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There Was One Credible Witness on Thursday

Christine Blasey Ford arrives to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (Michael Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP)

This post does a good job of tying together the clear-cut case against Kavanaugh. First, the open-minded umpire just calling balls and strikes — President Trump’s finest hour, his classiest move! — reminded his largest audience yet that he’s a rabid partisan hatchet man:

That, however, does not justify confirming Kavanaugh to a lifelong position on the Supreme Court. He has, for one thing, all but abandoned the posture of impartiality demanded of a judge. A ranting Kavanaugh launched angry, evidence-free charges against Senate Democrats. “The behavior of several of the Democratic members of this committee at my hearing a few weeks ago was an embarrassment. But at least it was just a good old-fashioned attempt at Borking,” he said, using a partisan term invented by Republicans to complain about ideological scrutiny of an extreme judicial nominee. “This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled by pent-up anger over President Trump in the 2016 election.”

Why they took this revenge against Kavanaugh, rather than the first justice who was appointed after the 2016 elections, when Democrats’ anger over both the election and the treatment of Merrick Garland ran hotter, he did not say. Kavanaugh does not seem able to imagine even the possibility that Democrats actually believe the women accusing him of sexual assault. He is consumed with paranoid, partisan rage.

Wow, who would have thought that someone who cut his teeth lighting taxpayer dollars on fire to investigate every nutty Clinton conspiracy theory that came down the pike would act like this?

In a sense, this will serve a useful educational function to liberals about the Court; it’s not like his voting pattern will be any more partisan than Alito’s, even if the latter was more cagey about saying the quiet parts loud.

But, more to the point, Blasey Ford told a credible, coherent story corroborated by past statements (and Kavanaugh’s own calendar!) while, as we’ve discussed, Kavanaugh continues to lie his ass off on subjects large and small:

Kavanaugh deserves due process. So does Christine Blasey Ford. Only one of those people is standing in the way of it.

Why do I believe Kavanaugh is lying? The charges are credible, and his accusers are willing to put themselves at risk, with no apparent gain to bring them to the public. Kavanaugh has said too many things that strain credulity for all them to be plausibly true. He almost certainly lied about having had access to files stolen by Senate Republicans back when he was handling judicial nominations in the Bush administration. His explanation that the “Renate Alumni” was not a sexual reference is difficult to square with a fellow Renate Alumnus’s poem ( “You need a date / and it’s getting late / so don’t hesitate / to call Renate”) portraying her as a cheap date. His insistence “boof” and “devil’s triangle” from his yearbook were references to flatulence and a drinking game drew incredulous responses from people his age who have heard these terms. His claim that the “Beach Week Ralph Club” was a reference to a weak stomach seems highly unlikely.

The accretion of curious details ultimately overwhelms the small possibility that he is a man wronged. The conviction he summoned is the righteous belief of an adult who feels he should not be denied the career reward due to him by the errors of his youth, and who decided from the outset to close the door to that period in his life. Perhaps he believes he has made amends for his cruelty. I see a liar who has the chance to prove his good faith innocence, and has conspicuously refused.

And he lied plenty in his earlier testimony too. For that matter, the first thing he said in public after being in introduced as the nominee was a lie.  He didn’t want Mark Judge, who would strengthen his story if he was telling the truth, to testify.  Kavanaugh is not a remotely credible witness.  Whether the competing testimonies would be enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is debatable. But as to whether we have  enough to establish that he doesn’t merit a promotion to the nation’s highest court, it’s not even a close question. It’s unconscionable that Kavanaugh is overwhelmingly likely to have a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court.

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