How easy is it to accuse someone of sexual misconduct and be taken seriously from the get-go, even though the charge is completely bogus and isn’t even made by the alleged victim?
Turns out, very easy. On Wednesday evening (the night before Thursday’s scheduled hearing for Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford), FOX News reporter Ed Henry offered the latest example, a fifth accuser whose story fizzled. This was supposed to be a 1985 sexual assault on a boat in Rhode Island.
According to Henry, the vehemently anti-Trump Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island got a call from a constituent who claimed a close friend was assaulted on an early Sunday morning in August of 1985 by two drunk men on a boat in Newport. The names of the men: “Brett” and “Mark.” (Mark Judge was Kavanaugh’s school friend and also part of Ford’s story, which he says never happened.) The caller claimed that “Brett” was Brett Kavanaugh and said he had called Whitehouse after recognizing Kavanaugh’s yearbook picture in news reports.
Whitehouse, a Democrat, had already shown himself to be completely credulous of Kavanaugh’s original accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, accusing Republicans of failing to treat Ford with the proper respect and acting in “bad faith.” This after Republicans had bent over backwards to hear from Ford on the record. He said Republicans should allow “the investigative process” to play out before holding the vote to confirm or reject Kavanaugh. (No doubt that process would be expected to take at least long enough for the midterms to be over, and, if the Democrats failed to take the Senate, would have to take at least another two years.)
Kavanaugh was questioned privately about this new accusation by Senate Judiciary Committee members, and the transcript was made available Thursday evening. “This is just completely made up,” he told the committee, “or at least not me...I don’t know what they’re referring to.”
The caller has gone on Twitter to say, “Recanted. Because I have made a mistake and apologized.” Okay, fine. But it should also be noted that in earlier tweets, this man called for a military coup against President Trump and made another accusation, this time against the President.
He accused Trump of manslaughter.
Normally, an accusation like this “boat” story, with no evidence or even word from the alleged victim, would warrant exactly no attention, at least from me, but in this case it’s a good lesson in just how easy bogus accusations can take flight. The false story, snapped up by a Democratic senator out to get Trump, actually got some play in the media before being recanted. The “gang-rape” accusation made by a woman through Stormy Daniels’ attorney –- a woman who is being represented by the firm run by Debra Katz, Ford’s lawyer and a member of the Trump “resistance” –- is even more preposterous but has been taken seriously in the media and by those who say all women “have a right to be believed.”
Of course, it should be noted that the person who called Whitehouse was a man. Ha, that explains the lie. The other allegations were made by women, who do not lie, ever, for any reason.
As the claims against Kavanaugh grow wilder and more ridiculous, many women have had enough. They see through this and are furious at the sight of women being used as political pawns, even though some are apparently more than willing to be used that way. Perhaps the women who are being given center stage in this coup to keep Kavanaugh off the Court haven’t thought through the implications, or maybe they don’t care. Are they not concerned about what this kind of accusation –- no witnesses, no details, no corroboration –- does to hurt women who actually have been assaulted and want to be taken seriously in a court of law? By saying unbelievable things while insisting that “all” women have a “right” to believed –- a ludicrous assertion –- they are actually making it harder for women to be believed. That includes the ones who deserve to be believed.
Brian Fallon in the New York Times said this: “Saving the Supreme Court from Trump’s clutches has always involved a very complicated two-step: first, block Kavanaugh, then fight like hell to win back the Senate. If Kavanaugh drops out, we’re halfway there...If Democrats are able to win back the Senate, we’d have a path to blocking Trump from picking any of the archconservatives on his shortlist.” Tell us something we don’t know.
The memo that obviously went out to all the Democrats gave a couple of default positions for them to take when questioned: 1) This is not a trial, so the usual constitutional principles such as “innocent until proven guilty” do not apply, and 2) There needs to be “a full investigation” before the vote, no matter how long that takes.
Of course, we know the reason for 2). The idea is for there to never, ever be a vote. As Andrew C. McCarthy has pointed out, these people have abused the process and, “the minute that you start to give delay to people who are seeking delay, you get more delay and more problems and that’s why we’re where we are now.” As for 1), beware that argument. We absolutely cannot abandon our principles of justice in the way we treat each other. It’s a slippery slope in which violations of our rights will start taking over in more and more settings. The thought that we would entertain that kind of thinking is a national disgrace –- exactly what the left wants.
Pursuant to this, Alan Dershowitz has a new column for NATIONAL REVIEW entitled “A Judicial Confirmation Hearing Is Not A Trial.” Judging from that title, one might think he was going to agree with the Democrats that constitutional protections do not hold in a confirmation hearing. One would be wrong.
It’s true that these proceedings are not a trial. (If they were, Dershowitz says, that trial would be thrown out of court.) The Senate is not tasked with solving alleged crimes or psychoanalyzing witnesses. They are supposed to be exercising their authority under the constitution to advise the President on a nomination and, if they see fit, to consent to that nomination. That’s it. “The proceeding is not about guilt or innocence; it is about qualification,” he says. But Dershowitz sees the Democrats as “hell-bent on turning the ongoing Kangaroo Court into a pseudo-trial.”
And even though this is not a trial, it is, according to Dershowitz, still unfair by constitutional standards. (I assume he means that tired old principles such as “innocent until proven guilty” are still supposed to hold.) The hearings have “descended into farce.” He’d be fine if they didn’t happen and the Senate just went on to take the vote.