Yves here. I am loath to have to discuss Kavanaugh at all, but this seems to be the controversy of the week and so readers no doubt want to talk about it.
I’m not at all keen about Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice, but I am uncomfortable with him being tried in the press. The evidence presented by the alleged victim, Professor Christine Blasey Ford, would not pass muster in court. She not only didn’t make any sort of official complaint at the time, but she has no contemporaneous witnesses. All she has is therapist’s notes, and those were made years after the incident. The other man who was depicted as being there with Kavanaugh says nothing of the kind happened.
Unfortunately, passing a lie detector test is not dispositive even before you get to issues about the accuracy of the test (70% to 90% even expert claims re accuracy vary greatly). What it establishes at best is that the person believes their statements.
By contrast, Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct was far worse than the allegations made against Kavanaugh, and there was much vastly stronger corroborating evidence, ranging from multiple contemporaneous witnesses (and a lacerated lip) in the Juanita Brodderick rape accusations. And that’s before getting to the fact that Kavanaugh was a juvenile when the misconduct occurred, and juveniles are generally cut more slack than adults because they are seein as not having a mature level of judgment.
Now there is what I think is a better argument, from Current Affairs:
….Kavanaugh has denied that he did it. That means that the truth or falsity of Ford’s allegation is not just important for assessing what Kavanaugh did in high school. It’s important for assessing what he is doing right now. If Ford’s allegation is true, then Kavanaugh has lied to the public. He didn’t just assault a woman in the 1980s, but he is gaslighting a woman in 2018 and trying to mislead the public and the United States Senate about a crime he committed.
However, unless some new evidence either way surfaces, we still have the original problem: The evidence presented by Ford would not pass muster in court. How do you resolve the “he said, she said” problem?1
Having said all that, when you throw this into the mix, as UserFriendly says, Kavanaugh is probably toast:
Damaging to Kavanaugh.
His alleged accomplice and character witness, Mark Judge, wrote the following in a review.
See for yourself how Judge describes “the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion,” how “every man who’s fit to live has his own stories about the time.” pic.twitter.com/vEVqHs0iec
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) September 16, 2018
By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius, Tumblr and Facebook. GP article archive here. Originally published at DownWithTyranny
“Frat fun” or rape culture in action? Signs on a frat-connected house near Old Dominion University in Virginia (source)
This is Brett Kavanaugh’s #MeToo moment. An accusation of attempted rape (a crime) against Brett Kavanaugh has been lodged against him.
Initially the accusation came via a letter given in July — at separate times and under request of confidentiality — to the Washington Post, to House Rep. Anna Eshoo, and to Senate Judiciary Committee member Dianne Feinstein.
Senator Feinstein, as a member of the Judiciary Committee sitting in hearings on Kavanaugh, was the only person in position to act. Here’s what she did (or failed to do):
- For two months, failed to reveal the existence (not the contents, just the existence) of the letter to fellow Democrats
- Then, when its existence was leaked to the public, refused to reveal its contents to fellow Democrats
- Finally, after coming under fire for withholding the letter, sent the letter only to the FBI, who will not investigate further
End of matter, or so Ms. Feinstein thought.
The woman who wrote the accusatory letter has now come forward to tell her story in her own voice and for attribution. It’s quite an explosive tale, and the bomb it contains threatens not just Kavanaugh and committee Republicans, but Democrats as well. Parallels to Democrats’ handling of Anita Hill and her accusations against Clarence Thomas are obvious and striking.
First the accusation. Part of it is contained in a New Yorker piece by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, which maintained the woman’s anonymity (at her request). The full story comes from this piece in the Washington Post (my emphasis throughout):
Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.
Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.
Speaking publicly for the first time, Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.
While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.
A timeline of events:
Christine Ford is a professor at Palo Alto University who teaches in a consortium with Stanford University, training graduate students in clinical psychology. Her work has been widely published in academic journals.
She contacted The Post through a tip line in early July, when it had become clear that Kavanaugh was on the shortlist of possible nominees to replace retiring justice Anthony M. Kennedy but before Trump announced his name publicly. A registered Democrat who has made small contributions to political organizations, she contacted her congresswoman, Democrat Anna G. Eshoo, around the same time. In late July, she sent a letter via Eshoo’s office to Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
In the letter, which was read to The Post, Ford described the incident and said she expected her story to be kept confidential.
According to the Post, Ms. Blasey took and passed a polygraph test in August: “The results, which Katz provided to The Post, concluded that Ford was being truthful when she [that] said a statement summarizing her allegations was accurate.”
There’s more in the Post account, which should be read in full.
This new information raises a number of questions.
About Kavanaugh, Mark Judge and Christine Blasey Ford:
1. Did Brett Kavanaugh commit the crime of which he’s accused while attending an elite academy, Georgetown Preparatory School, in the Washington D.C area?
2. If he did, does that disqualify him for a seat on the Supreme Court?
3. Will any further investigation, by anyone, take place?
4. Both Kavanaugh and Judge have denied the incident happened at all — i.e, that this isn’t a he-said, she-said story, but a complete fabrication. Will Kavanaugh and Judge stick to their denials if other corroboration emerges?
5. Mark Judge has written a book about his life as a teenage alcoholic (Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk). This plays into a narrative that “something may have happened but we don’t know what” — not a narrative of “she’s flat out lying.” In addition, The Post says this about Kavanaugh:
In his senior-class yearbook entry at Georgetown Prep, Kavanaugh made several references to drinking, claiming membership to the “Beach Week Ralph Club” and “Keg City Club.” He and Judge are pictured together at the beach in a photo in the yearbook.
And later in the article, notes that:
[In his book] Judge … described his own blackout drinking and a culture of partying among students at his high school, renamed in the book “Loyola Prep.” Kavanaugh is not mentioned in the book, but a passage about partying at the beach one summer makes glancing reference to a “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” who “puked in someone’s car the other night” and “passed out on his way back from a party.”
In Ms. Ford’s telling, both men were “stumbling drunk.” Will the optics of heavy drinking undermine all the denials?
6. Is there something we don’t know about Kavanaugh’s current drinking?
7. Judge has since implied that this could have been an incident of “rough-housing“: “I can recall a lot of rough-housing with guys. It was an all-boys school, we would rough-house with each other … I don’t remember any of that stuff going on with girls.” Is his story starting to drift?
8. The accuser has taken and passed a lie detector test. Will Kavanaugh submit to a lie detector test? Will Mark Judge? How will the public respond if both refuse?
9. Will Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser, hold up under the pressure of a story this explosive, with the stakes this high?
About the politics:
1. Republicans called this a “late hit” and a “last ditch smear.” (If you google “Kavanaugh late hit” you’ll find the phrase everywhere on the right, suggesting coordination.) How else will they respond?
2. Will Republicans attack Ms. Blasey Ford’s character as they did Anita Hill’s? Through an operative (David Brock) they accused Anita Hill of being “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.” How will they attack Ms. Blasey?
3. Will Democrats abandon Kavanaugh’s accuser as they did Anita Hill?
After the Thomas hearings concluded, it emerged that Senator Joe Biden, who was the Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee at the time, had failed to call three additional women to the witness stand who had been willing to offer testimony confirming Hill’s complaints about Thomas’s inappropriate behavior toward women. Last December, Biden, who may run for President in 2020, publicly apologized for failing Hill, saying, “I wish I had been able to do more.”
Edit Biden’s quote to read “I wish I had decided to do more” and the statement fits the facts. Democrats made a calculation that put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Only their own cowardice, self-interest, or complicity prevented them from calling the corroborating witnesses they had available.
4. Will Democrats take maximum tactical advantage of this new information, or will they continue to go through the motions, treating this confirmation fight as hopeless while making strong speeches?
5. Will any Republican men stand up for Blasey Ford?
About Dianne Feinstein:
1. What were Dianne Feinstein’s motives in keeping other committee Democrats in the dark about this letter?
Sources who worked for other members of the Judiciary Committee said that they respected the need to protect the woman’s privacy, but that they didn’t understand why Feinstein had resisted answering legitimate questions about the allegation. “We couldn’t understand what their rationale is for not briefing members on this. This is all very weird,” one of the congressional sources said. Another added, “She’s had the letter since late July. And we all just found out about it.”
Feinstein had the letter since July, yet confirmed its existence only in September, when the story leaked. She was clearly trying to control the way the rest of the committee handled the nomination: “Feinstein also acted out of a sense that Democrats would be better off focussing on legal, rather than personal, issues in their questioning of Kavanaugh.”
Was she trying to help Kavanaugh deliberately or just inadvertently?
2. Will Dianne Feinstein, up for re-election in 2018, pay a price with voters, especially with women voters, for her apparent sabotage of Democratic efforts to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation?
3. Will Dianne Feinstein pay a price with Senate women for her part in what looks like a #MeToo cover-up? Al Franken, let’s not forget, was driven from the Senate by Kirstin Gillibrand and others based on a #MeToo accusation and prior to any investigation.
4. If not, why not?
About Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski:
1. Will this revelation affect the Kavanaugh confirmation votes of senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski?
2. Or will Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly and Doug Jones make it easy for them both by voting yes to confirm, allowing Collins and Murkowski to vote no “on principle”?
3. Will Maine voters give Susan Collins another term in the Senate anyway? After all, she’s been silent on Kavanaugh since the nomination was announced and the threat to Roe v. Wade became apparent.
Finally, next steps and the future:
1. The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh on Thursday, September 20. Will Republicans accelerate the schedule in order to fast-track the confirmation?
2. If Democrats are ineffective in handling this story — if they look like they’re just “going through the motions” — will it affect the anticipated blue wave of 2018? Will Democrats continue to be seen as heroes of the anti-Trump resistance, or will enough voters give up on them to reduce the wave to a large and interesting ripple?
3. Will Republicans pay a price in 2018 with Republican women if this story evolves badly for them?
4. At what point will the illegitimacy of the Supreme Court rend the fabric, the American social contract, beyond repair?
Much to consider. Much to watch.
And if this plays out as it looks like it might, much to respond to when the dust has settled and the bipartisan deed has been done.
1 I have trouble with the current vogue for, “The woman must be believed.” I hardly get around all that much, yet I personally know of three cases where women made false sexual abuse/harassment claims against men. Absolutes on a topic this fraught are unwise.
There are so very many good reasons Kavanaugh should be disqualified from the Supreme Court, that the idea that this late-breaking evidence-free allegation of a 30-years-plus-ago high school drunken-groping incident, with the added “I thought he might kill me” alarmist embellishment by the alleged victim, might become the actual reason he ends up being DQed nauseates me, quite frankly. To use a term of art from jurisprudence, the allegation is entirely prejudicial, lacking any probative value whatsoever. Which is precisely where the court of pulic opinion comes into play, naturally.
“The woman who wrote the accusatory letter has now come forward to tell her story in her own voice and for attribution. It’s quite an explosive tale, and the bomb it contains threatens not just Kavanaugh and committee Republicans, but Democrats as well. Parallels to Democrats’ handling of Anita Hill and her accusations against Clarence Thomas are obvious and striking.”
Of course it’s an ‘explosive tale’ – so what? In the absence of actual evidence, a tale is all it is, and thus the ‘explositivity’ is both necessary – otherwise it would be useless as an MSM-kerfuffle generator – and entirely irrelevant as to its merits, or lack thereof. That’s not a bomb it contains, it’s a noisemaker. The alleged parallels to Thomas/Hill don’t strike me as being, well, striking – with Thomas there were multiple accusers, and we were talking about non-teenagers.
Lastly, to trot out that the alleged victim is a highly credentialed woman is the kind of bogus ploy I detest – are we to believe that the highly credentialed should be accorded more likelhood of truthfulness, because they are highly credentialed? I accord the polygraph result the weight it deserves here, which is precisely 0.
You want to know which parallels I do find obvious and striking here? The parallels to the Trump presidency an the #resistance to it. In both cases we have thoroughly unlikeable characters who deserve to be excoriated based on actual policy positions rather than merely their unikeable personalities. But instead of that being done by their oponents and the MSM, we have evidence-free ‘explosive allegations’ being energetically promulgated in an attempt to disqualify the person – with Trump we have the Russia!Russia!Russia! manufactured hysteria, with Kavanaugh we have this he-said/she-said HS party groping accusation. What a country we live in.
Yes to that above.
Yet for what it’s worth I won’t be crying any tears for the Republicans if they lose this nomination (not that I expect them to), not after they stole Obama’s court seat in 2016. What McConnell and the GOP did in that case was theft. They didn’t have the guts to allow a hearing and vote No as their constitutional powers allowed, because they knew that Obama would send up such a middle of the roader that they would lose the vote – some of their own would defect under the public pressure. So they broke the process – broke the government for almost a year, and weakened the Court with only eight seated justices – to get what they wanted. They deserve to have every nominee Borked, MeTooed, or whatever it takes to get that seat back from them. Yeah, that makes me no better than them, but I’ve had it.
One of the most favourite parlor games of the eminently credentialed of the meritocracy: political leverage of rape. Just ask Julian Assange.
As for the allegations and kerfuffle, I guess I hadn’t fully appreciated Feinstein’s active roll in preventing this information from coming out earlier. Like many people who are just tuning in to this story, it is coming in in pieces and taking time to cohere (to the extent that a decades’ old half-remembered episode retold by middle aged professionals with agendas will ever “cohere”). Does Feinstein have information that undermines the credibility of the accuser? Is she just being old school and trying to keep a semblance of dignity within a process that used to have a great deal of it but is not threadbare and tawdry? I guess we’ll know soon enough.
I think feinstein’s role in this whole thing deserves more analysis. To say it was “weird” is a pretty big understatement.
She gets this “bombshell” dropped in her lap–just what the dems have been embarrassing themselves in hearings trying to engineer–and she does exactly NOTHING, for over a month, supposedly out of deference to the mortally aggrieved accuser and in direct contravention to her responsibilities as ranking member of the judiciary committee? And then the info mysteriously “leaks”–nobody seems to know how–at the 11th hour.
I suspect that the more accurate story would be that she quietly investigated the allegations and found that they would not hold up under scrutiny. Maximum value would be shock value, disruption of the confirmation process and timeline, and comparisons, however tenuous, to Anita Hill. It’s all about the narrative.
A couple of asides:
Last night on msnbs, ari melber hastened to remiind viewers that this “issue” only concerned kavanaugh’s supreme court nomination, and does not involve his current billet as federal judge. Huh? If he’s a sexual predator, he shouldn’t be a judge at all. He probably should be disbarred. Something tells me the dems would not be willing to go the distance on this.
If we are going to consider these types of sexual accusations in evaluating fitness for public office, and we most emphatically should, we had better get some hard and fast rules of the road regarding establishing the integrity of allegations prior to public release. And we’d better do it fast. Neither party benefits from unsubstantiated innuendo cynically manipulated by a craven political class.
I agree with you completely about Feinstein’s role and, in general, that the narrative simply does not hold water. If Ford truly intended that her letter remain confidential and that she never envisioned stepping forward, there was no reason for her to have hired a lawyer, staged a polygraph, and scrub her social media. Feinstein almost certainly had the allegations investigated as soon as she received them, it would be naive to believe otherwise. Upon discovering that the accusations would not hold up after investigation and in the setting of the main hearings, she made a determination that the highest and best use would be in the form of springing almost October surprise, insuring maximum shock value and minimum verification.
Ford hired a lawyer _when the FBI showed up asking her about her allegations_, and she took a polygraph _when they asked her to_.
And, gee, I wonder why a woman who expected to have her entire life ruined and to be chased by death threats (Which has now happened) scrubbed her social media?
Does no one here do the slightest amount of research?
we don’t know about whether the accusations would hold up. it was a long time ago, but so were some of harvey weinstein’s and bill cosby’s crimes.
Minus the added narrative ‘I thought he might kill me’ which was not a timely complaint- if this is what constitutes a ‘sexual predator’ then 80% of men and 60% of women are unfit for public service. Sometimes the rejection is after the move.
what wasn’t timely about it? as far as i know, she didn’t report any of it at the time, it’s not as if she suddenly added this detail onto a long established narrative.
September 18, 2018 at 2:43 am
and a side note about lie detectors. I was watching a documentary about the Green River killer, a notorious serial killer. He was suspected years before he was prosecuted and convicted….and he was given a lie detector test. Passed it with flying colors.
Even though I truly believe I am perfectly honest, I truly believe I would never pass a lie detector test because I overthink any question/issue. Its really a ridiculous pseudo scientific technique.
The donkey show never fails to not impress you, they’re the Keystone Kops of politics, palooka’s palookas. They want us to save the cow that got away never to return, in November.
Meanwhile, they not only left the barn door open, and also put themselves out to pasture.
Imagine giving Galligula a lie detector test though?
So did Ted Bundy. And she paid for it herself as part of the “package” delivered to Diane F.
Maybe Diane Feinstein withheld the letter because she has another older letter from the “victim” about Gorsuch? Perhaps Feinstein can ask her Chinese spy driver to investigate ? FYI psychologists are trained to always ask…WHY NOW? If your psychologist does not ask you this at some point in session you need a new therapist. This professor is probably a PHD untrained in clinical psychology. If she were trained in CLINICAL psychology (PSYD) SHE would NEVER make such a public allegation at such a late date…all of a sudden..as it would harm all the other women who really have been assaulted and are still suffering…and struggling in real therapy……in addition the “victim” has SCRUBBED HER SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS Immediately before making the allegation. The whole thing smacks of FAKE NEWS DESIGNED TO HARM SOMEONE. ALL doctors, including psychologists take the oath “FIRST DO NO HARM” fake allegations harm everyone. So pathetic. Bottom line? This woman may be a serial accuser who has serious emotional problems. Apparently several (64) individuals that know her have said she is emotionally unstable. A polite way of saying….attention seeking borderline.
Thought she was going to be murdered….last I checked we don’t convict people on prophecy. Thought she was going to be raped…. seems that didn’t happen either. Why? Because she “somehow escaped the grasp of two boys hell bent on raping her…yeah right. According to other classmates she was one of the loosest slot machines in town. As likely of a story is she had a crush on Kavanaugh, got rejected, and has been bitter of his success. We have absolutely zero evidence of her story. In fact the one supposed witness, denied it ever happened. Classmates said the party never existed. She can’t name the place or even the frickin year. Kavanaugh has hundreds of women including contemporary classmates including girlfriends who vouch for his character. The accuser has a too convenient timeframe, her political activism, registered Democrat record, hatred of Trump and all things he stands for, history of her parent’s property and foreclosure with Kavanaugh’s mother involved in the judgement, 35+ years of memory degradation and lack of even her telling a soul until “2 years ago”. There are literally thousands of Democrats who would do anything, ANYTHING, to keep a lifelong conservative judge off the Supreme Court bench. When they hear her story they’re thinking “why didn’t I think of that”?!!!
Her story makes zero sense, unless your Democrat and want to keep a conservative off the bench. Then the whole thing makes perfect sense. Because democrats believe in pretzel logic.
She’ll have her day and we’ll see but those will have to be some golden tears of honesty to be convincing. This standard of public conviction with ZERO evidence all for political games is reckless.
Funny how pundits all assume (correctly) that Trump is simply too moronic to actually use this shit-show to his advantage. For someone who claimed to be “draining the swamp” he’s nominated 2 elite out-of-touch-Federalist-sanctioned reactionaries. Both were effectively born connected — silver spoons.
Neither Gorsuch or Kavanaugh have a ‘populist’ bone in their bodies. It’s corporate rape for these guys from top-to-bottom.
A smart politician would withdraw the nominee and submit a candidate who looks something like what people ‘saw’ in Trump — sticking-up for the little guy (now I’m laughing) against the establishment.Tit-for-tat: I gave you Gorsuch, now I get a “Trumpster”.
What are senate Republicans going to do? Balk? Not submit to Trump’s nominee and let this drag on for years?
Why doesn’t he? He’s surrounded by sycophants and seriously unhinged 4th-tier politicos. At this point, just generals and people so far removed from intelligent politics that the only hope is one out of a million monkeys typing “We’re Winning!” That, and Trump’s a rich and complacent moron.
Trump doesn’t exert his will over the Republican establishment and it shows. Good god, he’d probably get more respect from his voters if he said “I’m listening to my sister not the Federalist Society for my new nominee”. But no, he’s captured by the idea that he’ll lose evangelical support if he goes for a nominee that the Federalist Society (Where the Elite Meet to Eat!) picked. Not the so-called “white working class”, or even the evangelicals (thank God for this, though!).
What a moron. What a laugh. Can’t wait to see how the independents vote in 2018 and (after what already seems like an eternity) 2020.
Bottom line? Someone in the USA really likes Trump enough to vote for him or they really hate what the last president did for 8 years….YOUR CHOICE!
Wow. This is one of those subjects that’s too hot to handle for any male to speak on. Any skepticism at all gets me labeled as a rape apologist. That said, I am also forced to be skeptical of Ford’s claim and note there isn’t one shred of evidence to support the allegation. And what is presented as evidence is still just hearsay.
About the therapist notes. This is not evidence. Especially when you consider the accusations of some that some therapists may coach their patents to see “rape” where none exist. True, there is no evidence for this either. But the possibility of this is just as real as the allocations “possibly” being true. The “probability game” is a two-way street. That is why we need evidence.
It wouldn’t take much, a police report filed at the time or shortly after the incident would certainly convince me. Strangely, activist have actually argued that such evidence should be withheld because it some-how damages the credibility of rape accusations in general.
Another line I have encounters is that Kavanaugh lied about other things during his hearing. He did? Such as? Well no examples have been presented as of yet. But even if he did, this in no way convicts him here. It is up to the accuser to provide evidence of Kavanaugh’s guilt. It’s it not up to Kavanaugh to provide evidence for his innocence. He even has the right to not incriminate himself – that is a right to deny the charges against him – even if they are found later to be true.
I remain unconvinced.
I am also disgusted that with all of the flaws that should keep him from the bench – this is what pops up. The truth is I think leading Democrats were slow in presenting the accusation because they wanted an excuse to let him get into SCOTUS. It might cut into their genuflecting time – I mean #resistance in between their daily fellatio sessions with the donors. Dems have also noticeably become a bit too defensive with the me-too movement cutting a little too close to Bill’s reputation.
Sadly, this accusation may be the only way to block Kavanaugh. Sexual assault charges are one of the few things that make Republicans squirm as well. But with little evidence to support the accusation, there is a huge risk. What if Ford’s story falls apart later? Republicans will not let this go without a fight, and the first thing they will do is independently verify Ford’s story. If Dems try to make an issue of this, and it does fall apart, you have once again played right into Trumps hands.
I have no real answers here – just a lot of hard questions.
What is troubling about this is that all parties were drunk teens. How could anybody remember anything anybody did or said while puking drunk? Kavanaugh might not have even been in the room. Therapists often ask leading questions like “What happened next?” “Who else was in the room with you?” “How did that make you feel?” This always risks confabulating events that fit the scenario; not necessarily ones that happened – not uncommon when drunk.
Sadly, even before #MeToo, an accusation of sexually inappropriate behavior is one of the few crimes for which you are presumed to be guilty unless you can prove innocence.
if you read the woman’s account–the wa post published it–she and the others at the house had one beer while kavanaugh and his friend had been drinking before the rest arrived. she knew kavanaugh and mark judge and knew who was assaulting her.
she was not drunk.
kavanaugh is not claiming that he ‘can’t remember.’ he’s positive ‘it never happened.’ mark judge is waffling.
the woman has answered all of the questions you pose.
your final statement is not a fact but your belief.
I don’t know if Ford’s account is true, but it is credible especially given Mark Judge’s past writings.
For a position on the Supreme Court, it should not require proof at level sufficient for a criminal conviction to be disqualifying – something approaching a civil weight of evidence should be more than sufficient.
While there are cases of fabricated stories (some recent university ones come to mind), it would be pretty unusual for a professional woman to do it on a national stage like this, especially given the past treatment of witnesses like Anita Hill.
She scrubbed her social media accounts before making allegations…gee I wonder why? Remember, allegations are allegations. We cannot further the erosion of our constitution and bill of rights by assuming someone is guilty without proof. We are all innocent until proven guilty in a COURT OF LAW…not a court of social media or press. If you have a son, husband or any males in your family this kind of witch hunting, which destroys lives, is TERRIFYING.
Being positive about recollections is not undocumented in studies of inebriation. Because all we have to go on many decades later is fading recollections of a party at which alcohol use among inexperienced teen drinkers got out of hand. Studies show that even adults are lousy at recalling how many drinks they had even when just casually drinking. Many people who drink to excess, report large gaps in recalling where they were and what they did the night of their drinking.
I am a little concerned about seeking psychotherapy many years later for an event that might have been tense, but unlikley a trigger for PTSD unless the victim has been exposed to other trauma. This suggests emotional fragility that might have been part of a larger picture. Then there is the question of why revisit this trauma now? Why put yourself through an even more stressful process? Vengeance? Unresolved emotional issues? Something else?
Of course Kavanaugh will assert he was not even there. His SCOTUS seat is at stake. He might actually not recall being there. From his alcoholic buddy’s account, these event were not rare events.
Finally, there is the issue of clarifying who shot John issue on the Hill. Are a bunch of elderly pols qualified to psychoanalyze anybody? A compassionate person would not dive into re-traumatizing somebody because “the end justifies the means.”
“I am a little concerned about seeking psychotherapy many years later for an event that might have been tense, but unlikley a trigger for PTSD unless the victim has been exposed to other trauma. This suggests emotional fragility that might have been part of a larger picture. Then there is the question of why revisit this trauma now? Why put yourself through an even more stressful process? Vengeance? Unresolved emotional issues? Something else?”
I can’t imagine viewing that situation as just “tense.” It describes an attempted rape: he held her down, tried to take off her clothes, and covered her mouth when she tried to scream. The fact that it didn’t result in penetration doesn’t mean that it wasn’t traumatizing, and it doesn’t make her emotionally fragile if she developed PTSD from the experience. If someone is covering your mouth, your ability to breath is impaired. That could kill her, especially if it’s being done by someone who’s drunk and out of control.
I’m making an assumption that you are male, but imagine that scenario if two beefy guys pulled you into a room, pushed you on your stomach, attempted to take off your clothes, and covered your mouth when you tried to scream. I don’t understand how someone could experience something like that and not find it traumatizing.
I understand that some people won’t believe the allegation, but to suggest that the experience wouldn’t be traumatizing and capable of producing PTSD seems bizarre to me.
Bravo! Well said
>What is troubling about this is that all parties were drunk teens.
that hasn’t been established.
don’t shoot the messenger
Since drinking is mentioned here, let’s look at it a bit.
Is drinking a big problem in this country, especially among teens?
Should drinking be banned, setting aside the technical issues and the recalcitrant human nature for a moment (here, we remind ourselves that many bans under consideration also encounter that same recalcitrant human nature – banning greed, banning corruption, etc)?
Ford admitted to drinking too, we don’t know how much. Per above, she claims one beer.
Underage drinkers aren’t generally going to call the cops, especially your typical high schoolers. Expecting that a police record exist for this accusation is completely unrealistic.
To me, it is unrealistic, but not completely unrealistic, for the reason that the police would have been contacted not for the drinking (though it would be a problem for the teens), but for a bigger issue that would have overridden the drinking issue.
This may also be a good time to for a national discussion of teenage drinking, which is officially not allowed (under 21, generally).
No way is this gal going to call the cops at her age. Sorry but she would be in a bunch of different kinds of trouble, socially, with her parents and she probably didn’t even know any better. I am a lot younger than these people and trust me no one ever said a word.
Do we go back to chaperoned parties only for teens?
Sure why not have chaperoned parties for teenagers? I am all for helping kids socialize, but I was “socialized” in a way that made me pretty skeptical of how drunk boys/men want to “socialize”. Again, this is just my experience. Lots of absent or clueless parents combined with money isn’t good.
My guys aren’t old enough to be in this loop yet so who knows. They seem over and under supervised depending on what they are doing.
I was just thinking about the Enchantment Under the Sea dance from Back to the Future movie.
I think only the chaperone was drinking.
Based of all the me too allegations flying around that are destroying lives…..you might want to hire a good attorney to draw up a contract for consensual sex for your boys and train them to have it signed when teens
That’s a straw man. What bothers me is the lack of contemporaneous witnesses. For instance, pretty much all of the women Schneiderman abused told friends about it, and he was a powerful man his victims were afraid of crossing. You’d expect Ford to have told a close friend or two at the time, or a boyfriend or girlfriend in college.
I haven’t been able to ascertain from the media coverage whether she recovered the memory of this in 2012 in therapy, and had not been conscious of it in the thirty years prior. If that’s the case, it greatly hurts her credibility.
Also, her go fund me campaign hurts her credibility.
read russell feingold’s piece on huffington post on kavanaugh’s lying in 2003 at his confirmation hearings to be on the federal bench. patrick leahy brought up same material in current hearing.
this is just a sample of kavanaugh’s serial lying.
(and why do you think the repubs won’t release all the documents?)
Yes, even a quick look through Wikipedia’s info on Kavanaugh’s pro-corporatist rulings and his Ken Starr dealings raises eyebrows.
It’s not a hard question why abused people don’t report the abuse to police or to anyone else, sometimes for years, sometimes forever. It’s hardly unique to this situation.
There have been endless explanations from abused people – fear of the abuser, peer pressure, history of victims not being believed, fear of being blamed themselves, societal norms which cause them to blame themselves, failure of police or society to address the problem, etc.
Ok but now all empowered? The system still sucks and the woman has stated she was forced to move due to death threats. So the incentive to come out was? Right….it just does not add up
Lovely opinion column in today’s WSJ on this. The GOP is going with “witch trial” and comparisons to Salem. Looking forward to some compelling TV later today.
As much as it pains me to say so, the WSJ does have a point.
Like the jurors at the Salem trials, the GOP SJC members will be all male.
The optics are terrible, but all the GOP has to do (if they can control themselves) is to ask some polite questions,
say that there’s no way to tell the truth after so many years, and vote him out of committee.
What happens in the full Senate might be more interesting.
I really wish the GOP wouldn’t use the phrase “witch trials.” It diminishes and cheapens what actually happened to so many women in history. The GOP is tone deaf to their own misogyny.
Well the lid is off this particular can of worms and there is nothing else to do but to see the business through. Kavanagh is already saying that he wasn’t even there so there is lots more to come here. Nobody remotely connected with this is going to come out the other end looking good. I myself will devote as little attention to this story as possible as it unfolds over the next coupla months. I yield the field on this particular dog’s breakfast.
Kavanagh must be blessing his stars that at the time that all this was happening, that there was no Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or mobiles with inbuilt cameras. On the other hand he must be cursing his luck in having an idiot buddy who was there – Mark Judge -who actually wrote a book about this period of their lives and refuses to shut up about how great it all was. This is just the beginning.
Take a look at the image in this article – the one showing the two dumb a**** on the balcony. Suppose that in twenty years one of them was on a corporate board due for promotion to CEO and the other was going for a job in Washington. Then this photo comes lurching out of the woodwork. Surprise! With the corporate surveillance society and a toxic bro culture in play (and its female equivalent) this sort of stuff is going to be standard fare and only those smart ones that take care what goes on their social media will dodge the worse of the upcoming ****storms of public scandals.
The Rev Kev
September 18, 2018 at 5:26 am
“Kavanagh is already saying that he wasn’t even there so there is lots more to come here.”
A top Republican spoke with Judge Brett Kavanaugh Monday and said he denies any knowledge of sexual assault allegations — and doesn’t even remember being at a party where the attempted assault purportedly happened.
So, part of what I said yesterday:
September 17, 2018 at 10:56 pm
Well, more information appears available. Supposedly, Kavanaugh denies even being at the party.
NOW, I CAN’T remember what parties I was at 35 years ago, but maybe the man has a great memory….
BUT, wasn’t there another boy accused of being involved in this??? And didn’t he say he AND Kavanaugh didn’t do anything??? Contradiction…..
Maybe Kavanaugh didn’t do anything and feels he has to unequivocally deny. But I was sympathetic to Kavanaugh based on the tenuousness of proving decades long accusations. But now I am thinking the accuser has a point, and there may be enough evidence to show Kavanaugh, if not guilty of the attack, is less than honest in speaking about it.
Well, I love playing Columbo, but the fact is that quotes from the media are unreliable. I think there is a world of difference between asserting that one wasn’t at a party 35 years ago, and saying one has no memory of a party 35 years ago. Heck, I have no memory of yesterday….
And being unable to help myself, Columbo dan would ask these questions:
1. Did the accuser ever meet or see Kavanaugh PRIOR to the party? Where and when and what were the interactions?
1a. Did the accuser go willingly into the bedroom or was she actually accosted?
2. Did the accuser ever meet or see Kavanaugh after the party?
3. The above questions with regard to all the other males at the party.
4. How many females were at the party?
5. How many attendees at the party?
6. Was this a chaperoned party, i.e., were any adults present?
7. How did the party attendees arrive – driven by parents or they drove themselves?
8. How did the other party attendees react to the “reported” event that the accuser locked herself in the bathroom?
A zillion questions could be asked, but I find it unlikely that the answers to any of the above are going to particularly weigh in favor of the accuser.
Yes. Those questions and many more. Dwelling on each of them detail by detail. This witness has no chance of coming out of this in one piece. She should have thought before she brought this up from 35 years ago if all she has is her word against his. My guess is that as a credentialed person she thinks bad things can’t happen to nice people. My god, I would not want to be this woman. When Kavanaugh says he didn’t do it and it’s not the kind of thing he would ever do, the Dems need to come up with a number of other woman with similar drunken stories about Kavanaugh. If they don’t and he toughs them out, he gets confirmed. What a show.
Can you even imagine being in a classroom with this professor? I would think her students are going to bolt from class….permanently! she is teaching psychology but could not think this scenario through before going public?
You make excellent points here. I would just take issue with the last one, about the picture of these frat goons coming back to haunt them 20 years from now. I suspect, given the ebbs and flows of history, that testosterone fueled bonding will either be back in style or seen for what it is, a stage in human development from which one emerges (eventually) to maturity.
Kavanaugh and the “frat” 70-80 year-olds in Congress and WH defending him are still “bonding” at the “stage”, from which they haven’t yet “matured,” where they believe they should decide what women, including teenage girls, should do with their own bodies.
Well, I’m sure it’s much more stimulating conversation for “70-80 year old frat boys” suffering from arrested development to fantasize about legislating womens’ bodies through proxy than it is to talk about solving any financial problems or developing budgets
Completely aside: Are WASPS now disqualified/banished from SC appointment? (not entirely a snark – Justice Stevens was the last WASP on the court and he retired in 2010. )
adding: since then we’ve gotten the Hobby Lobby decision, the Citizens’ United decision, the case roll-back on the 1965 Voting Rights Act (Shelby County) and by OK’ing voter roll purges (Ohio) …
adding: heck, forget the WAS part, have Protestants in general been eliminated from nomination to SC seats?
I think that it’s more a symptom of the slow decay of mainline Protestantism.
Appointing a Catholic is a more politically expedient way of getting the viewpoints of Evangelical Protestantism onto the Supreme Court versus appointing an actual conservative Baptist.
Funny how identity politics works that way.
Interesting. Mainline Protestantism is also known as Modernist, whereas Evangelical Protestantism (along with CCCC and Assembly of God and others) is know as fundamental or Conservative, especially about the womans’ role in the family. So, you may be right that getting religious conservative appointments to the Court is a win for the N.A.E. conference.
And I note with interest that the Dem party has helped this rightward, conservative shift over the past 30 years. So when an estab Dem pol says “But think about the SC!”, I do, but not in a way that favors said estab Dem pol.
The Catholic Church produces conservatives that can rise to the top levels of academia, the judiciary, and other elite institutions. Evangelical Protestantism produces bigoted, superstitious yahoos, who would embarrass themselves on the national stage. For example, Scott Pruitt.
On the other hand, with ‘that problem’ confronting recent Popes, especially the current one, perhaps people turn away from the Catholic Church.
They have that one big, dark issue to deal with, and so, it seems everyone has problems.
For what it’s worth, Gorsuch was raised Catholic, but his wife is Anglican, and they’ve been members of an Episcopal church since their marriage.
How many Shinto followers have made it to the Supremes? Buddhists? I’m not sure what you’re asking, nor the relevance of what you’re asking.
According to a 2013 Huffingtonpost article, no avowed atheists or non-theists had been appointed to the Supreme Court.
And no Zen Buddhists either, presumably.
Assuming for the sake of argument that broadening the candidate selection to include a kind of representation from large, here-to-fore ignore groups, the Protestantism is the largest group of Christians the USA, it’s about half the country’s population (according to wikipedia) and comprises the largest country Protestant population in the world. (20% of the worlds Protestant population.)
So having no Protestants on the SC (and for some time) seems a significant, um, oversight. imo.
That is an old problem.
For example, Jan Hus, when he was at the University of Prague, students belonged to one of four nations (Saxony, Poland, Bavaria and Bohemia – the first three German with the last Czech). While the Czech students were almost half of the total, with each ‘nation’ getting a vote, they were regularly outvoted.
In today’s world, it would be like India getting one vote at the UN Assembly, with Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland etc. each all getting one.
Of course, not appointing anyone outside the current Yale-Harvard-Columbia nexus seems pretty exclusionary, too. A mandarin class for the SC?
adding: are Duke, U. Mich, and Stanford law schools now chopped liver? e.g.
Sounds like Brett is Trump’s kind of guy …
Sexual assault is sexual assault, and the “just drunk teens” defense is an attempt to trivialize it. I find it very easy to believe that Kavanaugh did what he is accused of, and that he has probably done it more than once. Because that is how a lot of men born into privilege behave. (And I’d sure like to read some responses from female members of commentariat on this topic.)
I agree. But high probability is not evidence.
Her account isn’t evidence, but this isn’t a trial. For better or worse, there are no evidence standards for confirmation as it is a political process, not legal.
In my experience the drunken behavior is entirely consistent with loutish, predatory treatment of women. The born into privilege part doesn’t help. There is a perception (again, IME) that girls/women are “lucky” to attract the notice of this type.
I have no idea what actually happened between these people but it would not surprise me in the slightest if more women come out of the woodwork. Kav’s associates have some pretty gross stuff floating around on the Internet.
“Boys will be boys” has rapidly been disappearing as a valid excuse over the past decade. In criminal proceedings, allegations alone are generally not sufficient to generate a Guilty verdict but this is not a criminal proceeding. This is a highly political proceeding with very distinct political goals in play as we observed in the Merrick Garland non-hearing non-process. So the legal standard under which a frat boy would be prosecuted is largely irrelevant in this proceeding.
It will be interesting to see what the additional testimonies will sound like and then what legacy people like Jeff Flake want to leave behind if Ford appears to be very credible. I don’t think the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings have worn well on Joe Biden and the other senators back then.
On spring break in 2000, a female acquaintance climbed on top of me when I was half-asleep and started to make out with me. I feigned being asleep rather than screaming, and Mark Judge wasn’t in the room, but the rest of the narrative is fairly similar. Never considered it sexual assault.
what does that have to do with this?
Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe that men who behave as Kavanaugh is accused of very seldom do it only once. If another woman comes forward with a credible account similar to Ford’s, it seems to me that would be a significant development.
If you haven’t seen the excellent 2013 documentary “ANITA: Speaking Truth to Power” and can’t get it at your library, you can order it here without patronizing Amazon ;-) :
Anyone even remotely considering supporting a Biden bid for the presidency had better see that movie first!
His conduct at those hearings was my peak Biden moment, not that it was a very high one. I voted for HRC despite all the misgivings, but no way will I ever vote for Uncle Joe. Thanks for the link though, I do want to see that doc.
My sweetie hasn’t seen “Anita,” so we went to the library tonight to check it out — SURPRISE — it was out ! So they will call us when it’s returned, and we’re next in line.
We can also thank Biden for the Iraq war. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee he made sure that only pro-war people testified to the senate in support of the unconstitutional resolution granting the President the congressional power to declare war.
we can thank biden for going along with quashing the congressional “investigation” into the october surprise, too. probably still some articles on that at consortium.
As to the claim that there is no evidence made by the nominee’s supporters, historical crimes are prosecuted all the time in both state and federal courts. By historical crimes, I mean crimes where the accused was not caught in the act. Virtually all federal drug and gun prosecutions are historical, in that the evidence is the testimony of sworn witnesses subject to cross-examination about historical events.
In state court, prosecutions of historical child sexual abuse cases are exactly the same. The now adult testifies under oath subject to cross-examination about events that happened when the person was a child.
Although it’s very understandable to argue that there is no evidence in historical cases or to argue that criminal prosecutions should not be based on historical evidence, the sworn testimony subject to cross-examination is evidence. The passage of time and the sometimes lack of corroboration only goes to the persuasive weight to be given this evidence. There are many people in prison right now who were convicted on historical evidence, because the fact-finder believed beyond a reasonable doubt that the historical events occurred.
That being said, since this is about a nominee for the Supreme Court, perhaps he should be questioned about his views concerning prosecutions of historical crimes.
Thank you, I get tired of people claiming there is “no evidence” for the incident.
The problem for Kavanaugh is that (a) his denials are so emphatic that he has no room to walk back and (b) many women seem to have experienced something similar to Christine Ford. See Caitlin Flanagan’s piece in the Atlantic today.
FAIR has been discussing the issue of Kavanaugh’s fitness for confirmation, including reports of perjury:
It seems to me that these provocative stories prevent a more substantive debate about his positions and character from taking place.
I would think that evidence that the candidate is a habitual liar would take precedence over his policy positions?
yes, one would think that.
>It seems to me that these provocative stories prevent a more substantive debate
And that’s the point in not-so-much-bread-but-a-lot-of-circuses DC. Empires rarely go down due to conquest by others, it’s generally almost pure farce.
Innocent until proven guilty. Full stop.
Torture is fine. Due process is for chumps. People are getting insane.
If Democrats really cared about the Supreme Court, Hillary should’ve visited Wisconsin. And/or quietly lobby Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire in 2009 when Democrats had TOTAL control of government,
I agree. Even if Kavanaugh goes down in flames you will just get another reactionary conservative nominee and they will eventually get through. This is why winning elections is important! Somebody should let the Democrats know that.
You seem to forget that, in 2009, the Democrats were crowing that the Republican Party was so defeated and broken that it would take half a century for them to re-organize and retake the White House.
Look how that worked out,
Whatever the merits of these accusations, it must be remembered that the corporate press is as centrally controlled as the press in the old Soviet Union. Nothing like this – true or false – would get made any media attention if the establishment didn’t have a reason to not want Kavanaugh on the court.
John Edwards cheated on his wife – and it was front page news, money was paid to people to come forward with juicy stories, and the press hammered hammered hammered that he was unfit for office. John McCain cheated on his crippled wife when he came back from Vietnam – and money was apparently paid to shut up his wife, and in every way the press shouted his wonderfulness. Because McCain was a good little corporate whore who did whatever he was told.
Elliot Spitzer was a thorn in the side of Wall Street – and he was followed his telephone tapped until they found some dirt on him, and he was declared permanently unfit for public office. Yes, Bill Clinton did get called out – thanks to the Drudge Report, the corporate press tried to bury it – but nevertheless, we never had the press suggest that he was unfit for office – and it wasn’t just the cigar thing, but very likely rape. But that’s not disqualifying if you have powerful friends.
Anyone who in any way opposes the oligarchy gets put under a microscope, and the slightest transgression – or even unsubstantiated allegations of a transgression – at any time in their lives makes them unfit to ever hold public office, and yet for the lackeys who sell us out, their past is off limits and if by some miracle dirt is dug up well they are still serious people who are well qualified for office. You don’t have to condone bad behavior to realize where this leads.
The elites hate Kavanaugh because – whatever his other qualities – he has opposed the cheap-labor open-borders policy that is the primary interest of wealth oligarchs like the Koch brothers. He is apparently not willing to toe the line on matters the elites consider important, so he has to go.
I’m assuming this was snark. If not, back on planet Earth, the Swamp elite say otherwise:
For me, excessive alcohol consumption and/or agressive physical behavior should be disqualifying for a life time appointment of this magnitude. Period.
However, rather than engaging in ‘he said/she said’ theater the Democrats should withhold a quorem until the documents that can demonstrate Kavanaugh’s perjury on other matters are released. This way should Kavanaugh be confirmed it would be without a single Democratic senator’s vote. This can make a future expansion of seats have a more populist appeal and negate this damaging appointment.
In the full quote Judge does oxymoronically acknowledge the role of female choice as a prerequisite and therefore controlling factor in the release of “uncontrollable male passion”. Wouldn’t uncontrolled male passion generally end in premature ejaculation? The boy needs some lessons in slow-hand Tantra.
First of all, I want to get this out of the way —
I’m really tired of the Bill Clinton “defense” being trotted out every time some powerful male politician gets busted in some sort of MeToo moment, especially if they’re Republicans. Yes, I completely, utterly & totally agree that what Clinton did – the stuff that’s been corroborated – was despicable, beyond the pale and should have disqualified him from running for POTUS. Indeed. HOWEVER, I’m sick and tired of of Clinton’s heinous acts – that, yes, he mostly “got away with” – being trotted out as an excuse to “overlook” or exonerate some Republican politician who gets busted for something similar, even if it’s purported to be “not as bad” as what Clinton did.
Please! Two wrongs NEVER EVER make a right. I hear far too many Republicans (and others) trotting out the Clinton “defense” as if it’s somehow credible. It’s not. I’m adamantly opposed to what Clinton did, but the fact that he was sort of “excused” for it in no makes it OK to excuse others for similar behavior.
I can see no good reason why Dr. Ford would catapult herself into the national spotlight – where she knows d*mn well she’ll be grilled & filleted to within an inch of her life – if she didn’t truly and honestly believe the events as she’s depicted them. Yes, we are all aware that so-called “victims” lie, but in such a case as this, it defies my imagination at least why Ford would LIE about this.
Ford allegedly was not drunk at this party. She apparently had one beer. Kavanaugh and his buddy Judge were purported to be “stumbling drunk,” and apparently Judge brags about all of his “fabulous” black out drunks. Ergo, IF this event occurred, it’s likely that Kavanaugh was super drunk, while Ford was not. That she she says she feared for her life is credible under the circumstances. Try being a smallish young woman with a drunken much larger teenage guy lying on top of you with their hands on your mouth – and possibly also over your nose. Certainly I’d be afraid of dying. Who wouldn’t be? Try it yourself some day and see how you feel.
I think it’s credible that this event occurred. Given that Kavanaugh has already been proven to have lied about a number of other issues, it’s not a huge stretch to figure that he’d lie about this as well. As others have pointed out, Kavanaugh has gone to far as to say that he didn’t even attend the event at all, thus giving himself no wiggle room. What’s up with that? And what’s up with the almost instanteous production of no less than 64 women who allege to have known Kavanaugh all those years ago – to the degree where they can attest to his character 30 years later – when he attended a private boys school? WTF is that?? Frankly, it appears to me that Republicans knew there was some dirt on Kavanaugh that might finally see the light of day, so the swotted up this phalanx of Republican women to say what they said. And then produced this spurious document immediately. That was dumb IMO. 64? Really? IMO, just makes Kavanaugh look even more likely to be guilty. No time to research it, but I believe many of the 64 are now backing away. Why?
Yeah, I don’t like this at all. “He said, she said” are always the worst. But for better or worse, I think it needs to be heard out and go through the process. IF it’s credible enough to be true, THEN I feel that Kavanaugh is not fit to be on the SCOTUS. Frankly, neither is Clarence Thomas, and the shame and indecency of that “hearing” shall go down in infamy. Thanks for sweet FA, Joe EFFEN Biden. Sheesh.
Democrats are the worst, but Trump’s a chump for having put his “all” behind this loser. Someone, above, suggested that Trump should listen to his sister more, rather than the others whispering in his ear hole. I agree and second that. Doubt it’ll happen.
What a fricking sh*t show this is turning out to be. Not surprised, however, A panty sniffer like how Kavanaugh was with the Clenis is unsurprising as an abusive but entitled Rich White Guy.
Sigh. Good luck to us all.
And I have no explanation for DiFi’s antics in this mess. Ick. I’ve lived in CA for more than 25 years, and I’ve never voted for that ___________. And I surely won’t vote for her in November, either. Go away, DiFi. Go far far away.
I agree. Adding: in the case of male-female hesaid-she said an unspoken problem is that in conservative social circles the woman’s word is never equal to the man’s word. The woman is always assumed to be subordinate and less important than the man and untrustworthy compared to the man. (unless the woman is relatively socially powerful and the man is powerless.) The same is probable true in all circles in a richmansaid-poormansaid confrontation, but I think there’s more chance a poor man’s word and a powerless man’s word (leaving out race for the moment) would be investigated objectively without all the social conservatism baggage attached.
One difference between Clinton and Kavanaugh, not to mention all the stuff JFK got up to with impunity, is the positive change in at least a large part of the public’s attitudes toward male mistreatment of women. And, yes, the partisan and hypocritical weaponization of this and related issues, robs them of what should be their universal moral appeal.
Thanks, RUKidding. And as hard as this may be for Ford, the real issue here is that the Democrats have no political platform or principles that activate them in voting. Witness the rumors that Manchin and Heitkamp were / are ready to break ranks (rank, indeed). So we have to have a morality play instead of a confirmation process. Reason? The two clubs are worried about keeping the club members in line.
As to Clinton, I understand your fatigue: Yet whatever can be done to drive Bill Clinton from public life is pretty much fine with me these days. Maybe then we can figure out just how much damage Bill and Hill have done.
The whole hesaid-shesaid framing is something you don’t normally hear if a rich guy harms a poor guy… I mean you don’t hear hesaid-hesaid. There might be some investigation before dismissing a poor guy’s claim.
And, there is this.
Interesting discussion but I believe that we should note three key points:
1) Mike Judge did not say that it did not happen he has said “I have no recollection of that.” that is very different. Unlike Judge Kavanaugh he did not claim definitively that it did not or could not happen but only that he does not remember. He has also recently deleted many of his public accounts suggesting that he for one wishes to avoid scrutiny or avoid making Kavanaugh’s life any harder.
2) At present Mike Judge is not being asked to testify under oath before the committee. Given the claim that he is a material witness, indeed an actual participant, it would seem that any serious attempt to get at the truth would demand such an interview but it appears that the Judiciary committee plans none.
3) Kavanaugh’s credibility in this matter is somewhat circumspect given how carefully and I would argue disingenuously he has been thus far when it comes to using stolen documents and his role in warrantless surveillance. To my mind both of those are reason enough to reject them and they make me question his credibility here.
I now see that Judge did claim it did not happen so that amends my notes.
The fact that Judge has not been asked to testify indicates how serious Grassley is
about trying to get to the truth.
It is also puzzling that after Feinsten forwarded the information to the FBI, they did nothing (or, to quote the above exactly, ‘who will not investigate further.’)
According to at least one of the articles that I read on the topic an investigation would require a directive from the White House which has not been forthcoming.
Wouldn’t that implicate Obama in Russiagate?
It is a local or state jurisdictional matter. Feds will NOT get involved (neither FBI nor DOJ–and keep in mind there are plenty of people in both organizations who would gladly thumb their nose at Trump).
mcconnell has just held a press conference with thune, cornyn et al. to say that the judiciary committee is conducting “witness” interviews by phone. He said that the democrats (on the committee?) have “declined to participate” in this process. No idea who these “witnesses” are.
I’d imagine the idea of calling “witnesses” to the hearing is fraught, since it could devolve into a parade of 64 or 65 women extolling the exemplary character of the accused. I’m sure that would be quite devastating for the accuser.
Apparently neither Ford nor her attorney have responded to email requests from grassley to confirm her attendance at the hearing next Monday. During the above mentioned press conference, cornyn said Ford had been offered the opportunity to speak in either a closed or open session, but they have heard nothing back.
chuck todd opined on msnbs earlier today that he was skeptical of Monday’s hearing ever even taking place, and others have admitted being perplexed that neither Ford nor her attorney have confirmed her willingness to appear.
Regarding 1), is this right???
a. Judge: I have no recollection of that.
b. Unlike him, (? – to me, it’s ‘like him also,’), Kavanaugh: I do not remember.
Is it ‘unlike,’ or ‘like him also?’
My bad that was a typo: Mark Judge the GenX Drunk author, had said that he did not recall while Judge Brett Kavanaugh had said that it did not happen and more recently that “he was not at that party” which begs the question of whether he means he never went to any such party or does he actually know what party she means but that he was not there.
Apologies for the confusion.
Thanks for clarifying.
Any definitive claim by somebody in their 50s that somebody wasn’t present at a certain party in high school is largely irrelevant unless there is a reason to believe that there was no opportunity to be present (never been to that state, lived in another city 100 miles away, etc.). I didn’t drink in high school (didn’t like the taste of alcohol) and didn’t do drugs either, but there is no way I could tell you today if I was or was not at some party at somebody’s house in the circle of people that I knew on a given night. 40 years ago.
If they were drinking heavily, then “I don’t remember” is probably a very accurate description as it is possible they wouldn’t have remembered the next day if they were there.
Maybe I am an exception, but I remember (perhaps because I had few friends) things from even grade school days, these 3 ways:
1. visited some friends’ homes at least one, though not precise when.
2. never visited some other class mates, because we were never that close. Might have hated them.
3. the third group is more vague. Maybe, or maybe not.
This is grade school, not high school.
Remarkable false memories
By Daniel Simons, on November 16th, 2010
The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us
You’ll never look at eyewitness testimony the same again; a must read imho.
Always realizing that I might be mistaken as to my recollections, and about anything else for that matter, I find myself at a disadvantage in disputes, particularly with a couple of my family members. They, on the other hand, are never in doubt about what they take to be the facts, although they are often mistaken. They being family and all, and assuming no material consequences at stake, I just have to grin and bear it.
I thought that book was really eye opening too.
As an FYI, I saw a tweet, which I cannot find, from a reporter who works with a reporter who was surprised by the allegation, because he had heard talk of similar behavior when he was clerking, not sure if it was for Kozinski or Kennedy.
Needs to be tracked down.
I think this is the tweet:
And here’s the underlying article:
What if Senate Democrats are protecting Joe Manchin et al, and to do so, are protecting Kavanaugh as well? That’s actually the kindest explanation I have heard that explains their behavior.
What if Senate Democrats … Why, that would mean they see themselves as part of an elite power club. (What a shocking idea! /s)
Hopefully, this will cost Feinstein (full disclosure, my 2nd cousin once removed who I have never met) the general, where she is running against another Democrat.
And, there is this:
I find the statement of Christine Blasey Ford to be credible and am assuming good faith in her reasons for speaking up and bringing this to public attention. There are a lot of reasons I feel that way, but I will admit it’s really just a personal stand and and I state it more to be honest about any biases I might bring to the discussion, as well as a statement of support for her.
However, there is a great deal to unpack here, a lot of confusing detail about how things have unfolded, and a lot of gaps in the story that will take a long time to be filled, if ever. GP has done a great job here of raising some of the relevant questions. My good-faith assumptions do not extend to much of anyone else involved in this process. I’m especially suspicious about the timing for the breaking of this story. It would appear that both Grassley and Feinstein have had this information since at least July.* The leaks and articles started appearing just as there was increasing publicity on the GOP’s refusal to release the ca 200,000 documents related to Kavanaugh’s background and a lot of outside activist pressure to do so. Most recently, there had been a dramatic public throw down, with threats from the Democratic committee members threatening to release documents anyway, and Grassley, et al., threatening expulsion from the Senate to any member who did. Sen. Booker, who is almost certainly running for President, then had his “Bring it!” moment and a few documents were dribbled out.
Then this story breaks, and all that fades into the background. Suddenly, it’s a “he said-she said,” #MeToo, media feeding-frenzy Pileonapalooza! There is a letter, or list, or something, of 65 or 64 women who knew him in high school, or went to one of five different high schools in the region who say one thing and another of 200 or so women who say another (I have here in my hand a list of … names …)**
Is this a deliberate distraction tactic? Please note, I am not using the word “distraction” as it is sometimes used, as in “we should focus more on the important issues rather than this one” (in this case, rape). Rape is an extremely important issue. In this case, I mean something that someone, or multiple someones, involved in the process wanted to make the focus instead of something else. If opposition is closing in on some bad things about your nominee and/or the way you are running the process, throw something out there that is not so bad, or at least something that you can spin in a different way. If everything about the Kavanaugh can be reduced in the public perception to a single “he said-she-said” shouting match, it could actually salvage the nomination and give cover to the “moderate” Republicans (you know who they are) who can justify their “yes” vote with a tormented statement about how agonizing this decision is, but “I cannot in conscience allow Judge Kavanaugh’s career and life to be destroyed by a single accusation without due process,” blah blah blah.
I don’t rule out Feinstein out as the leaker by the way. She is no liberal and seems to have a very cozy relationship with Grassley (no, not that way! ugh). Booker and Harris are running for President. There may be some other Dem members of the committee who are honorable, maybe Leahy and others. There could be lots of motives at play here, including just wanting the whole thing over to get on with the midterms.
And finally, about due process, etc. With due respect to Yves and all the commenters who are bringing up similar points, I think that the “tried in the press” and other related “due process” arguments may not be all that useful here. This is not a criminal trial, and lots of factors, including probably the statute of limitations, the parties’ ages at the time, and the lack of corroborating evidence make it extremely unlikely that Kavanaugh could ever suffer legal sanction. It’s not even a civil trial, where I understand that the bar of evidence may be lower. It is a political process. It’s true that the nominee is testifying under oath, and lying to Congress is supposedly a serious offense, but the enforcement of that can charitably be called inconsistent. Getting to be a SCOTUS Justice, or CEO, or Hollywood mogul is not a Constitutional right.
Way too long, I know, but I think GP’s two recent posts on this are quite good, and deserve some discussion.
* I have been wondering how many actual, individual persons would have had access to the contents of the letter. Congressional staff and so on. Between Eshoo, Grassley and Feinstein and now the FBI, there might be quite a few. It would be interesting if anyone is familiar with the workings of these things to hear an educated guess. I’m thinking it could be a rogue staffer leak by any of the.
** I know references to McCarthy are trite and cliche, but I couldn’t resist with those ridiculous letters or whatever they are. In searching for the quote, I came across this video clip. The number at this point seems to be 130, more or less, but what got me was that committee members are begging for documents to be released.
…I do see people asking for supporting evidence, which seems like an impossibly high bar to meet. A highschool party where there was underage drinking is not exactly the sort of shindig there are records of, or recordings of. So how, exactly, would we get evidence to support/deny this allegation?
Please consider the demand to produce evidence of victimization when none exists basically amounts to siding with the aggressor.
Also, wanting this to be about policy and positions? That is admirable but stupid, as are the demands to ignore the Russia investigation and focus on “real” issues. Policy making on the real issues is a prize for those who win the theater, so embrace the theater and pick a side if you want decent policy.
That might be but must we also feign interest in this and keep up on it in the pretense of “being informed”. Why, just out of pure masochism? I mean it’s boring theater, boring boring boring boring, I buy the refreshments to stay awake and still never make it through. What’s less boring? Well policy actually …
the russia theater can turn into a theater of ww3. and the people pushing it aren’t interested in good policies, they are interested in policies their donors want. on both sides.
The Congressional proceedings are not a trial but a job interview. Kavanaugh is not the only person with credentials for the job. Other people could be selected. As a job applicant, Kavanaugh is questionable in several areas, such as his lies, his gambling problem, and now, an accusation of attempted rape. Any one of these is enough to disqualify the guy for the job on the Supreme Court–a job for life in which the successful applicant can never be fired. If Kavanaugh will not withdraw from the process, he should get a rejection letter and the Senate should move on to the next person on the list.
Bingo! Thank you.
There’s been too much “stuff” that’s wrong with Kavanaugh, and this latest accusation comes on top of numerous other questionable issues.
Kick Kavanaugh off the list and move on. Please.
Yes, thank you. Important point.
At this moment, he is still an “at will” hire. Once confirmed, it is almost impossible to remove him, so it is definitely not “at will” employment. If there are any serious questions, the answer should be no because there is no recourse..
Kavanaugh is a repeat liar under oath. That alone should disqualify him from being a judge, much less a SCOTUS. And his lying kills his credibility.
And nobody innocent lines up 65 women they haven’t raped to have on hand for when the woman accusing him of attempted rape comes forward. Nobody. And only two of those women remain as “vouchers of character”.
Also, character is set by 1st grade. Beware of child or teen abusers of males, females, children, animals. Yes, character can change but requires admission and atonement.
All that aside, Kavanaugh is an extremist activist way out of line with American mainstream. He wasn’t even on McConnell’s list, but Trump wanted him.
If they are called to testify, I would be open to that.
We shouldn’t want something like the Shirley MacLaine film ‘Children’s Hour’ (released as The Loudest Whisper in the UK) nor judge someone guilty based on his/her past.
The Republicans are not going to give the Democrats a win.
I still believe K is our next Supreme Court justice.
With the Repubs its “F*ck you, Blue” all the way down…
Its the equivalent of yelling ‘youre fired “on the Apprentice.
Scuttling the Kavanaugh nomination is a win not so much for Democrats but for truth, integrity, women, the non-corporate, separation of church and state, democracy, our environment.
This is a sneak peek into the Maryland’s Montgomery County Country Club set. This is the home of Washington DC’s credentialed 10% with a sprinkling of 0.1 percenters. How in the world did a 15 year old girl end up in the bedroom with two very drunk 17 year-olds? The judge has drinking problem. His old friend admitted it. Did he admit it too? Alcohol inhibits memories. Mental development halts when binge drinking starts. The judiciary panel could investigate but they know their parents and classmates. They would have face the stark reality of their own lives. That will never will happen. The GOP could ram the nomination through but sweeping it under the rug to avoid the pain of introspection could happen very quickly early next week.
The actual most relevant, important questions here are: 1) Were these memories truly “recovered” by a “therapist” in the year 2012, as some news stories seem to suggest? If so this is a huge red flag. 2) If so, who is this therapist and what methodology does this person use? 3) Why is a clinical psychologist using the well-known junk science of polygraphy to bolster her case?
It’s possible that elite media’s news stories are getting some of these facts wrong. Maybe she didn’t really only remember this decades later, and maybe the therapy wasn’t as represented in news reports, and maybe she doesn’t really believe in the efficacy of polygraphy but was pressured into doing it, or something. This is one of those cases where we’re at the mercy, at this moment in time, of journalists who don’t necessarily have any idea what they’re talking about.
Kavanaugh is reactionary prick who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a courthouse. Since he wasn’t going to be defeated on grounds of qualification or policy this allegation is the last resort. I’m not necessarily against doing that, but if the price is the elevation of pseudoscience the danger exists of hurting a great many innocent people down the road. My hope is that some of the reporting I’m reading in the popular press is simply wrong about much of this and the accusations are on firmer ground.
Oh, I do love using the “junk science” to discredit women’s memories. I spare you a much harsher comment. (Yes, I know the manifold problems with junk science, and I understand ‘junk science’. However, I also know the ‘junk science’ claim is too often used against the powerless against the more powerful, but never in reverse, oddly (or not). It’s interesting that the powerless can be brought to doubt their own memories when confronted by the powerful telling them ‘they are nuts’. Something about humans being social animals and wanting to be ‘approved of’ and belong to the ‘approved of’ group. And, no. I don’t discredit the ‘junk science’ skepticism, but wonder at it’s constant use against relatively powerless claimants vs. more powerful claimants. And, yes, I know this is opinion on my part. )
Leaving all this aside, for the moment, there appears to be a large cohort of people willing to testify to his bad character without resorting to “junk science” for their claims.
adding: I do not disagree that all scientific claims must be rigorously vetted for scientific process correctness. Unforunately, too few understand what scientific rigor and correctness means, and use “scientific” as a PR point with weakness. This said, my above comments about the powerful vs the powerless using ‘create doubt no matter what’ claims stands.
Unfortunately you don’t seem to have familiarized yourself with the abundant literature on the very sad fates of many people who have been victimized by junk science, the vast majority of them powerless, their names barely known to the general public. It is precisely the powerless who already are paying a heavy price for our woeful ignorance of the science of human memory and our implicit trust of methods that have no proven efficacy so long as they have attached jargon. Your sermon about the powerless is unnecessary because it’s already happening and has happened to them, lives ruined because of faulty memories, bogus therapies, and junk forensics. These people already numbered in the thousands long before the latest dustup came along.
Kavanaugh has powerful friends and he’ll live a comfortable life regardless of how this thing pans out. But so long as we embrace pseudoscientific methods of crime detection it is people whose names we barely ever hear who will bear the brunt of these injustices.
I’ll just state again, I hope these news reports are either wrong or misleading, there’s no shortage of that in elite media. I hope she doesn’t truly believe in the efficacy of polygraphy. I hope these memories didn’t first emerge during therapy decades after the alleged fact, as some news reports have implied. The more we as a society embrace these things the more we’re assured the people who lack resources will be victimized by them down the road.
Do you have any sources for what “news stories seem to suggest” about Dr. Ford’s memories? She herself said:
If it’s ok to “suggest” anything without basis in information or experience, may I “suggest” the polygraph, despite its flaws, may have been an attempt at good faith gesture at a time when she hoped not to have to appear in public?
“Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband.”
I’m glad to read that the polygraph was not her idea, though that still elides the basic problem that people involved in the criminal justice system and elite media seemingly take this rubbish seriously.
Also still unanswered is the methodology of the therapist. It’s important, because there is a lot of junk therapy out there that has destroyed lives.
As ever, the important question is not what this means for the two principles, who will both live out relatively comfortable lives regardless of how this drama plays out, but the countless thousands who will be victimized by the world’s most aggressive penal state, using every tool at its disposal to oppress, including junk science.
Recommended reading at this point might start with the work of Eliazbeth Loftus, it’s quite eye-opening and usually readable for the layperson.
i haven’t kept up; is she saying it was a recovered memory?
and if it isn’t a recovered memory, why does it matter how competent the couples’ therapist is, as far as the memory goes?
Is she a clinical psychologist? A clinical psychologist has a PSYD and a professor at a university has a PhD these are two EXTREMELY DIFFERENT DEGREES. PSYD students see clients for counseling on day one of entering the program amassing up to 10,000 clinical hours of counseling people in numerous settings while also attending full time classes in psychology before they even graduate and then they do an additional two years of training internship/postdoctoral residency. PhD students attend university classes and do a 2 year internship / post doc training seeing patients. HUGE DIFFERENCE
I am at the mercy of news reports, one of which said she was a clinical psychologist. That’s all I know.
A blast from the past:
HATCH SAYS HILL’S ALLEGATIONS ARE TOO CONTRIVED TO BE BELIEVED `NO DOUBT’: SENATOR SAYS A KANSAS CASE AND `THE EXORCIST’ INSPIRED HARASSMENT STORY. [Deseret News, 1991]
Come for the pontificating on Originalism and Literalism, stay for the Karl Rove-style political jujitsu.
So I emailed women I know and asked: Do you think Ford is telling the truth. And to a woman they all said yeah….what happened to Ford happened to them….
And almost every man I asked owns up to the fact that he did something Kavanaugh like….
I never got kissed in high school…..(OK, I wasn’t a virgin till I was forty…it just seemed that way)…..
Its not like women never lie or do bad things, but I think the truth is that they are in fact better than men…much better.
Men, own up to the truth – the world would be far, far, better off if women ran it.
She remembered at seventeen
That me-too love wasn’t a latter-day scheme
And not quite legal girls with clear skinned smiles
Who were young and then desired
The experience nobody ever knew
The Feinstein parade of an experience in youth
Were spent on a Senate less than dutiful
At seventeen, she claimed he was most uncouth
Response to those wondering about “recovered memories,” especially this commenter.
From the Post account linked in my piece:
There’s nothing in any of this that suggests a suppressed or recovered memory. That’s an entirely fabricated meme by Kavanaugh’s Fox News defenders.
Unfortunately, the media is treating the idea as worthy of consideration, on zero evidence, as noted by this commenter.
Wheels within wheels, designed entirely to deceive.
ah, thanks. i saw an earlier response suggesting it was.
Additionally ‘in any detail’ is important there also.
Her husband apparently knew she’d been assaulted in some manner for long before that, just not any details. Likewise, she told a friend eight years ago that she needed multiple doors from her bedroom to keep from being ‘trapped’.
If Ford is making it up, she must have started laying the groundwork to accuse _someone_ of rape a very long time, ago, for no obvious reason, and then focused her future fraud down to ‘elite boys from a nearby school’ in 2012. And then hit paydirt when one of those boys was on the short list to be nominated to the Supreme Court, and that boy happened to be someone who partied with some other guy who had written a book about how he was constantly blackout drunk. So she quickly picked him…probably realizing how improbably lucky she was.
This is total nonsense as any sort of conspiracy. If someone wants to assert she remembers the _wrong person_, that is a vaguely plausible claim, but she, very clearly, was assaulted back then.
> the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion
Ugh. The first lines of the Iliad:
(I remember the first line as “this is the story of the wrath of Achilles,” which is a lot less gaudy, and also makes the point want to make, but I can’t find that translation anywhere.)
I would have thought that one of the points of being a man, of manhood — not the same as “male,” I grant — was controlling (checking, reining in) one’s passions.