Although these two comedians play the co-hosts on Saturday Night Live Weekend Update faux-news show, they actually raised some very good points. (If the embedded video does not work, try this link or see the comment by John Morales below)
The two women survivors of sexual assault whose confrontation of Arizona senator Jeff Flake in an elevator as he was on his way to vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh and forcing him to look and listen to them was broadcast live on TV, have been identified. New Yorkers Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher are telling their stories more fully, explaining why they felt compelled to go to Washington DC and do what they did.
I have written several times before about the so-called ‘incels’ (which stands for involuntarily celibate) who blame everyone else but themselves for the fact that women do not want to have sex with them even though they think that they deserve it. Their frustration has led some of them to go on murderous rampages.
Via Andrea James, I came across this tense short (about 14 minutes) film about an incel.
One obvious answer is that he was lying when he denied Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations. But there are some things that puzzle me. One is the stark contradiction that was posed by the testimonies of Ford and Kavanaugh on Thursday. She came across as highly credible. She was so natural and her testimony so compelling that it clearly rattled Kavanuagh and his Republican supporters on the committee who decided to fight back furiously. Kavanaugh’s denials of the incident were angry and emphatic. Too angry, in fact. Although he may have been successful in temporarily raising the spirits of his supporters and causing them to rally round, serious questions have been raised about his lack of a judicial temperament. Various groups have expressed alarm and the American Bar Association that had earlier endorsed him called for an investigation and many members of the Yale law faculty and students have also expressed concern, with the students turning on the faculty for not warning them about predators in general. A Jesuit magazine that had earlier endorsed him and now called for Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn.
Here’s Samuel L. Jackson taking over the questioning of Brett Kavanaugh from Rachel Mitchell after she was abruptly and rudely sidelined by the Republican senators who had brought her in to ask questions on their behalf.
— C H I L I (@heyitschili) September 28, 2018
In all the attention paid to the hearings on Brett Kavanaugh, let us not overlook an important news item from this week and that was that Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to ten years in state prison. The judge did not agree to have him out on bail pending the outcome of the inevitable appeal and he was immediately taken away to jail in handcuffs.
The statements of some of the many women whom he drugged and raped were tragic. In the particular case in which he was convicted, the charges were of drugging and sexually assault, and not rape.
Let’s hope that other abusive monsters like Harvey Weinstein who are also accused of all manner of sexual abuse also get convicted and sentenced to prison. The message has to be sent that powerful people will not get away with such acts in the future but will feel the full force of the law.
[UPDATE: Watch another woman confront Flake and demand an answer that he is unwilling to give.
Whether it was due to this public shaming or not, Flake has now said he wants the FBI to have a week to investigate the charges. But it was only a minor step since he did not vote against sending the nomination to the senate floor without an investigation.. Instead he voted with the other 10 Republicans on the judiciary committee to advance the nomination to the full senate floor, overriding the 10 Democrats on the committee. There the decision on whether to ask for an FBI investigation and, if so, its scope will fall to majority leader Mitch McConnell. He can choose to ignore Flake’s request and unless Flake and one other Republican senator say that they will vote against the nomination if there is no investigation and every single Democrat also say the same thing. There is still some doubt about Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heltkamp of North Dakota.]
As I predicted, for all his fine words and empathetic expressions, retiring Republican senator Jeff Flake is a party hack and always votes the party line and he has done so again, declaring that he will vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh, despite yesterday’s appalling testimony by the nominee where he displayed an appalling lack of judicial temperament, making wild accusations at all manner of people and groups in an angry tone of voice and almost bursting into tears at times.
I watched the Brett Kavanaugh hearings where he began with a long 45 minute opening statement. The challenge for Kavanaugh was to be more credible than Christine Blasey Ford. He gave a Trump-like political speech, coming out with guns blazing and attacking Democrats as engaging in a political witch hunt, though he did not use the term. His opening statement was very angry. He was red faced and scowling and he choked up at times, almost in tears, and denied everything. He took a leaf out of Clarence Thomas’s hearings and accused all who opposed him of a a vast left-wing, Democratic conspiracy against him that made false accusations to take him down as part of a political agenda. All that was missing was to use the Thomas language of a ‘high-tech lynching’. He seemed almost out of control. If Ford had talked like Kavanaugh, she would have been described as hysterical.
I watched the hearings this morning. As the hearings began, Ford looked nervous, vulnerable, and scared and began speaking with a quavering voice. She got a little better with time but throughout she looked credible and, for want of a better word, natural. She was almost in tears when Blumenthal praised her courage in coming forward despite the trauma. I cringed to hear, when asked about what was her most indelible memory of the event, how Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge laughed during the assault, that they were having fun assaulting her. She said that she had met Kavanaugh many times before the assault so there was no question of her confusing him with someone else. Although I believed her even before the hearings, I can only say that she showed the entire nation what an honest person she is.