Update, 10:10 ET: I’ll lightly live blog the proceedings, with updates coming at the top in reverse chronological order. I’ll just stick with interesting developments; anything major will likely be covered in a post of its own.
I had forgotten the opening speechifying from committee members, which should add an hour to the proceedings. Chuck Grassley started off his time by blasting Dianne Feinstein for hiding Ford’s allegation for several weeks, and then having it leaked:
Grassley starts off hearing criticizing Feinstein’s handling of allegations and the letter Christine Blasey Ford wrote on July 30. “Throughout this period, we did not know about the ranking member’s secret evidence.” He says Ford was “mistreated” by having her allegation leaked
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 27, 2018
Original post follows …
Otherwise known as Kavanaugh II — Mud-Slinging Bugaloo. The Senate Judiciary Committee will open its extraordinary hearing into the allegation of teenage assault allegedly perpetrated by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, with only two witnesses: Kavanaugh himself and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. Even with just the two people testifying, the hearing is expected to last six or seven hours, so make sure to hydrate if you plan to dig in for the whole show.
The format will be somewhat limited. Ford will go first, deliver an opening statement, and then each committee member will have five minutes to ask questions. Republican members are expected to defer their time to the staff counsel they hired specifically for the occasion, Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, an investigator who specializes in sex crimes and cases that have been dormant for years. With 21 members, that’ll take at least two hours, perhaps more as chair Chuck Grassley flexes to allow Ford to answer fully and to keep the Democratic complaints of “railroading” down to a dull roar.
After that, the whole process begins again with Kavanaugh. Presumably Republicans will defer all their time to Mitchell again, although they might be champing at the bit by that time to respond to any Democratic provocations during Ford’s testimony. They may start bringing up the more ridiculous and debunked allegations that began leaking out to the media as part of their strategy to paint all of this as a desperate smear job, something Mitchell isn’t likely to do herself. At least another two hours will pass, at least, as Democrats hammer Kavanaugh with everything they can find and Grassley gets tighter with the gavel.
The Hill predicts that Democrats will attack Kavanaugh for his drinking and partying as a teen and young adult, hoping to demolish his “choir boy” image. At the very least, they want to drill down into his inability to get laid in the early 1980s, as “nobody believes” he escaped college as a virgin:
Several Democrats say their colleagues on the Judiciary Committee will ask “very detailed questions” of Kavanaugh about his drinking habits and his sexual relations in high school and college. Their plan is to make the nominee appear evasive.
Democrats will seize on the multiple references to partying and heavy drinking in Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook profile as well as the memoir by his friend, Mark Judge, “Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk,” which appears to reference Kavanaugh as a character named Bart O’Kavanaugh.
“One of the more obvious things to go after is the tension between the image of Judge Kavanaugh’s choir boy or frat boy. Bluntly, you can find both in his own writings and speeches,” said Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Judiciary Committee.
Another Senate Democrat said that “nobody believes” Kavanaugh was a virgin throughout high school and many years thereafter.
Truly, this is an effort worthy of the US Senate and a key qualifier for the Supreme Court. Was Kavanaugh a Dude or not? What relevance do 300 opinions written on the DC Circuit have when stacked up against that disqualification, which by the way has nothing to do with Ford’s specific claim?
In the end, the only result will be to leave us where we started. The people who care passionately about this won’t have their minds changed. The people who don’t care passionately about this will be disgusted by the exercise and even more turned off by the entire show. We will still have an uncorroborated allegation about an alleged incident 36 years ago that is flatly denied by the person accused, in which the people named by the accuser either say it didn’t happen or they have no recollection of it. Senators will get face time on TV, activists on both sides will collect sound bites, and nothing will have changed — because it’s impossible to move off of those positions as long as Ford and Kavanaugh remain in them.
It’s an exercise in futility, much as the hearing with Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill was. Twenty-seven years later, that’s still unresolved, and twenty-seven years from now, this will be too. Hold the vote, move on, and from now on just bring judicial nominations directly to the Senate floor.
Here’s the live video from the Washington Post, if you can stomach it.
The post Live video, blog: Exercise in Futility II: The Kavanaughcalypse begins; Update: Grassley blasts Feinstein appeared first on Hot Air.