Via Breitbart. There are friends, there are good friends, there are great friends, and then there are friends who’ll vouch for you when half the country is prepared to smear them as “gender traitors” and rape apologists for doing so.
Friends like that aren’t easy to come by. Kavanaugh seems to have earned a sizable number of them, which tells you something about him.
Something, I should stress, but not a lot. I’ll go to my grave thinking that character witnesses — “well, he didn’t try to rape me” — just aren’t worth much as evidence. It doesn’t follow logically that because a criminal suspect didn’t behave a certain way with X that he probably didn’t behave that way with Y. But it must be noted: Because Ford can’t provide any specifics about the alleged crime beyond “it was sometime in 1982” and “Mark Judge and Patrick Smyth were there,” this is the only evidence Kavanaugh is able to offer. He can’t provide an alibi because there simply aren’t enough details about the incident in Ford’s account to give him an opportunity to place himself elsewhere on the night in question. In a courtroom the holes in her memory would wreck the case against him, probably to the point that a D.A. couldn’t get an indictment. In a Senate hearing, the holes in her memory may end up sinking his nomination. If she seems credible, that might be enough. Whether he was in the room and might be able to show that he wasn’t if more information were provided by his accuser is a secondary question.
We’ll hear a lot in the coming days (a lot) about how no one is entitled to the presumption of innocence in a confirmation hearing. It’s a job interview. If you applied for a position somewhere and the firm found out that you had an unresolved rape accusation hanging over your head, who would blame them for not taking a chance on you? Don’t kid yourself, though, says Michael Brendan Dougherty: When something as grave as this has been alleged, of course there’s more at stake than a job.
Job interviews are not normally done on television or conducted across the front pages of all the nation’s most important news publications, in view of a relatively attentive public. Job interviews do not usually attract people who haven’t seen you in decades, accusing you of felonies. Hiring managers are not tasked with deciding what the preponderance of evidence and testimony is or how their expected decision on your hiring is changed by such an accusation…
So it is very true that the Senate confirmation process will not end in depriving Judge Kavanaugh of his liberty. But denying him confirmation at this point because of these charges is a severe public disgrace. He would go into the history books, back to his current position, and back to his family having been deemed by the “world’s greatest deliberative body” to be too likely to have been a monster to confirm.
Inescapably, under the circumstances, the Senate’s verdict on confirmation will be read as a verdict on his guilt. He won’t lose his job on the D.C. Circuit but he will lose his reputation, or what’s left of it. I suppose any Senate Republicans who end up voting no could try to finesse that for him by justifying their vote this way: “Although I tend to believe Judge Kavanaugh is innocent, the Senate can’t take even a small risk in entrusting a seat on the Supreme Court to someone who’s been credibly accused.” I’d love to see how the left would react to that. If they’re half as invested in vindication for Christine Ford as they claim, they should be outraged by it. How can you possibly say that Kavanaugh is probably innocent? Don’t you believe the victims?
I don’t think that’s how most would react. Most would celebrate. The mission is accomplished. Roe is safe again, for now. If that’s how it went down, it would tell you what their true priorities are in the “Justice for Christine” saga.
Maybe I’m giving them too much credit but I do wonder if the too-pat excuse that it’s okay to pronounce Kavanaugh guilty of rape because this is just a “job interview” is a way to ease some consciences about what’s happened here. Feinstein had the letter for two months; it was leaked at the eleventh hour, with Kavanaugh on track for confirmation; Ford remembers so little of what happened that Kavanaugh can’t provide a substantive alibi; virtually every other woman who knows him says he’s a sweet, thoughtful guy; no one, left or right, believes that a jury would get anywhere near convicting him based on the evidence Ford is offering. You put all of that together, bearing in mind Dougherty’s point that this is now a referendum on Kavanaugh’s character, and there must be a twinge of unease somewhere in the Democratic conscience. Which is why they have to minimize the stakes. It’s just a job interview. It’s just a job interview. He and his wife and his children will be perfectly fine. Once the death threats stop, I mean.
Two clips here, one of Kavanaugh’s friends and colleagues vouching for him and the other of a group of Republican women interviewed by CNN who say they believe his claims of innocence.