Yesterday was the day when Christine Blasey Ford testified to Congress about her assault by Brett Kavanaugh. Yesterday was the day when Brett Kavanaugh defended himself against those charges. It was a circus, and it never should have happened. The result will be the deeper impression that the judicial system is more political and more corrupt than it ever has been. At least that will be the view of more than half the nation and a good part of the world.
Yet was justice really the point. It appears not. This whole situation has been twisted into a reason why the FBI is ineffective, and the slippery slope outcome of that argument is that we need to get rid of the head of the FBI. Wouldn’t that be convenient for the investigation about Russian ties to the president?
Yet if Mr. Kavanaugh had been held to account more strongly by Democrats in terms of their line of questioning (see this Slate article), and – more importantly – if Republicans were showing any respect for ethics, today’s testimony would never have been needed. Lives would not have been even more forever altered. The faith in our system may not have cracked further. If, rather than push this nomination through to get ahead of the mid-term elections (which clearly Republicans are nervous about – otherwise, what’s the hurry?), Republicans actually looked into whether Kavanaugh had lied – or was less than truthful – under oath when questioned by Congress for his current appointment, then they would have denied the confirmation earlier in the week.
But clearly ethics don’t matter. What happened to the party of Lincoln?
And Democrats don’t fare much better. By setting up a he said-she said scenario without grilling deeply into what’s already been aired, they have set up a scenario that perpetuates the status quo for women. Information goes nowhere. Rape kits aren’t tested. No evidence. Nothing changes.
I am disgusted by them all. I love what this country is supposed to stand for. But I am disgusted.
There is a complete leadership vacuum. There is a complete ethical vacuum. And this is what our young people know. Because actions speak louder than words. And inaction speaks volumes.
Twenty-seven years ago I was a naïve 22-year old at her first “real” job. The Anita Hill trials were going on. I was being sexually harassed at the time, but I didn’t think anyone would believe me because no one believed her. The culture of the 1980s and early 1990s was very sexist, yet in the guise of sexual freedom for women. That put all the responsibility on women because they now have a choice, but the culture hadn’t changed to expect accountability from men – old or young. I thought no one would believe me, but as I found out later (after he was let go for other issues), I would have been believed because he already had a pattern of behavior. And since he was fired and I was still there, why would I say anything more? So, I didn’t. Anita Hill was not believed by our leaders. And neither was Dr. Blasey Ford, I suspect. It’s politics above all. Of course, like many men led by their super-ego, he tried to move on to more powerful positions – this one also in government. But the people denied him based on his political stance.
The message Congress sends to my own 17-year-old daughter and every other young woman is toxic. President Trump basically said “you are not believed.” This country only gives lip service to equality. Women are equal when they can make me a buck, but when they are not useful, fuck ‘em. And fuck ‘em to make them useful. Either way we’re fucked. I am disgusted.
I am disgusted that we are still here. Twenty-seven years later.
I’d be willing to bet the people – if given a chance – would deny Kavanaugh. But that isn’t our system, and I respect the purpose of the lifetime appointment. If people voted on Supreme Court justices, this sort of spectacle would be the norm. That’s not healthy for our country.
But today the Senate will be voting. They will not just be voting on a new justice, they will be voting on my rights, my daughter’s rights, and potentially my granddaughter’s rights. My own grandmother, who only gained the right to vote when she was in her ‘20s encouraged me to stand tall for women’s rights and the rights of women to choose when they would be mothers. If this right is not upheld, which it most likely won’t by those who don’t respect women as human beings, then this country is not worth shit.