28 September 2018 - Dr Christine Blasey Ford Testifies Before the Senate
He Said, She Said: The Awful Theatrics of the Kavanaugh Hearings
Sonia Saraiya (Vanity Fair, 28/09/2018)
Act One. The staging, pure drama: a horseshoe of senators, facing down one woman in a navy blue suit. The bright hue of her impeccable hair, in sharp relief against the shadowy chambers. The witness—alleging that in 1982, at the age of 15, she was assaulted by a man now within striking distance of the Supreme Court—spoke in a tremulous voice, thin but clear, cracking under the strain of tension and terror. When Christine Blasey Ford faced the Senate Judiciary Committee, she stared down a lineup of 11 Republican senators (all men, several gray with age) who, to a man, ceded their five minutes of questioning time to Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. Mitchell was a curious but deliberate casting choice who provided a politically expedient buffer—between the senators’ re-election campaigns and the nasty business of smearing an alleged sexual assault victim.
Mitchell, a former journalist and a prosecutor since 1993, was chosen because she is a woman. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell referred to her, in an insulting bit of metonymy, as the “female assistant” who would ask questions on the Republican policymakers’ behalf. The production, orchestrated by committee chairman Chuck Grassley, was an attempt to deflect attention from the optics of 11 men separately trying to cast doubt on Ford’s allegations of sexual assault at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when Ford was 15 years old.
Why Brett Kavanaugh Wasn’t Believable
The Editorial Board (The New York Times, 27/09/2018)
What a study in contrasts: Where Christine Blasey Ford was calm and dignified, Brett Kavanaugh was volatile and belligerent; where she was eager to respond fully to every questioner, and kept worrying whether she was being “helpful” enough, he was openly contemptuous of several senators; most important, where she was credible and unshakable at every point in her testimony, he was at some points evasive, and some of his answers strained credulity.
Indeed, Dr. Blasey’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday was devastating.
With the eyes of the nation on her, Dr. Blasey recounted an appalling trauma. When she was 15 years old, she said, she was sexually assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh, then a 17-year-old student at a nearby high school and now President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.
Lindsey Graham’s meltdown gives away the GOP game on Kavanaugh
Greg Sargent (The Washington Post, 27/09/2018)
Christine Blasey Ford has finished testifying, and judging by Twitter and cable, the widespread consensus among neutral observers and even some Republicans has been that she was entirely credible. Ford was endearingly convincing in declaring that her only true motive in coming forward was to help the assembled senators — and the country — by informing them of what she personally experienced at the hands of Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Ford erred on the side of caution when navigating the perils of memory, and struck an oddly compelling balance by airing her own emotions while explaining them in the clinical language of a psychology professor.
As many have pointed out, Rachel Mitchell — the prosecutor who questioned Ford so GOP senators didn’t have to — seemed to burn up her time on meaningless trivialities, asking Ford questions about her fear of flying, making opaque points about the layout of the neighborhood and floating impenetrable arguments about who paid for Ford’s polygraph test.
'I can't cry any more. I'm too angry': women respond to Ford's testimony
Luke O'Neil (The Guardian, 27/09/2018)
Across the US on Thursday, scenes emerged of emotional communing among women as they watched the Senate judiciary committee testimony of Dr Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who has accused supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while they were in high school.
They were watching alone or together in groups, in government buildings, in gyms, on airplanes and trains, even on the airwaves of the otherwise staid C-Span.
“Women everywhere are listening to Christine Blasey Ford’s voice cracking and feeling their own hearts break, just a little bit more, at the world we’ve all inherited,” tweeted the New York Times’ Sheera Frenkel.