He Said, She Said. What Say You?

Before you read this blog, please put aside your political affiliations. I’d like you to read it as a WOMAN, not as a “Republican,” “Democrat” or “Independent.”    

Brett Kavanaugh & Christine Blasey Ford. Photo: Lord Spoda/YouTube

I assume you know that a man named Brett Kavanaugh has been nominated to become a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. I also assume you know that a woman named Christine Blasey Ford has come forward accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both high school students at private schools in Maryland. Christine Blasey was 15 when she ran into 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh at a summer party, she said, where he and a friend of his corralled her into a room, then Kavanaugh pinned her down, groped her and attempted to remove her one-piece bathing suit. When she tried to scream, she claimed he covered her mouth with his hands. When Kavanaugh’s friend jumped on top of them, they all tumbled to the floor, and Blasey managed to escape to a bathroom.

Kavanaugh and his friend were “stumbling drunk,” said Ford, who holds a doctorate and is a clinical psychology professor at a California university, as well as a biostatistician who designs and analyzes clinical trials.

Ford passed a lie detector test about the episode. Kavanaugh and his friend at the time unequivocally deny the story.  

First, let’s assume Ford is telling the truth. If Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, were indeed “stumbling drunk,” they might not have remembered the incident the next day, no less decades later. On the other hand, a young man who is “stumbling drunk” at 17 might very well have groped a young woman. Regardless, surely Kavanaugh knows if he drank heavily back then. If he drank heavily one time, isn’t the likelihood great that he drank heavily more than once?

According to an article in motherjones.com,  former friend Judge wrote a book–God and Man at Georgetown Prep–where he said alcoholism was rampant at the private school he and Kavanaugh attended. And, he chronicles his time as a teenage alcoholic in another book, writing that his own blackout drinking while he and Kavanaugh were Georgetown Prep students “reached the point where once I had the first beer, I found it impossible to stop until I was completely annihilated.”

So, what do you think of Kavanaugh’s absolute denial, which implies that Ford is a liar? Should he, like Judge, have admitted he drank at parties when he was a Georgetown Prep student, but maintained he’d never have done anything like she asserted he did?

Should our misdeeds and misjudgments as teenagers hurt us as adults? If something egregious happened 36 years ago, but the facts never surfaced until now, should we dismiss it today?

Do you think that Ford is flat out lying, on the other hand, because she doesn’t want Kavanaugh to become a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States? Do you believe a woman could be so vindictive as to make up a story about something that happened 36 years ago, using such specific details?

When it’s a question of he said, she said, what makes you believe one person or the other?

When I was 18, I went out with a guy who was around 23 and a senior at New York University, where I was entering as a freshman. I can tell you his name, what he looked like, and I distinctly remember that he told me Barbra Streisand had been his classmate at a Brooklyn high school (that impressed me no end, since I was in love with Barbra!). When we pulled up to my parents’ house in his car, he kissed me and put my hand on his crotch, which felt hard as a rock. Being an 18-year-old virgin (this was 1965, ladies!), I recoiled, and promptly called an end to the date.

If I remember every detail of that incident 53 YEARS LATER, isn’t it entirely possible that Ford remembers every detail of her encounter with Kavanaugh, which would have been many times more chilling for her than mine was for me?

Personally, I am torn what to think. It’s horrible if either Ford’s accusation or Kavanaugh’s denial is a blatant lie, more loathsome if one is telling the truth and the other is lying.

Ford and Kavanaugh were invited to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, but Ford’s attorney wrote a letter to the committee stating that her client only wants to testify after the FBI conducts an investigation. The head of the committee implied that if Ford doesn’t show up on Monday, he will still go ahead and hold the vote on Kavanaugh.

There’s no telling what could happen between now and Monday.

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