Kavanaugh: Who is more likely to be telling the truth?
We’ll never know for sure what exactly happened between Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford in the summer of 1982, said Nathan Robinson in CurrentAffairs.org. But last week’s dramatic Senate testimony did prove one thing: President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is a “serial liar.” Kavanaugh insisted that he “never attended” an event like the informal drunken gathering where he allegedly assaulted Blasey Ford. But Kavanaugh’s own calendars show that he went to a friend’s house for “skis”—that is, “brewskies,” or beer—on a weeknight with two of the boys Blasey Ford said were present. Kavanaugh portrayed himself as a studious virgin, admitting to occasional excessive drinking on weekends, yet his high school yearbook lists him as treasurer of the “Keg City Club,” includes his boast, “100 Kegs or Bust,” and refers to him as the “biggest contributor” to the “Beach Week Ralph Club,” a reference to vomiting (“ralphing”). There are also sexually suggestive references to the “devil’s triangle,” a sexual encounter between two men and one woman, and the “Renate Alumni”—boys who claimed they’d had sex with a girl named Renate. Asked about these references, Kavanaugh dissembled, claiming, for example, that the sneering Renate boast was “clumsily intended to show affection.” Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford both spoke “with passion and clarity.” But only one of them told blatant falsehoods. Why?
Kavanaugh’s opponents are moving the goalposts, said Byron York in WashingtonExaminer.com. “With no contemporaneous evidence that the Blasey Ford attack happened, Democrats are trying to make the case that it could have happened” by pointing to Kavanaugh’s drinking in high school and at Yale. But Kavanaugh has conceded that he drank, sometimes too much, but never to the point of doing things he didn’t remember. Drinking is all liberals have on Kavanaugh, so they’re going with it. Otherwise, the allegations against Kavanaugh are “collapsing,” said David French in NationalReview.com. Blasey Ford has no corroborating witnesses and can’t say exactly when the attack took place. Two other accusers, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, seem even more unreliable, with no corroborating witnesses for vague, shifting stories. Why should such flimsy allegations keep an otherwise respected judge off the court?
Because we should hold Supreme Court justices to a higher standard, said Briahna Gray and Camille Baker in TheIntercept.com. Kavanaugh “is not, in fact, on trial, but at a job interview.” In that context, he disqualified himself by repeatedly perjuring himself under oath. He claimed Blasey Ford’s friend from that time, Leland Keyser, had said that both the party and the attack didn’t happen; in reality, she said she does not remember the party, but believes Blasey Ford’s allegation. Kavanaugh feigned indignation at the suggestion that his yearbook, “a totem to debauchery and sexual frustration,” had any relevance whatsoever “to the issue of whether he committed blacked-out sexual assault in high school.” He even claimed to have gotten into Yale without any help, failing to disclose that his grandfather attended Yale—making Kavanaugh a legacy admission. A judge’s willingness to tell such easily disprovable lies speaks volumes about his fitness to serve a lifetime appointment on our nation’s highest court.
Both Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh probably think they’re telling the truth, said Katie Herzog in TheStranger.com. Naturally, a traumatic event like the one Blasey Ford described would stick with her for life. But in the toxic “bro” culture of an elite prep school, Kavanaugh and his buddy Mark Judge likely viewed their actions of pinning a younger girl to a bed and clumsily feeling her up as a bit of drunken fun that didn’t lead anywhere. “When Kavanaugh says the attack never took place, that’s because for him, it did not.” For her, it was a lifelong trauma; for him, it was “less than nothing.” He may even not remember it.
This isn’t a fight about the literal truth, said John Harris in Politico.com. Democrats and Republicans are each fighting for their “larger truth.” Kavanaugh’s supporters may privately know he isn’t telling the whole truth about his past. But they believe that Democrats determined to keep the court out of conservative hands are railroading Kavanaugh with murky, decades-old allegations. Kavanaugh’s opponents, meanwhile, may privately know that much of what happened back then is impossible to discern. But they see the “smug and entitled” Kavanaugh as exactly the kind of male who gets away with mistreating women in our society. Both sides are willing to ignore inconsistencies that undermine their preferred narratives. “If you insist this phenomenon does not apply to you, the chances are you are lying—at least to yourself.” ■