After the torture of Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas, who were beset by uncorroborated accusations, Republicans may have at last caught a break. This comes in the form of the book Search And Destroy by Ryan Lovelace, a second readable book on the Kavanaugh hearings.
Lovelace does a nice job of revealing not just the attacks but also the mindset behind them, and the worldview from which they all spring. This comes from a tape of a talk given early this year by Debra Katz, Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer, at a meeting of feminists, where she knew she was speaking to friends.
“We were going to have a conservative” as the nominee, she says. “But he will always have an asterisk next to his name. When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character … we know what motivates him, and that is important … that is part of what motivated Christine.”
What does she mean by “We know who he is?” “We know who he is” because only a brute would deny women the blessings of late-term abortion, and that sort of person would want to abuse them, of course? Never mind that 85% of the country opposes late-term abortion, that half the pro-lifers turn out to be women, and that abortion supporters such as Bill Clinton, Bob Packwood, Gary Hart, Ted Kennedy, and of course Harvey Weinstein, turned out to be predators.
“We know who they are,” and they are not conservative. But it was so important to create and enforce the links between being abusive, being conservative, and being pro-life that Katz and Ford made that the primary cause of their enterprise. That was the real goal, above and beyond that of stopping the nomination. In fact, as the process went on, the nomination itself became almost an afterthought. The priority was to create a useful narrative about pro-lifers as beasts and rapists.
Actually, there is a reason a great many men (and women) oppose the idea of easy abortion. They don’t like the idea that life is disposable, they don’t like the practice of human dismemberment. They don’t like the idea that viable infants have their skulls crushed, brains vacuumed out, and organs sold.
Since the Katzes and Fords don’t find this disturbing, they are at a loss as to why about 85% of the country (the 85% that’s opposed to late-term abortion) feel otherwise. They are driven to seek other reasons that they find more convincing — hence the idea that the men who question abortion are all misogynists who want to oppress and beat women — and do so in real life.
The good news for Republicans, though, is that the Democrats are on record with all this. It can be used now against them in nomination battles to come. What will they say now if another court battle comes up, and another “victim” appears to accuse the nominee of offenses made years ago, of which there are no records and no corroboration, and which no one at all can recall?
Will it stir the same wars, or will it start to look silly? “There you go again,” as President Ronald Reagan might put it. On its third outing, the drama might turn into farce.
“I was raped by whoever Trump picks to replace Ginsburg on the Supreme Court,” wrote Sandra Chou at the satirical news outlet Genesius Times a few weeks ago. But, if the Republicans play their cards right, perhaps we won’t have to keep hearing that one over and over again.
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