A High-Stakes Hearing Raises Two Voices, One Quiet, One Loud

Judge Kavanaugh, accompanied by his wife, was as aggressive and aggrieved as Dr. Blasey was reticent. Reading a new statement, not shared in advance, he called the proceedings “a national disgrace.” He raged; he barked. His eyebrows arched, his features twisted, his plosives smacked against the microphone. He fought off tears, exhaling hard and taking steadying drinks of water.

Call this a generalization — it surely is — but the two statements could not be a clearer contrast in how men and women are socialized and pressured to speak in public. One gender is rewarded for being furious, the other for not being “shrill”; one for hot emotion, the other for warm. (The first time Judge Kavanaugh’s voice broke, he was describing his daughter saying that they should “pray for the woman,” Dr. Blasey.)

.. Republican senators — taking the reins back from Ms. Mitchell after she opened a line of questioning into their nominee — railed at the Democratic push against him. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican — who told cameras during the break that he felt “ambushed” by Dr. Blasey’s testimony — thundered that this was “the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”

.. The Democrats — several of them potential presidential candidates in 2020 — pushed the judge on his willingness to accept an F.B.I. investigation (with some detours into the meaning of slang like “ralph” and “boofed” in his high school yearbook).

.. Chris Wallace, on the conservative redoubt Fox News, said that the news story had led two of his daughters to tell him “stories that I have never heard before about things that happened to them in high school.”

.. Mr. Kavanaugh’s future as a nominee depends on one avid TV watcher, President Trump, who was reportedly disappointed that Mr. Kavanaugh didn’t swing hard enough in his numb, repetitive interview on Fox News Monday.

Mr. Kavanaugh’s fury, however deeply felt, may well have been voiced for the benefit of the Cable News Watcher in Chief (moments after the hearing, cable news excitedly reported that the president had tweeted his support).