September 28, 2018

Ford and Kavanaugh Testify

On Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh testified in a hearing regarding Ford’s sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh. AP News

See past issues

From the Left

The left applauds Ford’s courage, and is calling for an investigation into her claims prior to voting on Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“Ford and others had called for an FBI investigation before her testimony so that other witnesses could be interviewed and other evidence examined in a private setting, but that request was denied. And so Ford’s hearing became... a referendum on her character and credibility rather than a real effort to gather and consider all the facts."


To be treated as remotely credible, she had to be nearly perfect. She is a well-educated, blond, heterosexual mother; Republican Senator Orrin Hatch described her as ‘attractive’ and ‘pleasing.’ Her Ph.D. in psychology allowed her to speak fluently about the neurobiology of her own trauma... she wasn’t confused or defensive about why she remembered some details of the night in question but not others... Yet even near perfection, in this case, is probably not enough."

New York Times

“It’s inexcusable that Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, who Blasey identifies as a witness to the alleged assault, hasn’t been questioned, and that there are no plans to do so."

New York Times

Moreover, “Kavanaugh repeatedly dodged Democratic lawmakers' questions about whether he would support an FBI investigation into Ford's claims, and whether he would be in favor of Mark Judge... to testify before the Senate... Throughout the hearing, at least five Democratic lawmakers asked Kavanaugh about opening an FBI investigation on at least nine different occasions. Each time, he declined to give a yes-or-no answer."

Business Insider

The reality at the end of the hearing was the same as when it started: There is simply no reasonable expectation that any of the senators on the Judiciary Committee will be able, after today, to ascertain the capital ‘T’ truth in this situation."


“There is still plenty of time [for an investigation]. [A] deadline has been artificially imposed by the Republican majority for purely partisan reasons, a majority that was happy to leave a Supreme Court chair vacant for most of 2016... It would be irresponsible for Republicans to insist on an immediate vote. If they do, the responsible vote must be no."

Washington Post

No matter what happens, Ford’s courage remains, and it will galvanize #MeToo... Ford was more than a credible witness today; she was a whistleblower, and a hero to women (and men) across the country and the world.”


From the Right

The right found both Ford and Kavanaugh credible, but believes that the evidence is in Kavanaugh’s favor and voting him down would set a dangerous precedent.

From the Right

The right found both Ford and Kavanaugh credible, but believes that the evidence is in Kavanaugh’s favor and voting him down would set a dangerous precedent.

“I believe that Christine Ford believes she’s telling the truth. I believe that Brett Kavanaugh believes he’s telling the truth. How do we decide? In the end, we have to go on the evidence — and there is no evidence at all that Ford is telling the truth, and there is meaningful evidence that she is not."

The American Conservative

“It seems entirely possible that at some point in her life, Ford was sexually assaulted... Nevertheless, the charge that Kavanaugh was responsible for the attack remains extremely weak — even non-existent. Every single named witness has either rejected Ford’s story outright or testified that he or she has no memory of it. One of those witnesses, a lifetime friend of Ford’s, not only affirmed she had never attended a party with Kavanaugh — with or without Ford — but that she did not in fact know him at all."

National Review

There is no need for an FBI investigation. “Potential witnesses have all given sworn statements to Senate staff under penalty of felony that say they don’t recall the party or the alleged assault. Hauling them before the Senate wouldn’t illuminate the truth any more than Thursday’s hearing did... the FBI would merely repeat the interviews they and the Senate Judiciary staff have already done."

Wall Street Journal

While some on the left argue that “because she sincerely believes that she was assaulted and that on some occasions 30 or more years after the alleged incident mentioned it to others, therefore her allegations are proven... raising the allegations 30 years and more later confirms only that she believes her own allegations, not that her allegations as they concerned Judge Kavanaugh are valid."

National Review

“Ford’s inability to produce a shred of hard evidence other than her ostensibly sincere and emotional testimony may be justified because the allegation is old and involves a traumatic memory. But that doesn’t make Kavanaugh guilty, and if it did, just about any allegation repeated under oath could sink just about any man."

The Federalist

“It doesn’t matter if you believe Christine Blasey Ford or Brett Kavanaugh. Both sides were done a tremendous disservice by the manner in which Senate Democrats deliberately slow-walked these charges because they thought that they could be used to kill the Kavanaugh nomination... the way to get to the truth—if that was even a possibility to begin with—was to handle this weeks ago when it could have been done behind closed doors."

The Weekly Standard

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

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