After the Kavanaugh Riot, Now What? Sweeping Up the Mess

By Al Perrotta Published on October 4, 2018

At a recent American Film Institute tribute to George Clooney, an actor pal recounted a story. It was the tail end of the L.A. Riots. The friend was desperate to get out of town to Palm Springs and escape the destruction. Clooney would not hear of it. “Grab the boys,” Clooney said. “We’re going down to South Central with brooms and trash cans.”

After the Kavanaugh Riot of 2018, who wouldn’t want to flee town this weekend? Who doesn’t want to escape the carnage this process has caused? The shards of shattered reputations and guiding principles. But no, boys and girls, we’ve got to head into the Swamp with our brooms and trash cans to help clean up the mess.

Still Lighting Fires

Sure, at this hour there are still anti-Kavanaugh forces still trying to light fires. Marchers are marching. HuffPost is still tweeting about Julie Swetnick despite her completely discrediting herself on NBC the other night. Democrat Senators are still complaining about the FBI investigation they themselves requested, knowing full well they are no closer to finding evidence to support Dr. Ford’s allegations while further evidence piles up to undermine her credibility.

Protesters are still hounding Sen. Jeff Flake. He won’t be able to order a bagel without someone hounding him about his choice of schmear.

One Last Question: What Was the Music?

One lingering question I do have for Dr. Ford: What was the music that was turned up loud? It’s one of the few consistent elements of her story. Does she remember? Has she even been asked? 

I grew up in Maryland just a couple years ahead of her. Was it the rock of DC101 or 98 Rock out of Baltimore? The alternative WHFS? Contemporary, like WPGC or WAVA? Michael Jackson? Madonna? Early REM? 

I think she’d remember. I was sixteen when my dad died. When my sister told me he had passed away, I got up out of bed and turned on the radio. It was playing Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young.” (Yeah. Sick cosmic joke.) For years I couldn’t listen to the song. Anything off of The Stranger album would tense me up. 

Remembering the music could help Ford establish the “when.” Because ultimately that’s the biggest hang-up: Ford originally saying it happened in her late teens in the mid-80s. The summer of ’82 only emerged later after lawyers were involved.

Still, some Democrat sages threw down their sword. Chuck Schumer’s former aide Chris Kahn, was on Fox News last night. For two weeks he’s been fiercely attacking Kavanaugh and the GOP, getting more personal and vicious with each appearance. Last night he was talking Senate cloture procedures.

You know it’s over when partisan pundits go from warrior to wonk. Apparently Kahn was heeding the advice of famed political strategist Kenny Rogers: “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.” 

As for President Trump, he will have to deal with the fallout from calling out Dr. Ford’s testimony at his Tuesday night rally. Pretty? No. But what closing defense argument is? And that’s precisely what Trump did. He summarized much of Dr. Ford’s testimony in a devastating way.

And the mainstream media played right into his hands, playing it over and over. They forgot a simple fact: Everybody saw her testimony. And now the MSM was letting Trump get the last word in summarizing what they had seen. 

Still, however effective, it seemed mean, put unfair heat on Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and was likely unnecessary. Mr. President, you could have finished off the game with a layup. You didn’t need the two handed, backboard shattering dunk. 

But we know President Trump by now. Come the vote, he’ll be saying “Dr. Ford seems a sweet woman. I wish her all the best. I really do mean that.” 

Two Little Girls

And who doesn’t? If Kavanaugh’s daughter can pray for Christine Blasey Ford, seems the least the rest of America can do is do likewise. We’re a fair people. Even those of us fairly convinced Kavanaugh is innocent think something happened to her at some point. 

I keep thinking about a therapist who had only heard audio of the hearing. She was struck by how Ford would sink into a little girl’s voice when talking about the attack. Not a teen girl, mind you. A little girl. Acting, some would say. An affectation. Just silly, some mocked. But the therapist thought otherwise. She wondered if the real trauma occurred when Ford was a little girl.  

Wouldn’t it be nice if in the quiet far from the cameras sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell had the chance to speak to the little girl? Mitchell seemed to pick up on it when Ford said her high school incident “contributed” to her assorted anxieties. “Contributed? Was there another factor?” Ford quickly danced away from an answer. 

And What About Our Boys? 

Here’s another question we need to think over as we sweep up the mess: What about our boys? Yes, it’s fantastic that sexual assault hotlines are ringing, that women and girls are coming forward. I do hope and expect a family member who has been through this will be be able to use this opportunity to guide other women out to help and justice. 

However I do wonder about the boys. What’s a young boy to say in the wake of what he’s seen? “Why walk the straight and narrow when the slings and arrows find you anyway?” Can he talk to a girl? Play tag? Hug?

Where do we go when we teach the opposite sex is a danger? When Jack and Jill cannot go up the hill without a lawyer? 

The Cost of Clean-up

Yes, long after Judge Kavanaugh is sitting on the High Court and the media moves onto the next great outrage, we will be paying the cost of the past couple weeks. We cannot know the damage done to the families of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. We must pray for their healing. Pray for their peace. 

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But we must also pray for our nation. People in positions of power expressed loud and clear a disregard for our foundational principles. Due process and the presumption of innocence were left beaten and bloody and near death on Constitution Avenue. Decency and fairness are dead and nothing but the resurrection power of Jesus can bring it back. The trash has piled so high as to bury the Capitol Building and cover the National Mall down to the Lincoln Memorial. 

As we sweep up, Lincoln looks down on us from his marble perch. He offers a prophetic warning: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

But old Abe also offers us hope: “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

And finally, he offers a word to antagonistic partisans hellbent on making political opponents out to be evil. “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

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  • VesaLocalBus

    Wow love the last line. And it was Jesus who turned all of us who follow him, from hating him into his very own sons, daughters, brothers and sisters.

  • Chip Crawford

    But Jesus cast the devil out of people first …
    The Pharisees wouldn’t submit to it, so they remained enemies.
    Even Jesus did not convert everyone.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Yeah , anyone who thinks this president is merely a man of questionable rhetoric & self serving sarcasm is not capturing the moment. His declaration of the “facts” concerning Ms “frauds” testimony to his Mississippi fan club was politically incorrect & masterfully strategic.
    The MSM can’t help themselves when it comes to being this presidents mouthpiece. In spite of themselves & their miscalculated objectives ….

  • Chip Crawford

    I pray you draw nearer to God and find his higher thoughts. You’ve expressed a lot of logic here and what seems right and higher ground to you, but you haven’t spoken from God. Maybe you don’t know that you are supposed to hear from him first … and wait until you do … before addressing his Body in his name. I’m not saying you spoke contrary to scripture or what he taught us, just that you haven’t actually carried his message. I’m not at all sure he is telling us to do what you are saying right now. It’s just kind of finding a verse that seems to fit. Like, when all else fails, re-dedicate, confess sins, repent, go the extra mile, trot out 2 Chron 7:14. If we just say stuff that’s seems right, think always fits, then we won’t be consulted because we won’t actually be carriers of what God is saying. We don’t need to hear WHAT GOD SAID, but WHAT HE IS SAYING right now. He sent the Holy Spirit to infill believers for a reason. Our good ideas won’t cut it in this day and time. Actually, they never did. Be filled.

  • Ellie Martin

    Could it be that you tried too hard to ride the fence in this article that I assumed by its title was meant to “clean up the Kavanaugh mess.” Like you pointed out some “forgot a simple fact: Everybody saw her testimony.” Personally I was glued to the TV during the entire hearing. You skipped pointing out Dr. Ford’s intentions when sending her letter to Diane Feinstein. Feinstein’s intentions for withholding the letter. The Democrats reasons for voting no in spite of the fact that the FBI came up with no evidence against Judge Kavanaugh. So my question is….in order to clean up the Judge “Kavanaugh Riot,” wouldn’t we first have to begin with open and honest truths that you failed to mention.

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