The media and Democrats were enraged when Brett Kavanaugh warned that their unethical behavior against him might have consequences. They should have listened.
Brett Kavanaugh was a very difficult Supreme Court nominee for liberals to oppose. He had a stellar reputation, an impeccable record, and a genial disposition. While members of the Resistance held a protest on the steps of the Supreme Court minutes after President Trump announced him as the pick to replace retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, their early efforts to keep him off the bench showed little promise.
All that changed in mid-September 2018, when the Washington Post carefully packaged and presented Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh had tried to rape her when she was in high school. The media and Democrats immediately latched onto the accusation in a desperate attempt to keep Kavanaugh from being confirmed.
It wasn’t the quality of the allegation that led to this reaction. Blasey Ford had no evidence she had ever met Kavanaugh, much less that he had tried to rape her. She wasn’t sure about any detail related to the event other than that she had precisely one beer and that Kavanaugh had tried to rape her.
She didn’t know how she got to the alleged event, where it was, how she got home, or whose house it was. None of the four witnesses she identified to reporters as having been at the event in question supported her claim. That included her close friend Leland Keyser, who was pressured by mutual acquaintances to change her testimony that she had no recollection of the event in question. Kavanaugh had an army of close friends and supporters who testified to his character throughout his adolescence and adulthood.
Nevertheless, over the next ten days, thousands of articles were published in newspapers and online while broadcast and cable news outlets devoted their entire schedule to covering the accusation. All hands were on deck to legitimize the allegation, paint the accuser in the most sympathetic light possible, downplay the many problems with her story, and ignore exonerating information. Anybody who supported Kavanaugh, from high school friends to sitting U.S. senators, was subjected to hostile media treatment and accusations of being a rape apologist.
The nation watched in horror as the federal judge, a happily married father of two young girls, was repeatedly called a rapist. MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson called Kavanaugh “the fifth guy in the gang rape.” That was after Michael Avenatti’s client Julie Swetnick claimed, absurdly, that Kavanaugh was the secret leader of a serial gang rape cartel that roamed the streets of suburban Maryland. One reporter admitted that she was trying to spin another murky claim from a Kavanaugh classmate at Yale specifically to show a pattern of misconduct.
It was a terrifying mob, the worst kind of feeding frenzy many Americans had ever witnessed. Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee accepted each claim, no matter how outlandish. After Swetnick’s obviously ridiculous claim, all committee Democrats called for the immediate withdrawal of Kavanaugh’s nomination.
It all culminated with reopened hearings in which Blasey Ford publicly accused Kavanaugh, still with no evidence, and Kavanaugh fought to defend himself. In a lengthy opening statement, he reminded the gathered how they had publicly opposed him from the moment of his nomination, with Schumer saying publicly he would oppose Kavanaugh with everything he’s got. Another senator called Kavanaugh evil and said those who supported him were “complicit in evil.”
I understand the passions of the moment, but I would say to those senators, your words have meaning. Millions of Americans listen carefully to you. Given comments like those, is it any surprise that people have been willing to do anything to make any physical threat against my family, to send any violent e-mail to my wife, to make any kind of allegation against me and against my friends. To blow me up and take me down.
You sowed the wind. For decades to come, I fear that the whole country will reap the whirlwind.
The media and other partisans were enraged by Kavanaugh’s remarks. “Brett Kavanaugh just got remarkably angry — and political,” opined the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake. The New Yorker’s Benjamin Wallace-Wells editorialized that Kavanaugh had given an “Angry, Partisan, Trump-Like Opening Statement.” His successful renunciation of the charges was evidenced by his opponents coalescing around a new talking point that he was too upset at the false accusation he was a serial gang rapist.
The events of the last weeks have proven Kavanaugh right. While even two years ago the media and Democrats may have gotten away with burying the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden, it’s not working now. They have no one to blame but themselves.
It may have seemed necessary to play around with false accusations of serial gang rape to stop a nominee from securing a place on the Supreme Court — or to make sure the justice would always have an “asterisk” next to his name on any abortion decision, as Blasey Ford’s attorney admitted was her client’s goal. But the move has unbelievably serious consequences.
Remember that Biden himself joined the pile-on against Kavanaugh. As Marc Thiessen reminds readers:
Who was cheering them on the whole time? Joe Biden. The former vice president insisted that Ford ‘should be given the benefit of the doubt’ and declared that ‘for a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts.’ He called, through a spokesperson, for ‘thorough and nonpartisan effort to get to the truth, wherever it leads.’ He hailed her testimony as ‘courageous, credible and powerful.’ He even explained away her lack of corroborating witnesses, declaring ‘if, God forbid, you walked out and somebody patted you in the rear end, your boss, or said something to you, how many of you would go report it?’
If the media and Democrats thought that they could get away with their despicable behavior with Kavanaugh and then turn around and attempt to bury a sexual assault allegation against Biden, they were sorely mistaken.
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