Today’s the big day: Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford are, as we go to press while watching proceedings, taking turns testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her sometime in 1982. Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona sex-crimes prosecutor, is questioning Ford.
Ford’s prepared opening statement is here.
Kavanaugh’s is here.
As the hearings were set to open, however, there was a development that could be significant. The Judiciary Committee spoke to two men who came forward to admit that they might be the ones at the center of Ford’s claim. If their claim is true, then it was not Kavanaugh and classmate Mark Judge who assaulted Ford — an idea speculated before now. (Ford also named P.J. Smyth and claimed a fourth classmate was there.) But if Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is correct, one of the men who came forward is “crazy as a loon” and “not reliable.” Ford says there’s “zero chance” of mistaken identity, but Kavanaugh, Judge, and Smyth deny under penalty of perjury that they know anything about the alleged incident.
Someone is wrong.
For the record, we find it plausible that something did happen to Ford 36 years ago. But whether it began as a “consensual” (if drunken) tryst that she later regretted or if it truly was nonconsensual aggression, false memories are a real thing, and Ford’s recollection of the trauma could have manifested quite different from the facts.
In any case, remember these things: The four people she claims corroborate her story can only vouch for her having spoken of it to them since 2012. And one of them is her husband, who is clearly invested in backing her. Four other people with contemporary knowledge, including her lifelong friend Leland Ingham Keyser, deny her allegations. And the polygraph Ford took was widely discredited — for one thing, it consisted of two questions.
Regardless of what happens today, however, Democrats have already made up their minds. Not only will they vote in lockstep against Kavanaugh, 10 of them have demanded his immediate withdrawal from consideration. He has been tried in their circus court of public opinion and found guilty, regardless of the dubious and uncorroborated nature of the claims.
Democrats base this conclusion not only on Ford’s unprovable allegations but on other, even less credible accusations specifically timed to coincide with other markers in the process. First, there was Deborah Ramirez’s account of Kavanaugh’s indecent exposure, announced via The New Yorker a few hours after the Ford testimony was announced. Ramirez is “willing to testify,” but there are no credible corroborating witnesses to her story and numerous denials from Kavanaugh and others.
Then, the day before testimony, came Stormy Daniels’s porn lawyer, Michael Avenatti, shamelessly self-promoting through Julie Swetnick, who was once served a restraining order for threatening a former boyfriend, but who alleges that Kavanaugh was present for a “gang rape” ring at drunken high-school parties. Those parties supposedly occurred while Kavanaugh was somewhere between 15 and 17, while Swetnick was between 18 and 20 — i.e., no longer in high school but rather an adult voluntarily cavorting with teens even after supposedly knowing of these gang rapes. And, by the way, no one reported this allegation at any time until the day before Kavanaugh’s hearing with Ford. In fact, more than 60 Georgetown Prep alumni sent a letter to the Senate rejecting the claims. No wonder Avenatti has ignored six Judiciary Committee attempts to obtain evidence and insists Swetnick will not testify. She did, however, interview with Showtime.
The Leftmedia attempted Wednesday night to level two more allegations. Accusation number four was an anonymous letter about an anonymous “victim” who was “shoved … up against the wall very aggressively and sexually” by Kavanaugh in 1998. Republicans are appropriately assigning the letter no credibility, while Kavanaugh called it “total Twilight Zone.” And fifth, a Rhode Island man accused Kavanaugh of raping a “close associate of his” on a boat in 1985, only to retract the allegation entirely a few hours later, saying, “I have made a mistake and apologize.”
The point of these pathetic attempts to besmirch Kavanaugh is to establish a pattern of horrific behavior to support Ford’s testimony today. But as Laura Ingraham astutely notes, “If Kavanaugh had done any of what he’s accused of, the Clinton War Room would have destroyed him in 1998 when he was a top official in Ken Starr’s Whitewater Investigation.”
If Democrats succeed in derailing Kavanaugh’s nomination altogether, it’s a win. If they can delay a vote until after the election, it’s a win. And if they can “merely” tarnish his reputation for the duration of his tenure on the nation’s highest court, then they’ll at least be able to decry every ruling this misogynist, attempted rapist ever makes regarding issues remotely attached to women.
Why are Democrats doing this? Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who orchestrated this cynical charade from the beginning, gave the game away as today’s hearings opened, admitting that Democrats want Ford to represent all abused and harassed women. By extension, Kavanaugh represents all white men in positions of authority or power who abuse those women. This group identity of victimization is a useful tool when Democrats want to dupe the women voters they clearly view as emotionally incontinent fools incapable of discerning fact from fiction.
Paradoxically, by pulling this heavily politicized stunt, Democrats are actually delegitimizing the victims of real sexual assault. And on that note, to be clear, there is a big difference between the motivations of Feinstein & Co. and Ford.
Let’s hope Senate Republicans and voters in November see this all for what it truly is: swamp politics at its absolute worst.