Tara Reade, a former staffer for Senator Joe Biden has come forward with a credible story of rape by the senator, and the Democrat Party, including every Democrat member of the Senate has refused to support her demand for a hearing. This is the same party that until this accusation surfaced had rallied around the slogan “Believe All Women,” and gone to the wall to destroy the reputation and career of Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the basis of the flimsiest accusations of sexual assault when he was a teenager 37 years previously. To understand the depths of hypocrisy and bad faith to which the Democrat Party has descended it is well to remember the basic details of the Kavanaugh case.
Six months into the Trump administration, the president announced his nomination to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. The nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, was a conservative DC Circuit Court of Appeals judge and a Roman Catholic. Despite a stellar judicial career and a previous Senate confirmation to the DC Court, Trump’s choice triggered a confrontation between Senate Democrats and Republicans. This confrontation was characterized by unprecedented venom directed at the candidate himself, along with a disturbing disregard for what had previously been regarded as a fundamental principle of American law: the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The ensuing drama demonstrated how the radical Morality Play had become a controlling theme of the nation’s politics.
Immediately upon Trump’s announcement of the Kavanaugh nomination, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer held a press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court. Flanked by all 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would hold the confirmation hearings, Schumer declared: “I’m going to fight this nomination with everything I’ve got.” His statement rendered the scheduled hearings a perfunctory exercise, in which Democrats would be bound to treat them not as an occasion to examine Kavanaugh’s record and weigh the evidence, but to attack Kavanaugh and come up with pretext for blocking a choice they had already made up their minds about.
When the hearings began on September 4, 2018, Senator Chuck Grassley, the committee chair, was unable to finish his first words of welcome before Democrat senators led by Kamala Harris and Cory Booker began interrupting him and calling for an adjournment. They did so with such intensity and disregard for committee protocol that Republican Senator John Cornyn was prompted to describe their behavior as “mob rule.” The Democrats protested that they didn’t have time to read the documents, but the fact that they had already declared their unalterable opposition to the nomination, exposed this as a transparent pretext.
Abetting the Democrats’ obstructionist agenda was an actual mob of women led by Linda Sarsour, who had filled the hearing gallery and were screaming, “This is a travesty of justice!” “Women Rise Up!” and similar slogans. The disruptions in the gallery continued throughout the day and throughout the hearings, resulting in hundreds of removals and arrests by the Capitol Police.
Democrats on the committee defended the mob disruptions as “democracy in action,” and an exercise of free speech. They were deferred to by several Republicans, including the chairman, Senator Grassley who called the mob spectacle a case of “free speech.” Grassley was following the Republican Party’s general strategy of appeasement in the face of such outrages, attempting to show that Republicans were “reasonable” and not engaged in the war on women of which they were being accused. In fact, free speech had nothing to do with these outbursts which were more properly described as fascistic. “Free speech” could easily have been exercised outside the hearing chambers, and outside the building. Instead this was a concerted attempt to disrupt and obstruct the hearings. It was a direct attack on the process itself, and of course on the Republicans who were being accused of conducting an assault on women by holding them at all.
The disruptions were a strategic effort to create an alternative narrative for the proceedings themselves – to cast them as an orchestrated attack on women, who were cast as abused, unheeded, and vulnerable victims, requiring protection from white men. “These white men, old by the way,” offered View host Joy Behar in a typical media comment, “are not protecting women. They’re protecting a man who is probably guilty.” And how, exactly, would she or the protesters know that?
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkeley defended the gallery mob, which was calling for a verdict and punishment before the trial. Of the rioters inside the committee chambers, Senator Merkeley said: “It was a gutsy thing to do for women treated awfully by powerful white men as if they are the problem instead of an honest presenter of information. And what happened? Well, this crew of white Republican men proceeded to treat these individuals as if they are dishonest, unacceptable, and even as if they’re the criminal that needs to be prosecuted. It’s a horrific, horrific conduct by my colleagues.”
Only in a severely disfigured political environment could these racist attacks on the Republican committee members, and defenses of a mob attack on congressional proceedings not be regarded with outrage and disgust. The history of previous confirmation hearings showed that in fact the old white males on the Republican side were quite fair to their ideological opponents. Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the conservative Republicans on the committee, for example, had voted to confirm extreme leftist Obama nominee, Sonia Sotomayor.
As judges of women candidates, Republican senators on the judiciary committee had proven to be fair to a fault. The first woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor, was nominated by Republican and white male Ronald Reagan. In 1993 Bill Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg to become the second. At the time, Ginsburg was general counsel for the leftwing American Civil Liberties Union. She was a militant feminist who had created the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. Hers was obviously not a resume designed to endear her to Republican senators. But upon her nomination, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch accompanied her through her preliminary interviews with his Republican colleagues, who recognized the importance of including women on the Court. When the vote was finally taken, she was approved by 96 senators – the majority of them white, Christian and male. Only three votes were cast against her.
In contrast to the sexist caricature the protesting mob and their Democrat abettors were using to attack Kavanaugh, he had actually been in his professional life one of the strongest advocates for women. In the words of the New York Times, “during his 12 years at the DC Circuit court, the majority of Justice Kavanaugh’s law clerks were women — 25 of 48 — and during his confirmation hearings he testified that he had graduated more of them to clerkships at the Supreme Court than any other federal judge.”
Kavanaugh had already been confirmed once for his current seat on the DC court, and was the author of over 300 judicial opinions available for review. He had received the highest rating from the liberal American Bar Association. He was a family man, who coached the basketball teams on which his two young daughters played, and had an unblemished career during 40 years of public service. There was really no prospect of disqualifying him on the basis of his record, and no prospect of defeating his nomination given the Republican majority in the Senate. But these considerations didn’t deter the Sarsour mob or the Democrats on the committee from proceeding with an attempt to destroy his reputation and career.
As the hearings drew to a close in late September, and Kavanaugh’s confirmation appeared inevitable, the ranking Democrat on the committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, produced a letter she had been holding since early July with an explosive charge. The letter was written by a woman who accused Kavanaugh of an assault with sexual overtones, which she alleged had taken place 37 years before at a party where only a handful of people were present. Both the accuser and Kavanaugh were high school students at the time the incident was supposed to have taken place, and alcohol was present.
It is hard to imagine another context in which a committee of the United States Senate would agree to hear such a complaint. The parties were too young, the incident had never been reported and was too far in the past, and no actual sex had taken place. Moreover, the accuser was exceptionally hazy about the facts, and attempted to change them several times. She could not remember what year the alleged incident took place, whether it was in 1980 or 1982 – i.e., whether she was 13 or 15 years old, or, as she also said, “in her late teens,” which was a time when Kavanaugh was already at Yale. She could not remember where the party took place, or who invited her, or how she got there or how she got home when she left, even though her home by her own account was a twenty-minute drive away. Each of the four individuals she named as having been at the scene, including her best friend, Leland Keyser, who was the only other girl present, denied they had ever attended such a party. When interviewed, Keyser denied she had ever even met Brett Kavanaugh.
In her description of the alleged incident, Ford named a second assailant, claiming that the two boys were so drunk they rolled off her fully clothed body before anything more serious could transpire, and began “scrapping with each other,” which allowed her to escape. According to her testimony, she had to pass by the three other people who were in the house as she left, including her best friend Leland. But in fleeing the house she did not tell – or warn – her best friend about what she was now describing as an attempted rape, nor did she report the incident to the authorities. She did not even discuss it later with Keyser, who – if she had actually been there – might have wondered why her friend left so abruptly. She did not discuss it with her parents. She was worried, she told the Washington Post that she would get in trouble for attending a party where alcohol was present. She also told the Post: “My biggest fear was, do I look like someone just attacked me?”
She didn’t mention the incident to anyone for more than thirty years. But now that Kavanaugh had been nominated by Trump for a Supreme Court seat and was ferociously opposed by the political left, she was suddenly determined to press her charge, and to do so without any credible corroborating evidence as to whether it had even taken place. Explaining her decision to come forward she wrote: “I felt guilty, and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything.”
Ford could not be unaware of the damage such an accusation would inflict on the Supreme Court nominee and his family, how once aired before a national audience they would blight the Kavanaughs’ lives, and tarnish a forty-year exemplary career. Yet she went ahead with her charge anyway, spurred on by the Democrat senators on the committee. Shamefully, the Republicans acquiesced in this reckless and destructive exercise. They were unwilling to risk offending the sensibilities of the hour or, more likely, fearful of how the Democrats would exploit them if they took a commonsense stance, and refused to allow unsubstantiated accusations to be aired before a national audience.
The accuser was a Stanford psychology professor named Christine Blasey Ford. The moment Kavanaugh’s nomination became public, Ford sent letters to Senator Feinstein and Democrat congresswoman, Anna Eshoo, and also to the Washington Post, detailing her allegations. She did so with the express intent of keeping her identity hidden, and protecting her own privacy. According to her lawyer, a top Democrat operative and campaign donor, she was “terrified” of having her identity known. Before launching her campaign she scrubbed her social media pages to hide the fact that she was a political radical, a Democrat donor, and a fierce opponent of president Trump, along with other clues to her possible motives.
This was perhaps the most revealing aspect of Ford’s behavior – her determination to keep her identity concealed while striking a massive blow at Kavanaugh’s reputation, career, and life. Few rights are more basic to America’s democracy than the right of individuals to confront and cross-examine their accusers. It is the right not to be subjected to character assassination by witnesses who remain faceless and protected from inquiries into their veracity and motives. This right separates us from tyrannies and star chamber proceedings. It is the cornerstone of “due process,” the presumption of innocence until – and unless – proven guilty. As a right it is enshrined in the “confrontation clause” of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. It is considered so fundamental that even child victims of molestation are required to confront their accusers in court.
Without consulting Ford, the Democrats leaked her name to the press, probably realizing that a faceless accuser would lack the credibility necessary to kill the Kavanaugh nomination. This led the committee to summon Ford to testify. She responded by saying she could not make the trip to Washington because she was afraid of flying – a fear she claimed was the result of the trauma she had allegedly suffered 37 years earlier at the hands of the teenager Brett Kavanaugh. In a show of empathy, the Republican majority offered to interview her in California. But the offer was never communicated to her by the Democrat lawyers who represented her. Perhaps they calculated that her public appearance as a witness would best advance their political goals. After delaying the Judiciary Committee hearings for a week, she arrived in the nation’s capital to testify.
Christine Ford’s determination to destroy Kavanaugh and his family while she remained anonymous, should have sounded alarm bells about her character to her Democrat sponsors as well as to Kavanaugh’s Republican defenders. But no one questioned her about this, or so much as mentioned it in the course of the proceedings. To doubt a woman accusing a man of sexual assault was virtually unthinkable in the atmosphere created by the #MeToo movement and its advocates. “Believe women” was a political slogan of this movement, a tag line on T-shirts and even the message of a full page ad in the New York Times.
This kind of silence protected Ford from aggressive cross-examination throughout the hearings. It was a privilege denied to Kavanaugh, who was the target of nasty, character assaulting questions and accusations throughout. This disparity would not have been possible without the left’s success in imposing its ideological views about sexual hierarchies, “toxic masculinity” and oppressive male behavior on the nation’s political culture.
To a man, the Republican senators on the Judiciary committee were so cowed by the prospect of confronting a woman claiming sexual assault, and by their vulnerability as “old white males” that they relinquished their right to cross-examine the accuser altogether. Throughout the entire proceedings, not one Republican senator directly confronted Ford about the multiple inconsistencies, lies, and gaps in her testimony. Instead they joined Democrats’ in praising her willingness to come forward, commiserated with her that she had been forced to do so by her Democrat sponsors, and even affirmed the “credibility” of her selective memory of the distant past. To insulate themselves from attacks on their alleged “sexism,” they yielded all their question time to a prosecutor, who specialized in sex crimes, and who was female.
The prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, was a seasoned and shrewd interviewer who led Ford through a series of non-confrontational questions about her claims, which had the effect of disarming her. “I just wanted to tell you,” Mitchell said at the outset, “the first thing that struck me from your statement this morning was that you are terrified, and I just wanted to let you know I’m very sorry. That’s not right.”
In the interview with Ford, the prosecutor was hampered by the fact that she was standing in for eleven Republicans and had to break her questioning into five minute segments. In the intervals, the Democrats on the Committee acted as Ford’s defense attorneys providing her with counsel and support. Senator Kamala Harris took her five minutes to tell Ford “I believe you,” and to justify the silence she had kept for nearly forty years. Others gave her useful advice on how to deflect attention from her memory lapses and inconsistencies. But despite these interruptions, the prosecutor was able to maintain her focus and casual tone with the result that Ford unwittingly revealed how calculating a liar she actually was.
Ford’s claim to the committee that she could not testify because of her fear of flying was designed both to protect her anonymity and also to establish that her trauma from the alleged encounter with Kavanaugh had lasted for 37 years and persisted into the present. It was crucial evidence of the damage the teenage Kavanaugh had allegedly done. The persistence of the trauma also provided a plausible reason for her to have come forward only after thirty-seven years of silence. But, as the prosecutor’s questioning revealed, it was all made up.
MITCHELL: I also saw on your C.V. that you list the following interests of surf travel, and you [note], in parentheses “Hawaii, Costa Rica, South Pacific islands and French Polynesia.” Have you been all to those places?
MITCHELL: By airplane?
MITCHELL: And your interests also include oceanography, Hawaiian and Tahitian culture. Did you travel by air as a part of those interests?
Realizing that she had exposed her own mendacity and undermined her case, Ford immediately attempted to retrieve the situation. But her defenses had been so lulled by the prosecutor’s friendly and seemingly meandering questions that her attempt to “explain” herself came out exceptionally lame:
FORD: Easier for me to travel going that direction when it’s a vacation.
At this very point, it was Democrat senator Amy Klobuchar’s turn to question the witness. Klobuchar simply ignored the exchange, even though it had exposed the fact that Ford had lied to the Judiciary Committee about not being able to fly to Washington and about the trauma of the incident persisting into the present. Klobuchar was uninterested in these revealing details. Instead she coached Ford on how to defend her uncorroborated and poorly remembered claims:
KLOBUCHAR: You know, with my memory of things, I remember distinctly things that happened to me in high school, or happened to me in college, but I don’t exactly remember the date, I don’t exactly remember the time, I sometimes may even not remember the exact place where it occurred. But I remember the interaction. Many people are focused today on what you’re not able to remember about that night. I actually think you remember a lot. I’m going to phrase it differently: Can you tell us what you don’t forget about that night?
The alleged fear of flying was not the only significant lie that Ford told in an effort to provide credibility for her case. In her letter to Senator Feinstein, she had asserted, without going into any detail: “I have received medical treatment regarding the assault.” What this sentence failed to mention was that the medical treatment was a therapy session she attended with her husband, and that it had taken place in 2012, thirty years after the fact. Moreover, when the therapist’s notes were examined, there was no mention of Kavanaugh’s name.
What the therapy session provided was a pretext for inventing another psychological effect that she claimed had resulted from the three-decades-old alleged trauma. “The reason this came up in counseling,” Ford explained to Democrat senator Dianne Feinstein, “is that my husband and I had completed a very extensive, very long remodel of our home and I insisted on a second front door, an idea that he and others disagreed with and could not understand. In explaining why I wanted a second front door, I began to describe the assault in detail.” Ford went on: “Anxiety, phobia and PTSD-like symptoms are the types of things that I’ve been coping with. More specially, claustrophobia, panic and that type of thing.”
FEINSTEIN: “Is that the reason for the second front door? Claustrophobia?”
This statement by Ford was entirely false. The real estate records showed that the remodel took place in 2008, not at the time of the 2012 therapy session as she claimed. Moreover, it was designed to create a self-contained rental unit in the house, which required a separate entrance. The records also showed that Ford had rented the unit to students.
Inventing two brazen lies designed to make her case against Kavanaugh seem credible, was significant and troubling. But not one of the 21 senators on the committee – Republican or Democrat – confronted her over them.
This provided a stark contrast to their treatment of Kavanaugh. When Senator Richard Blumenthal questioned Kavanaugh, his opening remark was this:
BLUMENTHAL: You are familiar with “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” are you not?
The Latin phrase “false in one thing, false in all things” was a reference to the legal principle provided to jurors that says that a witness can be regarded as false in everything if he says one thing that is not true. “The core of why we’re here is really, credibility,” Blumenthal explained. Such accusatory interrogation was par for the course for Kavanaugh during the hearings. But no one – not one Democrat or Republcian – questioned his female accuser’s credibility. Blumenthal was actually the last person who should have questioned anyone’s credibility. He had notoriously claimed in his political campaigns to have served in Vietnam. In fact, he was never in Vietnam, had sought at least five military deferments and eventually joined the Marine Reserve where he was effectively guaranteed not to serve in the conflict itself.
The double standard which made it appropriate to attack the accused male’s credibility but not the female accuser’s, which cast the male as guilty before the fact and the female as innocent even after the facts showed she was not, persisted throughout the hearings. It extended even to a last gasp charade when Democrats trotted out Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook and tried to convict him of being a fall-down violent drunk. No one brought up Ford’s high school yearbook which boasted of parties where the agenda was to get so plastered the partier blacked out.
Of course, no one should have brought up either of the high school yearbooks. More importantly, no one should have provided a public platform for accusations about an alleged incident between two teenagers 37 years in the past, where alcohol was present and the accuser could not remember key facts, and did not even claim that a rape took place. But the feminist Morality Play and the Democrats’ agenda to kill the Kavanaugh nomination, along with Christine Blasey Ford’s political vendetta required it.
What were Ford’s motives in bringing her charge? “I felt guilty,” she had written in her letter to Feinstein, “and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything.” Guilty? Compelled as a citizen? What did this have to do with a personal incident that allegedly happened decades earlier? Ford never went to the authorities, never sought help from medical or psychological facilities set up for that purpose. Whatever did or did not happen on the evening in question, Brett Kavanaugh had lived an exemplary public and family life in the nearly four decades that followed. By all accounts, he had been exceptionally supportive of women. Why would that require a campaign to destroy him? Or to feel guilt for deciding not to pursue his destruction? The only possible reason would be political. But no one interrogated her about such a motive – another giant lacuna created by the imperative to protect the presumably fragile female accuser, and not to make her feel uncomfortable.
Christine Ford first told her story to the Washington Post, whose editors had never endorsed a Republican presidential candidate and whose paper was a leading voice in the attacks on the Trump administration. She then went to two Democrat congresswomen, took on a high level Democrat political operative along with a former Obama official as her lawyers. Although no one thought to ask her, Ford was a regular Democrat Party donor herself, a political activist who had participated in the Women’s March, and signed a petition with other health professionals to protest Trump’s border policies. How deep was her political activism, how extensive her partisanship? These remained unasked and therefore unanswered questions. As a result, her political agendas remain somewhat opaque, but enough of them is known to provide a reasonable cause for her attempt to sabotage the Kavanaugh nomination, and destroy the man and his family in the process.
For Kavanaugh himself, the hearings were a public crucifixion. As he began his opening statement, his composure was already visibly cracking: “The day after the [Ford] accusation appeared, I told this committee that I wanted a hearing as soon as possible, to clear my name. I demanded a hearing for the very next day. Unfortunately, it took the committee ten days to get to this hearing. In those ten long days, as was predictable, and as I predicted, my family, and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations.”
Throughout his testimony, Kavanaugh’s anguish was transparent, reducing him to tears at one point as he told of his youngest daughter’s request that the family pray for his accuser. He denied the allegations “unequivocally and categorically,” and said: “The truth is that I have never sexually assaulted anyone—not in high school, not in college, not ever.” He warned that, “the consequences extend beyond any one nomination. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country.”
The additional damaging accusations, to which Kavanaugh referred, came from two women who stepped forward with preposterous character-destroying claims that the Democrats in their zeal to discredit a political opponent claimed to find credible. One accused Kavanaugh of attending ten parties where there were gang rapes, which he assisted by spiking the punch with drugs. Kavanaugh had already been subjected six times to background checks by the FBI in conjunction with his high-level appointments. During all those investigations, there was not even a rumor of teen gang rape parties in the circles he frequented, let alone an accusation that he had attended them.
As the hearings drew to a close, and the Democrats continued their assault, one Republican finally had enough, and abandoned the decorum that had provided a protective cover for the shameful attacks on the nominee and his family. A furious Lindsey Graham erupted on the dais to accuse senate Democrats of “the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics…. What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020…. When you see [Democrat Justices] Sotomayor and Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello because I voted for them. I would never do to them what you’ve done to this guy.”
GRAHAM: Are you a gang rapist?
GRAHAM: I cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through. Boy, you [Democrats] all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you knew about [Ford’s letter] and you held it. You had no intention of protecting Dr. Ford; none. She’s as much of a victim as you are. God, I hate to say it because these have been my friends. But let me tell you [Kavanaugh], when it comes to this, you’re looking for a fair process? You came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend….
Your high school yearbook — you have interacted with professional women all your life, not one accusation… Here’s my understanding, if you lived a good life people would recognize it, like the American Bar Association has, the gold standard. “His integrity is absolutely unquestioned. He is very circumspect in his personal conduct, harbors no biases or prejudices. He’s entirely ethical, is a really decent person. He is warm, friendly, unassuming. He’s the nicest person.” — the ABA….
To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no [on the Kavanaugh nomination], you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics. [To the Democrats:] You want this seat? I hope you never get it.
[To Kavanaugh:] I hope you’re on the Supreme Court, that’s exactly where you should be. And I hope that the American people will see through this charade.
This was the most – perhaps the only – honest moment of the hearings. What Graham got wrong was calling Ford a victim. She is a character assassin. Graham’s misplaced sympathy was his genuflection to the feminist witch-hunt that had made the whole travesty possible. It was the gentlemanly thing to do, but it didn’t reflect the reality of what this hateful woman had done. Christine Blasey Ford – aided, abetted and prodded by the Democrats – was the perpetrator of a reprehensible crime against a good and decent man. It was also a crime against her country, which cannot exist without the equal treatment of all – male as well as female; or without the presumption of innocence, the right to cross examine an accuser and to protect the innocent through due process.