After watching the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing about a sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it occurred to me that there's yet another way — in addition to the ways I mentioned in my column earlier this week — that the decade-old print New York Sun turns out to be an excellent guide to the Trump era. The Sun published a four-part series on youth binge drinking, It reported, in part:
activities often include attending alcohol-laden parties at their classmates' homes....The direct health consequences of binge drinking include liver damage, elevated risk for heart disease, and reduced brain performance, but alcohol intoxication is also a leading cause of car accidents, homicides, suicides, violence, and sexual assault, Dr. Ross said.
I don't know for sure what, if anything, happened between Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. Perhaps I should just stop there. But having watched or listened to much of the hearing, I found myself drawn to the explanation of a ProPublica reporter, Alex MacGillis, who tweeted, "The drinking is at the heart of the matter. It could explain how something that she says happened and he says didn't happen could've happened without his recalling." Even though Kavanaugh testified under oath that he never drank so much that he couldn't remember what had happened, I didn't find that testimony particularly convincing, since if he did drink that much, he might not remember it. Obviously that wouldn't excuse the alleged behavior.
I found Kavanaugh's combativeness — interrupting the senators, including women senators, while they were speaking, and asking them questions about what they like to drink — to be odd and off-putting under the circumstances. Politico's editor in chief, John Harris, has an example from an exchange between Kavanaugh and a Democratic senator from Rhode Island, Sheldon Whitehouse:
the nominee responded: "I like beer. I don't know if you do...
"OK," said Whitehouse.
"Do you like beer, senator, or not?" Kavanaugh pressed.
Whitehouse: "Um, next..."
Kavanaugh: "What do you like to drink?"
Whitehouse: "Next one is..."
Kavanaugh: "Senator, what do you like to drink?"
It would be something if President Trump, who lost a brother to alcohol abuse and who does not drink himself, loses a Supreme Court nominee for something Kavanaugh did or is accused of having done under the influence.