That was Sen. Lindsey Graham’s strategy when he opened his speech during Friday’s vote with this gem: “I’m a single white male from South Carolina, and I’m told I should shut up, but I will not shut up.” This false premise that white men, even powerful politicians, are the only truly oppressed group is a key tenet of anti-feminist backlash.
Stoking this backlash was a coordinated goal beneath the desperate, angry showboating of Republican judiciary members determined to ensure that multiple, credible sex crime allegations should not be enough to deny a “good man” a lifetime of power to affect countless areas of life for millions of Americans for the next 40 to 50 years. We’ll discuss these withering patriarchs’ efforts to stave off the glimmers of a new feminist world order in a bit. First, let’s consider the nominee’s off-kilter performance.
In contrast, Kavanaugh’s irate display served up the exact flavor of belligerence, entitlement and self-pity that perpetrators of sexual violence nearly always express when they’re finally held accountable. They lie, as Kavanaugh did repeatedly under oath (for example, claiming childhood friend Leland Keyser says the incident never happened, despite Keyser stating publicly that she doesn’t remember the party but she believes he assaulted Blasey Ford). They prevaricate (he didn’t write “failed at raping” in his desk calendar, so she must be lying!). They dodge (Kavanaugh cut off senators and filibustered with irrelevant self-flattery to run down their clocks). They wallow in their own supposed victimhood (“My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed” because of “Revenge on behalf of the Clintons,” so *sniff* “I may never be able to coach [girls’ basketball] again!”). They go on the offensive (I’m not the blackout drunk, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s the blackout drunk! But also, beer! I like beer! Lots of beer. Did I mention I like beer?).