That’s going to be bad for women and bad for the GOP. What are we to think of a party that deems Trump a fitting leader, but walks away from a dedicated husband and father with a decades-long history of befriending and mentoring women? Welcome to 21st-century conservatism, where only chauvinists and demagogues can survive for long.
Kavanaugh’s withdrawal would set another unfortunate precedent. It would establish that it only takes one. Kavanaugh has had other accusers over the past week, but these vague-yet-lurid rumors have mostly just served to galvanize both bases, confirming them in their pre-existing views. Ford’s story is the one that matters. If she is the reason he never becomes a Supreme Court justice (possibly jeopardizing Republicans’ opportunity to nominate another judge), everyone will notice that the single-accuser tactic can be effective. No corroborating witnesses are needed. No confirming details are needed. It’s not necessary to establish that accused and accuser knew each other, or that the social event in question ever took place. Even if you’re convinced Ford is telling the truth, you should be bothered by the moral hazard this would represent.