We laugh at Booker, we gripe about Harris, but never forget that Gillibrand is the very worst of the young 2020 contenders for her bottomless cynicism. Here she attempts unconvincingly to navigate the fickle rules of the Woke Olympics. Monday’s rule: Christine Blasey Ford must be heard.
Wednesday’s rule, after the GOP gave Ford a chance to be heard: Christine Blasey Ford must not participate in this sham.
The “sham” derives, supposedly, from the fact that Ford is being asked to testify in isolation against Kavanaugh, with none of her corroborating witnesses called to speak as well. Reminder: Kavanaugh’s corroborating witnesses won’t be called to speak either, and his are far more germane to the investigation than hers are. Mark Judge, the other person supposedly in the room during the incident, claims he never saw Kavanaugh behave how Ford describes. Patrick Smyth, the only other person accused of being at the party, says he remembers nothing amiss either. Neither will be heard from in the name of expediting this process after a last-minute allegation. Which was made at the last minute only because Democrats wanted it that way.
Here’s Jim Acosta asking Gillibrand one of his patented “tough questions” — what would you say to Ford if you could? — which is Gillibrand’s cue to feign outrage and start babbling about how the Judiciary Committee hasn’t caught up to the rest of the world ‘n stuff. “The rest of the world” being famously progressive about women’s rights.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she stands with Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser: “Without the benefit of an FBI investigation … and without the benefit of corroborating witnesses being able to testify, it’s a sham hearing, and I don’t think she should participate” pic.twitter.com/GIFPpRV6PR
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) September 19, 2018
“They’re literally frozen in time.” Literally. Grassley has offered Ford a public hearing, a closed-door hearing, and even to send investigators to her to gather evidence if the idea of coming to Washington is uncomfortable. Trump enemies like Jeff Flake and Bob Corker have done everything they could to signal to Ford and her liberal friends that if she shows up on Monday and seems sincere, there’s a good chance they’ll vote to blow Kavanaugh up. Democrats had two farking months to push this accusation and demand an extended hearing, which the calendar easily would have accommodated. Instead they engineered an ambush, after Kavanaugh’s hearing had already concluded, to try to drive him into a ditch before the vote. As of this afternoon, Feinstein still hadn’t given Grassley a complete copy of Ford’s July letter. There are a lot of things about this process that look like a “sham” but Grassley’s hearing isn’t one of them.
Another thing: Increasingly I’m convinced that Gillibrand just isn’t that bright. Either that or she’s terrible at getting through a short series of scripted talking points. How can she complain here in the span of a few sentences that Republicans have already made up their minds — which simply isn’t true of Flake, Corker, Collins, and Murkowski, any two of whom could sink the nomination — while reiterating that “I believe her” and “I stand with her”? The fix is indeed in. But it’s in among Senate Democrats, not Republicans.
In fact, just to repay Gillibrand’s cynicism, let me gently raise the possibility that Democrats never intended for Ford to testify at all. That just maybe the entire demand for a hearing followed by a rejection of the offer on grounds that the terms offered were unfair or whatever was a ploy designed to make it look like Ford’s been railroaded by the evil right-wing patriarchy. Maybe her claims wouldn’t have stood up to questioning and Democrats knew it, in which case the smart play was to find a way to excuse Ford from testifying and somehow make it Grassley’s fault.
Here’s Gillibrand’s only real competition among Democrats for cynicism, Mazie Hirono, attempting to set her own Woke Olympics record. According to Hirono, the GOP’s willingness to hear Ford out on in any forum she likes but to do so expeditiously is evidence of ghastly “callousness,” borderline “re-victimization” of an alleged sexual-assault victim. These garbage people had a prefab narrative about evil Republican men mistreating a #MeToo victim, got caught off-guard when everyone in the leadership (including Trump) said Ford should be heard, then had to rejigger their narrative so that the offer of a hearing is itself a form of mistreatment. They’re pure garbage.
Sen. @MazieHirono condemns the "callousness with which" Christine Blasey Ford was treated "by (Hirono's) colleagues" in the legislature after the professor came forward with allegations of sexual assault against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. pic.twitter.com/TMGJQfjftH
— New Day (@NewDay) September 19, 2018