The most-used word to describe the hearings for Kentanji Brown Jackson in the articles I read was the word “obnoxious.” Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham took turns literally screaming at the high court nominee, despite her being the most overqualified and mainstream nominee in decades. Graham demanded to know how often she went to church, and Hawley accused her of being a friend to child pornographers. Marsha Blackburn decided to lecture on race. (Yes, that happened.) Cruz decided to throw a “performative tantrum” to somehow make this all about Critical Race Theory because she is, after all, she is a Black woman and thus must be into it.
This was such obvious theater that Ted Cruz even got caught checking his name for Twitter mentions during the hearing, and was so offensive that even Republican Ben Sasse spoke up:
I would say that the hearings were beneath the dignity of the Senate, but that ship sailed a long time ago. Tough questions weren’t asked, and no Constitutional discussions were had by the showboating GOP Senators. Instead, it was straight up insults, bullying and abuse. The hearings were unbearable to watch, and infuriating. Jackson will be the only active Supreme Court justice to have attended an Ivy League law school, clerked for a Supreme Court justice, served as a public defender, served on the sentencing commission, served as a U.S. District Court judge, and served as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge. But she is Black.
Lindsey Graham even tried to justify his berating of Jackson by saying this is what the Democrats did to Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh. In other words, he said he was bullying her just because he could. I should note that even if he believed the Democrats were unfair back then, his actions of directly attacking Jackson were appalling. Jackson had nothing to do with those hearings, and I would have loved to remind him that those hearings are not remotely similar to Jackson’s.
Barrett actually publicly pronounced it was her duty to put her religious beliefs over the law, so of course she would be asked about that. Her actions on SCOTUS since have only proven Democrats absolutely right on that. As for Kavanaugh, he was credibly accused of sexual assault, and no investigation was allowed. As a result, two sexual predators sit on the Court: Thomas and Kavanaugh.
Yet for all the hate that I have directed at the racist Senator from South Carolina, I can’t seem to scrape up the same anger I have the goddamned Democrats on that committee who should have spoken up. You know, Lindsey went off the rails defending a creep like Kavanaugh back when he did, but dammit, I would have loved to have seen something like that during this hearing from our side. Jackson was literally smeared from a Senator using QAnon talking points, and Democrats just fing sat there.
The only Democrat who really spoke up for her during the hearing was Corey Booker. He is getting a lot of deserved accolades for doing so. Where the hell were the rest of them?
So a highly-respected judge had to defend herself, alone, from a fake QAnon attack by Josh Hawley and several GOP Senators. Where’s our scrutched-face Democrat berating the Republicans on the committee for their stupidity and calling out their bigotry? Dianne Feinstein literally hugged Lindsey Graham after the Barrett hearings, and told him it was “one of the best set of hearings I’ve participated in.” No wonder he thought he could get away with the crap he pulled this time. And no, Feinstein said nothing about Graham’s behavior.
Why did Dick Durbin allow this extreme abuse from Cruz, Hawley, Graham, and Cotton? He was the worst of all, in my opinion, because he did nothing. He didn’t have to tolerate any of this. People across the nation were screaming at their screens for him to step and up and intervene when those GOP clowns waded into the absurd. He had every right to gavel them, give a warning, and then shut them down. He never did.
I understand that the GOP’s defining trait is outrage. It’s what they are good at, even if there’s nothing to be outraged about. It’s why there is a legion of truckers driving in circles around the capital to protest non-existent mandates. But it wouldn’t hurt the Democrats we elect to get outraged about something once in a while. The blatant bigotry and hatred on display from the Republicans during this hearing should have been one of those things. If Democrats in the Senate wonder why people don’t show up at the polls when they are needed, its’ because of crap like this.
These aren’t the best of times, and there is a huge f-ing fight right now with dark forces trying to turn back the clock on all the progress we have made: our freedoms, civil rights, and social justice. JEEBUS, Republicans are now arguing that interracial marriage was wrongly decided. We recognize the threat and want to send people to Washington so they will fight as hard as we are angry. If you can’t even step up during the most extreme circumstances, don’t be shocked that they don’t turn out to stand up for you.
Wake the F up! End. Rant.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.