Letter to the Editor:

To paraphrase Queen Gertrude from “Hamlet,” “The senator doth protest too much, methinks.” William Shakespeare was making the observation that exaggerated bellyaching is not to be believed. 

After reviewing the FBI’s report on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s supplemental background check, Sen. Chuck Grassley was angrily shouting and gesturing in his condemnation of his Democratic colleagues for criticizing the process of the judiciary committee and thus, his actions as its chairman. In a fit of rage, he implied that the report exonerated the judge. 

Making this characterization of a confidential report was, in itself, a violation of Senate rules and a conclusion emphatically disputed by Democratic committee members.

He also suggested that the investigation was comprehensive and that it was time to move ahead with the vote to confirm. The scope of the investigation was, in fact, severely limited, presumably by the White House. 

President Donald Trump claimed to have given the FBI free rein to interrogate anyone they chose. Could he possibly be lying? Lacking authorization to interview more than a few specified individuals, the FBI was forced to turn away numerous other witnesses who were clamoring to be heard.

Grassley offered no explanation as to why he is in such a hurry to force Kavanaugh’s nomination through. Republicans sat on their hands for a year when Merrick Garland was nominated, refusing to address the vacant seat on the Supreme Court until after Russia boosted Trump into the presidency.

Now, they have the gall to complain about Democratic efforts to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation for a few weeks while serious accusations are adequately investigated. 

By condemning Democratic procedural delays, which could extend beyond the midterm elections, they are inadvertently acknowledging their own incentive for plowing through with this confirmation. Delay worked for them when Garland was denied his seat at the bench. They were loath to give Democrats the same opportunity with Kavanaugh.

In my opinion, the midterm elections are a distraction. Republicans are in a hurry to confirm Kavanaugh primarily because any delay in the proceedings could allow for corroboration of existing accusations and potentially welcome more damaging information to come to the surface. They did not want to wait for the next shoe to drop or in the late Sen. John McCain’s words “There are more shoes to drop from this centipede.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s pompous indignation and threatening demeanor also were on display at the hearing, rivaling the lack of control and comity demonstrated not only by Chairman Grassley, but by Kavanaugh himself, the “guest of honor.” Bombastic rhetoric covering for guilt is more than evident in the performances of these Republican operatives. Any doubts that Kavanaugh lacked the necessary impartial judicial temperament for the Supreme Court were laid to rest with his apoplectic response to plausible accusations.

More than 2,400 law professors signed on to a letter stating that Kavanaugh is unfit for the bench. Following Kavanaugh’s volcanic partisan rant before the judicial committee, former Justice John Paul Stevens changed his opinion and made a historic public statement against Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Numerous editorial boards across the country also have opined against the nominee.

Fifty senators were willing to confirm Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land. They were dismissive of compelling accusations of sexual assault, “uncorroborated” for the time being, sarcastic about serious allegations of alcohol abuse, seemingly oblivious to the nominee’s repeated lying under oath and accepting of the farcical characterization of Kavanaugh as a choir boy. They need to be replaced.

Terrance Moe