Thu, Jul

Judge Kavanaugh’s Party Times Come to Roost

DC DISPATCH w/Sara Corcoran

DC DISPATCH--Christine Blasey Ford just came forth with allegations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh and I believe her claims to be true.

Though several years ahead of my class, Ford also went to my alma mater, Holton Arms. Located a few miles outside Washington DC, Holton-Arms is an all-girls school that encouraged excellence in intellect and a healthy diet of AP courses as the rule, not the exception. Our motto is Inveniam viam aut faciam (find a way or make one) and holding true to its spirit, Ford seems to have found a way to make her voice heard. I am not surprised by what she had to say.

Though long on academics, many Holton girls also found a way to have a very good time; author included. There were the wild house parties in Kalorama, chugging Milwaukee’s Best in Battery Kemble Park, temporarily borrowing my best friend’s mum’s car without proper license, hurling eggs at moving vehicles, and decorating houses with squeezable Charmin. We were wild at heart and so were the boys we kept company with.

As I lived in Washington DC during high school (more an exception as it required a longer commute) my motley crew rarely spent time with the boys of Georgetown Prep. It was St Albans, Episcopal High School, and occasionally Landon (where George Huguely Jr went to school) but of course I knew boys from Kavanaugh’s alma mater.

Though I was never the victim of sexual assault in high school or university, I have befriended several women who were. The boys of that generation in private schools had this strange pattern of attacking and then maligning those they had assaulted or blaming their conduct on the victim. I am still perplexed by this manifestation of guilt, disguised as violence and believe every single story I was told over the years. Most girls rarely confronted their attackers, instead sharing the shame with friends or counsellors along the way as they dealt with their traumatic experiences.

When women are credible and authentic, it comes across very naturally as it has in the case of Christine Blasey Ford. Having hosted a few house soirees in my vibrant past, as an adult, I cringe at the thought of bearing any responsibility, emotionally or legally for any reprehensible conduct taking place under my roof. Conduct as reported by Blasey Ford could easily have happened and other partygoers could have been blissfully ignorant as to what was occurring in some dark room by a group of drunken young men. Sorry, but glowing letters of support by 65 young women who did not share Blasey Ford’s experience won’t cut it. Not one letter writer was a witness to the alleged assault — although I am sure that Kavanaugh is in the market for persons who can speak to the episode in question — and having Condoleezza Rice in the background of his hearing (as impressive as she is) isn’t going to halt the scrutiny.

So, it is entirely possible that Kavanaugh may have evolved from his blue-blooded sense of entitlement. He may now be a family man, whose current life is defined by his faith and very impressive career as a judge. However, this wouldn’t excuse his behavior from so many years ago, even if he were a minor.

See, I believe Kavanaugh, the prudent jurist would never assault a woman at this point in his life. As he continued his legal education and career, I am sure he would have wanted to put as much distance as possible between his prior and current self. Being the father of two daughters, he would also have become more motivated to protect and nurture those closest to him. However, as a jurist, he also knows the importance of embracing the truth of his past, no matter how painful or consequential it may be.

So, Judge, your confirmation is guaranteed absent an acknowledgement of attempted rape. There are many women who extolled the virtues of your character in those carefully crafted letters of support. I believe it possible to believe them while believing the story of Christine Blasey Ford. Deflecting and attacking the victim is not advised as it will remind many women of how other women were singled out and treated after being victims of sexual assault. According to a friend, Kavanaugh is going to “s-it her out, leave her to be the t-rd she is” (don’t you love how Southern men talk?), but discrediting the victim may not work in this case, following a vigorous denial, Kavanaugh’s credibility and integrity is at stake.

Blasey Ford is a woman with a credible claim and a Senate confirmation hearing is not for the weak of character. Her allegations must be fully and fairly assessed. She passed a lie detector test. Let’s see if Kavanaugh can do the same.


(Sara Corcoran is publisher of the National Courts Monitor and writes for CityWatch, Daily Koz, and other news outlets.)