WASHINGTON D.C. — Senate Republicans have been attempting to push through Steff McKee’s confirmation before the midterm elections in a process as frenzied as the drinking game Anchorman. That confirmation has hit a snag with allegations of sexual misconduct, verbal abuse, and intimidation coming to light, dating back to Mr. McKee’s elite high school days. To be clear, those high school days were elite only for him and his friends. They were regular Suckville for everyone else.
SEN. PHIL “DUCKIE” DALE (I-OR): Steff — I’m sorry — Mr. McKee, can you please describe the nature of your relationship with Ms. Andie Walsh?
STEFF McKEE: There was no “relationship.” Please. At the time I was focusing all my energy on admiring my mother for being an outstanding corporate wife and dreaming about my future as a dedicated coach of girls’ sports. Go, girls! I think we can both agree — especially you, Senator Dale, as a Democratic Socialist — that my confirmation shouldn’t be a partisan affair. Speaking of affairs, my wife Benny Hanson-McKee will gladly testify to my faithfulness in our marriage, my history of not being aware of any sexual harassment anywhere or really ever having even seen pornography or dirty jokes on, say, my mentor 9th Circuit Chief Judge Dice “Open Secret” Man’s listserv.
DUCKIE: Thank you for bringing up Ms. Hanson-McKee. Frankly, I’m shocked she went the hyphenated name route but okay. I have several witnesses who testified that you regularly called Ms. Hanson-McKee, your then girlfriend, a “slut” and “worthless” as well as telling her to “shut up.” According to these witnesses, you also said these things in front of Ms. Walsh and Mr. McDonough. Is that how you still talk to your wife, Mr. McKee?
STEFF: I don’t know, you got a problem, friend?
DUCKIE: Just answer the question.
STEFF: I don’t recall if I ever said those things to her; this was 32 years ago. I was a teenager back then, it was 1986, Ronald Reagan was president, a gallon of gas cost 89 cents, “Hands Across America” happened, the shuttle blew up, the Oprah Winfrey Show debuted, you could buy a Ford Mustang for $7,452, Top Gun came out and I totally loved it, plus I listened to a lot of Van Halen. It was a different time.
DUCKIE: Mr. McDonough, do you recall a party at Mr. McKee’s house your senior year of high school where girls were dancing drunkenly with their “dates” while dressed only in their bras and panties? At this same party, the unspoken expectation was that boys would bring girls upstairs to one of the many bedrooms in Mr. McKee’s palatial house. Do you recall that?
BLANE MCDONOUGH: I remember the party but I wasn’t there long as Ms. Walsh wanted to leave. We were there for about 15 minutes so I obviously can’t speak to everything that happened. Look, Steff was very popular, sometimes things got out of control, he came from a wealthy family—
DUCKIE: —I don’t believe I was asking for his pedigree, Blane. Is that your real name?
BLANE: Yes, Duckie.
DUCKIE: Okay, fair. You went on to a surprising career as an award-winning travel writer and author. Can you please tell me about the book you published in 1997?
BLANE: The book was a memoir, although lightly fictionalized.
DUCKIE: In your memoir, the “lightly fictionalized” character Stuffie McKegger prevents “lightly fictionalized” character Eddie Welsh from opening her driver’s side door to her “substantially fictionalized” Volkswagen Diesel Rabbit. He then aggressively propositions her and after she rejects his advances he responds with, “You’re a bitch.” He also suggests she seek medical attention for her “condition.” Did those things happen or not happen in real life?
BLANE: They didn’t happen.
DUCKIE: But that’s not how a memoir works.
BLANE: Can I just… awkwardly and stubbornly stand in front of you right now and wait for you to shake my hand as a mutual show of respect?
DUCKIE: Sure, get over here.
DUCKIE: Ms. Walsh, let me start by saying your outfit is volcanic as always and I say that with the utmost admiration.
ANDIE WALSH: Thank you, Du— Senator Dale.
DUCKIE: Can you describe what your interactions were like with Mr. McKee as well as with Mr. McDonough during the timeframe we’ve been discussing?
ANDIE: Certainly. I was in love with Mr. McDonough, although he did hack into my computer during library and sent me unsolicited and highly pixelated photos of himself. But for all his mistakes, he never threatened me, verbally abused me, or in any way made me feel unsafe. When he drank alcohol he didn’t believe that that somehow gave him the right to my body in any way. If anything, drinking made him reflective. And frankly, a little bit of a coward. That, however, was not the case for Mr. McKee.
DUCKIE: As a long-time devoted admirer of yours it’s difficult to ask this, but please continue.
ANDIE: As mentioned earlier, Mr. McKee physically imposed himself on me, propositioned me, verbally abused me both privately and in front of others. When I rejected him he stared at me menacingly everywhere I went. He referred to me as “trash.” He went out of his way to make my life hell. His girlfriend, now wife, Benny, did the same. The administration of our school was very much in the pocket of these wealthy families and implied I should simply be grateful for my education. And now, as I come forward to speak to Mr. McKee’s true nature, I’m once again the one being punished. My family and I are receiving death threats. I am being seen as the problem, as the troublemaker, instead of as the victim of unwanted attention and abuse. It’s incredible how little things change over time. In fact, it would seem they only get worse. I’m glad I didn’t know that in high school.
JUDICIARY HEARING CHAIR: The Chair recognizes Sen. Kate (Benny’s Friend With No Last Name):
SEN. BENNY’S FRIEND: Ms. Walsh, if we’re going to go down the verbal abuse road, isn’t it true that your friend, Ms. Jena Hoeman, told Ms. Hanson that she hoped — and I’m quoting here — that her breasts “shrivel up and fall off”?
ANDIE: I’m not sure what that has to do with me.
SEN. BENNY’S FRIEND: Just answer the question.
ANDIE: Yes, she did.
SEN. BENNY’S FRIEND WITH NO LAST NAME [mouthing “WHAT DO I DO NOW?” to Benny]: Okay, nothing further I guess.
DUCKIE: Mr. McKee, do you recall saying that your friend Mr. McDonough had a “hard-on for trash” in reference to Ms. Walsh and in that same conversation referring to her as a “low-grade piece of ass”? Then later threatening to break off your friendship with him if he continued to pursue her? By my calculations, Ms. Walsh was perhaps four or five years older than your eldest daughter is now.
STEFF: I don’t see what any of that has to do with anything. Look, if we’re gonna shoot through this testimony we gotta shake it.
DUCKIE: What it has to do with, Mr. McKee, is your longstanding views of girls and women, which seem more than relevant here. Just answer the question.
STEFF: I don’t recall, it was a long time ago. My memory is hazy. I said a lot of things. I can’t remember anything. Who was I then? Where did I even live? It’s all a blur. I was a baby child.
DUCKIE: Tell me again how much a Ford Mustang cost in 1986?