Well maybe. I can certainly hope so.
The Brett Kavanaugh controversy is not about him. Nor is it about Professor Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser. It is not about sex or sexual harassment. This is about a turning point in history.
I'm having deja vu these days as Republicans seek to make a whiny, entitled, accused sexual predator a lifelong Supreme Court Justice. If they succeed, they not only insult every woman who has suffered from male entitlement, they also affirm their intent to allow law itself to be entirely molded into a weapon of the few rich and strong against the masses of the poor and weak. That's what "conservative" jurisprudence has come to.
But on a campaign, if you take the enterprise seriously, you can't allow external events to interfere with or derail your carefully planned, laborious strategy. An election campaign is democracy's nonviolent alternative to social war, carried out within legal bounds on a constricted time line. It demands absolute, fierce focus. So you carry on while Washington burns ...
Yes, we listened to smidgens of Dr. Blasey Ford's testimony in the office -- but mostly we soldiered on with the prosaic work of organizing door knocking and the knocking itself. Canvassers did come across people who were caught up in watching the Judiciary Committee on Thursday -- but Judge Kavanaugh wasn't our issue. Our job is to win a Nevada US Senate seat for a Democratic woman and elect a Democratic Governor, both of whom have the endorsement of working people through the union of hotel, catering and hospitality workers.
And so we have persevered as the national trauma washes over and around us.
My deja vu is in recalling that in 1989, I spent the fall working my first responsible job on a campaign. While I labored to organize precinct walkers, the governments that had been the bulwarks of the Soviet Union's Eastern European empire crumbled. The Cold War -- the fundament of how the world had been organized my entire life -- was over. We hadn't blown ourselves into nuclear winter. But had the triumph of "free market" capitalism really proved there was no alternative? Was "freedom" breaking through in societies whose life had been invisible from across our ocean and ideological divide? On a campaign, there was no space for those big questions.
We won't know for awhile whether the encounter between #MeToo and the GOPers is any kind of turning point. It feels as if it might be.
That is, sometimes societal change comes when people fake it til they make it. We won't know the depth and rootedness of change for awhile.
We are in a bizarre moment: As the strength of the year-old Me Too movement is put to its most public and crucial test yet, Republicans have the political savvy to recognize that they must pay lip service to it, even as they actively campaign against its aims. You could view these concessions as politically motivated to the point of being meaningless. But according to social science research into the complex interaction between social behaviors and privately held views, even self-interested nods at #MeToo may indicate some progress for the movement. ...
But we can work now to put another woman, Nevada's Jacky Rosen, in the Senate. I guess I am lucky to have something concrete to do in this moment.