to seek help right now. His past behavior makes it feel like the opposite.

    However, he clearly has not hit his bottom yet; many professionals never do, in part because of professional omerta.

    And the GOP is enabling him simply to use him, which gives me a great deal of sympathy for him personally. I know hard it can be.

    But it doesn’t excuse his utterly despicable positions–his arrogance, misogyny, and the rest–nor does it excuse his failure to take the personal steps he and his family need him to take.

    He needs to grow up right now, but it’d not very likely to happen

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I’m confident, too, that BK is a high-functioning alcoholic.  His drinking behavior at an early age was confident, well-documented, habitual, continuing.

      His puffy, angry, repeated counter-attacks against Senators who could determine his fate speaks volumes about his need to defend himself from himself and his drinking.  That lack of self-awareness is strong evidence he isn’t close to hitting bottom.  From the looks of these hearings, he never will.

      Corporate America is full of high-functioning alcoholics.  They do untold, hidden damage to their employer, their employees, to the economy, society, and most of all, to their families and friends.

      Mr. Kavanaugh is about to be given a job promotion to a position that would allow him individually to do great damage.  Some of it he will do intentionally, owing to the partisanship of his politics.  But as is common, most of it will be unintentional and just as damaging.

      • JD12 says:

        The signs are obvious. I was a functioning alcoholic, so I can relate. It’s easy to delude yourself as long as you show up to work and do a good job, and not only not get fired, but work your way up. I eventually gave up and went to treatment because it was exhausting. That’s where Mr. Kavanaugh should be looking to go right now, not the Supreme Court.

        He was overly defensive and kept pacifying himself with water. The drinking is a bigtime physical cue for an alcoholic.

        The deflections are a mental cue. Do alcoholics finish first in their class? Can someone who spends time coaching girls basketball—implication being not on a barstool—really be an alcoholic? Well, yes, they can.

        He looked pathetic asking Sen. Klobuchar if she blacked out. He wants someone to understand him, but it was totally inappropriate under the circumstances. If he weren’t such a dick I’d feel bad for him. But he’s doing a lot of damage to the country and his own family right now, it’s not the Democrats.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Jeff Flake is full of it.  He’s the court jester.  His wish for bipartisan compromise might be legitimate, it is also theater.  He always votes the party line, however much he trembles when pulling the lever.

      • orionATL says:

        indeed. i mentioned them before, but it is very important not to omit them from this list because their organization has directly contacted important republican senators hatch, lee, flake, and crapo.

        though they have not spoken out about kavanaugh to my knowledge, southern baptist women in the last year have forced out the single most patriarchical and conservative leader (“the red bishop”) of that organization for covering up sexual abuse and discouraging women from bringing misconduct to the attention of the church. many of these women cannot be looking favorably on kavanaugh.

  12. Jenny says:

    The good news:  Sexual Assault hot lines spiked during the hearings.  One group went to 147% higher than usual.  Excellent!

    Yes, the hearing was a major trigger for all individuals who have been raped, sexually assaulted, assaulted & harassed.

    I am so thank you Dr. Blasey Ford for speaking up & speaking out for millions of survivors & those individuals who are seeking help.  So proud.  Her testimony really opened up old wounds of the past. I cried for ALL survivors as well as myself.

    No nominee is entitled to a seat on the Supreme Court.

  13. JKSF says:

    I’m certain Kavanaugh, who has written about the value of polygraphs, will now want to submit to a polygraph to support his assertions. Likewise Mark Judge.

  14. skua says:

    “I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file,” he [Trump] said in a statement provided White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. “As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”

    So what is the scope of this investigation?

    Swetnick, Ramirez, CBF?

    Or just CBF?

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