Brett Kavanaugh is one very angry man.
His exchanges in the Senate confirmation hearing were those of a tortured and embittered soul who feels he has been wronged by forces out to get him for the worst of motives. He was, at various moments of the meeting, and in varying degrees, mostly at the extreme end of the scale, partisan, belligerent, sneering and downright rude. He may feel that he has been wronged, but the senators questioning him were doing a job on behalf of the electors, not to mention the Constitution, and his job was to answer them.
Instead, at times, he often turned the tables on his questioners and demanded answers of them. Asked if he had ever blacked out after drinking alcohol he responded to one of his interlocutors in a sneering tone, “Have you?” In response to another questioner on the alcohol issue, he snapped, “I like beer. Do you?”
During another exchange, he railed against an alleged left-wing conspiracy, which he said was orchestrated, calculated and an ‘act of revenge’ on behalf of the Clintons. Who or what did the orchestrating and calculating he failed to reveal. Paranoia rules in Washington DC these days – but does the condition have to be transferred to the bench of the Supreme Court?
On the basis of Kavanaugh’s testimony – but not, I hasten to add, on his guilt or innocence on charges of sexual assault, on which I have nothing useful to contribute – I would say that his behaviour was that of a man coming to the end of his tether. So tightly wound was he that I thought that any moment he might unravel altogether. One commentator called him ‘unhinged’. I would not argue with that.
His supporters would say that he has endured much that would send any man to the edge, if not over it. But should a prospective Supreme Court justice be such a man? Paranoia is rife in American politics right now, but surely a man who aspires to sit in judgement in the highest court in the land should be speaking in reasonable, measured and understated tones, whatever the provocation. There was nothing reasonable, measured or understated about Brett Kavanaugh.
Frankly, I found him a little scary. And that was when he did not have a few drinks inside him. Or am I, in that respect, assuming too much?
There is no knowing what the cobbled-together FBI investigation will come up with over the following week. Not much more than is already known, I suspect.
So my guess is that Kavanaugh will be confirmed. His temperament already has been.
It is far from reassuring.
JJ, you can rest assured that I totally disagree with you in this regard. The entire charade was one concocted by your liberal brethren and a total disgrace. My reaction would have been a bit more crass than that of Judge Kavanaugh. More importantly, I am greatly disappointed in what passes for the U.S. Senate these days.
Susan Collins explained things quite well this afternoon.
We can differ as liberal versus conservative, but my objection to Kavanaugh was not so much political as his behaviour at the hearing. A Supreme Court judge by definition must be cold and dispassionate, whether provoked or not. Kavanuagh was a negative image of both – rude and obviously angry. As for this being a put up job, much as the Democrats welcomed Ford’s intervention, they didn’t invent her. She registered her complaint when his name was put forward as a nominee, and they exploited it. What would we have said if she had been ignored? I’ve no opinion on Kavanaugh’s guilt or innocence, although I’d say her claim sounded more plausible than his denial. Partisan politics rules on both sides of the aisle. Mitch McConnell, you may recall, sabotaged an Obama nominee three years ago on somewhat specious procedural grounds. We can agree on one thing, if for different reasons: the current crop of senators are a sorry and unworthy bunch.
We agree on much. Kavanaugh’s response was angry, it is true, but in my opinion justified. He was fighting one of the most despicable displays ever permitted on the floor of the Senate. Paid demonstrators permitted to screech obcenities pulled off the floor only to go outside to the paymaster (there are photos and video) is a testament to the lefttist descent into vileness. All supported by and orchestrated by members of Congress. A sad day for America.