Ever since Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh became public knowledge, there has been a scramble by Kavanaugh supporters—including Donald Trump—and Republican senators to try and cast Kavanaugh in a positive light and a simultaneous attempt to keep his confirmation moving forward unimpeded.
Kavanaugh has the unfortunate luck of having this accusation surface at the peak of the #MeToo movement. There is even more scrutiny when women come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct after so many years of their cries going ignored and unheard.
And so, in a political climate where everyone is watching and every move could spell catastrophe as well as political and social suicide, those who are decidedly Team Kavanaugh or have a vested interest in his success are doing all they can to navigate the stormy seas ahead.
Every Republican senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee is a white male, creating some interesting optics as far as the questioning of Blasey Ford is concerned. It could definitely look like a repeat of the aggressive questioning Anita Hill received in 1991, and to combat that, Republicans are said to be floating around the idea of using their female staffers to question Blasey Ford instead.
Three Democratic sources told the Huffington Post that this proposal is under consideration along with another in which Blasey Ford’s attorney would question Kavanaugh and Kavanaugh’s attorney would question Blasey Ford.
Basically, the Republicans who pretty much know they want to push Kavanaugh in as quickly as possible don’t want it to look like they are trying to push Kavanaugh in as quickly as possible and by any means necessary.
Then there are the Kavanaugh defenders. This group of characters wants to change the way Blasey Ford’s accusation against Kavanaugh is viewed in the public eye.
The New York Times reports that there is an “emerging strategy” among Kavanaugh defenders in which they will acknowledge that Blasey Ford was in fact assaulted, but it was by someone else and not Kavanaugh, who has denied her accusations.
Blasey Ford has said the incident occurred more than 30 years ago, when they were both high school students. Kavanaugh defenders want to say she is “confused” about what happened at the party where there was teen drinking.
From the Times:
The approach reflects the shifting reality of the #MeToo movement when it has become politically perilous to directly attack the credibility of women who come forward to tell their stories. By suggesting that perhaps there was confusion after more than 30 years, White House allies said that they could offer wavering Republicans whose votes are critical for his confirmation another explanation for the he-said-she-said conflict without tearing down Dr. Blasey.
The line of defense seemed to be previewed on Monday when Judge Kavanaugh called Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah and a member of the Judiciary Committee, to discuss the allegations. Mr. Hatch told reporters afterward that he believed Judge Kavanaugh. “I think she’s mistaken something” or is “mixed up,” he said.
Two people familiar with the call, who did not want to be identified discussing it, said the judge insisted to Mr. Hatch that he did not do what he was accused of and then, in response to a question, agreed that it was possible that somebody else might have.
This strategy is undoubtedly playing off the fact that Blasey Ford herself has acknowledged that she is uncertain about some of the details of the incident—including exactly when and where it happened. None of that matters, however, because as her lawyers said in a letter, even if she could not remember the exact date or location of when this incident occurred, it would be offensive to suggest that she couldn’t remember with certainty the person who pinned her down, covered her mouth to keep her from screaming, groped her and tried to take her clothes off.
Imagine doing all of this scrambling over something you claim is not true in the first place. Imagine doing all of this when the full story and details have not even been revealed yet.
Imagine doing this 27 years after it was done before, without the slightest bit of self-awareness.
Imagine what all of this is going to look like when it makes it into the history books of the future.
If they even bother telling her story at all.