New York Magazine Unloads 10 Pages of Bitter Anti-Kavanaugh Hysteria

October 10th, 2018 4:52 PM

The October 1-14 issue of New York Magazine issued 10 pages of anti-Kavanaugh bile under the heading “Her and Him -- The hearing that broke America.” It’s a collection of brief essays on the September 27 Senate Judiciary committee testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh: Ten pages of inchoate liberal rage, from liberals including Jonathan Chait, Frank Rich, Rebecca Traister (preserved in amber at the moment after the testimony and before Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote), all shamelessly junking any pretense of due process while loudly assuming Kavanaugh’s guilt.

(The online versions are somewhat different and longer than the essays in the print edition.)

Liz Meriwether wrote: we watched 11 senators hide behind a wooden desk from a movement they didn’t understand, from a world with changing demographics and changing rules, from all the hysterical witches brandishing hashtags. We watched as 11 white Republican men were silenced because the collective hands of American women had covered their mouths. For a few hours, they were forced, probably for the first time in their lives, to let a woman speak for them.”

She descended into bathos:

My daughter crawled for the first time the day of the hearings. She had been moving backward for days, and then she took her first step forward. Later, sitting in my car after a meeting where I had smiled and made jokes and been the nice lady I have learned to be, I started crying. I kept thinking about my daughter’s body moving forward then falling down....

Noreen Malone took the high road by making fun of Kavanaugh’s first name, and employed some offensive mind-reading regarding the judge.

He really is a Brett. In the midst of an endangered job interview for arguably the most prestigious job in America, Kavanaugh seemed -- when he wasn’t yelling into the microphone like some kind of Will Ferrell caricature -- almost gleeful about the chance to remind everyone about what a sweet bro he’d been, as if the matter under debate wasn’t whether he’d assaulted a woman back then, but just how cool he’d been....He seemed stuck in the high-school mind-set of women as accessories, and most palatable when they were in a position to adore him, be impressed by him, bossed around by him.

Heather Havrilesky tried out a thought experiment and made some insane predictions:

A woman who conducted herself in that manner couldn’t get an assistant-manager job at Forever21, let alone on the Supreme Court. A black man who behaved that way would be dragged out of the room, or worse -- much, much worse. The real insult of Thursday’s Kavanaugh hearings was the contrast between Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s calm, respectful, endlessly helpful testimony and Kavanaugh’s absolute master class in white-male privilege....Kavanaugh’s alternately blundering, messy, enraged, arrogant performance gave us a close-up look at what white fragility and entitlement look like: Even when you’re accused of a serious crime, you’re the one who’s being persecuted.....The unspoken shared belief Kavanaugh was working with was that it’s a white man’s God-given right to do whatever he wants behind closed doors.

Rebecca Traister was in usual form:

To watch the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questioning of Christine Blasey Ford was stomach-turning, then enraging, then sad. Because it put the stark inequities that permeate our politics and power structures on unapologetic display....The lesson of the United States in this moment is that misogyny and racism aren’t disqualifiers. They are the qualities the right wing considers key to their larger project -- perhaps, in fact, main selling points. (Especially for their president, who today was reported to have loved Kavanaugh’s blustering, aggressive attitude toward his questioners).

Jonathan Chait’s “The Avatar of Anger” included this pithy gem:

Kavanaugh’s snarling, unhinged rant ought to have been a disqualification but instead, somehow, became a qualification.”

Frank Rich (a former New York Times writer) also played the race card for no discernible reason in “The Lasting Poison.”

Had Blasey Ford not been white -- and from the professional class -- you have to wonder whether the Republican men on the committee would have completely dropped their patently phony pretense of concern for her welfare and stabbed her in the front instead of the back....even if these battles are won, the fact remains that America has a major political party more dedicated than ever to stripping women of power by any ruthless means it can.

It took Andrew Sullivan, of all people, to mount the closest thing to a defense of Kavanaugh in “The Privacy Overreach.”