Moving backward from Anita Hill.

Instead of responding respectfully and appropriately to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Republicans are desperately looking for ways to attack Ford herself and continue rushing Kavanaugh’s nomination through.

In today’s New York Times is a piece written by Anita Hill, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 with accusations of sexual misconduct against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Hill’s hearing was 27 years ago, and it was grievously mishandled. Her hearings were degrading to her, and the Senate still confirmed Justice Thomas—a man who was credibly accused of sexual misconduct. In her op-ed today, Hill offered the Committee a road map “to do better by the country than it did nearly three decades ago.”

Unfortunately, the events of the past two days make it clear that we’ve taken a step backward instead.

Chairman Grassley wants to rush Dr. Ford’s chance to speak, allowing just a single day for testimony. Grassley did not contact Ford for her availability prior to announcing the hearing. The Committee will likely hold a vote the following day, according to a GOP Senator, without taking time to absorb and consider the testimony they will have heard mere hours before.

In a tweet today, Senator Susan Collins suggested next week’s testimony allow for cross-examination of Dr. Ford by Brett Kavanaugh’s attorney, turning this into a full-scale trial against Ford, who bravely chose to come forward publicly with this information.

Most Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are making it clear that there is one purpose to next week’s hearing: to question Dr. Ford’s credibility and push Kavanaugh full-steam onto the Court.

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said it all this afternoon:

“This is so patently unfair to her…The White House is victimizing this person…Why should we participate in a victimization of someone who has the courage to come forward? And she is under absolutely no obligation to participate in a smearing of her and her family…I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change.”

This time must be different.

NEW POLL: CORRUPTION, HEALTH CARE, AND KAVANAUGH

New polling from Navigator Research shows a clear trend: voters trust Democrats more than Republicans regarding issues of corruption and health care protections.

Corruption

  • Democrats have an 11-point lead on which party is more trusted to reduce corruption in government. 56% of respondents mark “put voters ahead of special interests” as a key metric for a politician who is getting it right.
  • 54% say they are much more likely to vote for a candidate who refuses taxpayer money for first-class airfare or private jets. 47% say the same for a candidate who refuses to accept campaign donations from big drug and health insurance companies.

Health Care

  • Democrats lead by 15% as the party in Congress that is more trusted to handle health care.
  • 90% of respondents say they trust Democrats in Congress more to protect health care coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

Supreme Court

Another tidbit: Though the polling was conducted prior to Dr. Ford’s public accusation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, Americans remain negative toward the nominee and are divided on his confirmation.

  • The majority of respondents believe Trump chose Kavanaugh because the nominee will take his side in opposition to the Special Counsel Investigation.

THINKING CAP: JEFFREY TOOBIN ON KAVANAUGH’S NOMINATION AND ANITA HILL

“Brett Kavanaugh will almost certainly be a fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to once again ban abortion, which a dozen or more states will do immediately. That’s what’s at stake.”

In a timely episode, Thinking CAP interviews Jeffrey Toobin, staff writer for The New Yorker and CNN’s chief legal analyst. Listen to Toobin discuss Professor Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, and pay close attention as he draws parallels between the upcoming hearing and Anita Hill’s experience in 1991. Listen here.