With the type of absolutist thinking that crashes arguments made by high school freshmen, the need to reduce the Brett Kavanaugh accusations into a binary argument have completely missed the reality of how both sides could be right in this issue.
First of all, the Czar is completely convinced that Brett Kavanaugh just didn’t do it. Young men, and especially high school upper classmen, make all sorts of really stupid decisions quite unlike their day-to-day personalities. Could Judge Kavanaugh have done something definable, by today’s standards, as sexual assault in 1982. You damn well bet he could have: men of good standing and strong moral character have done worse things as 16-year-olds to people. There’s probably a teenager doing something really horrible right now to someone, and the former will grow up to be somebody that everyone likes.
The real question about Judge Kavanaugh is did he? And for that, it sure doesn’t seem like it. Not so much the lack of witnesses or the basement calendar collection or the weird, hazy recollections by the victim—for the Czar, it’s much more the response by Judge Kavanaugh: a stunned disbelief that anyone could make such an accusation. When a guy, and we all know this, does something like this in his past, he might deny it. He usually does so with all sorts of flimsy evidence. But more often, he sighs, tenses his lower lip, and admits that he did do some stupid stuff, and he really owes her a personal apology, and he never meant to hurt anyone, and that when you’re a teenager you do things sometimes you regret your whole life.
The Czar need not point you to all the politicians in the past who have acted similarly. “Locker room talk,” as President Trump explained some of his past actions. But Kavanaugh isn’t doing any of these things: he’s neither producing paper-thin counters nor is he attempting to explain why he shouldn’t be judged harshly for what he did. He’s rather acting with bemused annoyance—the same way people act almost universally when accused of something transparently impossible.
For the Left, that’s not good enough. They Believe Her. It certainly doesn’t help when so many people on the Right, who really want to see Judge Kavanaugh appointed to the Supreme Court before this turns out to be a dream, are producing flimsy rebuttals on his behalf or trying to spin such behavior a dozen different ways as, well, okay in this instance.
The Czar has a hunch that if he quietly polled a dozen liberals, they would mostly agree that Judge Kavanaugh is guilty, and that he has obviously lied about what happened, or because he’s been trying to explain his behavior away with cheap excuses. Except, Kavanaugh has done none of these things. Most of the fuel that’s enraging the Left actually originate as claims from the Right: the Left’s attacks on Kavanaugh started as stupid excuses from the Right that Judge Kavanaugh himself has never said. Yeah, the Left could look it up, but why bother?
This ridiculous circus is nuts, but isn’t the craziest part of the whole show. For the Czar, the craziest part is that the victim, disgustingly and embarrassingly exploited by Senator Dianne Feinstein, might actually be telling the truth.
At least, as far as the victim knows it.
Given what we know about teenage girls and how often shit like this actually happens to them (guys, you’d rather not know, especially if you have daughters), the Czar could put forth some plausible scenario that makes both sides correct. Let’s consider one possibility for Professor Ford, now humiliated by Sen. Feinstein in public as the victim.
There’s a teenage girl at a party that, frankly, she’s not supposed to be at. She’s had a lot to drink, as has everyone, and finds herself in a room with a bunch of guys who all attend the same high school. That is not uncommon, given that teenage boys are insecure and like to pack together. Some guy in that room totally misreads the situation—she’s drunk in a bedroom with him, so what else could that mean but “okay”—and he decides to put the moves on her. But, of course, as a drunk 16-year-old boy who’s never been this close to a real girl, he basically molests her in front of everyone.
Maybe she sort of knows him: after all, she went into that room for a reason. She knows these guys all attend a nearby school together, and might even know first names or a last name. But this situation is clearly going badly for her, so she gets out of the room. She could even mention it to some friends the Monday at school: oh yeah, one friend agrees, those guys at Georgetown Prep are assholes. So glad you got out of there.
30 years later or so, she’s in conversation with a therapist. Maybe even casually, she mentions the incident in response to a question about something else about her teenaged years. That part doesn’t actually matter, because Professor Ford did bring it up. The therapist is interested in this story, thinking it could be important. So he prods her for details. Professor Ford remembers they went to Georgetown Prep…maybe there were two in the room, maybe more. His name was Brent or Britt or… Brett? Yeah, it could have been that. Cavendish? Cavender? The therapist, we believe, was the one who later suggested it might have been Brett Kavanaugh. Yeah, that could be it, she thinks, and concludes this business is over with.
The Czar does know that the therapist put a lot of the story together, with Professor Ford even refuting some of the therapist’s compilation (for example, she insists two boys were in the room, and doesn’t know where the therapist got the idea there were four boys in the room). As our own ‘Puter will tell you, that area is a pretty small world…and it didn’t take long to produce the name Brett Kavanaugh and list three of his friends.
The Czar isn’t necessarily convinced that Professor Ford is suffering from False Memory Syndrome, at least not creating fantasies out of whole cloth the way people remember alien abductions or meeting celebrities. However, it is entirely possible—even probable—that some kids from a tawny high school were drunk with her in a room, and one of them molested her. When the therapist coached her through the incident almost thirty years later, she agrees that probably it was some guys at Georgetown Prep, and maybe the guy in question was really named Brett Kavanaugh.
Suddenly, years after the experience with the therapist, a real Brett Kavanaugh, alumnus of Georgetown Prep, is being ushered to the Supreme Court. And suddenly, these memories come flooding back, and the therapist recommends the Washington Post interview Professor Ford. Wow, the paper asks, did this happen?
Well, yes—it definitely did. And the guy was Kavanaugh from Georgetown Prep. Are you sure, asks the Post. Professor Ford thinks for a bit, and resolutely says it was. It all fits together. Sometime in 1982, probably. And there’s even a classmate who remembers, distinctly, Professor Ford telling her about it the Monday after it happened. The Professor isn’t too keen on this humiliation getting out, and she doesn’t want to testify or anything, and the Post drops the story. And yet, as if by magic, Senator Feinstein’s office is calling. And Professor Ford, who suffered some indignity in 1982, is about to face an even more disgusting and humiliating assault as Feinstein’s office shoves her into the limelight and advises her, in very strong terms, to Tell the Story: it was an attempted rape, wasn’t it, by Brett Kavanaugh in 1982?
You know the rest of the story. You have already formed your own opinion as to whether Kavanaugh did it or not.
But the Czar believes something did indeed happen to Professor Ford, probably in 1982, at a party. But there’s some 55-year-old guy named Britt or Brent Cavendish or Cavender, alumnus of Emerson Prep or St. Anselm’s who has no idea that he’s the guy. Now a partner at some Philadelphia law firm, he reads the story about Ms. Ford and thinks “Wow, I remember when I did something like that to some girl…I hope they don’t ever consider me for the Supreme Court! Man, we were crazy in the 1980s.”
It’s amazing how the brain can process memories. And when the brain has a blank that needs filling in, it’s astonishing how any Mad-Lib coaching from someone can create a reality that will pass any polygraph.
The Czar doesn’t think Judge Brett Kavanaugh is remotely connected to this memory. The Czar also is willing to accept the Professor’s account as pretty close to what happened to her, although the names were plugged in to fill the gaps in her recollection. The Czar also forgives her for really believing this story, because so much of it really is true and even highly educated people routinely create synthesized memories of real events. This isn’t her fault.
And to be blunt, Senator Feinstein really needed something to use as a cudgel against the tremendously qualified Kavanaugh, and this seemed to be a perfect gift. The Czar gets that: that’s politics. But the way her office has continued to misguide and abuse Professor Ford—both her current and past reputations—is lawngrass low for an already serpentine Senator Feinstein.
The worst part is, thanks to Senator Feinstein, Professor Ford will never see justice or respect for what probably happened to her all those years ago.