Kavanaugh hearings muddy democracy


By Kit Duckworth, Staff Writer

The confirmation hearing for Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh played out in the public eye like a well-written Hollywood script on Thursday. Emotions boiled over and tempers flared, but the American people are no closer to the truth than they were when the week began.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford sat down in front of the U.S. Senate, her voice becoming warped as she fought back tears, recounting in vivid detail a sexual assault carried out by Kavanaugh, a man nominated for one of the most prestigious positions in the country.
The next morning two women, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher, passionately confronted Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) as he stepped onto an elevator in the Capitol.
The senator had earlier announced he was going to vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation onto the Supreme Court despite more allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Their voices ripped through the space, heavy with a guilty silence. “Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me!” Gallagher wailed at Senator Flake.
Through the lens of a video camera, these emotions were felt by the entire country. However, despite their testimonials, Kavanaugh is still set to go before the entire Senate for a vote that could elevate him to the nation’s highest court late this week.
His nomination is another example of the polarization that exists between Americans. Republicans and Democrats, men and women, are at each other’s throats.
Words like “liars” and “opportunists” are thrown at women speaking out about their sexual assaults, especially if the perpetrators are men in power.
Worst of all, it is easy to predict who will be outraged by the allegations. Those on the left will support the victims and be out for the blood of Republicans, while those on the right will sneer at their stories and reprimand Democrats for their “suspicious timing.”
Politically, the country is at a standstill.
We cannot move forward when everything falls toward the two extremes, nor can we advance when the institutions that run the country would rather play politics than do what’s right.
It’s like a never-ending episode of “House of Cards.”
Citizens shouldn’t have to beg for objectivity or the bare minimum standard of civic decency.
During the hearing, I think the conduct from both sides of the aisle was abhorrent.
The behavior of both parties is a disservice to Blasey Ford and any survivor of sexual assault, for that matter.
Americans should have the highest standard for any office wielding that kind of power, whether it’s a Supreme Court justice, senator, Congressperson or, most important of all, the President.
But our politicians sacrifice standards for a game of one-upping those with the opposite ideology.
Injustice is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It isn’t a liberal or conservative issue.
It’s an American issue — and true patriots are hard to find. Instead of having empathy and objectivity and caring about other people, we can only look 10 feet ahead, not beyond.
And if the only time a man cares about sexual assault against women is when it has happened to his wife, daughter, sister or mother, that’s a problem.