The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court has been complicated by a new sexual misconduct allegation arising from his days at Yale. While uncorroborated and not “absolutely certain” of her story or even if Kavanaugh was involved, Deborah Ramirez admits she was highly intoxicated and suffering from memory “gaps.” Despite Ramirez’s named witnesses disavowing the incident, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has called for an immediate vote postponement. As we await the new allegation’s run through the Senate committee’s gauntlet, we need address the old one raised by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Interestingly, an old fable may help shed some light on it.
In days of old, the story is told, two inebriated swordsmen, approaching a tavern from different directions, somehow found themselves in a senseless dispute over the color of the tavern’s sign. Extending out perpendicularly from the tavern, only the side of the sign facing each was visible as they approached. One claimed it was black; the other, white.
The fable’s end contains a moral as to where truth sometimes lies. Before revealing it, with Ford possibly testifying Sept. 27, let us review some of the evidence cited by both – evidence by which each stands firm they are asserting the truth.
An interesting position is taken by sexual assault victim advocate Rebecca Hagelin, published in the form of a Washington Times open letter. One would anticipate Hagelin, as a victim advocate, to support Ford’s accusation. She does not – roundly criticized by female readers for doing so.
Hagelin responded to each critic, knowing new Kavanaugh accusations were pending, explaining, “Sexual assault is a horrific crime and sexual predators are the scum of the earth. Thus falsely accusing someone of sexual assault is among the most evil and damaging things you can do to a person’s reputation.” Yet, she asserted, it cannot be denied cases of false accusations occur, emphatically adding: “I believe that Dr. Ford has falsely accused Judge Kavanaugh for political purposes,” then detailing why.
Hagelin cited various reasons for her conclusion, not only criticizing Ford but also those with whom she opted to work in airing her allegation.
As to Ford, Hagelin noted all three witnesses she provided failed to corroborate her story, never even having heard about it. (One of the three, Leland Keyser, a lifelong Ford friend, denied everything Ford said.)
Hagelin hangs Ford’s political-motive hat, despite Ford’s own participation in events opposing President Donald Trump, on others playing the role of enablers. Hagelin details Feinstein’s numerous political actions as seeking to use the accusation to delay a Kavanaugh vote until after midterm elections because the senator herself found the accusation lacking credibility. (Update: Reportedly, Ford’s accusation letter was leaked to the press in violation of Senate rules, on Feinstein’s order.) Hagelin cited Ford’s attorney, who is partly financed by anti-Trumper George Soros (who financed organizations paying protesters to disrupt the Kavanaugh hearings), as an enabler as well.
As far as evidence in Kavanaugh’s favor, Hagelin cited in addition to his complete denial, scores of character witnesses voluntarily attesting to his “sterling character” – some of whom he formerly dated, describing him as a respectful gentleman and never witnessing behavior remotely like that of which he stands accused.
Hagelin credits the #MeToo movement – a “wave that has swept the nation” – for holding many sexual predators accountable. But, she adds, innocent people have been swept up into that wave as well – and believes Kavanaugh is one of them as “Dr. Ford and her story are not credible.”
There are other pieces of the evidentiary puzzle lending credibility to both sides: Ford voluntarily took and passed a polygraph exam while Kavanaugh – who has retained his annual calendars for the last several decades – can show numerous commitments during the summer of 1982 involving athletics and vacations but no mention of Ford or any of the people she claims were at the party.
As former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker asserts, the limited evidence against Kavanaugh would never earn a conviction in a court of law. Ford’s insistence the event happened, supported by the polygraph – although inadmissible in a courtroom because of unreliability – may, interestingly, reflect sincerity. Therefore, could it be possible that both are being truthful? This could be the case only if Ford, so traumatized by the incident, has misidentified Kavanaugh.
In criminal cases involving eyewitnesses, the greatest contributing factor, playing a role in more than 70 percent of convictions later overturned where DNA testing was available, was misidentification of the accused.
Meanwhile, Hollywood celebrities like Rosie O’Donnell, seek to incite a Kavanaugh lynch mob by suggesting they have special insights. She callously tweeted: “Brett Kavanaugh attempted rape NOonKAVANAUGH.” (Meanwhile, O’Donnell says nothing about domestic abuse claims against Keith Ellison as 95 percent of his state’s Democratic voters believe him over his accuser.) Riveting Kavanaugh to the wall, “Rosie the Riveter” acts like judge, jury and executioner without contributing anything substantive to the debate. O’Donnell and her ilk have no concerns about blindly destroying a respected jurist’s career as they only see truth as black or white. Sadly, they fail to consider what the swordsmen in the fable ultimately discovered.
At the fable’s end, we learn as both fighters lay on the ground wounded, an epiphany occurred. They gazed up at the sign above, now swaying in the wind, enabling them to see what was hidden from their earlier view. On one side it was white; on the other, black. Thus, while both swordsmen were correct in their advocacy, they hastily drew swords to defend their honor, but refusing to consider an alternative truth existed. Similarly, both Hagelin’s assessment on Ford and O’Donnell’s on Kavanaugh may be wrong, as an alternative truth – involving a traumatized Ford – exists.
This, then, may well be what the Kavanaugh/Ford fight is really all about – both taking truthful positions while urged by Judiciary Committee members for political reasons to duke it out. Sadly, in the end, the professional careers of two people, only doing their duty to be truthful, may well be tainted for life.