Early this week I was putting together a column on some of my favorite things that have happened recently, when the attack on Brett Kavanaugh hit. I’m still going to finish and post that other column shortly, but this Kavanaugh thing has really gotten under my skin, stuck in my craw, gotten my goat, plus any other expression you can think of to describe an infuriating situation.
So here are a few thoughts, heavily redacted from my initial draft, which included so many Anglo-Saxon expletives that it read like a cross between the Grendel chapters in Beowulf and the “script” for a Stormy Daniels film.
First, I am trying very hard not to think the very worst of the woman who raised these allegations, because there is at least a possibility that they are true. In the history of male-female interactions, teenagers drinking and making fumbling and ultimately abandoned attempts to grope or disrobe each other are not exactly unheard of. So I resist the urge to dismiss her story out of hand.
On the other hand, anybody making a good faith effort to assess the story has to acknowledge that there is no corroborating evidence, because the accuser kept quiet for 36 years, and can’t provide even the most basic information about when and where it allegedly occurred.
So it’s “he said/she said,” and we have to try to guess which account is more credible. Let’s put aside for a moment the absurdity of trying to scuttle a nomination based on the “we have to try to guess” standard, and just apply a common sense test.
Kavanaugh denies it. Obviously, a guilty person would deny doing it. (See the legal precedent established in the case of Clinton v. Anyone In a Skirt, and the famous “I did not have sex with that woman,” defense.) Of course, an innocent person would also deny doing it, so no help there.
We might look to the question of motive: What does Kavanaugh have to gain by denying it? He gets a prestigious appointment if he denies it, and a destroyed reputation if he doesn’t. So he does have motive — but it’s the same motive as anyone accused of any bad action, and thus is not dispositive, to say the least.
Finally, we might look at Kavanaugh’s behavior pattern. If we assume the worst-case interpretation of the accuser’s story, she feared that he was going to rape her. Okay, spend 10 minutes perusing any reputable research into sexual offenders and recidivism rates, and what do you think you are likely to find is more common: a rapist who offends one time and gets it out of his system, never to rape again, or a rapist who victimizes woman after woman until he is caught?
By all accounts, until his accuser came forward with this story, Kavanaugh has an unblemished personal reputation, with no other reported sexual misbehavior or accusations from anyone in the last 36 years.
Compare that to other high profile men in their 50s who have been accused of sexual harassment or worse. Was anyone who knew Harvey Weinstein shocked when his first accusers came forward? How about acquaintances of Ted Kennedy, when rumors periodically surfaced of waitress sandwiches or other grotesque behavior? (I know, Mary Jo Kopeckne was unavailable for comment. But anyone else who knew him?) Think of anyone who knew anything about Bill Clinton and the rich oral tradition (HA!) of reports that he had harassed Paula Jones or Kathleen Willey or a bevy of other coeds and secretaries to be named later, or that he had raped Juanita Broaddrick, or that he had used Arkansas State troopers to run interference for him as he snuck a small army of women into and out of the governor’s mansion.
Do you think that ANY of them, when they heard that he was accused of defiling the oval office with Monica Lewinsky, jumped up in outrage and said, “The hell you say!”
No. Obviously no. 1000 times no. When Cosby’s first accuser – or Louis CK’s first accuser, or Roy Moore’s first accuser, or Anthony Weiner’s or Charlie Rose’s or Matt Lauer’s (etc.) – came forward, she was followed by a cast of dozens, if not more.
But we are supposed to believe that Kavanaugh, who has lived an assault-less life for 36 years, took the first step down Clinton Lane in 1982, but then just inexplicably quit.
Now let’s consider the “she said.”
Many leftist partisans – and a few alleged “conservatives” – have asserted that one reason we should believe her is that there is no possible motive for her to lie: “What would she possibly have to gain by telling her story?”
And they could be right. Since she is a partisan conservative who has donated to a variety of right-wing causes and groups for years, and protested the policies of President Obama, why would she accuse an originalist judge nominated by President Trump?
Oh no, wait. She is exactly the opposite of that. She is a partisan leftist who has donated to a variety of left wing-causes and groups – including the DNC and Bernie Sanders, among others – and has protested Trump and his attempt to enforce our immigration laws. As such, her motivation to try to keep a constitutional originalist off the SC is obvious.
It’s like asking what motive I would have for doing everything I could to keep Liz Warren from becoming president, even after you found out that I was a donor and founding member of the NAAPWDWWLFI-POTUS (i.e. the “National Association for the Advancement of People Who Don’t Want White Ladies who are Fake Indians for President of the United States). (#wemustneverstopmockingher)
(By the way, we are a 501-C3 tax-exempt organization, and for a donation of $10 or more, we will send you a bumper sticker with our name on it. Please note that the sticker will only fit vehicles with a beam as wide as a supertanker, or a certain former first lady.) (CAW! CAW!)
Okay, so Blasey-Ford has a political motivation to see Kavanaugh’s nomination defeated. But is that really enough, by itself, to get her to come forward with this kind of accusation?
Gee, I don’t know. If only we had a precedent of some sort. You know, like some other obscure female leftist academic who showed up at the last minute with wild accusations to try to stop some other conservative SC nominee. But since that has never happened before, I guess we’ll never know—
Oh wait. Anita Hill did that. She did that same exact thing.
And you know why you didn’t just say to yourself, “Anita Hill? Who’s that? Is that just some obscure historical figure whom only Martin knows, because he is the kind of polymathic and very stable genius who knows things that we mere mortals have no chance of ever comprehending?”
You didn’t say that to yourself, because you know who Anita Hill is. You may even know about the giant publicity tour and lucrative book deal she got after she smeared Clarence Thomas, and the lucrative and hagiographic biopic that HBO did about her, and her celebrity status on the left that has persisted even now, decades after she tried to do an 11th hour hatchet job on Thomas.
So, what does Blasey-Ford possibly have to gain from coming forward to attack Kavanaugh now? I mean, other than national attention, fawning media coverage, political satisfaction and the promise of lots of money and awards and praise that will be predictably showered on her for years to come?
Ugh. Obviously, I’m not being entirely successful in my attempt not to think badly of the accuser.
But I’ll tell you one thing that I AM being entirely successful at: learning new reasons to absolutely despise the dishonest, hypocritical, sleazy ways that top Democrats and media figures are acting in this last, desperate attempt to subvert the law through character assassination.
They pretend they care about men abusing women, when they’ve been sheltering and covering for sexually abusive leftist men for their whole lives.
They claim with a straight face that we should always believe the woman in these cases. Hillary Clinton even said that.
Hillary Clinton! And God inexplicably did not strike her with a lightning bolt on the spot. So… c’mon, God. You’re dropping the ball here.
Some hateful sexist Asian-American Senator named Hirono blamed all men for the alleged teenage groping incident, saying that they should – and I quote – “Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing — for a change.”
Stereotype much, you female chauvinist jerk?
Dianne Feinstein has been even worse, if that’s possible. She first heard Ford’s story in July, and she intentionally sat on it, not bringing it up in private meetings with Kavanaugh, or in the televised confirmation hearings.
Which brings me to perhaps the worst of the Democrats’ transparently bad faith arguments: that the FBI must investigate the Ford story before they can even think of voting on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
How would that possibly work?! Can you imagine the position the FBI would be in if Christine Blasey-Ford sat down for an interview with them?
FBI Agent 1 (opening his notebook): Okay, we understand you want to report a crime?
Ford: Yes. I was groped.
Agent 2: Let’s start with location: where did this happen?
Ford: I’m not sure. In someone’s house.
Agent 2 (looking at Agent 1): “Someone’s house?” Do you have an address?
Agent 2: A street?
Ford: No. There was at least one bedroom upstairs, I know that.
Agent 1: Okay, we’ll come back to that. Let’s start with when it happened.
Ford: It was… (looking up, in thought) 36…
Agent 1: Okay, that’s good. You know that show “The First 48?” The title refers to the fact that the odds of solving a crime drop a lot after the first 48 hours have passed. But if this happened 36 hours ago, we should be able to gather a lot of evidence.
Agent 1: What?
Ford: Not 36 hours. 36 years.
Agent 2: YEARS?! This happened 36 years ago?
Ford: Or it might have been 35 years. Or 37 years. I think it was 1982.
Agent 2 (looking at Agent 1): I wasn’t born then.
Agent 1: Okay. Do you have a date?
Ford: I know it was in the summer.
Agent 2: That’s a season, not a date.
Ford: What’s your point?
Agent 1: Can we see the original police report? That will have the date on it.
Ford: I didn’t file a police report.
Agent 1: You didn’t file a report? Okay. Can you put us in touch with witnesses who saw the attack?
Ford: There were no witnesses.
Agent 1: Okay, then can you give us contact information for the people you told about it? We can question them, and that will help us firm up some of the details like location and date.
Ford: I didn’t tell anyone about it for 30 years.
Agent 1: Can you tell us anything about the perp’s record? How many times was he convicted, and can you put us in touch with the other victims? Is he serving time right now?
Ford: As far as I know, he never did this to anyone else.
Agent 2 (clearing his throat): If you don’t mind my asking, why are you reporting this now?
Ford: He’s about to be put on the Supreme Court, and his politics offend me. (Agent 1 sighs and closes his notebook.) So you’re not going to investigate?! I bet if I were a man, you’d investigate!
Agent 2: Let’s recap. You’re here to report a crime for the first time. It happened sometime between 35 and 37 years ago, sometime between Memorial Day and Labor Day, in a two-story house with at least one upstairs bedroom, somewhere in North America. There’s no physical evidence, there are no witnesses, and you were both drinking. You never told anyone about it for 30 years, and you never brought it up in public until 10 minutes ago. The accused has never done anything like this before or since, there is nothing he could say or do to exonerate himself now, and you hate his politics.
Ford: Yes, and I demand an investigation before I answer any other questions about this.
Both agents: Get out of our office.
I don’t care what your politics are – the blatant, partisan sleaziness of this scheme should be obvious to everyone, and if there’s any justice, it will blow up in the slimy Dems’ faces. And if you were planning to sit out the November election because of Trump’s occasional childishness or the establishment GOP’s fecklessness, you’ve got to re-think that.