Another account


Here we go again…another woman, Deborah Ramirez, has stepped forward to testify about Brett Kavanaugh’s drunken behavior at Yale. It’s a story vetted by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, two journalists with a rock-solid reputation.

Will the Republicans finally withdraw this nomination? If they push it through, all they’ll accomplish is to diminish the authority of the Supreme Court still further.

Comments

  1. whheydt says

    Avenatti is claiming to have a third woman with a story to tell about Kavanaugh. Better stick a fork in him to see if he’s done yet because if he isn’t, he soon will be.

  2. says

    Will the Republicans finally withdraw this nomination?

    I think we know from the Roy Moore debacle that there is no limit to their depravity. There could be video of Kavanaugh committing an assault on an unconscious person and the GOP would not care one whit.

  3. whywhywhy says

    This is Trump’s party. So I give it better than 50/50 odds that Kavanaugh nomination will go to a vote.

    The ‘moral’ evangelicals and right-to-lifers won’t accept anything other than pushing to a vote.

  4. rcs619 says

    It’s kind of amazing that they can control the presidency, the house and the senate, and fuck up this bad. Of all the largely-interchangeable conservative judges you could have plugged in, they manage to find one with multiple accusations of sexual assault in his past. This time they can’t even go “He was just a minor” either, as if that mattered.

    I almost can’t believe that no one had any inkling about this during the vetting process. Surely someone had to have heard something about this, even rumors. Or maybe Kavenaugh hid it well enough all this time.

    Either way, the republicans are in an interesting place right now. If they take the time to do the right thing and investigate the claims, then they won’t be able to confirm him until after the November mid-terms. If they lose in the mid-terms as bad as some people hope, then they might have to drop him altogether and potentially nominate a slightly more moderate candidate. Or… they can decide they want to win at all costs and just, force him through. They could still totally force him through if they wanted.

    Going to be interesting indeed, and even more of a reason to vote in November.

  5. John Morales says

    Kavanaugh’s reaction itself is not meet for someone who would be elevated to such stature, and also in itself speaks as to his character and disposition.

    E.g. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/kavanaugh-confirmation/571021/

    Pullquotes (hyperlinks elided):

    […]
    I have known Brett Kavanaugh for a long time—in many different contexts. I am fond of him personally. I think the world of him intellectually. I don’t believe he lied in his Senate testimony. I don’t believe he’s itching to get on the Supreme Court to protect Donald Trump from Robert Mueller. I’m much less afraid of conservative judges than are many of my liberal friends. As recently as a few days ago, I was cheerfully vouching for Kavanaugh’s character.
    […]
    If Kavanaugh were to ask my advice today—and to be clear, he hasn’t done so—I would tell him he almost certainly should have his nomination withdrawn. The circumstances in which he should fight this out are, in my view, extremely limited. I would advise him against letting Senate Republicans ram his nomination through in a fashion that will forever attach an asterisk to his service on the Supreme Court. Assuming she is not impugning him maliciously, Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, deserves better than that. The Court deserves better than that. And Kavanaugh himself, if he is telling the truth about his conduct in high school, deserves better than to be confirmed under circumstances which tens of millions of people will regard, with good reason, as tainted.

  6. robro says

    …they manage to find one with multiple accusations of sexual assault in his past…

    Perhaps it’s harder to find one that doesn’t have multiple accusations of sexual assault in his past than we might think…or wish.

    Michael Avenatti claims he’s in contact with a third woman.

  7. microraptor says

    One thing I’m seeing in multiple places is how much this is apparently backfiring on Republicans: the idea was to get a conservative Supreme Court Judge up before the midterm election, but the reaction has been to give a second wind to Democrat candidates, and more women particularly are saying in polls that they’re planning to turn out for the election. Guess we’ll see how it really goes in another six weeks.

  8. sqlrob says

    If they push it through, all they’ll accomplish is to diminish the authority of the Supreme Court still further.

    As far as they’re concerned, that’s a feature, not a bug.

  9. Owlmirror says

    Perhaps it’s harder to find one that doesn’t have multiple accusations of sexual assault in his past than we might think

    Neil Gorsuch made it to the Supreme Court without any such accusations being raised.

    (This article compares Gorsuch to a “bookish, responsible John-Boy Walton” )

  10. says

    Oh. I am suprised. Really, really, really suprised. Because the pattern so far always is that there is only one accusation and it is proven to be completely fake because no-one corroborates it. Right? /s

    It was just a matter of time before the other shoe drops and there might be so many shoes to drop that the would not fit a centipede. However, I do not think it will matter to your Republican. They will ram him through with force. They do not care about morality, only about power. And why should they care about voters if they manage to hijack the judiciary system, which in turn can allow them to hijack the voting system?

    Those checks and balances do neither check nor balance under Trump. I mean, they never did, but now it is glaringly obvious.

  11. naturalcynic says

    Kavanaugh was probably Trump’s best choice because of his approach to executive power. I expect that now there will a scramble of those on the short list to modify their C.V.s to conform to what Trump expects.
    Even though Kavanaugh might be rejected or withdrawn, the election might not make a difference because the new senators won’t be seated until the new year. The lame-duck session could be a time for much mischief.

  12. unclefrogy says

    @11
    well you may be right at least for today but this ship seems to have hit something and appears to be taking on water how badly we will see next week. I do hope they do force the nominee through though. It is time for all the pretense to fall away and for them to reveal to all their utter bankruptcy.
    we are living in interesting times indeed.
    uncle frogy

  13. says

    Neil Gorsuch made it to the Supreme Court without any such accusations being raised.

    Publicly, anyway. Maybe they’re running low on hush money?

  14. Steve Bruce says

    I’m not sure if this is enough to derail the nomination. Even if a video recording of him doing the assaults would be uncovered, the right would still support him. I mean, wasn’t Bari Weiss out there saying that we shouldn’t judge Kavanaugh based on what he did as a 17 years old? I’m sure they have a plan for all eventualities.

  15. Tualha says

    @13
    Wow, yeah unclefrogy. Let’s reveal how morally bankrupt the GOP is! Because we don’t have anywhere near enough evidence of that already. And all it will cost is another far-right “Justice” on the Supreme Court for 30 or 40 years.

  16. unclefrogy says

    @16
    your reaction I am sure is not unusual in fact that is precisely what I would expect if it is rammed through on the votes alone there needs to be a real sense of outrage from the vast majority of the citizens who mostly do not pay very much attention to what is going on. Most here are very much aware and have been fed up from day one the mass of people not so much and the majority of the GOP seem to be able to ignore the reality and believe the “big reality show” bull shit they are just like the customers / victims of Trump uni. who want and need what was in reality an illusion . and still believe even after the court case has been resolved
    so yes I want them to go ahead and do it and I want trump to fire all those who are resisting him nothing short of that will convince, another reasonable excuse and a resetting in a reasonable way the status quo as has been done before a skirting of disaster, and not going through with the whole ordeal will not fix anything and just postpone the eventual collapse.
    uncle frogy

  17. Saad says

    I have faith they’ll do the right thing. The one thing Republicans will absolutely not stand for is a candidate for high office who has sexually assaulted women.

  18. rydan says

    @1 it is far worse than there being a third woman. Supposedly he would drug women with Mark Judge and then gang rape them.

  19. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “Kavanaugh was probably Trump’s best choice because of his approach to executive power.”

    And because Trump’s good friend Vladimir thought so much of Kavanaugh that he paid off his baseball-related ticket-activity debts, also, too.

  20. garnetstar says

    If they push Kavanaugh though, they’ll diminish the authority of the court, and will probably also manage to lose the Senate.

    In two of the three toss-up races that the Democrats need to win to take control, the democratic candidate is female. One of their Republican opponents has already denounced Ford.

    Remember how Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Joe Donelly (D-IN) won their senate seats in 2012? They were both not favored to win until their Republican opponents came out with “legitmate rape” and “rape pregnancies are gifts from God” statements.

    A new principle of political philosophy was formulated that night: “If you’re a rape apologist, keep it to yourself.” I think we’ll see that it still holds: the GOP is now the party of rape and harassment apologists, and they’ve managed to make that very clear.

    It’s not an equal trade for losing the court for decades, but only the GOP could manage to shoot themselves in the foot in this way.

  21. raven says

    … all they’ll accomplish is to diminish the authority of the Supreme Court still further.

    Huh??? What!!!
    That ship sailed long ago.
    Or rather the USS Supreme Court’s moral, ethical, and political authority ship hit a starboard side reef and sank long ago.

    The Supreme Court has become just another partisan organization in the class war between the 1% and the rest of us.
    Stare Decisis, the principle that precedents have some sort of influence is also dead.
    Roe versus Wade can be overturned easily depending on the court’s members.
    And decades later, could be reinstated again, depending on the court’s membership.

  22. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I … hate… [yes a word I dislike using] how the GOP is so fixed on getting Kavano onto the court and think that this one charge against him can get get shuffled behind him. Their argument of “youthful indiscretion”, and “”every boy does this, right”, also are stupid. I for one want a Supreme Court Justice to be without blemish of any kind, with a rational discourse to present rational arguments for decisions with which I may disagree, and have no stronger objection than simple disagreement. Someone whose written records can be scrutinized to fine detail, and discussed openly. The fact the GOP are preventing examination of his records is quite suspicion they are hiding all the flaws from being seen. His opinions openly recorded on very significant matters are also being overlooked. He has written that presidents should not be held accountable to the Constitution while in office. That is not how I understand the role of the President, The office is defined by the Constitution and the role of each branch is the check the other branches are operating within the Constitution definition of their branch. I think a Justice needs to fulfill that role and hold the President accountable to the Constitution. Maybe he was talking about petty misdemeanors like speeding tickets that the President should be given allowance to violate. Clarify it.
    Before I ramble too far, let me summarize.
    I want the Supreme Court Justice to be held to a very high standard, that very few are able to meet. I do want a Justice to literally be ELITE, with outstanding records of behavior and rational thought behind his decisions. The Lifetime appointment was intended to remove a justice from political obligations, while not literally obligated, this one my experiance a lot of emotional obligation to the party that rammed him into the seat despite all the objections flooding in. [cut] looks like I.m continuing to ramble in the summary that was supposed to be short.
    Thank you for reading my blather

  23. rcs619 says

    @22

    So, it’s actually a really interesting position for them, politically. If they think they’re going to lose badly in the mid-terms, it’d actually be better to go ahead and force him through. “Diminishing the authority of the court” doesn’t really matter. As long as Kavenaugh doesn’t keel over from a stroke or something, he’ll be on the bench for 30 years, doing what he was put there to do. They’ll still have won, and that is what McConnell cares about.

    Now SCOTUS judges can theoretically be impeached, but I believe the charges actually have to be related to their time in office, so Kavenaugh wouldn’t qualify. It would also take some serious flipping of congress by the dems to even be remotely feasible. In all of US history, only one judge was impeached (and not even convicted in the end), and one resigned under threat of impeachment.

    That would be a real bad can of worms to open up in the current political climate though. Rules and norms have broken down, and it’s all about spite and winning at all costs.

  24. weylguy says

    Yet another woman?! Looks like it’s turtles all the way down.

    If Kavanaugh pulls out (no pun intended) then Trump will have to do some fancy dancing to nominate another candidate before the November elections. Jeff Sessions? Roy Moore? Sadly, it’s probably too late for Trump to clone Roland Freisler from the Nazi hanging judge’s existing DNA.

  25. says

    At this point, rubbing the republicans’ noses in their shit isn’t making them any shittier and they’ve already announced that power means more to them than that. All it’s going to do is encourage them to stop pretending and come out in favor of naked power. It’s not going to change their base; that’s what they have been in it for all along.

  26. Marissa van Eck says

    So what do we do? Are we supposed to just let it happen and then pray that the fourth box (the one remaining when the soap, jury, and ballot boxes have failed…) has enough reach to take out the entire GOP? If there’s a revolution in this country ALL our enemies are going to swoop in and take advantage of the chaos…

  27. Owlmirror says

    Neil Gorsuch made it to the Supreme Court without any such accusations being raised.

    Publicly, anyway. Maybe they’re running low on hush money?

    Given how the current political system leaks like a sieve, I would strongly suspect that something about such hush payments would have come out by now.

  28. Owlmirror says

    @1 it is far worse than there being a third woman. Supposedly he would drug women with Mark Judge and then gang rape them.

    If you’re talking about this paragraph, in this article, I note that Kavanaugh and Judge are not named as being the male students, nor does it actually specify “rape” (it looks more like the attempted rape/harassment that Kavanaugh is already accused of). If you have another source, please link.

    Another woman who attended high school in the nineteen-eighties in Montgomery County, Maryland, where Georgetown Prep is located, also refuted Judge’s account of the social scene at the time, sending a letter to Ford’s lawyers saying that she had witnessed boys at parties that included Georgetown Prep students engaging in sexual misconduct. In an interview, the woman, who asked to have her name withheld for fear of political retribution, recalled that male students “would get a female student blind drunk” on what they called “jungle juice”—grain alcohol mixed with Hawaiian Punch—then try to take advantage of her. “It was disgusting,” she said. “They treated women like meat.”

  29. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Owlmirror,

    I think they’re referring to this report.

    The source is Michael Avenatti, so a few grains of salt are probably in order.

  30. thirdmill301 says

    To the extent that I accept the argument that someone who is 53 shouldn’t be judged by the bad choices he made when he was 17, it seems to me that would require at bare minimum that he acknowledge having made the bad choices and having done what he can to make amends. If I were a senator, and if Kavanaugh said something along the following lines:
    “Yes I did it, and it’s inexcusable, and I’m not blaming anyone else for my own choices, and I deeply regret having done it, and I deeply regret the hurt that I caused Dr. Ford, and I apologize to her and her family, and I will happily make any amends that it is possible at this late date to make,”
    I might consider that to be evidence of current good moral character and I might consider voting to confirm. I do believe that those who choose to be better people today than they were yesterday should be encouraged, although I also recognize that
    some bad acts are a permanent bar to certain jobs, and this may well be one of them.
    But the point is, such public repentance at least lays a foundation to have a conversation about the extent to which one’s past should control their present. And there has been no such public repentance. The problem isn’t even so much that he did it, as that he’s still lying about it. That being the case, this nomination cannot be pulled fast enough or, if the White House won’t do the right thing and pull it, the Senate should refuse to even consider him.

  31. petesh says

    @32: I agree.

    However, given where we currently are, what I really want to see is one of the women on the judiciary committee (there are four to choose from) holding Kavanaugh’s nose to the questions he wrote for Starr to ask Bill Clinton (Starr actually did not quite go there). You can find them here:
    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018/aug/20/brett-kavanaugh-bill-clinton-questions-1998-memo-trump
    They are generally in this format: “If X said you [did disgusting thing Y], would she be lying?” I don’t want them rewritten just to make him say that his accusers are lying, I want to see him admit he wrote them and try to justify them. I have a feeling that getting that graphic might sink his nomination.

    To be clear, he is scum.

  32. says

    What’s the other side to this story? I’d recommend conservative Trump critic, John Ziegler’s column:

    https://www.mediaite.com/columnists/ronan-farrow-jumps-the-shark-but-its-kavanaugh-whos-chum-annotating-the-new-yorker-report/

    Some quotes:

    This is what is called the news “hook.” The basis for why the allegation is newsworthy. The standard here used to be a criminal charge or at least a legitimate lawsuit, but now if unnamed partisan political operatives, with a huge self-interest to push a damaging story regardless of its truth, simply get information and say it ought to be looked into further, this now reaches the threshold for publishing?!

    So 35 years after the alleged incident, one which their accuser admits she was drunk, it sure sounds like she had no clear idea what really did or didn’t happen. This is the moment when Farrow and Mayer should have moved on from this story, or at least found numerous corroborating witnesses (spoiler alert: they have none).

    “A classmate of Ramirez’s, who declined to be identified because of the partisan battle over Kavanaugh’s nomination, said that another student told him about the incident either on the night of the party or in the next day or two. The classmate said that he is “one-hundred-per-cent sure” that he was told at the time that Kavanaugh was the student who exposed himself to Ramirez.”

    This ominous-sounding account is actually anonymous 35-year-old hearsay that even The National Enquirer would have a tough time justifying.

    One of Kavanaugh’s roommates is quoted as saying: “Is it believable that she was alone with a wolfy group of guys who thought it was funny to sexually torment a girl like Debbie? Yeah, definitely. Is it believable that Kavanaugh was one of them? Yes.”

    A person with no direct knowledge of the incident (given that he lived with Kavanaugh it sure is really weird that he doesn’t!) says that her story is “believable”? Yeah, that definitely does not meet the standard for being reported in a news outlet, even if the subject matter wasn’t so incredibly politically charged.

    “A third classmate, who Ramirez thought had attended the party, said that she was not present at the incident. The former student, who asked not to be named, said that she also found Ramirez credible.”

    Wait. Yet another anonymous person directly contradicts Ramirez’s story, has no corroborating information, but is allowed to express her opinion that Ramirez is “credible”? This is worse journalism than quoting someone’s mother.

    “I believe it could have happened,” another classmate who knew both Kavanaugh and Ramirez said. Though she was not aware of Kavanaugh being involved in any specific misconduct.”

    I doubt that there has ever in the history of legitimate journalism been anyone who thought it was remotely okay to use the quote “I believe it could have happened” from an anonymous person with absolutely no direct information about something which might have happened 35 years ago where there are no corroborating witnesses.

    This case is all from memory from a third of a century ago. Ziegler interviews memory expert, Elizabeth Loftus, about it:

    https://twitter.com/Zigmanfreud/status/1044258580205957120

  33. Tethys says

    Whatever would we do without bog standard rape apologetics being offered up as “opposing viewpoints” whenever the subject is women coming forward to say they sexually assaulted? Hearsay, she had been drinking, or this particular bit of self-refuting crap.

    The standard here used to be a criminal charge or at least a legitimate lawsuit, but now if unnamed partisan political operatives…

    Attempted rape is criminal, and it is not the victims fault that the law does not prosecute even a fraction of the reported rapes, so that most victims don’t bother reporting an attempted rape. (among other equally legitimate reasons for not talking about something traumatic for decades) Christine Ford and Deborah Rameriz also happen to be their names, so these “unnamed political operatives” are clearly the product of imagination or more likely, erasing the victim because confronting the reality of rape culture honestly is just so hard for the rapier segments of society. Framing his assault as ‘youthful indescretion’ is also far more telling of the true priorities of anyone who defends his nomination. How will society continue if the probable rapists are not put on the Supreme Court?! Oh no, the sky will surely fall!! If they shove it through, I predict the womens march 2.0 and total election annihilation of the GOP come November.

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