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The Resistance Prays

October 6, 2018
By Bill Mefford

Today's Top Story

On Thursday, Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota announced on local television that she would vote no on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. On Friday, in a forty minute speech on the Senate floor, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine announced she would vote yes for Brett Kavanaugh. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, waited until Brett Kavanaugh’s fate was secured and announced his support as well. 

Scripture 

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever one sows, so shall they reap.
Galatians 6:7

Profiles in Courage, Profiles in Shame:
All eyes have been on Senators Heitkamp, Flake, Collins, Murkowski, and Manchin to see what their votes on controversial nominee Kavanaugh would be. In an emotional announcement on a local TV station, Senator Heitkamp said she could not look herself in the eye if she had voted for Kavanaugh even though she is running for re-election in a state where support for Kavanaugh and donald trump is overwhelming. She admitted that politics would dictate she vote for Kavanaugh, but she could not vote for him and be true to herself. 

She believed Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford so she had to vote no on Kavanaugh. 

So did Senator Lisa Murkowski who, despite enormous pressure from dark-monied groups on the far right, also voted against Brett Kavanaugh. She talked about the need to restore integrity and credibility to our institutions and insinuated that given Brett Kavanaugh’s bitter partisan tongue-lashing at his most recent Judiciary testimony, he would not be someone who would bring that credibility to the Supreme Court. 

Both of these women made perhaps the most consequential vote of their political lives and they did so believing Dr. Blasey-Ford and believing survivors. They heeded the voices of those most directly impacted – women and survivors of sexual assault who have flooded Capitol Hill and have bravely confronted Senators with the stories of their abuse and the stories of their survival from sexual assault. 

But sadly, the profiles of shame have carried the day. 

After being shamed by two brave women who confronted Senator Flake in an elevator about his support for Kavanaugh, Flake asked for a week to have an investigation into all of the charges alleged against Kavanaugh. The inconsequential FBI investigation (limited by the Senate and White House) gave political cover to Flake and other Republicans and allowed them to implement the talking point that is utterly and completely nonsensical and baseless: that they believe Dr. Blasey-Ford and, at the same time, they believe Kavanaugh’s plea of innocence. 

On Friday, Senator Collins made a forty minute speech where she blamed several things including:
  • dark money on the left (never mentioning the Judicial Crisis Network and their multi-million dollar ad buys in support of Kavanaugh), 
  • the outlandish claims of sexual assault (which were never investigated by the FBI so we have no idea if they were outlandish or not), and 
  • the incredible claim that Brett Kavanaugh was more in the shape of moderate Justice Souter (known for defending Roe v. Wade) than the harsh conservatives that filled out the prescribed list of justices created by the ultra-conservative Federalist Society, given and followed closely by donald trump. 
But let’s be honest for a minute. If Collins’ description of Kavanaugh as a moderate on the bench is right, then how is he supported by the likes of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Orrin Hatch, or the Federalist Society, which was formed so that there would no longer be any David Souters named to the Supreme Court? A David Souter-like Brett Kavanaugh would have never been nominated. Susan Collins is decidedly wrong in her assessment of Mr. Kavanaugh.

But she ended her speech with once again claiming she believed Dr. Blasey-Ford, while then picking apart her statement and claiming Kavanaugh’s innocence. 

But the greatest shame must go to Senator Manchin who waited until after everyone had decided, counted the votes, and decided to play it safe, given he is from West Virginia where trump and Kavanaugh are both very popular, and announcing he will vote for Kavanaugh. And yes, as expected, he told the world how sincerely he believed Dr. Blasey-Ford while at the same time he invalidated her story by stating his belief in Kavanaugh. 

Folks, this was not a partisan fight. Republicans and Democrats were on both sides of this crucial and historic vote. This was about a choice between believing the survivors of sexual assault or the ones who assault them. You cannot state your belief in Dr. Blasey-Ford and still vote for or support Brett Kavanaugh. You cannot do it. Believing Dr. Blasey-Ford means that you believe her when she says she is 100% sure her attacker was Brett Kavanaugh. 

This is a fight we lost and it hurts like hell. But history will prove us right. History will look fondly on Senators Heitkamp and Murkowski as profiles in courage. History will look not so fondly on Senators Flake, Collins, and Manchin who fled for politically safe ground. 

Senators Heitkamp and Murkowski are profiles in courage. 

As are the amazing women across the country who shared their stories and refused to be silent. 

As is Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford who was attacked in 1982 by a young man named Brett Kavanaugh. 
Act
Take care of yourself. Pray, read, talk to friends, cry, go out to eat, breathe, be still. 

And then register to vote. 

And then get your friends and neighbors registered to vote. 

And then, to the profiles of shame, we will vote them out. 
Pray
Spirit of Life, breathe into us. Give those who have been assaulted sexually and who have been forced to relive those painful memories healing and hope. Give all of us who fought so hard against this injustice renewed passion and renewed hope. We pray for the healing of this country but we know healing is imperfect unless it is ushered in with justice. So, we pray, in the words and spirit of Amos, let justice roll down like mighty waters, righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. 
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