In this Sept. 6, 2018 photo, Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh waits to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the third day of his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Official Washington is scrambling Monday to assess and manage Kavanaugh’s prospects after his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, revealed her identity to The Washington Post and described an encounter she believes was attempted rape. Kavanaugh reported to the White House amid the upheaval, but there was no immediate word on why or whether he had been summoned. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked or dismayed at the sight of Republicans getting queasy at the thought of having to engage in hand-to-gland combat to defend the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. Time and again, Republicans willingly toss their own to the wolves out of the naive, or perhaps cowardly, belief that if only we show we are reasonable, the Democrats will be nice to us, invite us to the good parties, and maybe we can have a cruise. Already, one GOP senator, that would be Jeff Flake, has said he won’t vote to confirm Kavanaugh unless this Christine Ford person is given a national stage in which to repeat an unverified story that allegedly happened about 37 years ago but which she had never mentioned until 2012. You can bet Flake will also dismiss Kavanaugh’s denial as being disrespectful and go ahead and do what he wants to do anyway, which is pee on Donald Trump’s shoes.
We’re at a point, though, where we have to decide who do we believe. Brett Kavanaugh, I think, is telling the truth because there is absolutely nothing in his life that would suggest otherwise. But, if we are honest, we have to admit that if he did it, he has reason to lie. This is not to say that he would but the motive would certainly exist. Now the same question is being asked by others about Ford.
Question for people who are convinced the Kavanaugh-Ford charges are completely made up…what reason does she have to do it?
Is there anything out there that indicates she a super partisan Democrat willing to go through this shit storm just to keep him off the court?
— Drew McCoy (@_Drew_McCoy_) September 17, 2018
This is not to pick on Drew, his tweet was the best example of the question and it was also an example of a usually conservative person asking what should be a rhetorical question as though it were serious.
Yesterday’s Washington Post article and statements by Ford’s mouthpiece go to length to point out the sacrifice she was making by coming forward and taking the inevitable slurs against her integrity by those rascally Republicans and how she is going through what all women who alleged sexual misconduct go through. (You might want to ask Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and a few others about that before plowing on, no?)
When Anita Hill made her specious allegations against a Clarence Thomas, how was she hurt? She’s had been a low-level bureaucrat who had hitched her wagon to Clarence Thomas. Without her appearance before that hearing, she would have been destined to retire as a well-paid government functionary or a minor university professor. What is she now? A law professor at a much better school than the University of Oklahoma (sorry, but it had to be said). The recipient of a largish book advance. A paid speaker. She was the subject of not one but two hagiographic movies. On the whole, betraying the guy who had helped her career out immeasurably has worked out damned well for her.
Let’s review the bidding on Ford. What possible motive would she have to lie?
Brett Kavanaugh’s mother was the presiding judge in the foreclosure of the home of Ford’s parents:
I’m including this to answer Erick’s question, unless there are two Ralph G. Blasey’s in Montgomery County, MD, this is their foreclosure.
A center-left attorney who I’ve known via the internet for quite a few years says
That may be true but it is equally true that distraught persons in cases have killed or attempted to kill judges over all manner of rulings. And their sons were not in line to become Supreme Court justices.
Ford is a partisan Democrat. She is a small-time Democrat donor. She participated in at least one anti-Trump protest and was quoted during it by the San Jose Mercury. In 2012, she expressed anxiety that Kavanaugh would be on the Supreme Court–this was about the time when she first recounted her horrific tale. She recently signed a petition protesting Trump administration immigration policy. Curiously, her social media accounts were scrubbed before her name became known. Strange behavior for someone who wanted to stay anonymous, but so is calling the Washington Post tip line.
Rather than ask what does she have to gain from lying (I would contend she has a lot), I think an equally valid question is what is the downside to lying.
If she is able to push Kavanaugh’s confirmation into the next Congress, no one will care about her story. That will be viewed as a win as an entire term with a SCOTUS composed of eight justices will have elapsed. If, by some grave misfortune, the GOP manages to lose the Senate in November, she would be added to Mount Rushmore. If she fails to stop Kavanaugh, then the Democrats have the footage of a noble vagina-possessing university professor being asked pointed questions by a lot of old white guys. And she will become a martyr. With an eight-figure book advance. With a movie deal. As a professor in a California University, she could come right out and say that she lied and she would be cheered on by her colleagues.
In short, there is zero downside in her telling this story. Especially in a climate where people unironically say “believe women” when these allegations are made and any hint of disbelief, never mind the UVA fraternity or Duke lacrosse stories or Lena Dunham’s false claim of rape, makes you an outcast. And she doesn’t even have to remember when or where it happened to be taken seriously.
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