Judge Brett Kavanaugh just finished his opening remarks in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I think my ears hurt. He came out with guns blazing, yelling at the microphone and shedding his oddly timed tears. With his confirmation to the Supreme Court at stake, Kavanaugh is feeling the heat and he’s big mad that he may be facing consequences.
I put myself through the torture of listening to his statement, and it was full of more shit than I expected. However, his defense had a pattern that abusers—especially sexual abusers—often use when facing accountability.
The tactic is DARVO, which stands for: Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender. It’s a term coined by Dr. Jennifer Freyd at the University of Oregon.
He rambled on for quite a while, so there are many examples to choose from, but I hope these examples give you the idea. Feel free to share additional examples in the comments. You can read his full prepared statement here—and what he actually said here.
He denies ever doing it.
I denied the allegation immediately, unequivocally, and categorically.
Kavanaugh, unsurprisingly, says he never attacked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford or sexually assaulted anyone else. However, he kept bringing up irrelevant factors as to why we should believe him.
In his world, powerful white men’s words are taken as truth. He is commanding that his only-abusive-in-private-and-sometimes persona be enough for America.
He attacks Dr. Ford, Democrats, the “deep state”—everyone, basically.
This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars and money from outside left-wing opposition groups. This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination.
Kavanaugh basically calls Dr. Ford a liar and a part of some vendetta machine that decided to create decades of sexual predation to derail him. Considering that most rapists never see a day in jail, and Anita Hill’s own testimony didn’t stop Justice Clarence Thomas from happening, it’s a wild idea. Fabricating rape reports is just not a revenge plot in Democratic pockets.
I will say, I am impressed at how confusing Kavanaugh was. Trump must be proud that he got a Clinton mention in there.
He insists that he’s the real victim here.
The day after the allegation appeared, I told this committee that I wanted a hearing as soon as possible to clear my name. I demanded a hearing for the very next day. Unfortunately, it took the committee 10 days to get to this hearing. In those 10 long days, as was predictable and as I predicted, my family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations. The 10-day delay has been harmful to me and my family, to the Supreme Court, and to the country.
In Kavanaugh’s world, the people he violated aren’t the victims; he is. He doesn’t care about the truth being fully investigated; he cares that he might not get that seat on the Supreme Court. The pain is about him: his feelings, his reputation, his level of comfort. He wants us to all sympathize with him to cover up the fact that violent serial abusers aren’t the norm. They are in the tiny minority.
Just more evidence that, for Judge Kavanaugh and the Republicans, this hearing isn’t about accountability. They feel entitled to do what they want to this country, and they’re angry that women’s stories have gotten in the way.