12:34 AM / Sunday January 29, 2023

19 Oct 2018

I’m about to have me a Kavanaugh!

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October 19, 2018 Category: Commentary Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Anti Brett Kavanaugh Sign at Protest Rally against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee – Foley Square, New York, NY.


Julianne Malveaux

By Julianne Malveaux


I’m mad. So mad that I can spit. Throw stuff. Holla. Make some noise. What is a righteous woman to do? I’m about to throw me a Kavanaugh.

Brett Kavanaugh may have made it to the Supreme Court, but he also needs to make it to ignominy. In other words, he needs to go down in disgrace, not because he was accused of sexual assault, not because Senate Democrats never got his work product they asked for from the Bush Administration, not because there is some evidence that he perjured himself when he testified to the Senate during his hearing. Kavanaugh needs to go down in disgrace because he is an intemperate, rude, sexist who managed to maneuver himself onto the Supreme Court because his sponsor, the genital-grabbing President of the United States, stood by him.

Few have seen such a disgraceful performance as Kavanaugh’s 45-minute diatribe at the Senate Judiciary Committee. More than 2,000 law professors said his demeanor was so objectionable that he was unqualified for the court. The former dean of the Yale Law School called his presence on the court “a national disaster.” He was confirmed by the narrowest of margins and is poised to move the court to the right, imperiling all kinds of human rights, including voting rights, a woman’s right to choose, and other rights.

For his outburst and his ignorance, he deserves to go down in history, not as a Supreme Court justice, but as a singular example of White male rage and privilege. So let’s make Kavanaugh a noun, verb, and adjective of disgrace. As a noun, it’s straightforward. It’s a synonym for hot, crazy, intemperate, loud, woman-interrupting fit. Noun. He pulled a Kavanaugh on us. That’s what we say when a fool White man loses it, gains some redness, inhales barrels of water, and simply makes a spectacle of himself. As an example, didn’t Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pull a Kavanaugh when he had an outburst during the Senate hearings?

Kavanaugh’s outburst set a standard for outrageousness. When women of color raise their voice and lose their tempers (think Serena Williams at the US Open) they are vilified with hostile and racist cartoons coming from all over the world. I’ve yet to see a Kavanaugh cartoon that has lava coming out of his head or through his ears. I say lava, but given the line of questioning, it might well be another liquid, maybe beer. Since Kavanaugh has set a standard for outrageousness, let’s memorialize it by making him that kind of a noun.

He could also be a verb. He is just Kavanaughing for attention, we might say to the perpetrator of an outburst. Lots of Kavanaughing going on on Capitol Hill. Let’s just call it as it is. Not a fit. Not a tantrum. Not a loss of control. But a Kavanaugh.

A particular aspect of the Kavanaugh, or Kavanaughing, is interrupting, especially interrupting women. So the use of the Kavanaugh noun, verb, adjective is easily adaptable to the workplace, given the frequency with which men enjoy interrupting women. Please, don’t Kavanaugh me today, I’d like to make my point, a woman might say. Or we’ve had enough Kavanaughing for today, let’s conform to codes of civility. Can’t you see how invoking the name of the great interrupter puts everything in perspective? To Kavanaugh is to interrupt, to disrespect, to come back with a tepid apology, and to be assured that you will get away with it.

Then there is an adjective here. An adjective is descriptive, and Kavanaugh is sure-nuff a descriptive. That was a Kavanaugh fool. She threw a Kavanaugh fit. I won’t have a Kavanaugh worker in my shop. We can’t pay for Kavanaugh water consumption, we’re on a budget. There was so much in that Kavanaugh performance to link to a noun, verb, pronoun that I’m sure my Kavanaugh fit hardly scratches the surface.

The 51 senators who confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to be a Justice of the Supreme Court represent a minority (about 45 percent) of the population. That alone is ground for considering amendments to the Constitution. More importantly, while we in the majority can’t immediately impeach, but we can immediately induct him into the Hall of Shame by making him a noun, verb, adverb (and for that matter a pronoun and an exclamation point). I am about to go somewhere, holler and scream at a job interview, and just have myself a nice comfy Kavanaugh!

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available via  For booking, wholesale inquiries or more info, visit

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