Who’s Lying?

Who’s Lying?


Leonard Zwelling

It’s got to be one or the other.

Either Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh assaulted Professor Christine Blasey Ford when they were both much younger, or he did not. There is no halfway here and it doesn’t sound like it is anyone’s misconception of sexual consent. Either he was there and did it, or he wasn’t and didn’t.


The story in the Washington Post is pretty clear. She says he got on top of her and groped her when they were in high school during a pool party at a house in Maryland. He says he never did.

If this isn’t a “he said, she said,” I don’t know what is. They both cannot be right. There is a chance for an honest ending here as there was putatively a third person involved and he can corroborate whether or not this occurred. His name is Mark Judge and he may be helpful in this case. He even wrote a book about his youthful serial drunkenness. He’s siding with the Judge for now. Why do I doubt that clarity will ever emerge?

First, I am not really sure any of this is germane to the judge’s fitness for the Supreme Court, unless he is lying.

If he did this when he was younger it was both stupid and criminal, but I am sure the statute of limitations is long over and after all, he was a minor at the time, albeit probably a drunken one (if he did it at all).

Second, if he did this, he was drunk. The evidence in the article suggests that this was not a one-time state of affairs for Brett Kavanaugh and that well may be. Again, at best he was a stupid teenager. Who among us hasn’t done stupid things when we were younger?

Third, the real question is, does this disqualify him for service on the highest court in the land and is that what is really going on here?

I am not sure whether this is a disqualifying offense, although lying about it would be. This is not the same as the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill incident of 1991 (although the Dems will draw the parallels). Both of them were adults when the allegations of sexual misbehavior occurred. They were made by Professor Hill and not believed by any of the white males on the Judiciary Committee, most prominently the last Vice President of the United States.

This could also be a political temporizing maneuver by the Democrats to get the final decision on Judge Kavanaugh delayed until after the election when the Democrats could gain control of the Judiciary Committee and the entire Senate and vote him down.

What I fear in the age of #MeToo is that we will have a muddled series of steps of a political nature that will serve neither Judge Kavanaugh nor Professor Ford very well. My guess is that we will never know the truth and no one’s mind will be changed by the hearing that appears inevitable at this point. It is another mess in Congress. That’s the only part of this that’s not a surprise. It is scheduled to occur Monday.

Senator Feinstein never should have sat on this or even allowed it to surface unless the accuser was willing to testify. To pull this out at the 11th hour is unconscionable, but it sure does smell fishy. But who knows? Maybe Senator Feinstein’s hands were really tied by Professor Ford and somehow it leaked. Congress, like the White House, is one leaky boat.

What we can be sure of is that reputations will be ruined, feelings will be hurt, and the level of discourse in the country will be further lowered. I didn’t think that was possible. Silly me!

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