You like drama? Stories with strong female voices? Shade in spades? Then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings are the show for you—oh, also because they’ll directly, and significantly, affect your life. Unfortunately, this bit of must-see TV airs when most everyone’s working or watching their kids, so we’ll be here to recap each day of these monumentally important proceedings.
Did everyone you encountered on Thursday seem a little more energized than usual? Did your boss whistle on her way to her desk? Did you spot your UPS delivery man dancing down the street with a package? Did even your dog seem to trot with a little more pride, perhaps forgoing her typical shame-eyes while she watched you pick up her poop?
That’s because all of them saw Senator Cory Booker (D–N.J.) lean over his mic at the Kavanaugh hearings and utter two words in response to Senator John Cornyn’s (R–Texas) threat to have him expelled from the Senate for leaking committee-confidential emails.
“Bring it,” Sen. Booker said. “Bring it.”
Somehow the day managed to have a perfectly bitchy tension, kind of like when you rent a house with friends and the trip goes on one day longer than it should.
It was a hell of a kickoff—and a fitting one. Day three, given that we watched the same people open their mouths, over and over, should have had all the thrill of a slowly deflating balloon. And if we’re honest, it wasn’t some great success. Both Democrats and Republicans spent much of the session launching valiant attempts to get Kavanaugh to promise he isn’t beholden to the President and that he wouldn’t thwart investigations into him. Kavanaugh’s response to their 600 efforts? “Guys, stop! I hate labels—’yes’ and ‘no’ are so limiting. Let’s talk about something else—have I mentioned my ‘four greatest moments in the history of the Supreme Court’? Oh, I have, and it’s really pissing you off that I’m saying it again? Shh—gonna do it anyway!”
Yet somehow the day managed to have a perfectly bitchy tension, kind of like when you rent a house with friends and the trip goes on one day longer than it should have and you’re like, Wait, I think I hate my friends. That’s where we’re at. Senator Mazie Hirono (D–Hawaii) is glaring at Kavanaugh like he’s the guy who picked the house but hasn’t paid his share yet. Senator Orrin Hatch (R–Utah) is grumbling about protestors like they’re the loud new boyfriend no one knew was coming. And Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D–R.I.) jaw is vibrating with that brand of fury specific to no one else but him ever taking out the goddamn trash.
Here’s your rundown of the best moments from the worst vacation ever.
Best eleventh-hour sensation: Senator Kamala Harris (D–Calif.)
Before we get to day three’s events, we need to talk about what happened at the end of day two—at least an hour after most of America had retreated from C-SPAN and rushed into the kinder arms of America’s Got Talent. As the eve wore on, Kavanaugh, too, looked like he was dreaming of getting home to his couch and his DVR pileup (Mentalist reruns in standard definition, I’d bet). Perhaps he was a little tired, and so he didn’t hear the bell ring when Sen. Harris took the mic. But soon enough, he realized: Night school was in session. She hammered him—watch the highlights here.
Fiercest ride-or-dies: Sen. Booker, Senator Dick Durbin (D–Ill.) and Sen. Hirono. After Sen. Booker’s “Bring it,” Sen. Hirono pointed out that she, too, leaked documents—come at her. And Sen. Durbin got all excited and said, “If there’s going to be some retribution against the gentleman from New Jersey, count me in.” Kinda love that Sen. Durbin’s rallying cry works equally well for Senate proceedings in 2018 and publick-house brawls in 1772.
Loudest dog whistle: In response to a question from Senator Ted Cruz (R–Texas), Kavanaugh used the term “abortion-inducing drugs” to refer to contraception. The language comes straight from the fiercest anti-choice advocates and is also inaccurate. Contraception is not abortion, signed millions of American women and all of our doctors.
Worst reverse age-shaming: Kavanaugh on Roe v. Wade and Brown v. Board of EducationSenator Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) voiced the question that’s been making heads across America hurt this week: How does Kavanaugh define the difference between precedent and settled law when it comes to Supreme Court cases? In his answer, Kavanaugh said that Brown v. Board of Education is settled law because it’s “historical”—64 years old. Sen. Klobuchar grinned. “Roe is now 45 years old,” she said. “Why isn’t that a thumbs-up settled law?” Kavanaugh didn’t have a good answer for her.
Hypocrisy slay of the day: Sen. Hirono. Sen. Hirono, once again running low on fucks, went in on Kavanaugh’s record concerning reproductive rights, making the man wish he never met the phrase “undue burden.” See, in one case Kavanaugh ruled on, he said that people who opposed birth control on religious grounds shouldn’t have to fill out a form approving their employees’ health coverage of it. That, in his estimation, was “undue burden.” The phrase came up again in Garza v. Hargan, in which Kavanaugh’s decision sought to deny an immigrant minor an abortion. Kavanaugh wanted the procedure delayed until the girl found foster parents who could talk it through with her—letting her pregnancy tick on toward the 20-week deadline for abortions under Texas law. That delay, he argued then, did not constitute “undue burden.” Sen. Hirono scoffed at the irony laid out by the two cases: “So filling out a two-page form was too much,” she said. “But it was not too much for [Jane Doe] to wait around for foster parents to be found.”
Best circus advocate: Senator Lindsay Graham (R–S.C.)
After Sen. Hatch mumbled that the proceedings had turned into “a circus,” Sen. Graham quipped, “I wanna defend circuses. Circuses are entertaining and you can take your children to them.” An excellent line, but I wasn’t surprised—the last 18 months have afforded Sen. Graham plenty of chances to defend a clown.
Guy we’re most done with: Senator John Kennedy (R–La.). Of all the whining the Republicans have done this week about protestors exercising free speech, Sen. Kennedy’s has been the whiniest. After Kavanaugh himself said, in the wake of a protestor’s shouting, that the students behind him were getting a chance to learn about democracy, Sen. Kennedy—who’s a dead ringer for this choir-boy doll my grandmother used to put out at Christmas, though that’s neither here nor there—looked down at the Kavanaugh’s middle-school basketball team and snooted of the interruption, “It’s happened over 200 times in the last three days. It’s not really how democracy’s supposed to work.” Actually, girls, it is. If democracy needs less of anything, it’s old white guys looking down from on high, telling you what to think.
The detective drama spin-off I’d most like to watch: Klobuchouse
She—Sen. Klobuchar is the unflappable good cop, smiling with catlike calm when a suspect spits her questions back in her face. He—Sen. Whitehouse—is the keyed-up bad cop, a cross between Statler from The Muppets and that one snappish teacher from high school who, looking back, probably had some stuff going on at home. They’re good cops on their own—but together they’re great.
Megan Angelo writes about TV and is the author of the novel Followers, which will be published in 2019. You catch her Kavanaugh recaps on glamour.com all week.