"[M]any Kavanaugh foes are eager to implement a new standard that they would never agree to live under themselves"

The Double Standard for High-Profile Sexual-Misconduct Accusations - National Review

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Darrell Post's picture

"You have NO clue as to what the truth is or what happened in that room decades ago"

Greg, that's the point! I don't, you don't, the senators don't, and so all we have is this:

1) An unsubstaniated, unprovable claim made by someone who admittedly has only a vague recollection of the details.

2) We have those who knew Kavanaugh at that age and in that context, and they have come to Kavanaugh's defense. 

3) We also have Mr. Kavanaugh who not only absolutely denies the allegation, but even denies ever being in that sort of situation at all. 

4) We also have, and this is the defining issue now, an accuser who now is NOT willing to go on the record with her claim against Mr. Kavanaugh. She therefore leaves us little choice but to believe Mr. Kavanaugh and those witnesses who have affirmed his innocence and the integrity of his character. 

Again, I am astounded that you seem to be saying someone can make an accusation that destroys the integrity of another person, causing the person real loss, and then be given shelter from having to put such an accusation on the record.

She has had MONTHS to prepare for this moment, and the Republican senators were gracious with her in the invitation. Sen. Flake in particular was begging her to come and be heard. I even read an account of a mainstream news reporter pointing this out--that GOP made every effort to help her voice be heard. 

It is not me or Republican leadership with a political agenda here. The Republicans have a long history of voting overwhelmingly for the SCOTUS appointees of Democratic Presidents. That favor, in recent decades, has not been returned. Look up the numbers. 

GregH's picture

Darrell Post wrote:

It is not me or Republican leadership with a political agenda here. The Republicans have a long history of voting overwhelmingly for the SCOTUS appointees of Democratic Presidents. That favor, in recent decades, has not been returned. Look up the numbers. 

Darrell, if you actually think the Republicans are better than the Democrats in regard to politicizing issues or things like this, we are not on the same planet. If you actually can say what you just said in light of what happened during Obama's last year and Garland, you have drunk way too much Kool-Aid to argue with. I give up.

Darrell Post's picture

The Democrats would have done the exact same thing had the Garland roles been reversed and you know it. In fact, it was Democrat Joe Biden who had already laid down that principle that the GOP appealed to in the decision to delay a hearing during an election year. 

 

GregH's picture

Darrell Post wrote:

The Democrats would have done the exact same thing had the Garland roles been reversed and you know it. In fact, it was Democrat Joe Biden who had already laid down that principle that the GOP appealed to in the decision to delay a hearing during an election year. 

 

Haha go back and reread your last two posts Darrell. I just want to clarify. Is your defense that the Republicans are superior to Democrats in this or that the Democrats are just as bad? 

But for the record, yes the Democrats would have done the same thing. Of course they would have. I see no difference whatsoever between how Democrats and Republicans act. Neither of them care about truth in this issue either. They just want to get political leverage.

Darrell Post's picture

Maybe go back and see what Ted Kennedy (D) did to nominee Robert Bork. Kennedy, who was personally responsible for the death of a young woman, besmirched the integrity of Bork and cost him the chance to be on the SCOTUS. 

Nowhere did I suggest Republicans as a whole are somehow completely above reproach. This discussion was about the history of the handling of the SCOTUS nominees. Go back and read the article Jim posted on the first page...much easier than me retyping it all here. 

But back to the main point...as a society we must protect people from being harmed by allegations made by someone unwilling to put those allegations on the record, while at the same time protecting and encouraging those who have an allegation to be heard, and heard properly on the record, so the accused, if found guilty, can be brought to justice. It is called due process, Kavanaugh deserves it every bit as much as Ford, and Ford was offered her chance to come and speak in a closed-door session, and refused to do so. 

 

Bert Perry's picture

Now I have to concede that, especially in the age of Trump, Republicans can be opportunistic, but if you compare the votes for high court nominations, it's the Democrats that are voting something like 45-4 against GOP nominees, whereas the GOP was more split regarding Obama nominees.  It is also the Democrats that "Borked" Bork and are now guilty of taking two allegations of sexual harassment/assault with "he said/she said" testimony and flawed witnesses in these things. 

A pox on both their houses, yes, but there is a demonstrable difference in that the Democrats have demonstrated far more viciousness and opportunism in these regards.  Even the San Francisco Chronicle is acknowledging this by calling out Senator Feinstein and her associates for how they're handling this mess.

A big part of it is Roe V. Wade.  With Bork on the court, there would have been a very different approach in cases like Webster vs. Reproductive Health Services, which came fairly close to overturning Roe.  You would also have seen some very different results in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, and a lot of other cases.  Instead of a solid originalist on the court unenamored with "penumbras", you had a guy squarely in the middle.  A lot of liberal politics depends, really, on the support of the courts because you can't get it through legislatures.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

GregH's picture

Darrell Post wrote:

But back to the main point...as a society we must protect people from being harmed by allegations made by someone unwilling to put those allegations on the record, while at the same time protecting and encouraging those who have an allegation to be heard, and heard properly on the record, so the accused, if found guilty, can be brought to justice. It is called due process, Kavanaugh deserves it every bit as much as Ford, and Ford was offered her chance to come and speak in a closed-door session, and refused to do so. 

And I will say again. Ford is not required to do this on the Senate's terms. They have no right to give her a silly Friday deadline. She has said she will testify but the Senate has no right to summon her like a criminal. And then because she refuses their terms, people like you say that indicates guilt. The Senate's artificial deadlines and summons has nothing to do with guilt or innocence regardless of how you and your fellow republicans want to spin it.

Darrell Post's picture

And I will say again. Ford is not required to do this on the Senate's terms. They have no right to give her a silly Friday deadline. She has said she will testify but the Senate has no right to summon her like a criminal. And then because she refuses their terms, people like you say that indicates guilt. The Senate's artificial deadlines and summons has nothing to do with guilt or innocence regardless of how you and your fellow republicans want to spin it.

There is nothing silly about the Friday deadline to agree to appear. Ford has had months to prepare for this, and in fact has been preparing (hiring lawyer, etc.). Kavanaugh has been through all kinds of checks already and is at the cusp of the vote, and suddenly Ford comes forward with an accusation that is way short on details, is vague, and Kavanaugh is defended by those who were around back then in that context. The senate has every right to extend an invitation for her to come and put her accusation on record. She is not being treated as a criminal, that is your caricature of the situation. She is invited as a witness to testify about what she has said against Mr. Kavanaugh.

She made a very serious accusation, even though she admits she cannot recall many of the details, and she has had ample time to prepare, knowing that going public would result in the probable invitation to go on record, given Kavanaugh's situation of being nominated to the SCOTUS. So the senate has every right to expect her to go on the record and answer questions.

But Greg, it is clear you and I have radically different world-views. However, if someone falsely accuses you some day, I would come to your defense and call for due process, just as I would hope you would do for me. 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's really easy to lose sight of the relevant facts in these situations.

A few that seem to be getting lost:

  • Nobody wants to be a victim and everybody hopes they will be believed when they accuse a perpetrator.
  • Nobody wants to be falsely accused, and everybody hopes they will be believed when they are falsely accused.
  • The % of accusations that are false is > 0. It does happen.
  • True victims are best served by a process that is rigorously fact-based and in which false accusers are discredited.
  • Everyone is best served by a process in which the rightly accused are brought to justice and the wrongly accused are exonerated.

In this case…

  • BK has already been vetted by the FBI multiple times
  • BK's accuser did not accuse him when he was up for confirmation for his current judgeship years ago
  • BK has not been accused of a federal crime, and the FBI does not normally investigate already-vetted individuals without probable cause of a federal crime. 
  • The accusation is in reference to the conduct of minor.
  • The accusation against BK went public at just the precise moment when it would have maximum potential to ignite a public outcry and delay--potentially scuttle--BK's confirmation.
  • BK's accuser went to a Democrat political leader first with her accusation, not the FBI or any other law enforcement authority.

Those are facts. As the old saying goes, we get to form our own opinions; we don't get to choose our own facts.

My opinion: It's extremely likely that if the alleged behavior took place at all, the victim is now being exploited by politicians -- to attack a man whom all agree has lived an exemplary life since high school -- for purely political purposes.

Recommended reading: https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/dont-believe-women-believe-evidence/

Bert Perry's picture

Greg, if you're going to testify before the Senate on a matter where they have a deliverable, you do so on their terms.  Senator Grassley has already delayed things quite a bit to accomodate Feinstein and Ford, and to extend things indefinitely on a wild goose chase simply says "the Senate ain't doing their job."  Yes, it's tough to be cross examined, but if you want justice, that's precisely what needs to happen, Constitutionally speaking.

Besides, how are you going to find when and where this party occurred to actually give it actionability?  Interview tens of thousands of former high school students from that time in Maryland and their parents, many of whom are deceased?  Seriously?  You'd spend years on it (really Feinstein's goal, I'm persuaded) and end up in exactly the same place you started after spending tens of millions of dollars.

Really, if either person, Ford or Kavanaugh, is found by some new evidence to have lied about the matter, I'm fine with removing either one from their job.  Perjurers don't need to be on the Supreme Court or in tenured faculty positions.  But this deal is a total farce.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

GregH's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Greg, if you're going to testify before the Senate on a matter where they have a deliverable, you do so on their terms.  Senator Grassley has already delayed things quite a bit to accomodate Feinstein and Ford, and to extend things indefinitely on a wild goose chase simply says "the Senate ain't doing their job."  Yes, it's tough to be cross examined, but if you want justice, that's precisely what needs to happen, Constitutionally speaking.

Besides, how are you going to find when and where this party occurred to actually give it actionability?  Interview tens of thousands of former high school students from that time in Maryland and their parents, many of whom are deceased?  Seriously?  You'd spend years on it (really Feinstein's goal, I'm persuaded) and end up in exactly the same place you started after spending tens of millions of dollars.

Really, if either person, Ford or Kavanaugh, is found by some new evidence to have lied about the matter, I'm fine with removing either one from their job.  Perjurers don't need to be on the Supreme Court or in tenured faculty positions.  But this deal is a total farce.

Here is my point: whether Ford decides to go in front of the farce that is the senate or not, it has nothing to do with the guilt/innocence of Kavanaugh. There is a reason why victims do not come forward and there is not a worse place in the world for a victim to come forward than in front of that zoo with all the politics, anger, and media coverage that would be a part of it.

What Republicans are trying to do is this: they come up with this deadline without even speaking to her and then basically says if she does not show, this is all a fraud. Sorry, but they don't get to make that determination. I frankly don't a problem with them moving forward with Kavanaugh if she does not show up but I do have a problem with people like Darrell saying that if she does not show, she is essentially a liar and this was all a fraud.

It goes both ways Darrell. Men should not be falsely accused and likewise, victims should not be vilified when they come forward. That is my concern with your general tone here. You are all about protecting Kavanaugh from false accusation without bothering to notice that you are falsely/ignorantly accusing the alleged victim. 

dgszweda's picture

At this point, no one knows if anything has truly happened.  We know that 1) a crime has not happened (legal definition - since it is past statute of limitations), and 2) someone is accusing someone else of being at best inappropriate, at worse it could have been a crime.  My feeling is that the Senate Judiciary committee should hear from both parties and any other information behind closed doors.  After they hear that information they then decide if further actions should be pursued.  I am not sure if truth can be found (it might, but not sure).  Three very drunk underaged kids in a room, 36 years ago, is not very reliable information (hence why it is past statute of limitations).  Two say nothing like this happened, one does.  Another person that the accuser said was present, said nothing happened.  I am getting doubtful that the actual truth can really be ascertained given the circumstances and situation.  One party is quick to brush it under the rug, and another party is quick to condemn.  It is a bit of a mess, but unless someone else or some physical evidence can corroborate this, what do we really have?   Unless something else comes up that shows a pattern from Kavanaugh, what do we really have?

I don't think setting a deadline is that inproper from the Senates standpoint.  Some level of deadline needs to be set.  Given the fact that this information was known since July and the accuser did not want to really come forward and be known, really lends some credence that maybe the accuser doesn't want to come forward and have their life impacted in this way.  Tough decisions all around.

The last point, I will state here, is that lets say what the accuser states is true.  What does that mean at the end of the day.  Is Kavanaugh's character really in question?  I don't know.  If you were to claim that every advance that a teenager makes should be linked to them the rest of their life, I am not sure much of anyone would qualify.  How many girls and guys moon each other, grab the other inappropriately, say an inappropriate joke, pass a Playboy around.....  Their actions in context of a 50 year old adult seem ludicrous.  Their actions in light of a bunch of adolescents seem average.  (not right, but all too common).

Darrell Post's picture

"farce that is the senate"

"What Republicans are trying to do is this"

You accuse me of making assumptions of what the Democrats are up to, and yet you made these assumptions above. So it does cut both ways.

"without even speaking to her"

That's what they are trying to do. Sen. Flake begged her to come and be heard. Even mainstream media has pointed out the invite of the GOP seems genuine. Furthermore the senate judiciary committee has been trying to get the original letter sent to Sen. Feinstein so they can learn more about the accusation, but so far it has not been turned over. Why?

So the GOP leadership is trying to speak with her, but she won't accept their invitation.

"Darrell saying that if she does not show, she is essentially a liar"

The point isn't whether or not she is a liar, rather its that she made serious accusations that could destroy someone's career and integrity, that now she is unwilling to state for the record, while at the same time not withdraw her accusation.

I would never villify a victim. But Ford has not demonstrated at all that Kavanaugh victimized her. She apparently is refusing to go on record with her claim. The witnesses confirm Kavanaugh's side. And apparently a tweet just went out regarding the accuser's classmate who at first confirmed that such a party did happen, now says, ‘That it happened or not, I have no idea.’

"You are all about protecting Kavanaugh from false accusation"

I have no power to protect Kavanaugh. But he has had numerous individuals who actually knew him back then who have come to his defense. Their testimony stands, and thus far there is silence on the other side--no one coming forward to say, "yeah, he was that kind of a guy and this is believable." And given that all the evidence thus far points to this being a false/misplaced accusation, then I am glad there are those protecting him from a false accusation, as I am sure anyone would be. 

If Ms. Ford really was abused by someone, and evidence was discovered that identified the perpetrator, then I am all for that perpetrator getting justice, whoever it is. 

 

 

 

G. N. Barkman's picture

It's not asking too much to say, "If you aren't willing to testify, don't raise your accusations."  Now that the accusations have been made, asking Ford to testify is perfectly proper.  

However, the issue is not treating Ford like a criminal.  The issue is concluding the Kavanaugh confirmation process.  The Ford testimony deadline is simply saying, "If you won't agree to testify on Monday, we're moving forward with the process, and will soon schedule a vote."  I fail to see a problem with this. I believe the situation requires it.  How long should the Senate delay the process while Mrs. Ford dilly dally's about her willingness to back up her accusations with testimony?  What rational person could possibly make a reasonable decision about her vague accusations as they now stand?  It's "put up or shut up" time.

G. N. Barkman

Bert Perry's picture

Greg,it's not necessarily that she's a fraud.  It's more that any good investigator/prosecutor knows he (she) needs to interview the complainant before investigating the rest of the world.  The goal is to learn whether the complainant is a good witness (answers to who, what where, why, when, how, and consistent answers), and whether that testimony can be linked to concrete information from outside.  The goal is to get a credible witness and move the investigation away from he said/she said.

(failure to do this, by the way, is one of the big things that got Mike Nifong in trouble....an interview with Chrystal Mangum, as well as taking the DNA tests seriously, would have put the kibosh on the case very quickly)

What Ford and Feinstein appear to want is for the FBI to investigate some rather vague allegations before she gets interviewed--more or less a "investigate the world" approach.  Having hired two lawyers, and working with the Democrats of the Judiciary Committee, she almost certainly knows she's inverting normal practice in favor of a plan that would be unlikely to get any relevant information.

Why is she doing that?  Well, the Washington Post article on her famous polygraph tests asks whether she believed "a statement summarizing her allegations was accurate."  Not whether her allegations were accurate, but whether the statement summarizing them was representative of the allegations.  Could be clumsy wording on the Post reporter's part, or it could be a meaningless polygraph.  

And as a psychology professor, she almost certainly knows that.polygraphs are only as good as the questions asked, and she'd be asked to provide those results to the committee.

Proof of lying?  Not yet, but her refusal to testify could well indicate she knows the walls are closing in on her, and that whatever did or did not happen 35 years back, we are extremely unlikely to find something that implicates Kavanaugh beyond what we know today.  

Update: here is the letter, according to CNN.  While I admit that I've never been drunk in my life, the lack of detail is astounding, especially given that the biographies of Kavanaugh and Judge are on the Internet and she could have looked it up.  It is no wonder that even Dianne Feinstein admits that she doesn't know it's true.  If I didn't know it was written by a professor, I'd have sworn it was written by a 14 year old--no insult intended to 14 year olds. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

A he said she said Case  is going no where.  I identify a good corroborating  witness as one not friendly with the victim. A witness who has no emotional or personal skin in the game ie her best friend is not a strong witness.  Short of that you got NADA.   Based on that Kavanaugh  gets approved.   

Lee's picture

Statutes of limitation, the opportunity to expunge a record, etc., exist for a reason.  There's no crime here.  Likely, if it actually happened, there was no crime then, either.  If it did happen and there are unresolved issues the place for action now is not in criminal/civil court or the court of public opinion, it is going face to face and dealing with the matter like mature adults.  My word, whoever may have been involved in this scenario, we're talking a couple of drunk teenagers on our best day.  Find the adults that enabled them to get plastered and charge those guys  with something.  

The purpose of these accusations at this time is not a quest for justice or qualifications, and everyone here on this forum knows that in their heart of hearts.  I hate being lied to. Whether it is being lied to about facts or about purpose is irrelevant.  And we are being lied to.

Lies are the norm in our political discourse now (whether about facts or purpose is again irrelevant).  God help us when we make our national decisions on the basis of the most palatable lie du jour.  

 

Lee

Bert Perry's picture

I'm personally troubled by all the demands Ford and Feinstein are making.  The trick is, as I noted above, that any accuser with a decent lawyer ought to have been told that the first step is a thorough interview that evaluates the witness, attempts to attach the story to verifiable facts, and finally prepares the accuser for the possibility of cross examination.   And in a trial, good witnesses don't always enjoy being cross examined, but again, it's a great way of getting at the truth.  

Ford and Feinstein more or less want the end result--the accused to be punished--without the trouble of an interview or cross examination.  Shades of Mike Nifong/Duke Lacrosse here.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Ford and Feinstein more or less want the end result--the accused to be punished--without the trouble of an interview or cross examination.  Shades of Mike Nifong/Duke Lacrosse here.

But this is the general approach for the whole movement.  We went from not hearing from or downplaying abuse victims, to the other extreme, where one accuser is the judge and jury and we convict the individual.  We need to find a balance.  Yes, people who have been abused require special attention because of the circumstances around these actions.  We need to give them some latitude, but it also needs to be with balance.

Bert Perry's picture

David, I wouldn't say the whole movement, but an appallingly large portion to be sure. 

There is also the reality of "not doing the math".  To illustrate, one of the interesting things I've calculated is that if their statistics are close to correct--for every 1000 assaults, 310 reports, of which 2-8% are false, and six convictions resulting in jail time--I calculate that you get 7-30 false reports for every six convictions resulting in jail time.  If we wonder why men fear this, look at those numbers again.  Even assuming perfect trials, for every rapist we rightly put in jail, one to five men go through H**l on the testimony of a perjurer.

Now not every false report ought to result in perjury charges, but given that we're talking about reports found to be false, and not just reports with insufficient evidence to indict or convict, it strikes me that in a just world, we'd be seeing a LOT of people get prosecuted for it.  Reality is that prosecutors don't like prosecuting perjury in these cases because it would "discourage people from reporting", but the flip side is that if juries realize that perjury is not punished, it's going to impact how seriously they take witness testimony.  The sword cuts both ways, and these legal requirements are there for a reason. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Listen, I don't think she isn't telling some level of the truth.  And I do think she needs to be heard and the right people should weigh in on what they heard and take any appropriate action.  I know abuse victims and I have abuse victims in my family, and it is hard.  I feel for those going through this and I know how hard it is.  I think the facts need to be weighed.  If there is sufficient evidence something should be done.  I am challenged by the level of clarity someone has while stone drunk from nearly 40 years ago, as an underaged child.  So I think there is some challenges here.

Joeb's picture

Bert I sure wish I had you as a partner when I was interviewing Perps.  We would have locked a lot of people up.  Your a Dynamo.  Let’s pray that this is over soon.  What a Circus.   If she finally gives her testimony it is going to be interesting.  I have to say for her to  make this up it was done very well.  

Bert Perry's picture

Joe, you're kinder than I deserve, and I must confess that I'd have hoped that what I've written here would be rather intuitive to any decent detective or investigator.  Perhaps I am wrong.  I do think I pick up on things that others miss, but whether or not I am right can be a fierce subject of debate.  

Again, per David's comment, the "I believe you" mantra of #MeToo scares me.  Imagine walking into a used car dealer with that mindset--you would get devoured.

Regarding the question of "did something really happen to Dr. Ford", that's my one sticking point.  To say that it didn't, you'd have to argue that she ginned up the story in couples therapy to provide an acceptable story for the difficulties she and her husband were having at the time, and then later attached Kavanaugh's name to it.  The only thing that would argue that this would be plausible would be that her social media accounts appear to have been "scrubbed" better than Hilliary's server.

I can infer with some authority that if the stories were true, she wanted something not to be seen, but whether that's more consistent with simple fear of cross examination or something like my story is something I can't say.  I can say that she's behaving very strangely for someone who theoretically wants to tell her story and come to the truth, though.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Getting a bit crazy in the news.  It appears as of tonight that every single person identified by Mrs. Ford as having been at the party have all denied any knowledge of the event, or that the event ever took place or was indicative of Kavanaugh.  Ford's friend who was identified at the party, said that she had never seen or met Kavanaugh at any party.  Unless something comes out of the hearing, I am not seeing how this will change anything.  Dr. Ford, doesn't know where this took place or when this took place.  The people she identified as at the party have no recollection of it, and the person who she stated was in the room had no recollection.  She never mentioned this to anyone until many decades later, and this was almost 40 years ago.  While this may or may not have happened, we still live in a society where you are innocent until proven guilty.  While deference is to be made toward abuse victims, and there are many reasons why these things are delayed in being reported.  I am just struggling here with what can be made of these allegations.  I am hoping that in the end this brings some balance to the instantaneous conviction mentality that has started to pervade society.

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