Kavanaugh Hearing: Job Interview, or Kangaroo Court?

by Phil Erwin

God, don’t you hate these Congressional hearings?

First of all, much of the time, you can’t hear anything, because everybody’s interrupting everybody else! Completed sentences are pretty rare, outside of the reading of opening statements.

And of course, it’s the interruptions that the Senators are mostly after. Because that’s how they turn a “hearing” into great campaign-ad video clips.

This hearing was ugly enough, Senator Lindsey Graham called it “…the most unethical sham I’ve seen since I’ve been in politics!”

Most people were wondering, in the run-up to this hearing, whether Judge Kavanaugh was going to come up with a “Clarence Thomas moment” – a dressing-down of his Democrat Senator-inquisitors righteous enough to put them on the defensive. This was particularly important after Dr. Ford’s testimony, which most people concluded was very believable and convincing. Would Kavanaugh be able to counterbalance that?

Well, he did… sort of. He didn’t get thunderously angry, as Thomas had. Instead, Kavanaugh got weepingly angry. He hung on the edge of breaking down while trying to give honest answers to unbelievable invasive charges. Some might think that’s a sign of guilty remorse – Shouldn’t an innocent man be fiery-angry if he’s innocent? But the truth is, some men lead with their chins (like Justice Thomas), while some lead with their hearts.

Justice – ‘scuse me, Judge Kavanaugh, is of the latter persuasion.

I think women watching this spectacle are very likely to recognize something of their own reactions to stress and personal attack in Kavanaugh’s lip-quivering, chin-rumpling, tear-sniffling testimony. When we see women react thusly, we just, you know… understand it. But a man? Not so much. Men’s reputations, even their own self-respect can be damaged by waxing tearful at such times.

But that is how some men react to such social stresses. It doesn’t mean they’re less “manly.” It just means they’re more emotionally connected than others.

And that may very well explain why Kavanaugh has decades of documented efforts working to advance the standings, the treatment and the cause of women in American society.

Kavanaugh may just have a lot of woman buried in the depths of his own soul.

But setting all the hystrionics, the bombast, the political BS aside, we are left with a pretty simple question: Dr. Ford says Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her, Brett Kavanaugh says he did not. What’s the truth?

You might think this is an either-or question; but actually there are three possibilities:

  1. The allegations are true, and Kavanaugh is either lying, or was so drunk he actually doesn’t remember. But since this is out-of-character for his life, according to so many people who have known him (as well as the six background checks that have been conducted), this seems unlikely.
  2. The allegations are false, the incident, as alleged, never happened. This seems very likely, since Dr. Ford cannot specify either when or where the incident supposedly occurred, and none of the people she has said were witnesses to the incident have said they remember anything like what she is alleging. So she may be lying. Or she may be “mis-remembering,” to borrow a phrase from former President Bush.
  3. Since this is a supposedly “repressed memory,” it is quite possible that Dr. Ford is actually reporting very precisely something that she now “remembers” as she states, but that her memory has taken pieces of other incidents in her past and stitched together to create a “composite memory.” I’m no expert on repressed memories, but I do know that we all have a capacity to do this with long-ago memories, especially with advancing age. No one really remembers everything in their way-back years “perfectly.” And according to reports, Dr. Ford did not even remember this early-’80’s incident until 2012, in a therapy session. Why should we assume her memory is 100% accurate?

I know the concept of “fallible” memory isn’t a popular one, particularly when weighing “he said/she said” controversies. But the plain truth is that human memories are not perfect. Just because someone is “100% certain” that they remember something explicitly, completely, indelibly – as Dr. Ford has insisted – that does not mean the memory is accurate.

People can remember things wrong. And yet, be certain they’re remembering right.

I had a reputation (at least in younger years) of having a “remarkable” memory. In truth, it was sometimes what is commonly known as a “photographic” memory. Yet, I have had occasions to discover that my explicit, detailed, “indelible” memories can sometimes be at least somewhat inaccurate.

I have also had two separate occasions in which I witnessed individuals make judgements of the behaviors of others, and base allegations on those judgements, in which I had 100% knowledge that those judgements were incorrect – that they were wrongand yet the individuals making those allegations were 100% “certain” that they were right.

Fairness and reasonableness dictate we all recognize that Dr. Ford may be 100% “certain” that Judge Kavanaugh attacked her, and yet be 100% wrong as to whom her attacker was.

(Note that I am assuming that her memory of being attacked is at least partly correct. Although in truth, we have no way to actually know that for certain, either.)

So, maybe a young Kavanaugh was at a party with a young Ford. And maybe she was also at a party where she was shoved onto a bed, and somebody jumped on top of her, and groped her, and there was laughing. Maybe she was terrified she was gonna get raped. Maybe their laughter magnified her fears. Maybe she was so emotionally bruised that she has never forgotten the terror; never stepped away from that sense of dread.

But she did repress the memory. It did bubble back up in bits and pieces, as such memories do.

And she was drinking that night, and couldn’t say where or when it happened. And those witnesses she named to corroborate the event have all said they don’t remember such an incident. Kavanaugh’s high-school friend, Tom Kane, even notes that the people Dr. Ford named as witnesses were not the typical group that Kane was used to seeing “hang out.” They didn’t live close enough.

And Ford did attend other parties.

Perhaps she stitched two, or more, memories together.

Of course, it’s also possible that Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, were so drunk they simply don’t remember what, to be honest, sounds a bit more like a “scare her big time” game than a real attempt at rape. After all, the one “indelible” memory Dr. Ford came up with wasn’t being struck, or tied up, or stripped naked – it was her attackers’ laughter.

But these “maybe”s are the reason why our legal system is predicated upon the bedrock principle of “due process”, embedded in the Constitution via the Bill of Rights, which guarantees that citizens accused of crimes can know their accusers, can confront them (meaning, defend themselves), and are considered to be innocent unless and until proven to be guilty.

That is not the standard by which Judge Kavanaugh is being judged himself.`

No, the Democrats now insist that it’s the responsibility of the accused to prove the event did not happen!

Democrat minority leader, Senator Schumer, has said on camera that “This is not a court of law, it’s a job interview”… insisting the burden of proof is on Judge Kavanaugh to prove he is not guilty.

Joy Behar fumed on The View: “These men… White men… old, by the way… are not protecting women! They’re protecting a man, who is probably guilty!”

And Hawaii’s Senator Mazie Hirono declared , “Dr. Ford must be believed…” which is equivalent to saying that Judge Kavanaugh is in fact guilty as accused.

As humorist Greg Gutfeld points out, “If we’re going to take all accusations as fact without a fair hearing, then we really don’t need a legal system at all, so we really don’t need a Supreme Court – and therefore, we don’t need a Justice Kavanaugh!”

I believe we already tried this alternative approach to justice early on in our nation’s history. At a little village called “Salem.”

That’s where the term, “Witch Hunt” came into the popular lexicon.

Phil Erwin is an author, IT administrator and registered Independent living in Newbury Park. He would like to support some Democrat ideals, but he has a visceral hatred for Lies and Damn Lies (and is highly suspicious of Statistics.) That pretty much eliminates supporting most Democrats, and a bunch of Republicans to boot.


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One Response to Kavanaugh Hearing: Job Interview, or Kangaroo Court?

  1. Thomas Schumacher October 5, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Phil,
    Excellent job. I hope everyone will take time to read your column. I think most Americans feel exactly as you do about this tragic situation.
    Thank You!
    Tom

    Reply

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