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Hell Hath No Fury

Brett Kavanaugh, the most controversial and unpopular U.S. Supreme Court nominee in recent history, was confirmed by a narrow Republican Senate majority for a lifetime appointment to the court.

This display of raw political power is unprecedented in our democracy and has left most Americans wondering how such a blatant manipulation of longstanding judicial confirmation processes could happen.

How could the president simply decide not to release 100,000 pages of Kavanaugh’s writings to the Senate? How can a three-day FBI “investigation” be valid when neither the accused nor the accuser was interviewed? How can a tiny handful of senators decide that what was in the FBI’s report be kept from the public whom they have sworn to serve? And how can 2,400 attorneys sign a letter opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation only to find it tossed in the Senate’s trashcan?

The answer is that the Republican majorities in Congress and the Republican president have no commitment to the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens. They serve the moneyed interests, the 1 percent and one-tenth of a percent of individuals who have amassed more wealth than hundreds of millions of our nation’s hard-working citizens.

These are the same people who can afford to dump incredible sums of money into making sure the politicians who will serve their needs wind up in office. And thanks to the Citizens United decision by the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, they are free to bring us “the best democracy money can buy,” once again proving the old adage that “money talks.”

But as history proves, there are limits to the abuse of power and eventually the serfs, the oppressed, the unrepresented rise up. Sometimes, when lucky, the abusers are reined in by the people without trauma. More often, violence, bloodshed and revolution have sent the heads of their emperors, czars, kings and dictators rolling.

At this juncture in our nation’s history, we are as divided as we have been in recent memory. Sure, there’s the endless game of Republicans versus Democrats, which has been reduced to a team sport of blue or red uniforms. Although a closer look reveals a large portion of the population has decided not to play the game and now consider themselves independents, given the near total domination of the electoral choices by the two major political parties, when it comes time to cast votes, sure enough it’s down to red or blue.

The Kavanaugh debacle, however, has added a new dynamic — and a new division. It has split the populace by gender, not political affiliation. Lots of Americans are rightfully appalled at the manner in which the Senate Republicans confirmed Kavanaugh despite serious allegations from a host of individuals.

But none feel their concerns minimized, scorned and ignored as much as women, of which far too many personally identify with the allegations brought forward by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She at least got a hearing, but the others with similar or worse allegations were simply pushed to the side as not important enough to even consider.

Of course the Republicans know that historically the president’s party loses in mid-term elections — and rushed to confirm Kavanaugh while they still have the majority to do so. But their actions, from short-circuiting the FBI investigation to keeping key materials secret from the populace, come with consequences. And this time those consequences are likely to result in outsize losses a month from now, when the justifiably furious women of America go to the polls and fight back.

 

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George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.

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