By Virginia Heffernan
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Amy Klobuchar is the member of the Senate Judiciary Committee whose shrewd questions of Brett Kavanaugh elicited what many believe was his most revealing, behavior.
Los Angeles Times
In the late 1970s, in Plymouth, Minn., Amy Klobuchar, who is now a Democratic U.S. senator, was nearly kicked out of her elementary school for being the first girl to show up for class in pants.
According to her 2015 memoir, “The Senator Next Door,” the school principal, Mrs. Quady, cast a cold eye on little Amy’s bell-bottoms. The verdict: Wear “your culottes and your knickers and your trousers” at home. At school, stick to skirts.
We know where fables like this lead in the memoirs of powerful men.
The young George, Abe or Brett squares his boyish chin and says, “Mrs. Principal, I respectfully disagree. Because I chopped down a cherry tree, grew up in a log cabin and went to Yale, I’ll do whatever I want.”
Klobuchar’s story ends differently. “I wish I could say I talked back,” she writes. “Or started a girls-can-wear-pants petition drive. Or, even more dramatically, a lawsuit.”
The world is upside down, but Klobuchar is not.
She goes on: “But since I was the good girl, who had never been called to the principal’s office before, and who didn’t know how to take on the likes of Mrs. Quady and talk back, I simply cried. I got a permission slip, walked home, put on a skirt, and returned to school.”
It’s hard to say what part of this is most poignant. High on my list is: “I got a permission slip.”
Like most normal members of the Senate, Klobuchar is a proceduralist and a decent person.
A permission slip is what a fourth-grader needs to go home on a school day to change clothes. That’s proceduralism; it’s like the rules of order in the Senate. Or the notion that a Supreme Court nominee who has been accused of serious misconduct will undergo a thorough FBI investigation.