Letter: The end of the grand experiment

Published 8:24 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

I am old enough to remember when people of one political party referred to the people of the other party as the “loyal opposition” and gave each other titles like “my esteemed colleague.” They worked together sometimes for the good of the people. The sham hearing the Republicans conducted Thursday destroyed any remaining illusions I had about today’s Republicans in Congress. The only person whose behavior was more outrageous than Chuck Grassley’s was Lindsey Graham’s.

Ms. Ford’s testimony was heartfelt and credible. Her responses to the senators’ questions were forthright and respectful. In contrast, Judge Kavanaugh’s opening statement was self-pitying, disrespectful and belligerent. He deflected questions and bullied Amy. If a woman had acted as Kavanaugh did, she would have been called hysterical and deemed too partisan and emotional to serve on the highest court in the land.

I was willing to give Kavanaugh the benefit of the doubt and believe that although he likely assaulted Ms. Ford, he was basically decent and was not proud of what he had done, so his mind let him not remember doing it. Obviously, if she was telling the truth, he was lying whether he knew it or not. But he disgraced himself and also told provable lies.

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When Jeff Flake intervened Friday to ask for an FBI investigation, a modicum of my former faith in the decency of Congressional Republicans was temporarily restored — at least to some degree. But today I heard that the White House ordered the FBI not to interview Kavanaugh’s former drinking buddies who have disputed his testimony as to how much he drank and what kind of a person he was when drunk. Agents, reportedly, are also not allowed to ask Mark Judge about if or when he worked at the Safeway store Ms. Ford alluded to in her testimony. What?

If these reports are true, the investigation is an outrage! Agents are only being allowed to interview people who will support Kavanaugh’s assertions and are not being allowed to ask questions that might bolster Ms. Ford’s testimony.

What country are we living in? At a rally Saturday, Trump said he and Kim Jong Un “fell in love.” Are we already living in North Korea? These investigatory tactics are the tactics used in North Korea. And in Russia, for that matter.

This is what the United States has become in two short years under Donald Trump and his Republican toadies. This is the world where the president of the United States is so despised that he was laughed at when he spoke at the United Nations. Laughed at!

Is this the United States we remember? Is this the country we love and are proud of? Is this what we want our country to be? I still can’t get past the fact that the United States is now regarded as a human rights violator because we tear babies away from their parents at the border and do not give them back. Vote blue. Restore the soul of America.

Lonna Gooden Van Horn