Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
Brett Kavanaugh is unfit to be the judge of an ugliest dog contest, let alone a justice of the Supreme Court. In the hours after his crackpot performance before his questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, where he whined, hollered, spat, wept, and carped that he was the victim of a well-funded revenge conspiracy by the Clintons to destroy him and his family, I heard an NPR anchor say that he "came out swinging." He came out flailing. Flailing is different from swinging. By swinging, one might hit a target on purpose. Flailing is involuntary movement caused by panic and fury. While flailing, one will hit many unintended targets.
We all saw it. Those predisposed toward anger at the Dump regime under which we have been forced to live by a supposed safety valve in the electoral system, which it turns out only provides safety from punishment to wealthy criminals, we were already antagonistic to this over-privileged bigot, this Kavanaugh. Instead of disarming us with charm, or with his awkwardly sparse admission that sexual assault is, yes, a bad thing, he played the aggrieved victim. Women who have been through the consequences of reporting sexual assault already know what it means to be the victim of a massive conspiracy, a conspiracy entrenched in our culture for centuries. Kavanaugh's bitter rage at the thwarting of his entitlement only made him unsympathetic and, apparently, out of control of his faculties. Testerical.
Thursday morning, before Lindsey Graham and others attempted to pile on the Democrats by mimicking Kavanaugh's grotesque invocation, I was due to supply producer Alex with my tease for today's Moment of Truth. I could have supplied a tease that avoided commitment. I could've said, "Saturday, Jeffy scrapes grease off the skillet." That's pretty non-committal. Or I could have come at it obliquely, saying, "Saturday, Jeffy takes a close look at Kavanaugh's penis." Kind of just rude, without saying anything of substance. But what if it comes out tomorrow, I worried, after I've teased my tease, that Kavanaugh doesn't have a penis? That he lost it in nursery school? It wouldn't do to mention it. That's cruel, even if the guy is a sexual thug. And we're all assuming he is. Mostly because of his face. I mean, that guy's mug says entitled, cruel, misogynist sex criminal all over it.
Which isn't really fair of me. I mean, it could be that the guy never did anything. I believe in believing the victim, but once you say, "Believe the victim," you've already claimed that the person is a victim. Anyone is capable of lying about anything. Any number of people are capable of lying about any number of things. All things considered the chance that Ford is inventing things is unlikely, though. And there's Kavanaugh's face. That horrid, punchable face. And that he has some unaccounted-for pay-off of a debt, and he apparently lied to Congress, and there's his face. And his gambling problem. And that face.
I mean, if I were a real feminist of faith, my tease would've been triumphant and predictive. "Jeffy waves bye-bye to Kavanaugh." But I'm just an ally. It makes me nimble, being an ally. I'd like to say I'm a feminist, because I like feminists and feminism, but I don't presume to be one. I don't think I have a sufficiently sophisticated understanding of the issues. And I don't have faith that Kavanaugh's appointment will be derailed. Because the people with the most influence over the process are assholes.
I do hate Kavanaugh. He's going to do away with the constitutional guarantee of abortion choice, which has already been eroded. Abortion is already effectively illegal in many parts of the US, due to lack of availability of the service. It's almost entirely illegal for poor rural women. And that's unhealthy. Abortion being illegal is unhealthy for women. It can be deadly. It criminalizes women's sovereignty over their own bodies. It criminalizes their choices of how to live. Abortion being illegal is a violent state of affairs.
So, that's a pretty good reason to lie. If you thought women were under a violent threat, you might lie to do something about it. Lie about being sexually assaulted. Right? Even if it meant enduring public humiliation? I mean, I wouldn't blame someone for lying under those circumstances. If it really was a logical decision. If the women in question really believed that false accusations would somehow protect abortion from being made illegal. But I don't think anyone's really making that calculation. That's a calculation the GOP and their operatives might make, but the Dems don't have it in them. These aren't City of Chicago Machine Dems, these are national-level Dems, who don't even think they need to do the normal, legal stuff to protect poor people. Why would they pay to do something underhanded to achieve anything that doesn't directly elect one of their own egomaniacs to office? What's in it for them?
And if you watched Ford's testimony before the Senate, you are probably confident that what she is saying is the truth.
It's not that Ford doesn't want Kavanaugh on the court whether he did something to her or not. She doesn't want Kavanaugh on the court because he did something to her. It makes no sense otherwise. Dump's been accused of sexual assault and hasn't suffered at all. There's no reason for Ford to believe Kavanaugh would suffer, especially if her claim were untrue, but even if it is true. If she is a sane person, and I guess we got a sense that she is, now that that's established, then the Republicans have to focus on their other arguments: "it was a long time ago," and "boys will be boys," and "he did the hard work of being white and male and working his butt off and being a privileged football player who ran in certain circles and thus has a right to expect this appointment." And they seem determined to appoint Kavanaugh based on those arguments. And I don't think, to a majority of voters, that that's going to feel like a persuasive set of arguments. The people are going to say, "What awful people those Republicans are. They're so awful, I wouldn't blame a woman for lying about their Supreme Court nominee. It's exactly what they deserve."
Evil, worthless human beings like Dump and Kavanaugh deserve to be lied about. But that's their ace in the hole. Their very unfitness for public service is their best argument. "We're awful. Yes, maybe we did sexually assault women, and we're so awful we probably did. But that's exactly why someone might lie to get us thrown out of our positions of power! Because we're terrible people. We deserve it, whether we did it or not. We're horrible. There's your reasonable doubt!"
The paradox of accusing someone capable of doing what they're accused of is that their obvious lack of decency gives a false accuser a motive for making a false accusation.
This is the trajectory Ronald Reagan's partnership with the ruin-government crowd launched us on, the path on which Newt Gingrich happily propelled us further, where this treacherous, unprincipled Congress has led us, and where Dump,who has commandeered the helm, has plunged us: through the looking glass. This is a Mad Hatter-level paradox, rendering all moral meaning completely nonsensical. Once the cowardly rightwing voters allowed these Teabaggers and Santorum dribblers into power, the die was cast. The concept of something being true would crumble. Kindness seems the least likely of things. Moral courage seems a comical suggestion. I'm not the first to point out that, when lying leadership gets overtly evil enough, no accusation it makes about a threat to itself can be ruled out. Nothing it asserts can be weighed on the normal scale of plausibility. We don't know what's going on anymore. All we know is we want it to stop.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!