Thursday, September 27, 2018

Nine Hours of She Said, He Said: Few Changed Minds Over Blasey Ford-Kavanaugh Affair

The contrast between the demeanor of the two star witnesses testifying Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee could not have been starker. The accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, was demure and almost naive in her demeanor to be helpful. She was not seeking revenge. She was merely performing her civic duty. 

The accused, Brett Kavanaugh, was forceful, angry, argumentative, tearful and combative in maintaining his innocence and anguish at the destruction of his character and his family’s peaceful all-American existence. 

Whom to believe? My guess is few minds were changed by anyone who watched or listened to the full hearing, as I did over nearly nine hours. 

But there’s information I didn’t find out, based on questions not answered because they were not asked. Here are questions I would have liked to have heard posed and answered by Kavanaugh so the public could more adequately gauge his sensitivity to the issue of sexual assault and harassment: 

*Define the #MeToo movement

*Do you believe it has legitimacy?

*Do you believe the women and men who have come forward in #MeToo cases are sincere?

*Do you see any similarity between #MeToo victims and the boys, now men, who for many years did not speak up about abuse by Catholic priests?

*Can victims suppress the memory of their assault?

*Why do you believe so many women and men did not report a sexual assault when it occurred?

*Can someone do violent actions after excessive drinking?

*Do you believe excessive drinking can result in not remembering events?

*As a jurist do you believe an independent investigation provides a benefit when statements are disputed? (Democratic senators tried to ask this last question by asking Kavanaugh if he would ask for an FBI investigation, but he declined, hiding behind a comment that he would submit to whatever the committee desired, knowing full well that the Republican majority would not vote for such an inquiry.)

There is little reason to believe Blasey Ford had any ulterior motive in bringing forth her allegations of sexual assault and possible rape, allegations she confided to her husband and therapist years before Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. 

His fervent defense was what could be expected. It was compelling. Regrettably for him, his denials brought to mind similar denials by the president who nominated him who repeatedly disparaged Stormy Daniels and denied knowing of payments to her, denials that turned out to be facts. 

Indeed, rarely if ever has any political figure—and Kavanaugh is a political figure—readily admitted to any sexual indiscretion. 

Kavanaugh may well be telling the truth. 

Or Blasey Ford is.

We just may never know which one is.

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