I was seriously all for getting the hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh over with as soon as possible. My last column literally stated my opinion on the subject, noting judges can't simply issue verdicts based on party lines. But that's not the issue anymore.
By now, most of us have heard about the allegations Dr. Christine Blasey Ford brought against the nominee, saying he … I'm trying to think of a suitable euphemism here … tried to overrule an objection to the use of his gavel … seriously, I'm tired of having to decide whether to come right out and type the words "sexual misconduct" or dance around the subject (but notice how I managed to do both just now).
The problem right now is the uncertainty.
Kavanaugh outright denies it happened. Ford's therapist has notes from 2012 describing an case paralleling the allegations. A group of 65 women signed a letter essentially claiming Kavanaugh wouldn't do such a thing. A group of 24 women have signed a letter essentially claiming Ford wouldn't lie about such a thing. It's not even a case of he said, she said. It's a case of they said, they said. And, unfortunately, this is the kind of issue that can't be solved by petitioning the greatest number of signatures. I wish it were that easy (frankly, I wish the therapist's notes included a name of any kind, because that would make this a whole lot easier). That said, there's also aspects of those notes which the confirmation committee finds inconsistent with Ford's account. Ford, of course, chalks them up to error and says she doesn't remember all the details.
Sigh. More pieces of this puzzling case keep coming — oh, update: Ford says she won't testify Monday, maybe later. Sigh. So, forgive me. I'm sure this column will be less than up-to-date by the time it hits newsstands (yes, they're still out there), but in general the core issue remains the same.
America's had a hard time judging character the last few years. That's what this comes down to — her character or his — and we've learned status has little to do with it. We've seen similar accusations stick to TV dad Bill Cosby, seemingly-approachable interviewer Charlie Rose, DNC backer Harvey Weinstein and funny-man-turned-U.S.-Senator-turned-former-U.S.-Senator Al Franken. I think it's safe to say they also played at least a small role in former judge (emphasis on the former) Roy Moore's loss to Democrat Doug Jones for the Alabama Senate. So, in that veign, Kavanaugh's not unique. He's just the next in line for the scandal chopping block.
Here's the thing, though. The reason cases like Cosby's pop to the forefront is because he was tried and convicted by a jury of his peers. Evidence was presented. Facts (emphasis on facts) were presented. The truth was verified, and it was a truth a lot of us thought was out of the question.
So, if anything, we've learned figures from the jocular to the judicious aren't necessarily without misdeeds. It would seem to me that verifying or dispelling Ford's claims would be in the best interest of both parties but, at the same time, that would stall the process — a goal Democrats have been attempting to do before the hearings began.
That, of course, makes the timing in which Sen. Diane Feinstein of California chose to spark this whole issue into flame by disclosing a letter from Ford outlining the allegations pretty suspect. It was dated July 30. The hearings for Kavanaugh began at the beginning of this month. While the letter does ask Feinstein to keep the matter confidential until the two can discuss it further, that's quite awhile to keep such a letter in your back pocket.
Nevertheless, it's out, and our voices in Washington will be debating whether it deserves a closer look. As much as I don't want the process to drag on, I feel it's important to get to the bottom of this. I mean, if we try the man who played Heathcliff Huxtable, find him guilty and forever shatter our perception of Bill Cosby, that's one thing. If we refuse to even look into a matter simply because a delay of Brett Kavanaugh's appointment would play into the hands of the left, that's quite another.
Which is perhaps the saddest part of all. A woman is claiming she was wronged, and her experience — although yet to be proven — is being plied as a tool on one side of the aisle and dismissed by the other. Strangely enough, we'll never know which side is in the right unless we do indeed investigate the matter, which is why I'm glad to read comments like what Maine's Republican Senator Susan Collins told Fox News.
"There are an awful lot of questions, inconsistencies, gaps, and that's why, to be fair to both, we need to know what happened," Fox quoted Collins.
Sen. Collins, I couldn't agree more.