New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse, always eager for signs of Republican trouble, gleefully piled on to the Kavanaugh scrum with “Resume Glittered, but the Reality Was Something Else Again” in Wednesday’s edition:
At the moment of his nomination, Judge Kavanaugh did truly seem like a test-tube version of a Republican Supreme Court nominee. The right schools. The right friends. The right clerkships. The right mentors. The right White House experience. The right appeals court slot. Republican senators said he might be the most qualified nominee ever. It was all set.
Right up until it wasn’t. Now, with his confirmation in such jeopardy that he felt compelled to defend himself in a Fox News television interview on Monday, some of the glittery inside-the-Beltway aspects of his résumé that made him so appealing to his enthusiastic supporters are putting his ascension to the country’s top court in doubt.
Start with Judge Kavanaugh’s schooling, a period that has given rise to the most serious threat to his confirmation: accusations of sexual misconduct. He is the product of the elite Georgetown Preparatory School just outside Washington, as well as Yale University and Yale Law School, proven incubators of Supreme Court justices. Degrees from those institutions are treated as strong evidence of academic rigor and excellence.
But accusations from two women who say they were subjected to sexual assault by Judge Kavanaugh during his years at the schools have exposed a dark side of such privileged education. While Judge Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied doing what his accusers suggest or even attending the gatherings where the events are alleged to have occurred, the lurid descriptions have at minimum opened a window on an alcohol-soaked culture for some students that would seem to conflict with the sterling image to be cultivated by a future member of the Supreme Court.
Not to be outdone, Sydney Ember filed a fan letter in the guise of an interview with “fiery” Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, infamous for saying Kavanaugh’s conservative approach to the Constitution made his rape denial less believable: “‘I Believe Her’: Mazie Hirono Takes an Aggressive Stance in Kavanaugh Hearings.”
It was Ember’s latest cozy coffee chat with a female Democratic politician, albeit slightly more challenging than the embarrassment than ran in the news pages earlier this month:
Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii has made national headlines in the last week with her blunt comments about the treatment of women and the sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. At a recent news conference, for instance, she urged men to “shut up and step up,” and she told Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, to “do the right thing” as he passed her in a Capitol Hill hallway.
A first-term senator and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ms. Hirono does not have national prominence. But she is known in Washington to be unabashedly fiery -- she has called President Trump a “misogynist” and a “liar” -- and her obvious contempt for how the Republicans have handled the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh has particularly delighted liberal Democrats and turned her into the latest face of the left’s resistance.
Here are some of the probing questions the liberal senator faced from Ember:
You’ve been so busy. Everywhere I look, there’s another article about you or you’re on TV.
This is not the only time you’ve been vocal about the treatment of women. I’m wondering what motivated you to take such a prominent position on the issue of sexual abuse and harassment?
So it sounds like you don’t think he’s credible or ready for this promotion, as you put it.
Ember passed on a few criticisms in the middle:
Your critics have accused you of posturing for the camera.
What do you think of the criticism that this is all just a Democratic smear campaign against Kavanaugh?
She then spun Hirono’s twisted sense of fairness into admirable directness, then complimented the senator on the privilege of being granted an interview. (Can one Oimagine the Times being so deferential to a Republican senator like Ted Cruz?)
You are uncharacteristically blunt for a senator. Have you always been like this?
I’m so glad you could make some time for me in what I’m sure is an extremely busy day in an extremely busy week. So thank you very much.