Like millions of other people here in the United States and overseas, I watched the testimony of Dr. Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee. I have worked in the field of mental health for 50 years and have taught psychology at the university level for more than 40. Dr. Ford, in my view, was utterly believable. She was honest about what she could and could not remember. She came forward to give testimony at great risk to herself and followed her conscience.
Subsequently a number of Republican senators said they believed she had indeed been traumatized, but she was just wrong about who carried out the attempted rape. I am at loss to understand how they think that could be the case; the perpetrator was someone she knew and he was on top of her during those terrifying moments.
Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony was of a different sort. It is one thing to be angry and upset (which was understandable under the circumstances) but it is quite another to rant and rave and respond defensively and evasively to very reasonable questions from senators. Over 1,600 jurists and law professors (with various political orientations) have subsequently signed on to a letter stating that Kavanaugh, in light of this conduct, has shown himself to be unfit to be on the Supreme Court. But apparently none of the Republican senators, except for Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, thought that such behavior was unbecoming a judge. Or maybe they are so intent to get their candidate on the Supreme Court that nothing else matters.
Recently, at a rally in Mississippi, President Trump mocked Dr. Ford in front of a cheering audience. Trump, who does not drink, could not blame alcohol for his behavior which resembles what one might expect from an immature, inebriated fraternity brother. Instead, it is rather obvious than he was being his usual calculating demagogic self. And only three Republicans chastised him for his disgusting comments. Could you imagine Jimmy Carter, George H. or W. Bush, or Barack Obama acting in this way? I also wonder about the people who cheered him on. Given that this was Mississippi, it is likely that many of them go to church. But surely no church would condone such behavior, such unloving and unfair attitudes and actions.
I would describe myself as moderately conservative and for that reason I have little patience for defenders of President Trump who dismiss his critics as “left-wing.” The concerns that millions of people, including his own colleagues, have about Brett Kavanaugh go beyond partisanship. The evidence that something is seriously wrong with this nomination, as well as with the president’s behavior and the Republican Party’s subservience to Trump, stares us in the face.
It is nothing short of perverse that his administration, whose policies are profoundly anti-Christian, are supported by the majority of white Evangelicals. Sure, they are hoping that they will get a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v Wade and for that reason they are willing to “shake hands with the devil.” But they should remember that if you shake hands with the devil, you might easily end up in bed with him. It looks to me like this has already happened.