It wasn’t just the U.S. that tuned in to see the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it was the world that was watching. There was more than a seat on the bench of the highest court in the land at stake; there was potentially the reputation and career of a man at stake. On the other side, the same was at stake for Dr. Blasey, and an expressed fear for her safety, as was reported three days ago by the Boston Globe.
Kavanaugh has, at times, been described, even criticized for, being understated. While providing testimony, he was anything but that. He was described as “angry, emotional, sometimes meandering” by Vox. What people saw of Kavanaugh on television was the same, but their perception of it varied greatly, seemingly dependent on what their view of him was prior to his testimony and little more. In a day filled with powerful words from Dr. Blasey, and forceful refutations from Kavanaugh, words can’t always describe the emotion of the room, but photos can almost pull that off.
“This has destroyed my family and my good name. A good name built up through decades of very hard work and public service at the highest levels of the American government.”
The Washington Post reported that Kavanaugh relied heavily on falling back on a letter presented to the committee from his former classmate and friend, conservative writer Mark Judge, in which Judge stated he had no recollection of the party or Kavanaugh assaulting Dr. Blasey as proof that he didn’t do it when grilled by Democrat senators.
The Washington Post further asserted that Kavanaugh reached some “questionable determinations” in the manner that he interpreted the submitted affidavits of people that were deposed for the hearing, particularly those of Leland Keyser.
Kavanaugh became very aggressive in his defense at times, even veering off to alleging that the testimony of Dr. Blasey, and allegations made against him by other women, were facetious, and part of a plot to undermine him, as reported by NPR.
“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record and revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”
The faces in the gallery also told a story about Kavanaugh’s testimony, and the story they told is that not everyone was buying what he had to sell. If Kavanaugh was a woman, he would have been called hysterical rather than fiery or impassioned. The levels of anger he reached at times seemed to make people wince. It was not the type of testimony that anyone expected from a seasoned jurist seeking a place on the Supreme Court bench, and it showed.
Unless there is some form of executive intervention, it is highly likely that Kavanaugh will begin his confirmation hearing in a short time, and eventually be confirmed along partisan voting lines. Whether he is innocent or guilty of the allegations against him may never be known, as an official investigation into them has been shut down. What is known is that his journey to this point of the process is unlike any other jurist seeking the same appointment, and that isn’t really a good thing.
Regardless of who anyone believes, they should want the allegations to be fully investigated and either found to have merit, or be refuted, and only then make a determination on fitness for the bench and potential criminal charges for perjury. If the country could survive a Supreme Court vacancy for 841 days to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat after he died, as reported by Time, the country should be able to wait the couple of weeks it would take to the FBI to investigate the sexual assault claims against Kavanaugh.