#KAVANOPE: 'Blackout Brett" and the Aftermath

By Jack O’ Dwyer

Image:    Ruth Bader Ginsburg during Judge Kavanugh’s confirmation | CNN screencap, remixed by Jack O’Dwyer

Image: Ruth Bader Ginsburg during Judge Kavanugh’s confirmation | CNN screencap, remixed by Jack O’Dwyer

Cw: sexual assault accounts, sexual violence

And now, a summarized list of things the new United States Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, has been accused of. Our boy Bart O’Kavanaugh has nothing on this man -- a true legend, Treasurer of the Keg City Club “100 Kegs or Bust”, Renate Alumnius, among other things cited in his 1983 yearbook. The culture of this school was backed up by numerous classmates, as well, so we know there was definitely a heavy drinking and discriminatory culture (in multiple ways, including race). It seems like some high school boys never reach their full, intellectual maturity. What a surprise in this climate.

Concerning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford:

Ford was allegedly held down by Kavanaugh and groped at a summer party in 1982. When she tried to scream for help, he put a hand over her mouth to stop her. Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, was also there, and managed to inadvertently free her when he jumped on them.

While Kavanaugh may try to use his calendar to deny he went to any parties, one such party did appear on his calendar with all his friends and the mention of alcohol.

Ford would go on to talk about this incident in a therapy session in 2012, which was validated by her therapist and her husband. Yes, this event really did occur. Why else would she be talking about it in therapy six years prior?

Upon Kavanaugh’s nomination, Ford alerted Sen. Dianne Feinstein to her story, which was published first anonymously. The allegations were denied. In response, Ford came public a few days later in an interview with The Washington Post.

She was later brought before a judicial committee in a hearing that we all watched with undeservedly bated breath… We all know what happened after that.

Concerning Deborah Ramirez:

Kavanaugh shoved his dick in Ramirez’ face and caused her to touch it as she pushed him away during a drunken dormitory party at Yale in 1983-84.

She went public in late September in an article published by The New Yorker. Other classmates testified to Kavanaugh’s distinctly inappropriate behavior. He, of course, denied the allegations again. However, his own fear betrays him here. Several days before the article came to light, Kavanaugh’s legal team had been trying to communicate with his classmates at Yale. He tried to maintain that the first he ever heard of the allegations was upon their publication, but we can piece together that was probably a lie.

Concerning Julie Swetnick:

Swetnick was a former neighbor of Kavanaugh while he attended Georgetown Prep in the 1980s. She said attended the same parties as he did and observed their atmosphere, as well as the conduct of Kavanaugh, himself.

During these parties, women were abused, groped, and drugged. Some were even “gang” raped⸺a disturbing act that Kavanaugh allegedly participated in. She recalled him waiting outside a bedroom in a line with other boys waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside.

Swetnick also says she was once assaulted at these parties, but did not directly implicate Kavanaugh involvement with her.

She described Kavanaugh as a “mean drunk” and named Mark Judge as another student often at the parties with him. According to her affidavit, Kavanaugh would often try to get girls outrageously drink and grab at them on the dancefloor.

Swetnick’s accusations are a little dicey as she could not come up with any witnesses to corroborate her story. Kavanaugh completely denied knowing who Swetnick even was, as did several other women and classmates associated with him.

Concerning Kavanaugh's 1985 Bar Fight:

Kavanaugh was accused of throwing ice at another bar patron during a documented altercation in a bar in September of 1985. The victim was struck with glass by a friend of Kavanaugh’s which resulted in bleeding and brief hospitalization for treatment.

This took place after a concert where Kavanaugh and his group of friends retired to a bar. The altercation started with the group staring at a patron who told them to stop. Kavanaugh threw his beer in the man’s face, according to Chad Ludington, a former Yale classmate. A fight broke out shortly afterward where a different aforementioned friend of Kavanaugh “smashed [the glass] into the head of the guy, who by now had Brett in an embrace.” said Ludington.

Kavanaugh was questioned by police, but there is no indication of arrests being made in this incident.

So, my question is, were the members of the committee just drunk enough to ignore all the evidence that Judge Kavanaugh is an aggressive, belligerent drunk with a history of violence and abuse toward women? Or were we all just not drunk enough to not take notice of his history where others refused to look?  

Obviously, this turn of events would have anyone with half a human soul feeling powerless and potentially retraumatized. I found myself staring blankly at the confirmation headlines before turning to my girlfriend and asking, almost haphazardly, “What do we do now?”

The good news is, there are things to do now. Losing one battle does not mean losing the war for women’s rights⸺despite how many must feel right now. There are other events to organize for here and now to be completely prepared. For example, registering to vote in your state and using your voice in the midterm elections to get rid of the folks you don’t want representing you. The vote in 2020 is another thing to be aware of. There are marches and organizations all over the nation that need your help.

Grieve however you need to grieve, but don’t forget that the fight still needs you. We’re not done yet.