It looks like the Republicans are hoping that their rejection of a request for an investigation of Christine Blasey Ford’s claims of attempted rape by Supreme Court nominee and their demand for her written testimony by Friday morning will result in her not attending the hearings. That will enable them to avoid the spectacle of eleven Republican men on the Senate judiciary committee openly expressing skepticism about the claims of a woman that she was sexually assaulted by a man. They are also likely fearful that the longer this process goes, the more likely it is that other damaging revelations will emerge, as is often the case when the dike of silence against a powerful person is breached.
Whether Ford testifies or not is entirely up to her and her wishes must be respected. But the Democrats are not without options if she declines to do so. They could and should make this into a full court press of the Republican war on women, saying over and over again that this naked use of force by the eleven Republican men to shut down the investigation is emblematic of the contempt that the party has for all women.
The Democratic leadership is a somewhat pusillanimous group, very much part of an insiders club that prefers not to make waves . One would have to hope that the junior membership of the judiciary committee will step up and take the lead, especially those who are harboring presidential ambitions. Even those who are not suspected of seeking higher office and have kept a low-profile up to now, such as senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, have recently been making strong statements, to the extent of using unparliamentary language to describe Republican claims.
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) is once again not holding back her thoughts on how the Senate Judiciary Committee is dealing with the recent sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“I would like us to come together and figure out what is the best way to proceed,” Hirono told ABC News on Wednesday evening.
“Not this seat-of-the-pants stuff,” she added. “The latest, being a letter from the chairman to the Democrats saying, ‘We have done everything we can to contact her.’ That is such bullshit, I can’t hardly stand it.”
“I expect the men in this country and the men in this committee … to demand an FBI investigation. But really, guess who’s perpetuating all of these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country,” she said, adding later: “I just want to say to the men in this country, just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change.
Ford deserves to have her accusations get a full investigation. If others follow Hirono’s lead and quickly begin a scorched-Earth policy aimed at discrediting the rushed process of the Republicans, there is a small chance of derailing it. They should paint the Republicans as being like the many people who enabled serial abusers like Harvey Weinstein get away with such behavior for so long because they did not investigate his actions. Given that the party’s leader is Donald Trump who himself has an appalling record of mistreatment of women, that should not be hard to do.