They’re more aroused by the thought of destroying lives than Donald Trump was aroused by Stormy Daniels.
The battle to destroy the life of Christine Blasey Ford is just the latest front in the right’s long war to obliterate anything that stands in the way of its full political hegemony. Ford was right to be nervous about coming forward; she knew that the wolves of right-wing media vengeance would be unleashed upon her.
Destruction of real or perceived opponents was at the core of conservatism from the very beginning. William F. Buckley Jr. really did want to sock Gore Vidal in his face, and probably wanted to break his fingers as well in order to prevent him from communicating his views. The demonization of Ted Kennedy, the spewing of venom towards Hillary Clinton, the rhetorical bludgeoning of Graeme Frost, the sexist scorn aimed at Sandra Fluke; the victims of the right’s media assault, both famous and unknown, all bear the scars.
The right built an entire media infrastructure to fuel this hate. Remember Buckley’s National Review hurling hostility towards civil rights activists. Remember Roger Ailes’s 1970s-era scheme to create a right-wing news channel. Remember the fellow who took advantage of President Reagan’s 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine to spread Rush Limbaugh’s lies all over our public airwaves.
Tuesday night, former right-wing operative David Brock appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes to discuss the right’s modus operandi when it comes to destroying real or perceived enemies. Brock knew Kavanaugh during his time carrying water for conservatives, and his brilliant 2002 book Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative highlights the Supreme Court nominee’s mendacity:
Since my relationships were based on little else but partisan politics, there was little to sustain them once I deviated from the party line. I lost many party invitations; others I turned down, including a huge fete hosted by Boyden Gray at his Georgetown mansion in honor of Rush Limbaugh. I reluctantly accepted Laura Ingraham’s invitation to watch Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address in January 1997 with her and her friends at her town house in Woodley Park. As I arrived at the house, which was decked out in an oversized southwestern motif more appropriate for a bachelor’s mountain hideaway, the network cameras were coming on. When I saw one of Ken Starr’s deputies, Brett Kavanaugh, who was sitting across from me, mouth the word “bitch” when the camera panned to Hillary [Clinton], I excused myself and sat in the darkened pine-scented dining room alone, smoking.
The word Kavanaugh muttered about Clinton in 1997 is the same word right-wingers are muttering about Ford in 2018. Tomorrow morning, in right-wing churches across the country, MAGA-maniac ministers will compare Ford to Jezebel and Delilah, trashing her as a vessel of Satan, calling down God’s judgment upon her. The hatred of Ford will spread like a cancer left untreated by Republican opposition to Medicare for All. It will not cease. It cannot cease.
Even if Kavanaugh is not confirmed, we have already borne witness to the full, dark power of the right-wing media empire–a force powerful enough to drive a woman and her family out of her home. The only question is: can this media empire be destroyed…or will it destroy the country first?