There is a little something for everyone on this year’s Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list. As I skimmed through the list I was struck by the inclusion of both Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. They are in different categories but both are recognized. Flashbacks to the hideous Senate confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh’s nomination quickly surfaced.
In case you aren’t familiar with this annual exercise, Time magazine puts out a list of 100 most influential people it deems worthy of recognition. There are five categories separating out those honored. The first category is Pioneers and at the top of the list is actress Sandra Oh, followed by lots of others with whom I am not familiar. I noticed Chrissy Teigen, the Trump deranged model/cookbook author and Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker.
The second category is Artists and that is led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Also in this category is actress Glenn Close and DIY stars Joanna and Chip Gaines. In category number three, Leaders, Nancy Pelosi lands at the top. Also on this list (the one in which I recognized the most names) are Kavanaugh, President Trump, AOC, Mitch McConnell, Xi Jinping, Benjamin Netanyahu, William Barr, Robert Mueller, and Pope Francis.
Category number four is for the Icons. Taylor Swift is at the top of this one followed by Michelle Obama and Christine Blasey Ford. The fifth category is the Titans. LeBron James is first in this one followed by familiar names like Mark Zuckerberg, Tiger Woods, and Oprah’s best friend/journalist Gayle King.
So, as you can see, it’s quite a mixed bag of famous and not so famous names. I have to think some Hollywood egos are bruised with the naming of Dr. Blasey Ford as the icon of the #MeToo movement instead of one of the actresses who spearheaded the movement. Plus, the original #MeToo stories unified public opinion against the abusers while Blasey Ford’s testimony to the Senate Judicial Committee was divisive and politically motivated. There is such a strong division in opinions between liberal women and conservative women over her unsubstantiated claims against Kavanaugh. As a side note, I’ll point to this week’s episode of Bravo network’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Actress Lisa Rinna went on a rant during a dinner in a restaurant against Kavanaugh (the episode was filmed during the time of the Senate hearings) while Camille Grammar (ex-wife of actor Kelsey Grammar) spoke against Christine Blasey Ford. That set off a firestorm with other women chiming in against Camille. This kind of conversation still happens today. An actress speaking with a conservative voice in Beverly Hills is not something seen every day.
Justice Kavanaugh was written about by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He describes Kavanaugh as “one of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees in modern history.” He referenced Kavanaugh’s conduct during the Senate hearings.
But when unhinged partisanship and special interests sought to distract the Senate from considering those qualifications, we saw other facets of Justice Kavanaugh’s character shine forth as well. The country saw his resilience and commitment to public service. We saw his loyal devotion to family and friends. We saw his undeterred reverence for the law, for precedents and for our nation’s highest traditions.
Presidential candidate and Democrat Senator Kamala Harris, a member of the Senate Judicial Committee wrote about Christine Blasey Ford. Harris writes that Blasey Ford’s story “shook Washington and the country.” It’s hard to argue with that statement. Then she goes on to compliment Blasey Ford in a rather generic way.
Christine Blasey Ford’s ambition wasn’t to become a household name or make it onto this list. She had a good life and a successful career—and risked everything to send a warning in a moment of grave consequence.
At her core, she is a teacher. And through her courage, she forced the country to reckon with an issue that has too often been ignored and kept in the dark.
Dr. Blasey Ford may not have set her sights on fame or recognition but she did intend to come forward to derail a Supreme Court nomination because of her own partisan political views. That is not behavior to be rewarded. Remember that Sen. Kamala Harris questioned Brett Kavanaugh and implied she had evidence that he spoke to someone at the law firm linked to President Trump about the Mueller investigation.
The two-day drama started near the end of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s session Wednesday when California Sen. Kamala Harris asked whether Kavanaugh had been talking with someone with a law firm linked to President Trump about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 presidential campaign. The founder of the firm, Marc Kasowitz, briefly helped represent Trump in the probe and is still the president’s attorney in a defamation lawsuit filed by a former contestant on his reality TV show, “The Apprentice.”
She provided no such evidence of this charge. It was drama manufactured for the television cameras covering the hearing and it was a deliberate act to smear Kavanaugh. Her performance was shameful.