Here we go again…
The allegations against Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh are serious, make no mistake about it. Yet, it comes as no surprise that no sooner were the accusations made then everyone ran into their respective political corners.
“How can you believe a woman when she didn’t come forward when it happened?”
“Don’t blame the victim! Kavanaugh is obviously disqualified now!”
“This happened when he was a teenager, we can’t hold him accountable for youthful indiscretions!”
“Once a rapist, always a rapist!”
“The Democrats do this all the time, she’s obviously lying!”
And on and on it goes.
When the letter from the anonymous accuser became known, by itself it probably was not enough to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation. That the woman is now coming forward and publicly making the claim, that changes things.
Supporters of Kavanaugh are claiming that she should be disregarded. If it really happened, they say, she would have reported it at the time. This is an argument that is getting very worn out. Get it through your thick, numb skulls…women do not report it at the time for a number of valid reasons. Fear, mainly. Fear of being blamed. Fear of not being believed. Fear of being labeled a slut. In this woman’s case, in her claim, fear of getting in trouble with her parents for being at the party. Fear of having to testify in court. Fear of many things.
They believe they can simply forget about it and move on with their lives.
Is that the smartest thing to do? Is it fair to other potential future victims of the cretin? Is it fair to themselves in getting justice? No, of course not. But it is completely understandable to most clear-thinking people.
So why would they come forward now, after all of these years?
Well, wouldn’t you? Most intellectually honest people would admit that they probably would under the circumstances.
Think about it. This thing has been gnawing at you and troubling you for many years. You even talk to a therapist about it. You probably regret not addressing it back when it happened, but strive to move on with your life. Then, one day, you see that this person is about to become a Supreme Court Justice. Sure, you’ve probably watched as he progressed in his life, wanting to say something but determining it wouldn’t be worth the trouble and disruption it would bring to your life and family, so you keep quiet. But this. The Supreme Court. That’s too much to bear. Watching him during the nationally televised hearings. Getting praise from the President of the United States (who let’s just say has issues of his own where women are concerned). Being made out to be the epitome of ethical and moral behavior.
Nope, that’s just too much to take. It’s perfectly understandable to me why she’d say, “Oh, hellll nooooo!”
Therefore, it’s perfectly plausible that the events did happen as she described and that she never said anything until this point.
Now, that said, does that mean we should simply take her word for it and dismiss Kavanaugh as a sexual assaulter?
No, that’s not clear at all at this point and that is not fair to Kavanaugh.
We now have a dilemma.
The classic he said/she said problem.
So we get back to the arguing and yelling.
“Well even if it did happen, it’s past the statute of limitations so he can’t be charged anyway!”
“Well she’s the victim and should be given the benefit of the doubt!”
“Well he was drunk and 17, and many drunk 17 year olds do stuff like that!”
“Riiight, and you say we don’t bring up our young men in a rape culture!”
It all makes my head hurt.
First, we’re talking about a lifetime appointment to what is arguably one of the most powerful positions in the world. We need to have the utmost trust in those we appoint to such positions. That means that we need to hold them to a much higher standard than the average person. We only want those of the highest caliber of ethical and moral behavior throughout their entire life. There is no statute of limitations for that. Not for this job. Sorry. You might be able to say, “What a guy did when he was 17 shouldn’t prevent him from getting a job 35 years later” for a guy who is going to be a factory worker, or truck driver, or football player, or business owner, or any number of jobs in this country. But Supreme Court Justice? Nope. That’s entirely different. And rightly so.
Nobody is talking about charging him and sending him to prison. The consideration is only whether he’s worthy to be a Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, the standard of proof is not the same. In this case, it only matters whether the people can trust him and if they believe him. That’s it…it really may come down to public opinion and the political fall-out from it.
They both need to be heard on this. She has presented a version of events that contains some detail in some respects, but a vague memory in others. It should be fairly easy to determine of Kavanaugh can be placed at the event. If so, then he needs to be willing to present his version of things. We have also learned some things that, at the very least, make her story plausible. Kavanaugh did seem to hang out with a crowd, including the guy the woman claims was with him during the assault, that liked to drink and have a good time. It has been reported that the woman has taken a lie detector test from a former FBI agent and was found to be telling the truth and she is willing to testify publicly to Congress.
So, was it fair to Kavanaugh to make these accusations known when there is no evidence and it’s just a he said/she said? That question is a tough one. If he really didn’t do it, then none of this is fair to him. But if there is no evidence that she is obviously lying, then it needs to be out there. In many such cases, that will trigger others to come forward who may have a similar story against the accused. Others that may have been afraid to come forward by themselves. And maybe others who have solid evidence. If they do, it’s “game over” for Kavanaugh. But if they don’t, that’s a point in his favor. Thus far, this story is probably not enough to mark Kavanaugh a sexual predator and thwart him from the Supreme Court.
However, I think a reasonable person would conclude that it is enough for further scrutiny. Is Kavanaugh willing to take a lie detector test, as she did? Is Kavanaugh willing to testify under oath and be questioned concerning these specific accusations, as she is?
If it can be determined that Kavanaugh is lying about any part of this, he should be finished. At the same time, if it can be determined that the woman is lying, she should be charged with a crime (off the top of my mind, I’m not sure what that crime would be, but there should be one) and harshly punished. We can’t tolerate either scenario.
It is not time for people to retreat to, and throw punches from, their respective political corners. This is a serious problem concerning the lifetime appointment of a Supreme Court Justice. And we need to start treating it as such.