Would Brett be voted on to Supreme Island? Would Christine make the final round of American Idolater? And what did the Tweeter-in-Chief think? We all stayed tuned-in for the next breathless social media update.
I watched about 30-min of the Senate proceedings live and heard some more on the radio, and of course was inundated via the media with updates and propaganda from both sides — enough cognitive dissonance to wonder if our planet and nation had been consigned to some galactic looney bin.
It’s probably just me but it all seems like a performance. Perhaps that’s because when I take it seriously it just becomes too awful, too painful. It’s probably just me. Can I just close my eyes, go back to sleep and when I wake up it’ll all be gone? I feel like I’ve been watching the death of our nation — or at least the eradication of the last vestiges of civility in our political system.
Initially I thought both testimonies were credible. First I leaned one way and then the other. Maybe they were both telling the truth — at least their version of THE TRUTH. Given the vagaries of human memory and alcohol consumption that is a real possibility. Human memory is much squishier than we think. Also, fake memories are easily implanted in the naïve and willing. I know more than a little about this subject as my Master’s thesis was in verbal learning and involved memory.
Christine was superbly in character with a hesitant little-girl-lost voice (and a valley girl at that). Her wide-eyed, deer-in-the-headlights look was initially compelling. But upon reflection it was hard to believe that this was a 51-year old PhD who grew up in the affluent, sophisticated DC suburbs and attended elite private schools. It just didn’t seem real to me; it seemed a studied, rehearsed performance. Brett, on the other hand, overplayed the All American boy jock role more than just a bit. And as someone noted, the anger he displayed under oath was enough that one would not want to see him drunk.
It was the ultimate he said, she said, and it was eerily reminiscent of the ambiguity of Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas furor from 1991. The truth is only known to the two parties involved. But it was certainly compelling political theater. It was the ultimate reality show, and the consequences of Brett and Christine’s performances and the subsequent Senate decision will reverberate for decades. The 2016 election of a billionaire reality show host with a unprecedented understanding of the power of celebrity and social media guarantees that things will never be the same in our political system. But in spite of the Age of Trump creating a sense of unreality for me — and likely many others, it’s okay. The DC swamp badly needed to be drained. The hearings revealed all that is bad about our system. However, its one redemptive moment was provider by an aging career politician, Senator Collins. Her rationale, her exegesis of Constitutional scripture was a shining moment, and perhaps provided a badly-needed confirmation of our Founding Fathers divinely inspired vision.
For me, the first of many smoking guns was who paid for Christine’s polygraph? She either lied when she said she didn’t know — or she is a complete dope, or she has been duped by the Democrats. In any event the subsequent efforts from both sides to discredit the integrity of the principal characters was disheartening to say the least. It felt as though our fractured nation would never be the same. The final scene from Romeo and Juliet keeps coming to mind. The stage littered with carnage the Prince thunders: “See what a scourge is laid upon your hate. . . EVERYONE IS PUNISHED.”