The Crowd Laughter President

The President of the United States of America, appearing before a mob of supporters in Mississippi, positively railed against a victim of sexual assault,  a woman attacked by his nominee for Supreme Court justice when she was 15 and he 17. Trump mocked her–viciously–his now sickeningly familiar harsh voice soaring with rage, dripping, blistering with angry contempt victim Christine Blasey Ford, challenging her credibility:

“’I had one beer.’ Well do you think it was… ‘Nope. It was one beer.’ Oh good. How did you get home? ‘I don’t remember.’ How did you get there? ‘I don’t remember.’ Where is the place? ‘I don’t remember.’ How many years ago was it? ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.'”

(Crowd laughter! Men and women both! Hahahahaha. Cheerful, natural laughter! Trump-supporting Americans smirking and grinning—although some of the women looked a little subdued.)

“What neighborhood was it in? ‘I don’t know.’ Where’s the house? ‘I don’t know. Upstairs. Downstairs. I don’t know. But I had one beer that’s the only thing I remember.”

Trump’s point?  Ford is a liar. Or at least confused. Like anyone who’s ever accused him. (A dozen accusers?)

And her ridiculous accusations threaten all boys! All boys are now under suspicion! Boys are victims just because they’re horny. (Of course at age 19 they pull out their dicks and stick them in girls’ faces at parties. Why should this affect their legal careers? Making an issue of this is political correctness out of control.)

On the day following Trump’s sick appearance in Mississippi, it is announced that the FBI investigation sparked by Sen. Jeffry Flake has cleared Brett Kavanaugh for his appointment.  MSNBC reports:”The outcome will be favorable to the White House.”

It gives the Republicans in Congress what they need to say Ford is full of shit. So there was never any problem, folks. It was all the Democrats’ propaganda and fake news. This woman’s BS has been refuted; the “harsh, unfair treatment” inflicted on poor Brett by “uncorroborated allegations” has been overcome.  Now we can move on making America great again.

What does this mean? It means that, following the obvious lack of legitimacy of the presidency as an institution, and the obvious loss of legitimacy of Congress (which nobody of right mind can consider representative of the people), the legitimacy of the third branch of government (the judiciary) is in jeopardy. Well, good. It should be.

The meaning of the Kavanaugh Affair in brief is: the whole system sucks; it is illegitimate; it is incorrigible; it must be overthrown. Best to look reality in the face, realize how horrible it is, and fight back reasonably.

As a 62-year-old man, I look to my 32-year-old–very angry right now–daughter for counsel on how to do this.

Gary Leupp is Emeritus Professor of History at Tufts University, and is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900 and coeditor of The Tokugawa World (Routledge, 2021). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: