There’s a lot to unpack in the national psychodrama that played out in the senate judiciary committee yesterday with Ford v. Kavanaugh. Dr. Ford laid out what The New York Times is calling the “appalling trauma” of her alleged treatment at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh 36 years ago. And Mr. Kavanaugh denied it in tears of rage.
Dr. Ford scored points for showing up and playing her assigned role. She didn’t add any validating evidence to her story, but she appeared sincere. Judge Kavanaugh seemed to express a weepy astonishment that the charge was ever laid on him, but unlike other questionably-charged men in the grim history of the #Metoo campaign he strayed from his assigned role of the groveling apologist offering his neck to the executioner, an unforgivable effrontery to his accusers.
The committee majority’s choice to sub out the questioning to “sex crime prosecutor” Rachel Mitchell was a pitiful bust, shining a dim forensic light on the matter where hot halogen fog lamps might have cut through the emotional murk. But in today’s social climate of sexual hysteria, the “old white men” on the dais dared not engage with the fragile-looking Dr. Ford, lest her head blow up in the witness chair and splatter them with the guilt-of-the-ages. But Ms. Mitchell hardly illuminated Dr. Ford’s disposition as a teenager — like, what seemed to be her 15-year-old’s rush into an adult world of drinking and consort with older boys — or some big holes in her coming-forward decades later.
For instance, a detail in the original tale, the “locked door.” It’s a big deal when the two boys shoved her into the upstairs room, but she escaped the room easily when, as alleged, Mark Judge jumped on the bed bumping Mr. Kavanaugh off of her. It certainly sounds melodramatic to say “they locked the door,” but it didn’t really mean anything in the event.
Ms. Mitchell also never got to the question of Dr. Ford’s whereabouts in the late summer, when the judiciary committee was led to believe by her handlers that she was in California, though she was actually near Washington DC at her parent’s beach house in Delaware, and Mr. Grassley, the committee chair, could have easily dispatched investigators to meet with her there. Instead, the Democrats on the committee put out a cockamamie story about her fear of flying all the way from California – yet Ms. Mitchell established that Mrs. Ford routinely flew long distances, to Bali, for instance, on her surfing trips around the world.
Overall, it was impossible to believe that Dr. Ford had not experienced something with somebody — or else why submit to such a grotesque public spectacle — but the matter remains utterly unproved and probably unprovable. Please forgive me for saying I’m also not persuaded that the incident as described by Dr. Ford was such an “appalling trauma” as alleged. If the “party” actually happened, then one would have to assume that 15-year-old Chrissie Blasey, as she was known then, went there of her own volition looking for some kind of fun and excitement. She found more than she bargained for when a boy sprawled on top of her and tried to grope her breasts, grinding his hips against hers, working to un-clothe her, with his pal watching and guffawing on the sidelines — not exactly a suave approach, but a life-changing trauma? Sorry, it sounds conveniently hyperbolic to me.
I suspect there is much more psychodrama in the life of Christine Blasey Ford than we know of at this time. She wasn’t raped and her story stops short of alleging an attempt at rape, whoever was on top of her, though it is apparently now established in the public mind (and the mainstream media) that it was a rape attempt. But according to #Metoo logic, every unhappy sexual incident is an “appalling trauma” that must be avenged by destroying careers and reputations.
The issues in the bigger picture concern a Democratic Party driven by immense bad faith to any means that justify the defeat of this Supreme Court nominee for reasons that everyone over nine-years-old understands: the fear that a majority conservative court will overturn Roe v. Wade – despite Judge Kavanaugh’s statement many times that it is “settled law.”
What one senses beyond that, though, is the malign spirit of the party’s last candidate for president in the 2016 election and a desperate crusade to continue litigating that outcome until the magic moment when a “blue tide” of midterm election victories seals the ultimate victory over the detested alien in the White House.