Republican reactions to the allegation made by Christine Ford have been shameful.
First, this isn’t about politics. I thought the Democrats should approve Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court because I thought he was qualified, had an excellent character, and though I disagree with his legal philosophy, the President has the right to pick a Justice. However, once the allegation came out that at the age of 17 he tried to rape a 15 year old girl, everything changed.
First, it’s not OK to say “boys will be boys” and “that’s a long time ago.” If this gets dismissed in that way, it’s a signal to every 15 year old girl (and 17 year old boy) that if a guy tries to rip off your clothes or rape you, well, it’s OK. No, that is not OK. One reason this issue has to be taken seriously is the message it sends to teens out there. Does no really mean no, or doesn’t it matter?
Second, it’s not OK to say “well, Clinton did bad things, or Ellison was accused of something.” This is the Supreme Court. More than any elected position (for which the voters can choose not to keep someone in office), this position requires people of only the most upstanding character. These nine positions are to be given not as a “right” to someone who “hasn’t been proven guilty,” but as a privilege to only those of the highest integrity.
Beyond that, President Trump’s effort to make Kavanaugh out to be the victim is extremely disgusting. Even if he withdraws his nomination, he’s wealthy, has his pick of good jobs, and will not suffer any real harm. However, from all accounts, the young girl he tormented was traumatized by the event, and it took years of therapy and help to get her back on track.
It is especially disgusting to say “she should have brought this up sooner.” She’d have been subjecting herself to abuse and ridicule, with the likelihood that in the end he would not be punished. Wealthy parents hire lawyers who as a tactic will do everything they can to paint an accuser out to be a slut or “asking for it.” The idea is to damage her credibility enough so a jury has “reasonable doubt.” It works almost all the time, that’s why so many rapists, especially young wealthy males, go free. Most victims don’t report rape because they know they’ll likely be hurt more than the perpetrator. That’s true now, 35 years ago the culture was even more tolerant of rape.
This isn’t about politics, but it appears that many people are treating it as such. No one should be given a life time appointment at the top of what may be the most important branch of government if there just the credible possibility of a blemish like this. It is a sign that his moral character is questionable or lacking.
If he did it, he’s lying now when he denies it, and that shows that he absolutely lacks an ethical core. But if he didn’t do it, given the credibility of the accuser, the honorable thing for him to do is say, “The role of Supreme Court Justice requires the highest levels of integrity, with the trust of the American people. In this case, there is sufficient question about my character that it would be wrong to accept the appointment to the Court. I hearby withdraw my nomination.”
To do that, however, would require character.