Trust John Oliver to give Brett Kavanaughs Senate hearing regarding Christine Blasey Fords sexual misconduct allegations against him the careful takedown it deserves. On Sunday, Last Week Tonight faced a familiar challenge: addressing the only news story anyone really cared about, days after everyone else in late night had their shot. But as usual, Oliver and his writers used the extra time they had to their full advantage, preparing an entire half-hour show with one purpose: picking apart the hearing, one moment at a time. Its precisely this kind of piece the comedian and his team excel at, and Sundays episode was some of their best work yet.
Oliver jumped straight into dissecting “Supreme Court nominee and walking crushed beer can” Brett Kavanaugh, who has denied all claims of sexual misconduct against him, after briefly addressing Fords own testimony—and more specifically, the tangential line of questioning prosecutor Rachel Mitchell delivered on behalf of Senate Republicans. (“She just cracked this case wide open!” crowed Oliver. “She found the missing piece of the puzzle—specifically, a puzzle that reads Who Fucking Cares?”) The comedian riffed on Kavanaughs bizarre displays of emotion—like when the federal judge welled up while discussing lifting weights at his friend Tobins house. “I hate to say it, but Im starting to think that men might be too emotional for the Supreme Court,” Oliver deadpanned. “Also, hed be really pretty if he just smiled more.”
Oliver also took issue with Kavanaughs continued obfuscation—especially his extended monologue about how much he liked, and still likes, beer, and the petulant way he answered Senator __ Amy Klobuchars__ question of whether hed ever blacked out by asking her, “Have you?”
“Aside from being deeply disrespectful, 'Have you?' is just not the answer of an innocent person,” Oliver said. “If you ask someone if they ever blew a dog and they go, I dont know, have you? That person blew a dog. He blew a fucking dog, and in all likelihood, not just one, either.”
And of course, there were the calendars—those detailed records Kavanaugh kept throughout his adolescence, apparently inspired by his father. “Now look, I know that it may seem cruel to make fun of a man crying over his late fathers calendars,” Oliver said. “But what if I were to tell you that his father is still alive and were sitting right behind him?! . . . That is why I am now completely comfortable saying that Every Christmas wed gather round and dad would regale us with old events from his calendar is the single weirdest fucking thing Ive ever heard anybody say.”
Though he was aghast at the spectacle of the testimony itself, Oliver was most concerned about the troubling ways in which Kavanaugh repeatedly misrepresented the truth, including mischaracterizing witnesses response to Fords description of events and apparently lying about what a “Devils Triangle” is. (Kavanaugh described it as a drinking game; the term is typically used to describe a threesome between two men and one woman.) Even simply Kavanaughs behavior within the hearing should be disqualifying, Oliver said, since a key part of the lifetime position hes vying for is judgment and temperament. “Not to mention, he wept over calendars.”
Equally damning, Oliver noted, was the way some senators who listened quietly to Fords testimony seemed to change their tone once she left the room. Lindsey Graham, for instance, began shouting about how this entire process was a “sham.” As Oliver noted, the hearing was deeply flawed—but it was Republicans who designed it that way, orchestrating a scenario in which only two voices would be heard, and eschewing opportunities to gather evidence or hear sworn testimony from other witnesses like Mark Judge, whom Ford said was present during her attack.
But the most horrifying moment, Oliver said, was Kavanaughs insistence in his opening statement that all of this scrutiny is simply the result of a politically motivated plot against him. It was a Trumpian evaluation, delivered with an alarming degree of anger and entitlement. “And it is worth taking a moment to note the norm that has just been shattered,” Oliver said. “Because I know that were all basically callous to people talking that way now, but we are supposed to have at least nine people left in America who do not talk that way. And yet Kavanaugh just all but came out and said that hes gonna approach his entire tenure as one giant case of Me vs. the Fucking Libtard Cucks. And this brings me to the most basic question that remains: Why? Why this particular asshole?”
“After all of this, I genuinely cannot see a single good reason for pushing Kavanaugh over a replacement candidate,” Oliver said. “Because you know deep down, any judge they choose is almost certainly going to restrict abortion rights. You dont need to choose an unhinged partisan with multiple accusations of sexual misconduct hanging over him. So it feels like theyre doing this just to deliver a fuck you to Democrats, and even more directly, a fuck you to women.”
Oliver chose to end his piece not on a withering final line, but on a lighter note: his shows Dog Supreme Court. After Neil Gorsuchs appointment, Oliver noted, he and his team chose to represent the newly appointed Justice on their court with a lobster—a nod to the fact that he doesnt really belong there. Should Kavanaugh be appointed, Oliver said, he would need something even more heinous—like Gritty, the terrifying new mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers. For the sake of the country, Oliver indicated, lets all hope Gritty never takes that seat on the bench.
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