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Privilege and Double Standards at the Kavanaugh Hearings

After weeks of controversy, Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed as a justice on the United States Supreme Court despite allegations of sexual assault against him. These allegations deeply divided an already fractured country. Americans watched both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testify before the Senate, and they attempted to ascertain which was telling the truth in the absence of any evidence to corroborate either of their stories of what happened more than three decades ago. One would hope that senators could have worked together to examine the available evidence in a manner that showed respect for all parties involved. In reality, this was far from what happened, as senators from both parties appeared more interested in advancing their own political goals by any means necessary than in making their best effort to discover the truth. Perhaps most outlandish was President Trump’s decision to mockingly imitate Ford’s testimony during a campaign rally, which ought to be condemned by anyone who believes that alleged victims of sexual assault deserve to be treated with respect. Also among the behavior that was on display were attacks from the left that targeted not just Kavanaugh or Ford but large segments of the American population. As we begin to move beyond the hearings, we would do well to pause and consider why these sorts of attacks are so misguided.

The most direct of these attacks came from Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who said as follows during a press conference:

Guess who is perpetrating all of these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country. I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing, for a change.

To tell any of her constituents, much less of nearly half of the population, to “shut up” is completely beneath the dignity of the office of senator. As much as Hirono may not want to recognize this, there are men who have been victims of sexual assault at the hands of people of both sexes. There are also men who have spent years or even decades behind bars for rapes they did not commit. In fact, there have been more DNA exonerations for sexual assault than for all other crimes combined. To suggest that it is “the right thing” to blindly believe any allegation without seeing adequate evidence puts innocent people at risk of facing a similar injustice if due process protections are eroded.

Many in the press have seen to fit to bring not just gender but also race into their attacks, claiming that Kavanaugh’s objections concerning the lack of due process in how this has been handled are actually about feeling entitled to the Supreme Court seat because he is a white man. For example, Bryce Covert writes in The Huffington Post:

Defenses of due process aside—this is not a trial but, again, a job interview—he also feels he is entitled to this seat. Such power, such prestige, is his birthright as a white man. Not getting what he wants is the same as losing his very life…

Despite what white men have been led to think for centuries, they don’t have a birthright to positions of power. Alleged abusers like Kavanaugh may finally be facing a reality that has been far too slow to come: their privilege—their gender, race, class, and pristine credentials—never should have, and perhaps someday won’t, entitle them to power they haven’t earned.

First of all, it is not accurate to describe the hearings that took place following the allegations as a job interview, as their sole purpose was to adjudicate whether or not he had committed sexual assault, not to evaluate his qualifications for the job. The earlier hearings that were held prior to the allegations could accurately be described as analogous to a job interview. Had Kavanaugh displayed anger during these hearings when he was asked challenging questions, it might have been appropriate to see him as displaying a sense of entitlement. However, this is not what happened.

To claim that Kavanaugh’s objections are evidence that he sees himself as entitled to a seat on the Supreme Court by virtue of his birth is to misunderstand what he is objecting to. There is no reason to believe that we would have seen this sort of anger if he had simply lost the confirmation vote because senators had issues with his judicial philosophy. What he is objecting to is that he is being labelled as a criminal without due process and will face the social ostracism that goes with this, regardless of whether or not he is confirmed.  He described the consequences of such an allegation well during his opening statement:

Over the past 12 years, I’ve taught constitutional law to hundreds of students…I love teaching law. But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee unleashed, I may never be able to teach again.

For the past seven years, I’ve coached my two daughters’ basketball teams…I love coaching more than anything I have ever done in my whole life. But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to coach again.

For someone who is innocent to be free of these types of consequences is not a privilege of the elite. It is a basic human right that all people ought to be able to expect will be protected in a functioning democracy. Certainly, there have been many cases throughout history and in the present time when this right has not been upheld. The solution to this is to work to fix the problems that have prevented this right from being honored, not to presume guilt and cheer on such a violation as the “comeuppance” of “abusive harassers who treat women like objects and playthings” if it a white man whose due process rights have been violated, as Covert does.

The sorts of consequences that Kavanaugh describes are in no way unique to the elite. They can befall a man of any status, from a millionaire to a worker who earns the minimum wage. Whether Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent, seeing someone’s guilt presumed by one of our major political parties when there is no evidence against him beyond the words of his accusers should give pause to any man who is realistic enough to admit that a false allegation could happen to him and any woman who has a husband, son, father, or brother whom she cares about.

To bring race into the discussion is particularly problematic. Kavanaugh and Ford are both of the same race, and there have been no claims that Kavanaugh ever engaged in any sort of prejudice or discrimination against someone of a different race. There are no doubt cases where white men have displayed a sense of entitlement for the simple reason that there cases where people of all demographics have done so. While some of these men may indeed believe that they should have privileges on account of their race or gender, there is no reason to assume that this is the case for all or even most of them. Many of them may just be showing run-of-the-mill ego and narcissism that is in no way connected to prejudice. To assume otherwise is to take the first steps down a slippery slope toward a world where any character flaw possessed by a white man is presumed to be linked to racism and/or misogyny. We should think carefully as to whether this is truly what we want.

Covert’s argument is taken a step further by Paul Krugman in an opinion piece in The New York Times entitled “The Angry White Male Caucus.” Krugman argues that Kavanaugh’s supposed entitlement is representative of the segments of the American population that voted for Donald Trump. He claims that these voters were motivated by “racial resentment [that] was and is driven not by actual economic losses at the hands of minority groups, but by fear of losing status in a changing country, one in which the privilege of being a white man isn’t what it used to be.”

Krugman goes on to describe people he knows “who are seething with resentment because they aren’t at Harvard or Yale, or who actually are at Harvard or Yale but are seething all the same because they haven’t received a Nobel Prize.” It should be noted that Krugman is a Yale alumnus and a Nobel laureate.

The problem with Krugman’s analysis is that it fails to distinguish between two very different groups. The first is old-school racists and sexists, who resent people of a different race or sex for merely existing or for demanding equal rights. These people would accurately be characterized by Krugman’s description. The second is those who have been denied the opportunities extended to equally qualified or even less-qualified women and minorities under affirmative action. These people generally support equal rights and equal opportunities but hold different views from the far left on whether current policies are actually achieving those goals.

One of the errors that Krugman makes is to treat all white men as having comparable experiences. Kavanaugh did indeed have a legacy at Yale and go to an elite private school, factors that almost certainly gave him an advantage over most other applicants. However, these other applicants include the overwhelming majority of other white students as well as minorities. In the United States, only 10% of students attend private schools before college. Students of all races from low-income backgrounds are unlikely to apply to elite colleges and universities, even if they have the qualifications, while those minority students who do attend tend to be from economically well-off backgrounds. Furthermore, Asian students are held to more stringent standards than whites in the name of promoting diversity.

To be “seething with resentment” because one was rejected from the college of one’s choice is not a healthy approach to life. On the other hand, it is perfectly reasonable for students to feel a reasonable level of anger at a grossly unfair admissions process and take constructive steps to attempt to change that process for those who come after them. Some may even choose to join groups like Students for Fair Admissions, which is currently suing Harvard and the University of North Carolina to challenge the legality and constitutionality of their admissions processes.

While the references to privilege made by so many in the media are misguided, there is another type of double standard at play that we ought to consider. Many will inevitably treat Kavanaugh’s confirmation as evidence that our country doesn’t care about violence against women. To evaluate this claim, there is an important question that we must ask: How would this case have been handled if Kavanaugh had been accused of an act of violence of comparable severity against another man?

While we do not have such a case involving a Supreme Court nominee, we can look to the 2012 presidential campaign, during which the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, was accused of serious homophobic bullying while he was in high school. According to the accusation, Romney led a group of his friends in a gang assault against a colleague who they believed to be gay because of his long hair. They pinned the student to the ground while Romney forcibly cut off his hair while he cried in agony. Unlike Kavanaugh, Romney did not deny his guilt. Rather, he admitted to the crime but argued that it was irrelevant given his age at the time. The allegation was out of the news in a day, and it was never made a major campaign issue by the Democrats. While there are those who have made similar arguments with respect to Kavanaugh, they did not carry the day. Kavanaugh may have been confirmed in the end, but only because of a lack of evidence to prove the allegations against him, not because they were dismissed on account of his age at the time.

The role that gender plays in how we perceive violence is in no way limited to these two cases. Research has shown that crimes against women are generally punished with longer sentences than when the same offense is committed against a man. Those who murder a woman are seven times as likely to receive the death penalty as those who murder a man. Yes, there are sexual assault cases that never lead to a prosecution or conviction, and this is something that we should work to improve. The cause of this is that the nature of the crime often makes it difficult to prove, especially when the crime goes unreported for years or even decades. It does not arise from 21st-century American society viewing violence against women as acceptable.

The Kavanaugh case posed numerous challenges, and many politicians and pundits on both sides of the aisle were more interested in using it to score political points than in treating it with the seriousness that it deserved. As we move forward, we should seek to elect leaders who will handle any such cases that may arise in the future with far greater dignity and who will respect the legitimate interests that citizens of all races and genders have in ensuring that we get this right.

 

The author is a software engineer. Gideon Scopes is a pseudonym. Given the current climate surrounding political expression in the technology industry, his real name has been withheld.

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The author is a software engineer. Gideon Scopes is a pseudonym. Given the current climate surrounding political expression in the technology industry, his real name has been withheld.

81 Comments

  1. Heike says

    Who knows the hard left group “MoveOn”? Catchy name, eh? Hard to forget, sticks in the brain. Know where they got it from? When Bill Clinton was credibly accused of sexual assault by multiple women who had corroborating evidence, MoveOn was created. Its purpose was to get Congress to ignore these accusations. The theme was, give him a slap on the wrist They just wanted Congress to “Censure and Move On”.

    That’s literally how MoveOn came to be. Grounds for a name change, groveling public apology, and massive fine (charity contribution) paid to the people they harmed, eh? Aw, just kidding, of course that doesn’t apply to Left groups. A CNN reporter mocked Kavanaugh for discredited allegations, and then turned right around and said her homophobic comments were just when she “was in college”. With no sense of irony or double standards. She just brushed it away like it never happened, because of course the rules she applies to others don’t apply to her.

    Citation 1, Citation 2.

    • Agreeable Contrarian says

      This piece is reasonable, and I don’t mean that as a compliment but as a dismissal. The author is way out of his depth.

      Pointing out hypocritical postmodernist behavior to change their ways and calling for us all to work together ignores the gravity of the situation.

      Post-modernists DEPEND on their opponents being reasonable and nothing but reasonable to defeat them. People who call for reason and decry hypocrisy in the face of a barrage of sewage and violent intimidation bring a toothpick to a gun fight.

      You don’t reason with a screaming child. You show the child that serious people have control of the situation and her tantrums are hopeless. Donald Trump understands this in a way most of his colleagues and this author do not. Trump treated Ford for what she was: a debaculous, ecstatic interloper. Whether Kavanaugh tried to de-panty her as young adults or not, it doesn’t matter even a bit. It’s not about her; it’s not about him; it’s about the functioning of the state that protects us all from chaos and utter destruction in a hostile and merciless world.

      Ford should have been whipped and thrown down the steps of the Capitol, as should any man or woman who dared upset the vital workings of a republic for such a puny personal matter. When serious people ran governments, that’s exactly what would have happened. I think our forefathers would have been horrified this situation could be allowed to exist.

      Post-modernism is an industry of immaturity and grievance, dependent on passions such as envy, resentment, and prurience. Reason plays no part but as a red herring to the opponent. Like children with reactive parents, post-modernists always have something to complain about to keep the pathologically reasonable paralyzed. And like the child who rationalizes about why she doesn’t have to go to bed, when you listen and argue, you lose. While you try to reason with the post-modernist about the illogic of his ever-changing and contradictory grievances and correct his insane repurposing and twisting of words, he takes over by pooling the disaffected, promising power, revenge, and spoils to all at once to leverage their loyalty. Thus they intimidate everyone into cooperation and silence with the threat of group retribution, inside and outside. This is not a new trick. It’s a very old one.

      One reasons with the mature and reasonable. With the immature and unreasonable, one applies mature and reasonable force by rule of law, swiftly and evenly. As a society, we have forgotten this law of societal survival, and it’s time we remembered before it’s too late. It’s time to bring back some whoop ass. Can you imagine what would have happened to a demonstrator who had the terrible judgement to berate and physically intimidate a Roman senator in public? He would have been beaten unconscious on the spot for his gross disrespect to the body politic, if he were lucky.

      How is it we have come to the mob dictating our most august lawmakers sit and listen to the complaints of a manipulative ecstatic, as though they were some local police detectives? How have we sunk to letting anyone publicly slander the law as embodied by one of he highest justices in the land during his duties? My god things are upside down. Kavanaugh was right: we are going to reap the whirlwind on this one. Thank god for the Second Amendment.

      • Peter from Oz says

        AG

        You are correct.
        I am always amazed at how simple bad behaviour is not punished anymore by those in authority. Do any of those students who engage in violent demonstrations or who seek to stop others from speaking get expelled or otherwise punished for their reprehensible actions?
        The fact is that so many people on the left are keen to hurt people with whom they disagree, but seem to think they are immune from being chastised themselves.

        • ccscientist says

          As examples, students have held staff in the admin building hostage, have roamed Evergreen campus with baseball bats, and Antifa have recently taken over the streets in Portland. Illegal acts (not mere protesting) should lead to arrests.

      • Quincy says

        What a bunch of trash this comment is. The demonstrable lies that Kavanaugh told under oath to the Senate are a much greater threat to the legitimacy of our institutions and public order than Dr. Ford telling her story. You sound oddly obsessed with maintaining “public order” at any cost, whether through blatant lies or violence. Your twisted logic makes me hope you don’t and never hold any position of power or consequence in our poltical system. As Alexander Hamilton said in the Federalist Papers, violence depolyed for political ends is always self-defeating.

    • CZ Marks says

      Well, no. MoveOn did not start as a response to charges of sexual assault against Bill Clinton by “multiple women who had corroborating evidence”. It started as a response to the attempt to impeach Clinton, ostensibly for lying under oath about having had a consensual affair with Monica Lewinsky. (Did you forget that, or are you intentionally trying to mislead people?)

      It is also pretty clear that the motivation for impeaching Clinton was entirely political. We know that because so many of the people who supported it have no problem (i) confirming a supreme court justice who clearly lied under oath in his senate hearing or (ii) supporting a president whose own lawyers admit they can’t allow him to testify under oath because he can’t string two sentences together without lying and who has not only been credibly accused but openly boasted about his own history of sexual assault.

      • I’m not sure that’s such a damning distinction, nor do I feel even remotely mislead, but thanks for the clarification.

    • Innominata says

      I think Kavanaugh missed a glorious opportunity to fight fire with fire.

      KAVANAUGH SHOULD HAVE COME OUT GAY. Right there in front of the Senate:

      “I have lived closeted as a married man with two daughters, but I am gay. As a pink speedo in Palm Springs. It’s utterly impossible that I could have sexually assaulted Ford, even while drunk. I did a lot of compensating and bro-ing to convince everyone I was a kosher dog, a lot of frat boy beer stuff, but I love johnsons … especially brown ones. I am thinking of a long, veiny, brown johnson right now and getting quite excited.”

      Like Ford’s allegations, it would have put him in the realm of the wholly unverifiable, into the postmodern upside down universe where words are things and truth is what you believe. Suddenly, the narrative would switch to, “Do we believe a man is gay just because he says he is? What IS the burden of proof on being granted a gay identity card?” The Dems would have been the ones with burning questions they absolutely could not ask, like “Under penalty of perjury, how many men have you had sex with? Do you have evidence you are gay? Why should we believe you, you manipulative liar?”

      Meanwhile, the GOP could kick back and watch from the side of the circus as the lions eat the lion tamer: “Justice Kavanaugh, how do you FEEL? What does it FEEL like to have lived your experience as a secreted gay man viciously attacked for simply trying to get along in the cis straight male patriarchy? We all just want to take a moment and say how brave you are, the incredible bravery it must have taken to divulge your deep secret in order to secure justice and expose Christine Blasey “I out closeted men because I’m an attention-seeking lunatic” Ford’s patently false and vicious attack on you.”

      They could then pull out his yearbook and reinterpret every “devil’s triangle” type reference to mean Kavanaugh was the pole smoking champion of Georgetown Prep. All his time spent with other athletic young men would be wholly reframed in the media as evidence that Kavanaugh was engaged in bath house bonanzas on the regular. He wouldn’t have to testify to a thing. All the work would be done for him.

      Hundreds of gay men would have called the Washington Post to report that what Kavanaugh says is absolutely true, that they had anonymous sex in a public bathroom two years ago with a man they are positive was Kavanaugh, and they will testify to the Senate to that effect.

      Christine who?

  2. Bill says

    Believe her accusation, without any proof or corroboration, because she’s a woman and women must be believed..they never lie! Uhm, a good number of innocent black men who died hanging from trees in the South post Civil War would likely strongly disagree with those statements.

  3. Emmanuel says

    Since Clarence Thomas found himself in the exact same situation as Kavanaugh not that long ago, it seems especially stupid to pretend those matters have anything to do with race. An unsupported accusation is still unsupported wether the accused and the accuser are white or black.

    • petros says

      @Emmanuel: “…it seems especially stupid to pretend those matters have anything to do with race…”

      @Bill’s comment wasn’t about race. It was about the innocent wrongly accused by women, which in a certain time and place happened to be black men.

      So it’s not @Bill who’s pretending this has to do with race. That’s you.

      • Emmanuel says

        I was not refering to Bill’s comment but to the article from the Huff Post…

    • Not really comparable, as the Kavanaugh accusation was over 30 years old and referenced his childhood antics. Thomas was accused of much more recent issues, they were ongoing, and were done by professionals in legal power to another lawyer.

  4. Actual Russian Troll says

    Dammit, author! Look at what you wrote here!

    “[T]here have been more DNA exonerations for sexual assault than for all other crimes combined. To suggest that it is “the right thing” to blindly believe any allegation without seeing adequate evidence puts innocent people at risk of facing a similar injustice…”

    and:

    “Perhaps most outlandish was President Trump’s decision to mockingly imitate Ford’s testimony during a campaign rally, which ought to be condemned by anyone who believes that alleged victims of sexual assault deserve to be treated with respect.”

    Do you want your cake or to eat it?

    Do you want “alleged victims” to be treated as sacred cows, or do you want the innocent accused protected from injustice? You may think you can have it both ways, but you can’t. No amount of casuistry is gonna square that circle.

    Say what you like about President Trump, he doesn’t equivocate. He has come down squarely on the side of protecting the presumption of innocence against the onslaughts of mob social justice.

    I haven’t a CLUE what the truth is between Ford and Kavanaugh. Nobody except those two (and maybe not even they) do know. Kavanaugh might have done what she alleges. Nevertheless, I cheered out loud when Trump ridiculed Ford’s swiss cheese testimony. Good grief, it’s about time someone did!

    Trump didn’t find some private woman at a police station who’d been manhandled and drag her in public for amusement. Ford put herself forward willingly as a national symbol, knowing she’d be unable to make the charge stick in any substantial way. Ford volunteered as a flimsy cutout at the head of an army of Democrat lawyers, politicians, and activists with a massive agenda that had absolutely nothing to do with 1982 and everything to do with destroying Trump and anything he tries to do today.

    So yeah, Trump took at shot at the opposing Achilles, and he hit her square in the foot. That’s war for you. And for my part, I hope it doesn’t stop there. I hope Kavanaugh sues Ford for loss of professional reputation and takes every penny she has (he almost certainly won’t). I hope she has to sell all her houses with all their special escape doors in the People’s Democratic Republic of San Francisco.

    I hope the Senate prosecutes her for perjury regarding any fibs that can be legally established she told them, perhaps statements about polygraphs and polygraph coaching, fear of flying, why her house needed extra doors, etc. If Ford gilded her story under oath to manipulate the American public, I hope she goes to prison for the maximum legally prescribed time and has a good, long think about the ethics of leveraging the personal tragedy of so many women in this country and the Senate to do Diane Feinstein’s political wet work.

    I used to vote Democrat. After this, I can’t imagine myself ever doing so again. Socially arbitrated justice is a cancer, and I’m not going to be the steroids to feed it.

    Nor am I going to buy Ford’s multi-million dollar advanced book, or go to the movie starring Meryl Streep, or attend her paid victory tour campus speeches, or enjoy her appearances with Hillary Clinton.

    Condemn Trump’s comments? Please….

    • Bill says

      Judge Kavanaugh paraphrased one party’s argument in a lawsuit — was that mocking them? Judge Kavanaugh clarified how academics speak (“settled law” when it is possible to alter it) — was that mocking them?

      Had President Trump presented himself SNL style with mimicry of speech patterns and such then perhaps it would be fairly described as mocking. Stating question and the synopsis of her response is not mockery any differently than “mocking” HRC’s testimony to the FBI as question, “I don’t recall”, question, “I don’t recall”

      • farmermom says

        The only way that Trump’s comments could be considered mocking is if one considers Ford’s statements patently ridiculous. He merely repeated her responses.

    • Bill says

      And let’s not forget McLean. Prior to Ford’s testimony, the ex-bf had clearly sent his letter outlining the 1992 coaching — hence the Senator’s questioning. That named friend was McLean. McLean who lives in Rehobeth Beach, DE which is where Ford was when she authored her letter. McLean who, per the FBI investigation demanded by the Dem senators, tampered with witnesses encouraging them to alter their statements to go along with Ford (or temper the language so it could be implied)

      We know the 2nd door stuff to be a sham. We know the fear of flying to be a sham. We know the “polygraph took forever” statement to be a sham since the former FBI who administered it has come forward and stated it was only 2 questions (how long did that take?)

      We have DiFi recommending Ford’s attorneys, the mismatch between statements about “private” testimony in her home vs public in DC and whether that was relayed to her (interesting she responded over top of her attorney’s objections).

      Oh yeah, he liked years ago…about being part of a classified discussion he wasn’t read in on (that would be recorded) according to the Dem slander rags. He was blacked out drunk, so he lied! Which was then stated as “I saw him really drunk so he COULD have blacked out.” He was the basis for Tom Cruise’s Risky Business role apparently, until it comes out “well, he was there, leaning against a wall talking to friends while other stuff may or may not have being going on elsewhere at the party (guilt by association from someone with the same six-degrees of Kevin Bacon level of association? perhaps Avanetti’s client was the one running the rape train parties since she was returning from college to attend them).

      Social media? Scrubbed. Blasey’s HS yearbook with “colorful information” was pulled off the internet too with it’s discussion of statutory rape of younger male underclassmen because they enjoyed taking “their innocence.” Etc etc.

      THAT is why no legitimate prosecutor would have ever pursued any of this. It’s also why I feel sorry for Ford who was used and now discarded. Of course, she promoted her FundMes which grew quick, and i’m sure she’ll get invited to many academic conferences and such (too bad she’s afraid to fly to them)

    • Andrew says

      You absolutely can and should have it both ways. Treating sexual assault allegations and alleged victims seriously and respectfully does not prevent you from treating the defendants seriously and respectfully as well. I can be respectful to an accuser and simultaneously exonerate the accused if the evidence is not convincing.

      • Giselle P. says

        @Andrew

        You (and a few other speed readers) replied to something @Troll didn’t say.

        Go back, read it again. Sound out the big words.

        A victim is a woman who files a police report and seeks a criminal investigation through proper channels, not a woman who tries to anonymously torpedo a guy from the opposite coast by contacting his bosses 36 years after the fact, and when that doesn’t work, accuses him in the international press and congress. That’s crazy vengeful bitch behavior, and it makes women as a group look unhinged.

        I don’t care what happened to her. You don’t burn down the justice system to get your way. This isn’t the movies. File a police report like every other woman, and then we’ll give her victim respect. If she wants to be taken seriously, she should act seriously. Otherwise, she should prepare for what’s coming at her, and not complain when the people she attacks and undermines attack her right back.

        • Like Susan Shannon of Everett, WA against Col. Riggins who saw his military career ended by her false allegations. Yes, he won 8.4mil in damages in his lawsuit, but he’ll never see that money nor get his military career back.

    • You can both treat an accuser with respect while not condemning the accused without adequate evidence. You don’t have to lose one to gain the other.

    • I also had trouble with the line “anyone who believes that alleged victims of sexual assault deserve to be treated with respect”.

      Everyone should be treated with respect, but this wording seems to say that sexual assault victims shouldn’t be interrogated or have their character questioned if it is in fact questionable … or something else. I can’t figure out what the slogan “Believe All Women” is really supposed to communicate. It seems to have gone from Listen To Women to Blindly Believe Women, which is madness.

      It is distasteful to harshly interrogate a sexual assault victim, but not so distasteful to interrogate someone who is making a false accusation. It is also distasteful to interrogate a “normal assault” victim who is a woman, or a woman witness in a murder trial.

      The path to justice is distasteful many times, but it is better to suffer this indignity than to start making cutouts for victim groups based on identity. The search for the truth is more important.

      • tds: You need to make allowances for this guy, as a software engineer he may be working in Silicon Valley where he lives up to his ears in this crap everyday and unfortuantely some of it has moved under his skin.
        At least he is trying, most have folded to the madness around them.

    • It should also be noted that the most self righteous moralizers on Trump’s “mocking” of Ford had no problem with celebrating and amplifying SNL’s mocking of Kavanaugh, which was much more mean spirited in nature. This was covered by almost every single mainstream media outlet.

      I’ll stipulate that Kavanaugh is a public figure and should be more open to mocking, but Ford made herself a public figure by choice as well. There was plenty of comedy gold to be mined in Ford’s inconsistencies.

      Trump’s gut instincts prove to be right more often than wrong. It is simultaneously a character flaw and his most redeeming characteristic. There were plenty of people wondering when the media was going to critically examine Ford’s inconsistencies. It didn’t happen, so Trump made it happen in his usual high class manner.

    • She was quite mockable. I’ve known quite a few rape victims who don’t choke up like that when recounting the events. Especially years after. In her case it was barely attempted (if it even was). And when she wasn’t atremble, she was a coy little flower – embarrassing.

    • D-Rex says

      After thinking about it, I don’t believe Trump was mocking Ford, just the holes in her testimony. If he had wanted to mock her personally, he could have put on the cutesy little girl voice that she used to make herself look all small an vulnerable.

    • Parmenides says

      She(blasey ford) didn’t put herself forward. She didn’t even give feinstein permission to publish that letter. @Actual Russian Troll

      That doesn’t mean I don’t think her story is fictitious as they come. What she did with talking to the WaPo insider is completely on her though

    • What? This is a false dichotomy. Once can simultaneously (a) treat alleged victims with respect, and (b) refrain from believing every allegation unquestioningly.

  5. Farris says

    Whether one likes or dislikes Kavanaugh, the bottom line is there was not enough credible evidence to deny him the job. Everything else is just hyperbole.

    • There was actually a lot to be concerned about, though this sex misdirection allowed them to ignore his long-time political lawyering (Starr report, Bush administration) coupled with his attacks on democrats, being pro-Trump, and threatening “what goes around comes around.” There seem to be all sorts of potential perjury issues related to his inability to tell the truth on many matters, but these were all swept away by sensationalism and political maneuvering.

    • Ma Rainey says

      His rant to the committee, conspiracy theory and threats of retaliation were disqualifiers on the face of it, even if he was totally innocent of the accusation.

      • HankTheTank (@TankHank) says

        “His rant to the committee, conspiracy theory and threats of retaliation were disqualifiers on the face of it, even if he was totally innocent of the accusation.”

        Nah, they weren’t. The “angry/biased” defense is just another attempt to discredit him by any and all means necessary. I’m glad some people, like Collins, had the clarity to see through it.

        I would have excused Kavanaugh or anyone shooting the committee or throwing furniture for instigating that circus. The idea that he was supposed to sit there and pretend Ford’s nonsense was anything other than a partisan character assassination is risible. He called it what it was and showed how he felt about it.

        Good for him.

      • Farris says

        Did you think Justice Ginsburg lacked judicial temperament when she endorsed Hillary Clinton and denigrated President Trump?
        “The Code of Conduct for U.S. judges states that a judge shall not “make speeches for a political organization or candidate, or publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office,”
        It sure looks like Ginsburg violated that provision. The code also insists that judges avoid “impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.” Technically, the code does not apply to the Supreme Court, but Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has assured us that he and his fellow justices follow it.”
        https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/opinions/justice-ginsburg-has-some-explaining-to-do/2017/12/06/224d8f0e-da0c-11e7-b859-fb0995360725_story.html

        I apologize for reposting this but thank you for proving the author’s point about “Double Standards” so eloquently.

      • TarsTarkas says

        He wasn’t conspiracy mongering. Kavanaugh, who worked for Kenneth Starr during his investigation of Bill Clinton during his Presidenciy, wanted to reopen the Vince Foster case but was rebuffed. Monica McLean, Ford’s lifelong friend who supposedly was coached by Ford to take a polygraph test (perjury on Ford’s part) is being represented by David Laufman who oversaw the bogus Meh Russia probe AND the Clinton e.mail server probe. Michael Bromwich, who represented Ford at the hearings, is Andrew McCabe’s current lawyer. Yes, THAT Andrew McCabe, who did his best to throw the election to Her Odiousness and then worked to oust Trump after his election and inauguration.

  6. Why when people like Blasey Ford come through with these accusations its always last minute, there always hardcore progressive activists (pussy hatted womans march attendee), in progressive fields (hello psychiatry prof), and there always represented by people that are basically part of the apparatus of the Democratic party? Just once couldn’t this be an apolitical person with a job like nurse or an accountant represented by a solid local law firm? I mean really. This stank from high heaven from day one and I’m tired of this we don’t know what happened blah blah blah. I think its more then reasonable for a person to look at the facts as presented and say that what happened is Dr Ford is lying or mistaken. Based on what we know I feel like I know Kavanaugh did nothing wrong. Obviously if something else came out definitive I would change my mind but THERE HASN”T BEEN ANYTHING ELSE. A rational person makes there decisions based on WHAT IS KNOWN. And that is not an American concept accusers (they are accusers not victims until they prove they are victims!) must be believed. They are entitled to go to the local authorities and make there case. That’s it! That is an alien concept to this great country believing accusers.

    • Alistair says

      Yes. I thought it was curious that Kavanaugh only ever (gang) raped hardline Democratic Activists too. If you were of a conspiratorial cast of mind, you could almost call it suspicious.

      • If the accusation was fabricated as part of a conspiracy, why not provide more details instead of leaving so many blanks? Why not claim an actual rape occurred, instead of an ambiguous attempted rape? Why say that Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge was present instead of a witness who could corroborate Ford’s story? Personally, I found Ford’s testimony to be very believable. Even if the story is true, however, I’m not convinced that Kavanaugh’s bad behavior as a 17-year-old should be disqualifying. His anger was certainly understandable, but I think he would have been better served by admitting that he drank heavily in his youth and did, in fact, black out on more than one occasion. He could truthfully deny that he remembered assaulting Ford while acknowledging that something like the event she described could have occurred.

    • Bill says

      It’s sort of like if a white woman with a Klan background had come forward in Sept 2008 and declared that Barrack Obama had given her a laced joint to smoke back in high school and she woke up raped — with nobody to back her claim, no witnesses, and no recollection of when/where just “sometime back then in Hawaii somewhere.” Sure, there are some on the Right who would have said #believeher! and the Left would have been pointing out it was clearly a setup (like the woman who claimed Trump groped her at a concert at Mar a Lago without realizing that concert date had been cancelled by the artist due to illness.

  7. ga gamba says

    Trump announced his nomination at 9:07 pm EDT of 9 July, and the below are taken from new reports published on that day and 10 July. Within 24 hours, and in same cases minutes after Kavanaugh’s name was announced, many Democrats and leftist organisations declared their firm opposition to the nominee without even having having spoken to the man to ask their questions. That’s one helluva job interview, eh?

    Sen Cory Booker: “His nomination should be a non-starter for every member of the Senate concerned about the integrity of the special counsel’s investigation and worried about the Court undermining the rights of women to make their own medical decisions; civil rights; the rights of Americans to quality, affordable healthcare; voting rights; the rights of workers to organize for better wages and working conditions; and more.”

    Sen Kamala Harris tweeted (at 9:38pm): “Whether or not the Supreme Court enforces the spirit of the words “Equal Justice Under Law,” is determined by the individuals who sit on that Court. Brett Kavanaugh represents a fundamental threat to that promise of equality. I will oppose his nomination to the Supreme Court.”

    Sen Bernie Sanders, in a Facebook video: “The President has just nominated Judge Kavanaugh to be his nominee for a position on the Unite States Supreme Court nominee. We’re going to do everything we can to prevent that from happening.

    Sen Chris Murphy: “I will vote against Judge Kavanaugh and work hard to tell the country what kind of damage he will do if confirmed. There is a fight coming, and I’m ready for it.”

    On the night of 9 July, Democratic senators and activists gathered outside the Supreme Court to pledge a willingness to fight the nominee. “Are you ready for a fight? Are you ready to defend Roe versus Wade?” Sen Sanders asked the crowd of hundreds as Sens Blumenthal, Warren, Booker, Gillibrand, and Merkley joined Sanders at the court.

    As one senior Democratic aide put it: “If we don’t put up a fight, there’s going to be hell to pay.”

    You’ll notice that the battle lines were drawn and the fight was declared prior to that “job interview”.

    Indivisible Project’s Co-Executive Director Ezra Levin: “Our path to victory is narrow, but it’s there. Step one is keeping all Democratic senators together. This is not business as usual and there’s no time to waste. All Democratic senators must come out in opposition right now. A vocal, united Democratic front will focus pressure on Republican senators…

    At 10:09 pm EDT 9 July the Women’s March issued a press release denouncing “Trump’s extremist SCOTUS nominee” XX. Would XX have gotten a fairer job interview than Kavanaugh?

    Glenn Greenwald’s leftwing The Intercept reported: “Activists have suggested to Democratic leaders that the party walk out of the committee hearing in protest or refuse to show up. Neither tactic could on its own block Kavanaugh, but it would put a spotlight on how radical the nominee is and how dire the situation. Given the extremism of the nominee, argue the activists, the process can’t be normalized.

    Normalised. We see this word a lot since Trump was elected. The left declared that nothing Trump would do be allowed to go undisparaged because even regular day-to-day actions common to previous presidents would make the Trump presidency appear normal and, as a consequence, legitimate. A Chicago Tribune headline after the election: Don’t normalize Donald Trump, ‘abnormalize’ him.

    Ironically, the abnormal behaviour is found in the words and actions of many on the left. In nominations past senators took a more measured response. Even if their opposition was assumed, they played their cards close to the chest. They’d mention they have concerns that would be explored during the confirmation process. Still, the comments included compliments. That was the norm. For example, in response to Kagan’s nomination Republican Sen Cornyn’s press released said: “There is no doubt that Ms. Kagan possesses a first-rate intellect, but she is a surprising choice from a president who has emphasized the importance of understanding ‘how the world works and how ordinary people live.’ Ms. Kagan has spent her entire professional career in Harvard Square, Hyde Park and the D.C. Beltway. These are not places where one learns ‘how ordinary people live.'”

    Post-Kavanaugh even the Supreme Court must be ‘denormalised’. The NYT reported on 7 Oct of the left’s new tactics: “Some have gone as far as proposing — if Democrats were to retake control of Congress and the White House in 2020 or after — expanding the number of justices on the court to pack it with liberals or trying to impeach, remove and replace Justice Kavanaugh. Either step would be an extraordinary violation of constitutional and political norms. . . . ‘these sexual assault allegations have created a wave of outrage and challenge to the court’s legitimacy that may even eclipse the impact of the lying’. . . . liberals today are increasingly questioning the legitimacy of the process by which several conservative justices won seats on the court. ‘The legitimacy of the Supreme Court can justifiably be questioned,’ former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. wrote on Twitter. . . . The cloud over his [Kavanaugh’s] presence, [progressive political and policy writer Matthew] Yglesias predicted, will help the left’s ‘necessary delegitimization’ of the court.”

    Necessary delegitimization. That’s sedition.

    The left is so angry about losing this one fight that they’re basically plotting to destroy the judicial institution in a fit of pique. “If we can’t have it our way, then burn it down.”

    People need to realise that many of left, including both present and former elected and appointed officials, are calling for the subversion of the nation’s institutions, i.e. the nation itself. Presently, we see this in action with city mayors and state governors refusing to abide federal laws and court rulings thereby rubbishing their very own oaths of office in which they vowed “to support and defend the Constitution”.

    Some have asked: How far does the left have to go before they’ve crossed the line? Appears sedition is not that line. The next line is treason. We shall see.

    • Circuses and Bread says

      @ga gamba

      I have a different explanation. This confirmation spectacle was just the “circus” aspect of Bread and Circuses. The end result wasn’t much in doubt. But in going through this theatre, both political factions got in a lot of inexpensive virtue signaling to their devotees. Ultimately they increased their power.

      The steady march toward the politicization of damn near everything continues unabated.

      • ga gamba says

        I don’t disagree with you that it turned into a circus, a Kafka-esque one when those who declared “this is a job interview” were the same interviewers who declared their unwavering opposition within minutes of the nomination. What’s the point of interviewing a person for a job when you’ve already decided s/he is ill suited? The purpose was to hunt for gotchas in a theatrical performance to rile the base. Three of the earliest to denounce Kavanaugh are also the three front runners for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Appears positioning themselves requires each to be as polemical as possible, yet they performed this before all, which may have consequences if centrist Democrats find Sanders, Booker, and Harris too far gone over the line.

        It may have backfired. For example, the Guardian has finally opened comments for this topic and the top ones are those that support Kavanaugh and the presumption of innocence. That this is happening in a major centre-left and resolutely anti-Trump newspaper suggests to me people saw through the spectacle.

        • Circuses and Bread says

          This was an incredibly cynical exercise on the part of the two political factions. But let’s not forget that all the significant participants won in the end.

          Ms. F most likely won a lucrative book deal and toast of the town status. Justice K got confirmed. The media got lots of eyeballs and thus ad revenue. Pundits had a new topic to get all apoplectic over. Both political factions have a ripe “bloody shirt” to waive in the midterm elections.

          Heck, even I won. I have yet another shining example of the insanity of politics to point to in my anti politics discussions. This was win-win-win-win. About the only losers I see are the taxpayers who had to pay for this circus. But even they did OK if you subscribe to the broken window theory of economics.

          • Peter from Oz says

            Circuses and Bread

            I agree with you. I kept thinking it was all like something from an Evelyn Waugh novel, where the silliest things are blown up into rabid controversies.
            The Dems had to fire their base of fruit cake lefties with a drama about sex and the GOP had to fire its base by letting the Dems look like utter twits for getting so serious about such a trivial matter.

    • James Lee says

      @ga gamba

      This encapsulates my problem with the “enlightened centrist” responses from IDW members Eric Weinstein, Brett Weinstein, and Jordan Peterson, whom I otherwise greatly respect.

      Many members of the mainstream left—including wealthy elites within the Democratic Party, the NYT, the New Yorker, Silicon Valley, and the Hollywood industry—now advocate for the destruction of the presumption of innocence and for a society where job qualifications and crimes are to be judged on the basis of the race, gender, and political orientation of the accused and accusers. The fact that they can’t see the incredible dangers present in their ideological revolution should give all reasonable people serious pause.

      • James Lee says

        I must have missed it when top Republican Senators and their “journalistic” allies accused Garland of attempted rape, running a high school rape gang, called him evil, and said his supporters were evil, all on the basis of zero corroborated evidence from 30 plus years ago.

        The fact that you see an equivalence is exactly what I am trying to highlight.

      • ga gamba says

        Learn history.

        As a senator more than two decades ago, [former] Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. argued that President George Bush should delay filling a Supreme Court vacancy, should one arise, until the presidential election was over, and that it was “essential” that the Senate refuse to confirm a nominee to the court until then. . . . in a speech on the Senate floor in June 1992, Mr. Biden, then the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said there should be a different standard for a Supreme Court vacancy “that would occur in the full throes of an election year.” The president should follow the example of “a majority of his predecessors” and delay naming a replacement, Mr. Biden said. . . . “Some will criticize such a decision and say that it was nothing more than an attempt to save a seat on the court in hopes that a Democrat will be permitted to fill it, but that would not be our intention,” Mr. Biden said at the time. “It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is underway, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the [presidential] election campaign is over. . . . “That is what is fair to the nominee and essential to the process. Otherwise, it seems to me,” he added, “we will be in deep trouble as an institution.”

        Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/us/politics/joe-biden-argued-for-delaying-supreme-court-picks-in-1992.html

        You may dismount your high horse now, kemosabe.

        • ga gamba says

          That reply was for Ma Rainey and not James Lee; the way replies are formatted here may leave this unclear. Apologies in advance to Mr Lee if he thought my reply was intended for him.

    • A number of us on the right also think the Supreme Court hasn’t drawn a constitutional breath since 1925.

      Our reasons are different but the sense that the Supreme Court does need to be taken down a peg or two is certainly growing.

  8. peanut gallery says

    Paul Krugman, continuing to show that he knows as much about economics as about anything else.

  9. Circuses and Bread says

    I think this a well written article, but, as usual I differ on premises. The author clearly has some problems with the process used to confirm the nomination of Justice K and seems disappointed. Fair enough, but I have to wonder why he or anyone else would expect wise, fair, or positive end results out of an adversarial political process?

    For me this was just another example of politics in full flower. Ultimately politics is all about the acquisition and use of power. When we stand back and look at whether each factions lust for more power was satisfied as a result, then I think both political factions came out swimmingly in the end.

    • Bill says

      I think it’s fair to say that had President Trump nominated Mother Theresa for SCOTUS instead, she would have been shouted down (anti-abortion you see) and we would have seen Dem’s grilling her about the Priest/boy thing ala the “what did you know, and when did you know it?” and using that as justification for saying she isn’t worthy of this “job.” I loved the astroturf “no due process, this isn’t a criminal court, this is just a job interview” talking point that even the loons being interviewed by reporters kept blathering out. Really? GREAT! So then, when each of you goes for a job interview, I can say “I saw you shoplift something when you were 16” and discredit you from getting any job ever…because you know, due process is only for courts of law, it isn’t a standard. Sure am glad those Dem run lynch mobs in the 1940s agreed with them…that due process thing every time “that white woman sez she was raped by that black man!” would have required evidence before the hanging! I mean, lynch mobs are NEVER courts of law.

  10. Does anyone have the exact source for the claim that “there have been more DNA exonerations for sexual assault than for all other crimes combined?”

    • No, but it “sounds reasonable” in that DNA is often left behind in sexual crimes versus say a robbery or murder (other than a physical struggle where DNA is perhaps caught under fingernails or hair samples) and the myriad other crimes that wouldn’t involve DNA. After all, all consensual sex vs. rape allegations cannot be resolved by DNA as the accused admits to having sex.

    • Bulldust says

      I’d suggest looking up the Innocence Project (US based). I think Tim Pool had a YouTube on it recently (The Truth about False Accusations). Worth a look – I like him as he makes a great effort to be neutral in his videos on his main channel.

  11. Daniel says

    “Perhaps most outlandish was President Trump’s decision to mockingly imitate Ford’s testimony during a campaign rally, which ought to be condemned by anyone who believes that alleged victims of sexual assault deserve to be treated with respect.”

    Mocking. You may want to look up what that word means. President Trump did not “mock” her. He summarized her testimony in an accurate and succinct way, exemplifying just how ridiculous it was. Everything he stated during his supposed “mocking” was exactly correct.

    In fact I would go so far as to suggest that the White House handled the whole thing rather well, which is surprising.

    At the end of the day, this whole accusation and the following hearings were a complete and shameful sham; a national tragedy.

  12. RitesaidfRed says

    I have been seriously ticked off when someone lied about me.
    I have been absolutely enraged when those lies could change the course of my life.
    I have lost it a time or two over the lies of evil people.
    “Rage” doesn’t = guilt and a calm demeanor doesn’t = innocence. Ask serial murderers.
    Personal response to a situation often doesn’t = anything.
    I laugh when I am in shock sometimes. I know of others who do as well.
    I don’t think something is funny, though.
    I’ve been accused of flippancy in serious situations do to my “inappropriate response”.
    My spouse jokes that if I’m ever questioned in a criminal investigation I am going to be in trouble due to my “against the norm/expected” comments and reactions.

    • A professor in college accused me of cheating on test re-grade. My over the top nuclear response to that accusation would have made Brett Kavanaugh cringe from the unnecessary invective. I was exonerated after an investigation, but I still feel the heat of that moment.

      • I had a similar experience in college where a professor accused me of cheating on an assignment. I took it all the way to the Dean and was able to demonstrate it was my original work. I was livid and enraged since being accused of cheating meant being kicked from the college and good luck getting into another with “kicked out for cheating” out there.

  13. Tim Wheeler says

    I’m a U.K. citizen but I have always felt aligned with the U.S. Democratic Party. I would definitely NOT describe myself as a Donald Trump admirer.
    However, after her recent wonderful speech, I’d nominate Sr. Susan Collins for President in a flash. Hillary Clinton or any of the Democrats at the Senate Committe Hearings? Not in a Million years! The Democratic leaders have lost all sense of what honourable conduct is – and poison tends to spread down from the head to rest of the body.

    • Circuses and Bread says

      @Tim Wheeler

      Honorable conduct? In politics? While I guess it’s possible to find, I’d suggest that’s sort of like looking for a good pub in Riyadh.

      As an American I do envy Britons their political scientists. American academics have yet to really explore anti politics. If I want to read up on the research, I have to look to British scholarship on the subject.

      • Peter from Oz says

        I suppose the irony is that to pursue anti-politics (a cause I like) one has to use the tools of politics.

        • Circuses and Bread says

          @Peter from Oz

          Yeah. it’s ironic to use some of the same rhetorical techniques and jargon. Quillette is tough because it is a bright and very political audience. But tough is good. To the extent I get arguments, they’re good ones and I learn from it.

          And who knows? Maybe someone will convince me of the error of my ways? I don’t think it’ll happen but I do want to leave open the possibility. Being unwilling to question one’s own beliefs is the mark of a fool and a zealot.

        • Circuses and Bread says

          @Peter from Oz

          I also agree that the same tools used to study politics will be used to study anti politics. I don’t have much of a problem with that so long as we’re talking use of a consistent and scientific approach. So long as anti politics remains a fringe phenomenon, it’s just another odd and unusual bug for the political scientists to study. When and very much if anti politics becomes a thing, I would expect the normal patterns of political bias to seep in.

          • Peter from Oz says

            C&B

            For what it’s worth I am also very anti-politics. My main reason is that so much political argument is really about threshold issues and not about things that matter. This is very true about a lot of left wing thought. Thus if a right winger says anything about immigration, the left will try to make the discussion about racism, when racism is completely irrelevant. I’m not even certain whether the leftists who do this really give a hoot about racism so much as they have an inbuilt prejudice against anyone who would argue against it.
            I once said to a lefty that if he was so worried about racism as a tangible evil he should campaign against immigration. He looked puzzled. If there was no immigration, then there would be far less racism, because the nasty white people would have no foreigners against whom they could vent their racist ideas.
            Mine was the anti-political solution. His was the political one: create a problem so you can be self righteous and superior to your neighbours and encourage political action. It’s like giving a patient a disease so you can try a quack remedy on them.

    • And now it’s coming out that the Obama administration IN ADVANCE of the 2016 election had developed a “Russian Collusion” story to be used when HRC won and Trump refused to accept the election results. So does that make the prior (D) administration complicit?

  14. Bulldust says

    I find the most alarming point that the author feels the need to use a pseudonym. I totally understand why, of course, as I work in a State Government institution. Some of the views Bulldust espouses would no doubt trigger people in the HR section.

  15. Anonymous Coward says

    “Perhaps most outlandish was President Trump’s decision to mockingly imitate Ford’s testimony during a campaign rally, which ought to be condemned by anyone who believes that alleged victims of sexual assault deserve to be treated with respect.” < Trump's comment was accurate, and there's the rub – allegations so badly supported by (no) evidence were extremely unlikely to succeed in a court of law, never mind in an environment like this. THis has probably done more damage than good to all sorts of initiatives from treating rape victims with respect to movements like #MeToo. The only good news is it's probably seen peak political assassination by sex alegation,

    • TarsTarkas says

      I doubt it. They came damned close to derailing Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Supreme Court. They succeeded with Roy Moore (whom for I shed no tears), Herman Cain, Admiral Ronny Jackson, among others, and have forced a couple of Reps running for reelection this year out of their respective races. I suspect they will consider this battle just a temporary defeat. #MeToo has been coopted (having taken down too many Leftist feminist-supporting men) and has now become a part of the Alinskyite playbook. Only massive defeat at the polls can possibly stop them.

  16. Grantley says

    Here’s why, to all those opening questions; the more details an accuser provides the more likely factual details can be verified and bogus details falsified. However, a 100% certainty of the accused’s identity is emotionally compelling and can’t be clinically challenged. As it stood, many of her details were retconned to suit observed inconsistencies. Suppose she’d said it happened at her friend’s house; suddenly we can investigate something; for instance the door that triggered her PTSD, her fear of flying that seems to disappear several times a year but can’t handle a two hour domestic flight. Literally all her verifiable details worked to undermine her credibility. And the details regarding the attendees were denied by those same people. Since she can’t say where or when it happened, the accused couldn’t even begin to assert an alibi. Not one detail played in her favour, but her 100% certainty about who assaulted her and her one beer limit are taken by the left as proven facts.
    And the Left offered a moving target. The initial thrust was to search for the inevitable parade of decades of victims common to abusers cf Bills Clinton and Cosby. That didn’t happen so suddenly Kavanaugh became that unicorn who, unlike all the rapists in the Left’s mind, committed exactly one sexual assault. (His other accusers were almost instantly dismissed as frauds.) None of the girls he coached, the women in his employ, his associates, none came forward with similar stories. Again, this flies in the face of the received wisdom, “once a rapust, always a rapist” – like, say Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, etc.
    I know nothing about Kavanaugh. I’m not even American. My only concern is the process because it is so fragile and subject to erosion by the best of intentions.

  17. “…..Krugman argues that Kavanaugh’s supposed entitlement is representative of the segments of the American population that voted for Donald Trump. He claims that these voters were motivated by “racial resentment [that] was and is driven not by actual economic losses at the hands of minority groups, but by fear of losing status in a changing country, one in which the privilege of being a white man isn’t what it used to be.”
    This self-anointed genius mastermind now a Nobel Prize laureate will become even more insufferable!
    I AM SICK OF THE LYING LEFT MISCHARACTERIZING cultural conservatives as “racists”. It is the existence of an American nation that mastermind laureates deny. They feign total ignorance of what American culture is. They claim American Culture is white supremacy!
    Remember all those WW2 movies in which soldiers encounter each other at night and no password is known? “OK pal, tell me who won the World Series last year?” or “who would you rather sleep with B. Grable or B. Hope?” Access to a common pool of cultural points in the American national constellation determined nationality. NOT THE LEGAL DOCUMENT OF CITIZENSHIP!
    Most healthy societies have loyalty to their culture. Is Willie Mays or Satchmo or Jimi Hendrix beyond the realm of AMERICA? Is Ben Carson hated by the Trump voters? NO. Do not dare call American nationalists racists! And we should begin reminding ourselves that Blacks as immigrants to America (yes as slaves) are second only to the English in seniority of immigrants. The Left is attempting to peel of blacks from the American nation. This cannot ne allowed to go unanswered. Do not tell me an African-American is as foreign as a Somali or Syrian or Nicaraguan immigrant.

  18. “as senators from both parties appeared more interested in advancing their own political goals by any means necessary than in making their best effort to discover the truth.”

    I find this a sloppy throw-away assessment used far too often when comparing political party conflicts. This completely ignores how this hearing came to be, it wasn’t the will of both sides of the aisle to “discover the truth” in public subjecting one party to public humiliation, vilification and personal destruction. It was the political strategy of the other side in suppressing the allegation until the most damaging moment to leak it, betraying it’s confidentiality commitment to the accuser, in service to it’s goal to derail the candidates nomination, and to do so with the most vile accusation possible. “I’d rather by accused of murder than sexual assault,” one columnist noted. Indeed, virtually all men would.

    Did both right and left have political goals, of course, but did both sides use “any means necessary” tactics, no they did not. Both sides may not have been equally interested in “the truth” but one side initiated an investigation virtually immediately, the other refused to participate. To evaluate the relative bad behavior of both sides may not have been the objective of the article, but to dismiss the glaring differences is disingenuous.

  19. JayDee says

    Like all good movements tainted by the Twitter mobs, the MeToo movement has resulted in more chaos than a real, tangible movement to culturally weed out assault and harassment. In the process, it has lost nuance and has reached the zenith of depravity – being used to further political agendas and treat people as mere pawns in the game. Nice article here outlining specific issues with the movement. https://unherd.be/articles/staff/why-i-vehemently-oppose-the-metoo-movement.html
    I had a friend who was unfairly accused, last year, of a crime he did not commit, and we watched how his life was torn apart. It’s been a year and he’s still attempting to pick up the pieces. We need some sanity in this discourse. Epithets like #believeallwomen are ridiculous and patently false.

  20. redpony says

    Good example of why Quillette is an absurd affront to reason. Yes, Twitter mobs have become a danger. Yes, they have assumed more power than would seem possible or should be tolerated. But there is absolutely no equivalence between a Twitter mob and the Supreme Court. It is frankly silly to perform a deep analysis of social media as if it were somehow meaningful in the larger scheme of things.

    Yes, the Kavanaugh hearings were a travesty. They were political, like everything else that happens in DC. The presumption of innocence is a bedrock principle of the West and is not limited to court rooms, so the argument vis a vis job interview is a red herring.

    Having said that, any objective review of Kavanaugh’s record should have barred him from consideration. Just take his involvement in the authorization of torture under Bush, or his role in helping to end the recount in Florida during the 2000 election. Does Quillette support torture or the judicial overreach of subverting the will of the people?

    Regarding temperament, just look at Kavanaugh’s 200k debt on baseball tickets and how it was mysteriously expunged. And lastly, his talking back and combativeness during the Ford hearing went way beyond personal defense. He essentially declared that the proceedings were illegitimate and that he had no respect for the process or the Democrats asking him questions, as if he were above the law. This is not normal.

    In such a scenario – another erosion of our democracy – charges of elitism are totally relevant and largely proved by the result. To blame those aware of this travesty for the expression of emotion that may have overwhelmed them is a cheap shot, which seems to be Quillette’s larger modus operandi. This is a publication that takes such pains to decry partisan politics and yet engages in them stealthily.

  21. Robert Paulson says

    “To assume otherwise is to take the first steps down a slippery slope toward a world where any character flaw possessed by a white man is presumed to be linked to racism and/or misogyny. We should think carefully as to whether this is truly what we want.”

    This is what they truly want. That much should be clear by now.

  22. Elizabeth says

    It’s not correct to say that neither Ford or Kavanaugh’s accounts were corroborated. Kavanaugh’s diaries corroborated his account.

  23. Victoria says

    “Perhaps most outlandish was President Trump’s decision to mockingly imitate Ford’s testimony during a campaign rally, which ought to be condemned by anyone who believes that alleged victims of sexual assault deserve to be treated with respect.”

    I’m glad he mocked her. Trump is boorish and unkind at times, but he also is useful at calling the Emperor naked.

    Her testimony was utterly mendacious: the voice incongruous with her age, the know-nothing posture incongruous with her professional standing and Ph.D. level of education, her laughing and smiles when supposedly recounting great trauma, her ever evolving story on when and who was at the supposed party, her claim of not knowing whom to turn to when her BFF turns out to be a veteran FBI agent and attorney, and her possible perjury with regard to polygraphs. And oh yes, the rather critical fact that no alleged witness named by her supported her claims.

    Any rote “respect” to which she was entitled vanished in the face of the actual details, which make her look like a person consciously bringing false accusations. Once again the average Quillette writer is far more entangled in left purity politics than they recognize.

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