Kavanaugh's behavior in front of the Senate was atrocious. His excuse for it is even worse.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had a stunning and belligerent meltdown last week when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
And he's blaming the woman who says he tried to rape her in high school for his shocking and inappropriate behavior.
"I was subjected to wrongful and sometimes vicious allegations," Kavanaugh wrote in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, and minimizes his unhinged performance as merely "forceful and passionate" testimony.
It was far more than that, though. Kavanaugh shouted and snapped at senators, trembled with rage, lobbed hyperpartisan attacks, and even proposed the ridiculous conspiracy theory that he is the victim of "revenge on behalf of the Clintons."
That behavior, Kavanaugh claims, simply "reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character."
Even that excuse is a lie, though. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford provided extremely detailed and credible testimony to the Senate about what Kavanaugh did to her when they were in high school. She and her attorneys have provided plenty of corroborating evidence and witnesses to support her extremely specific and credible story of being assaulted by Kavanaugh.
But the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee was not interested in the information. And the subsequent FBI investigation, so carefully rigged by Trump's White House, also ignored plenty of witnesses and leads that could corroborate allegations against Kavanaugh.
And of course there is the issue of Kavanaugh's own testimony, in which he lied repeatedly about his behavior and habits when he was in high school and college. Many people who knew him then — friends of his and even his former roommate — have come forward to say that Kavanaugh lied about his drinking and partying.
Does he really expect people to accept that he lied — repeatedly, about a number of things separate and apart from his denials of assault — because a woman made him so "emotional"?
"I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been," Kavanaugh wrote. "I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said."
But Kavanaugh does not apologize for what he said. And his admission that his emotions got the best of him show his unfitness for the role he seeks. That's according to Kavanaugh himself, who spoke in 2015 about the importance of a judge's temperament.
"It’s important to have the proper demeanor,” Kavanaugh said at the time. "To keep our emotions in check. To be calm amidst the storm."
Now, though, as he asks for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh excuses his grotesque behavior by blaming a woman who says he tried to rape her for making him so angry.
Kavanaugh's behavior before the Senate was a disgrace and proved he is unfit for the court. That's an observation many have made, including retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a lifelong Republican, who said he had though Kavanaugh qualified until he watched Kavanaugh's meltdown.
It is clear Kavanaugh is increasingly desperate to persuade those who now question whether he belongs on the Supreme Court. To do so, he is asking the senators who will vote on him to forgive his angry and extended outbursts, to accept his word over the many people who have said he is lying, and to reward him with an honor he does not deserve.
But most disgracefully of all, he is suggesting that the man we all watched last week is not who he really is, and but for Ford coming forward with her story about him violently assaulting her, he never would have displayed such behavior. It is her fault that he lost control, became emotional, lashed out, and "said a few things I should not have said."
That justification, perhaps more than anything else, shows just how unfit he is for the Supreme Court.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.