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The hearings. Wow.

I don’t think we learned anything new and I doubt that anyone’s mind was changed. Republicans went in simply because they had to—they had already decided to go for broke, and nothing they heard or saw would or could have changed their mind, even if Kavanaugh had jumped on Dianne Feinstein and frotted her. Democrats went in united against Kavanaugh because of his extreme conservatism and role over the years as a Republican political fixer. I expect by this time next week, Kavanaugh will be on the High Court.

What do I personally think? He did it. What do I base that on? Because I’ve known men like Brett Kavanaugh all my life, and I don’t like or trust them. White and Christian, they were born with a feeling of entitlement—this is their world, and the rest of us live in it with their permission: Brett Kavanaugh and his type of straight white males in America. They never liked queers, didn’t feel comfortable around people of color, thought they were smarter than everyone else, thought non-Christians were ignorant, and they tended to be schoolyard bullies. By the time they reached puberty, these unpleasant tendencies were joined by misogyny, with all its symptoms: mansplaining, sexual exploitation, violent behavior, alibis, temper tantrums, lying and, sometimes, rape.

Does that description remind you of another white straight male? Yes, Donald Trump. This type also populates Breitbart: open-carry, angry men and the women who are enslaved by them. I was thinking of all this today in the gym, as I was working out and listening to the hearings on my iPod. Somebody had left behind a New Yorker magazine (Aug. 20, 2018) with this cover:

I always have loved New Yorker covers, which frequently contain levels of meaning that aren’t readily apparent. In this case, I wondered what was going on: obviously, a Dad with his wife and two kids on a camping or rowboating trip. Usually there’s some irony or tension in a New Yorker cover but I couldn’t immediately find it. The Dad was looking over his right shoulder with something approaching apprehension; perhaps he’d heard a menacing sound. And then I noticed the rear bumper of his Ford pickup: the MAGA bumper sticker, the twin American flags framing a Christian cross. And the shotgun in its rack.


So it was a commentary on the typical Trump supporter—exactly the kind of Kavanaugh I’m talking about. And I saw the irony: on the surface, this Dad was a typical American father, with a loving wife, two lovely kids, and a gun. A patriotic, religious American, a rock-ribbed Republican, church-going, God-fearing, loyal, NRA member, Christian. And suddenly, all of the mean, bullying white men I’ve known all my life flooded my brain: the ones who teased me, who called me “fag,” who called Black people “niggers,” who claimed to be bigtime Christians and yet were out there on the DL, secretly getting their rocks off. The kind of men who believed Trump when he lied that Obama wasn’t born in America. The kind of men who bullied anyone they thought they could bully, who sucked up to more powerful men than they, who put down intellectualism and intelligence, who resented smart people and called them “elites” and “snowflakes,” who distrusted foreigners, even as they hired Mexicans to rake their yards and clean their toilets. Men like Trump, Kavanaugh, Scalia, Grassley, Hatch and the rest of the Republican elite.

These men always have had more power in America than they deserve. There’s much talk these days that their power is waning, and I pray that it really is; but we’ve heard that before, and they’re more powerful now than ever. Maybe the upcoming election will dent their power. Maybe it won’t.

I don’t know if Brett Kavanaugh did it or not. Neither do you. Neither does anyone, except Brett Kavanaugh. But I do know that a leopard can’t change its spots: He’s still a white male dominant authoritarian who thinks that white male authoritarian dominants should call all the shots, and if you don’t like it, then fuck you. The only reason we’re in this awful place is because the supreme white male dominant country in the world, Russia, managed to get a white male dominant, Trump, elected, in order to further their own agenda. All I can say is, this isn’t over, not by a long shot. The Resistance continues, Mueller is still out there, and if the white male dominant, Kavanaugh, succeeds in overturning Roe v. Wade, there’s going to be holy hell in the streets.

By the way, concerning Kavanaugh’s faux-indignant, rehearsed charges of “smears” by Democrats, here are the worst smears of recent political history, and they’re all from Republicans: Trump’s lie that Obama is a foreigner, and McConnell’s crushing of the Garland nomination. Those two things alone merit Republicans being turned out of every office in this country.

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