Dear Senate Judiciary Committee: I come before you as a survivor of sexual assault when I was a 15-year-old girl. It is a memory of such deep and abiding pain that I have spent a good portion of my life since then attempting to bury it, forget it, put it behind me. None of these attempts have been successful.
As adults we tell stories of our childhood injuries. Falls from bikes leading to broken arms. Bites by dogs. Badly sprained ankles from encountering a gopher hole. All of these stick in our memory. While we may not remember the date or exactly who was there, other details remain crystalline: the furrow on the brow of our father as he leaned over and beheld our ghastly crooked arm; the way the sun glinted off the dog’s back as it came running toward us growling; the squiggled, colorful notes our classmates wrote on our walking casts.
We all know that human memory is imperfect and full of gaps, but there are some experiences in this life of such overarching and awful significance that they present us with a paradox: We will both never forget them and never want to relate them to another human being. The pain of them is too intense, and the vulnerability of divulging them to another exposes such raw, tender and conflicted emotions roiling deep inside us that we fear the other’s response, no matter how intimate the relationship may be.
Sexual assault is one of those experiences.
I felt no more capable of going to ‘local Law Enforcement Authorities’ or my ‘loving parents’ to tell them what had befallen me as I would have been to fly to the moon and share my sorrow with the rocks and the stars and the dust there.
I do not know the personal histories of anyone on this committee with respect to such assaults. Perhaps all of you have been fortunate enough to have avoided such grievous pain among the many other tragedies that can befall a human life. But I am fairly certain all of you have experienced your own tragedies, and know of the deeply personal, piercing pain they can bring, the kind that leaves you feeling like simply cowering in your room and wailing to the heavens.
And you know how essentially private such pain can be, how alone it can make you feel, how little you are moved to divulge and share it with others.
I am thinking now of the many war veterans I and no doubt every one of you have come across in our lives. And how so often we hear, “Oh, the one thing Dad never talked about was the war.”
Yes, some of the things we endure in this life seem beyond any words that our memories can form.
So despite what modern psychology tells us would be a healthy purging if we could but share our pain with others, we instead often stay mute in a private hell that was not of our making, but which we must struggle to contain for the rest of our lives.
Some 36 years ago, a teenage Brett Kavanaugh accosted me as I climbed the stairs of an adult-free home in Maryland where a group of teenagers had gathered for an alcohol-fueled party. As he shoved me into a room, jumped on top of me, fumbled with my clothes and then covered my mouth as I screamed, my entire world seemed to collapse into itself in one blinding second.
The terror of that moment—its violence, its overwhelming forcefulness, the sudden, unbidden question of whether I would be further violated, raped, my virginity taken from me by brute force, my very survival suddenly in question as I struggled to breathe while Brett’s friend Mark Judge laughed in the corner and finally jumped on us—has stayed with me my entire life.
Certain details of that day and its background are of course fuzzy. (On what street did my fall from the bike occur? Where did the dog go after it bit me? Was I in third or fourth grade with that ankle cast?)
But I can say no more than this to every one of you in this room today as I swear this under oath: There is no forgetting the terror of that assault, the look on Brett’s face as he towered and flailed above me, the fear, confusion, humiliation, shame and grief that dominated my life in the immediate aftermath of the event, and which has dogged my memory and shaped many of my behaviors ever since.
A number of you have seemed to challenge the veracity of my account, questioning my motives and my memory even before you summoned me to speak with you. It has been suggested by one member of this committee that I am “mixed up,” that I am surely “confusing” Mr. Kavanaugh with someone else. That “there’s no question” that I have been “coached by special interest groups,” because my story is “too contrived,..so slick it doesn’t compute.”
The president’s son offered a crude drawing that made a trifle of my experience, suggesting Mr. Kavanaugh had at worst made an innocent gesture of childish affection. The president himself has weighed in, emphatically stating, “with no doubt,” that if the attack on me had been as bad as I said it was, charges would surely have been “immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities” either by me or my “loving parents.”
Things like this could only have been said by people who have no knowledge, experience, empathy or interest in learning about the true devastation and complex, desperate psychological adjustments sexual assault victims must undergo in order to deal with their trauma.
Dear Committee Members, you with your relatively advanced years, perhaps with children or other loved ones whom you have helped see through their adolescence and beyond: I was 15 years old.
Neither wise nor wary of the world I was entering in that privileged, private school enclave of suburban America. Something unspeakable had happened to me. I pick with particular care that word: unspeakable.
I felt no more capable of going to “local Law Enforcement Authorities” or my “loving parents” to tell them what had befallen me as I would have been to fly to the moon and share my sorrow with the rocks and the stars and the dust there.
These legalisms: “date, time, and place,” in the president’s words, simply have no meaning; they are impossible to recall, completely buried or never even recorded under the avalanche, the tsunami, the hurricane of terror and its many attendant emotions that a sexual assault brings on.
And I wish to state here, in as emphatic and certain terms as it is humanly possible to convey, that an assault of this nature is never forgotten. Its essential components are seared into my memory like nothing else in my life: a drunken, violent and seemingly obsessed boy, far more physically powerful than me and egged on by another physically superior friend, had my fate, my very life, in his hands.
I was well aware of who this boy and his friend were. It was not dark, they were not hooded, we had all been together downstairs in a seemingly innocent enough gathering that turned with appalling swiftness into the most horrifying experience of my life.
With time, great patience and love from my husband, and skillful professional help from therapists, I have done my best to heal from this encounter. But recovery has been slow and hard-won, as I know every survivor of sexual assault will tell you it is.
Forgetting is never an option in that healing. Forgiveness may be, if those who visited this profound injustice upon me were ever to seek it.
But as I stand before you today, I can only know what I know, remember what I remember, the essentials of it etched in my mind and heart and soul and deep in the pit of my stomach with all the stark clarity of a leafless winter tree against a bright December sky.
I am neither mistaken nor “mixed up” about those essentials.
I am not confusing anyone for someone else, not weaving this story out of whole cloth for some simple political gain.
Please ask yourselves: I would subject myself and my loved ones to this spectacle, imperil our safety and peace of mind, upend my entire life and theirs, by making up a story in an act of naked political sabotage?
Nothing in my life, my background, my values, would suggest that is remotely possible. I would have to be insane or deviously, colossally corrupt to spin such a web.
And though I feel vulnerable and wounded and fearful of what might lie ahead, I am not insane, nor corrupt. I am simply a private citizen, trying to lead a decent and productive life, sharing a profound, painful truth about something awful that happened to me, that I feel, against all my more fearful judgment, is important and compelling enough for me to speak out about for the good of this nation.
Hence I am doing so, in all fear and trembling and humility, but also, most importantly, in the absolute certainty of what happened, who was there, who did the things they did, and what the costs and consequences of it have been for my life.
Part of that cost has been to appear here before you today, and expose myself to your scrutiny, your doubts, and perhaps your disbelief. So be it. I am here to say my peace, and this statement has been my sincere effort to begin doing so. I am now open to your questions.
Graphic, pointed, all too real: Lady Gaga, continuing to don her mantle as an artist with something to say.
Deep appreciation to the photographers! Unless otherwise stated, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing.
Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banner at top of page.
Library books photo by Larry Rose, all rights reserved, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Drawn curtains by Andrew Hidas, https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewhidas/
Birds in sky by Rosana Prada, https://www.flickr.com/photos/zanastardust/
You nailed it again, Andrew.
This is so well-written and I would love to hear it read to the Judiciary Committee. Thank you for explaining so beautifully.
Pat, Sdm, thank you. Much appreciated.
After reading this blog, I am again tempted to be silent, but this feels like a safe and anonymous enough space to speak up.
I was molested as a child (ages 6 to 8) by a neighbor. I didn’t have loving and supportive parents to turn to. I was silent.
Then, I was treated sexually inappropriately by two doctors, and one police officer in my twenties and thirties. These are the people we go to in times of need. Again, I felt helpless and was silent.
At this point in my life, I just might have the guts to tell my story if one of these men were potentially going to hold such an important position as Supreme Court Justice, but I’m not sure.
Would I be willing to speak up in a court of law? Would I be willing to face the disbelievers? Would I be willing to give up life as I know it? I really don’t know.
I applaud Christine Blasey Ford for facing her fear and speaking up for the good of our country.
Dear Appreciative, yours, the 101st comment, renders everything else said and blustered about below almost irrelevant, and I thank you for the sheer power and reminder of your story, simply told, all yours, yet surpassingly human in reflecting so much travesty, so much injustice, so much oppression, silently borne for too long by too many. May peace be upon you.
Someone very close to me was violently raped about 2 years ago. She was just a teenager at the time. When the police arrived at the scene of the crime, one of the male officers questioned the rape itself saying, “She’s bleeding too much for having been JUST a rape.” Thankfully, a female officer (his superior) rebuked him on the spot and ordered him to leave the scene of the rape. She bled so profusely from the vagina area that surgery was required. Today, she deals with the trauma in two ways: 1) “I’m OK. It wasn’t that bad, and I’ve put it behind me.” 2) “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. That’s all we talk about.” Needless to say, she’s now in therapy. I was talking to her parents last week, and they remarked that Dr. Ford’s testimony might silently help their daughter.
Dear Appreciative, It hurt my heart to read your post, and I so appreciate your willingness and courage to share it on this blog; a site that has been home to much volatility over the past week. Though the emotionally charged responses, including disbelievers, may suggest that it is not safe for you, rest assured that it is most certainly safe and that your input is greatly valued and adds much to the discussion. Many, many thanks, and peace be with you.
Hello Appreciative, *I* am appreciative of you, putting your story out to us, amidst turbulent times for such honesty. My hope for you, and for all of us survivors of sexual harrassment, abuse, rape – is that the stories heard will be listened to and taken seriously. It feels so necessary – not to hear the “verdict” – but to say, your experience is important and we need to listen to you. Really listen.
I heard an interesting perspective today: whether or not the judge remembers or not, and whether he did any of these things or not (even though the evidence is mounting that at least *some* of the claims are legitimate) – how he comports himself tomorrow will show who he is today; what his ethics are right now; how seriously he takes this whole process and this whole issue of sexual assault. One person suggested that the question be asked: Even if you deny the whole thing, what would you think about this event, this experience Prof. Ford had? How would you see it?
I don’t know how optimistic I feel. I am worried that sides have been taken prior to hearing anyone. I wonder how much listening will actually happen. But regardless of what is said, or happens tomorrow, I want you to know that *I hear you,* I am so sad and mad that this series of horrible things happened to you, and I honor your story. Thank you for trusting us with it.
I thought we lived in a civilized country where “innocent until proven guilty” exists. Two sides to a story is lost in today’s world. It’s sad, sad, sad.
You’re exactly right, Lisa. Hard to believe they can’t see this is a political hit job on a good man…shameful! No proof? Doesn’t matter….just destroy a man and his family for politics…SHAMEFUL!!!
Just read this “it is so apparent what this is, that even a liberal can see it.” Um, apparently NOT!!
Chris, I think there are many people who are happy to see this from a political frame, as payback for Mitch McConnell’s unconscionable treatment of Merrick Garland, and various other matters. But as I indicated to Lisa above and in the piece itself, I don’t believe it’s reasonable to think Professor Ford is doing this for politics. Would you, in order to deny even your most vilified Democratic president his or her Supreme Court choice? Who would? Nobody—not for that and $100 million and a private island. Anybody in their right mind would run from that offer, yet here she is, in a place she didn’t want to be, earning an entirely unwanted chapter in history. Sad for everyone, and I take no joy in witnessing it.
Yes, I ABSOLUTELY believe that she would do this for political reasons. If she was so traumatized by what happened to her, then she would remember where and when it happened, along with a lot of other details. You should ask a rape survivor if this is not so. The amount of hatred shown toward Trump is the cause of this. You yourself have been unrelenting in your attacks. You claim that he is many things, some true, but I am appalled by what I see written by you and your liberal friends, which are not much different. You have never given him a chance, which makes what you write less effective, in my opinion. For 8 years you hero worshipped you know who, but to not give Trump a chance and not point out his successes, says it all to me.
Well, if you are ABSOLUTELY certain she is making all this up, nothing else I can say will make any difference. But gosh, it seems you have made up your mind that she is a liar or colossal fantasist. Didn’t you want to hear her full side of the story so you can render an even-handed judgment? How come it’s OK for you to decide she’s lying but not for me to decide that he is?
As for the memories of rape and other trauma survivors, the literature would not appear to support your claim. Here is but one piece of many discussing the fragmented memories they carry. http://time.com/3625414/rape-trauma-brain-memory/
I didn’t give Trump a chance? Much truer to say he didn’t give himself a chance, coming right out of the gate with all the horrid, bullying, demagogic qualities that have been on full display since early campaign days and only grew worse once he became president. Did you also complain to John McCain that he never gave Trump a chance?
And for the record, I don’t hero worship anyone.
Just for the record sake.
I REALLY wished you “took no joy in witnessing Pres Clinton’s sexual assaults” back then. Where was the cavalier crusader for women in the 90’s? Because as I recall I was calling out the despicable behavior because there was evidence based on things like financial settlements and several women reporting assault, rape etc. and you were pushing the DNC talking points of “it was just sex in his PRIVATE life”. Until of course we found out it was also in the White House so public life too. But it was just about sex by two consenting adults, blah, blah, blah back then Andrew what has changed? Maybe the accused political affiliation has something to do with it ya think? I said it then and believe it today we go around condoning behavior like sexual assaults by people of power and Aggravated Perjury like Pres Clinton and we will rue the day. So now because of good little minions like you who DEFENDED and protected Clinton and didn’t give a darn about the women he abused. We have multiple people in great power doing whatever they want. America thanks you for that, said no one ever with morals and integrity. Intellectual Honesty has me believing this blog is another and typical political hit job and not defender of the weak.
Also unless you want to be treated unfairly like you are treating the Judge, then I want you to know that if someone comes out of your past and accuses you of serious acts like these I promise I won’t prejudge you. I promise to listen to ALL the FACTS and look for ACTUAL EVIDENCE before I pass judgement. I would want to hear both sides before concluding guilt or innocence. And if her story seems fishy then I will treat it as such but if credible then I will do likewise.
Well, Lisa, the “civilized country” part has become a debatable point given the drastically uncivilized, petulant behavior our president exhibits every day, but we can leave further discussion of that for another time.
As for the “innocent until proven guilty” piece, you are right: in a legal proceeding with a criminal accusation, that is the burden the state carries. But this is not a criminal proceeding, and Judge Kavanaugh is not at risk of being convicted for a crime. What is at stake is a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, a rare privilege which should require that it be granted to persons only of the most impeccable character, and we should be as reasonably certain of that character as it is possible to be.
Do I believe that Kavanaugh has led a generally upstanding adult life, devoted to his family, his girls’ basketball team, his country? Yes. Do I think all those things are incompatible with being a drunken 17-year-old from a privileged background who, in the milieu of that time and circumstance, was capable of forcing himself on someone in the manner described by Professor Ford? I believe only a naive person would think that. “Good” people have from time immemorial done far more monstrous things than what this incident describes. The hearings last week already showed Kavanaugh will lie in order to achieve his cherished goal of becoming a justice. I believe he is lying again now. Does that make him a bad man? No. He seems like a good man on the whole, human like everyone else, though more ambitious than most. And he is now playing hardball in a very hard and unforgiving political world. And that includes lying about an awful incident from his long distant past that has now come back to haunt him. It’s Shakespearian, and I feel for him and his family. But does that mean we should entrust him with a seat on the nation’s highest court? I do not believe so.
Finally, the idea that Ford is subjecting herself to all this life-altering trauma in order to fulfill some political agenda is preposterous on its face. Nobody would do that unless they are insane or evil, and she is, by all accounts that I have been able to track down, neither. To me, it is obvious she is perfectly sincere. Is she possibly mistaken? Sure. Anything is possible. But nothing I have seen so far would suggest that, and the more I read about the milieu Kavanaugh grew up in, including the writings of his friend Mark Judge, the more convinced I am of her veracity.
Thanks for writing, and happy weekend to you.
This is not a trial. This is a confirmation hearing. With credible accusations from Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, it is time for the FBI to reopen the background check on Brett Kavanaugh.
Ok…so let me understand this Andrew. So a woman from the University of Redlands comes out and says that You tried to sexually assault her back in 1973 (only 45 years ago) with absolutely NO evidence and she couldn’t remember any details because she was too drunk. Are you saying we should believe her without hearing your side ??? Just curious…..
This is all about TDS on the liberals part. I wish they would just admit it….
This is such an “us and them” kind of comment Chris – the kind I can find every day in any newspaper, in the Comments section. It’s a free-for-all there and people allow themselves to be pretty slapdash. But here – this is a place to be thoughtful, not knee-jerk. “TDS” is a label you can throw at everyone you disagree with (or think you disagree with) – and it wipes all of their opinions out without even considering what was said. I don’t know you – or anyone else here except Andrew and one other person – and you don’t know me. Don’t my thoughts deserve consideration? The “TDS” answer feels so glib and easy – and, pardon me – lazy. Since I joined this blog (more than a year, I checked, more like almost 2 years!) I have had the opposite experience. I have felt challenged through thoughtful responses, responses people put energy into. I would ask for that about this post as well.
I feel like such a hopeless hick out here in Hayseed, California, but: What does TDS stand for?
hehe – I can’t comment on whether you are a hopeless hick…(or Hope Hicks…) – that is for your own reflection Andrew :-) “TDS” stands for Trump Derangement Syndrome. ” (TDS) is a neologism describing a reaction to United States President Donald Trump by liberals, progressives, and anti-Trump conservatives, who are said to respond to Trump’s statements and political actions irrationally and with little regard to Trump’s actual position or action taken. The use of the term has been called part of a broader GOP strategy to discredit criticisms of Trump’s actions, as a way of “reframing” the discussion by suggesting his political opponents are incapable of accurately perceiving the world.”
When I looked it up, the first Google entry I found had the *opposite* meaning: TDS “is a mental condition in which a person has been driven effectively insane due to their love of Donald Trump, to the point they will abandon all logic and reason.
Symptoms for this condition can be very diverse, ranging from racist or xenophobic outbursts to a complete disconnection from reality. TDS can also often result in the sufferer exhibiting violent, homicidal, or even genocidal desires, particularly against residents from foreign countries.”
I am guessing that Chris meant the first definition – but maybe I totally misunderstood him. As the song said, “You might be wrong!”
You’re right, lady, you don’t know me. Lazy? Gee, thanks. We rarely if ever comment on his posts. You know why? Because we are always attacked because our views don’t align with all of yours. I won’t make that mistake again. By the way, I’m his sister and don’t appreciate your snarky comments any more than you appreciate mine, but I have never personally attacked anyone writing on his blogs. Too bad I can’t say the same of you. Don’t bother answering me back. I won’t be checking in again….
Chris, I’m wondering whether you don’t see your words of “shameful!” followed by all caps “SHAMEFUL!!!” regarding my post as a personal attack. I’m struggling to find any equivalent invective I have directed toward you.
I’m also Andrew’s sister and I don’t comment often, but every once in a while I want to share another view which is rarely seen in this comments section. I always do so with hesitation, because I know most likely a personal attack is coming my way. I don’t single out anyone on this blog, I am just addressing my brother only with a different viewpoint, which deserves as much respect as anyone else who writes in this comment section, as do my sisters and nephews who are brave enough to comment.
Lisa, I don’t see too many personal attacks going your way. Your comments are most always on point and free of rhetorical heat, and that most always begets the same in return. (Hmmm, interesting how that works!)
All human beings are sensitive to criticism, some more than others. It’s what makes commenting in any kind of public square like this one a challenge, as is moderating it to keep it robust but safe enough for people to want to put forth their views. I get regular comments from readers praising or taking issue with something they’ve read, but via personal email rather than in the Comments. I often encourage them to share it on the site because it contributes to the discussion, but they usually beg off with, “Oh, I don’t comment; that’s not my thing.” Interestingly, most all of these people are female, and I believe there is a whole blog post’s worth of discussion lurking in that fact, which has direct bearing on the topic addressed in this post (but I won’t write it here).
As always, thanks for writing. I would only ask you to consider doing so more often when the topic isn’t politics. As you know, I do address lots of other topics, and I rarely-to-never hear from you or other conservative family members about those. This has the effect of limiting our interchange here only to topics of intense emotion and sometimes barely contained vitriol, thus emphasizing our differences and the antagonism that often rides in with them. That makes for a false picture, because in truth, we’re a lot more similar than not—all of us humans are. But sometimes one has to look just a little closer for those similarities. They exist in poetry, literature, music, film, non-fiction—all those “categories” I address in the right hand column above. They’re important, too—arguably more important than politics. It would be nice if you and others joined the conversation there too, so that I and everyone else involved in these forums don’t hear from you only when you’re ready to cut my head off because I’ve written something that elicits a vehement response in you. It would make for far more rounded understanding and recognition of each other’s humanity, beyond the narrow, emotionally charged straitjacket of politics alone.
Thanks Andy, but yes I do comment on some of your other non-political subjects in agreement. Our point sometimes in writing a non-agreeing political comment on your blog is to let others reading it know that there is a whole other way of thinking in this country. A flip side to every coin. I have friends from both sides and we respect each others thoughts and I am so thankful for that. So thankful to live in this great country where we have freedom of speech.
Lisa, I don’t think there’s any chance of me or anyone becoming unaware there is “a whole other way of thinking in this country”—kinda hard to miss it! But I certainly do welcome you standing up for it, and I respect your efforts to do so in forthright fashion.
Bonnie, I don’t think it is correct to say “she couldn’t remember any details because she was too drunk.” She remembered plenty of details—all the ones that mattered and that terrified her and have stayed with her over the years. She has now shared those with us. None of us remember various details of all manner of things that happened to us, and in the white heat of a violent encounter, one remembers some things with piercing clarity and completely forgets or never even noticed others. This is perfectly normal; it’s how memory works even in normal circumstances, much less in traumatic ones.
I didn’t know what to make of this when I first looked into it. It’s very doubtful she will be able to “prove” her allegations to satisfy any legal criteria, but again, legality is not the issue here. Basic veracity is, and now that she has had her say and he has issued his denial, I don’t expect much will change. And based on all that I have read so far, I have no reason to doubt her word. We have all seen this story before, in multiple forms.
All that said, the purpose of this post was not to hang Kavanaugh, but to underscore the trauma and complex psychology of being a sexual violence victim. Throughout history, they have almost invariably been victimized twice if they dare to pursue justice. The sad result is that all too often, they don’t even try.
Yeah Bonnie she remembers plenty of details like for example 4 witnesses (which I thought was only three until yesterday when I found out there was a fourth that has categorically denied the event as well) to the accusation that have now ALL categorically DENIED the events in Mrs Ford allegations. So just to remind you Andy these are details in her allegation that she remembers and that they deny happened.
So this is at a minimum a reason to pump the brakes and step back take a deep breathe. You say “I have no reason to doubt her word” Well any reasonable and fair minded person would disagree with you. This fact alone IS A REASON to doubt her word. To name people as witnesses and they deny the account is A REASON. What don’t you get about that.
You see Jeannette and Andy just like all the bogus news stories that where printed or aired that have been retracted because they were false, they were printed or aired and BELIEVED for one simple reason….. Trump haters WANTED them to be true so ergo they believed them. This is TDS as much as fake stories about Pres Obama were believed by Obama haters because they wanted them to be true or ODS. Objectivity, fairness, heck even common decency be damned because you hate the person period.
If you were fair minded and objective and treated people how you wanted to be treated you would have to question at a minimum a story where one person brings an allegation and 5 people deny it ever happened. And oh BTW no one else, no evidence, nothing else can prove her allegations to be true. Simply just her word against 5 people. At what point in time do you have to use Intellectual Honesty and say ok you’re right, I’m not saying Mrs Ford is lying but yes we do have reason to believe there is A REASON to question or NOT believe her. Because if you NEVER come to that point then ANYONE from this point forward can aledge anything and they MUST be Believed. That is the scariest possibility any man could EVER possibly imagine.
…”then ANYONE from this point forward can aledge anything and they MUST be Believed. That is the scariest possibility any man could EVER possibly imagine.”
I understand that this feels scary. You could feel at the mercy of an unfair system. That is a horrible feeling. I know, because we women have been in that situation our whole lives. Women are raped, molested, mauled, murdered, groped, grabbed, gagged. dragged, burned, hit, cut, scarred, mutilated – without ANY recourse for MOST OF HISTORY. Men have done what they wanted to women at all levels of society, and not only gotten away with it – but *bragged* about it (as we saw from our current national leader, with the Access Hollywood tape, not so long ago.)
So right now, at this exact moment, I *do* think (some) people are bending over backwards to start with “believing a woman” – meaning to take her claims seriously and not just dismissing them or plain ignoring them – and working from there. Not assuming she is right and he is guilty. Just not assuming she is lying. Considering a woman’s voice legitimate. Because that is an absolutely HUGE change from how it has been for centuries, if not millenia.
I do not think this current awkwardness – and scariness for some men – will last forever; it’s very new for men to have to listen to women’s voices about sexual harrassment and assault. But I hope women’s experiences are finally *starting* to be taken seriously. Why shouldn’t Ford (and another woman who came forward today) be given a chance to speak? What is the harm? It is uncomfortable, perhaps, but it is the right thing to do, in my view.
As scared as you feel now – and I hear that very sincerely – this might approximate how women have felt for absolutely freaking ever. No recourse, presumed guilty or lying, ridiculed – no accountability for the perpetrators of serious and brutal crimes. So if right now there is some discomfort (and no physical threat) – try taking it as a window into how women feel, and have felt since the beginning of time. And that might make this moment in time more understandable and tolerable.
It is going to be a tough week for all of us, I suspect. I have learned from this discussion, and from your perspective. Thank you for taking the time to be clear. Me – I am going to try to remember to breathe.
You claim this post by you is “not to hang Kavanaugh” yet everything you wrote was from her point of view. A fair post would show both sides of this story. July is when this could have surfaced, yet they wait two months to disclose it right before his voting is to begin. Now she is stalling for more time. This is unreal. Innocent until proven guilty is not just a legal procedure carried by states, it is the right of every citizen of this great country.
My purpose was not to write a “fair and balanced” article weighing charges and evidence. There’s plenty enough out there already for people wanting to read that. I’m not writing news articles here. What I was trying to give voice to was the severity of sexual assault trauma, the reasons people don’t speak out and instead hide in shame. How people’s experience of that terror is often treated the way Trump Jr. did here, with snickering and belittlement, or with his father’s utterly ill-informed insistence that if it really happened, she would have gone to “the authorities.” That’s simply idiotic, but that’s our president.
You are welcome to write a fair and balanced appraisal of this situation. Or one strictly from Judge Kavanaugh’s point of view. I’d read it, and most likely have a comment or two!
If you are trying to simply just give a voice to women then why would you use Judge Kavanaugh’s name? Why liable and slander a mans name? Why not use the case against a Democrat like Rep Keith Ellison as your case scenario? Or how about Sen Cory Booker because he admitted to sexually assaulting a women in college not as far back as the Judge? Since you want to give voice and crusade on women’s behalf why not truly rise to the heroic man level and demand an FBI investigation and that he resign immediately or at minimum recuse himself on voting on the Judge? Could this blog simply be about Trump Derangement Syndrome? Just curious….
I wrote about this because it is the one dominating the entire country’s attention, with relevance to multiple issues, high drama and even higher stakes. Neither of the others you mention come even close to the import of this one.
That may be true but if you are going to crusade for woman’s rights, attend marches and rallies, and write stories emotionally charged because of very serious abuse against women how can you NOT address Rep Ellison. He has allegations that can be provable or disproved, they are less then a year ago with very serious abuse against a women. The SILENCE is DEAFENING from EVERYONE of the woman’s rights groups, the DNC, and ANY Liberal on social media or in the media. At a minimum your defense of Mrs Ford would have been significantly more credible if you would denounce Rep Ellison, called for his resignation, called for the FBI to investigate him or against Sen Booker to resign, call for the FBI to investigate him, recuse himself from the Judge’s confirmation vote. But you don’t, in fact rarely if ever do. I have repeatedly pointed out your blatant hypocrisy and you have never once said you’re right. EVERY time you change the debate, defend your comments, ignore the critique all together, and so on. What is so hard of calling balls and strikes without the hometown bias? Why can’t you call out misconduct from Liberals you so easily point out in Conservatives? Intellectual Honesty demands calling bad bad or good good based on the facts not political affiliation. Although I may disagree with you if you called something Pres Obama did bad and Pres Trump did the same thing then it is bad too. Or if Pres Trump does something good and Pres Obama did the same thing then it is good as well. It’s really that simple. I realize in some cases there are circumstances that may cause good becoming bad or bad becoming good but when it is the exact same thing you lose all credibility when you when your ideology blinds you.
There is a lot of assumption in saying she is a victim without even hearing what Kavanaugh has to say. You are giving voice to a supposed “victim” yet call Trump ill-informed. Also wondering why you never answered Bonnie’s question about you being accused of something and not being able to voice anything before being labeled guilty.
So many things wrong with this piece I feel my mind has been sexually assaulted. This piece standing along without background seems bad BUT when you add background it is inconceivable to me that someone can not see a political hit job maybe not by Mrs Ford but certainly by the Democrats in the Senate and the Liberal media. Even the cynically blind can see it so I guess blinded by Ideology are the only ones unable to see. But before I point out the parts of the story, I can only assume you left out intentionally or you are completely ignorant to them, I must address the most disgusting thing you have done in this blog that is reprehensible. “I come before you as a survivor of sexual assault” and you write “sexual assault” over and over again. Mrs Ford NEVER claimed she was “sexually assaulted” period! Her claims were that she believed he was attempting to. There is a HUGE difference and you degrade and insult ANYONE who has ever been ACTUALLY sexually assaulted. Also there is a huge difference on the mental tole it plays on a victim. You too are slandering the Judge before ever hearing from either of the two. SHAMEFUL! I believe this too is a conscience attempt to advance the political games being played here. Like your video to emotionally charge people up and influence their opinion. Google much?
Now to the background that tells a very different story you conveniently omitted. Heaven forbid you lament and opine by telling both sides of a full story so that the reader can make an honest judgment as to what to believe. I start by saying I am taking what I have learned through reading some stories and what I have seen reported on the news channels of CNN, NBC, Fox, MSNBC, CBS, ABC along with my more then 25 years in law enforcement and common sense. That being said as I understand it Mrs Ford’s story as to why she did not tell her parents was because she feared they would be upset with what took place at the party like drinking. Completely believable up to the part where her allegation is that she believed that she could have possibly died and her life was in danger because he covered her mouth where she could barely breathe (and the attempted assault). Now here it is extremely hard to imagine anyone fearing their parents would not immediately support her and report it to the local law enforcement and completely forget about underage drinking. Being a cop I realize there might be a few parents in lower income houses that would might still be upset but she came from a family of privilege so very hard to believe they wouldn’t have supported her. As a personal who had a gun pointed at me by an armed robber and was told to lay face down next to my manager Roland R. on that Thursday just after 11pm October 24, 1985 when I walked in on a robbery in progress at the Glendora, Ca. Domino’s Pizza store. As I drove up to the side of the building I observed one man standing in the front lobby but my manager was not there very unusual. As I came in the side door and saw him to my direct right laying down the second robber pointed the gun at me. Guess what? After they fled the store on foot we IMMEDIATELY called the police and waited in immense fear until they arrived it seemed like hours but it was just under 7 minutes when the first patrol car arrived. ALL the details are burned in my memory including me thinking they might steal the Datsun 280ZX I just bought so I took my keys out of my pocket and slid them under the desk I was laying next to trying to hide them.
Now it is reported that Mrs Ford has named three witnesses and Judge Kavanaugh. ALL of which have completely and unequivocally DENIED that it EVER happened. The Chairmen of the Judiciary Committee Sen Grassley an advocate of whistler blower laws and protecting people who cry out has said he was going to delay the Senate vote SO THAT Mrs Ford could testify to her allegations giving her a chance to tell her story. BTW the President also thought they should allow her to speak. She declined through her attorney’s. Sen Grassley gave her several options testify in person in front of the committee in open session, in private session, questions by the senators, by a female attorney, he offered to go to California to get her testimony, he has extended the deadline for a response three times now. BTW the talking points talk about “artificial timelines” and complain about the process and that she needs to be heard. Well Sen Grassley has used the Identical process and timeline (except for his generous extensions) that then Senator now V.P Joe Biden used in the Clarence Thomas hearing when Anita Hill made her allegations. Well if she wants to get her story out and needs to be heard why does she want to delay the hearings? She was offered a hearing on Monday and now Wednesday so explain why she needs or would want to wait? Could it be the midterms, they are trying to keep this in the daily news cycle? The answer is yes I will come to the hearing and tell my story or no what are you waiting for to answer a simple question? And you don’t see politics in this, sure just a coincidence.
It has been reported that she sent a letter to Sen Feinstien in July of this year and the Senator was soooo concerned about Mrs Ford and these allegations, that she sat on it for almost 2 months. Now every Democratic Senator say they believe her even though they haven’t heard from her or Judge Kavanaugh, way to keep a fair and impartial mind open. Cries of the FBI must investigate this are laughable and political stunts considering Sen Feinstein could have turned it over to them when she received the letter so they could investigate it. But let’s talk about investigations the FBI has open SIX background investigations on Judge Kavanaugh in his lifetime and this nor ANY other allegations has EVER come up. Inconceivable to the cop in me that knows by experience people who to this very serious act, it does not occur one time in a bubble. So common sense says there would be other women and lots of them just ask Former President Clinton, Bill Cosby, Anthony Weiner or Harvey Weinstein. And yet years of public life and on the bench and hundreds of women from both Liberal and Conservative sides speak glowingly of him. In fact, he is credited as going the extra mile in advancing women’s professional opportunities. BTW ALL of them said they have NEVER seen anything that resembles these allegations soooo. Now the timing Sen Feinstein has the opportunity to question the Judge in private and never does, in public and never does and then she gives it to the Democratic leadership and NONE of them ask any questions. That’s Strange? Since you know we have heard it a million times “this is a lifetime appointment” you’d think they would actually be concerned with these allegations wouldn’t any reasonable person be? Nope, Sen Feinstein and her colleagues refuse to attend any close door sessions where she could have questioned the Judge about it. The senators never asked the question in the three days of hearings with the Judge or when they submitted over 1,300 hundred questions for the Judge to give a written response and NOT a SINGLE question, so weird right? Then Sen Feinstein gets the letter to the media because when you are concerned with a women’s personal safety and when she wants to remain “Anonymous” it is the perfect place to go right? Finally this past Monday Sen Feinstein submits it to the committee AFTER the hearing record had CLOSED. Kind of sounds fishy to me ya know like a political stunt and NOT the acts of a desperately concerned Senator trying to keep women safe, just saying. Then Sen Grassley opens an investigation on the committee and guess what? NO Democrat that want to hear about the allegations they already believe, participates in the investigation. That is so weird when you think about it because if it isn’t a political stunt you’d think they would want to hear all the parties testimony right? The same investigation that has responses from the people Mrs Ford alleged witnessed the deeply traumatic event that scared her for life but can’t remember where it took place. BTW I can list every broken bone I’ve had where and how it took place or hospital visits I’ve had for my heart condition a pretty serious organ that can be life threatening. Sen Feinstien’s excuse for the delay is because, “Mrs Ford wanted to remain anonymous”. REALLY Sen Feinstien? Now get this, so Senator you in your infinite wisdom decided to OUT Mrs Ford and traumatize her again plus place her families lives in danger for most certain threats from crazy loons? She wanted to remain “anonymous” but all of a sudden you felt it your civic duty to protect America from the Judge where this is ABSOLUTELY NO OTHER allegations of this behavior EVER? Or Mrs Ford decided it was her civic and heroic duty to protect America from this highly qualified upstanding member in society for the past 35 years so it was necessary to fall on the sword and come out now? Right before the vote? And Andy you don’t see anything political here especially when Sen Schumer is on record as saying they were going to do everything to prevent Judge Kavanaugh from being confirmed. Since especially after an email talking points was accidentally released BEFORE he was nominated that read “In response to Donald Trump’s nomination xx to the Supreme Court of the United States”. In other words the signs were prepared to oppose (Resist) ANYONE just fill in the blank. Especially since Every Democrat except 3-4 “Red State” Dems said they would vote no on the Judge BEFORE the hearings and before they met with the Judge which several refused to do and You don’t see a political stunt?
BTW the Letter has still not been released to in full to Chairman Grassley or the committee which is unprecedented, they are relying on the Washington Post story because the Letter from Mrs Ford is heavily redacted. Now Mrs Ford seems to be a very smart lady and successful professor at a prestigious university. So, although many people struggle to make anything out of their lives after traumatic events like rape it appears if true that she has rebounded quite well. So, your doom and gloom “fear and trembling” poetry reads dramatically in a literary persuasive attempt, but difficult to believe that she is so fragile 35 years later that we should just accept her accusation as the gospel and throw out all Due Process for Judge Kavanaugh. It seems a double standard since one of the Senators on the committee “Spartacus” aka Sen Booker admitted to groping a girl in high school and NO calls for him to resign let alone to recuse himself from voting since ya know he confessed to actually physically groping a women. Not a peep from ANY metoo movement or women’s advocates, so weird when Liberals lost their minds when an audio tape of Pres Trump came out simply talking about groping. You’d think they would force him to resign or ask the FBI to investigate it right? But then again he is one of the leading candidates for Democrats 2020 presidential campaign so let the Intellectual Dishonesty covering for Booker’s behavior begin. Or for that matter VP Biden’s sickening behavior towards girls and women of all ages he likes to grope another possible 2020 candidate. So weird that not a single call of resignation or FBI investigation of Rep Keith Ellison over the recent allegations of physical abuse where actual EVIDENCE exists and the accuser is begging to be heard, volunteering her medical records as proof along with 911 calls. Could it be he is the #2 in charge of the DNC and also another possible 2020 candidate? But NO Liberals are interested in allegations with absolutely NO EVIDENCE to support Mrs Ford’s allegations. And you don’t see a political stunt? Sure. Also you seem to argue that important details are both easily forgotten and “seared into memory”, so which is it? Now I am NOT saying she is lying, I am saying pump the brakes and use some common sense before you convict the Judge based simply on an allegation. I believe in treating people how YOU want to be treated. So before you accuse a person of sexual assault again make sure you have your FACTS straight. Unless of course you want to be smeared and convicted and in fact destroyed because someone wants to make an accusation. Here in America we stand on the foundation of Innocent until PROVEN guilty. Make no mistake about it this appears to be another Liberal “High Tech Lynching”. At a minimum you need to apologize for your reckless or worse intentional smearing that she WAS “sexually assaulted”. Words matter it is astonishing to me as a writer that you don’t already understand that.
Thanks, Ron. I’d say this lays out why we believe it’s a political stunt….
Ron, I will set your rage aside for the moment but must warn you I will not further abide your personal invective in calling my opinions and perspectives (or anyone else’s) “disgusting and reprehensible,” etc. Either tone it down and pursue the restraint that makes civilized discourse possible, or find another site in which to unload in that fashion. You are generally free here to tee off on public figures all you want, but when it comes to me or anyone else who sticks their neck out to put forth their thoughts in this space, I require that you refrain from personal attacks. All they do is discourage everyone from both true thinking and responding at all. I have no interest in my Comments section resembling the histrionics seen on too many sites already in this overheated digital age.
Meanwhile, I will get back to this on a few basic points in due time, but since your comment is some 600 words longer than my original post, it’s rather difficult to even know where to begin.
See I know you will never see it but to be clear I am not in rage. You see you tell Chris not personal attacks come from you but you do it all the time. You dismiss having to respond to points where you are wrong by accusing me of being “rage”. I am perfectly calm while writing this so quit the deflecting .
I appreciate you responding later no problems but what is happening right now if it turns out Mrs Ford is not being truthful is “reprehensible and disgusting” I find it hard for anyone to disagree with that. There is NO reason for ANYONE to threaten either Mrs Ford or Judge Kavanaugh’s personal safety of lives or their families and friends. And yet because people take an allegation and exaggerate it, twist it, pervert it or just lie about it both of them are unfortunately at risk. This should never happen ever in America. Yet as I pointed out you exaggerated at a minimum the accusation to becoming “sexual assault” when her allegation is he “attempted” it in her mind. This pours fuel directly on the fire and insights emotions that lead to irrational acts. Just a few weeks ago Liberals were using Sen McCain’s funeral to speak about civility, decency, respectful treatment of others and practically minuets later they smear Judge Kavanaugh repeatedly Democratic senator one after the other. The commentary on the media channels was absolutely disgusting and it has become so far over the top Sen McCain MUST be rolling over in his grave.
I think it is important to clarify this since there is clearly some confusion about the term “sexual assault” and that is important above and beyond anything about this particular situation: Sexual assault is “any type of sexual activity or contact that you do not consent to. Sexual assault can happen through physical force or threats of force or if the attacker gave the victim drugs or alcohol as part of the assault. Sexual assault includes rape and sexual coercion. In the United States, one in three women has experienced some type of sexual violence.” From the Office of Women’s Health in the US government (and any other dictionary you like.)
Jeanette as I have said I have been a Law Enforcement officer for over 25 years I understand exactly the legal definition. I appreciate you pointing it out. That being said first her allegation was she believed he was “attempting” to sexually assault her and I am not trying at all to say that is not very serious. What I was trying to point out there is an distinct difference between being a victim of actual sexual assault and an attempt. Both very serious however one significantly more serious then then other. The way Andy wrote this letter was clearly painting word pictures to lead the reader down the path to conclude a rape took place or physical acts of violating Mrs Ford. This is where I believe the Bias sets in to paint a story he wants to be true because he hates Pres Trump so much. Again there are several reason to honestly question the story, motives etc. And to pretend there isn’t or worse intimidate by use of name calling, demonizing etc to shut down speech or debate is ridiculous and unfair. There ought to be honest debate that does NOT accuse either party as lying.
So again for example in her details she is not certain of the time, place, year, how she got to the party, how she got home, and has named the Judge who denied it ever happened and 4 witnesses who have ALL written letters to the Judiciary Committee deny it ever happened. So all we are left with is a recollection of a physical event and the details of it. There is NO police department in America or District Attorney’s office that would EVER take this case based on the EVIDENCE or lack there of in this case. No Judge would allow this case to go to trial anywhere in America period.
Now couple that with what we do know. It is a Pres Trump nominee, the Democratic Majority Leader in the Sen Schumer is on record as saying they would do everything to prevent this confirmation, Sen Feinstein sat on this allegation for almost 2 months, no one has seen Mrs Ford actual letter unredacted, EVERY Democratic senator except 3-4 said they were going to vote no prior to even meeting the judge, some of those voted for him last time and with NO EVIDENCE between there last vote they now want to vote no (prior to this allegation). I can list several more points like her attending Resist rallies or the attorney team and their relationships with the DNC and Resist movements, Democrats using this to raise donations to their re-election campaigns, etc. Oh and BTW the mid-terms are just a few weeks away, what a coincidence right? Sure
OK, just a few things. Your point that I “degrade and insult ANYONE who has ever been ACTUALLY sexually assaulted” by calling this as such, doesn’t have any support that I can find. Definitions vary slightly, but as Jeanette mentions below, both the dictionary and DOJ refer to sexual assault generally as sexual contact forced upon a person without consent. If the scene that Ford describes isn’t forceful, unwanted sexual contact, then I don’t know what is. The fact that it didn’t result in penetration and rape is irrelevant to its status as an assault on her being.
Senator Booker’s case: He groped a friend’s breast at a party; she slapped it away. He tried again, same result. A few years later, unbidden, no one accusing him of anything, he wrote about it in a college newspaper column in the public square, voluntarily, citing it as a eureka moment for him in finally understanding what women deal with all the time, and moderating his behavior thenceforth as a “changed man.” I don’t see how that equates to the situation with Ford and Kavanaugh.
Keith Ellison: huge questions about the veracity of his accuser in this deeply troubled relationship. In-depth review of it here, from which one can draw any number of conclusions, though I would tread very gingerly in being certain of any of them:
You say Ford is a successful professor, as a means of challenging her claim that she was traumatized and suffers still from the effects of the alleged attack. This belies the simple fact of the amazing resilience of the human spirit in going on with life despite past tragedies and violations. Doesn’t mean the tragedies and violations don’t linger the rest of one’s life. But they are not determinative.
You also say Ford would surely remember various specific details of the event, and you point to your own sharp memories of having been robbed as…what, proof that she should remember in the same way? I don’t know whether you have ever suffered sexual abuse, but I am going to guess not. Neither, by the grace of God, have I. So I think anything we say about this matter should take a deep backseat to someone who has, hence I’ll close here with a note I came across the other day in a newspaper Comments section in response to a column on the Ford-Kavanaugh matter:
“Brett: Your piece betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of trauma and memory. At age 13, I was repeatedly abused by my uncle, who was my father’s employer. He told me that if I didn’t comply he would fire my father and my family would be out on the street. I believed him.
“I remember certain things vividly – what his penis looked like, the feel of his hands on me, an image of a rumpled bed. I do not remember the dates of my abuse, anything else about the apartment where it took place, exactly how frequently it happened, a million other details. Any psychologist will tell you that this is typical.
“If you are fortunate enough never to have suffered physical or sexual abuse, with all due respect, you don’t know what you’re talking about. It is an experience like no other, indelible in part, a dim fog in others.
“All of this happened 62 years ago. I am 75 years old. The terror has always remained with me, as it does with all victims.”
Andy if you go back and re-read your post looking at how you dramatize the event I think you will see where a point is exaggerate or made to draw a more serious conclusion. For example before we had movies with straight up sex scenes the mind would assume the worse or a more graphic scene. You are using the mind to fill in the story to make it look worse. You are trying to have the reader close their eyes and place themselves in a scene with subtle differences or exaggerations to assume the worse. If you attempt was to bring light to women being abused then it demands you use the most current example from the other side so you can appear like you actually care about women. For example Justice Clearance Thomas should have been celebrated but because he was a Black Conservative he was smeared. BLM couldn’t careless about Chicago and how many blacks are being killed every year. They have an agenda not a crusade. This plays true with you giving Sen Booker a pass. Either the behavior is reprehensible or it isn’t. Judge Kavanaugh was younger and if true he could blame I was 16 or 17 years old an immature act due to intoxication. You let Sen Booker off the hook because he had an epiphany and so he should resign yet can’t seem to give the benefit of the doubt to a man that unequivocally denies the allegations. At a minimum can you not keep an open mind. In America we are supposed to be Innocent UNTIL proven guilty. We don’t throw out the Constitution because of political affiliation.
But possibly no better example of you ideology and bias blinded you, you write “Keith Ellison: huge questions about the veracity of his accuser in this deeply troubled relationship”. As always from Liberals you want strict scrutiny, the benefit of the doubt, skepticism when a person makes and accusation of a fellow Liberal. I have specifically listed the reasonable questions to her story while maintaining I am not saying she is lying. I am saying there is reason to question her story. So explain why you are so willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and not Judge Kavanaugh. Reason and logic say a 35 year old memory is significantly more fragile and vague then 8 months ago. She has released her medical reports where she names Keith in the medical report. Now could she be trying to ruin the man and make up the allegations? Sure but whenever the question is made about the Judge immediately Conservatives are labeled extreme right Trump minions or attacked because how dare you victimize the accuser a second time and traumatize her again. Just blindly believe her, unless of course she is accusing a Democrat. Well then she deserves the additional trauma and victimization right? It is Liberal Hypocrisy 101 and is shameful that you are not using the same standard of “have no reason to not believe her word” or “have a reason to not believe Mrs Ford. You can’t have it both ways, either you have an agenda or you are crusading. Sexual misconduct and physical abuse are very serious allegations and need the same treatment and standard regardless of party. In Both offenses Always, always, always they should be taken serious while demanding a person innocence be protected until proven guilty. Our Justice system is based on the foundation and principle that it is better to let 99 people go free then incarcerate ONE INNOCENT person!
Ron, I really worked at reading your extended comment and failed to get through it. I suggest that you reread it and try to make it more understandable. There appears to be some good points here from a man of experience, but the emotion seems to have overrun an ability for written expression.
It is a fact of human survival that we often minimize pain and trauma, just so we can keep breathing and moving. The extra weight of shame and violation around sexual abuse, the fact that it is such an intensely painful and private matter that is often met with disbelief at best and scorn and vilification at worst, has made it even more likely that these incidents get buried. It is simply untrue that individuals remember all the details, the fact that they have been able to move forward at all has been by blocking them out.
Ask any war veteran: the remembering moments come at odd times from unpredictable triggers, the details are often obscured. The big difference here is that veterans are not accused of fabrication or exaggeration, their story is not doubted and they are not shamed and humiliated if they do tell. Their moral integrity is not questioned, nor is why they cannot talk about such unspeakable pain and why they haven’t come forward earlier.
I am thankful for veterans and also want to point out in this comparison that they are not up against power, wealth and outright sexism and entitlement in grappling with how to live with their experience and what to do with what happened.
And what happened has consequences. One of the points that MeToo has uncovered is MeTooSoon: those men who have been uncovered as perpetrators of sexual assault who lost their careers, for a while. They sat in the shadows, for a while, and now are coming back, with seemingly no redress of the situation except some lost revenue. What would repentance, restitution look like in these cases? I am not sure, but asking the persons who lived with the trauma of the assault for years might be a starting point.
It seems plausible to me that these events did unfold in this way. As Andrew pointed out, Blasey Ford is extremely credible, she is also intelligent and could not have been unaware of the nightmare this would unleash upon her life. It seems very likely that Kavanaugh was either too inebriated to remember the incident or that it did not seem significant enough to be remembered. As the mother of a young adult male I can state that neither of these scenarios is of much comfort. “Really mom, it just wasn’t that big a deal! ” Why don’t I feel better?
I personally think that it is not the issue of the lapsed years that is at question here but whether these claims are indeed something to be taken seriously. Is sexual assault going to be taken seriously? This particular situation is high profile and involves wealthy and important people, but sexual assault happens everywhere, to all kinds of people. It has been ignored, tolerated and even accommodated for years. This situation bears investigation, and the Senate Judiciary Committee owes us nothing less. To wave this through would be a gross injustice to every American. Is a Supreme Court judge held to a high standard? I should certainly hope so.
This rush to pre- judgment is a repeat of “To Kill a Mockingbird”
The fictitious letter against Kavanaugh reflects the same accusations that white southern father Robert Ewell made up about the black Tom Robinson. Ewell coached his 15 year old daughter Mayella to tell of a traumatic sexual assault by Tom. To justify her being caught with the black man, Mayella must pretend she did not want any advances from Tom. On the stand for Tom Robinsons rape trial, Mayella repeats her fathers made up story of sexual assault.
We readers were privy to know she initiated and actually enjoyed the kiss with Tom. We readers also know she is making up the story of assault. The jurors also come to know Tom did not assault Mayella. But the hate the southern white jurors held for all black folks made it impossible for the white men to admit that Mayella may have initiated the kiss.
Their deep rooted prejudice made them wish she was sexually assaulted. But she was not. The prejudging jurors voted Tom guilty and sentenced him to death. Why? not based on the facts. Because they wanted him to be guilty. Many want Kavanaugh to be guilty in the same fashion.
For example, Angela above has already accepted the made up accusation against Kavanaugh and now sees Dr Ford as extremely credible and Kavanaugh as a entitled and ignorant. I am sorry to see this new prejudice being fueled just like the southern hate for blacks we have tried for soo long to overcome.
This popular attitude against Kavanaugh and for Dr Ford is prejudgment at its worst.
Andrew, Thank you for getting a discussion going anyhow..
Mary, you really know how to get to me with a literary reference—how terribly crafty of you! :-)
We are all caught in a maelstrom here which has roots that go back to the beginning of humankind and all the ripples of male dominance and forced female submission that continue to bedevil us today. The #MeToo movement represents a huge roar of revulsion and rejection of that dominance, but boy, do we have a long way to go (thinking right now of those 11 middle-aged white males that make up the entirety of the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, among many other matters…).
Yes, there are rushes to judgment, but this is true of both sides. I don’t hear any of my critics here doing anything less than convicting Dr. Ford of lying for simple political gain, plain and simple, though nothing in her background as a research statistician would support that view. You call her story a “made-up allegation,” but how can you possibly know it’s made up? Certainly, there are false allegations made by scorned or otherwise unhappy women, but I think history strongly suggests that when women (or men/boys, for that matter, e.g. the ongoing atrocities committed by Catholic priests) tell us they have been violated, we should take their claims very seriously. The record of not doing so has been grievous for sexual assault victims throughout history, as you well know.
In any case, I want to thank you for your always thoughtful comments that refrain from personal attack and invective. Helps keep the communication lines open.
There are some inaccuracies in the comment from Mary above. For the record: I said Blasey Ford is credible and intelligent, and stands little to gain from coming forward, and a great deal to endure, and she has no reason to do so were her story not true. I did not say Kavanaugh was ignorant, and never would. He is highly intelligent.
I would like to repeat that allegations of sexual assault should be taken very seriously, and this situation should be investigated seriously. We should listen, carefully, and respond, not react. I am hopeful that the Senate Judiciary Committee will do the same.
There are two similarities between “To Kill a Mockingbird” and this case: They both involve sexual assault as a topic, and the difficulty our culture experiences when a person with less power puts forth words that challenge that power.
I have been reading Andrew’s blog for just over a year, and have been one of a few people to comment, occasionally, on what moves me. Thoughts have been exchanged, ideas entertained, music enjoyed, poetry savoured. Commenters have spoken, listened, responded. And trusted Andrew’s (and others’) motivation. Clearly this post is different.
Andrew’s post is in a blog, which is one person’s narrative of his thoughts and experiences and insights. It is NOT a news article and that should have been clear over the years. I found it helpful to read, agreed with much of it, thought more about it, as usual.
Without even getting into the substance of the discussion – which seems fueled more by venom than anything else – I need to say that the rapid and energetic need to defend this candidate and delegitimize the woman involved mirrors (to me) the same dynamic that we see all the time. A mob seems outraged that this woman DARE raise her voice, and that Andrew raised his. A flood of ill-informed and emotional nastiness – stands in stark contrast to how ideas, thoughts and feelings are usually weighed in this blog.
This is not a coincidence.
The power of those used to having it is, slowly but steadily, shifting. Men have had the microphone, white men, mostly rich men, for centuries in this country. This is still the case, but there are indicators of change. And the hysteria from those used to being in power is remarkable in its vitriol. And its irrationality. It feels very fear-based to me. Long drawn out screeds are not persuasive to me, regardless of whatever political agenda is being advanced. They feel angry, and untrusting, and cold-hearted. It is the lack of trust in this series of exchanges that most amazes me. I keep wondering if the angry commenters even *know* Andrew.
I have had my own experiences with assault; I have also been wrongly accused with bald-faced lies that caused me to lose a job. I am still responding to both of those incidents, decades later. Andrew gave us his view of what Dr. Ford is feeling and experiencing – I found it insightful, risky, and generous to those of us struggling. I would like to see us all struggle more – and pounce, judge, and spew less.
Thank you, Jeanette, for the calm clarity of expression here. “Struggle” indeed! If not that, what?
Beautifully articulated, Jeannette. Thank you for a sober and heartfelt expression of the complexities of this issue and the dignity and integrity of this blog (Andrew). I too was professionally demeaned and threatened on social media through a false accusation. It is painful stuff indeed .
Andy, I never said that I believed her to be lying. I’m implying that it is highly suspicious as to the timing. This is politically motivated, that is what I’m certain of. We will never know the truth, but if she is lying how sad for him and his family. In the end only God will judge both of them, that’s not up to me…
So you think it’s possible she’s telling the truth from her own experience, but that she/Feinstein et al timed its release for purely political purposes? I don’t know about the timing part; of course it looks suspicious but there are complicating issues here of her initially not wanting to be identified since doing so would obviously invite the storm that has indeed ensued, etc. But to the point of whether it is political? Of course it is, inasmuch as Ford came forth with this information because she was troubled by the prospect of this man, given her purported experience with him, being elevated to the Supreme Court. That’s inherently political, but everything about the Supe appointment process is political, including Trump getting his marching orders on candidates strictly from the Federalist Society, a highly conservative think tank, rather than, say, the American Bar Association. And his promise to appoint judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade was as political and far-reaching as it gets, and now he’s got his man in Kavanaugh, who will, I am convinced, despite his evasions in the confirmation hearings, do everything possible to do the president’s and his base’s bidding in overturning prevailing abortion law. What’s not political about that?
Well, like I’ve heard a lot since the 2008 election, elections have consequences. Your last two lines say it all. It’s all about abortion, not the fact that Kavanaugh will make a good judge. I predict some time in the future that abortion will be perceived as the absolute barbaric practice that it is. I still don’t think that it will get overturned no matter who is confirmed, sadly.
Back to the elections comment, maybe HC shouldn’t have called half the country “deplorables” and now the old creepy guy is calling them “the dregs of society.” Wait a minute, I guess that would be me, but aren’t the Democrats the ones who stand up for us folks?
I find it interesting Andrew, that your imagined statement was so easily conflated with a call to judge and jury against Judge Kavanaugh. It seemed to me to be an expression of, by way of Dr. Ford’s experience, the tectonic shift in our society exemplified by the Me Too movement. It’s been and will continue to be a messy business. What I also find interesting is the visceral reaction to your post. Some responders, it seems to me, doth protest a bit too much. There are many nuggets in these responses and counter responses which invite comment. But I’ll pass. What I will say is, the absolutist thinking and the bitter partisan tribalism which seems more and more evident, is as big a threat to our democracy as any I can remember.
As a long time reader of this blog I feel compelled to weigh in here with a plea for civility – as an educator for the past 48 yrs. one of the cardinal skills sets we endeavor to teach students beginning in elementary school is how to “disagree agreeably”. Civil discourse in grounded in a combination of Aretha Franklin (R-E-S-P-E-C-T) and the cardinal norm for all the world’s religions, the Golden Rule. Forgive my teacherly response here, but we fellow readers would do well to commit to these basic norms if we truly value respectful-civil discourse… especially about topics in which we disagree so strongly. I think if all readers commit to these basic norms (“take it down a notch or two” my wife would say) the interactions will not only be more gracious we might also be able to understand, if not agree with, points of view dramatically different from our own. State your views forcefully yet within these norms, and always remember – you might be wrong! (keeping w/Andrew’s love of music & use of YouTube videos, one of my favorite singer/songwriters is Paul Thorn from Tupelo Mississippi – if you can spare 3 min, give a listen to his tune, “You Might Be Wrong”…. I think it might just add a little humility and humor to these heated responses:
Click: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFRM4oJwLdc if you so choose.
Drew, you really did it this time. Shame on you for creatively expressing a point of view that attempts to deal with the scars of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, this issue, which I assume even the pro-Kavanaugh crowd would deem serious, finds itself mired in the hyper-political atmosphere that has transformed constructive debate into an odious diatribe, saturated with behavior inhibiting civilized discourse. Have we as a country become so inebriated in partisanship that veracity no longer carries any weight. Why, in the name of god, after witnessing this debacle would any 15 year-old girl want to come forward and tell anyone, even parents, about a sexual attack? If Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate, how do I explain it to my two daughters and five granddaughters? Do I simply say to them that most of them thought she was lying? And if they asked me why would she subject herself to a nationally televised hearing if it wasn’t true? I’d have no answer. I’m sure that Lisa, Chris, Ron or Bonnie would be mute as well. Have we simply surrendered basic goodness to the divisive partisanship, which now pollutes our words, thoughts, and voices? I’m afraid next week Christine Ford’s awful experience will take a backseat to the ugly reality that Party matters more than morality.
Well, that’s rich. Party matters more than morality? Guess you’re right if Hilary and Bill Clinton are in question….see, I agree with you….
Robert Spenser – since my name was mentioned in your statement, let me ask you a quick question. Every wonder what it might feel for a Father falsely accused of something trying to explain that to his two innocent daughters? I’m sure right now you would be mute in your comment as well.
I’ve been finding myself wondering whether it is possible to engage in discussion of opposing points of view on a consistent basis without resorting to snark, sarcasm, and the need to prove the other wrong, wrong, wrong with withering, personally-tinged criticism. We are emotional creatures for whom true objectivity is impossible; we all look thru lenses profoundly colored by subjective experience and interpretation. I’ve lost track of the books and thinkers who patiently, with brain imaging studies galore, explain this to us, yet still we cling to our silos of righteousness, trying to convince ourselves that WE are the rational, clear-eyed ones, in contrast to…
This is why I grow so weary of charges that I’m being hypocritical because I said one thing about this and another about that. Oh, but for the beam in thine eye, said one holy person, at one time or other.
For the record, I AM hypocritical, you betcha, Baby. I am human, therefore I hypocritize (my spin on Descartes, with a made-up verb…).
That argument—What about thus ‘n such, you didn’t mind it when so-and-so did it way back when!—is never-ending and common as dirt, and every ideological stripe under the sun is guilty of it. And it goes exactly nowhere. It makes me sooooo tired….
I find myself needing a lot of discipline to stay—to the degree possible, because I have lapses—on an even keel. Takes a lot of thought, restraint, patience, and deleted lines, rubbing out and dropping back and down with a deep breath when I find Snark Arising or Vituperation in Ascension. The discipline is good for me, of course. (Discipline is most always good for me.) But it does take a whole gob of intention, because I’m an emotional creature who thinks I’m right about the things I feel passionate about. I don’t think that conviction will change all that dramatically over time, unless I manage to turn into Mr. Spock via some pill or brain & heart transplant. But being Mr. Spock doesn’t look like all that much fun to me, anyway.
What’s more important is that my expression of those convictions and my consideration of other’s convictions are still capable of changing, so that to the degree possible and desirable, my convictions might change too as I consider—seriously consider, without snark or self-righteousness—other’s convictions, or at least grow more nuanced and accepting of how incomplete all of our convictions are, and always will be.
A work in progress, is what it is. May it always remain at least that.
This may well be your most brilliant post yet, Drew. The insight, compassion, empathy, and respect for humanity and the human condition are things one would think touching and appreciated by liberals and conservatives alike: though responses indicate that compassion, empathy and insight do not always cover the spectrum of human experience and perspective: too bad for us all. Reader Chris suggests that you have never given President Trump a chance. Chris, we all gave our President a chance to demonstrate his humanity and ability to lead many times. Charlottesville: he sided with neo- Nazis. Helsinki: he rolled over and coddled Putin. Hurricane in Puerto Rico: he ridiculed victims and now denies their deaths. School Shootings: he blames school security and districts. He has had a multitude of chances to demonstrate his humanity and ability to lead and he has revealed each time that he is a man without scruples, judgement, and the most basic values one hopes for an adult human. This blog is so rich, and such a wonderful platform for us all to respectfully share viewpoints that I look forward to returning for further sharing and learning soon. Thanks to all, and God bless Andrew for making the exchange of ideas possible
Chris and Lisa, while I appreciate the push-me pull-you nature of tra.vers.ing, too often the push and pull are so concerned with their own argument’s righteousness that they misunderstand what the other was trying to say. Not once in my post did I mention President Trump. Yet, you assumed that my opposition to Kavanaugh was based on my dislike of the president, whom I admittedly disagree with on nearly every subject. I simply oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination because I believe Christine Ford is telling the truth. Advise and consent, the nominating and confirmation process delineated in Article 2, section 2, clause 2 of our Constitution, is crucial to “checks and balances”, but the political disgust of one party toward the other is suffocating it. I felt that the Democrats wrongly objected to Judge Gorsuch’s nomination. Unfortunately, he was in the “wrong place at the wrong time.” Democrats rejected him as a way to counter the manner in which Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans treated Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, a judge whom Kavanaugh said was eminently qualified to sit on the bench of the Supreme Court. Gorsuch had nothing to do with the McConnell’s unfair refusal to even hold a hearing for Garland and, as such, should not have been held responsible for it. Gorsuch’s conservative resume should never have been an obstacle to confirmation. If Republicans could admit that Garland was mistreated and Democrats could do likewise with Gorsuch, things might improve.
We all need to take a deep breath and acknowledge that our present course of governing jeopardizes our entire Constitution. We only need take a look at the final confirmation tallies of previous justices to realize just how bad it’s become: Warren Burger (Nixon) 74-3; Thurgood Marshall (Johnson) 69-11; Harry Blackmun (Nixon) 94-0; Lewis Powell (Nixon) 89-1; Sandra Day O’Connor (Reagan) 99-0; Antonin Scalia (Reagan) 98-0; Arthur Kennedy (Reagan) 97-0; David Souter (Bush) 90-9; Ruth Ginsburg (Clinton) 96-3; and Stephen Breyer (Clinton) 87-9. Since 2005, no nominee to the Supreme Court has received more than 72 votes (Roberts). Will we ever again see a day when a Ruth Bader Ginsburg, perhaps the most liberal justice on the court today, could have a close, respectful relationship with an Antonin Scalia, one of the most conservative justices in recent memory?
These numbers are very illuminating to me. I may lift them from you and pass them along, if I may. It is so telling that my old bastion and fascination and security – the Supreme Court – is now really under siege and may well already be lost to partisanship. I always drew such hope, and even optimism, when a “liberal” opinion came from a judge appointed by a “conservative” President, and vice versa. The justices felt honorable and above the bickering (and influence of money). My fear about the erosion of our democracy (or – given my gloomy feelings today – the onset of fascism) is either over-dramatic or under-acknowledged. Today I am struggling with where to alight, even for a moment.
MeToo on those numbers! Astonishing, and dismaying, suggesting we have gone completely off the rails. How does any kind of trust and goodwill begin to be rebuilt in today’s environment? It seems we are about where the Israelis and Arabs are, in permanent hostile camps. Seems we are in need of a transcendent leader, a healer, but it’s open to question whether anyone could possibly fill that role. But without it, cowering and plotting in our bunkers, how do we move forward?
As I wrote my comment I, too, thought of the Palestinians and Israelis. Questions come up year after year, and the answers are the same. Everyone has their answers ready, regardless of the situation. More worrisome to me, Barack Obama could have been that transcendent leader you speak of, Andrew – but it did not happen. >sigh<
Thank you for these very revealing numbers, Mr. SPENCER. They clearly reveal the tribalism that has swept our country, and it is reason for great concern. We are moving in a very troubling direction.
Robert Spencer – For some reason (a few comments above) you made a comment to me, so I responded. In my response I made no mention of Trump. My response to you was strictly on letting Kavanaugh speak first before labeling him guilty. Heck if this is the new trend to convict someone, lawyers will be a dying breed, as will our whole court system.
I’d like to share a few of my comments if that’s acceptable….
To Jeanette…you ask how I *know* Andrew. I actually have *known* him as Andy my entire 64 years of life as he is my older Brother.
To Robert….she hasn’t testified yet and seems to be doing a wonderful job of delaying it.
To Kevin….I would say that R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a 2-Way Street as I’m sure you would agree.
To you my Brother Andy. I ask a simple question and can never get a simple answer. Instead I get an essay that completely skirts the question.. Somethings I guess never change.
And one last comment for you all to think about..
I have a Husband & 2 Sons & 1 Son-In-Law & 8 Grandsons & 7 Nephews & they have Sons & 1 Brother-In-Law & my Brother Andy.
If we are to make this the standard….
A 36 year old accusation where there is no evidence. She doesn’t know the year or the month or the date. She doesn’t know the location or whose home it happened at. She doesn’t know how she left or where she went afterwards. She has admitted that she drank too much. And never told a single soul.
But she now has the ability to ruin this man’s life. Ruin his Family & Destroy his outstanding Career & Ruin his Reputation. If this is to be the new norm than I hope none of you or your Families ever find your self in this situation.
I read an article the other day asking some of these very questions and the last line in the article really got my attention. It said…”This much is certain: The standard of evidence to ruin a man’s reputation cannot be zero”.
With that said…I believe we really need to be careful here because I will tell you that I know that there will be woman who would willingly lie to get back at an old boyfriend or boss or whoever.
I’m sure you have all heard of the old saying…
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
In closing you’ll all be happy to hear that I will be leaving this blog. You have all made it abundantly clear that my Family and I are not Welcome here. This blog is only for those that Agree with and Praise the writer. So have at it !!!!
I will make a Prediction though….this woman will never testify….
Well, I did wonder aloud not *how* but IF you knew Andrew, because it seemed like there was no trust or good will in your comments. Later on I discovered you are family members….and yet I still have the same question!
We either choose to play softball or choose to play hardball when comments like the above by Jeanette is thrown at our family. I choose to play softball. We don’t throw out anyone’s names like many of you do to us, we just state our thoughts. I also don’t think it is fair to question our good will or trust towards our brother who we all love since childhood. I will still be reading his blogs.
Good for you, Lisa. I really hope you do continue to participate on this blog as you have much to offer; as does Bonnie. I hope that she will reconsider and return.
Thanks Jay. I may occasionally read my brother’s blog, but will more than likely not comment anymore either. I really don’t think I have much to offer (especially on anything to do with politics) on this blog and overall it drains to much of my energy that can be invested in something more positive.
Lisa, I think when outsiders are shocked to find out that it has been family members directing some of the harsh rhetoric that has been directed my way, it’s not a matter of fairness, but of simple observation and interpretation of what they’ve been reading. Words matter, and the tone of those words matters perhaps even more. And it pains me to say some of the tonality used here toward me doesn’t suggest an abundance of goodwill, trust or love toward a family member. Doesn’t mean it’s not there somewhere, but it seems to have been hiding pretty well on this thread. Hence people’s surprise. But let’s chalk that up to overheated emotion on an (all too obviously) overheated topic, and let it go at that.
I’d like to offer an alternate take on using people’s names in comments. I almost always do, for two reasons. One, to make sure my comment/reply is connected to the person whose comment I’m addressing, given how long individual threads can sometimes get. Two, and much more importantly, using your name slows me for a moment and reminds me you’re a human being with an identity and a beating heart, not just something convenient for me to tee off on and vent my spleen toward. It personalizes and humanizes you, and makes it less likely, I think, though it is not a guarantee, that I will try to rip you to shreds as some faceless punching bag, snarking and barking all the way.
Andy I am sorry you have felt any lack of goodwill, trust or love from some family members on this or any of your blogs, but what I seem to observe is it called out immediately to any family member, yet the opposite seems lacking. Maybe taking into account what our Sis Chris might feel when someone on your blog comes at her and nothing is said about it. I have to conclude that she also feels a lack of goodwill, trust or love. I know you can’t police your blogs, but calling both sides out seems like it would gain the most amount of respectful from both sides. Am I just naive in my thinking?
Bonnie, if I offended you in any way, I’m sorry. I actually attempted to post my opinion in a manner that was neither sarcastic or spiteful. My more than 50 years of wonderful memories with the Hidas family would preclude me from intentionally writing something mean, even if our political positions are “Night and Day” (great Cole Porter song). I remember talking to your dad about the Oxy track team. I remember the many times Andy, Jay and I would come over to your house because your mom would always feed us. I remember Pete high jumping (he was in ERHS 1966 graduating class with my older brother). I remember playing basketball nearly every weekend (so it seems now in my somewhat clouded memory) with Jay and Andy. Of course, there were those thousand or so moments away from basketball when your brother, Jay, Moon, Dave and I (we gathered for a 50 year reunion in Venice last March) did things from the grandiose to the mundane. Again, Bonnie, if my posts hurt you, I apologize. By the way, tell Ron if I’m ever in the Dallas area (I live in Houston now), I’ll stop by his pizza joint for lunch. Also, if he would like a Beto sticker for his car or lawn, let me know.
Robert Spencer – Love hearing these “hanging out at the Hidas house” stories before I was born. Our home was always welcoming to all who entered. It’s to bad you weren’t able to talk politics with our Dad in his later years. He was an expert!
*”In closing you’ll all be happy to hear that I will be leaving this blog. You have all made it abundantly clear that my Family and I are not Welcome here. This blog is only for those that Agree with and Praise the writer. So have at it !!!!”*
This is abundantly, clearly, untrue. Simply inaccurate. You are mistaking spirited dialogue behind which there are strong emotions and convictions for making you feel “unwelcome,” without any acknowledgement that you and others who agree with you also contribute to and express the same spirited, emotional dialogue. And that is reflected in a substantial number of your comments above, many of them disagreeing vehemently with me and others, but there they are, published, welcome, and ready for more. I myself try to draw the line at vehement personal attacks, but that is an inexact science, and lord knows, I suffer my own share of sharp arrows from those who disagree with me. If I disagree back with you, I am not making you unwelcome; I’m just disagreeing with you. And I do my best to enumerate why.
I didn’t get to your simple question because much else has required my attention, given all that has gone on with this post, but it does have an equally simple answer. if I were falsely accused I would feel very badly and be outraged. Who wouldn’t be? But “falsely” is the key word there. And there’s one more key: I’m just a schmo blogger, and am not up for a lifetime membership on the highest court in the land. If I were, however outraged I was and possibly untrue the allegation was, I would have to come to terms with the accusation being investigated. That’s just life in the Big Leagues, as it were; you get up to bat, you’re going to face some heat, and the pitches might come from unexpected angles.
Finally, all your questioning and skepticism regarding Ford’s lack of memory in this matter has been addressed in other comments, so I won’t repeat them here. As I mentioned elsewhere, I’m not certain but tend to believe her account, you tend to believe his. Neither of us know with certainty, but we have formed opinions, and each of us is entitled to them. Yet another disagreement: I predict she will testify. So to use one of the president’s favorite lines: “We’ll see what happens.”
Bonnie, it does not make me happy that you are leaving this blog. In fact, I find it distressing and demoralizing. The fact that discourse and disagreement cannot be aired without highly personalized feelings and perceptions is a concern for the very foundation of human communication. This is alarming and I hope that you will reconsider.
Though on a much less serious issue than rape, I was falsely accused at one time over a professional issue. I was hurt and outraged, appeared at a deposition in a district court, and was thankful that truth prevailed: it usually does in a civilized society, as hoped earlier in this blog by Lisa.
Two more thoughts.
If this is disqualifying because an allegation 35 years ago and you are afraid how he will treat women if he confirmed. I encourage you to go back and watch the disgusting treatment both Justice Thomas and Judge Bork experienced by Democrats. One confirmed and NOT A SINGLE ACCUSATION against him since his confirmation. Truly a “High Tech Lynching against a good man and NOT A SINGLE APOLOGY by the despicable people who attack and smeared his good name.
You say Andy you don’t see this allegation being political right? Well then answer me this one question, if it isn’t political then why did Mrs Ford present her allegations to politicians and not law enforcement?
Good point, Ron, on Bork and Thomas. However, in watching those hearings I was more struck by how badly Anita Hill was treated and what lies ahead for Ford. Observing the treatment doled out to these women will make the young women in our lives reluctant to ever come forward if sexually mistreated
Jay I worry too because it is not right. Even if Mrs Ford is bold face lying as I said before it should NEVER mean her personal safety or life or family members should ever be threatened. Comments like Rep Maxine Waters encourage disgusting behavior of hate and leads to violence. Honest spirited debate I am all for but when civility leaves for nasty in your face screaming at people trying to eat with their families or in front of their homes is so far over the top and despicable. Rep Waters won’t tolerate anyone treating her that way but encourages people to treat others that way.
I agree Jay some women are reluctant however we need to hold everyone accountable here. So as I say supporting Hillary after what she has done to women accusers is unbelievable to me. So many women have felt betrayed by Hillary because she being a women should know better then to try and destroy the women who came out on Bill. That is equally as harmful and yet she is still publicly active, in the DNC leadership and a respected in fact practically worshiped leader for the Democrats. How does she still have a platform to speak from in the party after how she treated Bill’s multiple accusers? At a minimum she shouldn’t be chiming in on this subject the optics for people who vividly remember is horrible and hypocritical. And to have a slogan “I’m with Her” is down right insulting to many women especially after knowing how she help defend and get a rapists off basically on a technicality many years ago. Ahh no Hillary, you don’t care about women you care about winning…. At all costs!
Ron, there are now 70 comments on this post. This will make 71. Among the first 70 is my observation to someone—Chris, I think—that of course this allegation is political. Maybe you can find it.
Elsewhere up above, you urge me again to substitute Keith Ellison and Corey Booker in place of Kavanaugh. I already addressed both of those issues above as well. I see no need to go in circles here.
And again, this post had zero to do with President Trump. I barely gave him any thought at all, only citing his few comments among others to underscore the actual point of the post, which was inspired by observing the automatic, reflexive dismissal of Blasey Ford’s claims, followed by scurrilous attacks upon her character and motivation, just as has happened to other women for thousands of years. I wanted to explore what that might feel like, so I decided to give voice to her and follow where it went. It was an imaginative exercise. I doubt it will result in reducing Kavanaugh’s chances of being approved by the Judiciary Committee, none of whom, as far as I know, read my blog.
“No need to go in circles” seems to be code for, I can’t admit a double standard or I am wrong for not believing Ellison’s accuser as I call for Mrs Ford to be believed. And dismissing or justifying Sen Booker’s behavior while I condemn Kavanaugh’s or for that matter any sexual misconduct by men. Just to reiterate I am ok with condemning any sexual misconduct so long as we condemn it all and not selectively pick and choose based solely along party lines. Because it shifts from no longer a moral outage debate to simply a political stunt.
No, it’s code for “I’ve said this before and there is no use in beating a dead horse.” And for the stone cold fact that every single situation is different and needs to be evaluated on its own merits. You seem uniquely obsessed with bullying me into submission on your terms while waving the Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy! card. I wonder what that’s about for you.
Fine then don’t recognize that Keith Ellison’s allegations are serious. Why can’t you at least recognize your standard for “evaluating” is constantly biased by your ideology. You rail against anyone who dares not believe accounts like Mrs Ford while conveniently stepping back and taking time to hear all the facts in other accounts. And the ONLY difference between two accounts is political party affiliation. PLEASE don’t pretend you care about women rights when you want to blindly believe claiming “no reason to believe” Mrs Ford wasn’t telling the truth when I listed several reasons vs Rep Keith Ellison’s that has ACTUAL EVIDENCE of physical assault and abuse and your “response” is to post a link to their relationship issues. How dare you accuse her and victimize her again. You want Mrs Ford to be believed and shown respect then time to offer the SAME treatment of Ellison’s accuser. OR “evaluate” the EVIDENCE HONESTLY and have a “reason” to question both ladies. But you can’t have it both ways.
Again explain what has happened since you defended Bill Clinton? There is absolute EVIDENCE he was guilty of his ACTUAL sexual assaults against multiple women and YOU defended him, voted for him twice. YOU voted for Hillary after she viciously attacked the accusers and never once has she apologized nor have you recognized how disgusting her treatment of those accusers was that were ALL telling the TRUTH. And NO ONE Denies it! YOU were outraged after the audio tape of Pres Trump came out about “talking about groping women” yet Sen Booker ACTUALLY groped women and you are like oh it was a boys will be boys, he was a young immature adolescent that has now seen the error of his ways attitude. It is inconceivable to me how you can NOT see your lifelong double standard ideological bias. Your basic defense of Sen Booker reminds me of the Manedez trial where the defense had the men dressed in those ridiculous Easter type sweaters trying to make them look like they were 10 and 12 years old in an effort to try and make them look like naive innocent little boys instead of the cold blooded greedy killers that they were.
I wonder why you can’t seem to ever answer most of the questions or even explain your double standards?
Ron, I think it’s better if you give this a rest now. Go play with your grandkid or watch a ballgame. Or both. Tonic for the soul!
It was an exercise that you participated in when you helped Hillary destroy all the women who accused Pres Bill Clinton. You defend and voted for Bill TWICE. You argued that it was “just sex” in his “private life”. You are guilty of what you are now defending. I have the emails still till this day, would you like me to post them on this blog? So when and where did this epiphany of yours come from that all of a sudden you are concerned with how the accuser is being treated? See because I would applaud you for finally getting it right if you did a couple of things and didn’t do a couple of things.
First “DO’s”, you can start by apologizing to the women like Paula Jones, Anita Broekrick and the others. Maybe a Blog on how wrong it was of you and that you have learned a valuable lesson in the Kavanaugh hearings.
Now the “Don’ts” You can never vote for Hillary or anyone else like her that did what she did to those accusers. See I would be tempted to believe an epiphany moment had you not voted for Hillary in the last election. See but you did and what she did was incredibly worse. She didn’t just believe and defend her husband, which in private she didn’t if I am to believe my friends both in the White House and the men and women who protect them. No Hillary viciously attacked and went after those women. She didn’t just defend her husband she tried to destroy those women. After allegations have been found true for many years now and settlements paid out she has never once apologized to any of those women. DNA found on a dress and she has NEVER apologized! What makes it worse for Hillary isn’t because she is a Democrat for me. It’s because she is a WOMEN! So you and the rest of the Liberal talking points keep slamming men because we aren’t women and we couldn’t possibly understand. Well Hillary is a women and she betrayed ALL women by her behaviors of trying to destroy those women who WERE telling the TRUTH and worse she KNEW it was the TRUTH! So when her B.S. campaign focused on her being the Champion for women I nearly choked to death. It was disgusting to me because in nearly every aspect of her past 40 plus year public life she has ONLY truly cared about Hilary and not women, soldiers, police, children, the poor you name it. She has used each and every group to benefit herself and if anyone tries to get in her way they had better watch out.
Now I am sure you and others on this post will not believe this but I know plenty of people who have worked for them and on her staff or campaigns. I personally have met her and Bill and worked with and around several people that know them both personally or have protected them and they know the real HRC not the one you see on cameras. They haven’t heard stories Andy they witnessed stories, she is not a very nice person especially if you get in her way. And to her the Paula and Anita’s got in her way so she tried to destroy them and even when given the opportunity to by a reported she still till this day refuses to apologize for her behavior of those women! For you to defend Mrs Ford and support HRC is not an epiphany it is politics. I am not ok with that, but I would have more respect if a person just admitted it. It is an agenda motivated by power and control and not by defending principles from my perspective. A principle stance would call it both ways the exact same not along ideological lines.
So how about a Blog about double standards like HRC trying to destroy the accusers? Or maybe a Blog on how you now understand they effects on the accusers you helped and participated in trying to dismiss, belittle and destroy? Or maybe a Blog on the importance to not cast judgement until both sides of the story comes out? Or maybe a Blog on treating people fairly or like you might want to be treated? See you got upset with me threatening to cut my comments off simply because I said your actions were shameful or disgusting. That offended you and you didn’t apparently like being treated with a perceived disrespect or as you called a personal attack. But you have no problem attacking Judge Kavanaugh or ALL the women who accused Pres Clinton. Why not simply afford the same level of respect to those women and the Judge that you would like to be afforded is all I am saying or have said for 30 years now? If your Blog happened in a bubble i might be able to see some of your attempted points now. But it isn’t in a bubble and you take the same positions especially with Pres Trump. You have never kept an open mind, you hated him from the get go and it appears to me refuse to honesty and objectively treat him fairly. If he puts out another childish disgusting tweets personally attacking someone then fire at will I have no problem with that. BUT when he accomplishes something good for our country I would at least expect a that-a-boy or I have to admit that was a good thing that Pres Trump did there. And when you jump on the bandwagon DNC talking points or media spin that turn out to be a lie or false news story, you know an apology would do wonders for credibility.
Andrew, I really appreciated this blog and your measured, reasoned, and respectful responses to some pretty mean comments. At this point you must be exhausted.
(As an aside, I don’t know how you manage to create such interesting and well-written material week after week.)
I don’t really have anything to add to what you and other thoughtful folks have already written here other than this: Taking on Blasey-Ford’s persona to write this blog has clearly exposed you to some of the same bitter anger and resentment she has experienced since she stepped forward with her accusation. I don’t know whether you anticipated this, but regardless, thank you for putting yourself out there – bravely, intelligently, and civilly – on this hugely divisive situation.
Well, David, venturing out to open water always risks an encounter with sharks! Basic risk factor, he says, seeking calm in the Bay of Waxing Philosophical… :-)
Since some readers of the blog may not remember or were born before Robert Bork’s 1987 confirmation hearing, I thought I would delve into it, sticking to facts while avoiding opinion. When Justice Potter Stewart, a moderate and often the swing vote on the Court’s decisions, resigned in June of 1987, Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork to replace him. Within minutes of the announcement, Senator Ted Kennedy slammed Bork in a nationally televised speech calling Bork’s America a land of “back alley abortions, segregated lunch counters, rogue police breaking down doors at midnight, deny evolution, and censorship of writers and artists.” NAACP, ACLU and women’s rights groups piggybacked Kennedy’s sentiment with scathing criticisms of their own. Although Bork had long been seen as a controversial judge, the degree to which Kennedy’s “Bork’s America” speech resonated with so many shocked the Reagan White House. Soon, as in all justice confirmation hearings, his writings, cases, and speeches trickled in, hurting him immensely. Bork stated that the Warren and Burger Courts had gone too far in their civil rights’ decisions. Bork opposed the federal government’s imposing itself on fair voting standards, a right he felt should belong to the states. Of course, the Senate reminded him, and majority of Americans concurred, that the federal government had to intercede because a number of Southern states endorsed laws that were overtly designed to suppress minority voting. Bork also questioned a general “right to privacy” since it wasn’t specifically mentioned in the Constitution. Moreover, some of his more controversial writings and opinions worried even those who supported him. When he questioned the scope of the First Amendment and challenged the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, he literally drove a nail into his own coffin. In October, four months after Reagan nominated him, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected confirmation, which virtually ended his chance to sit on the Supreme Court. However, he demanded a full Senate vote on his nomination and lost 42-58. While the final ballot broke largely upon party affiliation, six Republican senators did cast a “nay” vote. As a side note, the South was as Democratic then as it is Republican now; all the Senators from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and West Virginia voted against him. Historians often cite the Bork hearings as the catalyst to the intense partisanship that exists today.
Exactly right Robert. Liberals went off the rails against Judge Bork and viciously personally attack him which is not the responsibility of the Senate. They are simply supposed to “Advise and Consent” which means they are to evaluate weather or not a nominee is “qualified”. Judge Kavanaugh was rated the highest rating given by a Liberal leaning body that rated him A++. But since they have figured out a way to re-stack the court that does not resemble our nations makeup so they can change the Constitution to match their ideology. So they have high jacked the system in a “ends justify the means” all out blood bath and don’t care so long as they win.
They never seem to critically think more then the chess move in front of them when it comes to strategy. For example in an effort to stack the court Sen Reid changed the Senate rules with the nuclear option of removing the filibuster. Oh they celebrated it then unable to imagine what happens if they lose power. As soon as they lost power they realized their mistake and blamed Republicans for both sides of the argument. Next they never considered the blowback on this political stunt. In other words it is widely agreed based on history that the Democrats should win back the House in this midterm. But they underestimate the voters, like in the last election. You are giving Republicans a reason to not stay home and to be energized to go vote. They are using this to energize their base but failed to realize they were already energized. So it reminds me of the lesson learned by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, “I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant”.
But here is possibly the two worst miscalculations by the Democrats and this stunt. First the gloves came off in the last election by Trump voters and Sanders voters. Both were examples of how fed up voters are at both parties establishments. Now with this we will see the gloves coming further off and a no holds barred will result. On more then 7 to 1 Democrats in power have sexually assaulted women in Congress. Over 15 million TAX dollars have been silently paid out to accusers by Congressmen. They are going to rue the day when accusation after accusation start coming out just to destroy them. And I guarantee there are several men in congress right now that are peeing their pants worried about the retaliation that will undoubtedly ensnare some of them by accident. That is exactly how Monica came out, by accident. Investigators like the FBI start snooping around and people get burned. Now Second and the most damaging, is their gross miscalculation in their strategy and that is the tremendous set back to WOMEN this stunt will bring. It is not argued at all the advances that Judge Kavanaugh has brought to women and advancing their careers and opportunity. He is the NUMBER 1 Federal Judge that promotes women in interns and top positions in his office. So you are taking a man who has gone the extra mile for women and I see NO POSSIBLE way this will not effect the future of women. Because it is hard to be accused of sexually assaulting ANY women in your office if you do not have any women working for you. If an accusation without any evidence is the new standard then good luck with any smart guy to ever hire a women again. I promise again they will rue the day and we will see the consequences of this stunt for years to come setting women back decades. Nice Job Sen Democrats and the media I wonder how you will spin this into the Republicans fault?
Andrew, thank you so much for this. Thank you for trying to imagine what it might be like for a woman. I don’t know an adult woman who has not been aggressed upon. With credible accusations from Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, it is time for the FBI to reopen the background check on Brett Kavanaugh. I believe them. I believed Anita Hill. Thank you.
Thanks much, Jeanette. I got a complaint from one person privately, he didn’t want to be public, that took me to task for inhabiting the voice of a woman, both because I couldn’t possibly know what it is really like, and because women are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves, so it was presumptuous of me to attempt doing so. It’s a common sensibility these days, complete with denunciations of cultural, gender, and whatever other forms of appropriation. And though I understand the concern, I don’t agree with it. Ultimately, it destroys the entire concepts of empathy, identification, and imagination, restricting us to writing only memoir from our own direct experience, all of us separate islands detached from others whom we can never really understand. Oh, how I have come to hate the phrase, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.” Imagining what you’re going through is the ONLY way I can feel true empathy for your plight. It would be much more accurate, I think, to say, “I am imagining what you’re going through, I am so sorry, and it scares the bejeeezus out of me that it could happen to me, too.”
Alas, these concerns are just another sign, I think, of our increasingly tribal times.
I am amazed at the restraint and civility shown is these writings by my friends from long ago. I am astounded and impressed that a small, public High School in NE Los Angeles could have produced such intelligent and caring individuals. I am, sadly, dismayed by the political tribalism and narrow thinking by those on the starboard side of politics, and do not think there is a whole lot of daylight on the other side of this tunnel we are in. That’s a fluffy way of saying I believe there are values which lean toward justice, humanity and tolerance, and those are the values I share with Drew, Spencer, Helman and others who have contributed here. Stay with it, Drew. You’re on the right track!
Moon, it is amazing how enlightened we all are! Must have been something in the water. Now if we can get others to drink from the same cup…Thanks, Drew, for your essays on so many varied subjects. After this maelstrom maybe take a break and once again go musical (love Kevin’s comments and knowledge).
Robert – Just a little light humor but there was another watering hold in Eagle Rock that my parents and sisters and nephew drank from that enlightened us in another more conservative way. :-) We’re more than happy to share that cup with you too! Ha!
Once the dust settles and the heat simmers down, a blog addressing how families can most constructively deal with different political views could be a ripe topic for discussion. I posted on this topic while traveling from Michigan to Colorado. For three long days on the road and some very restless nights in hotel rooms I anguished over the rancor experienced by the Hidas family: a family that I consider close to kin, given that Andrew is my brother in all ways besides blood. As this blog thread wore on, a text thread sprang up among Michigan family members of my wife. It has long been curious to me that this family never, ever discusses politics. (my wife is the oldest of 10, and I have 32 nieces and nephews on that side). It is their way of dealing with differences that cross the political spectrum. I have long found it curious, and sometimes frustrating, that politics is off limits. Prior to departing I really wanted to learn about a very critical Governor race in Michigan, where the stakes are high for the state and for the nation; but no mention was made of it and so I left it alone. Then, somewhere in western Iowa a text came with a photo of one of my nephews wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey. This set off a storm of tweets from the cousins (my nephews, mainly). The theme from one segment was outrage that he would even think of sporting a Kaepernick jersey due to his disrespect for the flag, the military, etc. At first I tried to professorially explain that Kaepernick was not protesting the military but trying to bring attention to social injustice experienced by blacks and other minorities. Things heated up, and soon my texts became more acerbic as my liberal views took offense at those not agreeing with me. We have now worked through it through private messaging to one another in more civil (and more loving) tones. So anyway, I am not sure that making politics off limits is the best way to handle family differences, but until the text storm last week, it certainly worked with the Michigan family. I am curious how other families and loved ones deal with the issue. It may be worth thinking about and discussing.
Most interesting, Jay. Makes me wonder what the Michigan family members all do in the runup and aftermath and on election day itself—talk about a mongo-sized elephant in the room! To a great degree, politics suffuses our lives, and I suspect we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t talk about it with loved ones. I know a couple from opposite parties who also never talk politics. Imagine 7 days a week, sharing the bed, the dinner table, the news, and walking on those eggshells, around that elephant!
I’ll take your suggestion to address this topic under advisement! Sounds more like a standard journalistic piece, which would be worthy, interesting, and—time-consuming!
Ok Jeannett, Andy and any others that automatically believed an allegation with no supporting evidence wonder what you think about the NY Times story that Judge Kavanaugh turning over his calendar to the Judiciary committee? The Times is reporting a very detailed calendar entries of Judge Kavanaugh’s summer of 1982 the summer in question. Although Mrs Ford does not remember details like date time, place, etc she did give them a narrow vague window of possible time frame. Well The Judge has his calendar entries for that summer of which much of his time was spent at his parents place with them at the beach. There are sporting practices and games logged, college campus visits, even a few parties with names of his friend in attendance that do not include anyone of the people that Mrs Ford listed. The Times is reporting it seems to corroborate the Judges memory.
I have a question for Jeannette, Moon, Andy or whoever believes Mrs Ford 100%. I am not saying she is lying I am saying I believe the story has a few questions that need to be answered. So it stands to reason that if you haven’t heard from either you might ought to not jump head first into the shallow end right? So I added Moon since he sort of drive by slammed us “tribalism narrow thinkers” a fancy “intellectual” way of acting uncivil by demeaning insults that leaves them appearing to be a smooth “civil” operator. So I listed reasons I believe we need to look into this allegation with a little more scrutiny instead of blind trust. Liberals are unnerved by anyone who might question anything Mrs Ford says. So I would like to try this another way. I am asking a simple question in light of the alleged facts Mrs Ford presented in her story. The committee has been investigating and have determined no one Mrs Ford listed as witnesses can confirm her allegations, in fact they deny it ever happened. The Judge has denied the allegations wanting a hearing the next day to clear his name asap. Mrs Ford can’t remember date, time, place, how she got to the party, how she got home etc. I am curious as to what facts, evidence, or anything reasoning you might have as to what makes you believe her and not the Judge? I am asking a serious question. Again I am not saying she is lying I am saying I listed reasons to question. Please give me reasons to questions Kavanaugh and not question Mrs Ford.
Oh BTW The NY Times also refused to publish the second accusers story because after a couple weeks of investigating that lady’s claims they found NO ONE who remembered any of the details. The Times reported they did speak with several of her friends she named were witnesses and they said she had called them and said she couldn’t remember if Kavanaugh was the person who had did that to her. But even though the New Yorker states they were unable to verify her claims and that she said she couldn’t remember if Kavanaugh was even the guy they ran the story anyway. The witnesses they spoke to some didn’t even know Kavanaugh and denied ever being at a party where anything like that took place. Ya know such professional Journalists the Liberal New Yorker is I’m sure nobody on this Blog believes this hit job isn’t political either right?
My prediction is that Mrs Ford will not testify after all since she still hasn’t agreed to the terms. She wants Kavanaugh to testify first which makes perfect sense right? You know he can testify to what he thinks she might accuse him of. Also she now has requested that she NOT be under oath when she testifies makes also perfect sense for anyone telling the truth right? I suspect what the talking points will be but I think I will keep that to myself less I suffer the wrath about to come my way. I also suspect one to two more unproveable and unverifiable accusations before the end of the week from several years ago that Democrats will demand need to be investigated. I suspect even more fund raising letters by Democrats to go out urging the need to stop white Republican men from sexually assaulting all of america. Another ancillary tragedy from these political stunts will be real victims of sexual assaults will have a tougher time of convincing people they are telling the truth because of the false or unsubstantiated accusations leveled so far.
Well done. After reading many of the comments my shocking takeaway is not that you have aired a forum for discussion about the heinous aspects of sexual violence especially as it affects the lives of young women, rather it appears you have poked the red and biue bears out there. It seems the discussion of the personal and societal effects of sexual assault and sexual harassment are summarily ignored and subsumed by this pathological red/blue tribalism that has taken over rational discussion of virtually everything we do. To quote the most famous line from the old Sunday cartoon “Pogo”, ” We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
Nicely summarized, Bruce. As I mentioned on my post a few moments ago, the red/blue battle fired up in my family over a Colin Kaepernick jersey
Ron, if desiring people to better understand or a least seriously listen to your political viewpoints, stop for a second, re-read your posts and then red line all the times you were belligerent, threatening, calling them dishonest or hypocritical, and so on. If you did that your comments would resemble redacted info on government paper made public. By the way, the same holds true for those trying to point out the shortcomings of your various social or political beliefs. When I was at UCLA, Robert Dallek, a well-known historian on the American presidency, reminded his students that good research initially requires understanding the “black or white” of an event, but from there it must spread out and embrace the “grays”, the area where impartial perspective and veracity exist. He compared it to one’s first impression of a beautiful house. Undoubted perfection. However, under closer examination its wooden frame consisted of warped and knotted pine. For instance, if someone is trying to prove how hypocritical liberals are being in the Kavanaugh case, he or she would point out that Hillary Clinton (née Hillary Rodham) once represented a man charged with raping a 12 year-old girl. There is truth in that statement, but it’s only represents the “black or white” of it. No gray whatsoever . Closer examination reveals that the man charged with the rape fired his male court appointed lawyer, demanding a female attorney instead because he surmised that a jury might be more sympathetic to a woman. The judge then assigned her the case despite the fact she told the prosecuting attorney that she didn’t want to be on it. As his lawyer, she was legally bound to defend him to the best of her ability. If it could be proved that she intentionally “threw” the case, not only might she lose her license to practice law, but the guilty verdict would be overturned on appeal. According to court documents and records, she represented her client well, ultimately convincing him to accept the D.A.’s offer to plead guilty to a lesser offense, one that carried a five-year sentence of which the judge reduced it down to one. Those details represent the “gray” and more accurately describe the “truth” of the matter. Very little in life is black or white. Whenever one wants to give greater credence to his or her position in a debate, remember two things–gray and civility.
Hey Robert remind me again does HRC still have a Law License? Nope and neither do Pres Clinton, Pres Obama and Mrs Obama.
Robert, yes there are “lots of gray area’s of life” like forks in the road where we use our judgement to decide what road to take, because there are consequences. Hillary chose the road to represent that rapist and it had consequences that are part of her judgement and character. There are many female lawyers who would not have taken that case. There is a moral compass in life that is black and white that is lost in today’s world of excuses. To my nephew Ron, I admire your tenacity in this blog.
To clear things up here, my comment to Ron was about his tenacity of his view on “politics only” to this group of people on this blog who have opposing views. It had nothing to do with Andy’s view or anyone’s view on how he might word things. Nothing was meant in any personal way to hurt anyone’s feelings. Sorry if that is how it sounded. “Tenacity” dictionary reference, which I checked before I used that word is determination. I was referring to only this blog and his determination to list many facts on his political knowledge of this discussion.
Legally speaking, only lawyers who work in a public defender’s office are bound to take cases given to them by the court. However, in many parts of rural America no such Public Defender’s office exists. Instead the courts rely on judges to choose from a list of possible attorneys to defend the individual charged with the crime. The judge understands that no attorney wants to defend a man accused of raping a 12 year-old girl. This puts him in a no win situation. If he can’t find an attorney to represent the defendant, he can’t go forward with the trial. All individuals who are charged with a felony must be provided with legal and competent representation (Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963) before a trial can commence. As the director a local legal crisis center, just two years out of Yale aw school, she felt that everyone, even this despicable character, had a right to an attorney; she took the case. Yes, you’re right when you say that she could have refused the judge’s order, but what then? No trial? It’s a crappy situation for both the judge and any lawyer who ultimately acts as his counsel. By the way, in large part due to her experiences in this trial, she helped open several rape crisis centers in and around Fayetteville, Arkansas. Lisa, I agree Hillary’s decision to represent this man is one that I probably wouldn’t have taken, but I don’t fault her for it. Valid arguments could be made either way. Perhaps Yogi Berra, the great Yankee catcher, nailed the dilemma on the button when he said, ” When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
By the way, I agree Ron is quite “tenacious.”
I agree that nobody following this discussion would question Ron’s tenacity and his passion for his position. I also think that Robert’s suggestion of considering gray areas and of being more sensitive to tone and taking down the hostility a few notches is advice that will make Ron more effective in written communication. And, Lisa, many thanks for taking on a mediator role with a nice touch. This is a critically important role in civil discourse and you have stepped up beautifully. Spence, I’d like to join you in Dallas for pizza with Ron and others.
Thank you, Appreciative, for your remarks. I think they do well to remind us just how difficult it is to come forward and speak of these issues. I know so, so many women who carry these memories. I also know several men who suffered abuse at the hands of trusted priests; It took DECADES for that story to push through and to be believed.
Being taken seriously certainly doesn’t solve everything. It doesn’t erase memories or restore innocence, or ensure that justice is served, but it is a first step to understanding there is a problem that must be addressed.
I am remembering the Brock Turner case of several years ago. He was a Stanford student.There are often no witnesses to these scenes, but there were witnesses that night of his brutal rape of a young woman, and he was convicted. Without the witnesses we can only imagine that this case would have been as hotly disputed as all the others, and the one we are considering today. By the way, in his testimony, Mr. Turner blamed a “party culture” and drinking at Stanford University for his actions in the sexual assault case.
He was sentenced for 6 months, and served 3. THREE MONTHS. There was a lot of discussion then about the damage that might befall him in prison and the impact on the rest of his life; I think that is what we used to refer to as justice, and retribution.
Interested at all in the impact his assault had on the young woman? Revisit her published statement here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/06/08/us/stanford-rape-victim-statement.html
I just want to add here to Appreciative and to all the other humans who have been through this ordeal, the last paragraph in that astounding and powerful letter:
“To girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought every day for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you.”
I want to thank all of you kind people for your open hearted responses to my post. It feels so good to be heard and believed. You give me hope for this world!