So I am writing this a couple days ahead of time. However, I can’t help but comment on Grassley’s handling of the Ford “hearing” and the whole general tone of their Kavanaugh rush through Grassley’s committee.
Pretty obvious the plan was for Grassley to set a tone of intimidation from the start. After a bumbling reading of his opening statement, Grassley turned the floor over to Senator Feinstein of California. Feinstein made a comment that Grassley disagreed with and immediately interrupted her. Once again he took on an intimidation pose and raised his voice to Feinstein.
Feinstein stood right up to Grassley and gave it right back to him. I believe what Grassley objected to was Feinstein’s statement that there was no FBI investigation. This was a theme that the Democrats on the committee would heaven back to over and over. She did not back down on this point.
One of the worst decisions made by Grassley was to try to soften the visual of old white angry men intimidating the female witness, so the Republicans on the committee brought in a female hired gun to do their dirty work. Once that was announced the visual that many got in their mind was of the angry old white men hiding behind a woman. A beard if you will.
The hired gun, the beard, was a woman prosecutor from Arizona. As she began her questioning it appeared that the hired gun did not seem to understand what her job was. Before the first break, the prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, asked questions to establish the truth. The truth made the Republicans look really bad. If their hired gun was shooting, she was shooting blanks.
During Senator Durbin’s questioning, he once more brought up the lack of an FBI investigation. Grassley nearly exploded, interrupting Durbin. Grassley stated in a near yelling voice that the lack of an FBI report was due to a lack of time caused by evidence (Ford’s letter) not being introduced in time. This is of course not true.
Following the break it appeared that the Republican hired gun had been given instructions to be harder. Mitchell tried in various ways to undermine Ford’s credibility but was unable to do so.
Remember Grassley also refused to bring in any other accusers, thus making the whole event into a total “he said, she said” process. Also put yourself in Dr. Ford’s shoes. They tried from the start to intimidate her without creating that visual.
It was frankly almost humorous to see Republican senator after Republican senator yield their time to their hired gun. Coward after coward after coward too gutless to stand up to this woman.
Grassley’s gambit – at least the opening piece – failed miserably.
Across America women and men who had been raped, molested or put in uncomfortable positions by men of power or knew someone who was, bonded with Dr. Ford. It was reported on social media and on regular media that women and some men across America were crying as Dr. Ford testified.
Grassley’s job was to get Kavanaugh through the senate and do it quickly. It is looking like he will fail.
Even if Grassley doesn’t fail in his assigned mission and Kavanaugh is confirmed, this whole sham of a confirmation process has exposed the true Republican Party to the country. It is ugly. It is a party of huge money and mostly old white guys doing all they can to hang on to their power and privilege. It is ugly.
As I finish this, Brett Kavanaugh is on my TV screen yelling and occasionally crying as he presents his apparently very well rehearsed opening statement. I am guessing that much like typing in all caps, yelling makes things more true.