Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Sunday, September 16, 2018 4:53 pm

Anita Hill Redux

So now a woman has come forward to tell The Washington Post that Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted and attempted to rape her when they were both in high school.

Read The Washington Post’s story. The accuser, Christine Braley Ford, comes across as credible — certainly more credible than Kavanaugh, who has committed serial perjury before the U.S. Senate.

As corroborating evidence, the accuser offers notes from a 2012 conversation involving her, her husband and a marriage counselor, which describes the incident but does not name Kavanaugh (or anyone else) as her attacker. What has the GOP to offer in response? A ham-handed effort to make us believe that they were able to round up 65 female character witnesses from Kavanaugh’s high-school years within just a few hours.

At the very least, the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is scheduled to vote Thursday on Kavanaugh’s nomination, ought to postpone the vote long enough to get any and all witnesses with relevant information under oath. But that appears unlikely to happen.

Senate Judiciary Republicans issued a statement calling the accusation “uncorroborated allegations” (despite the counselor’s notes) and criticizing the Democrats for not having brought the allegation forward sooner. Ford sent her congresswoman a letter in July, before Kavanaugh was nominated; she passed it on in July to Feinstein as a member of the Senate committee that would be vetting whomever Trump nominated. Feinstein has said she had kept the letter secret at the request of the writer, whose name had been redacted.

A lawyer close to the White House told Politico the nomination would not be withdrawn:

“No way, not even a hint of it,” the lawyer said. “If anything, it’s the opposite. If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried. We can all be accused of something.”

(I imagine it doesn’t bother the White House at all that their lawyer friend is basically conceding that the building is full of rapists.)

Those of us who were around for Clarence Thomas’s nomination to the Supreme Court know how the Republicans will handle this: stonewall on the accusation and attack the accuser. The possibility that there might be something here worth getting sworn testimony on doesn’t even seem to have crossed Republicans’ minds.

If all Senate Republicans toe the party line, as looks likely, Kavaugh will be confirmed with at least 51 votes. So, in all likelihood, Ford will be smeared and Kavanaugh, despite documented perjury, will be confirmed. Two sexual assaulters will be radically reshaping laws that affect all of us, particularly women and girls. And a formerly great major political party will be demonstrating again the staggering depths of its corruption and yet more justification for its utter ouster in November and in 2020.



  1. When/if the nomination goes through (and it appears likely it will) how do you think this will affect the polls come November? Will the Republicans pay for this? And if they are ousted in November how will this affect things going forward? For Trump? For the rest of us? For abortion issues?

    Comment by lkeke35 — Tuesday, September 18, 2018 5:09 am @ 5:09 am

  2. Re November, hard to say. I don’t think this will change any minds among likely voters, and I also don’t think it will get too many more people off the sidelines who weren’t off already.

    I’d like to think Republicans will pay for this, but between voter suppression and voting-machine shenanigans, that is far from a sure bet.

    And assuming Kavanaugh is confirmed, there are any number of abortion cases teed up in various states already. I would not be surprised if Roe v. Wade were overturned before the court recesses next summer. I also would not be surprised, although this is a lot less likely, if the court didn’t just stop at overturning Roe v. Wade, but also made new law banning abortion nationally.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, September 18, 2018 7:25 am @ 7:25 am

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