Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee was an unmitigated trainwreck that saw him devolve into rank partisanship, bitter sniping, and aggressive attacks on the Democratic lawmakers in attendance — none of which befits a Supreme Court justice.
The nominee appears to have realized that he completely disgraced himself before the country while trying to defend against allegations of sexual assault because on Thursday, he published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that was apparently supposed to serve as some sort of walk back or apology.
If it’s supposed to be an apology, however, it’s a pretty pitiful attempt.
He begins the op-ed with a headline that is just another clear lie and something he obviously wouldn’t have to say if it were true: “I Am an Independent, Impartial Judge.”
He acknowledges that he was “emotional” at the hearings, saying: “I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.”
But, of course, he wasn’t there for them. He was there as a part of the proceedings to see if he should be a Supreme Court justice, one of the most powerful positions in the country. A few nights before, he had appeared on Fox News, and if he wants, he can say he was a “son, husband and dad” on that network. But it’s complete nonsense to say he wasn’t first and foremost a judge and Supreme Court nominee when he testified under oath before the Senate.
The closest he comes to an apology is this: “I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said.”
However, this is far from sufficient — and isn’t even an apology at all.
He doesn’t acknowledge anywhere in the op-ed that among the things he should not have said was his demanding to know whether a Democratic senator who admitted to having an alcoholic father drinks to excess herself. He doesn’t admit that he yelled at and interrupted senators repeatedly, especially Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), in an apparent show of misogynistic rage. He doesn’t admit that he blamed the accusations against him on “Democrats,” the “left,” “revenge for the Clintons,” and “pent-up anger about President Trump.”
This conspiratorial theorizing not only insulted and condemned the portion of the country that identifies with the Democratic Party, but it disparages the women who brought the allegations against him by implicating them in some untoward plot.
Kavanaugh also doesn’t address the fact that he outright threatened Democrats for opposing him, saying, “What goes around, comes around.”
And he doesn’t apologize for the voluminous lies and misleading claims he told the Senate, damaging his own reputation and — if he gets there — that of the Supreme Court.
In this hateful diatribe before the Senate, he dropped the veil of being an impartial judge and revealed himself to be an unabashed partisan Republican.
His attempt to now paper over his outrageous display and act like he can play the part of the independent adjudicator is laughable. It’s also a transparent play for the support of the wavering lawmakers, Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME) who still hold his fate in their hands.
Whether the gambit will work or not is unclear. But regardless of his success, there’s no turning back from what Kavanaugh has shown himself to be: Someone who should be more comfortable wearing a MAGA hat than a black robe.