UPDATED with video: John Oliver devoted the entirety of Last Week Tonight to Thursday’s norm-shattering Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to determine the next associate justice on the Supreme Court.
A “composed” Christine Blasey Ford came to testify that she had been sexually assaulted in high school by top-court wannabe Brett Kavanaugh. An “unhinged partisan” Kavanaugh, did not behave like a man who hopes one day to have the honor of serving on the Supreme Court, but instead like someone “who feels entitled to be on it and, frankly, can’t believe you’re being such a dick about this.”
Ford came to Washington to testify that, when they were in high school, a drunken Kavanaugh and friend shoved her into a bedroom at a party, where Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed, tried to remove her clothes while covering her mouth with his hand so she could not scream.
Her testimony was so compelling, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch told reporters during a break “it’s too early to say” how the voting would turn out, but conceded “I don’t think she’s un-credible; I think she’s an attractive, good witness, but it’s way early.”
When asked what he means by “attractive” Hatch responded, “In other words, she’s pleasing’”
Ranted Oliver: “No! No! No! You should not use the word ‘pleasing’ to describe a sexual assault survivor painfully recounting one of the worst moments of her life!”
Then Kavanaugh spoke, Oliver said, coming “straight out of the gate weird.” The judge cried at the memory of lifting weights at his friend Toby’s house.
“I’m starting to think men might be too emotional for the Supreme Court,” Oliver joked after that clip. “Also, he’d be really pretty if he just smiled more,” he snarked.
Kavanaugh repeatedly spoke of his love of beer, but when pressed on his drinking, became dismissive or outright hostile and “it was at those moments that you got a real sense of who this man actually is,” Oliver argued.
When a female senator asked if he ever drank until he blacked out, Kavanaugh shot back. “I don’t know – have you?”
“Aside from being deeply disrespectful, ‘Have you?’ is just not the answer of an innocent person. If you ask someone if they ever blew a dog and they go, ‘I don’t know – have you?!’ that person blew a dog and, in all likelihood, not just once,” Oliver said.
This surly tone was emblematic of Kavanaugh’s demeanor throughout the hearing. But Kavanaugh did not rely on belligerence to refute Ford’s charges. He also brought a calendar from 1982, which he kept all these years. And, about which, he became emotional, recalling how his father kept calendars since 1978.
“Now, I know it may seem cruel to make fun of a guy crying over his late father’s calendars – but his father is still alive and was sitting right behind him. Which, Oliver explained, is why he’s “completely comfortable saying ‘every Christmas we gathered around and Dad regaled us with old events from his calendar’ is the single f*cking weirdest thing I’ve ever heard anybody say.”
More disturbing, Kavanaugh widely mischaracterized evidence – something a Supreme Court associate justice candidate really should not do.
Kavanaugh also insisted a high school yearbook reference made by him and his pals to being “Renate Alumni” was not sexual, though the woman named, when informed of the reference, called it “horrible, hurtful and simply untrue.”
Kavanaugh also insisted at the hearing, under oath, that yearbook references to sex acts, like “devils triangle” were actually references to drinking games and flatulence.
Oliver called “bullshit,” joining many – including even C-Span viewers.
But, even if you don’t think Kavanaugh guilty of sexual assault, his behavior at the hearing should be disqualifying, Oliver declared, “because a key part of the job is judgment and temperament” and Kavanaugh’s prepared opening remarks were “positively Trumpian.”
The aggrieved judge “all but came out and said he’s going to approach his entire tenure as one giant case of “me vs the f*cking libtard cucks,” telling the senators he is the victim of a calculated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear stoked about his judicial record, revenge “on behalf of the Clintons” and millions of dollars from outside left-wing opposition groups.
Oliver wondered why “this particular asshole’ is “the hill that conservatives are willing to die on?”
There are plenty of qualified judges just as committed to ending legal abortion as Kavanaugh, and yet, Republicans are sticking by this “unhinged partisan with multiple accusations of sexual misconduct hanging over him.”
Which, Oliver noted, is not just a “’f*ck you’ to Democrats” but “even more directly, a ‘f*ck you’ to women.”
At the start of the week, the biggest fear of many is that the Senate Judiciary Committee would not believe Christine Blasey Ford. By the end of the week, it seemed the GOP-led committee’s response was “Oh, we believe you. We just don’t care,” Oliver blasted.