I watched almost all of the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing yesterday. How could I not? High political drama, right there on my laptop.
My politics are no secret. I was opposed to Kavanaugh before Dr. Ford and the other accusers came forward. I don't believe he would be an impartial judge. I fear that he would abet an undoing of Roe v. Wade, and I cringe at the possibility that he would allow the President* to pardon himself in the event of conviction for wrong-doing. Judge Kavanaugh has been groomed by the Right for years and he is completely their creature.
Yes, the whole show was politicized by both sides. I believe Dr. Ford's statement to the effect that she just wanted her senator to know this about Kavanaugh's past before he was nominated. I believe that she wanted to stay anonymous -- this process can't have been fun for her. If Feinstein employed delaying tactics due to Ford's desire for anonymity, they pale in comparison to the delaying tactics employed by Mitch McConnell et al re Merrick Garland.
I was impressed with Dr. Ford's demeanor and seeming candor. She sounded completely believable to me, including her admission of the things she didn't remember. I felt that she answered the questions put to her without straying from the subject. Her polygraph test and her willingness to participate in an FBI investigation would seem to indicate that she is telling the truth.
Judge Kavanaugh, unlike Dr. Ford, was evasive. More than that, he was arrogant, combative, and rude. He was most at home reciting his exemplary achievements but seemed annoyed at being put through this questioning (especially from the 'female assistant' employed by the committee.) He was also visibly nervous. And quite political himself, jabbing a finger at the Democrats on the committee, haranguing them and suggesting a conspiracy to get even with him for his part in the investigation of the Clintons. If I'd known nothing about him, I would have decided that his temperament showed him unfit for the judiciary. And some say women are too emotional for high office.
None of which 'proves' anything.
There were two lines of questioning I thought particularly irrelevant. One was the matter of his yearbook page. Having served as advisor to the yearbook staff at a prep school, I know that things get put under people's pictures, whether maliciously or as an inside joke, and that this is a flimsy guide to character.
The other was the famous hand-annotated calendar from 1982. I have no problem believing that this calendar is real. I do have a problem seeing it as proof that Judge Kavanaugh didn't attend the gathering Dr. Ford describes. Who in his right mind would detail a gathering at which he had behaved as badly as Dr. Ford alleges? On the contrary, who, if he had been there and done that, might not jot down some other event, just in case there were repercussions, in case the girl told someone the next day?
I think I'm approaching this as a reader and writer of mysteries. As I said, nothing is proven -- but I can see the various possibilities. . . either Dr. Ford is an accomplished actress and bald-faced liar, or she is 'mixed up' and the event happened but it wasn't Kavanaugh. Or she is telling the truth.
And either Kavanaugh is the person he says he is, fighting to defend his reputation and the chance for the promotion of a lifetime -- or he's willing to lie about these incidents so far in the past that they seem almost to have been someone else. Surely, he may tell himself, all those years of good conduct, all those accolades and awards and endorsements and years of church-going outweigh one drunken moment when nothing really happened . . . he didn't even manage to get her clothes off. . . surely, he may tell himself, some things are worth lying about, need to be lied about. The end justifies the means . . .
Possibilities . . .
My husband suggested that in the absence of concrete evidence, it might be as well to look at cui bono -- who benefits? Who benefits from lying? Dr. Ford, whose life has been upturned and who has received death threats? Or Judge Kavanaugh who sees a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court nearly in the palm of his hand?
He said. She said.