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In Stark Contrast to Ford's Measured Appearance, Kavanaugh Falls Apart With 'Rage, Terror, and Fear' on National TV

"This is the face of a man who is facing consequences for his actions for the first time in his life. At age 53."

Julia Conley

 U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018. (Photo by Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images)

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:

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.

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.


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