Is the Kavanaugh Nomination Really Just He Said, She Said?

In deciding who is the truth-teller after hearing the senate testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the latter seeks to become a Justice on the United States Supreme Court, it is worthwhile to note a number of pertinent facts, including: that Dr. Ford has taken and passed a polygraph test, while Judge Kavanaugh has not; that Dr. Ford made no known misleading comments to the Judiciary Committee, while Judge Kavanaugh did (stating, for example, that other attendees at the social gathering in question said the assault “did not happen” when in fact they said only that they had no knowledge of it, two very different things that any judge, of all people, should be able to distinguish between; or calling being a girl’s “alumnius” just being her friend); that Judge Kavanaugh alleged a bizarre conspiracy and “political hit” against him somehow involving the “revenge” of the Clintons; that the Republican committee chairman refused to subpoena the third person in the room during the alleged assault; that Judge Kavanaugh repeatedly evaded multiple questions asking him if he wanted an FBI investigation that might clear his name, while Dr. Ford asked for such an investigation; that Republicans on the committee accused Senator Feinstein of attempting to spring a last minute assault on Judge Kavanaugh by withholding Dr. Ford’s letter to her for weeks when in fact Senator Feinstein was abiding by her consent to keep the matter confidential; that Judge Kavanaugh’s high school friend, Mark Judge, wrote a book called Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk in which he describes a character “Bart O’Kavanaugh” as belligerent and sometimes passing out when drunk; that a Republican female friend of the Judge from their days at Yale declared in a letter to Cory Booker that she had seen him so drunk that it would be totally understandable for him not to remember events during those periods of drunkenness.

But for those assured of Judge Kavanaugh’s fitness for a Supreme Court seat, set aside for a moment those facts and ask three questions in determining the truthfulness of the two witnesses before the committee:

(1) Which one has something to gain by lying, and which one does not?

(2) Which one was often evasive in answering questions, and which one was not?

(3) Even if we rule out intentional lying by either witness, which one of the witnesses is more likely to remember the event: the one who knew her attacker by face, name, and social acquaintance; who remembered specific and telling details about both the setting and the attack itself; who told her therapist six years ago about an attack when she was fifteen and named her attacker to her husband sixteen years ago; who was traumatized by that event; and who did not want to become part of a political battle and did so only when her name was leaked presumably by friends to the press? Or, on the other hand, the one who, at that time, had a reputation for heavy drinking and drunkenness, has acknowledged his fondness for “skis” (i.e., “brewskis”), and has enormous incentive—a Supreme Court seat—to suppress a memory of something he may have done when so inebriated that he could have been physiologically incapable of remembering the event at all?

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