A Kavagnawing Sense of Emptiness and Despair

Illustration by Max Burbank

BY MAX BURBANK | Fair warning: This is yet another column about Brett Kavanaugh, his quest to become a Supreme Court Justice, and all the overstuffed, hideous man-baggage that goes with it. If that makes you want to stop reading, so be it, and I don’t blame you. Hell, I don’t want to write about it.

After the last month, I am sick of men’s voices to the point of vomiting, and believe me, that includes my own.  I was praying Trump would fire United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last Thursday, just so I could write about that instead of this. I know. Shameful, right?

PERSPECTIVES: Express Yourselves

Brett Kavanaugh is an enigma.  As a teen, he was either a belligerent, binge drinking, attempted rapist-bro OR a studious, virginal, deeply pious angel-child. How can we ever know who the real Brett Kavanaugh is? The only fact about him we can establish with certainty is that he really likes beer. He liked it then, he likes it now. He likes it so much he wants to tell you he likes it as often as possible during testimony, even though it’s weird and uncomfortable. He wants very much to know if you like beer, because if you don’t there is clearly something suspect, unpatriotic, and vaguely repulsive about you that ought to preclude you from asking questions of a Yale graduate destined from birth to sit on the Supreme Court.

No, wait, there are two things about Kavanaugh we know for sure. He super-likes beer, and credible charges of attempted sexual assault aside, he’s going to be the next Supreme Court Justice. It’s foreordained, a very fancy word meaning “to be appointed in advance,” usually by God — or in this case, a very small group comprised entirely of old, white, Republican men.

Donald Trump really wants Kavanaugh confirmed. Sure, he called Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony (wherein she recounted how Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge pushed her into a room and turned the music up to cover any noise, how when she tried to yell for help, Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming) credible. However, he also described Kavanaugh as straight out of Central Casting, and a fantastic man who was born to be on the High Court. Hard to square those two statements, right? Trump clarified, saying, “I really don’t know what the word ‘credible’ means in this context, or at all.” Okay, I totally made that last quote up — but it’s not like I’m under oath and looking for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.

Mitch McConnell wants Kavanaugh confirmed now, preferably before the FBI turns up proof of multiple acts of perjury. “The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close,” McConnell stated. I guess he forgot that one time where a Supreme Court nominee (who’d never been accused of attempted rape) was denied even a hearing because the president (who wasn’t under investigation for obstruction of justice) only had half a year left in his presidency, and the voice of the American people needed to be heard. See, when America elected Obama to two consecutive terms, they mumbled, or misspoke, or some other transparently ridiculous twaddle.

Lindsey Graham seems to feel that the entire nomination process is a quaint formality, and is tomato-faced apoplectic that anyone might brook this good man’s path. Why, it’s as if the Democrats were conspiring with Satan himself to keep the very sun from rising! Of course, Graham also recently told CNN “If you don’t like me working with President Trump to make the world a better place, I don’t give a shit.” Oh, Lindsey. Everyone knows the only thing you’re working on with Trump is anything it takes to keep him from spilling whatever he revealed he has on you that day you played golf. It must be pretty bad. When it comes out, and it will, there won’t be a hole on earth deep enough to hide you.

Kavanaugh himself acts like something he’s essentially already been given is now being taken away. His entire testimony boiled down to a spoiled toddler shrieking, “You promised it to me! It’s MINE!” The hollering, the crying, the sniffing, asking Senator Klobuchar if she ever got blackout drunk! And that face! You know the one I mean, that screwed up, tiny mouth, enraged weasel face! Honestly, having the physical ability to make that face should immediately disqualify you from even being considered as a Supreme Court Justice! And the lies, the obvious, easily disprovable, nearly constant lies. Small things, big things, inconsequential things. He lied over and over about what things on his high school yearbook page meant. Ugly words and phrases anyone with access to the Internet can tell you the meaning of. “Boofing” isn’t “flatulence.” “The Devil’s Triangle” isn’t a drinking game. Oh, and “Renate Alumnus” wasn’t meant to be nice. Google it if you really want to know, or spare yourself.

That rage? The belief that the other team has to play by the rules but you can do any damn thing you please? The reflexive lying about anything and everything… does it sound familiar? It should. It’s the brand of the man most of my columns are exclusively about. A specter looming over all of this. A vast orange presence without which none of this would be taking place.

Trump’s very good at turning up the music to cover any noise. Twitter, rallies, bizarre, racist public statements… what is that but making the music louder? He’s trying like hell to get his fat, short fingered, orange hand over America’s mouth — but I think I he’s maybe underestimated the level of anger he’s inspired out there. Because November is coming. If Republicans use their current majority to force Kavanaugh through now, they may find themselves across the aisle from Democrats with subpoena power very soon…  and Supreme Court Justices can be impeached.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *