Thursday, September 27


The testimony of Christine Blasey Ford before the US Senate Judicial Committee by is liberating, if not for her then for the millions of women and men who have suffered similar sexual assaults, harassment and humiliation.

She wrote a note to her congressman in July describing an incident from 36 years ago. After a day at the country club, she joined a small gathering of teens at a Washington DC suburb. She had one beer and went upstairs to use the bathroom. Once upstairs, someone pushed her from behind into a bedroom. Two intoxicated young men entered the room with her, Mark Judge and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. She describes how Kavanaugh pushed her to the bed, placed his body on top of hers and held his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. Perhaps they thought this was roughhousing or tom-foolery, but she described terror.

The psychologist in her testimony is credible in so many ways - providing specific and vivid details along with names of others who could corroborate her report. Specifically, she recalled running into Mark Judge shortly after the evening of the assault at his place of his work - the Potomac Safeway.

Yet Republicans declined to reopen an FBI investigation or invite potential corroborating witness to testify.

Most importantly, she explained the rationale behind her hesitation in reporting and motivation for coming forward as citizen. She tried to sound a warning before the candidate was selected from a short list. She understood that the president had a list of candidates, equally qualified, and she thought the president and the senators - not necessarily the general public - should know about her experience before making a decision. She did not want to destroy Brett Kavanaugh.

But now, senators may quietly wonder if Kavanaugh should remain on the federal appeals court. If he had been truthful about these experiences and extended a sincere apology, if he did not have a background that includes other descriptions of his intoxication and belligerence, then many Americans might understand and forgive, especially if he could provide evidence of an ability to curtail his drinking.

Ford endured a polygraph exam. Could Kavanaugh do the same?

Absent an investigation that includes questioning of Mark Judge and an apology from Mark Kavanaugh about inappropriate behaviors including intoxication, the nomination should be withdrawn. Kavanaugh should expect to answer more questions about whether he should remain in his position with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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