I don’t believe that a 17-year old Judge Brett Kavanaugh assaulted a 15-year old Christine Blasey at a party in the summer of 1982. I’ve heard what she’s had to say, and to me the facts just don't support her story.
Look, she was poised in the witness chair at the Senate hearings. She showed some emotion. She giggled a bit over her caffeine habit. She preened over the love she was receiving from the Democrats, and she kept her cool under questioning from the sex crimes prosecutor. She put on quite the performance. I was sympathetic to her tale. But, in the clear light of day, I simply don’t believe her.
She had so many holes in her story, that you could probably build a 54-hole golf course.
She changed things in her story—A LOT. When she first told her tale, she said she was assaulted in the “mid-80s”, then the early 80s, then the 80s. She didn’t know the date, just vaguely “summer-ish”. When she first contacted the Washington Post Tipline on July 6th, she said the assault happened when she was in her “late teens”. Two months later she changed the story again to the summer of 1982 when she was 15. I’ve known plenty of women who have been assaulted. One of the things they have in common is they have a pretty good idea of how old they were when it happened. And trust me, there is a big difference in the coping skills of a 17-18 year old and a 15 year old.
Ford was unclear about whose house she was at. Really? One time she told the story that there were three other people there. The next time, she was there with four boys. Another time there were three boys and two girls.
She also didn’t know how she got home. She told the Washington Post that the assault happened near the Columbia Country Club. But Dr. Ford’s childhood home was about a 20 minute drive away. This is in the days before cell phones. How did she get home?
No one else whom Dr. Ford has identified as being at the party, including a close friend of hers, has corroborated the story. Judge Kavanaugh, his buddy Mark Judge, and a third man, PJ Smith (whom Ford said was a “nice guy”), all deny even knowing Dr. Ford. And the friend said she had never met Kavanaugh, and the party described never happened.
Dr. Ford mentioned the attack contributed to her PTSD, anxiety, and claustrophobia. Contributed, not caused. She said she couldn’t fly to the hearing because flying exacerbated these problems. Except, she regularly flies all around for work and vacation. I hate flying, too. But, if I had to get my ass to DC to appear in front of a Senate panel, I’d do it.
Finally, the biggest, fattest red flag, at least to me comes from the fact that she states these symptoms started and she struggled academically in college, but not the last two years of high school. Anxiety and other things might make sense if she had been assaulted, in college.
The behavior change didn’t seem to happen in high school. Like I said, I’ve known a number of women who were assaulted as teens. In many cases, their behavior changed almost overnight. In some, it was like turning off a light switch; they sunk deeper into themselves. In others, they went the party-hearty route. But whether they told someone or not, their behaviors changed in close proximity to the event.
Dr. Ford did her undergraduate work in experimental psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a pretty good school. Even it if was a fallback choice, it’s still pretty competitive for an out of state student to attend. She then went on to do graduate work at Pepperdine, got a PhD from USC, and post-doctoral work at Stanford University Medical School.
For someone who struggled academically, she certainly was able to get selected for some pretty high-tone graduate programs. So, kudos to her for dealing with her issues?
It seems to me that she changed her story every time there was a chance to refute it. She kept moving the facts around.
Sexual assault is an awful crime; it’s the most personal kind of theft you can suffer. Unfortunately, it’s the kind of crime where there are usually only two people involved. This will always start with a She Said-He Said situation. However, if we honor the golden thread running through American jurisprudence of Innocence Until Proven Guilty, the victim must be subject to an interrogation and evidence gathering. Doing otherwise, and starting the clock at Guilty Until Proven Innocent subjects men (mostly) to a discriminatory act. They are no longer treated as equal before the law.
US history is full of people who have spent time in jail for crimes they did not commit. In some cases, the prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence. In others, the “victims” made up the charges. Remember the Scottsboro Boys? Rape charges made up. Duke Lacrosse? Rape charges made up. Tawana Brawley? The whole story was a fabrication. The Rolling Stone story, A Rape On Campus? The entire event was a figment of the “victim’s” imagination. And Rolling Stone has to pay an assistant dean $3 million in damages.
If we cannot challenge an accuser, then the system fails.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to put the burden of the crime on the accuser. She did not get raped because she was wearing rapey clothes. But once the victim makes an accusation, there is some fact finding, and the case either moves forward or doesn’t, based on what is presented.
That’s what happened last week; a prosecutor interviewed Dr. Ford. And Rachel Mitchell didn’t believe the story. I don’t believe the story, either.
And that’s OK. Don’t judge things just on your feelings; remember, you’re messing with people’s lives here.
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. A professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo By Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)