Republican Senators hired an outsider to ask questions last week of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. I wish the Democrats had followed suit, handing their final questions of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to somebody who did not gain access to the microphone by winning an election. It may have sounded something like this.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Judge Kavanaugh, I’d like to keep things very simple, if you don’t mind. I will keep my questions brief and straightforward, to make the most of our time. May I ask for the same courtesy from you?
In my understanding about events that occurred in 1982, Dr. Ford has made certain claims. She described her certainty as “100 percent.” You have sounded similarly certain. So, at least one of you is mistaken or being untruthful. Does that make sense to you — yes or no?
Truthfulness today is our concern. What happened in 1982 isn’t important, per se, unless current testimonies are relevant to future job performance. Do you agree, yes or no?
Why do you suppose Dr. Ford would create a story that included you and another person in the room? Wouldn’t that make the story potentially disprovable? And why would she approach her Congressperson before your candidacy was confirmed?
Forgive me for a moment. When this story first emerged, I imagine somebody like you immediately reaching out to Dr. Ford, through appropriate intermediaries. I picture a man of great prestige asking for an audience, devoted to listening to her story, doing whatever might be possible to make amends, and using his lofty position to call other men to do the same. But that’s not what you did, is it, Judge Kavanaugh?
Did you reach out to Dr. Ford any time over the past 35 years or during the last two weeks since her traumatization has been made public, yes or no?
You have testified that you did not listen to her testimony this morning. That concerns me. We’ve heard news reports of you arriving many mornings for the past two weeks at the White House and remaining there most of the day. Is that correct?
During that time, have you had — directly or through intermediaries — contact with President Trump?
How about with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or his staff?
We’ve recently read, by Bob Woodward’s account, President Trump’s advice. Allow me to quote a brief passage: “”You’ve got to deny, deny, deny… If you admit to anything … then you’re dead. … You’ve got to be aggressive. You’ve got to push back hard. You’ve got to deny anything that’s said about you. Never admit.” Do those words sound familiar to you?
You apologized to Senator Amy Klobuchar earlier today, after attacking her when she asked if you have ever blacked out from alcohol. You stated in your apology that this proceeding has made for a long day. I noticed you kept your composure better after being questioned — often more aggressively — by men. Should that concern us?
You told Fox News in an interview this week that you were a virgin through high school, but our concern here is not with sex. It’s about power, the abuse of power, even if it’s inadvertent. Do you recall how much you weighed in high school?
Your aggressive tone in today’s hearing does not seem inconsistent with the entitlement of a 17-year-old who might have enjoyed taking advantage of a smaller, younger woman — and then laughing about it — in the ways described by Dr. Ford. But let’s return again to the matter at hand. Do you believe your outrage today against a secret pro-Clinton cabal comports well with the temperament required of a Supreme Court justice?
Since you’ve stated so unequivocally your disdain for the Democrats on this committee, can you tell us today that you will recuse yourself from any cases that involve partisan gerrymandering, voter identification, or any other partisan concerns?
I’m sure you share my hope that the country will be better off when we complete our duty here. It’s not too late for you to reach out to Dr. Ford, and I encourage you to do so. Thank you, Mr. Kavanaugh.
Don Kahle (email@example.com) writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and blogs at www.dksez.com.