Fintan O'Toole: Brett Kavanaugh shows White Irish Catholic is now core of US reactionary politics

The nominee for the US Supreme Court is part of a wider reactionary mindset in which being Irish means you can dismiss your own privilege

September 28th, 2018: In a speech punctuated by tears and angry swipes at his opponents, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, "I am innocent" of the sexual abuse charge alleged by Christine Blasey Ford.

Sometimes, the eye snags on minor details like a coat-tail caught in a briar. Last week, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh produced for the Senate judiciary committee his calendar for the summer of 1982. It records in laconic scribbles his engagements during the period when Christine Blasey Ford says he tried to rape her at a party.

Many of these notes are archetypally American, words the rest of us learned from movies about teenagers in high schools: “Grounded”, “Prom”. But for May 8th the entry says “Gaelic Football 11:00 / PROM Donny Drives”. And for May 14th, it reads” “GROUNDED GO TO ST. MICHAEL’S / Gaelic Football 3:00 / NIKKI AT BEACH”. Gaelic football, our very own little marker of Irish identity: Sweet Jesus, this snarling, hysterical, entitled man is One of Us.

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