Lest it fall through the cracks amid attention so focused on the Dr. Christine Ford's letter, there were A LOT of strong reasons to vote against Brett Kavanaugh even before it emerged. For starters, perjury is never a good quality in a Supreme Court Justice. Or a Federal Judge, for that matter...
There's a question concerning all this that hasn't really been discussed must yet. It's possible, of course, that the charges being made in the letter turn out to be false or unproven. However, it's just as possible (and being totally subjective, I'll say it's probable, or even likely) that they're true. If the former, then the nomination moves forward as before, and Mr. Kavanaugh will be voted on based on all the rush-through reasons the committee has allowed. But -- IF belief in the charges or evidence of them progress to the degree that Kavanaugh withdraws or enough Senators believe the accusations and reject him, that raises the little-discussed question. If Brett Kavanaugh is not approved for the Supreme Court because of having committed attempted rape over 30 years ago and lied about it today, doesn't that suggest he shouldn't be on the federal bench at all? And that he should be impeached or resign?
By the way, one of the Republican talking points through all this is to ask if one should be judged on the actions a person took over 30 years ago when in high school. I would suggest that we're not talking about applying for a job at Burger King, but a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, when standards of employment are the highest -- and should be. And attempted rape is most probably disqualifying from that job. (Not to mentioned, as noted above, any lifetime job on the federal court.) But far more to the point is that this is NOT just about what happened over 30 years ago...but today. If Republicans want to talk about how a person grows from their past transgressions, and that we should look at them today, great!, let's look at Brett Kavanaugh today. Because today, if the allegations are true, Brett Kavanaugh is a man denying vehemently that he he ever committed attempted rape, and assuming he's brought back before the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate the matter, he's a man who -- today -- (unless he decides to confess) is willing to lie under oath about it. That's who Brett Kavanaugh is today.
(Side note: I think it's proper for the press to report, as they have, that when Brett Kavanaugh has denied the charges, he "vehemently" denied them. But I think it's proper, as well, that if the press does that, for them to make just as clear that Dr. Ford has "emphatically" affirmed her charges.)
I don't know for absolute certain what the truth is here. I have my belief and reasons for it (among them, as I noted on Monday, it turns out that I have a distant overlap with someone who is longtime friends with Christine Ford. They talk often, and he is absolutely sure she is telling the truth), and think that the action did happen. But make no mistake, the issue at hand isn't only about three decades ago, but today. And what should be done in full, beyond just the Supreme Court, should the charges turn out to be true.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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