Thursday, September 27, 2018


We don't have much in the way of cable-only channels, so I wasn't expecting to watch the Christine Blasey Ford testimony, but I found a feed embedded in the Washington Post home page (we have paid access to that paper), and I picked it up during DiFi's time. They're on lunch break right now. Thoughts.

1. Each senator gets only five minutes, except Chairman Grassley who gets to interject whenever he wants. Whenever a Democrat complains about the lack of an FBI investigation, Grassley takes a time out afterwards to defend himself. When one senator (I think it was Leahy) complained of the rush, Grassley said there would have been plenty of time to hold an investigation before Ford's identity was revealed, if only DiFi had been willing to pass that along to the committee. He assures that Ford's identity would have been protected, but he also twice misspeaks and talks about telling the whole world about it, which reveals how much his assurance of privacy would have been worth.

2. No other Republicans have talked at all, so far. Probably wise on their part: no feet in mouth. They all yield their time to the majority's hired lawyer, who - also wisely - concentrates on establishing details of facts in Ford's account. She sounds less like a prosecutor than a neutral investigator. Again probably wise: prosecutorial attacks would probably not go over well.

3. When asked about her reactions to the assault, Ford speaks in the voice of a traumatized victim, which comes across movingly, except when she suddenly switches gears and gives the technical responses of a psychology professor, which comes across authoritatively.

4. Some of the Democrats, Leahy and Durbin in particular, don't have much in the way of questions. They just want to give speeches about how courageous she is, which is kind of embarrassing when delivered to her face.

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