058 – DR. FORD MUST NOT ALLOW HERSELF TO BECOME ANITA HILL 2.0 (An Editorial)

I strongly support Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s decision, announced last night (Tues, Sep 18), to not agree to appear before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee until the FBI performs a background check into her allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Of course, the immediate reaction of Republican Senators, such as Chuck Grassley and Lindsay Graham, is to say that if she doesn’t want to testify, then they will just go on with a vote without hearing from her.  I’m sure that we will hear the exact same thing from at least Orrin Hatch this morning (Weds, Sep 19).

Will Monday’s Judiciary hearing be postponed?

Let’s just see how that plays out between now and next Monday when the hearing is currently scheduled.  I happen to think that Dr. Ford has effectively put the screws to the Republicans.

If they try to vote without hearing from her, I think that will only increase the enthusiasm and backlash that they will get in the midterms.  I also think that by now, there may be at least a few Republican Senators, maybe even one on the Judiciary Committee, who will not vote to confirm Kavanaugh without hearing from Dr. Ford.

Ultimately, it will come down to Mitch McConnel’s Whip count.  I can’t see him letting the Judiciary Committee vote if it is not guaranteed that he has enough votes to pass the nomination to the full Senate.  Even if there are enough votes to pass the nomination in Committee, if McConnell sees just two Republican votes in the full Senate who won’t vote to confirm without hearing from Dr. Ford, then McConnell won’t allow the Committee vote either.

My bet is that Monday’s scheduled hearing will either be delayed, or at very least changed to include a subpoena for Mark Judge to appear as well.  I also anticipate Grassley (and the White House) will be trying to spin it as though the decision to delay, or even to include Judge, will be simply done out of fairness to both Dr. Ford and to Justice Kavanaugh.  Yeah, right.

How’s your B.S. meter registering on that one?

Is Dr. Ford’s accusation creditable?

There is an excellent op-ed listing the reasons why Dr. Ford’s accusation should be at the very least considered.  Rather than just immediately ignore the conclusions of the article based upon whether or not you generally agree with the specific writers, at least consider what they have said.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/09/18/allegations-against-brett-kavanaugh-are-not-simply-he-said-she-said-situation

I will summarize those reasons in which I am complete agreement.

  • Corroborating evidence.

    • Ford saw a therapist in 2012, with her husband, and those notes by the therapist will reportedly be made available. As stated in the article mentioned above …

To believe that this is a made-up tale to prevent Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Ford would have had to plant the seeds of this story in 2012. That makes no sense.”

  • Ford took and passed an FBI polygraph.

    • Everyone knows that polygraphs are not admissible in the court of law, but they have some value in the court of public opinion – and that is what we are dealing with here. The fact that Dr. Ford was willing to take a polygraph, administered by the FBI, and not by some private agency, lends to the overall credibility of her accusations.
    • I certainly have not heard Brett Kavanaugh, or Mark Judge, offer to take polygraphs on any of this.
    • As a historical note, Anita Hill also took and passed a polygraph prior to her testimony in 1991.
  • Ford’s motives for coming forward.

    • I am sure that most on the Right, completely write her off as just another looney, liberal college professor.
    • But consider her history as not having been particularly politically active in the past. Oh, I know that just being a professor is probably more than enough for many to completely discount her motives.
    • Also, she had to know what a complete shitstorm this will cause for her, and for her family. That has most definitely already begun in spades.
    • Once again, as said in the article mentioned above …

“There is no reasonable explanation for why she would subject herself to such humiliation other than the reason she has given: that she felt she had a duty as a citizen to speak up.”

  • The delay in coming forward.

    • While many on the Right point to that as “evidence” that this is not a credible claim, it may in fact be even more of an indication of the credibility of her accusation. Most women who were subjected to sexual misconduct not only do not make the accusations known at the time, many never make the accusations known at all for fear of the repercussions that they are almost guaranteed to endure.
  • Citing Mark Judge as a corroborating witness to Kavanaugh’s assault.

    • Ford has not accused Mark Judge of participating in the assault. In fact, it is almost the opposite.  She has said that Judge’s intervention, whether intentional or not, allowed her to escape the assault at the time.
    • Knowing that Judge is now saying that he does not remember the incident, and that he never remembers Kavanaugh ever acting like that at any time, why would Dr. Ford be continuing to push for the FBI check into her allegations?
    • Does it make any sense at all that she would want to promote a witness against her?

Not in the article mentioned above, but also relevant to Dr. Ford’s credibility, is that she also told others about being assaulted by a Federal Judge prior to Kavanaugh even being nominated to the Supreme Court.

There is no way that this should be left to become another “he said/she said” as it was in the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearing.  If this were a judicial trial, the government would present the results of its independent findings, and both sides would be able to present their cases, along with any corroborating witnesses or evidence.  That fact that this will be a trial of public opinion, requires that both “defendants” be provided a similar opportunity.

Basing the Senate confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh upon simply a “he said/she said”, where Dr. Ford is being judged on the majority Republican side entirely by old, white men most, if not all of whom, have already made up their minds, is utterly ridiculous.

058 - Dr Ford Must Not Testify - nerd alert

Anita Hill. 

  • While both Hill and Thomas were allowed to present supporting character witnesses on each of their behalfs during the 1991 hearing, I did not know until recently that there was one additional witness in a hotel waiting for three days to testify, but who was never called to testify. Her name was Angela Wright.  Wright was reportedly ready to testify that Thomas also did similar things to her.
  • According to Joe Biden, then Senator and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Wright had presented written testimony, but they were prepared to call her. But he says it was her decision not to testify in public.  There is other reporting that says that there was a behind-the-scenes agreement between both Republican and Democratic Senators to not call Wright to testify.  It is widely believed today that had Wright been allowed to testify publicly, Thomas would likely not have been confirmed to the Supreme Court.
  • As it stood, that 1991 hearing was left almost completely as a “he said/she said” and that is exactly what Dr. Ford should avoid this time around.
  • For more information about the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearing, I recommend that you watch the film “Anita: Speaking Truth to Power”.  It is probably available in your local library, also on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.  Here is a preview of that movie …

Mark Judge

  • He should be forced to submit to an FBI interview, or at the very least, to agree voluntarily (or be subpoenaed) to appear before the Judiciary Committee. Regardless of whether he is telling the truth, or if he is lying, he at least should be made to do it under oath, and before the public.

 

Kavanaugh’s vigorous denials.  Like Putin’s?

Hatch and Grassley are disgusting.  The idea that they were on the same Judiciary panel that interrogated and character assassinated Anita Hill back in 1991, and they are being allowed to do it again, is outrageous.  Almost to an old man, they state that they have been impressed with how “vigorous and compelling” Kavanaugh’s denials have been in their personal discussions with him.   Hmmmm.   Sound a bit familiar …

(I noticed that this video has a problem when you initially try to view it.  However, click on the Watch on You Tube link and you will be able to view it.  It is only 16 seconds.)

I guess if you lie, it is important to be “strong and powerful” in belief of your lies.

But then again, what price did Hatch and Grassley personally pay for attacking Anita Hill in 1991?  Here we are 27 years later and they have been re-elected four to five times since that hearing.

 

The Year of the Woman in 1992

At least those old white Republican men, and the Clarence Thomas hearing, helped contribute to the “Year of the Woman” in 1992.

Most people intuitively know by now that there are a lot of women running for the U.S. Congress (both House and Senate) in 2018.  However, for number geeks, I did a bit of research and came up with the following.  (By the way, coming up with these figures is not as easy on the internet as you might think.)

  • Number of women running for the House, and the number elected.
    • 1992 – the election for the 103rd U.S. Congress
      • 106 women were nominated by their party to run for the U.S. House of Representatives
      • 49 women were elected, 24 for the first time.
    • 2018 – the election for the 116th U.S. Congress
      • 185 women have been nominated to run (143 Dem, 42 Rep)
        • That breaks the previous record of 167 women who ran for the U.S. House in 2016.
  • Number of women running for the Senate, and the number elected.
    • 1992 – the election for the 103rd U.S. Congress
      • 11 women were nominated by their party to run for the U.S. Senate
      • 5 women were elected, 4 for the first time. 1 additional woman (Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX)) won a special election to the Senate not long after the 1992 election.
    • 2018 – the election for the 116th U.S. Congress
      • 13 women have been nominated in the 33 Senate seats up for election.
      • There are currently 23 women U.S. Senators – 17 Dem, 6 Rep
      • In spite of the wave of female nominees overall, there is at least a chance that the overall number of women Senators may actually decrease after the 2018 midterms.

Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who is now on the Senate Judiciary committee, was elected in 1992.  Patty Murray (D-WA), indicated at that time that her decision to run for election was greatly affected by the Clarence Thomas hearing.  Patty Murray remains a sitting U.S. Senator today.

One other interesting anecdote I found.  After the election in 1992, the women elected finally forced Congress to change the rule compelling women to wear skirts, and not allowing pants suits.  It took until 1993 to do that.

Un-friggin’-believable!

 

 

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One thought on “058 – DR. FORD MUST NOT ALLOW HERSELF TO BECOME ANITA HILL 2.0 (An Editorial)”

  1. Thanks for your timely and in-depth analysis of the circus going on right now regarding the sham in Washington. I appreciate your opinions as always.

    Like

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