Putting aside all allegations, senate confirms Kavanaugh to Supreme Court after strange hearing

The Sept. 27 hearing of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh was a monumental moment for our country.

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were in high school in the 1980s. She stated to the senate committee in her testimony at the hearing that she was “100 percent” certain Kavanaugh was the perpetrator. Kavanaugh, on the other hand, asserted this was merely a “calculated and orchestrated political hit” on the part of the democrats.

Much of what makes this issue so divisive is its subjectivity. With no irrefutable concrete evidence, the hearing was a battle of gender roles, ideologies, laced with politics and perceived believability. Ford remained professional, calm and helpful as she testified and served as an expert witness, while Kavanaugh raised his voice and turned questions around on the senators who questioned him.

In a sense, it is difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt what happened that night decades ago. But it also seemed that there was a lack of effort put into the hearing, as only Ford and Kavanaugh were called to testify despite several other relevant witnesses being named or willing to come forward, including Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, and the several potential corroborators named by the attorney of Ramirez, Julie Swetnik, a third woman who came forward shortly after Ramirez and Kavanaugh’s former roommate. Some sources decided not to testify, most notably Mark Judge, a former close friend of Kavanaugh’s who Ford claims was in the room when the attack occurred. This turned the hearing into a “he-said, she-said” battle of words to prove credibility.

Throughout the hearing, Kavanaugh attempted to appeal to the American base as “another guy that likes beer,” completely overemphasizing this fact to an inappropriate, strange level.

When Arizona Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell asked if he consumed alcohol in high school, Kavanaugh’s response:

“Yes, we drank beer. My friends and I, boys and girls — yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. I still like beer. We drank beer. The drinking age, as I noted, was 18, so the seniors were legal … and yeah, we drank beer. Sometimes I probably had too many beers and sometimes other people had too many beers.”

Mitchell began to ask another question only to be interrupted by Kavanaugh.

“We drank beer. We liked beer,” Kavanaugh reiterated.

Mitchell asked how many beers Kavanaugh thought were too many, to which he responded, “I don’t know. Whatever the chart says.”

In another instance, Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar asked a follow-up question to his acknowledgement that he probably had too many drinks on occasion, but never “blacked out.”

“So you’re saying there’s never been a case where you drank so much that you didn’t remember what happened the night before, or part of the night before?” Klobuchar asked.

Kavanaugh replied, “You’re asking about blacking out. I don’t know, have you?”

“Can you answer the question? That’s not happened?”

“Yeah, and I’m curious if you have,” Kavanaugh pressed on.

There was, strangely, a lot of talk of beer during the hearing. It was obviously deflective of the heinous crime the hearing was actually about. Instead of respectfully cooperating in the hearing, Kavanaugh put on a fantastical display of toxic masculinity and male-privilege. Ford expertly and bravely testified as to what she remembers, admitting that she did not and could not remember everything, and even the science behind why she remembers. Kavanaugh deflected questions inquiring about initiating an FBI investigation, refused to take a professionally-administered polygraph exam as Ford had done prior to the hearing, and overall, exhibited an incredible disrespect for Ford’s experiences and American values.

Ford said it was her “civic duty” to share her experiences, acknowledging that she was “terrified” and knowing that she would be picked apart on a national stage. Whether it is possible to indict Kavanaugh is questionable due to lacking physical evidence, even though Maryland has no statute of limitations on sexual crimes cases. However, it is reasonable to dismiss Kavanaugh from consideration for the highest judicial position in the nation just based on the hearing. Even a skeptic of Ford and her motives for coming forward should look at Kavanaugh with disgust. How could a judge — whose job is to be impartial — baselessly attack democrats in a prepared opening statement?

We already have an unbelievably temperamental executive branch of government, and now that Kavanaugh has been confirmed to the Supreme Court, we have injected this behavior into the judicial branch that sets the highest standard for truth and temperament.

Instead, of respectfully cooperating in the hearing, Kavanaugh put on a fantastical display of toxic masculinity and male-privilege.

— Shane Ostrom

Perhaps the strangest and most transparent lies he told the committee were those when he told the committee what some of the slang words and phrases from his high school yearbook. He explained that “boof” referred to flatulence, “devil’s triangle” was a drinking game, and even suggestively referred to a female student at a nearby Catholic school in his yearbook entry, claiming that he and 13 other men mentioned her because she was a “great friend.”

I am not usually one to get hung up on silly things that might have been uttered during high school years to use against someone, but Kavanaugh is lying about them under oath. I know exactly what “boof” and “devil’s triangle” refer to, as do several Urban Dictionary entries from years before this hearing.

I find it despicable that we are so defensive of masculinity that we, as a nation are discussing the meaning of inappropriate slang terms and drinking in excess in the process of determining whether or not a man should be appointed to the Supreme Court. And for what? So that due process can continue to be used for automatic benefit of the doubt in the wake of serious and credible allegations? Is there no middle ground between due process and hearing the concerns of victims?

Ford’s lionhearted testimony may not qualify as concrete evidence, but I have a hard time believing that anyone could actually look at testimonies from both her and Kavanaugh and believe that she is less credible than him. It is simply preposterous.

Confirming Kavanaugh clearly indicated the priorities of today’s government, mostly because there was no definite reason to continue to endorse Kavanaugh other than to rush the confirmation before midterms in November. And just like that, sexual assault became just another partisan debate for politicians to yell at each other about.

The FBI investigation ordered in the week between the hearing and the confirmation was hardly an investigation at all. The proceedings were limited to no longer than one week and during this time, neither Ford nor Kavanaugh were spoken to. Similarly, the FBI did not return calls from sources close to Kavanaugh or Ford, as they lacked permission to do so.

As if it was not enough to confirm him, President Trump issued an apology to Kavanaugh. Using words that sound like they should have been meant for Ford, Trump apologized “on behalf of the nation” for the “terrible pain and suffering (Kavanaugh was) forced to endure.”

“You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent,” Trump said in his apology.

The White House’s lack of subtlety never fails to silence those who stand in the way.

I am speechless.