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Pulling it all together.

Peter Daou sums up the Kavanaugh nomination:

But there’s something else going on here that feels like uncovering a pile of maggots in DC. It’s been all too clear since Anita Hill that women were considered second class citizens. The question was, where did that come from considering that so many women were ready to move into positions of power. Why is it we have so little governmental support in terms of family leave, day care, reproductive rights, equal pay? Why is it that the concerns of more than half of the country are disregarded Congress after Congress?

I have been reading a lot of Op/Ed’s by contemporaries of Brett Kavanaugh where I’m starting to get a clearer picture of where the ugliness is coming from. Here are two pieces in the Washington Post that clarify the picture. The first is about Christine Blasey Ford and how she tried to remake her life in her own image by leaving her suburban DC area home and going to California.

Her husband explains:

“She didn’t always get along with her parents because of differing political views,” Russell said. “It was a very male-dominated environment. Everyone was interested in what’s going on with the men, and the women are sidelined, and she didn’t get the attention or respect she felt she deserved. That’s why she was in California, to get away from the D.C. scene.”

That seems to be a persistent theme throughout these accounts of what it was like to grow up in Ford and Kavanaugh’s social set. It’s very male dominated.

The second piece is by Greg Jaffe, another prep school alumnus in Kavanaugh’s cohort goes into more detail about how this male dominance expresses itself:

All of the teachers who signed my 50th-birthday card were men. The few women who signed it all worked as administrators. This fact was no doubt a product of Landon’s culture in the 1980s: In my memory, we tested and terrorized the female teachers with petty acts of harassment, such as collectively staring at an eighth-grade earth science teacher’s breasts or dropping our pencils in unison at a specific time in the middle of her class (a feat we did not repeat for any male instructors). After several days of this behavior, the young science teacher broke down in tears. The reason I can recall only the names of my male teachers from that period is because the women usually didn’t stay long. (Today, Landon says that about one-third of its upper-school teachers are women, a big and welcome increase from my time at the school.)

“We definitely were terrible to the female teachers,” said Patrick Breen, a lifelong friend who is now a history professor at Providence College in Rhode Island. He remembered the middle-school Spanish teacher who felt angry and harassed when someone from my class put a jock strap on her dog, which she brought to school.

A few of the male teachers contributed to this culture. One U.S. history teacher introduced us to women’s suffrage by calling on a student who was often unprepared for class and asking him to tell us all he knew about the movement. The student stuttered and stammered for a few seconds. “That’s enough,” the teacher declared with finality, in a way that made clear he was dispensing with the subject, not the student.

What was that song from South Pacific? “You’ve got to be carefully taught?”

I could never figure out what it was about Hillary Clinton that the DC establishment hated so much. We have all asked ourselves this question, haven’t we? It just never made any sense. From a corruption and ethics standpoint, it is rare that you will find anyone as clean as she is. That doesn’t mean she’s perfect. It just means that every aspect of her life has been poured over with a magnifying glass and nothing of any import has ever come up. All of her scandals turn out to have nothing very much of interest at the bottom of it.

And we all know that there are few women in the world who had better credentials for running the country.

But what is any of that when it comes to penetrating this exclusive country club set of male power? These people don’t even consider women’s suffrage as anything that ruffles their feathers. They are so entrenched with so many connections and networks to keep their interests at the forefront of our national discourse that they never have to worry about women. Child care policies? Fuck that shit. We’ll just make her life miserable until she’s humiliated and quits.

That’s what the last 30 years have felt like. The guys weren’t paying enough attention to the feminist movement. Then came the backlash where this nucleation of male power decided to prevent any changes that would subvert their dominate paradigm. And the papers of record are chock full of men and women from this same stratum of society with their private schools, ivy leagues and connections. When was the last time a talented writer with a state school degree from a poor family got a job at the Washington Post or New York Times or The New Yorker or The Atlantic? That’s how 25 years of constant attacks on women in power happen.

Maisie Hirono gave the frustration a voice this week when she told men to “shut up and step up”. Battling this entrenched testocracy is exhausting, we’ve been doing it for too long and, frankly, we deserve better than this.

The backlash to the backlash is here. No more Anita Hills. No more calling Sandra Fluke a slut. No more degradation of Hillary Clinton. No more stripping rights from women. It’s not going to work this time. I thought #metoo was in danger of winding down but this nomination has breathed new life into the movement.

It goes way beyond sexual harassment. It’s more like we just aren’t going to take this lying down anymore. How dare Trump, Sexual Harraser in Chief, and Mitch Connell work so hard to confirm someone like Brett Kavanaugh, who will have a lifetime appointment to viciously strike down any initiative we legislate to make the workplace and society fairer for women.

I dare Mitch McConnell to “plow ahead” with Kavanaugh’s confirmation. I want to see him do it. The fury is about to break on him and the Republicans like they have never seen. In 18th century France, those suburban, Country Club, well-connected men and their families would be dragged out of their comfortable mini mansions and quickly dispatched by angry mobs. They were taken out just for the sin of being, actual charges being mostly superfluous when you have a job to do.

Something like that is about to happen now, minus the decapitations. Or decapitations of a metaphorical sort.

We’ll start with throwing them out. Then we’ll ruin their lives like they’ve ruined so many womens’ lives.

The time has come.

In the meantime, Brett Kavanaugh, the guy who put together a list of questions for Clinton to find out every salacious detail of what he did with Monica Lewinsky in what was a *consensual* relationship that she was a fully adult party to, well, Brett finds it very uncomfortable that anyone would ask about his sex life.

Fancy that.

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50 Responses

  1. Brava…

    One nit, not with what you wrote but with the Daou quote … this is not the first time I have seen this, but “how is this the seat the GOP stole”? Wouldn’t that be the seat Gorsuch got? Not that we shouldn’t throw up the fact that they stole a seat.

  2. Excellent post, connecting many dots that were happening contemporaneously in the last few decades. The media 30-40 year-olds, the Tappers, the Todds, the Schmidts, the MAGA Maggies are all closeted Kavanaughs which is why the media at large is problem too. The very people who will protect and preserve the ideals of this country have joined forces with the malevolent.

  3. Brett finds it very uncomfortable that anyone would ask about his sex life.

    Also when asked about his drinking habits! A man who had credit card debts (that suddenly disappeared) and not much savings to buy a million+ dollar house in Chevy Chase has some explaining to do.

    • This is a key point, and not relentlessly pursued by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, as it should have been.The odds are great that he was paid by some right-wing organization, and maybe even bought off, agreed to decide every case in the way that they told him, not that he wouldn’t have, anyway. Independent judiciary, indeed. Who paid off the debt? Why would this be left unanswered?

  4. Dr. Ford is testifying on Thursday. No witnesses. Get ready for the braying Rs to essentially kill her reputation. This is not a fair fight.

  5. Well, at least we now know why Kavanaugh wrote up those pervy questions. It is because he is a perv. You are right. Women are incredibly mad. They are mad already but everything that has gone on for the last 2 years has made them madder and madder. The GOP has gotten away with so much stuff they think they are bulletproof. And like Jennifer Rubin says, if the Republicans don’t get answers from Kavanaugh the Democrats will in 2019.

    • Oh, absolutely, just like Starr, who couldn’t wait to write his salacious report. What did any of it have to do with President Clinton’s fitness for office? He had a consensual affair, and then lied about it, so? But Starr and Kavanaugh not only hated Clinton, but they pretended to be moralistic people who were appalled at the affair. All affairs have sex of some sort in them, so why were we given the details? Kavanaugh wanted even more details than Starr listed. Starr became President of Baylor, and was there when the scandal broke about rape and other depredations done by football players. This cost the coach and AD their jobs, and Starr resigned. Kavanaugh had a history of massive drinking and partying, and fancied himself as a lothario. Not only is he a jerk, and very likely someone who would have raped Blasey Ford had he been sober enough, but he is a complete hypocrite, somehow convincing himself that he was fighting for morality in the five-year and $90 million Clinton investigations.

  6. I hope Ford files a charge against K in MD before Thursday which will make him withdraw or even better after the vote, to make all those Rs sweat in shame.

  7. Rightwing outlets are making hay with this that the fourth witness is denying it. But she is ex-wife of Bob Beckel’s (who appears on Fox) and Ford didn’t say that she told her about what happened, just that she was there. Keyser has an incentive to deny all but she is not doing that either.

  8. Brett Kavanaugh Allegations Should be Investigated by FBI, Say Nearly 50 Yale Law Faculty Members
    By Jenni Fink On 9/22/18 at 10:12 AM

    https://www.newsweek.com/brett-kavanaugh-allegations-should-be-investigated-fbi-say-nearly-50-yale-law-1134530

  9. Watch this! His siblings won’t vote for him. LOL.

  10. I have led a sheltered life but for one or two minor incidents. Each time, I didn’t react as I usually do which is to call attention to anything objectionable that happens to me and around me. While on a crowded bus when I was about 18, being groped and not knowing who the perpetrator was, I didn’t shout and call attention to it and I still wonder why I didn’t do that. I was shocked and disgusted and tried to wiggle away but couldn’t. That is it. I came home and washed the clothes I wore furiously, immediately, even though there was nothing on them except the fingerprints of the perpetrator. My visiting married sister saw that I looked a bit disturbed and preoccupied and asked me what had happened but I didn’t share the incident with her or my mom and she does not know to this day. I have reluctantly shared it with my husband but as only in a manner to spare him the full disgust about the whole thing. I still have a fear or distaste of public transportation and don’t use it unless I have to. Mine is perhaps the most benign of the stories out there. I recognize a certain shame or distaste in all of us to openly acknowledge what happened to us, as if we were somehow responsible for ALLOWING it to happen at all. I think that comes from the notion that “good” girls don’t let it happen, certainly rooted in patriarchy and supported by a certain section of the women who are active participants in promoting male dominance (because they benefit from it) and are used by the men. The idea is that these girls marry and have their safe homes and such and are well behaved. They don’t get on public buses, for instance. They don’t go out and get jobs in the real world. They don’t interact and demand equal treatment from their male peers (which is a requirement if they set out into the real world and have careers and so on). They don’t, they don’t, they don’t. Then the question that the male dominant society asks is why did you, why did you, why did you put yourself in that circumstance? How dare we all want a career and a job in a man’s world? Meanwhile perpetrators even the ones who are expected to be respectable and known, go unpunished and unaccounted for their misdeeds.

    • Great comment, pm317. I’m so sorry. I was groped and pawed at more times than I can remember but no one locked me in a room, turned up the music (so nobody could hear me scream) jumped on top of me and put his hand over my mouth to stifle/ suffocate me as I feared for my life.

      • Thanks. Agree that what Ford describes is scary. I just wanted to highlight how we are conditioned to think we somehow allowed it to happen (the fear we will be blamed will stop many of us from talking about it in addition to all the other things). Wanting respect and equality in all interactions (professional, social) with men where they behave decently is too much to ask, apparently.

  11. The Boys’ Club That Protects Brett Kavanaugh

    By Emily Witt
    September 22, 2018

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-boys-club-that-protects-brett-kavanaugh

  12. They are all a joke! But we are not laughing. Now he has a calendar that does not say there was a (rape) party on that day. May be his evil doppelganger has a calendar that says there was. Put Ed Whelan on its trail. He will find it.

    • Kavanaugh is producing his calendar from 1980s as proof there was no party. Don’t laugh.

  13. ha, someone else is thinking what I am thinking.

  14. Great post, or as we used to say back in the day, “righteous.” Oh God, I hope you’re right and that women take a vow to crawl over glass, if need be, to vote these entitled, superannuated Frat boys out of office and out of the boardroom. Tell them to go to hell and take their wives (all of whom are named Muffy) with them.

  15. Was watching MSNBC this morning and a repub talking head said that support for Kavanaughty has gone UP among repub women since Dr. Ford has challenged his character. Hopefully, there are more of us than there are of them! My concern is this: If Kavanaughty gets the boot, will any other Fed Society A-lister be any better for women, workers, the environment, consumers, the average citizen vs the corporations? Will his resignation or defeat in the vote count be just a pyrrhic victory?

    • will any other Fed Society A-lister be any better for women, workers, the environment, consumers, the average citizen vs the corporations?

      But the longer it drags on with K, they lose time to appoint another and get that person confirmed before October session starts or even the midterms. That is why they are rushing. They also fear not getting House majority and therefore, not getting their next replacement nominee.

    • No cats, he or she won’t but Kavanaugh’s withdrawal (eewwww) might depress the deplorables.

    • Oh, i want K gone, but i also want Gorsuch gone and no more Fed Society destroyers of my world!

    • Always remember that the number of Republicans of all categories is going down. So anyone who still is listed as a Republican is likely very rigidly right-wing. During the last election, Rachel Maddow was saying something about California politics which is pretty much intuitive, that any Republicans in California are far Right, and thus (my own extension of the point) the few districts in CA which are Republican, elect absolute jerks like Nunes and Rohrbacher. So those women who identify as Republicans now are likely the kind that think Hillary should be burned at the stake, and thus support for Kavanaugh going up among them has no import. But we will probably keep seeing that kind of meaningless “balanced” poll result.

  16. This is one of the things that has not received much attention. Two graduates from about the same time at the same prep school in the SCOTUS? Why?

  17. This may be why the GOP is rushing. They need that 5th vote.

    • Christ, could they be more obvious?

      • If this thing passes assuming with Kavanaugh’s vote at the SCOTUS, trump or people he pardons can’t be tried for their crimes at the state level, as I understand it. As the tweeter suggests below, Kennedy would have had to recuse from it because of his conflicts. Why isn’t the media giving us data like this? Motives, connecting the dots.

    • Check this:

  18. I’ve had some issues with #me too but this is making my blood boil. Did Franklin Graham (spawn of Billy) really say that Kavanaugh showed respect to Ford by not “finishing?” So, now being too drunk to penetrate is “showing respect?” When you think about it, how many women do you know that haven’t been sexually assaulted? Yes, it’s on a spectrum but good men need to listen and learn and educate others.

    • I was never a fan of Billy Graham, but I did not think he was a bad person, as his son obviously is. It is horrifying but not surprising how often “religious” people twist their supposed morality to fit the result they want. They’ve always done it, going back to when the Medieval Church controlled most of Europe, but the Enlightenment never stopped it from continuing to this day. If not so disgusting, it is fascinating, listening to the ways in which people on the authoritarian side of the political spectrum can manage to see the exact same event in the opposite way, depending upon the person involved in it. They still say that Bill Clinton wreaked depredations on Monica Lewinsky, even though she was an adult woman who flashed her thong at him. But if it is a Republican man, then actually trying to rape a 15-year old, but not being able to, for one reason or another, is a sign of honor.

      • Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

  19. Another accuser? Stick a fork in the smarmy bastard.

  20. Deborah Ramirez! And maybe one more.
    He is done. Put a fork in him.

  21. Trump Effect. The infection has spread to the SCOTUS. They are looking for that 5th vote and what does that say about the presumed four who are already there?

  22. But for the Electoral College, Russian Shenanigans, Media motherfuckers, and dumb deplorables…

  23. Well, Avenatti is tweeting some really horrible stuff, other additional things that does not involve Ramirez. Hope he has evidence to back them up.

    • Yeah, if Avenatti can produce the goods Kavanaugh is dead man walking. This claim could end Kavanaugh’s judicial career. I mean surely a judge on the DC circuit is not allowed to be a gang raper? Or is that okay with the GOP also.

    • Holy shit hits the fan.

  24. Keep it up Michael Avenhottie and I’ll vote for you.

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