The big news this week was the Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday, a foregone conclusion after senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) stated earlier in the week that they’d be voting for the Trump nominee despite the looming sexual-assault allegations against him—including from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who claims that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a house party when she was 15.
“While many were concerned about how this decision would affect Christine Blasey Ford, who testified so bravely last week, the president, who had previously said that he found Ford ‘credible,’ made fun of her during a rally—and argued that everyone was forgetting the real victims in this process,” said John Oliver at the top of Sunday’s Last Week Tonight.
Indeed, in the wake of the Kavanaugh allegations, President Trump called it “a very scary time for young men in America, when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of.” (Trump, by the way, has been accused of sexual misconduct by as many as 19 women—and his ex-wife once accused him of rape.)
In addition to the president’s divorced-from-reality claim that men are the real victims here, Republican senators also exhibited what the HBO host called an “utterly shameless commitment to bad-faith arguments” following the sexual-assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, who has recently transformed into a journalistically-compromised Trump lackey, posed the following question to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Do you believe George Soros is behind all of this? Paying these [protesters] to get you and your colleagues in elevators—or wherever they can get in your face?” asked Bartiromo.
“I have heard so many people believe that,” replied Sen. Grassley, adding, “I tend to believe it. I believe it fits in his attack mode that he has, and how he uses his billions and billions of resources.” The claim was parroted by President Trump.
As my esteemed, Pulitzer Prize-winning colleague Spencer Ackerman noted, “by ‘Soros’ they mean ‘Jews,’ the way previous generations preferred ‘Rothschild’ for their little antisemitic euphemism.” On top of the anti-Semitism, there is no evidence that Soros has paid any Kavanaugh protesters—or any other protesters for that matter. (There is, however, evidence that Trump paid actors to cheer during his presidential campaign announcement.)
“But you know that’s bullshit Grassley, don’t you?” Oliver said of the “paid protester” allegations. “George Soros isn’t paying people to yell at Jeff Flake in an elevator. It’s completely unnecessary. People will happily do that for free! In fact, people would pay to yell at Jeff Flake in an elevator. If Disney World had a ride called, Yell At Jeff Flake in an Elevator, the line would be longer than Space fucking Mountain!”
Grassley and Trump were joined by Sen. Collins, who according to Oliver “engaged in some spectacular bad-faith bullshit, because in announcing her ‘yes’ vote, she waxed indignant about the dark money that she felt had corrupted this process.”
“We have seen special-interest groups whip their followers into a frenzy,” said Sen. Collins. “Interest groups have also spent an unprecedented amount of dark money opposing this nomination.”
Oliver explained that a reported $9,545,920 was spent on TV ads surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh—but the vast majority of that, over $7 million, was spent by special-interest groups supporting Kavanaugh. And around half of that $7 million was spent by the right-wing Judicial Crisis Network, who ran ‘round-the-clock TV ads featuring “five” alleged female friends of Kavanaugh’s attesting to his character, and ultimately concluding that the alleged sexual assaults “didn’t happen.” There’s just one thing, however: two of the women talking heads featured in the ad are the same person.
“This entire process wasn’t about principle, it was just about getting what you want—no matter how you have to do it, or what damage it does,” Oliver concluded. “It was borderline pathological.”