The Democrat's recent claim to the moral high ground is hollow and historically hypocritical. The last 20 years has seen the Left double down on poisonous and inflammatory rhetoric, insane Nazi comparisons and a complete indifference to a myriad of sexual abuse allegations.
Donald J. Trump was elected in 2016 in part because a large group of voters believed that the Democrats played dirty.
Twenty years ago the NAACP ran this ad featuring a woman whose father a Black man had been gruesomely murdered: “On June 7, 1998, in Texas, my father was killed. He was beaten, chained and dragged three miles to his death all because he was black. So when Gov. George W. Bush refused to support hate crimes legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again.”
When Mr. Bush was president leading Democrats- Senators and at least and at least one former vice-president – referred to Mr. Bush in Nazi/Fascist terms with impunity.
John McCain’s 2008 campaign was described in the “Huffington Post” as “degenerate(d) into a dark, disgraceful display of veiled racism.” Democratic Congressman John Lewis linked the Arizona Senator to segregationist George Wallace and even the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham that killed four girls and said that Mr. McCain was “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.”
A decent man like Mitt Romney was slimed by Senator Harry Reid as having not paid taxes and then told he had to prove his innocence. Democratic attack ads featured a middle age man who said that Mr. Romney had essentially caused the death of his wife over him losing health insurance from a company. (Politifact condemned the ad.)
These voters went for Trump because they wanted someone who would fight back.
These voters believe that the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh have validated their views, reasoning that the hearings were not a search for truth on the part of Democrats. They know that the moment President Trump nominated Kavanaugh, Senator Chuck Schumer said that he would oppose him with “everything I’ve got” and Senator Cory Booker – appeared with religious leaders to say that anyone who did not oppose his confirmation is “complicit in evil.”
Then came charges that Mr. Kavanaugh had when he was 17 sexually assaulted Professor Christine Blasey Ford then 15 about thirty-six years ago. Senator Dianne Feinstein withheld all information of this accusation for six weeks before springing it on the public right before Mr. Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote. Please read that sentence twice. Professor Ford’s identity was promptly leaked.
The charge was released by Ms. Feinstein only after Judge Kavanaugh’s lengthy testimony, many interviews and 1-1 meetings between Mr. Kavanaugh and Senators and over a thousand written questions which did not touch on this topic.
Had Ms. Feinstein been forthright, the accusations could have been reviewed in both private and public testimony. The FBI could have been brought in to investigate early on.
Then the public heard bizarre comments by Senator Marie Hirono of Hawaii. When she was asked whether Judge Kavanaugh had the presumption of innocence as anyone else in America she resoinded: “I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases, When I say that he is very outcome driven, he has an ideological agenda, very outcome-driven, and I could sit here and talk to you about some of the cases that exemplifies his ability to be fair.”
We do not know what she means by that but we fail to see how Judge Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence relates to Professor Ford’s accusation.
The Trump voters also saw a double-standard.
Senator Mazie Hirono again: “Not only do women like Dr. Ford, who bravely comes forward, need to be heard, but they need to be believed. They need to be believed.”
There are several things seriously wrong with this. First, Ms. Ford did not “come forward.” Her identity was leaked. Second, we are simply not prepared to accept that every charge should be believed. Third, Ms. Hirono herself does not follow this dictum. In the 1990s when serious sexual assault claims were made by a woman against Hawaii Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye, Ms. Hirono who was an Hawaii legislator was silent even as other women spoke out against the powerful senator.
That silence of course was not atypical of Democrats and in the context of the Kavanaugh case, the memories of Bill Clinton’s sexual and sexual assault controversies resurface.
Paula Jones who was an Arkansas state employee said that Bill Clinton exposed himself to her and asked her to touch him. A former White House aide named Kathleen Willey said that President Clinton had sexually assaulted her in the White House. Monica Lewinsky had a sexual affair when she was 22 years old with President Clinton who was more than twice her age also conducted in the White House. Ms. Lewinsky loyalty stood by Mr. Clinton despite an avalanche of mockery. In her mature years Ms. Lewinsky has identified as a victim. In the 1990s, a former nursing home administrators named Juanita Broaddrick said Bill Clinton raped her in 1978. Unlike Ms. Ford, Ms Broaddrick told people her account contemporaneously.
Ms. Broaddrick said recently: “Where’s my FBI investigation?” She added: “…I had the who, what, when, where and how and had five people that I told, not even counting the woman who found me 30 minutes after the rape with a swollen busted lip, torn clothes and in a state of shock.”
Democrats in all this were not on record as believing these women.
They also showed a nonchalant attitude about perjury.
Democrats in all this were not on record as believing these women.
On January 17, 1998 Clinton was deposed in a lawsuit filed by Ms. Jones. He was asked if he had ever been alone with an intern, Monica Lewinsky. He said that he did not remember, but that he might have been alone with her a few times when she delivered documents to him. He denied that he had sexual relations with her and the term “sexual relations” was broadly defined as contact to include intentionally touching in a sexual manner.
During the deposition, Mr. Clinton studied the definition of sexual relations and indicated that he understood it. This was important because Mr. Clinton’s presidency began soon to hang on the specious claim that oral sex was not sex.
Near the end of the deposition, Mr. Clinton’s attorney waived a copy of an affidavit from Lewinsky denying that she had had sex with President Clinton. Mr. Clinton said the affidavit was “absolutely true.”
In later months, Ms. Lewinsky came under an attack from unnamed White House staffers in a campaign that one New York Times liberal columnist later called “sickening.” Records later emerged that Hillary Clinton referred to Ms. Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony tune.”
In the 1999 vote, not a single Democratic Senator voted to convict Clinton of perjury although former Klansman Robert Byrd came close saying: “The President plainly lied to the American people. Of course, that is not impeachable, but he also lied under oath in judicial proceedings.”
But Mr. Byrd added: “…but simple logic can point one way while wisdom may be in quite a different direction” and voted to acquit Mr. Clinton of perjury.
We do not know if the charges of Ms Willey, Ms. Jones or Ms Broadderick were true and we can argue about the consent of Ms. Lewinsky who has pointed out how young she was and in her first job and how Mr. Clinton was the most powerful man in the world and for the moment we can understand that people lie about sex, sometimes under oath as Mr. Clinton did. But we do know the response from Democrats – from the attackers of Monica Lewinsky to the philosopher Robert Byrd: They didn’t take either the women or perjury seriously and gave Mr. Clinton a pass.
In the Kavanaugh hearings, the Republicans showed a different face. They took Professor Ford’s claims seriously. They offered to take her testimony in California. They delayed the hearing to fit her schedule. They offered that she could do her testimony by phone. They have now agreed to a constitutionally- dubious additional FBI investigation.
They have shown Professor Ford great respect. Senator John Cornyn a Texas Republican said after Professor Ford’s testimony: “I found no reason to not find her credible.” President Trump said: “I thought her testimony was very compelling and she looks like a very fine woman to me, very fine woman.”
They also were gentle in their questioning of Ms. Ford. They did not press her on such details that would have cast doubt on her testimony or her recollections such as that Ms. Ford had no corroborating witnesses including ones she cited, that her statement that she sought “medical attention” after the alleged assault really meant that she brought it up in couples therapy some three decades after the event, that she flew quite often despite her lawyers’ claim that her testimony had to be delayed which was against the GOP interest because of a fear of flying, that she doesn’t know exactly what year the alleged attack took place or the house or how she got home but she does remember that she only had one beer – at a high school party thirty-six years ago.
The Republicans may have taken the position that trauma associated with sexual assault explained these lapses or they may have thought the political optics of taking on Professor Ford were bad, or both, but they clearly treated her with great deference.
Despite all this, Senator Hirono spoke this way about the Senate Republicans: “You know what? They’ve extended a finger. That’s how I look at it.” (In a sign of the crudity of our time, a writer for the “Washington Post” averred: “Mazie Hirono’s blunt style makes her a favorite of liberals looking for a fighter.”)
So where are we?
Four preliminary points:
• Professor Ford’s charges against Judge Kavanaugh are serious and if are shown to be more likely to be true than false should disqualify him from the Supreme Court.
• We agree with Mr. Cornyn and Mr. Trump that despite the gaps and the inconsistencies Ms. Ford’s testimony was credible.
• But credible simply means believable or even that there was no intent to lie about a alcohol-infused party thirty-six years ago.
• And Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony was also credible.
We are left with this: The four witnesses that Ms. Ford cited do not back up her story. One, Leland Ingham Keyser, had her attorney issue this:“Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford”.
Ms. Ford responded to this by telling the world that “Leland has significant health challenges.” To get an idea of the double-standard at play, please imagine the firestorm if any Republican had said anything remotely similar about Professor Ford.
Our view: We cannot subscribe to ruining a man based solely on accusations.
We understand that others disagree and respect these differences.
Let’s see what the FBI says.