I have been very skeptical about Christine Blasey Ford’s claims. I honestly didn’t think she was going to show up for today’s hearing, after the last couple weeks of legal maneuvering and foot-dragging. But after watching the first two hours of it, I think the GOP would’ve been better off if she hadn’t.
In her opening statement, Ford was surprisingly poised, articulate, focused, and — if I’m allowed to say this — adorable. And she seems sincere. I believe she believes what she’s saying. Either that, or she should be nominated for an Academy Award.
Does that mean her account of events is actually what happened? I have absolutely no idea, and neither do you, and neither does anybody else. She says she can’t pinpoint when and where this alleged assault happened, which makes it impossible for Kavanaugh to defend himself. If you were convinced it happened before she opened her mouth, or before you even knew her name, then that lack of specificity doesn’t matter to you. It matters to me.
The subsequent proceedings were a farce, at least by the time I gave up in disgust after 120 excruciating minutes. It was a bizarre mix of courtroom drama, political debate, and Statler & Waldorf sketch. Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor they brought in to question Ford, was given five minutes at a time to ask questions about such minor matters as, y’know, where and when the assault happened. Then she had to turn the floor over to one grandstanding senator after another. They had to get their camera time.
Mitchell was basically forced to play Speed Chess, except her opponents could move any piece anywhere on the board. It was nonsense. Two hours was all I could take. Why should I pay attention to what Mitchell and Ford say about the facts and evidence, when they’re just going to get interrupted over and over by these clowns?
At one point, Ford uttered what I assume will be the soundbite everyone takes away from this fiasco:
“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter…. They were having fun at my expense.”
“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense.”
Leahy: “You’ve never forgotten that laughter?”
Dr. Ford shakes her head. (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/lUp9cS0QH6
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 27, 2018
If that was a rehearsed line, she delivered it flawlessly. If she’s lying, she’s a high-functioning sociopath. If this is all just a setup, she couldn’t have played her part any better. But after giving it a swipe with Occam’s Razor, I’m going to assume that the simplest explanation is the most plausible one. She’s calling it like she sees it.
Sorry if you don’t want to hear that, but that’s how it looks from up here in the cheap seats.
This whole thing is just depressing. Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been convicted in the court of public opinion. This accusation is being used as a political cudgel. If there was ever any chance at getting to the truth of the matter, that’s gone now. People are going to believe what they want to believe, whether there’s any factual basis or not. If she’s telling the truth, half the country will never believe her. If she’s lying or mistaken or delusional, the other half of the country doesn’t care.
I think Ben Shapiro summed it up:
Republicans did a terrible job of establishing what was at stake here: the presence or absence of an evidentiary trail sufficient to stop Kavanaugh. Instead, they allowed the question to become Ford’s “credibility” — meaning her believability. She’s believable. So they lose.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 27, 2018
Yep. Believe what you want. As for me, I believe I’ll go do something else besides obsess over this unresolvable mess. Whatever happens next, so be it.