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October 3, 2018


The Elephant in the Room with Kavanaugh, Ford, and the Senators

by Anne Paddock

Over the past week, the people of our nation have been mesmerized by the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, particularly those by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford who claims Kavanaugh assaulted her in the summer of 1982 when she was 15 years old and Kavanaugh was 17.

The Republicans claim the Democrats are using Ford as a political tool to prevent a conservative federal judge from being appointed to the nation’s highest court while the Democrats claim the Republicans – primarily white, middle-aged or old men – are not giving enough consideration to a woman’s allegations of sexual assault, which brings us not to a discussion of who – Ford or Kavanaugh – is more believable (by most accounts both individuals were believable) but to a perverse idea that many people – and particularly Republicans supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination – don’t verbalize: Ford’s allegations – although believable – should not prevent a white, middle-aged man who represents their ideals from being appointed to a prominent lifelong post on the nation’s Supreme Court. So the question becomes why? The reason appears to be related to the extent of the assault.

Ford claims she was assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh when both were teenagers. She believes it and most people who listened to her believe she is telling the truth. But, Kavanaugh isn’t being accused of rape – a crime that would surely derail his career. Ford claims she got away from Kavanaugh before he was able to get her clothes off. So, instead of discrediting the victim’s allegations which would put them all in the dog house in the court of public opinion, they simply don’t address the allegations except to chime in on what the allegations have done to Kavanaugh and his family which implies the extent of the assault was not enough of an assault to have them rethink their decision to put forth a man accused of sexual assault from a credible victim. It’s a “he-said, she said” situation without other credible evidence or witnesses (although that could change with the FBI investigation). Their message:  a privileged white male can be a Supreme Court Judge as long as he didn’t cross the line (i.e. rape) and if he was legally a child when the alleged assault occurred. They are treating Ford’s allegations/Kavanaugh’s alleged behavior as an adolescent indiscretion (although Lindsey Graham in a tirade last week referred to the week’s events as “crap” which did nothing to endear him to those who believe in finding out the truth).

By supporting Kavanaugh in his quest to be a Supreme Court judge, the Republicans are telling the people of this country there is a difference between believing and supporting. There are lots of people that tell the truth every single day but if that truth stands in the way of a political agenda, then some people assign a relative value to that truth. And, in this case Ford’s allegations of assault are not heinous enough to make the Republican senators withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination.

  1. Oct 3 2018

    Without even getting into perjury, assault, etc, this country is so divided, and his nomination is even more divisive, if he really cared about the nation he would have stepped down for the good of not further dividing the country.

  2. Kathy
    Oct 3 2018

    He “didn’t cross the line” because she had her wits about her and was able to escape. Once you have had a man hold you captive against your will and cover your mouth so you can’t scream or breathe and you start to feel faint from not enough oxygen — it never ever leaves you. You believe in that moment that you could die. He was a football player who lifted heavy weights and was able to easily immobilize a woman filled with adrenaline and trying her hardest to get away from him. Keep in mind this was all for the amusement of the two men. Although there was no penetration, Kavanaugh’s grinding his penis against her was for his sexual satisfaction. Rape counselors speak about a surprising phenomenon where attempted rape victims can struggle harder with their recovery than rape victims. Add the shock element of being forced into the locked room from someone who was laying in wait and the humiliation of the laughter and you have a life altering experience. One last thing, people keep helpfully offering that they never saw Kavanaugh black out. You can experience black outs from alcohol and remain fully functioning.

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