Brilliantly, passionately written. I would add a corollary in relation to the weeping. That is, I don’t see demonstrating harmlessness to superiors as its primary function. Especially when you mentioned Hitler, it reminded me that his histrionics, his vitriolic pathos was a device to appeal to the sense of victimization in the German people. For Kavanaugh, his tears send the message to his comrades in arms, the men in America who share his conscious and unconscious values, “You’ll be crying too, you better come to my rescue!” It’s the tears of a wounded soldier calling out in distress, come join me, my friends, and fight off this gathering of rebellious weaklings. Non-abusers see him and think it’s simply narcissistic self-pity, and it is, but it’s also an alarm call to his patriarchal comrades-in-arms.
Your analysis also rings true when I think of parts of Woodward’s “Fear,” and the language of ruthlessness he puts in the mouths of senators who publically present themselves as these reasonable, thoughtful and of course neatly groomed men. On the pages of that book, they’re revealed as so clearly cutthroat and power-addicted, a wolf-pack at heart.
Thank you again!