Opinion

Krause: You say, I say

Regardless of what side you fell on during the recent U.S. Supreme Court travesty, you probably came away thinking the whole thing stunk to high heaven.

Either you believed Brett Kavanaugh or you believed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. If you claimed to be neutral, and believed it (as opposed to saying so to avoid the wrath of more opinionated friends), I would suggest you run counter to human nature. Most people leaned one way or the other.

You say Justice Kavanaugh is an accomplished jurist whose track record, while conservative, isn’t close to being alt-right wing.

I say there were plenty of red flags in some of the things he’d said that would worry those of us who do not share far right-wing views.

You say it’s the president’s right and duty to promptly nominate Supreme Court justices when the time comes.

I say you’re right — but wasn’t that President Obama’s right and duty too? How’d that work out? I say I don’t see how you can reconcile the two cases.

You say that the ruckus protesters kicked up during the first days of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings was an abomination.

I say that under ordinary circumstances, I’d agree. But these weren’t ordinary circumstances. Kavanaugh’s nomination was being rushed through by the same people who purposely stood in the way of Merrick Garland, Obama’s 2016 nominee. And that had I been able to go down and join in, I’d have kicked up a fuss too.

You say there wasn’t one bit of proof that anything happened the night Prof. Blasey Ford claims she was assaulted. There was never a report filed.

I say that’s not unusual. Sadly, women since time immemorial have had to suffer the reality that the most expeditious way put on a defense in a rape case to impugn the virtue and credibility of the accused.

You say that Blasey Ford’s charges of sexual assault against Kavanaugh were blatantly political, and that the real motivation was to keep a man with stated anti-abortion views off the bench.

I say you are partially correct. Yes, there was an agenda behind her charges — but only in the sense that if someone assaulted me and then ended up being nominated to the Supreme Court, I’d holler too — even if I’d never said anything up to that point. Revenge, as Don Vito Corleone famously said, is a dish that tastes best cold.

You say that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s decision to release Dr. Blasey Ford’s name, as opposed to her desire remain anonymous, represented nothing more than naked political opportunism.

I say that only happened after attempts to protect Blasey Ford’s anonymity fell apart, and that her story — and her name, even — was going to come out anyway.

You say that anyone falsely accused the way Kavanaugh was would have every justification to come out swinging at his hearing, and that nobody should take his bellicosity as anything other than the indignation of a man defending himself against scurrilous charges.

I say that’s not necessarily the case. Usually, defense attorneys practically get down on their knees and beg their clients to keep a lid on their emotions — especially if they’re not guilty. I say Kavanaugh’s haughty demeanor during that hearing was reminiscent of every male who ever walked down the road of lifelong entitlement, and that what might not have registered as blip on his radar screen occupied a huge blot on hers.

You say that my inclination to believe Blasey Ford’s charges is unfair because it’s a case of “he said, she said,” and absent any evidence, this was a witch hunt and Justice Kavanaugh was the victim.

I say just the opposite. I say your total dismissal of this woman’s claims, and your unwillingness, in some cases, to even listen to what she had to say, is unfair to her. It puts women in the same position in which they’ve almost always been — as suspects in their own assaults.

You say this never should have happened, and that Justice Kavanaugh should not have had to go through this.

I say this never should have happened — that once these charges came up, and after Blasey Ford went through the rigors of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing without wavering once, that the committee should have applied the brakes to this process and given the charges a thorough investigation — which certainly would have, and should have, lasted longer than a week.

Regardless of what you or I say, however, Brett Kavanaugh is the new associate justice. I really don’t know what that says about the system, or about us. Not much in either case, I’d say.

 

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