Yesterday, I listened to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings of Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. I found both testimonies compelling. I agree with Senator Jeff Flake’s speech asking the Senate and the nation to treat both Ford and Kavanaugh with human decency as both go through this difficult process. Both have undergone intense political attacks, attacks on their families and death threats. Their testimonies are being seen through the filter of intense partisan lenses and they both have become caricatures of the complex human beings that both are.
Michael Gerson wrote an article for the Washington Post titled We No Longer Want to Just Win. We Want to Destroy. In that article, Gerson wrote:
There is a strong current of dehumanization running in our politics. The rival crew, it turns out, is not only wrong but evil. And how can mortal enemies embrace the give and take of a shared political project? Only the raw exercise of power can decide between them. The goal is no longer to win arguments but to crush opposition.
This is the moral risk of extreme political polarization: dehumanization. In our circumstance, it has emerged in the bipartisan dehumanization of political opponents and in the nativist dehumanization of certain groups: migrants, refugees and Muslims. This is not politics as usual; it is political pyromania. Our democracy is designed for disagreement. It is broken by mutual contempt.
The way this Senate hearing seems to me to be unfair to both Ford and Kavanaugh. Without corraborating witnesses, an accurate timeline of events, and other evidence to help us judge the accuracy of Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimonies, the hearings are set up as a he said/she said situation where one can’t test the credibility of either person. Ford and Kavanaugh told opposing testimonies where it is impossible to go down the middle to believe both people. Ford is insisting that Kavanaugh raped her; Kavanaugh insists he didn’t and wasn’t even in the party that Ford alleges he attended.
I have some questions.
Is Kavanaugh’s objections to an FBI investigation valid in that the FBI doesn’t do credibility assessments? Would an FBI investigation help make this clearer or would it just unnecessarily prolong the process for both Kavanaugh and Ford?
If Mark Judge was present in Christine Blasey Ford’s alleged assault, why hasn’t he been asked to testify?
Is it possible to call in the other individuals whom Ford testified were in the party that she described? Would it be possible to ask some of Ford and Kavanaugh’s former high school classmates to testify about what both were like in high school? Would it be possible to ask these classmates about Kavanaugh’s drinking habits at that time, and whether his behavior changed after heavy drinking?