by Harvey Green
I listened to parts of Kavanaugh’s performance yesterday. Here is what struck me.
1. The man is an actor, or better yet, a phony. His high dudgeon was in stark contrast to his other performances, e.g. the Fox interview and his appearance before the Judiciary Committee before this hit the fan. He used the Roy Cohn defense, now popular with DDT. “Deny, deny, deny, then change the subject.” He did this in part because DT called him “weak” after the Fox interview. Which one is the real one?
2. He was rude in the extreme, in ways I do not recall ever hearing in a Senate hearing. He interrupted Senators on their time and refused to shut up and answer perfectly rational questions, e.g., “If you welcome any investigation then do you favor an FBI investigation to get at facts?” Several Senators asked this and he never said he did.
3. He seems excessively—even obsessively—concerned about and interested in sports, to the extent that he ran up $200,000.00 in baseball ticket bills. Somehow he thinks this is relevant, but of course it is not, save that his spending could get him in financial trouble and compromise him on the bench.
4. He went on ad nauseam about his high school record and how excellent he and it were. His personality seems to me to have not advanced very far from that point in his life, in spite of his now elevated status. He did not mention his SAT scores as he was evading Durbin’s question about an investigation, which makes me think they probably were not all that great, or at least not in the 700s. This self-celebration in public is reminiscent of the lout who nominated him.
5. He may well be a good father to his daughters and a good coach for the girls’ basketball team. But the other girls out there matter just as much.
6. The stuff on the Clintons’ revenge for his part in the Starr cases was bizarre, but consistent with the extreme right’s obsession with them, and with conspiracy theories concerning Vince Foster’s suicide, etc. He went on about how this experience has been terrible for his family, but somehow missed the point that what he did was worse for Foster’s family. This stuff alone should disqualify him for the SCOTUS.
7. His threat implied in “What goes around comes around” is also a disqualification, since it suggests he cannot be and will not be a neutral judge should he get on the Court. But this is no surprise, in a way. He was a political hack and hit man before he got onto the Federal Courts.
8. He and his fellow GOP on the Committee seem not to realize that it has already “come around.” The latest political crisis for the Court began with McConnell refusing to even hold a hearing for a duly appointed Presidential appointee, Merrick Garland. McConnell is likely to go down in history as one of the most destructive Senators since Preston Brooks, who nearly killed Charles Sumner by caning him.
9. His intemperate performance is consistent with his adolescent behavior, and ought to be a disqualification, but of course, won’t be.
10. He’s done nearly the impossible—making Clarence Thomas look better.