Sep 27, 2018
In a public meltdown that many found nearly impossibly to comprehend,Brett Kavanaugh's opening statement and early responses before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday offered a stark contrast to Dr. Christine Ford's morning appearance, as the Supreme Court nominee launched into an angry, tear-streaked tirade against the Democratic Party and those who have alleged that he sexual assaulted them.
The reaction by those watching was a mix of disbelief and shock that Kavanaugh would try to win confirmation with his remarks and attitude before the committee:
\u201cSo Kavanaugh has already confirmed that:\n\n1) he was hiding his angry, aggressive side.\n2) he's vengeful AF\n3) he is a hyperpartisan activist judge whose loyalty will remain with his party, not the country.\n4) He can't be on the SCOTUS. Not now, not ever.\u201d— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D) 1538076281
Kavanaugh called the allegations brought by Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick a "calculated and orchestrated political hit" that has "destroyed my family and my good name," and attacked Democrats for ruining his career.
"I love teaching law, but thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to teach again," Kavanaugh said, suggesting that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who learned in July that Ford had alleged that a potential Supreme Court justice had assaulted her, should have made sure the accusation was kept secret.
"Right now, we are watching one white cisgender man fall apart on national television from the rage, terror, and fear he is experiencing over the loss of his entitlement, his privilege, and his life-time free pass from accountability for his actions," said CREDO Action Co-Director Heidi Hess in a statement. "This is a microcosm of how all the intertwined systems and people that maintain systemic misogyny and patriarchy are reacting to losing their power. We are going to win, but they are not going to let go without a fight."
In his earlier confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh repeatedly affirmed that he was committed to judicial independence and that he would not act as a partisan judge if confirmed to the Supreme Court.
Yet his opening statement was peppered with attacks on "the left" and Democratic lawmakers.
"Since my nomination in July, there has been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything, to block my confirmation," Kavanaugh claimed.
"This whole two-week effort has been...fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups," he added.
\u201cIf confirmed, how does Kavanaugh make case he\u2019s an independent judge when he\u2019s just gone on a screed about \u201cthe left\u201d and \u201cthe Clintons\u201d ???\u201d— Gabriel Sherman (@Gabriel Sherman) 1538076492
Kavanaugh also spent a portion of his opening statement emotionally detailing his reliance on a personal calendar, which for several days has played a key role in his defense against the allegations--a moment that reportedly troubled White House staffers.
As Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) questioned the nominee about why, if he is as emphatic as he claims to be regarding his innocence, he hasn't called for an FBI investigation in order to help clear his name, Kavanaugh maintained his hostile attitude toward the process and the women who have come forward with their allegations.
"What you're saying, if I understand it is, that the allegations by Dr. Ford, Ms. Ramirez, and Ms. Swetnick are wrong," Feinstein said.
"That is emphatically what I'm saying, emphatically. The Swetnick thing is a joke. That is a farce," Kavanaugh answered, leaning back in his chair and referring to Swetnick's sworn statement that he had arranged and took part in gang rapes at parties while in high school--an allegation that was corroborated by the New Yorker's report about Ramirez last weekend.
\u201cKavanaugh cuts off Feinstein mid-question and starts admonishing her.\n\nThen says: "The Swetnick thing is a joke. That is a farce." Declines opportunity to say more.\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1538076937
\u201c#Kavanaugh saying "the Swetnick thing is a joke, a farce" was not his best moment. And he failed to address Ramirez at all.\n#KavanaughHearings\u201d— Victoria Brownworth #NotLeavingThisBirdApp (@Victoria Brownworth #NotLeavingThisBirdApp) 1538080021
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