On Sept.4, while delivering the opening statement of his confirmation hearing, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, uttered the following words:
"A good judge must be an umpire — a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy."
Not even a month down the lane, when it came to allegations against himself, Kavnaugh engaged in what was perhaps some of the most extraordinary displays of partisanship in U.S. politics.
Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault at a high school party, appeared separately before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27 to share their accounts of what happened 36 years ago.
Even though it was a Senate hearing, a chance for Ford to share her story, Republican senators grilled her as if she was on trial for allegedly assaulting Kavanaugh.
However, Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University in California, managed to emerge as confident and compelling throughout the session.
Hers was a thorough and harrowing testimony. She said exactly what she was supposed to at the hearing: reveal the details of the alleged sexual attack, talk about her duty as a survivor of sexual violence to help others and, lastly, how the all of it combined affected her life recently, including the fact that she had to relocate because of the death threats she had been receiving.
In a nutshell: Ford's account revolved entirely around the alleged incident that prompted the Senate hearing in the first place.
Kavanaugh's testimony, on the other hand, was quite the opposite as it focused mostly on partisan politics rather than the assault.
For starters, the same Supreme Court of the United States nominee who, not three weeks ago, drew an analogy between judges and umpires had not even made the effort to listen to Ford's testimony.
In her final question, Democratic Senator Kamala Harris asked Kavanaugh if he had watched Ford's testimony.
“I did not. I plan to. I was preparing mine,” he said.
Unlike Ford, who remained composed and through while narrating her account, Kavanaugh came across as belligerent, self-righteous and shaky. He spent a good amount of time yelling out his statements. He remained utterly dismissive of Ford or the issue of sexual violence in general (which, again, was deeply troubling considering the fact that Kavanaugh is a judge and is being considered to be a SCOTUS judge).
But the one aspect that stood out throughout his testimony was that how everything was happening to prevent another conservative judge from sitting on the Supreme Court of United States.
"This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit," Kavanaugh said. "This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade good people from serving our country."
This particular statement reeked of partisanship, one that echoed the sentiments of the GOP since the day Ford's accusations were first reported in the news. Prominent Republicans have unabashedly discounted Ford's claims by referring it to as a Democratic ploy.
Mike Davis, a top Republican staffer for the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted, “Unfazed and determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh," thereby refusing to even acknowledge the possibility of Ford's ordeal.
Sen. Lindsey Graham called the allegations a smear campaign.
Even former President George W. Bush stood by his support of Kavanaugh by calling him "a fine husband, father, and friend." As if fine husbands, fathers and friends cannot be sexual predators.
GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell went as far as saying regardless of an accusation of attempted rape, the GOP will "plow right through" with Kavanaugh’s appointment.
Lastly, President Donald Trump referred to Ford's accusations as totally "totally political" and even coyly implied Ford was a liar. (As appalling as it may sound, it wasn't surprising coming from the president who, himself, has been accused by at least 19 women, including his first wife Ivana Trump, of sexual misconduct and rape.)
So, Kavanaugh and the GOP appear to be on the same page -- again, a trait that's troubling for a SCOTUS judge.
In fact, in a rather shockingly transparent and desperate attempt to save Trump's SCOTUS nominee, Senator Graham declared Ford “just as much of a victim" as Kavanaugh.
The senator actually suggested a person who was allegedly sexually assaulted was as much of a victim who allegedly sexually assaulted someone.
This ridiculous insinuation is just one example of how low the GOP is willing to go in order to immediately confirm Kavanaugh.
After the testimonies, Trump also took to Twitter to reiterate Ford's allegations were a sham:
Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2018
If anything, the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings have proved one thing: the GOP does not know how to tackle allegations of sexual violence.
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