In several ways, this clip of former NSC official Fiona Hill being questioned by House GOP Counsel Stephen Castor is the perfect microcosm of our national political moment:
Castor opens by trying to get Hill to deny that she was upset with Bolton and “the way things were going.” Hill gives a forthright account of her anger at Sondland, owns up to being “a bit rude” to him and talks about how commonly women’s anger is misunderstood in professional situations.
Hill then throws the flaming bag of shit right back at Castor, noting that Sondland’s testimony convinced her she was angry at Sondland for the wrong reason. Sondland was following Trump’s orders on a “domestic political errand,” which put his actions at odds with those of Hill and the rest of the State Department’s Ukraine team, who were executing “national security foreign policy” at the moment its objectives diverged from Trump’s political goals.
It was a remarkable moment, but it won’t matter. As I’ve complained in this space before, having a leering misogynist like Trump in the White House is a daily insult to women, a constant reminder of our second-class citizenship that is made even more painful by the complicity of so many (mostly white) women who elevated that buffoon to the office. But it’s not just Trump.
It’s the brisk, no-nonsense, intelligent competence of Fiona Hill vs. the smirking and mugging of large check-writer Gordon Sondland. It’s the bravery of Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate testimony contrasted with the angry public tantrum thrown by Brett Kavanaugh. It’s Nancy Pelosi’s resolve to follow the Constitution juxtaposed with Mitch McConnell’s bottomless cynicism.
And the worthy, competent, intelligent women might win the battle, but they lose the war because that’s the way the game is rigged. I’m pretty goddamned sick of it. That is all.