“I am nobody’s pawn,” she said.
But Republicans weren’t buying it. Over the course of Thursday’s hearing partisan tensions grew to a boiling point as Judiciary Committee Republicans and Brett Kavanaugh himself claimed that the Democrats had engineered the process to ensure his Supreme Court confirmation would fail.
“Since my nomination in July, there’s been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything, to block my nomination,” Kavanaugh said. Democrats, he said, want to “blow me up and take me down.”
According to the Washington Post,
“From the moment he began speaking Thursday, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh launched into partisan attack mode.”
“In a remarkable turnabout from the confirmation hearings earlier this month in which he presented himself as the model of neutrality, Kavanaugh fumed that the sexual assault allegations brought against him in recent days had been a “calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election.” He called it “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” and pointed to “millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.”
This is the first time a Supreme Court nominee has made such direct charges that the confirmation hearings were highly partisan. It is the first time a nominee has made such outrageous claims about the other political party.
The issue is whether or not Democrats had purposefully waited to make Ford’s charges public until after the initial confirmation hearings were over and the Senate was preparing to vote.
Even though this is what Republicans claimed, Democrats said this was not true.
Democratic senators said they had not released the allegations initially because Ford had asked to keep them confidential.
“Dr. Blasey Ford asked that her information be kept confidential, and it was,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I only referred her letter to the FBI after it was leaked and reporters were knocking on her door. I don’t know who leaked the information, but it wasn’t my office.”
In an unhinged speech Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called the proceedings an “unethical sham” and said that any Republican who voted against Kavanaugh was “legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics.”
Kavanaugh himself adopted Trump’s positions that the attacks against him were a “con job.” He seemed to act in accordance with Trump’s belief in hitting back “100 times harder” against attackers.
And after the hearing ended, Trump posted a tweet praising Kavanaugh’s testimony as “powerful, honest, and riveting.”
Clearly the Supreme Court nominee had been coached by the president, who was pleased with his fiery, partisan performance.
But Rachel Maddow last night pointed out that what Kavanaugh and the GOP Senators were saying was simply not true.
According to Maddow, Kavanaugh’s defense rests on his claim that the sexual assault allegations were manufactured for political purposes. But the timeline presented by Dr. Ford destroys this line of defense. Ford wasn’t trying to stop Trump from nominating someone, Maddow pointed out, she was trying to get Trump to pick someone who HAD NOT TRIED to rape her.
“We now know — attested to by both sides — that Christine Blasey Ford came forward about Brett Kavanaugh when she found out Brett Kavanaugh was on the short list for the call,” Maddow said. “She made her calls, she started trying to to alert the Congress about this alleged assault by Kavanaugh before he was picked for the Supreme Court.”
“She was trying to get them to not pick him for the Supreme Court,” Maddow noted. “She proved today — with evidence cited by the Republicans’ hired prosecutor — that she emphatically did not wait to find out who the nominee was for the Supreme Court seat.”
“That is a big factual problem for the defense that was raised for Kavanaugh today,” Maddow continued.
So once again Rachel Maddow has caught the Republicans lying. That is no surprise, just as it will not be a surprise if Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court.
It’s actually Brett Kavanaugh who may get surprised when he is brought to justice. The truth has a way of coming out, and justice usually prevails in the end.
The Republicans may feel confident that they have all the power. They may believe that they can ignore multiple women who claim that they have been sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh.
But as the pendulum swings the other way in Washington, Republicans soon will lose their power. And when that happens they should not be surprised when they are held accountable for their indefensible actions.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.