The testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault—has been riveting, emotionally wrenching, and above all else, eminently believable. The tactic chosen by Senate Republicans to cede their questioning of Ford to sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell has been a laughable disaster. So, yeah, Republicans have reason to panic here. And perhaps no one is panicking more than South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham.
First, Graham scoffed at Ford’s testimony.
Then, speaking with reporters during a break in the hearing, Graham attacked Ford, reiterated his support for Kavanaugh, and addressed his fellow Republicans directly:
If you can ignore everything in this record, look in [sic] an allegation that’s 35 years old, that’s uncertain in time, please, date, and no corroboration—if that’s enough for you, god help us all as Republicans. ‘Cuz this happens to us, it never happens to them.
He presumably forgot about allegations against Rep. Keith Ellison, former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and his former colleague Al Franken, whose fellow Democrats helped force his resignation from his Senate seat after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Graham then issued a bizarre threat, saying, “Let me tell you my Democratic friends—if this is the new norm, you’d better watch out for your nominees.”
Is he suggesting filing false allegations against nominees simply because they’re Democrats? Sounds...not super legal.
But Graham wasn’t finished melting down. After being approached by a protester outside the Ford hearing who told him her experience of having been raped, Graham—large-hearted humanitarian that he is—reportedly replied, “I’m sorry. Tell the cops.”
And you wonder why Republicans were worried about having to question Ford directly.
Update, 4:58 p.m: Graham continued his meltdown into the afternoon, erupting in an unhinged rant during his time questioning Kavanaugh. “This is not a job interview,” Graham practically screamed. “This is hell.”
“You’re supposed to be Bill Cosby when you’re a junior and senior in high school,” Graham continued, apparently assuming that it’s a good idea to invoke a convicted rapist at this moment. He was right about one thing, though. This is hell.