All of the news outlets are broadcasting video of two women confronting Jeff Flake in an elevator after he announced his intention to vote Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court out of the Judiciary Committee.
For what it’s worth, and for different reasons, Judge Kavanaugh and Professor Ford both left a bad taste in my mouth yesterday. Kavanaugh was the more irritating, but only marginally; neither one of them convinced me of anything except that I’m glad they’re not part of my life.
This confrontation with Senator Flake exemplifies the emotional turmoil these allegations have provoked, and the way in which they corrupt our ability to have a rational conversation or sound governance.
No: Senator Flake was not telling women they don’t matter, or that raping women is allright, however loud and overwrought the complainant. The only questions legitimately before Senator Flake, and every other Senator on the committee, is, Did Brett Kavanaugh commit the acts alleged by Professor Ford? (and a handful of others), and, if so, How does that bear on his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court?
Brett Kavanaugh should not become the proxy for every grievance, real and fanciful, that some particular woman has against some particular man.
There are sound reasons to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination, and I hope they prevail. He has a too-expansive view of presidential power; a tendency to be too indulgent of corporate power; no apparent understanding that it is immigrants, minorities, outcasts, the out-of-step who have forced America, via the Supreme Court, to live up to its ideals; as he exhibited just yesterday, a susceptibility to conspiracy fabulism; and Donald Trump promised during the campaign to nominate only candidates who could be relied upon to overturn Roe.
Those are reasons enough to reject Kavanaugh.