There are many people whose lives have been—or will be—turned upside down by the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. There’s Christine Blasey Ford, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh while the two were in high school. There are the millions of women who stand to lose control of their reproductive rights thanks to Kavanaugh’s anti-choice beliefs should he be confirmed. And according to Republican Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley, there’s himself: a victim of people being Very Mean because he’s a dried-out piece of beef jerky who happens to sit on one of the most important committees in Congress.
Appearing on conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Tuesday, Grassley was asked whether Ford might be subjected to “insensitivity or indifference” from the Judiciary Committee’s all-white, all-male Republican members if she testifies before them.
Here is Grassley’s response in full (you can hear the full exchange beginning at the 5:45 mark here):
Well, journalists are very insensitive to Chuck Grassley, because I’m the only chairman when it says Chairman Grassley, chairman of the aging, or chairman of the Judiciary Committee, 84 years old, they never say that [Lamar] Alexander, chairman of the Health Committee, is 64 years old [ed. note: Alexander is actually 78 years old]. So there’s already discrimination against me, so there is a possible discrimination out there. And we have to consider all those things. We hope that everyone in the room treats the hearing with the seriousness that it deserves, and including the public.
It doesn’t exactly bode well for the impartiality of any hearing when the committee chair is pressed on the fact that all his Republican colleagues are old white men, and responds with a woe-is-me rant about people being mean to....old white men.
Hewitt later asked Grassley if he could “assure Dr. Ford and her counsel that she will be treated respectfully, graciously and be allowed to testify at length without interruption or badgering.”
Grassley answered that he could because he has “a reputation for running the committee that way”—a surprise to anyone who watched the opening day of the Kavanaugh hearing, which took less than 10 minutes to turn into a complete shit show.