California Woman Accusing Brett Kavanaugh Of Sexual Assault Comes Forward

A woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of having assaulted her when he was 17 and she was 15 has come forward. What happens next is anyone's guess.

The woman who sent a letter to a California Congresswoman which was ultimately passed along to the F.B.I. regarding alleged sexual misconduct by Judge Brett Kavanaugh when he was a teenager has come forward to tell her story to The Washington Post:

Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.

Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.

Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. The therapist’s notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh’s name but say she reported that she was attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.” The notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapist’s part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.

Notes from an individual therapy session the following year, when she was being treated for what she says have been long-term effects of the incident, show Ford described a “rape attempt” in her late teens.

In an interview, her husband, Russell Ford, said that in the 2012 sessions, she recounted being trapped in a room with two drunken boys, one of whom pinned her to a bed, molested her and prevented her from screaming. He said he recalled that his wife used Kavanaugh’s last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court.

On Sunday, the White House sent The Post a statement Kavanaugh issued last week, when the outlines of Ford’s account first became public: “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

Through a White House spokesman, Kavanaugh declined to comment further on Ford’s allegation and did not respond to questions about whether he knew her during high school. The White House had no additional comment.

Reached by email Sunday, Judge declined to comment. In an interview Friday with The Weekly Standard, before Ford’s name was known, he denied that any such incident occurred. “It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way,” Judge said. He told the New York Times that Kavanaugh was a “brilliant student” who loved sports and was not “into anything crazy or illegal.”

(…)

[Ford] contacted The Post through a tip line in early July, when it had become clear that Kavanaugh was on the shortlist of possible nominees to replace retiring justice Anthony M. Kennedy but before Trump announced his name publicly. A registered Democrat who has made small contributions to political organizations, she contacted her congresswoman, Democrat Anna G. Eshoo, around the same time. In late July, she sent a letter via Eshoo’s office to Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

In the letter, which was read to The Post, Ford described the incident and said she expected her story to be kept confidential. She signed the letter as Christine Blasey, the name she uses professionally.

For weeks, Ford declined to speak to The Post on the record as she grappled with concerns about what going public would mean for her and her family — and what she said was her duty as a citizen to tell the story.

(…)

After so many years, Ford said she does not remember some key details of the incident. She said she believes it occurred in the summer of 1982, when she was 15, around the end of her sophomore year at the all-girls Holton-Arms School in Bethesda. Kavanaugh would have been 17 at the end of his junior year at Georgetown Prep.

At the time, Ford said, she knew Kavanaugh and Judge as “friendly acquaintances” in the private-school social circles of suburban Maryland. Her Holton-Arms friends mostly hung out with boys from the Landon School, she said, but for a period of several months socialized regularly with students from Georgetown Prep.

Ford said she does not remember how the gathering came together the night of the incident. She said she often spent time in the summer at the Columbia Country Club pool in Chevy Chase, where in those pre-cellphone days, teenagers learned about gatherings via word of mouth. She also doesn’t recall who owned the house or how she got there.

Ford said she remembers that it was in Montgomery County, not far from the country club, and that no parents were home at the time. Ford named two other teenagers who she said were at the party. Those individuals did not respond to messages on Sunday morning.

She said she recalls a small family room where she and a handful of others drank beer together that night. She said that each person had one beer but that Kavanaugh and Judge had started drinking earlier and were heavily intoxicated.

In his senior-class yearbook entry at Georgetown Prep, Kavanaugh made several references to drinking, claiming membership to the “Beach Week Ralph Club” and “Keg City Club.” He and Judge are pictured together at the beach in a photo in the yearbook.

(…)

Ford said she left the family room to use the bathroom, which was at the top of a narrow stairway. She doesn’t remember whether Kavanaugh and Judge were behind her or already upstairs, but she remembers being pushed into a bedroom and then onto a bed. Rock-and-roll music was playing with the volume turned up high, she said.

She alleges that Kavanaugh — who played football and basketball at Georgetown Prep — held her down with the weight of his body and fumbled with her clothes, seemingly hindered by his intoxication. Judge stood across the room, she said, and both boys were laughing “maniacally.” She said she yelled, hoping that someone downstairs would hear her over the music, and Kavanaugh clapped his hand over her mouth to silence her.

At one point, she said, Judge jumped on top of them, and she tried unsuccessfully to wriggle free. Then Judge jumped on them again, toppling them, and she broke away, she said.

She said she locked herself in the bathroom and listened until she heard the boys “going down the stairs, hitting the walls.” She said that after five or ten minutes, she unlocked the door and made her way through the living room and outside. She isn’t sure how she got home.

Ford said she has not spoken with Kavanaugh since that night. And she told no one at the time what had happened to her. She was terrified, she said, that she would be in trouble if her parents realized she had been at a party where teenagers were drinking, and she worried they might figure it out even if she did not tell them.

“My biggest fear was, do I look like someone just attacked me?” she said. She said she recalled thinking: “I’m not ever telling anyone this. This is nothing, it didn’t happen, and he didn’t rape me.”

Years later, after going through psychotherapy, Ford said, she came to understand the incident as a trauma with lasting impact on her life.

“I think it derailed me substantially for four or five years,” she said. She said she struggled academically and socially and was unable to have healthy relationships with men. “I was very ill-equipped to forge those kinds of relationships.”

In any case, here is the text of the letter originally sent to Senator Feinstein:

Dear Senator Feinstein;

I am writing with information relevant in evaluating the current nominee to the Supreme Court.

As a constituent, I expect that you will maintain this as confidential until we have further opportunity to speak.

Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980’s. He conducted these acts with the assistance of REDACTED.

Both were one to two years older than me and students at a local private school.

The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others.

Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.

Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with REDACTED, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh’s hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.

From across the room a very drunken REDACTED said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from “go for it” to “stop.”

At one point when REDACTED jumped onto the bed the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stair well at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home.

I have not knowingly seen Kavanaugh since the assault. I did see REDACTED once at the REDACTED where he was extremely uncomfortable seeing me.

I have received medical treatment regarding the assault. On July 6 I notified my local government representative to ask them how to proceed with sharing this information . It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything.

I am available to speak further should you wish to discuss. I am currently REDACTED and will be in REDACTED.

In confidence, REDACTED.

So, there we have it.

If these allegations are true, then one can credibly say that Brett Kavanaugh committed what would likely amount to an attempted sexual assault, or perhaps sexual assault itself, under the laws of most states today, and probably also under Maryland law in 1982. The other thing that stands out is the fact that, contrary to the initial rumors that reported that both Kavanaugh and the woman involved were 17 at the time this happened, we know now that Ford was just 15 years old at the time this allegedly happened, meaning that even if there was some consensual element to this that would be irrelevant since it is unlikely that the age of consent in Maryland at the time was as low as 15. Even if there’s no evidence of similar behavior on Kavanaugh’s part before or since this happened, this is a serious enough allegation that it needs to be considered before he’s confirmed to the Supreme Court. The only question is what form that consideration takes and whether it actually delays a confirmation vote that, until now, seemed to be self-assured.

Unlike the situation we faced just a few days ago and even as recently as yesterday, we now have a name and a detailed recollection of what is alleged to have occurred some thirty-six years ago. For many reasons, there are questions that should be raised on both sides of the table. The first, of course, is why this issue didn’t come up immediately after Kavanaugh was named as President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and before the hearings that took place earlier this month had taken place. Had that happened, then there would have been sufficient time to investigate the matter and for Judge Kavanaugh to answer questions publicly about the allegations against him, even if it turned out that his response would have been the same as it is now, which is what most likely would have happened. One can also wonder why an allegation like this didn’t come up during the inevitable background checks that Kavanaugh had to undergo when he was hired as President George W. Bush’s Staff Secretary or when he was being vetted to become a Circuit Court Judge more than ten years ago. The fact that Ms. Ford apparently did not tell anyone other than her husband what has happened until that therapist’s session in 2012 may be the reason for that,but the passage of time and the fact that we presently do not have any evidence of similar behavior by Kavanaugh either as a teenager or later in life make one wonder just how relevant this report should be to the fate of Kavanaugh’s nomination at this point in time.

To make the inevitable historical analogy, we’re now basically entering territory not dissimilar from where we were in 1991 when Anita Hill came forward to make accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas. In that case, the ultimate result was that the Senate Judiciary reconvened for a new set of hearings at which both Hill and Thomas testified. Ultimately, of course, Thomas was confirmed notwithstanding the fact that Democrats controlled the Senate at the time thanks to the fact that nearly a dozen Democrats joined the Republicans in the Senate to vote in favor of Thomas’s confirmation. At this point, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Thursday and it was expected that the vote would fall along party lines. No doubt these allegations, and the fact that Ford has come forward to tell her story will have a huge impact on how this plays out.

Since it’s a Sunday afternoon, reaction to the story is slow to come forward but that is going to change as the hours go on, and it’s likely that this will be the biggest story in Washington tomorrow morning and in the days going forward. As a political matter, this report is likely to ramp up the pressure on key Senators such as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to act, presumably by saying that they wouldn’t vote for Kavanaugh’s nomination absent a further investigation in some form similar to what we saw with the Thomas-Hill hearing. Additionally, these allegations are likely to place red state Democrats like Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, and Heidi Heitkamp in a difficult position since they still face the political pressure of re-election in states that are strongly Republican and, now, the added political pressure of looking the other way in the face of what seem like credible, albeit somewhat ancient, allegations of sexual assault.

The fact that this would be unfolding in the wake of the MeToo movement and just weeks before the 2018 election is likely to ramp up the political pressure on Senate Democrats, and people such as Senators Collins and Murkowski, even higher than it would otherwise be. Reports on cable news are already quoting Senator Dianne Feinstein as calling for a delay in the Judiciary Committee’s vote, and in any Senate floor vote, until there can be a full investigation of the allegations. Practically speaking, that would mean that it would be unlikely that there would be any vote in the Senate at all before the Supreme Court reconvene in October. How this proceeds, though, depends on a number of factors, including whether or not Ms. Ford would be willing to come forward to testify or otherwise speak to investigators as well as how the White House reacts to this story. Finally, it goes without saying that if this report leads to the revelation of any similar reports involving Judge Kavanaugh then his nomination would likely have to be withdrawn and the White House would be back at the beginning of the process with little chance of a nominee being confirmed before the midterm elections. In any case, we now have a name and the details of the accusation. Where it goes from here is something we’ll need to wait to see, but it’s going to be an interesting week to say the least.

Update: Not surprisingly, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer is calling for a delay in any Judiciary Committee or Senate floor vote until the charges can be investigated:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, meanwhile, is questioning the timing of this report:

Senator Lindsey Graham, meanwhile, appears to open the door to the idea of the committee hearing from Ms. Ford:

And perhaps most significantly Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake is calling for a delay in the committee vote:

More along these lines to come, I’m sure.

Update #2: (9/17/2018): Judge Kavanaugh has released a new statement:

Update #3: And the dam has broken The Judiciary Committee will meet to hear from the accuser and accused next Monday.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2018, Congress, Law and the Courts, Supreme Court, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. teve tory says:

    I really think it all depends on something we don’t yet know–will there be a second woman who says something similar? If that happens, he’s done. If he just tried to rape someone once, I can’t see republicans turning on a conservative white man over that.

    ReplyReply



    9



    2
  2. teve tory says:

    I can, however, see the GOP response to this being “Bitches be lyin”, and they push through a confirmation right before the midterm vote, and then the Women Vote goes from “Unusually High” to “Limitless Rage”.

    ReplyReply



    20



    1
  3. Kylopod says:

    Ultimately, of course, Thomas was confirmed notwithstanding the fact that Democrats controlled the Senate at the time thanks to the fact that nearly a dozen Democrats joined the Republicans in the Senate to vote in favor of Thomas’s confirmation.

    A bit of historical context needs to be taken into account: At the time of the Thomas hearings it was considered absolutely normal and routine for Senators to vote to confirm nominees of the opposite party. Scalia and Kennedy were both confirmed unanimously, Souter nearly so. Thomas’s narrow 52-48 confirmation was extraordinarily unusual at the time, and anticipated the near-party-line votes that would come to characterize SCOTUS nominations in the future.

    ReplyReply



    18



    0
  4. MBunge says:

    So, all those people patting themselves on the back for dismissing this when the woman’s name was still concealed…still feel the same way?

    And by the way, could SOMEBODY around here respond to stuff like this?

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/trump-russia-probe-fbi-fisa-application/

    Mike

    ReplyReply



    1



    23
  5. george says:

    Having an accuser is very different than an anonymous accuser. It now has to be taken seriously.

    Next step is to see if there is any evidence (ie medical records, police reports) or corroboration (other witnesses stepping forward, including people she may have told about it at the time.

    If there is, the next step is to determine what it means. If it turns into a strong case that he lied in his categorical denial then he should be out. Because while its easy to argue that something someone did when they were 17 shouldn’t be held against them the rest of their lives (only conservatives think its one strike and you’re out), lying about it under oath as an adult is a very serious thing.

    However, its got to get past ‘he says, she says’ for that to come into play, either because of direct evidence, or because of further witnesses coming out. My guess is that if it happened as accused, it won’t be hard to find further witnesses, or even new claims about things he’s done since then. Rapists tend not to be single time offenders.

    The nomination should be put on hold for a few weeks to see if there’s any corroboration; if not then go ahead with the vote. But if there is, then it should be delayed until it becomes clear how strong the evidence is.

    ReplyReply



    7



    1
  6. george says:

    @MBunge:

    So, all those people patting themselves on the back for dismissing this when the woman’s name was still concealed…still feel the same way?

    Yup, and 100% so. If anonymous accusations are enough then no justice will ever be seated, because its trivial to make such accusations; anyone with a computer can make a hundred different ones in a day.

    Having an accuser come forward is a very different situation than an anonymous accusation. And even that now requires evidence (something which I’m sure will come, as its unlikely the accuser would have gone public if she didn’t have some). Any minority will tell you what’s wrong with a situation where a single unproven accusation is enough; its never the powerful that suffer the most when that becomes the standard.

    I’m thinking this will turn out very bad for the nomination (and good for America), because there will be evidence to back the accusation, which is how it always should be.

    ReplyReply



    13



    2
  7. Warren Peese says:

    There was a time when the Left supported the One Free Grope Rule, back when a serial sexual abuser was president. To do vote against Kavanaugh for that one alleged offense would be hypocritical.

    ReplyReply



    5



    33
  8. Leonard says:

    @teve tory: That’s the only reason for the Democrats doing this.

    ReplyReply



    0



    8
  9. Gustopher says:

    From the WaPo story:

    By late August, Ford had decided not to come forward, calculating that doing so would upend her life and probably would not affect Kavanaugh’s confirmation. “Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?” she said.

    In an age where the parents of children who were killed at Sandy Hook receive death threats, I think this is an entirely reasonable calculation to make. And with the Sandy Hook parents, there is clear, documented evidence that their kids got killed.

    The far right, or as we call them these days, the establishment Republicans, are going to turn this woman’s life upside down — and I think that while part of this will just be a reasonable vetting for credibility, a large chunk will be to serve as a warning for others not to come forward on this or any other case.

    I still think that Feinstein should have forwarded the letter to the FBI earlier, so it could have been investigated discretely. If she is clearly not credible, there is no reason to drag Kavanaugh’s name through the mud.

    Her story has gaps that make me think she credible though — you don’t make up a story without filling in the holes. But, she says she didn’t tell anyone at the time (did she not have friends? Is she protecting her friends from the inevitable backlash now?), so it’s really hard to tell.

    Men don’t abuse women just once, however. If there is something behind this, more women will almost certainly come forward.

    The Republicans would be well advised to slow this down, so they don’t get blindsided by three more women after the confirmation vote. “Put a rapist on the Supreme Court” is not the best slogan.

    ReplyReply



    14



    0
  10. Gustopher says:

    @george:

    Because while its easy to argue that something someone did when they were 17 shouldn’t be held against them the rest of their lives (only conservatives think its one strike and you’re out), lying about it under oath as an adult is a very serious thing.

    Just taking this argument as a hypothetical, since I don’t know what will turn up with Kavanaugh…

    There are, at present, nine spots on the Supreme Court. I see no reason why we would overlook committing sexual assault at age 17 when filling one of those rare vacancies, rather than just finding a candidate who hasn’t sexually assaulted anyone. Is there a shortage of qualified candidates who haven’t committed sexual assault?

    I’m willing to tell people that if they commit certain crimes, even as a juvenile, that they will never be on the Supreme Court.

    ReplyReply



    10



    0
  11. Bruce Henry says:

    What about this “letter from 65 women attesting to his character” thing? If this allegation came out of nowhere how was it that this letter of refutation was produced so quickly? Does it even exist? I saw FOX News Sunday and also Zakaria’s CNN show today and no one asked a question about it. It’s mentioned in the Snopes article about the controversy but only in passing.

    ReplyReply



    10



    1
  12. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    The Republicans would be well advised to slow this down, so they don’t get blindsided by three more women after the confirmation vote. “Put a rapist on the Supreme Court” is not the best slogan.

    What do they care? After he’s confirmed, he’s confirmed–they’re not going to impeach him, and he’ll likely stay on the Court for several decades, just as the increasing corroboration of Hill’s story after Thomas was confirmed didn’t lead to his removal. Sure it might make them politically vulnerable in the short term, but they got what they wanted (a right-wing supermajority SCOTUS for generations to come), and everything else’s negotiable.

    ReplyReply



    7



    2
  13. Gustopher says:

    @Warren Peese: I know I should just ignore you, but…

    There’s a difference between an elected position with a fixed term, and a lifetime appointment.

    Also, it’s unlikely that Bill Clinton would have gotten the nomination, let alone be elected twice, today. And that’s just with the stuff that is proven — not the Fever Swamp Facts that tie into PizzaGate and drug running in Arkansas.

    Society changes, and we demand better from our leaders.

    And then we get Donald Trump who liked to walk into Miss Teen USA dressing rooms unannounced to see 15 year old girls changing.

    ReplyReply



    11



    1
  14. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod:

    Sure it might make them politically vulnerable in the short term, but they got what they wanted (a right-wing supermajority SCOTUS for generations to come), and everything else’s negotiable.

    Is there a shortage of right wing troglodyte judges? Why take the one that causes short term harm when there is a more palatable one that won’t hurt them in elections?

    Plus, they can claim to take women’s claims seriously, which may help them in the short term.

    ReplyReply



    4



    0
  15. Tyrell says:

    I have respected Senator Finestein but the last few years she has gone way off course and even the head of the Democratic Party in California is not endorsing her. Now she is dredging up this spurious subterfuge that the FBI has already discounted. And it supposedly happened in high school? Preposterous. Strange that she sat there in the confirmation “hearings” and never said a thing.
    It sounds like she is dusting off the Clarence Thomas playbook in a desperate last second end around run to cheat the system. The people did not think much of the way he was treated and won’t like it now. They will see it as more evidence of dirty politics like we are seeing in this Mueller thing. If the Democrats keep resorting to this personal mud slinging and going so far off the ranch, they will become the second coming of the Bull Moose Party.
    Judge Kavanaugh is seen favorably by most of the people – a good, family man with high values.
    “What is it with you people? Too much sun?”

    ReplyReply



    2



    22
  16. george says:

    @Gustopher:

    For the same reason we have different penalties (including jail sentences) for minors (ie those under the age of 18) – our brains, especially the frontal lobes doing most of the judgments, aren’t fully developed at that age, and most of us do some pretty stupid (and even evil) things at that age.

    Anyone who’s worked with young offenders knows this, knows people who did some pretty evil things (including murder) who turn into very good people later in life. Of course, those people all show remorse for what they’ve done, which is why if Kavanaugh did in fact do what he’s accused of doing (and I admit at this point its still just an unproven accusation) but hasn’t felt any remorse for it he’s clearly unqualified to be on the court, whereas if he did it, felt remorse and changed his ways it shouldn’t be a disqualification.

    In fact, I sometimes think it’d be a good thing if more judges had checkered pasts as youths but went on to turn their lives around – they’d be much more understanding (sometimes more lenient, other times harder) in their judgments.

    People who’ve personally never done anything wrong are often extremely unforgiving of the mistakes others have made – though sometimes they overcompensate by being too forgiving.

    ReplyReply



    3



    0
  17. TM01 says:

    Oh, to hell with Feinstein . She had this “information” back in July. And did NOTHING with it. Never mentioned it to anyone. Not in closed door meetings, nothing to anyone.

    I call bull shit on this whole thing.

    Feinstein is a useless partisan hack. Hell, this was probably all fed to her from her Chinese spy driver.

    She had it, dismissed it as the crap it is, and now she pulls it out at the last minute now that every other ploy to stop Kavanaugh has failed.

    ReplyReply



    5



    23
  18. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    Is there a shortage of right wing troglodyte judges? Why take the one that causes short term harm when there is a more palatable one that won’t hurt them in elections?

    It’s about timing. They are very close to a midterm election in which they’re projected to do very badly. 538 still gives them a 2/3rds chance of maintaining control of the Senate, and it would not be hugely surprising if they increased their majority, even while doing badly in the House. In that case they could be in a better position for confirming a SCOTUS nominee next year than they are now.

    But that’s far from assured. They had hoped to confirm Kavanaugh quickly. The longer this drags on, the harder it becomes for them, and if Kavanaugh ultimately steps down then there’d be a very small window of time for Trump to name a new nominee to be confirmed by the end of the year, with the very real prospect of losing the Senate having the potential to derail the entire thing. Creating a solidly right-wing SCOTUS has been the Holy Grail of conservatives for generations, and it’s been one of their main reasons for sticking with Trump despite their reservations about him. They’re not going to give it up easily. If they manage to fail at this goal after it seemed to be right at their fingertips, all hell will break loose.

    ReplyReply



    7



    0
  19. Gustopher says:

    @Tyrell:

    I have respected Senator Finestein

    When? What did she do to make you respect her?

    but the last few years she has gone way off course and even the head of the Democratic Party in California is not endorsing her.

    I will admit to not being completely up on California politics, but my recollection is that the head of the party did not endorse her when she had a challenger from the left.

    Now she is dredging up this spurious subterfuge that the FBI has already discounted.

    Interesting. I was unaware that the FBI had looked into this at all. The issue only came up when Feinstein forwarded the letter to the FBI.

    And it supposedly happened in high school? Preposterous.

    I know. Children getting drunk and attempting to rape other children never happens. Where would they even get alcohol at that age?

    Strange that she sat there in the confirmation “hearings” and never said a thing.

    She was respecting the accuser’s desires to not be made public. I think that was a mistake — the letter should have been handed off quietly to the FBI long ago.

    It sounds like she is dusting off the Clarence Thomas playbook in a desperate last second end around run to cheat the system. The people did not think much of the way he was treated and won’t like it now.

    There were a number of other women who were prepared to come forward in the Clarence Thomas hearings. Women did not like the way Clarence Thomas was treated one bit, and Joe Biden’s reputation had not really recovered from it until he was VP and the onion rehabilitated him.

    They will see it as more evidence of dirty politics like we are seeing in this Mueller thing.

    I was not aware that convicting the guilty was dirty politics. It might be that they only came to prosecutors attentions because they were affiliated with Señor Trump, but they are still guilty.

    I know, “who can really judge whether a man is guilty?” — we go with a jury of their peers for that, but are willing to accept the defendant’s admission.

    If the Democrats keep resorting to this personal mud slinging and going so far off the ranch, they will become the second coming of the Bull Moose Party.

    Ok, I’ve got nothing for this. You do know that candidates are supposed to be vetted for all credible accusations, don’t you? It might be shocking to see someone in congress attempting to do their job, but that’s not off the ranch.

    Judge Kavanaugh is seen favorably by most of the people – a good, family man with high values.

    Polling shows that a plurality of America is opposed to his confirmation. And that was before his alleged youthful indiscretion was known.

    “What is it with you people? Too much sun?”

    Do you live in a cave? Are you one of those weird blind, white newt things that live in darkness? That would explain a lot…

    ReplyReply



    14



    1
  20. Gustopher says:

    @george:

    In fact, I sometimes think it’d be a good thing if more judges had checkered pasts as youths but went on to turn their lives around – they’d be much more understanding (sometimes more lenient, other times harder) in their judgments.

    I agree with this. I would feel better about our system of justice if most of the judges had been arrested and spent some time in jail for petty offenses, or at the very least did not all come from the same few colleges.

    But, at the same time all of these pleas for second chances at the highest levels just benefit the wealthy and powerful. McCain’s career should have been over after the Keating 5, Trump paying fines for money laundering should have disqualified him from the Presidency (and maybe having a bank account), and Mark Wahlburg should be banned from all public spaces either for beating up an Asian man or for starring in two Transformers movies.

    It might not be “fair”, but here is what really isn’t fair — I have squandered more opportunities than most brown kids in this country even get.

    Letting the wealthy and powerful skate free doesn’t make us a more tolerant society, it just creates a separate level of expectations for the wealthy and powerful.

    If you screw up badly enough to screw up someone else’s life, rehabilitation should get you a chance at a mediocre but good life, not an extraordinary life.

    ReplyReply



    7



    0
  21. I have updated the body of the post to include the text of the letter that was sent to Senator Feinstein, which has now been made public.

    ReplyReply



    0



    0
  22. wr says:

    @Tyrell: “Judge Kavanaugh is seen favorably by most of the people – a good, family man with high values”

    Most of your post is just your usual trollish nonsense. But this is a flat-out lie. Even before this, polls were at roughly 35% of the country wanted to see him confirmed, right near the Harriet Miers level.

    ReplyReply



    6



    0
  23. Franklin says:

    I certainly rejected this when it was said to be from an anonymous person who didn’t want to press it. If it had remained that way, my response would have remained correct. Unlike some people, I am willing to consider new evidence. However …

    I’m not sure my mind has changed. We now know somebody’s name and she’s not even sure what year it was, how do we know what else her memory has changed about the event? I’m actually kind of sure an encounter happened and am sure it was uncomfortable. I am totally UNsure that it was so horrendous that the perpetrator should be punished for it 36 years later.

    ReplyReply



    4



    7
  24. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Kylopod:

    Thomas’s narrow 52-48 confirmation was extraordinarily unusual at the time, and anticipated the near-party-line votes that would come to characterize SCOTUS nominations in the future.

    Thomas was only confirmed because polls at the time showed that Blacks supported or at least did not oppose Clarence Thomas. So, a lot of Democrats, mostly in the South, voted for him. But Thomas was a problematic nominee that would have been rejected if he were White.

    Frankly, Bush would not even dared to nominate him.

    ReplyReply



    1



    0
  25. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Bruce Henry:

    What about this “letter from 65 women attesting to his character” thing?

    That letter of support was idiotic, but does not prove that Kavanaugh is a rapist. That letter is a pretty swampy thing: in Washington D. C. is normal for people to know their high school classmates because that’s used as networking. That’s why there are so many liberal Washington lawyers defending Kavanaugh.

    If Trump chose the less “swampy” people of the FedSoc list we would not be seeing these letters of support. Both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh screams privilege from their background.

    Anyway, part of the problem is that the United States has tough criminal procedures against minors. Even someone like a 13 year old can be basically incarcerated for minor offenses. So, the “He was only 17 years old” sounds a little idiotic here, in the way that it would not sound in Sweden or France.

    ReplyReply



    3



    0
  26. One American says:

    Seems she doesn’t remember much 3 decades later. My heart goes out to her if this happened but yeah we all have nightmares from high school. I remember every detail. Still living it.

    ReplyReply



    0



    14
  27. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    I’m not sure I’m reading the 538 Senate forecast model right, but it seems to me there’s a very good chance of the Senate ending up divided 50-50.

    That outcome would be very interesting.

    ReplyReply



    2



    0
  28. Modulo Myself says:

    A lot has changed since Thomas. No one sane now thinks Hill was lying, including his gargoyle alcoholic wife who left a deranged rant on Anita Hill’s voicemail. Biden was able to quash other women who were going to back up Anita Hill’s account with their own experiences with Thomas. That’s not happening now. Same goes with ‘a little bit nutty a little bit slutty’. The stuff that had mainstream appeal then does not now. They have the votes. They might get away with this crap and nominate Kavanaugh with the fervent dummies all screaming about attempted rape is no big deal, but it’s going to come at a huge fucking price.

    ReplyReply



    9



    0
  29. george says:

    @Gustopher:

    Actually some of it has trickled down; sentences for serious crimes for youths are generally lower than for adults. You’re correct that forgiveness benefits rich and powerful youth far more than poor youth, but harsh laws and judgment hit poor youth much harder than it hits rich and powerful, who typically can afford far better legal council (if nothing else, because their council isn’t stretched thin working on too many cases), and who could live comfortably off of their parent’s riches even when youthful crime was something that followed you through-out life.

    The reason for advocating forgiveness for rich and powerful youth is because it becomes the standard, and some of that trickles down to help the poor. Whereas harsh sentencing and judgment floods down to drown the poor, while only getting the rich and powerful youth’s feet wet.

    This has been played out many times before, which is why so many minorities (and class conscious poor in general) are cautious about applying harsh standards – there’s simply no doubt who will be hit the hardest by such standards.

    You know the saying, ‘people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?’ The poor live in very flimsy legal glass houses. If it ever again comes to unproven accusations being enough to determine guilt (what was Bismarck’s judgment – better ten innocents be executed than one guilty person go free?), its going to be the poor that suffer the most, and by a long shot. If youthful crimes are to be punished like adult crimes, and the consequences to follow a lifetime, its going to be the poor that suffer the most.

    You’re correct that there are different standards, different justice systems for rich and for poor. But if tolerance is lowered 10% for the rich, they’re going to be lowered 50% for the poor. Its always worked that way, and its hard not to believe it’ll continue to work that way.

    If the accuser has evidence (and its very likely she does since she went public), that will show that Kavanaugh lied as an adult – the whole youth tolerance is lost at that point, because he’s no longer a youth. But that’s judging his adult self, not his youthful self. The difference is vital.

    ReplyReply



    4



    0
  30. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher:

    “Put a rapist on the Supreme Court” is not the best slogan.

    But a great attack ad.

    ReplyReply



    3



    0
  31. KM says:

    @george:

    checkered pasts as youths

    Gonna stop you there. “Checkered past” should mean things like tagging walls or smoking dope, not assaulting people in any fashion. Under-aged drinking or smoking? Sure but never someone who’s hurt another. It trivializes the entire notion of sexual assault when it gets dismissed with terms like misspent youth that imply relative harmlessness. A teenager who molests and rapes generally becomes an adult who does the same, or at the very least is more tolerant towards the notion. Think of the judge who let Brock Turner off lightly, more worried about his future then his blatant crime. Persky was thought it was a shame to ruin his future opportunities so should we accept a future Judge Turner if he decides to run for the bench?

    I’m perfectly OK with someone who’s not an angel but it’s not acceptable for someone who’d harm another. Being young isn’t an excuse when it comes to violating another – small children can understand why it’s bad so a teenager doesn’t get a pass. “Young and dumb” is right up there with “boys will be boys” and “locker room talk” – post hoc rationale from people who don’t think it’s really a problem in the first place.

    ReplyReply



    7



    0
  32. KM says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    normal for people to know their high school classmates

    He went to an all-boys school so these women weren’t classmates per se. Maybe they’re from a sister school but they didn’t go to school with him/ associate on a day to day basis so their claims are already in the iffy territory. I mean, did they regularly discuss his dating habits or something? All that letter is saying is that those 65 swear he didn’t abuse them. Great, there’s billions of women who can claim the same (me included) but I’m interested in the one who’s saying she was.

    Besides, how many of us “knew” people back in high school we thought were good only for them to turn out to be less then stellar? How many of your classmates are in jail or were lucky enough to not be caught yet? How many cheat on their spouses, beat them, steal from work, or are generally shitty human beings that you just didn’t notice back then? Every rapist has classmates (unless they were home-schooled) and not all of them were blatantly scummy. If they were, you’d know to avoid them!!! Predators get away with it by being the boy next door, the clean cut one nobody suspects. Look at Ted Bundy and every other monsters who walked free in daylight for years with people swearing up and down what good guys they were. Wanna guess how many still stand by their original statements? A depressing amount – being a “nice guy” is the best cover you can pull off.

    ReplyReply



    7



    1
  33. Modulo Myself says:

    @george:

    It’s not unjust to not be on the Supreme Court, and forgiveness has nothing to do with sating this guy’s ambitions. These are not hard things to grasp. The shit you are saying is something that comes out of an abusive person’s mouth. You can forgive your abuser, but you don’t have to love them or take them back. You are a fucked-up pathetic monster if you confuse getting exactly what you desire at the expense of all others with real fairness and justice.

    ReplyReply



    1



    3
  34. Hal_10000 says:

    @Bruce Henry:

    What about this “letter from 65 women attesting to his character” thing? If this allegation came out of nowhere how was it that this letter of refutation was produced so quickly?

    If you read the buzzfeed article, you’d know. Earlier last week, rumors began to circulate that something of this nature was going to come out. And women who knew Kavanaugh began putting together a response. No, it doesn’t prove he didn’t rape anyone. But it does argue against this being a pattern of behavior.

    The most serious part of this is the revelation that she was talking about this at least as far back as 2012, long before Kavanaugh became the nominee. And while Judge has denied it, he’s also written a lot about his bad drinking past. Kavanaugh is not effectively calling her a liar. I think there should be a hearing on this.

    I understand where the GOP is coming from — this feels like a dirty trick, a last-minute reveal of information Feinstein has months ago designed to push the nomination past the election (and ultimately to 2021). But … this had to be heard.

    It’s a mess. It’s a huge mess. And it’s getting worse with each passing moment. And I expect that once the Grabber in Chief starts rage-tweeting about it, it will get really really bad. I think the least bad scenario may be that Kavanaugh withdraws and we get another nominee probably voted in by a lame duck Senate.

    ReplyReply



    3



    2
  35. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher:

    McCain’s career should have been over after the Keating 5

    I listened to the hearings on the Keating 5. And I have very mixed feelings about McCain. But even so, I felt the hearings showed the other 4 were dirtbags, but McCain not so much. He started out enthusiastically helping a constituent, blindly, without asking enough questions. But when he realized Keating was asking him to cross way too many lines he cut him off.

    ReplyReply



    1



    0
  36. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: The most interesting thing about the forecast to me is that it gives the Dems a better-than-even chance of winning each of the individual races (FL, WV, ND, MT, NV, AZ, MO, IN) that would collectively add up to a razor-thin, 51-seat majority. But it gives the Dems less than a 1/3rd chance of actually reaching that overall goal–I suppose because the chances are so narrow in enough states (at least two are rated “toss up”) that there’s a better-than-even chance of their failing in at least one of them. But midterm elections historically tend to trend in one direction, except when there’s a really bad candidate (e.g. Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle), and the Dems have nominated excellent candidates this year.

    ReplyReply



    2



    0
  37. Gustopher says:

    @Hal_10000:

    The most serious part of this is the revelation that she was talking about this at least as far back as 2012, long before Kavanaugh became the nominee.

    Just to play devil’s advocate, she also says that she didn’t tell anyone about it at the time it happened. That doesn’t sound like a 15 year old girl, unless there is something else going on. It doesn’t ring true, not unless the assault was even worse than described.

    As described, I would expect that her anger at Kavanaugh the skeezy drunk 17 year old and his creepy friend would be greater than any shame she felt for “letting this happen.”

    She may have told someone at the time, and just want to keep their name out of the papers — this isn’t going to be pleasant for her, or any witnesses, so I could see that impulse.

    Or, there may be something else going on — I don’t want to say that she is lying, but if she was abused by someone in her family, she could be putting parts of that experience onto her memories of the stupid drunk boy who was too eager to immediately take “no” for an answer (which itself is not good, but a whole different level than what is described) — putting the memories where she can deal with them better.

    Or something else entirely.

    The lack of anyone else stepping forward makes me wary, since there is almost never just one. But, that might change at any minute.

    ReplyReply



    1



    3
  38. de stijl says:

    In the absence of undeniable proof that will undoubtedly bite us on the tuchus PR-wise that we can’t plausibly deny, let’s just do what we’ve done for the last 12,000 years and side with the man, okay?

    Agreed? (looks at the order of who raised their hands first for signs of insurrection)

    The details wobble. but that is the figurative truth. Seriously.

    ReplyReply



    1



    1
  39. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: at the moment, it is very much she-said/he-said-and-this-other-guy-said. The accusations don’t even rise to the level of preponderance of evidence.

    Ok, it’s more she-said/he-said-and-this-other-guy-has-no-recollection, but still, that’s 50-50, at best.

    I don’t think Kavanaugh should be on the court at all, for purely political reasons. But as for this, I’ll wait until there is at least some collaborating evidence.

    I suspect there is. I suspect she told someone at the time, and is just trying to protect them from the onslaught. I suspect there are other people who will come out and accuse Kavanaugh. Or, perhaps Ms. Ford kept a diary.

    But it’s also very possible that there isn’t any.

    People process trauma in all sorts of ways, combining and fabricating so they can manage to get through the day. It’s kind of amazing. And being kissed by a 17 year old Brett Kavanaugh is doubtless a traumatic experience. My god, I would not want to kiss that horrible man at any age.

    To wait decades to start telling people about being assaulted by an older boy from an upper class boys school who is now a powerful judge… that sounds like it could be grasping for any substitute for “Creepy Uncle Bob” while beginning to finally process things that were pushed down. And let’s be clear, Kavanaugh is creepy.

    Or it’s entirely true. Or partially true.

    People do amazing things to survive traumatic experiences. It’s really kind of incredible.

    And when you recall something, you’re not just reading data from your mind, you’re writing it back too. Which is incredible and amazing and awesome, and which makes me doubt anyone who tells a story.

    A friend and I each have clear memories of a squirrel in a chimney while we were young. Did we both have a roasted squirrel incident, or did one of us retell the story too others enough that we think it was us? Siblings refuse to confirm it for either of us. Where did this come from? And that’s just a squirrel.

    Wanting some corroborating evidence is not “siding with the man” so much as it is giving the accused the benefit of at least some doubt.

    (If this were Ted Cruz, I would reject the accusations out of hand, because the prospect of Ted Cruz physically aroused is too terrifying to contemplate… I bet he calls out “lower marginal tax rates” as he climaxes into a sock, somewhere safe and far away from all other people. His children are not his)

    ReplyReply



    2



    0
  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Franklin:

    I am totally UNsure that it was so horrendous that the perpetrator should be punished for it 36 years later.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I have some personal experience of this, having been molested by a family ‘friend’ when I was a kid.

    The molester (I’ll call him GT) was, IIRC, 18. If this was a one-off and GT committed no similar acts, would I think he should be punished 36 years later? No. I’m a forgiving guy, having so often required forgiveness myself. However, if, 36 years later, he lied about it, I would still not believe GT should be charged legally, or ruined, but would I find it disqualifying in a SCOTUS nominee? Yes, absolutely.

    If you want redemption and forgiveness you have to acknowledge your misdeeds, do what you can to repair the damage. If Kavanaugh were honest, had he apologized, had he tried to undo the damage done, (always assuming the accusation is true) it would be a very different situation. But there is no redemption without confession.

    ReplyReply



    4



    0
  41. Pylon says:

    @Franklin: not getting a SCOTUS position ( and presumably keeping the present position) isn’t much of a punishment.

    ReplyReply



    2



    0
  42. Franklin says:

    However, if, 36 years later, he lied about it, I would still not believe GT should be charged legally, or ruined, but would I find it disqualifying in a SCOTUS nominee? Yes, absolutely.

    Fair enough. But it’s also possible that Kavanaugh literally doesn’t remember this incident; the woman said both he and his cohort were “stumbling drunk.”

    I admit it’s a struggle for me with these really old cases. Human memory is much less accurate than most people believe. I think I’ve mentioned before that one of the good things that will hopefully come out of the #MeToo movement is for victims to feel enabled to report incidents much sooner.

    ReplyReply



    2



    0
  43. drj says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If you read the buzzfeed article, you’d know. Earlier last week, rumors began to circulate that something of this nature was going to come out. And women who knew Kavanaugh began putting together a response. No, it doesn’t prove he didn’t rape anyone. But it does argue against this being a pattern of behavior.

    You have to be exceedingly naive to buy this story.

    How many people know 65 people from their time in high school (but from schools they themselves did not attend) who, after 35 years, are able to vouch for their behavior?

    Best case scenario: 65 women closed ranks to protect someone of their own social class and status.

    Worst case scenario: Republicans knew this was coming and had a response ready.

    ReplyReply



    4



    1
  44. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @MBunge:
    @TM01:
    Oh look…the same guys who endorse serial sexual assault and child molestation are now excusing attempted rape.

    ReplyReply



    2



    0
  45. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @gVOR08:

    Which is the crux of the decision to wait on release – Delay and you possibly derail his nomination, but you definitely get to send the GOP into a midterm election with the millstone of being defenders of a rapist (and yes, I know the technicalities involved in using that specific term here which render it inapplicable. They won’t matter in the court of public opinion). It will be good old boys defending a member of the man club in a climate of empowered women taking down titans right and left.

    Which is precisely why the GOP is panicking at the moment trying to find a way to delay it without pissing off their base. They don’t want that label hung around their necks.

    I haven’t always been a fan of Dianne Feinstein, but she played this one brilliantly.

    ReplyReply



    4



    0
  46. george says:

    @KM:

    Sure but never someone who’s hurt another.

    In my community we’ve worked with youth who committed violent crimes (including murder) who turned into good people as adults. Again, there’s a reason sentencing for youths, including for the worst crime of all (murder) is lighter than for adults – read up on the stages of brain development. This isn’t being soft on crime, its basic neurology.

    Before it was always conservatives who thought one criminal act marked you for life, and progressives who believed in rehabilitation. Now progressives also believe a single act marks you for life.

    This goes far deeper and is far more important than some supreme court justice – they’re all powerful people who’ve got it made, and 75% of the time everyone on the court agrees anyway. The people this one-strike-and-you’re-out attitude really impacts is the poor, especially minorities.

    There’s almost certainly evidence against Kavanaugh, and it should be used to show he lied under oath, a perfect reason that he shouldn’t be on the court. But going the ‘one bad act makes you a bad person for life’ is not the right approach; the people it will mainly affect are poor youth, especially minority youth.

    ReplyReply



    0



    0
  47. george says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Tell you what, spend a couple of decades volunteering to work with street kids, gang members, and other youth who’ve committed pretty horrible crimes (right up to murder), and then go back and re-read what you wrote.

    Basically you’re simply wrong, and anyone who’s worked with young offenders – including some very violent ones – will tell you so. Youth can change, and often do. Its people like you who want to try young offenders as adults, and throw away the key. Tell me, is it fear, or do you just enjoy the smug righteousness of your position?

    ReplyReply



    2



    0
  48. tm01 says:

    I was sexually assaulted by Doug Mataconis 30 years ago.
    It was at a party somewhere, and he and his 3 friends…no wait….one friend…James something held me down and put his hand over my mouth. Then they got in a fight and I ran away.
    I only told my therapist about this 6 years ago, but it’s haunted by existence every day, and I often wondered what would happen if he ever became a blogger somewhere.
    I’ve passed a lie detector test (because I believe my story to be true).
    Also, Doug’s mother was mean to me one time.
    Ignore that I also read other blogs, have given them money, and am opposed to the viewpoints expressed here. I’ve also never made Dougie Hats for that march in DC.

    This is a pretty serious allegation, Doug. OTB should probably suspend you from writing any more articles until this charge has been fully investigated.

    ReplyReply



    1



    5
  49. tm01 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Hey there!
    Let’s talk about Keith Ellison!

    ReplyReply



    1



    5
  50. Eric Florack says:

    Kavanaugh classmate, Mark Judge, emphatically denies allegations that he watched as Brett M. Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted a girl when he and Kavanaugh attended a party while they were in high school more than three decades ago. It’s interesting to note that Christine Blasey Ford, who just revealed herself as the author of Diane Feinstein’s “anonymous letter,” did so in an article in The Washington Post on Sept. 16th. The post has religiously published one debunked leftist “hit piece” after another in the ongoing “character assassination” of Donald j. Trump. It’s also interesting that Ford is a liberal Professor at Palo Alto University and has been quite active in the resistance movement, it has been busy all weekend scrubbing her social media accounts.

    ReplyReply



    0



    5
  51. Eric Florack says:

    @drj: after Clarence Thomas so, how in the world can they not know it was coming?

    The pattern of baseless accusations to slow up GOP nominations is well-established

    ReplyReply



    0



    4
  52. Neil Hudelson says:

    @tm01:

    Man, you sure are squirming.

    ReplyReply



    1



    0
  53. KM says:

    @Franklin:

    Fair enough. But it’s also possible that Kavanaugh literally doesn’t remember this incident; the woman said both he and his cohort were “stumbling drunk.”

    Alcohol isn’t some magical personality changer – all it does it remove filters and inhibitions. It doesn’t put thoughts into your head that didn’t already lurk but rather silences that little voice that tells you it’s a terrible idea. You don’t suddenly get a case of wild rapist fever when you’re a few pints in if that wasn’t you from the start. The ancients knew this: in vino veritas. That fact that he might not remember it doens’t mean he wouldn’t or couldn’t do it. It just means he drank enough to wipe it from his head. It speaks to retention of information, not possible action or intention.

    You wouldn’t give a killer who was blackout drunk a pass, would you? Just because they can’t remember stabbing someone doesn’t erase the action or the inclination, it just means they kept on going with the booze. We don’t let drunk drivers off just because they can’t remember running over Little Johnny so why would you say that’s a viable excuse in this case?

    ReplyReply



    1



    0
  54. KM says:

    @george:

    This isn’t being soft on crime, its basic neurology.

    And yet millions of youths with that same neurology and same developmental stage DON’T DO THAT. If it were really that simple, we’d see *far* more young offenders then we do because basic biology would make them inevitable crime factories. This line of thought goes hand in hand with the whole “men can’t help it” thought process; after all, it’s their biology to ogle and grope and chase women so you can’t really blame them for being skeevy, right? Women should have to protect themselves from men by dressing right and not being in the wrong place because guys are just wired that way. Biology is a great excuse for bad behavior, it seems.

    The whole POINT of society is learning to overcome biology and act like a civilized being. It comes down to choice. Yes, you may not be 100% or have biological reasons or tendencies towards social malfeasance. But in the end, some choose to pin girls down against their will when drunk and others don’t and that’s completely on them. There would have been plenty of other drunk young men at that party around the same age and yet many manage to not be rapists. It’s who you are that drives your actions – a young man with the same neurology can be an upstanding marine or a thug. It’s up to them to choose.

    ReplyReply



    2



    0
  55. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Kavanaugh classmate, Mark Judge, emphatically denies allegations that he watched as Brett M. Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted a girl when he and Kavanaugh attended a party while they were in high school more than three decades ago

    He’s accused of being in the same room … 🙄

    Are you actually this stupid ?

    ReplyReply



    3



    0
  56. MarkedMan says:

    Kavanaugh classmate, Mark Judge, emphatically denies allegations that he watched as Brett M. Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted a girl when he and Kavanaugh attended a party while they were in high school more than three decades ago.

    Just for the record, in claiming certainty that it never happened, Mark Judge is lying. By his own words, he cannot possibly be certain. In 1999, he wrote an entire book about how he became a raging alcoholic in high school, frequently blacking out. He admits in the book that there are numerous occasions when he can’t remember what happened the night before. And today, suddenly, 36 years later he is absolutely certain that he was never in this situation? That’s just a lie.

    ReplyReply



    3



    0
  57. Modulo Myself says:

    @george:

    No one is trying him as an adult. He’s not being marked for life. He’s being judged as a human being, which is entirely different than in a court of law. If these charges are true, then it happened. As I said, I believe in forgiveness, but he’s showing no sign of anything. Anyway, it’s completely insane to present this as an issue relating to locking away a 17-year old for murder for 30 years.

    ReplyReply



    0



    0
  58. george says:

    @KM:

    That’s the standard argument for sentencing youths the same as adults for violent crime:

    Most youths don’t commit violent crime, so those that do shouldn’t be treated any differently than adults. Citizens shouldn’t have to worry about protecting themselves from violent youth (not just women, most violence committed by those under 18 isn’t sexual in nature, and some of it is far more severe than what Kavanaugh is accused of, drive-by shootings and murder being not uncommon).

    And I can understand the feeling that people who do a violent act are different than those who aren’t at any age, and taking youth into consideration only puts the public at greater danger. I used to think that as well, until I started getting involved in programs for young offenders in my community. And its based on that involvement that I now disagree – in my experience youth can be changed in ways its hard to do with adults. And that includes far more violent acts than what Kavanaugh may have done – as I said, I’ve seen long term changes in youths who committed brutal murders.

    I’m not arguing that Kavanaugh should be put on the court. For a start, I think that’s Garland’s seat. Secondly, if the accuser comes forth with evidence or further accusers come out (as in Cosby and Weinstein and Spacy and Moore, if Kavanaugh attacked her its almost a guarantee he attacked others) it’ll be obvious that he lied under oath as an adult, and that’s a perfect reason to deny him the seat (actually to put him in jail). But the new tendency for ‘one crime follows you the rest of your life’ scares me, and a lot of other people who’ve been involved with young offenders, because we see the attitude trickling down (actually flooding down) to the treatment of poor youth – people’s opinions, both progressives and conservatives, are converging on ‘one and you’re done’, and its showing at the local level.

    Look, violent youth do harm a lot of people, all the way up to killing them. I’m not saying they don’t, I’m just saying that many of them can be rehabilitated in ways that its hard to do with adults. If someone did something as a youth and then goes through their adult life without repeating, I’d say that’s rehabilitated. In the case of Kavanaugh, if he never repeated then the problem for me isn’t what he did as a youth, but that he lied about it under oath, if he never tried to make it up to her – that shows no remorse. Remorse involves admitting what you’ve done, and trying to make amends.

    ReplyReply



    0



    0
  59. Eric Florack says:

    You know you would think that the Democrats would come up with something new eventually. But no they’re still running the Anita Hill play. The only thing that’s missing at this point is the pubic hair and the Coke can

    go ahead tell me how I’m not supposed to be suspicious about this nonsense

    ReplyReply



    0



    0

Speak Your Mind

*