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Brett Kavanaugh's GOP defenders would just like you to know that they are SHOCKED AND APPALLED, Good Sir! by Christine Blasey Ford's assertion that Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her when she was 15 and he was 17. They're not especially bothered by the attempted rape allegation, which they've shrugged off, but boy are they ever angry that the dignified process of cramming a compliant Republican hack onto the Supreme Court has so inelegantly been interrupted, and after they were all ready to vote Kavanaugh in, too. Whatever happened to decorum and dignity? Egad, harrumph, gadzooks, etc.!


Mitch McConnell, who unilaterally blocked hearings or a vote on Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland for nearly a year in a heartbreaking power play of staggering dickishness, was quite upset that Senate Democrats refused to observe regular order. Monday, after Dr. Ford detailed the allegations in an interview with the Washington Post, Yertle huffed on the Senate floor about how unseemly it all was:

Now they choose to introduce this allegation. Not through the standard, bipartisan process. Not by advising the Judiciary Committee colleagues and committee staff through proper channels. But by leaking it to the press. Because the chain of custody of this letter runs through the Democrat side of the Judiciary Committee[.]

This might be a good place to point out that the "leak" he's complaining about was actually Ford's own decision to come forward after contacting WaPo's anonymous tipline in early July, before the nomination, and speaking extensively to reporter Emma Brown on background. About a guy who regularly leaked stuff from Ken Starr's Clinton investigation to the media, but that was different.

Fortunately, McConnell discovered that the sacred traditions of the Senate could adapt to the news cycle, so he held a two-hour closed-door meeting with Judiciary Committee Rs to work out a process to allow some limited hearings for Ford and Kavanaugh next Monday, since some GOP senators are being big babies about wanting Ford to be heard before they ignore her and vote to confirm Kavanaugh anyway. Just look at the fairness!

Getting Kavanaugh through the Senate is "a big deal for him. But he wants to make sure there's a process that's fair and gives Ms. Ford an opportunity to be heard," said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 GOP leader, of McConnell. "He's very committed to trying to get this Supreme Court position filled as soon as possible."

Even if Democrats retake the Senate this fall, Republicans also nailed down a Plan B for a lame duck session, which is good for ramrodding through a SCOTUS nominee who'll ban abortions and emergency contraception:

[If] Kavanaugh can't be confirmed or is withdrawn — a possibility Republicans are so far refusing to entertain — McConnell is not without options. The GOP could conceivably hold the vacancy through the election and hope it motivates conservative voters enough to help them keep the Senate.

Some Republican senators said they believe they could still confirm a different nominee if Kavanaugh falls short.

"This fall, oh yeah. Stay here," said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). But he added: "It's too early for that."

Senator Orrin Hatch also had a well-informed judgment on Ford's credibility, explaining that Kavanaugh was a man of "immense integrity" who had assured him that he'd never even been at that high school party, so obviously Ford must be thinking of the wrong guy at best, or lying at worst. Hatch told CNN Kavanaugh is just so completely truthy that Ford has to be wrong:

I think she's mistaken, [...] I think she's mistaking something, but I don't know, I mean, I don't know her.

But Hatch DOES know Brett Kavanaugh, and knows he's definitely wasn't at that party, whichever party it was, although Ford never specified any details other than that Kavanaugh and his pal Mark Judge were there. Hatch insisted it's simply UNPOSSIBLE that Kavanaugh could be the one who's mixed up, even though Ford said he was so drunk at the time that he was stumbling around and, thank Crom, too drunk to fumble her clothes off. No way, said Hatch: "How do I know? All I know is that he's a very smart guy. A good guy. He has an excellent reputation." As for the charge that he was stumbling drunk, "He said that's not true," and we guess that settles it, because why would you doubt a man with an excellent reputation among Republicans? Hatch added that even if Kavanaugh tried to rape Ford at the party he never attended, the Senate must now remember that a man can overcome little indiscretions like attempted rape and earn a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court:

I think it would be hard for senators to not consider who the judge is today. That's the issue. Is this judge a really good man? And he is. And by any measure he is.

Orrin Hatch is, of course, the best judge of a man's character, especially a man accused of doing horrible things to women. Who could ever forget Hatch's anguish over that dear sweet Rob Porter, who was such a nice guy but was driven from the White House just for a little bit of wife-beating?

"It's incredibly discouraging to see such a vile attack on such a decent man," the statement read. "Shame on any publication that would print this — and shame on the politically motivated, morally bankrupt character assassins that would attempt to sully a man's good name. I know Rob. I've known him for years, both as a close friend and as a personal advisor. He is kind and considerate towards all. The country needs more honest, principled people like Rob Porter, which is why I hope that this cynical campaign to discredit his character ultimately fails."

Orrin Hatch positively oozes empathy. For principled men who may face consequences for what they do to women, or at least for men falsely accused by women, which is all Republican men.

Let's also take a moment to recall that Orrin Hatch is the fellow who, 27 years ago, dignified the Clarence Thomas hearings by insisting Anita Hill had cribbed from the novel The Exorcist when she said Thomas had asked her, "Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?" You see, there really is a line like that in the novel, kind of sort of, which proves she made the whole thing up:

Dennings had remarked to him, in passing, said Sharon, that there appeared to be "an alien pubic hair floating round in my gin."

Hatch, apparently an expert at finding plagiarism, also insisted Hill had borrowed her testimony about Thomas's fondness for the pornographic works of "Long Dong Silver" from a sexual harassment case in Kansas, because how on earth could two bad bosses have possibly gone into disgusting detail to female staffers -- black staffers at that! -- about such an obscure but notorious porn star?

"They didn't think we would find those references," Hatch said. "She didn't bring those instances up when she was interviewed by the FBI. But she brought them up with the committee. It's too contrived, too slick. The language was so unusual she would have had to remember it when the FBI interviewed her."

Hatch added he feels Hill's testimony was carefully designed - with the help of Thomas' enemies - to use racial and sexual stereotypes of black males against Thomas. "They wanted to turn whites against this man. It was a reverse Willie Horton," Hatch said.

Obviously, the whole thing was a Democrat Conspiracy, and we look forward to Sen. Hatch accusing Dr. Ford next week of simply stealing her entire story from the 2007 movie The Girl Next Door, the only known work of popular culture to feature an attempted rape, apart from all the others.

[Politico / Salt Lake Tribune / ThinkProgress / Bustle / Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings / Deseret News / Images: Gage Skidmore and Michael Jolley, both under Creative Commons 2.0 license]

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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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