I have to admit that I got momentarily hopeful during Brett Kavanaugh's meltdown before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday afternoon.
Despite his denials, it was supremely obvious that this middle-aged preppie had watched Christine Blasey Ford's testimony against him that morning. He had noticed, right along with the rest of the country, that the Republican men on the committee were sniveling cowards who abrogated their own sworn duties to a female sex crimes prosecutor in a vain attempt to hide their historical misogyny from the world.
Therefore, in a desperate attempt to save his professional life, he dropped the noblesse humility routine and unleashed the ugly aggression he had more or less kept hidden from the world for his entire life. Between copious gulps of water to hide the self-pitying tear-water gushing unbidden from his beady little eyes, he waxed bathetic about his obsessive-compulsive, calendar-keeping father being the role model of minutiae for any red-blooded American preppie who worked his tail off competing in violent sports and hanging out at the country club. He blubbered about being the only child of a woman jurist whose idea of family mealtime conversations was badgering her husband and son in practice sessions for courtroom inquisitions. The Kavanaugh kitchen table apparently did double duty as a witness box.
No wonder Kavanaugh kept sobbing and slugging the water through his angry tears. His throat must have dried up just thinking about the torture of his upper middle class home life - torture that he may have relieved by drinking to excess and assaulting young women and girls before he finally graduated to writing the legal justifications for torture as a well-credentialed pathocrat in the Bush administration. He finally matured just enough to sublimate his sadism.
Until, for possibly the first time in his adult life, he was called to account.
Kavanaugh's unhinged, paranoid opening statement should have been enough to condemn him. Who wants a cornered wild animal on the Supreme Court? Even the most die-hard Republicans might have taken pause, given that one of their own was making a Donald Trump ultra-right campaign rally look almost like a sober academic exercise in comparison.
Very naively, I expected that the very first words out of lead Democrat Dianne Feinstein's mouth would be to ask him whether he'd been drinking alcohol that afternoon, or if he was taking any psychotropic medications, or if he had ever sought or received mental health counseling or substance abuse treatment. Demanding that he count backward from 100 or name the first president would also not have been beyond the pale, in light of his public tantrum with its own microcosmic mix of mood swings between anger, despair, megalomania, and paranoia. Instead, she appeared merely stunned and mindlessly persisted with her own rehearsed line of softballs.
Oh well, I thought, the woman is in her eighties. She's probably tired. But then, one after the other, the Democratic "opposition" of trained legal eagles fell like a house of cards. One after another, they asked the same lame question about why Kavanaugh wouldn't independently request an FBI investigation into the latest allegations.
It didn't take long for both the feral Republicans on the panel and their nominee to sniff the terminally anemic Democratic blood. After only a few minutes they even dispensed with their female sex crimes prosecutor proxy and started not so much asking questions as ranting their opposition to the Democrats. (They actually did make a valid point in speculating which Democrat had leaked Dr. Blasey Ford's name to the media without her consent.)
As for Kavanaugh, his own tears quickly dried as he went into full prosecutorial mode against his own pretend-prosecutors. If they dared question him about his drinking habits, he hectored them about their own drinking habits. And they sat there, and they took it. He was the raging locomotive, and they were the decrepit piles of automotive rust stuck on the tracks.
Lest he be seen as a Mama's boy for conferring too often with his own attorney, a woman named Beth Wilkinson who is married to current CNN contributor and former NBC star David Gregory, Kavanaugh took breaks from the proceedings at regular intervals. (compared to only one taken by Dr. Blasey Ford that morning.) To be fair, though, he could also have a weak bladder from drinking all that water, or whatever it was.
The bad parts: Kavanaugh will probably be confirmed, once GOP "moderates" Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins can safely vote No with the help of perhaps a few Democratic wingnuts like Joe Manchin giving him the thumbs up. Kavanaugh will then proceed to take more legal revenge against women, and children, and men, than he normally would have without having been accused of sex crimes.
Strangely enough, though, there is plenty of good stuff coming out of this hearing.
--Most important of all, Dr. Blasey Ford is inspiring many more women to speak up about - and out against - their own predators. It has been a catharsis. Even if her own attacker is confirmed, her testimony will not have been in vain. Predators in all walks of life and from all social classes have been put on notice like never before.
--For anyone who still thought the Democrats were the champions of the little guy, and gal, they were disabused of their faith from watching the sad liberal performance at Thursday's hearing. Not only was it not the "grilling" that was advertised, the Democrats may as well have donned their butlers' uniforms and presented Kavanaugh with a tray full of gourmet soft-serve custard. They are so used to serving money and power they couldn't help being their normal, collegial, deferential selves to his snarling face. They will save their faux vitriol for the TV cameras and their fundraising emails. This debacle should cost them plenty in both money and votes, hastening the demise of a hopelessly weak and corrupt party which has become nothing but the slightly liberal appendage of this country's de facto totalitarian system of one-party rule of, by, and for corporations and billionaires.
--Kavanaugh was probably right about one thing. He will never be able to resume what he creepily described as his life's crowning achievement and pleasure: coaching girls' basketball. Along with getting lifetime tenure on the Supreme Court, Preppie Boy will also have to spend the rest of his life on the virtual Sex Crimes Registry. He will likely be marginalized by his peers in the court. All his opinions - if he is even allowed to write a couple - will be tainted with corruption, both personal and institutional. Perhaps he will even succeed where Clarence Thomas failed, becoming the impetus for Supreme Court term limits.
For that to happen, though, we must first ensure that there are at least two ruling political parties in this country. That sounds like a low bar, for sure, and it certainly must be accompanied by the removal of bribery money from politics.
A pivot to anything even remotely resembling representative democracy will be a long slog, to put it mildly. But the more people who are finally waking up to their own justified anger, the better. The wake-up calls have been coming in loud and clear lately, despite the best efforts of the political-media complex to alternately keep us entertained and scared witless by the twin specters of Trump and "Russian meddling in our totally free and fair elections."
Thanks, Kavanaugh. Thanks, Senate. You are virtual alarm bells ringing in the heads of the moribund. You should be very, very afraid.