Lives totally and permanently altered

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

The televised U.S. Senate judiciary committee questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh was watched around the world last Thursday. News photos of people in planes, on trains, in bars, looking in windows of a retail TV store, in restaurants, in lunchrooms and offices showed an intense interest in a middle-aged woman telling her story of her life being totally and permanently altered when she was sexually assaulted at the age of 15.

For nine hours, millions of people were glued to the tube, first with Dr. Ford, and then with Judge Kavanaugh – she explaining, he refuting. It was he who complained that his life had been “totally and permanently altered” by her accusations. Ford never said it in those words, but she has lived a totally and permanently altered life for 30 years.

It was high drama akin to the melodramas of the Chautauqua circuit a century ago: the play about the attacked young woman tied to the railroad tracks by the mustachioed villain…and who would save her?

Who indeed?

Like in the melodramas of old, the villain dooms himself by his actions. In this particular modern-day rendition of evil abroad terrifying the relatively innocent young woman, this villain, by defending himself with such vehemence, doomed himself.

He did protest too much: he acted like a spoiled brat – whiny, tearful, belligerent, blaming, revengeful. He ignored any senator who dared to ask too impertinent a question – he interrupted, he asked rude questions, he turned away, he rolled his eyes. He was disdainful, disrespectful and dismissive. Most importantly, he was completely partisan in a public interview for a strictly nonpartisan job. He channeled his mentor and proved himself to us as the man he is – unworthy of our highest court.

If the Republicans expect any credibility ever again, they better slow it all down, not rush the vote, let us all look at Kavanaugh’s life record. (Is that what’s in the papers the GOP wouldn’t give the Dems? That his life record shows he’s gotten away with too much?) It would be wise for them to reveal to us his lifelong behavior – calm and judgelike? Angry bird-like? Too many women already suspect that all these Republicans care about is not what happened to the women as sexual victims but what will happen to the GOP if the vote is NO.

The Rs might pay attention to the many who, like my friend below, figured it this way:
“I watched the entire 9-hour hearing and I gotta say, that was by far the most qualified candidate I’ve ever seen. Temperament, judgment, thoughtfulness; all qualities for the highest court in the land. Dr. Ford will make an excellent Supreme Court Justice! I’m not sure who the angry crybaby was that came on later, but that dude was nuts!”

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