Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s defiant, and at times angry, tone during his opening remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday drew widespread criticism online.

The nominee — who was testifying over his alleged assault of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when the two were in high school — began his testimony by abandoning his prepared remarks in order to attack the hearing, which he called a “disgrace,” and accusing Democrats of “grotesque and coordinated character assassination.”

“This first allegation was held in secret for weeks by a Democratic member of this committee and by staff,” Kavanaugh said, with anger apparent in his voice. “It would be needed only if you couldn’t take me out on the merits. When it was needed, this allegation was unleashed and publicly deployed over Dr. Ford’s wishes.”

The tone of Kavanaugh’s opening remarks was especially jarring when placed alongside the soft-spoken and measured testimony Ford offered just an hour earlier, and it drew stunned comments online.

If you couldn’t imagine an angry, drunk Kavanaugh before, you can now.

— JackiSchechner (@JackiSchechner) September 27, 2018

Wow, it’s almost as if he has a terrifying, angry dark side

— Brian Hiatt (@hiattb) September 27, 2018

We are seeing the real Brett Kavanaugh.

— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 27, 2018

This is an audition for a cable news gig

— Caitlin Kelly (@caitlin__kelly) September 27, 2018

This is straight from the Hannity monologue

— Brian Tashman (@briantashman) September 27, 2018

Wow, Kavanaugh cloaking himself in rightwing victimhood, sounding like a Fox News commentator

— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) September 27, 2018

Supreme Court justices have traditionally maintained a studied distance from partisan politics, and many observers were especially alarmed when Kavanaugh appeared to lash out at Democrats for what he called “pent-up anger about President [Donald] Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.”


“This is a circus,” Kavanaugh said at one point, his voice rising to a pitch. “The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades. This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade confident and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country and as we all know in the political system of the United States in the early 2000s, what goes around comes around.”

That last line struck many as a veiled thread of political retaliation and caused some to question whether Kavanaugh will be able to maintain his independence if confirmed.

This is not demeanor of someone one sees as a Supreme Court judge. He comes off as partisan hack ex frat boy.

— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) September 27, 2018

If confirmed, how does Kavanaugh make case he’s an independent judge when he’s just gone on a screed about “the left” and “the Clintons” ???

— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) September 27, 2018

the mask is offthe partisan operative is there for everyone to see

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) September 27, 2018

“What goes around comes around” sounds like a threat. This is not the kind of thing a potential Supreme Court justice should be saying.

— Kirsten Powers (@KirstenPowers) September 27, 2018

this potential SCOTUS justice sure sounds like he’s got some plans to make his detractors pay

— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) September 27, 2018

The danger of being so angry and emotional right now is that Brett Kavanaugh comes across as someone who is unable to be an impartial judge.

— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) September 27, 2018

After Kavanaugh’s opening statement, I hope most of us can agree that even if he didn’t assault Ford, he has just shown us that he lacks the temperament to serve on the Supreme Court.

— Will Saletan (@saletan) September 27, 2018

Still, some conservative commentators praised Kavanaugh’s aggressive tone, which they saw as an impassioned response to accusations they do not believe:

This is a fantastic open. Kavanaugh is fighting like we need all conservatives fighting against this poisoned process.

— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) September 27, 2018

Kavanaugh has had enough and is taking it to the bullies who accused him.

— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 27, 2018

Source Link: