Political Focus: Kavanaugh and Flake — a tale of no backbones

Ben Hume, Staff Reporter

The nation was riveted to special news coverage for much of the afternoon on Thursday, Sept. 27. It was the day of the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, where Dr. Christine Blasey Ford brought her testimony to the United States Senate. After she accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, his process of Supreme C0urt confirmation came to a screeching halt. Senate Democrats demanded additional FBI investigations, Republicans accused Ford and Democrats of using her story for political gains.

Regardless of your opinion, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Friday, Sept. 28 to confirm Kavanaugh along party lines. This was of no surprise, but what was of some note was all of the events before the vote and everything directly following it—namely, the story of a rather spineless senator by the name of Jeff Flake.

The morning of Sept. 28 saw an unsure conservative senator finalizing his statement  on his official Senate website on the Kavanaugh confirmation. Flake decided that “after hearing more than 30 hours of testimony from Judge Kavanaugh earlier this month, I was prepared to support his nomination based on his view of the law and his record as a judge,” but he was unlike most of his conservative cohorts when he admitted, “I wish that I could express the confidence that some of my colleagues have conveyed about what either did or did not happen in the early 1980s, but I left the hearing yesterday with as much doubt as certainty.”

Eventually he said he will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, which sparked outrage among many. His claim that “our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused” sounded like just an easy way out that saved his public image.

Women made up the majority of those upset, and a few of those women with stories of assault caught up to Flake as he was entering an elevator. Two women broke through a line of reporters and yelled at Flake, telling him, “Don’t look away from me. Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land and tell everyone what they can do to their bodies,” according to CNN.

The woman who yelled at him was named Maria Gallagher, and she was accompanied by activist Ana Maria Archila, who also insisted he change his mind before the upcoming vote.

Some are crediting these two women for what came next—Flake entered the chamber and began talking to the lead Democrat in the chamber, Senator Christopher Coons, making the vote last much longer than expected. Finally, many minutes after the vote was supposed to be cast, Flake and his cohorts finally assembled.

Flake voted to confirm, but with a caveat. An additional week of FBI investigations into the claims against Kavanaugh. Another Republican senator agreed—she voted to confirm, but with a request that some investigations continue. The judiciary committee had no real power to tell the Republicans what they have to do, but by some miracle of God, Trump came out and approved of the decision, backed by quite a few Republican senators and basically all of the Democrats.

An attempt to save face by a senator on his way out seems to have garnered just a little more time to find the truth.