(Update) A sham hearing and a denial of due process

This. Is. Not. Normal.

This is unprecedented for a confirmation hearing.

The eleven privileged white male Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are going to hide behind the skirts of a hired gun female prosecutor to question Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh because they cannot contain their obvious contempt for a woman who is the victim of a sexual assault and express their view that the real victim here is privileged white male Brett Kavanaugh.

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) concedes that GOP men can’t be trusted to treat Dr. Ford appropriately during hearing:

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is praising the move by GOP Judiciary Committee members to use outside counsel to question the accuser of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during Thursday’s hearing. It’s pure genius, he said, because, frankly, GOP men simply can’t be trusted to act culturally appropriate toward a woman.

“I think it’s really smart of them to get outside counsel,” Corker told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday. When asked why he thought the all-male Republican members of the panel shouldn’t handle the questioning of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford themselves, Corker responded:

“Somebody will do something that you guys will run 24/7 and inadvertently somebody will do something that’s insensitive.”

Gee, “insensitive” like calling Dr. Blasey Ford “mixed up” such as Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) did or saying her sexual assault claims have been a “drive-by shooting” of Kavanaugh like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) did? Both are members of the Judiciary Committee but, really, how could any man be expected to know that dismissing a PhD and trauma victim as “this woman” or “that lady” is sexist? C’mon, give the fellas a break—people are so touchy touchy these days about basic human decency.

“Gee, what could possibly be more sexist than hiring a woman to do the dirty work while the men ultimately continue to retain all the power?”

It is a safe bet to say that the vast majority of Republican senators agree with Rep. Kevin Cramer, the Republican nominee for Senate in North Dakota, who has gone all Todd Akin on this matter. Republican lawmaker on Kavanaugh: ‘Even if it’s all true, does it disqualify him?’

[Cramer] told an interviewer, “it’s tragic, it’s unfortunate, it’s terrible” if Brett Kavanaugh pinned Christine Blasey Ford to a bed, covered her mouth so she couldn’t scream, and tried to tear her clothes off. But “even if it’s all true, does it disqualify him? It certainly means that he did something really bad 36 years ago, but does it disqualify him from the Supreme Court?”

This is clearly the view held by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, as well as judiciary committee members Orrin Hatch and Lindsey Graham. A privileged white male should not be denied an appointment to which he is entitled — because he is a privileged white male — simply because he may have sexually assaulted some woman in his past. Pshaw!

Women simply do not matter to these Republican men. This is self-evident from the fact that the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled Kavanaugh confirmation vote for Friday morning. The Washington Post correctly observes Top Senate Republicans aren’t even pretending Kavanaugh’s accusers will make a difference.

The GOP has set up an Alice in Wonderland trial of Christine Blasey Ford:

. . . “Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first–verdict afterward.”
“Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly. “The idea of having the sentence first!”
“Hold your tongue!” said the Queen, turning purple.
“I won’t!” said Alice.
“Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.

So here is where we are, as of today. The eleven privileged white male Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee will abdicate their responsibility of advice and consent under the Constitution and hide behind the skirts of hired gun Rachel Mitchell, a sex crimes prosecutor from the Maricopa County Attorney’s office. Arizona prosecutor tapped to lead hearing for Brett Kavanaugh, accuser.

Washington D.C. has hundreds of former federal U.S. attorneys and state prosecutors working in law firms, so it is a curious decision to hire a county prosecutor from Arizona. It is almost certainly at the recommendation of Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who was Bret Kanavaugh’s “sherpa” for the confirmation process until he was appointed to the Senate after John McCain died, or by Senator Jeff Flake. Someone should nail this down.

Senators will be limited to five minutes  of inquiry apiece. This means Rachel Mitchell will have 55 minutes each with Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh, and Democratic Senators, most of whom are experienced prosecutors, will have 50 minutes.

The committee will not subpoena Mark Judge to testify, whom Dr. Blasey alleges was in the room when she was sexually assaulted and was an accomplice. How in the world is Mark Judge not testifying?

Nor will the committee take testimony from Dr. Blasey’s psychiatrist or the former FBI agent who administered a lie detector test that she passed.

Nor will the committee take testimony from any corroborative or exculpatory witnesses, including Four People Told The Senate That Christine Blasey Ford Told Them She Was Sexually Assaulted In High School.

Nor will the committee take testimony from a second credible accuser, Deborah Ramirez. Lawyer for second Kavanaugh accuser says Republicans refuse to talk.

There is no desire by Republicans to get at the truth, because it simply does not matter to them: “Even if it’s all true, does it disqualify him?” He is a privileged white male who is entitled.

This is contempt for Senate rules, contempt for due process, contempt for the rule of law, and contempt for women. It is an abuse of power by authoritarian Republicans who are drunk with power.

POLITICO reports that GOP support for Kavanaugh wavers:

GOP Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are all preaching a thorough process and saying they have an open mind.

* * *

And it’s not just those four Republicans who are open to being convinced either way. Several other GOP senators said on Monday that their votes will be determined by how Ford and Kavanaugh perform before the committee.

* * *

The past 10 days seem to have rattled even some of Kavanaugh’s most ardent supporters. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) was working as Kavanaugh’s sherpa to get him confirmed before being appointed to the Senate after the death of John McCain, but he didn’t want to talk about Kavanaugh at all on Monday as the nomination hung in the balance.

“I don’t have any stand. I’m still working really hard to figure out where to go and how to get there,” said Kyl, who used to be the No. 2 Republican.

Sorry, but I’m not buying it. Republican senators desperately want to get to “yes” on Kavanaugh’s nomination to appease their GOP crazy base. This despite the fact that a Record number of voters oppose Kavanaugh nomination.

This is not how our democracy is supposed to work.





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One response to “(Update) A sham hearing and a denial of due process

  1. CALL Grassley’s office in addition to Flake’s1-202-224-3744! Give him a piece of your mind!