Don’t let anyone kid you.
This Thursday appearance of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford before the Senate Judiciary Committee considering Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination is all about sex on one level, politics on another and the thought that almost everything President Trump touches somehow turns to mush.
If you don’t know the gist of it by now, come out from under your rock and take it all in. After a long time of viewing Kavanaugh as the perfect family man, we are confronted with a witness who has another narrative. She recalls him in one of those olden days drunken school romps grinding away on top of her while he held his hand over her mouth.
The plot thickened on Sunday when the New Yorker tossed another story on the fire.
On Sunday, the New Yorker magazine reported that Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University, said he exposed himself at a party when they were both first-year students.
The response to all of this has been particularly predictable.
President Trump is sticking with Kavanaugh all the way, he says, and seems to be blaming the whole thing on lawyers. Look into the lawyers was his advice for Monday morning readers.
Then there is the standard response from some.
Boys, of course, will be boys. I can understand that.
I recall being so bombed in College as a youngster I tried to crawl through a hole in the wall on the 9th floor of a dorm where an air conditioner was supposed to be. I could have been killed. Or I could have learned that I actually can fly, a fantasy I would never test when fully sober. My buds kept me from getting into the hole. Thanks in retrospect but I don’t know to this day whether I can fly.
But not everyone in that category of boys being boys, even drunk, would hold a hand over a woman’s face while she is under him because that is about a few inches short of a rape and certainly a sexual assault of pretty high order. It is the very picture of a woman trying to resist, her shouts muffled by the hand of her attacker.
Don’t minimize that element of the story. It’s what makes it so bad.
Don’t get me wrong. Did my share of grinding as a young man and my share of drinking, too. But the perception of consent was at least in the air at those points. I’m not proud of any of it today, but I have to say something always stopped me. Probably fear of consequences.
Anyhow, no felonies here.
On the other hand, I’m not being considered for anything and Judge Kavanaugh is being considered for the Supreme Court. So what are we to conclude from what we have heard thus far? I honestly don’t know, except that if she was describing the scenario accurately, the door should open to a very close examination of his sexual experiences across time.
Who would want that?
Well, me for one. If he felt so special that he could muffle any “no” aimed at him, we need to know that. It’s a very serious character flaw. Let’s applaud the spunkiness of young men across time, along with their capacity to understand that “no” actually means “no.” And let’s not forget that status, no matter what school you attended, does not imply some kind of mystical approval for all behaviors.
Sometimes, boys won’t be boys and thanks to them for that.
On to President Trump.
He just couldn’t keep his big mouth shut on this one, he had to blast out a twitter feed questioning the doctor’s scenario and asking her parents to come forward with a police report and so on. This is where the whole thing starts to turn to mush, and here is why.
Whether the cops were called or not has nothing to do with the nature of the offense. That’s all that “after the fact” stuff that draws lawyers and deniers and a host of others to the crime scene for their own reasons.
No, calling the cops didn’t matter.
If the nominee did what the witness says he did. the committee should start digging to find out if there is anything else. Stacking up piles of clerks and secretaries and others who worked with him without complaint over time is irrelevant.
I don’t need to know whether there were thousands of women he did not abuse.
I just need to know if there were others he did.
That story starts with Dr. Ford.