The Kavanaugh hearing: Sexual allegations fuel the Democratic Party’s right-wing politics
22 September 2018
In the coming week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on whether Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when the two were in high school in the early 1980s.
At the conclusion of the theatrics, nobody will be any more informed as to the truth than they were when Ford’s allegation became public over a week ago. Ford claims Kavanaugh groped her and attempted to force himself on her at a party in Maryland 36 years ago, while Kavanaugh denies the allegation.
Whatever happened or did not happen at the high school party, Ford’s allegation has become the central issue upon which the entire political establishment is almost exclusively fixated in the lead-up to the midterm election. It is necessary to understand the political interests elevating Ford’s claim to the national stage.
There are any number of issues that the Democratic Party could have focused on in opposing the nomination of Kavanaugh—his participation in drafting the torture policies of the Bush administration, his role in the Clinton impeachment campaign, his extreme right-wing positions on abortion rights and business regulations. There was a conscious and deliberate decision to instead focus entirely on charges related to what Kavanaugh may have done when he was still a juvenile.
It is a practiced act of political manipulation. Over the past 25 years, sex scandals have become central mechanisms for working out political conflicts in a system dominated by oligarchs incapable of making any direct appeal to the social or economic interests of the broad masses of working people.
In the mid-1990s, when the Republican Party used allegations…