Obfuscation at its darkest- The Senate Judiciary Hearing

Dr. Christine Blakey Ford

Ob-fus-cate: verb, to obscure, confuse, complicate, muddy, cloud

A 15 year old girl from a middle class family, who loved to swim and dive at Columbia Country Club, was sexually assaulted. I know this for a 100% absolute fact because…..  I’m that girl. And I know who the offender was with 100% absolute accuracy, because he was my father.

The irony of the similarities between Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and I made yesterday’s proceeding particularly difficult for me to watch. At one point I distracted myself by pondering whether she or I would score higher on a full twisting, forward, one and a half in pike position, the signature dive that earned me the city championship in Columbia, South Carolina.

As I held up my trophy, I wondered whether onlookers could peer through the thin veneer of my accomplishment and sense my awful, haunting shame that lay beneath. And I was sure that both Dr. Ford and I had shared that same struggle for many years.

Like Dr. Ford, I was groped. Unlike Dr. Ford, I didn’t wait 30+ years to reveal what happened to me. It took me nearly 50 years to publicly disclose this information.

Dr. Ford proved a number of things yesterday….. the first being that truth doesn’t need to shout. In steep contrast to Brett Kavanaugh’s overly righteous indignation, her facts sang out with the resonance only truth can provide.

It was blatantly apparent that she’d made every effort possible to bring her facts to light in a way that would not hinder the SCOTUS appointment schedule. It was never her intent to cause the delay that preoccupies the GOP side of the isle and closes their eyes to the overwhelming significance of her claim. She’d hoped to inform the public before Kavanaugh became Trump’s recommendation. But she was stymied along the way.

Enter Chuck Grassley…

Senator Chuck Grassly

Senator Chuck Grassley who Chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee turned his position into a bully pulpit to dominate the proceedings with attacks on Democrats for allegedly slowing the process. He consistently and continuously misused Ford’s allegations as a cudgel to wage tribal warfare against the other side of the isle. His intent to win completely obscured what should have been paramount in his decision making process…… What would truly be in the best interest of our nation AND the world?

Grassley attempted to detour the seriousness of Ford’s accusations down the rocky road of political blame. Rather than inquiring about the nature of Ford’s experience, his only inquiries were attempts to fault Democrats for inappropriate handling of her message; as if the world would be fooled into ignoring how totally disturbed his priorities were. He seemed to believe we are all too dumb to see that he is attempting to suppress the horror Kavanaugh exacted on the sanctity of Dr. Ford’s body to rush approval through before the mid-term elections.

Grassley and other Republicans, the majority of his committee, are intent on securing a conservative replacement for Justice Kennedy’s available seat. They are acting out of fear that they may lose their majority advantage with the November vote.  Despite that the world easily sees through his smoke screen, he continuously claimed his grandstanding was merely an explanation of the “process.”

In the absolute height of irony he said, “I’m not going to reward people for playing a political game,” as if we couldn’t recognize his con. And he’s attempting to con us in the most transparent way…. by refusing to subpoena witnesses or have the FBI conduct an appropriate investigation. At the very least, Kavanaugh should be required to submit to a polygraph. It could have been administered yesterday evening, immediately after the hearing and prior to this morning’s judiciary meeting.

If Kavanaugh is approved, the American Bar Association should step in and conduct a full investigation to determine if he, indeed, should be stripped of his judicial credentials. In fact, even if he’s not approved, he should be investigated.

The perfect witness…. credible, knowledgeable and humble

Dr. Ford had no ulterior motive. She was not touting any candidate in the ring. She simply knew of the diabolical mindset of one particular candidate and thought his despicable attempt at sexually assaulting her was sufficiently heinous to counter politics. She credibly reported that he’d put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming, and she feared for her life. Her concerns rang true to both survivors and people who’d never been assaulted. 

Ignoring fact to favor partisan politics

Judge Brett Kavanaugh

As if the credible sexual assault allegations against him were not enough to slow or stop the process of appointment, Brett Kavanaugh’s performance from yesterday, both his attitude and behavior, should have knocked him off anyone’s list for appropriate judicial conduct. His personal attempts at obfuscation through heated, sometimes angry, sometimes attacking, righteous indignation fell flat in the minds of anyone and everyone who ever dealt with a liar.

The fact that he could honestly say “I was not there” when he has no idea when or where the actions took place, is absurd. To Dr. Ford, his behavior would be indelibly etched into her memory as a result of the neurological response to the trauma she experienced. But to Kavanaugh, it was just one of many rowdy, drunken, irresponsible acts, with no specific impact to carve it into his memory.

Business as usual for sexual assault

Yesterday’s events clearly showed why we have so much sexual assault in the US. While it sickens me, it doesn’t surprise me.

I have long known that our law makers refuse to enact the cure for sexual assault because men like Kavanaugh would go to jail if they did. And many of our law makers think exactly like Kavanaugh, including Grassley, Lindsey Graham and Sen. Hatch, minimizing the relevance of sex crimes. 

If our laws clearly stated, “Nonconsensual sex is sexual assault, and consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA,” Brett Kavanaugh could have, and possibly would have, been arrested for what they excuse as just “boys being boys.”

Until our legislators enact what sexual assault really means and define consent in our laws, survivors will continue to choke on the grotesque invalidation we experience with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. No matter what the Judiciary Committee does today, there is still hope that the larger body of the Senate can steer our nation back to a moral and appropriate path with their ultimate vote.

Please contact your legislators and let them know you will not elect them again if they vote to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. And personally, I hope you’ll join me in prayers to whatever God you chose, in order to stop this train wreck from continuing. 

Addendum-

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona just stepped forward in an attempt to bring the nation together. He has suggested a one week delay in the Senate’s vote on Kavanaugh while the FBI conducts an investigation into the allegations that have been made against him.

While this means that Kavanaugh’s name will be reported to the Senate for a vote, it indicates that without such an investigation, the ultimate vote may go against his approval.

Unfortunately, there are issues regarding Kavanaugh’s candidacy that surfaced yesterday that won’t necessarily come up in the investigation. Kavanaugh was found to be untruthful in much of his statement. He repeatedly mis-characterized his drinking and stated that witnesses named by Dr. Ford had “denied” her claims when they did not. He made provable comments to objectify a female classmate that he denies as well as other glaring inconsistencies with truth.  Kavanaugh seems to have the same disconnect to truth that Donald Trump has…. a characteristic that is untenable in a judge.

What Senator Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump will do regarding Senator Flake’s request for an investigation remains to be seen. It’s my belief; however, that Trump holds the cards, and even he can see that the uproar for moving forward without an appropriate investigation would wreak havoc on his political agenda.

He would if he could. He and his minions tried mightily and failed due to the bravery, courage and truth of one woman; Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

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Please, help pass new legislation on sexual assault. Watch this TEDx Talk! today!It’s free…. doesn’t cost you a dime, just a few moments of your time that could help change the world! It’s not political! It’s not sexist! But it’s crucial in the war to conquer sexual assault!

One thought on “Obfuscation at its darkest- The Senate Judiciary Hearing”

  1. Well said Joyce. It was more than obvious how honest she was being while being questioned and at times being spoken to as if she was the liar. It saddens me to think that his phony display of emotions could have anyone believe what he said were true. It was a well orchestrated act of complete drama. Shame on this country and all the police and political figures and judges and anyone who turns their back on sexual assault victims. I was a sexual assault victim and the monster that raped me is still free to continue to abuse other women. Something must change.

    Like

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