John Oliver tends to take on more esoteric topics than the rest of late night, but the subject that dominated the latest Last Week Tonight was, indeed, impossible to avoid last week. Sunday night, Oliver dedicated nearly the entire 30-minute episode to Brett Kavanaugh, “Supreme Court nominee and walking crushed beer can,” and the Senate hearings regarding sexual misconduct allegations made against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Oliver recapped stories like Sen. Orrin Hatch’s strange quotes on the matter, the “Renate Alumni” yearbook scandal, and, of course, that infamous calendar.
“I know that it may seem cruel to make fun of a man crying over his late father’s calendars,” said Oliver. “But what if I were to tell you that his father is still alive and was sitting right behind him? That’s why I am now completely comfortable saying that ‘Every Christmas we’d gather around and dad would regale us with old events from his calendar’ is the single weirdest fucking thing I’ve ever heard anybody say.”
Following all the drama from the past week, though, Oliver honed in on how the hearings made the case for why Kavanaugh is fundamentally unqualified for a seat on the Court.
“A key part of the job he is up for is judgment and temperament, and this week we saw Kavanaugh talk over the top of Senators, dodge questions and conflate ‘doesn’t recall something happening’ with ‘deny something happened,’ which is, again, a fucking important distinction for a judge. Not to mention, he repeatedly wept at the concept of calendars,” Oliver broke down.
Oliver also went in on the Kavanaugh’s “Trumpian” logic in his opening statement, in which he blamed the week’s proceedings on Democrats funded by “left-wing opposition groups” seeking revenge for the results of the 2016 election.
“I know that we’re all basically calloused to people talking that way now, but we are supposed to have at least nine people left in America who do not talk that way. And yet, Kavanaugh just all but came out and said that he’s going to approach his entire tenure as one giant case of ‘Me vs. the Fucking Libtard Cucks,” he joked.
Oliver also questioned why Republican leaders are so willing to align themselves with a Supreme Court nominee who has been accused of sexual assault.
“It’s fine to appoint someone who has committed sexual assault to the Supreme Court, as long as they will curtain abortion rights. It’s a stance that prioritizes human lives, as long as you think life begins at conception, stops right before a sexual assault, and then starts right back up again as soon as that assault is over,” he defined as their logic.
Even for those with those priorities in mind, Kavanaugh isn’t “uniquely qualified” to deliver, Oliver notes. Trump reportedly picked Kavanaugh out of 25 names provided by outside groups like The Federalist Society, among which he wasn’t a standout.
“I genuinely cannot see a single good reason for pushing Kavanaugh over a replacement candidate, because you know, deep down, any judge they choose is almost certainly going to restrict abortion rights, you don’t need to choose an unhinged partisan with multiple accusations of sexual misconduct hanging over him,” Oliver said.
Why, then, were Republican leaders like Lindsey Graham still doubling down on their support of Kavanaugh?
“It feels like they’re doing this just to deliver a ‘fuck you’ to Democrats, and even more directly, a ‘fuck you’ to women,” the host concluded.
The problem, Oliver says, is that while many on the committee believe Dr. Ford’s testimony, unlike what some feared, they simply don’t care.
As the only solution? “Only continued pressure has even the slightest chance of stopping Kavanaugh’s confirmation. And if he does, as seems increasingly likely make his way to the Court, we should never forget how that happened or what he represents,” he pleaded.
Although the subject of Oliver’s latest segment isn’t as novel as past ones, it’s refreshing to see him have the time and space to break down the many ways in which Kavanaugh is unqualified for the job he’s up for. It’s an outcome that could potentially leave consequences for Americans 30 or more years beyond the past week’s proceedings.
Watch the full episode below.