Beyond belief

What happened in 1982 doesn't matter as much as what happened yesterday


I don’t know what happened that night and neither do you. How could we? The Democrats asked for an FBI investigation; the Republicans said LOL no. They also refused to call Mark Judge as a witness. In the end there was only Ford's testimony and Kavanaugh's rageful denials.

I only observed this spectacle as I would an eclipse, via the mirror of Twitter and news reports, with an occasional peep at hearing footage. The "[National Review] Tweets the Kavanaugh-Ford Hearings" stream provided a pretty good mirror of conservative sentiment — which is that Ford is a lying slut but we mustn't say so, so let's portray her as merely addled and pathetic. Get a load of NR's Rich Lowry who, after pimping a story about how "'False Memories' Are More Common Than You Think," hint hint, says in praise of Kavanaugh's opening tantrum, "Indeed, one of the most moving moments was when he said that his daughter suggested praying for Ford," LOL.

Thus, they went on, Ford was not to blame -- certainly no man on this committee would blame her! -- for she was really yet another victim of the evil manipulative Democrats. NR’s Alexandra DeSanctis:

Maybe he tried to rape her, maybe he didn't, who knows -- the real crime is Democrats trying to use it against him. Noah Rothman also seems tuned in to this game plan:

But you know how he’s voting, don’t you? That's why the GOP's "female assistant" Rachel Mitchell was brought in for the Ford portion -- to serve as a mask for their traditional contempt for any woman with a grievance against them -- only to have her role scaled back for the second-half Man Act, where Kavanaugh and Lindsey Graham yelled and their comrades evinced varying degrees of dudgeon. They've learned that much since the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings: minimize rather than antagonize the females, then pump out anti-liberal bile.

They don’t care whose name is on your “I believe” button and, as I've already said, none of this changes the outcome: They're going to put this asshole on the court and, like their other assholes, he'll do what he's been bred to do. Repealing Roe is part of it, but also prepare to see immigration, civil rights, due process and other types of cases decided more or less as your rageaholic uncle with the gun collection and the MAGA cap would have done.

The good news is, if the Republican voter-suppression advantage can be overcome, there's a chance there'll be enough votes in the Senate next year to impeach Kavanaugh for perjury. But even if they manage to summon the guts for that, as with other aspects of this era, the available corrective mechanisms won't be able to completely undo the damage.

I say all this not to be a downer or defeatist -- at least, I don't think I'm ceding defeat prematurely. In a way I’m optimistic: No one can credibly argue that Lindsay Graham acquitted himself better than Christine Blasey Ford did, and today there are certainly more people who grasp the seriousness of the situation than there were yesterday. But none of that matters unless we summon and certify the votes to make it matter. Believe that.