As was widely predicted, the congressional testimonies of Dr. Christine Ford and Judge Brett Kavanagh did nothing to conclusively prove or disprove the allegations against Kavanaugh.
Dr. Ford came across as a credible witness, sincere and sympathetic. She appeared on the verge of tears when recounting the molestation that allegedly occurred 36 years ago. She told the committee she also cried a lot during her more recent polygraph exam, intended to test the veracity of her claim. She was clearly an emotionally distraught, fragile figure, possibly one traumatized by some event in the past, or as she alluded to, one predisposed to anxiety issues. Without exception, the Democrats accepted every word she said, and even many on the other side agreed that she seems to truly believe her account of the incident.
But Judge Kavanaugh delivered a powerful, impassioned denial of the accusation. The tears he held back and the emotions he released were not those of a broken man, but of a defiant victim, outraged by vile, false attacks on his character. His testimony was every bit as convincing as Dr. Ford’s.
But what new facts emerged from the most recent hearing?
Republicans were roundly criticized by their decision to allow sex crimes prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, to question the accuser, and it quickly became clear that the methodical approach of a criminal prosecutor was ineffective in that arena. Still, Ms. Mitchell did uncover some important information.
She showed that Dr. Ford was being exploited and manipulated from the beginning. Ford spoke openly, without hesitation, of regularly flying cross-country and overseas. She was obviously unaware that her attorney had used her supposed fear of flying as an excuse to delay her testimony in Washington. She also seemed completely oblivious to the offer Republicans had made to interview her at her home in California, a clear and unequivocal offer presented to her attorney, and apparently withheld from her. And under Mitchell’s questioning, we learned that the same attorney, Debra Katz, was brought into the case after being referred by Democratic Senator Feinstein’s office. Of course, long before the testimony, we already knew that Katz is a left- wing zealot and political activist, deeply embedded in the resistance movement.
But Ms. Mitchell raised perhaps the most crucial issue at the conclusion of her questioning. It was the issue of recovered memories, a subject extensively researched by cognitive psychologists, including Stanford alumna, Dr. Elizabeth Loftus.
Dr. Loftus helped postulate the “misinformation effect.” It simply states that recovered memories are often inaccurate, and that recent events can become infused with old, repressed memories.
Dr. Ford remembers fragments of a 36 year-old incident, denied by the accused and by witnesses that she, herself, named. In today’s atmosphere, it may be blasphemy to suggest that any female accuser may be wrong, that this incident occurred only in Ford’s mind, but given all that we’ve learned, that explanation seems the most probable.
Yes, we know that countless assaults on women often go unreported. But we also know that sometimes alleged assaults never happened, or that sexual assailants are sometimes misidentified. The “Me Too” movement is intended to empower true victims of sexual assault, but if it completely abandons the presumption of innocence, it will lose all credibility. And if it devolves into “Now That You Mention It, Me Too,” and encourages so-called victims with newly-recovered memories and lynch-mob mentalities to target political opponents, it will become dangerous.
Throughout these hearings, Democrats demanded an FBI investigation into an incident that allegedly occurred so many years ago. “What difference would a few more days, a week, make?” they pleaded. In the end, they broke the weakest link in the Republican chain. Senator Jeff Flake agreed to make his vote to confirm Kavanaugh contingent upon a one-week investigation by the FBI.
Democrats gleefully agreed to that, and were, no doubt, popping the corks on the Champagne bottles that night. But everyone knew their delight would be short-lived. Soon afterward, they began to attack Judge Kavanaugh’s temperament, based on his defiant, passionate, and justified outcry against their efforts to destroy his character and his reputation. And now, almost immediately after agreeing to that one week delay, they’re balking at any time constraints for the investigation.
But they know what everyone else should know – that no investigation today can prove or disprove the 1982 event described by Christine Ford. At the conclusion of this one week delay, it will be time for Republicans to decisively end the nightmare brought about by the deceit and treachery of those Democratic Senators, and to do what the voters empowered them to do.