I watched a bit of Dr Ford’s testimony before the Senate Committee and I watched a bit of Judge Kavanaugh. I also have been paying attention to the various statements of the people said by Ford to have been at the party – they all denied ever having been there or that there was even a party – and heard the increasingly crazy other accusers. I am quite sure that Ford thinks something happened and I am equally sure there is no uncontradicted evidence that it did. Personally, I think you need more than an uncolaborated thirty five year old recollection to make an accusation like that stick.
Which brings me to process. Both Ford and Kavanaugh were abused by a process which, itself, was corrupted by the worst sort of partisan politics.
Senator Feinstein is a political animal. As the ranking Democrat on the Justice Committee, she was the person Ford’s initial letter went to. Something on the order of eight weeks ago. Sen. Feinstein had a very basic obligation to ensure that this serious and potentially disqualifying allegation was investigated. She has been in Washington long enough to know how that could happen and she undoubtedly has FBI Director Wray’s number.
Had she behaved properly, once she had verified the authenticity of the letter, she would have told her Committee Chair, in confidence about the letter and they would have jointly submitted it for investigation to the FBI. With eight weeks in hand, the FBI would have done its investigation and collected evidence one way or another. This would have gone into the background report. Sen. Feinstein and the Chair would also have alerted the White House to this issue.
Had the allegation been substantiated, the White House would have had the option of withdrawing the nomination. Or it could have decided that the events of 35 years ago fell short of disqualifying and proceeded. Everyone would have had the FBI’s evidence and that could have formed the basis of part of the hearings into Judge Kavanaugh.
If the allegation could not be substantiated the FBI would still have submitted its report to the White House and the Committee and chances are nothing more would have been said.
This would not, of course, have been a criminal investigation but rather part of the significant background vetting the FBI performs on all manner of Presidential appointments.
This, apparently, didn’t have enough political torque for Sen. Feinstein. So she sat on the letter, found Ford legal representation, leaked – or had someone leak – the letter to friendly members of the press and then demanded delays and FBI investigations and the automatic disqualification of the evil attempted rapist. The media bayed in unison with the Wicked Witch of San Francisco and all of a sudden we were asked to “believe the woman” because #metoo. Assorted loons came out of the woodwork yelling #metoo “I think but I was too drunk to really know”, and “as a twenty one year old college girl there was nothing I liked better than going to high school rape parties until I was forced to pull the train”.
All because a partisan old harridain was willing to ignore process and abandon honour for the potential partisan advantage defeating or delaying a Supreme Court nominee could bring.
She was, of course, aided and abetted by her own Party.
I was delighted when Kavanaugh called her out and named names. It speaks well of his temperament. A Supreme Court Justice has to have a sense of Justice and be willing to fight for that Justice. He needs to be genuinely outraged by sleezy, underhand practices and be willing to make his outrage crystal clear.
Senator Lindsey Graham understood just how well Kavanaugh qualified himself for appointment against such scumball partisan tactics, “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics!”