In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Brett Kavanaugh writes:
I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.
Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good.
As has been corroborated by multiple witnesses, for a period of his life (of an unspecified duration), Kavanaugh drank excessively.
As a 2014 study states:
Alcohol has a wide variety of effects on physiology and behavior. One of the most well-recognized behavioral effects is disinhibition, where behaviors that are normally suppressed are displayed following intoxication. A large body of evidence has shown that alcohol-induced disinhibition in humans affects attention, verbal, sexual, and locomotor behaviors.
Disinhibition is a direct result of alcohol’s action in reducing anxiety.
When faced with the anxiety-producing situation of televised Senate hearings, viewed by millions of Americans, where Kavanaugh’s reputation and whole future were at stake, it’s reasonable to assume that he didn’t fortify his nerves with a few stiff drinks before he testified.
So, the judge who by his own account was more emotional than he had ever been in the rest of his life, was sober. And yet in his sobriety and high anxiety, he couldn’t keep his emotions in check and ended up saying things he shouldn’t have said.
No one with the slightest capacity to empathize could doubt that Kavanaugh, whether facing well-based or baseless accusations, was under immense pressure.
In spite of this, he chooses to answer those who now question his temperament by claiming that under the spotlight of global attention, we saw him at his very worst.
The interviewee is telling the interviewers that his conduct during the interview should not influence its outcome.
He and his supporters, prior to the hearing pushed hard on the narrative that his nomination had been ambushed by the Democrats. But even if that was true, the ambush was past — on Thursday he had every opportunity to come prepared.
The one thing Kavanaugh couldn’t armor himself against was the credibility of his accuser, so it’s possible that as he watched Christine Blasey Ford testify, he concluded he was ruined and rather than admit any fault decided he was going to go down fighting.
More likely, however, is that Kavanaugh’s emotional outburst was a calculated strategy designed to rally the base of his support while thrusting a middle finger in the face of his critics.
His belligerence was a cry of defiance intended to speak for and to a Republican Party now filled with men who want to paint themselves as victims in a world where no one faces harsher injustices than the cruelly maligned white man.
Strange indeed that so many of those who have so often poured scorn on other claims of victimization, now so willingly take on the same role.