Hillary Clinton Says Kavanaugh Self-Defense Is a 'Denial of the Legitimacy of Women's Stories'
On Tuesday at The Atlantic fest, Hillary Clinton laughed at President Trump's second Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. She attacked him as "unconvincing" and lacking "judicial temperament," but praised Christine Blasey Ford — the woman who accused him of sexual assault — as "credible," despite her story's many holes and inconsistencies. She also praised the two women who angrily accosted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) last Friday.
Why did she so vigorously defend the accusers and dismiss the accused? It seemed to boil down to one statement — made about then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas — that a man defending himself against sexual assault accusations "very much felt like — and in fact it probably was — the denial of the legitimacy of women’s stories" (emphasis added).
If any innocent man's defense against allegations of sexual assault constitutes "the denial of the legitimacy of women's stories," then no man ever can defend himself against a false accusation.
Clinton framed her views on the issue in terms of women triumphing over a long tradition of patriarchy. She claimed the modern movement against sexual assault is "finally righting the balance, because there’s been a tremendous imbalance on women’s lives, women’s narratives. They’ve been historically dismissed, condescended to."
The former presidential candidate argued that women in politics "find themselves picked apart, second-guessed, held to a double standard. We want to have as much right to our agency, to our autonomy, as we should be able to have, where women’s lives are valued as much as men’s lives, their stories are as important as men’s stories, they are written into history, not out of history. So that’s what I see happening."
To some degree, Clinton is correct. Historically, women were regarded differently than men, they did not have the right to vote, and their stories made it into the history books less often. In modern America, women still struggle with advancement at work, although now they are more likely to graduate college than men!
The #MeToo movement has encouraged victims of sexual assault to come forward, and it has exposed many predators, most notably Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Larry Nassar. Each of those cases involved a long string of victims, evidence, and corroborating eyewitness accounts, however.
The accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, meanwhile, lack evidence and corroborating eyewitness accounts. Sexual assault is a serious crime, and even when it is not prosecuted as a crime — due to allegations beyond the statute of limitations, as in the case of Brett Kavanaugh — the stain of sex crime can ruin someone's reputation for life.
Kavanaugh's accusers deserve to be listened to and treated with respect, but that means weighing their stories, not accepting them as gospel truth. Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell (who happens to be a woman) thoroughly eviscerated Ford's claims in a memo revealing inherent contradictions. If Clinton rejects Mitchell's memo, is she denying "legitimacy" to this woman's story?
Yet, when asked about Christine Blasey Ford's testimony, Clinton said, "I found her very credible." Interestingly, Ford claims her memory regarding the 36-year-old assault is utterly reliable, but she claimed not to remember key details from mere months ago. Yet Clinton said, "I found her willingness to say, 'I don’t remember that but I remember this,' to be very convincing."
Indeed, the former presidential candidate declared, "I felt a great swell of pride that she would be willing to put herself out there."
Similarly, she praised "those two young women following Senator Flake into the elevator." These protesters "were determined that he would know that there were young women like them, representing many many more, who wanted to be heard and wanted their stories to be taken seriously."
These protesters — one of whom leads an activist group funded by George Soros — told Jeff Flake that his decision to vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation effectively told "all women that they don't matter." One of them said, "You're telling me my assault doesn't matter."
These women literally trapped Flake in an elevator in order to yell at him, to effectively blame him for abetting sexual assault across America. This is patently ridiculous, but Clinton praised these protesters for redeeming the "legitimacy of women's stories."
Hillary Clinton didn't just defend Ford and the protesters, however. She also attacked Kavanaugh.
When asked about Kavanaugh's assertion that the sexual assault allegations against him represented "revenge" from "the Clintons," the former presidential candidate laughed.
"I thought it was just part of the whole of his very defensive and unconvincing presentation," she said. Then she suggested that Kavanaugh's self-defense showed his lack of a "judicial temperament."
"For anyone who believes there’s such a thing as a judicial temperament — and that we want judges particularly those on our highest court — to approach plaintiffs and defendants with a sense of fairness, there’s a lot to be concerned about," Clinton argued. She recalled voting against nominees from President George W. Bush, but "I don't remember any of them ... behaving in such a way."
Hmmm. Perhaps that would be because none of them were accused of sexual assault and publicly dragged through the mud. None of them, except one.
Clinton noted that Clarence "Thomas vigorously defended himself, as some of us can remember, and it was a very very painful difficult time for Anita Hill and for many of us watching."
It was in this context that Clinton delivered the remark, "It very much felt like and in fact it probably was the denial of the legitimacy of women’s stories."
In 1991, Anita Hill came forward with allegations that Thomas had asked her out and that after she rejected his requests, he used work to discuss sexual topics. Clarence Thomas denied the allegations, even going so far as to call them a "high-tech lynching."
Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court on a 52-48 vote, and Hill went on to become a liberal celebrity.
Brett Kavanaugh faced a catch 22 in the testimony last Thursday. After the allegations came out against him, his family was subjected to harassment. His name was dragged through the mud, and Democrats who came out against his nomination as soon as it was announced have now attacked him as a threat to women's safety everywhere.
Kavanaugh defended himself vocally, even choking back tears in his testimony. This visceral defense should have moved America, but so many had already made up their minds. Liberals have attacked his self-defense as evidence that he lacks the temperament to be a Supreme Court justice, and Clinton jumped on that bandwagon.
All this raises an important question: Would anything convince Clinton that maybe, just maybe, Ford's story was not true? Perhaps the fact that Ford's witnesses have all denied her story? Perhaps the fact that Ford's own testimony contradicts itself?
No, it seems that any man attempting to defend himself in these matters has "denied the legitimacy of women's stories." Never mind the 200 women who testified that Brett Kavanaugh had always treated women with respect. Never mind the two teenage daughters who have to see their father go through this hell. Never mind the female prosecutor who eviscerated Ford's story. Their stories aren't convenient for Mrs. Clinton.
Watch the videos of Clinton's speech below.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.