Bro Code: Risky Business for Politicians—and Judges

In the 1983 movie Risky Business, Tom Cruise’s headliner character personified the “bro code” culture championed by both Brett Kavanaugh and Lindsey Graham. Defiant, angry white guys challenging the world in defense of their shortcomings and in advocacy for their behavior. In production, the Cruise blockbuster was originally titled White Boys Off the Lake, homage to Chicago’s affluent Highland Park suburb, and eerily reflective of Kavanaugh’s environment. Cruise’s Joel Gordon parlays his parents’ week-long vacation and empty home into a brothel earning thousands of dollars. More important, his entrepreneurship earns him the admiration of an admissions officer at Princeton and an invitation to attend. Gordon lauded his cleverness while Kavanaugh stresses out, stressed his hard work, football, and beer drinking.

Graham’s turnaround dudgeon appeared following Dr. Ford’s testimony and after the hired gun and sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona was dismissed to allow the Senate Committee majority to engage in more professional political cover from testimony that by all appearances threatened to melt their candidate. The performances by Graham and Kavanaugh represented the worst of the bro code: on one hand, anger and defiance as a substitute for actual emotion, and on the other, an indignant charade to hide their misogyny and worse.

The performance of the males at the Kavanaugh hearing on Thursday and  Friday personified the contemporary rules of the bro code, which may be found online. We have highlighted some for consideration:

  • A bro must always have a bro’s back.
  • A bro shall never make another bro ashamed for hooking up with a girl, even if she is truly nasty. “You were drunk so…”
  • A bro will always make excuses for a bro’s actions, no matter how obscene. All things done by a drunk bro must be forgiven, no exceptions.
  • A bro will always take care of a bro who has blacked out or is throwing up.
  • A bro is never to be called by his last name.
  • A bro is allowed to do really stupid things when he is really drunk.
  • “Bros over hos” is the golden rule that sets the male gender apart from the female.

Each of these rules was followed, more or less, sometimes literally, during the hearing. The reader is challenged to assign any from the cast of characters to each rule. More than one character may be identified to a single rule. Any characters meeting a majority of these rules is a true bro, earning a keg of beer. Good luck.

Categories: Issues

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