Thursday, September 20, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh v Dr. Ford

Brett Kavanaugh v Dr. Blasey Ford. The underlining issue is the attitude of the Republican Senators toward a woman who is reliving a trauma of sexual assault. It is consistent with those senators’ past actions, but times are changing and the senators’ attitudes are fossilized. That President Trump has had a hand in this should not be excused either, since he has refused to order the FBI to investigate the veracity of both parties. The drama is unfolding as this is written, but the damage to the GOP has already been done. The burden falls mostly on the shoulders of the GOP Senators and they are the ones who deserve the wrath of women expressed in the voting booth November 6.
There must be plenty of mid 50 year olds, male and female, who are resurrecting memories of their high school years they experienced in the 1980’s, but  high school out of control preppies  behaving like that in those days were not unique happenings.   The danger is their old attitudes could color their judgment calls and so far Brett Kavanaugh has denied the event ever happened, much less has he expressed any remorse.  By that measure, Donald Trump’s behavior is appalling, having himself admitted to sexual assault well into his latter years, as accusers have charged  and we have  his own attitudes toward grabbing on tape. The critical  problem on the table at this moment, though,  is  how the Republicans in Congress are treating Dr. Ford or will attack her as a person in an attempt to paint her as the guilty party. That has been standard operating procedure by defenders of male misbehavior in the past. The old attitudes prevail in they way GOP Senators  are treating her .  Women of  certain ages are having flashbacks as how their traumas have been treated and how shame and fear they too would not have been  respected or believed if they publicly recounted their own experiences.   That is the reason the #metoo movement has gained so much political traction and the pink pussy  ears have become their symbol.  Add to that, the attempt to overturn Roe v Wade is part of the same general political revolt of women who are no longer willing to tolerate  male patriarchal attitudes or male  control over their bodies  any more.  In short, this is a revolt of women and both issues, how Dr. Ford is respected during this ordeal and how the Supreme Court will act in a woman’s right to choose have landed in the lap of the Kavanaugh nomination.  This is not any nomination, either. If Kavanaugh’s nomination is successful, he will insure his attitudes toward women and their respective rights and power will be reflected as the swing vote in the Court for years to come.
Here is why anger at the GOP Senate should and has  rightly become  the focus:   Once again, a woman’s recounting of a traumatic sexual encounter, an attempted rape, is the same old, same old reaction, pattern of  a group of powerful older males  who close minds as they close ranks. Their attitudes and prejudices were made public. Some already opined  Dr. Ford was just “mixed up “, in advance of any examination of evidence. Some of the same very Senators  had also played a role in the disservice to Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings, including Senate chair of the same Judicial  committee, Chuck Grassley , and Orin Hatch.  Demanding that the committee vote proceed without requiring  testimony under oath of  anyone other than Kavanaugh and Dr Ford, from the male witness, Mark Judge,  to Dr. Ford’s twenty potential witnesses with knowledge of the event, is an outrage.
Dr. Ford is a reluctant witness. She foresaw the ordeal of becoming public. The death threats, email hacking have been an attempt to intimidate her. It also will make it difficult for others to come forward on her behalf , fearing the same treatment..Unless the FBI treats such threats and intimidation as a crime and take action at once, that would also be an outrage.
Donald Trump has begun to change his tune, attacking Dr. Ford himself publicly, and demanding a report of the attempted rape filed contemporaneously if it was so bad. From Yahoo News fact check:  "She was 15 at the time and the incident was not a federal crime". From 77% of sexual assaults go unreported.

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