‘My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false allegations…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Following a morning of composed and “collegial” testimony from accuser Christine Blasey Ford, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh set a different tone in his opening address, delivering a fiery, raw and emotionally impactful defense that needed to elicit empathy from the Senators in whose hands his fate lies.
Kavanaugh called the 10-day delay in the hearing and the interim media circus a “national disgrace.”
“You have replaced ‘advise and consent’ with ‘search and destroy,'” he said to Senate Democrats.
“I always try to be on the sunrise side of the mountain, to be optimistic about what is coming, but today, I have to say, I fear for the future,” he said.
In stark contrast to Ford’s testimony, during which she often applied her clinical knowledge as a psychologist while claiming not to understand the meaning of the word “exculpatory,” Kavanaugh painted a very personal picture, talking about his close relationships with family and friends.
“I ask you to judge me by the same standard that you would apply to your father, your brother, your husband and your son,” he said.
Kavanaugh acknowledged drinking beer in his youth.
“I liked beer—I still like beer—but… there is a bright line between drinking beer—which I gladly do and I fully embrace—and sexual assault.”
He made a cautionary appeal that if every beer-drinking American is accused of sexual assault, dark days lie ahead.
The testimony–in which he frequently scowled, crossed his arms and sniffled, coming close to breaking down emotionally–showed a very different person than a more distant interview with Fox News a few nights ago.
Although backed by many female friends and supporters, he sat alone at the table as a man against the world.
The besmirching of his name, he feared, had stakes beyond the Supreme Court, having potentially cost him teaching and coaching positions.
“My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false allegations.”
In addition to conveying emotion, Kavanaugh also did his best to highlight his personal attributes and dismantle Ford’s testimony while avoiding a personal attack on her.
“Dr. Ford’s allegation is not merely uncorroborated. It is refuted by the very people she said were there—including a longtime friend of hers.”
While largely effective in his opening testimony, Kavanaugh’s emotional delivery spilled over into early exchanges with Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican interrogator Rachel Mitchell.
With both, he emphatically denied the sexual assault allegations.