Likely GOP counteroffer to Ford: Hearing Wednesday, you testify before Kavanaugh does, questioned by lawyer

They want her to be questioned by an attorney? With the accused allowed to actually answer the specific claims against him?

Of course these old men would insist on an archaic patriarchal notion like due process.

I understand why Ford and her lawyer want to delay the hearing. It gives them more time to prepare and, more importantly, time for Democrats to try to find a second accuser. I understand too why they’d rather be grilled by, say, Ted Cruz than some woman litigator with expertise in sex-assault cases. Against the likes of Cruz and other Republican senators, Ford would be the underdog, the little guy heroically seeking justice from America’s institutionalized rape culture. All of the preexisting political and cultural grievances that left-leaning Americans have against her interrogators would color their impressions of her performance at the hearing. She could stumble through every answer and it’d be dismissed as merely an understandable case of nerves at having to submit herself to this rhetorical defiling by right-wing men who abhor Femininity Itself.

But answering questions from an unknown woman lawyer? It’s harder to spin that, which of course is exactly why Grassley and the rest want an independent counsel to handle this. Rest assured, though, the left will do its best to salvage the underdog narrative by attacking the lawyer viciously as a tool of the patriarchy, the GOP’s very own Handmaid.

What I can’t quite wrap my mind around is the request from Team Ford that Kavanaugh testify before she does. I understand the point of the request; they’ve ambushed him once already with the eleventh-hour revelation of the charge and want to ambush him again at the hearing by giving him no chance to rebut the specifics of what Ford has to say. It’s perfectly clear what they’re up to.

I just can’t believe they had the stones to demand it. It stinks like a fish market on a sweltering summer day. After all this, with his Supreme Court seat in the balance, they wanted Kavanaugh to have no chance at all to address the details of Ford’s story under oath. Their anxiety at the thought of him simply being permitted to mount a minimally informed defense is so absurd that it’s probably done more damage to Ford’s credibility than anything Republicans have lobbed at her so far. Why not request that he not be allowed to testify at all? Why not request that he be arrested and required to testify from a holding cell? If we’re going to do this Kafka-style, let’s go whole hog.

Prediction: Ford will grudgingly accept the GOP’s new terms and they’ll do it Wednesday. It’s unimaginable that she’d let them down by backing out now, after nearly a full week of liberals rising to her defense, with Kavanaugh all but a sure thing for confirmation unless she testifies. America demands dramatic catharsis. What kind of virtual-reality simulation would the Trump era be without a SCOTUS Super Bowl showdown on live TV between the nominee and his accuser?

Here’s Alan Dershowitz wondering why liberals don’t believe in due process in this case. “Are women born with a special gene for telling the truth, and men with a special gene for lying?” he asks rhetorically — which is unfair to the left. By no means do they believe that women should always be trusted before men. If they believed the alleged victim in every case, Ted Kennedy would have been out of office by the early 1970s and Bill Clinton would have had to answer in a meaningful way for Juanita Broaddrick ages ago. The case against Kavanaugh isn’t based on the idea that women are always truthful and men are always liars. It’s based on the idea that all #MeToo victims who were railroaded in the past on their own sexual-assault claims deserve “rough justice” by, coincidentally and conveniently, the public destruction of one of the left’s political enemies, a “patriarch” right out of central casting.

David Strom 6:41 PM on September 26, 2022