These aren’t fully formed reflections.
I watched both hearings yesterday & while it is clear to me that Kavanaugh should not be confirmed not just for the credible allegation, but for his clear inability to not be partial, partisan, and vindictive, more than anything it has left me feeling…I don’t know what exactly. Some mix of gross, disgusted, and sad.
I think probably more than anything it’s sad. Sad for Dr Ford for what she experienced and the clear terror she still faces from it. Sad for our inability to truly listen and respond with support and justice for women who experience sexual abuse. Sad because I know of so many women who have experienced so much abuse, and everyday harassment that is just so “normal” they don’t even bother saying anything about it.
It made me sad for our political system and process. The pure entitled rage that emanated from Kavanaugh was despicable and disgusting. It looked as though he was spitting venom and bile. Never mind his endorsement of conspiracy theories and clear display for his partisan commitments. The way that he flat out lied. The way that he hemmed and hawed with indignation and refused to answer almost all questions from Democrats directly – revealing his utter lack of credibility. And then all these white GOP men ate it up and swarmed to his defense. Daring to accuse Democrats of power greediness and delay – Merrick Garland anyone? – and trying to turn away from the very credible account of Dr Ford (corroborated by Kavanaugh’s own calendar from the time). And it made me sad too that the Democrats by and large did such a terrible job with this process and the time they had with only a few exceptions (eg Coons and Harris).
It made me feel sad for our lives because this terrible man will have so much power to decide what we can and cannot do, what we can or cannot consume, who we can or cannot marry, what we can or cannot say, what we can or cannot expect for justice and accountability, how we can or cannot get health services, what those in power can or cannot do with power, how we can or cannot pollute and destroy our earth, how we can or cannot express our supposed God-given rights.
But I just feel gross and sad. It was bearing witness to a naked ugliness, to the self-entitled rage of men, especially rich white men who refuse to be questioned. It was bearing witness to the visible pain, trauma, and terror that Dr Ford has carried for too long, the remarkable bravery and courage for her to speak out to save our country and rectify this wrong, however inadequately, and the reality that this vile, vile, man who is not entitled to and does not belong on the highest court with power over our daily lives for the rest of his natural life will nonetheless be appointed because patriarchy is still winning, because Republicans value “winning” more than principles and morals, and because most Democrats are incompetent, and because our system, marred as it is, is imploding.
This is a sad, sad day.