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Saturday
Sep292018

Who Wants to Know the Truth About Kavanaugh and Ford?

I watched or listened to most of the hearing the day Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh were interviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. I felt more sympathy for Dr. Ford, who seemed nervous and determined to be truthful and open, and I had a negative reaction to Judge Kavanaugh, who seemed arrogant, entitled, and vengeful in his anger and who seemed to think that the privileged life he was given was something he earned. But I have no idea who was telling the truth about what happened or didn’t happen between them when they were in high school. I would even suggest that anyone who is certain about what happened is allowing their biases to make them irrational. I do believe that an FBI investigation has a chance of finding out more, not necessarily about what took place on the day in question, but about Brett Kavanaugh’s drinking habits in high school and his general behavior toward women. It might shed some light on Dr. Ford’s typical activities that summer and who else she mentioned her assault to over the years. Such an investigation could provide enough witnesses who were at the party to which they referred to make it likely that Kavanaugh did or didn’t do what he’s accused of, but that’s unlikely.

Many people are intensely critical of the Senate. I am too. With a few exceptions, none of the senators appeared interested in learning what happened, but instead were interested in making their own political statements. The only real information came from the prosecutor who asked the questions of Dr. Ford for the Republicans. It seems to me that a senate hearing is not particularly suited to finding out the truth about people’s behavior, especially when you have two witnesses that disagree with each other.

What disturbs me as much as the failure of our elected officials to rise above the politics of the situation, is the reaction of most Americans. Many of them appear to have made up their minds about the truth, and, as I said, I saw nothing in either witness’s testimony that would allow the truth to be ascertained. Most of the criticism of the senators’ behavior is directed at one party’s senators or the others’.  I saw the majority of senators from both sides grandstanding and using the two witnesses as pawns for extravagant political claims. Many people who saw the same thing only faulted the senators from one party or the other. Many people are using this situation as a proxy for larger issues: either the long history of unfair and predatory behavior toward women or the excesses of the Me Too movement that have allowed an accusation to be treated as a verdict.

The failure of our elected officials to rise above the politics of the situation and attempt to find out the truth is a reflection of the failure of their constituents—you and I—to rise above their (our) biases and ask them to determine the truth. If Washington is failing us, it is because we, in our demand to have our officials reflect our biases, are failing our democratic system. If we continue to be “disgusted” and “outraged” at senators and congressmen who don’t reflect our biases, even if they are trying to determine what is true and what is not, we will continue to elect representatives who fail to do their job—because we don’t want them to.

 

Reader Comments (3)

Nice to see you back, Casey.

I would have to agree that there was no proof of guilt that the allegations were true...but then again there was no investigation.

Even the Senate questioning was not an investigation and only put a few facts and a few quite possibly poorly posed questions in the record.

It was theater.

And it was expository of the character of the witnesses, the senators and the process of the senate. In my estimation the only one that warrants a pass is Dr.Ford...the majority of the rest effectively are poor con men, another few showed spirit by walking out but were conned back in.

I must say that Kavanaugh used every technique to evade questioning and present dissembling testimony that I have seen in many hundreds of negotiations, litigations, presentations and hearings. It was personally disturbing for me to see a sitting judge, candidate for the high court, using such techniques.

The questioning of the prosecutor of both witnesses was ineffective as it was impossible to create trust, rhythmn and iterative qusetioning in the broken timing of questions allowed.There is also the troubling possibility that some of the phrasing of questions allowed Kavanaugh to give clear responses that could easily mislead listeners as to the matter at hand.

This wasn't a court, there has been no investigation and I find it hard to believe that all 3 incidents can be thoroughly investigated in a week.

But it is very clear that Kavanaugh misled (or gave false testimony) regards his teenage and college drinking and this in itself is a witness against his character.

Years ago Bill Clinton, while running for his first presidency when presented with several witnesses, said that he had smoked marijuana..."but I never inhaled." . For me that was a disqualification...because he was either lying or he had deceived his friends by pretending to smoke. I guess also back in those days it was a sin to waste smoke..

I expect a lot from Presidents and Supremes and Senators...that's why I can't vote for these kind of folks....

September 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDariel Garner

Oh please! this guy was accusing the Clinton's of killing Vincent Foster, and you all are having
difficulty making your mind about him!

September 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Dr. Ford gave every indication she was a person with an agenda who was working hard to be believed. The vocal fry used in her prepared delivery, the excessive big-eyed turtle blinks, the pretty poses, the dry crying and the tucked-in chin designed to help her sound distressed are all devices prepared in advance. There was no mucous, no coughing, no sniffling and no tissue. The strange moments under questioning of acting "cute" meant to cover her deceiver's delight. There was no visual memory of the events she was describing. Dr. Ford's testimony was a well-rehearsed act designed to have the American public believe the invented details of a recovered memory. She's an accomplished psychologist and would very much know how to present invented details for believable consumption.

There are many details Dr. Ford attested to that were inconsistent or unbelievable: The ever changing number of people at the gathering, the deception regarding not knowing how to best recover traumatic memories, the identity of the person who pushed her into the bedroom, who arrived at the gathering first and in what state of intoxication they might be, the conversation or not that took place after the alleged attempted rape, the identity of the person who drove her home (her rescuer), the twice-changed number of boys in the room when the attack occurred,
the lack of knowledge regarding the additional sources of her PTSD, the lie regarding her fear of flying, the second front door explanation (which was meant for renter/student egress) but later became symbolic of the need for possible multiple escape routes, the lie that she didn't know of the offer of the committee to fly to her in California, the inconsistency regarding the exact date of the polygraph test, the reluctance to reveal who paid for the polygraph test, the question as to why Dr. Ford didn't use the first floor bathroom and went to find one upstairs and finally the deepest concern as to why did Dr. Ford leave the party without her best friend Leland and leave her friend exposed and ignorant as to a boy and his accomplice who allegedly just tried to rape her and may have potentially inadvertently killed her. I was willing to have my mind changed by Dr. Ford's testimony, but it was glaringly obvious that she was working from a script designed not to tell the truth, but to derail the candidacy of a man eminently qualified to be a supreme court justice.

Judge Kavanaugh was right to call out the forces aligned against him. It was Machiavellian and continues to be. He was indignant and desperate to protect his family and reclaim his good name. There is no corroborating evidence in any of the claims leveled against him. Judge Kavanaugh certainly is embarrassed about some of his yearbook references and calendar notations from his youth. Judge Kavanaugh is a husband and father first and a jurist second. He acted as a father and husband in this hearing, not as a judge. I have been falsely accused of ridiculous and unsupported actions in the past and this is exactly how an innocent person responds to the fear and frustration of lies being levied against them. There's nothing quite so powerful and perhaps even unpredictable as the power in righteous indignation.

September 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMark Wheeler

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