Was going to ignore the Ford hearings and work today but found myself absolutely mesmerized by the live proceedings on my phone.
It struck me, in this disjointed spectacle, that who was on trial was not Christine Blasey Ford. Who was on trial was the Senate, and more particularly, the judiciary committee. Ford was just the instrument that pried open the covering to expose the raw wound of the partisan conflict that has made the committee totally dysfunctional. The semi-incoherent, indignant, stammered declarations from Grassley about how the hearing came about made it clear that in his mind, the Dems staged an underhanded ambush of the confirmation process. The questions from the Dems, interrupting the Ford interrogation at 5-minute intervals, seemed less about questioning her than hammering home the irregularity of the proceedings and the lack of an FBI investigation. The questioning of Kavanaugh afterwards degenerated into tedious bipartisan accusations that were even less enlightening.
My gut feeling at the end: There HAS to be more investigation.
But as I listened I was also surprised by…suddenly feeling so sad for our country. It’s like there’s this wound, this disease–this deep partisan split is like an infected wound–and the hearing is like an agonized, wounded patient trying to operate on him/herself. What’s needed is something outside the inflamed body, an objective, neutral, helpful doctor with a genuine intent to heal the problem, or at least help it to heal….Yet somehow we’ve come to a place where there is nothing outside.
We are one body. We are wounded, split wide open, inflamed and in pain, trying to figure out how to deal with this fatal split, without any help from a level above the conflict. We need help from another level, from above or outside, and it’s simply not there. There is no outside or above. The partisan poison has inflamed everything.
According to my phone, I walked seven miles in my living room while I listened to every word of the proceedings. I don’t know what to do about this situation but as I said, my gut feeling is that the Senate should not ram Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court without further investigation. That would only make the wound worse. And my heart feeling is that, regardless of what happens with Brett Kavanaugh, we are all responsible for trying to reach out to those on the other side of the split. To hear their views without demonizing them. To accept that they disagree with us without vilifying them. If there is a level above or beyond this, we have to find it inside ourselves.