Ford’s “Dear Chuck” Letter (Update)

Senator Dianne Feinstein didn’t demand a hearing to air Christine Blasey Ford’s significantly belated accusations. She demanded an F.B.I. investigation instead, which would not only serve to delay the confirmation vote for Brett Kavanaugh, perhaps until after the midterm elections when the Democrats could possibly gain a majority in the Senate and pull off a Merrick Garland of their own, but offered the best possibility of making something real out of claims that were not going to stick.

After all, if the FBI came up empty, then the Dems were no worse off than they are now. And if they managed to find some additional corroboration, some witness, someone willing to leap into the fray and say something to add to the mix, they were ahead of the game. But Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley wasn’t having it, although he did, with pressure from his side, agree to hold a hearing to air Ford’s allegations. And Ford’s attorney said she would testify. Until she didn’t.

The letter from Ford’s lawyer to Grassley calls for a “full” FBI investigation, as if it’s a witnesses place to call for anything from the Committee. It then rolls blithely through the regular litany of excuses and rationalizations that have become de rigueur with the #MeToo crowd, carefully crafted to overcome all normal expectations of witnesses, in general, and purported sexual assault “victims,” in particular. The word “purported,” and the quotes around “victim,” are used very deliberately: claiming victimhood isn’t being victim. Believe the facts, not the “victim.”

The letter confirms the bias of the passionate believers, who will latch onto any excuse, no matter how ridiculous, to derail confirmation. But just as the Senate was absolutely wrong to not give Merrick Garland his hearing, his vote, the hearing for Kavanaugh can’t go on forever because a self-proclaimed victim chose to hide when the time was ripe to come forward, and now bizarrely demands an investigation rather than the opportunity to testify she demanded the day before. Is it “too rushed” now? If so, Ford has no one to blame but herself. Tough nuggies.

Will an FBI investigation come up with anything significant? Unlikely, but possible. The bizarre parsing of the statement of Kavanaugh’s alleged co-conspirator, Mark Judge, that he remembers no such thing, as if that inept denial proves it happened, is ludicrous. It isn’t a good denial, but it doesn’t prove the opposite either. So the possibility that others might confirm doubts about Kavanaugh is more than ample reason to investigate. After all, the prize is a life-tenured position on the Supreme Court.

Of course, if there were witnesses out there who had anything useful to add, where are they? Why have they not come forward? The argument is that maybe they don’t want to get involved, maybe they don’t want to be subject to the outrage they might face. This could be the case, but it gets us nowhere. Excuses are easy, but they are not substitutes for facts.

There are always possibilities, arguments, but at some point, process must move forward rather than perpetually spiral in the world of possibilities. Especially grossly belated possibilities. Especially grossly belated possibilities so lacking in substantive facts that the likelihood is that nothing will come of any efforts to ascertain whether a sexual assault happened so long ago that even the year can’t be recalled.

The letter sent to Grassley serves another purpose, one far more likely than delay since there is no reasonable expectation that the investigation demanded, and rejected, by Feinstein will now be done because a potential witness demands it. The letter sets up a litany of plausible excuses for Ford’s refusal to testify. Having bravely proclaimed her willingness to testify, and Grassley having responded that he will give her what she wants, Ford is now caught in a bind of her own bravado.

While Dr. Ford’s life was being turned upside down, you and your staff scheduled a public  hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen U.S. Senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident. The hearing was scheduled for six short days from today and would include interrogation by Senators who appear to have made up their minds that she is “mistaken” and “mixed up.” While no sexual assault survivor should be subjected to such an ordeal, Dr. Ford wants to cooperate with the Committee and with law enforcement officials.

Ford “wants to cooperate,” but “no sexual assault survivor should be subject to such an ordeal”? Witnesses testify or they don’t. This “ordeal” is the American way of airing accusations. Did she think she would be saved by the “believe the victim” mantra of the woke, saved from the burden of scrutiny such that her 35-year-old accusation would, by its mere utterance, be sufficient?

But the real “tell” can be found in the “testify at the same table” phrase. The table may be the same, but the implicit suggestion that she and Kavanaugh will be sitting at the table, side by side, perhaps rubbing elbows, is ridiculous. Of course, the letter doesn’t say so, but then there’s no rational reason to raise it otherwise. The inclusion of this phrase is an act of desperation, throwing anything out there, no matter how inane, to manufacture an excuse to plausibly refuse to do what she claimed she wanted to do the day before.

In a New York Times op-ed, Anita Hill offers some tepid “ground rules” for the committee to hear Ford’s accusations.

Finally, refer to Christine Blasey Ford by her name. She was once anonymous, but no longer is. Dr. Blasey is not simply “Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser.” Dr. Blasey is a human being with a life of her own. She deserves the respect of being addressed and treated as a whole person.

It’s understandable why Hill would say this, as she once sat in the seat that now has Ford’s name on it. But Hill is fundamentally wrong. This isn’t about Ford, or pandering to the feelz of the unduly passionate. This is a hearing about Kavanaugh. Ford is nothing but a witness, like any other witness, against Kavanaugh. If she has something to say, she can say it. If not, then take a vote.

An old man from Nebraska told me I was wrong when I argued that the committee had no choice but to reopen the hearing and air this allegation, since it was now “out there,” even if well past any reasonable time to complain. This hearing would become more of a circus of the absurd than it had already been, and no good would come of it. He may have been prescient. It’s not up to Ford whether she wants to give it a go and be the martyr of the left, killing the Kavanaugh beast, or bluffing. But what won’t work is this letter, trying to give her a graceful exit from her cries of attempted rape. If Ford doesn’t testify, her accusation is dead.

Update: Ford identified Patrick J. Smyth as being present at the party. Smyth, by his lawyer, has advised Grassley and Feinstiein that he has “no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.” To the extent there was anything to investigate before, there’s less now.

30 thoughts on “Ford’s “Dear Chuck” Letter (Update)

  1. DaveL

    I’m curious what exactly they expect the FBI to do here. They’re being asked to determine whether, back in 1982-ish, at a party somewhere in or about Bethesda, Maryland, one teenager groped another. Their only lead is a third party witness who says it never happened. Any physical evidence, if there ever was any, is long gone.

    Reply
    1. SHG Post author

      It largely depends on who Ford can name as being at the party. If she has names, she can give them up. If not, then there’s no one to investigate. Although I suspect what she’s really asking for is the FBI to interview everybody Kavanaugh went to high school, college and law school with to ascertain whether he was just a drunken rapist in general.

      Reply
  2. PseudonymousKid

    Dear Papa,

    Could this be an uber-cynical attempt to tilt the playing field in Ford’s favor? Before golfing, it’s best to let your comrades know about every ache ahead of time, so that you can reference it later and after the ball doesn’t go where it should. Ford has nothing to lose now that she’s built her excuses into the process. No matter what goes wrong, if anything, blame the misogynistic shitlords and their “rushed” proceeding.

    Except no, they really are trying to pull another Garland. They deserve shame if only for not trying something new. Come on, Dems. This is your best shot. Take it.

    Best,
    PK

    Reply
    1. SHG Post author

      It’s possible that this is a “the sun was in my eyes” letter so that afterward, if her testimony comes off horribly and she looks like some loon, she has an excuse.

      Reply
  3. Dan

    “Finally, refer to Christine Blasey Ford by her name. She was once anonymous, but no longer is. Dr. Blasey is not . . .”

    A side issue, no doubt, but how is Christine Blasey Ford “Dr. Blasey”, not “Dr. Ford”?

    Reply
    1. SHG Post author

      According to some, she prefers to be called “Dr. Blasey.” Her lawyer’s letter, however, refers to her as “Dr. Ford.” There is no information available about her preferred pronouns. As for how she prefers to be called, as if this somehow acknowledges her “humanity” as SJWs pretend, I don’t care.

      Reply
  4. Ryan

    Your right, if she doesn’t testify the judge should be confirmed. His reputation will never be restored. She alleges that she ran from the house party and went home. She has told others that the Judge tried to rip off her swim suit. This is pre-cell phone and uber. She was 15 at the time. Unless was driving a car illegally …. how the hell did she get home. Maybe the house was close to hers, but then she should remember where this happened. Maybe she walked to a gas station and called someone to pick her up, that means she walked through suburban Maryland, with its miles of multi-million dollar homes in her swim suit.

    Reply
    1. SHG Post author

      Speculating about why she’s lying is no more valid than speculating about why she’s telling the truth. You ask a fair question, but maybe there’s a good answer. We don’t know. Stick with facts.

      Reply
    1. Wrongway

      Just throwin this out there… (devil’s advocate)
      Isn’t the FBI like one of the most untrustworthy elements of the executive branch right now due to it’s corruption in investigating & the handling of the ‘Hillary Email’ stuff & then turning to ‘Russia+Trump’ ??
      (at least according to some news outlets..)
      And now you trust the FBI when it comes to background checks ??

      With No Disrespect intended, You Can’t Have Both Ways..

      Reply
      1. DaveL

        But he’s not really having it both ways, since the demand being made is explicitly for the FBI to conduct an investigation. Whether you believe the FBI is a paragon of professional law enforcement, or a bunch of corrupt hacks, demanding that they do the same thing a seventh time in the hopes their findings will change is foolish. If their findings were reliable before, there’s no need for another investigation, and if they were unreliable before, they won’t be any more reliable the next time.

        Reply
  5. Hunting Guy

    William J. Brennan Jr., Supreme Court Justice.

    “…debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open and it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”

    Reply
    1. Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk

      Brennan was confirmed almost unanimously. (Only McCarthy voted against him, which is hardly damning.) I’ll bet Brennan would have had a bit more to say about sharp attacks on public officials if his own confirmation process had probed his high school years as a result of an ambush after his hearings had taken place in order to delay a vote on his nomination.

      Reply
  6. B. McLeod

    She carefully crafted her original story to allege that only she, Mark Judge and Kavanaugh were present in the room when the supposed event occurred. Consequently, per her own version of the alleged events, she can have no expectation that an “investigation” would develop “crucial witnesses.” It is inconsistent with her story. Her claims increasingly look like a fabrication and hoax.

    Reply
    1. DaveL

      I wouldn’t say her demand for an investigation is inconsistent with her story. It’s quite possible it’s only inconsistent with her putative motive for that demand, that of establishing the truth of her allegation. It’s possible that her claim is true, but that her demand for an investigation is in fact motivated by a desire to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation, or to uncover some other allegations by others that would serve to derail it.

      Reply
    2. LocoYokel

      IIRC, her “original” story, as recorded in her therapist notes, had 4 males in the room – all unnamed. It morphed into just 2 males when she decided to name Kavanaugh as the primary culprit in her letter.

      Reply
  7. Richard Kopf

    SHG,

    Given the rapid news cycle, we sometimes forget what happened a few days ago (not to mention 36 years ago).

    On Monday (remember Monday?), CNN reported, under this headline ” Lawyer: Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify publicly”, the following

    “Debra Katz, the lawyer for a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, said Monday that her client would be willing to testify in public to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    “The answer is yes,” Katz, who represents Christine Blasey Ford, said on CNN’s ‘New Day.'”

    Eli Watkins, CNN, Updated 9:49 AM ET, Mon September 17, 2018, available at https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/17/politics/debra-katz-christine-blasey-ford-brett-kavanaugh/index.html?iid=EL

    The Professor’s lawyer bluffed. She unequivocally offered her client’s testimony without precondition. It backfired.

    All the best.

    RGK

    PS While I play a misogynist on social media, I like to think that I am not. Indeed, I feel empathy for the Professor as she finds herself in a firestorm that is about to consume her. Her lawyer did her no favours.

    Reply
      1. Richard Kopf

        SHG,

        I apologize if my comment is redundant. But, then again, what do you expect of an old man from Nebraska.

        All the best.

        RGK

        Reply
        1. SHG Post author

          I rely on old men from Nebraska to clarify my needlessly oblique references (which would have included the link if I was more diligent).

          Reply
  8. angrychiatty

    It is irritating to read the glib conclusory claims that this situation is “just like” the Hill/Thomas situation. [Yeah I know Anita Hill wrote that there are “parallels,” but I’m giving her a pass and talking about other journalists who are doing this] The situations are really nothing alike. Anyone who actually watched the hearings would know this.

    Reply
  9. Jake

    It would be great for the party in charge of everything in government if they could get anything done without it turning into a circus these days, but they can’t, because they are not very good at leading. Sucks to be them.

    Anyone wanna play Mario Kart?

    PS- Welcome home!

    Reply
    1. Dan

      I’m pretty sure the “it turning into a circus”, in this case, comes more on the other party. Particularly the part about how, once the hearings are over, a senior Senator of that party decides to release this letter (that she’s had for some time). And once that doesn’t get enough traction, she decides to name the author of that letter.

      But preventing that? Sure: “There will be no committee hearings on Judge Kavanaugh. The full Senate vote is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:00.”

      Reply
  10. Nemo

    Neither side’s playing to win any more; instead, each is playing to ensure that the other loses.

    And both sides are succeeding.

    Regards,

    Nemo

    Reply
  11. Anonymous Coward

    After some reflection, I’ve concluded that the individual most inimical to American freedoms and values is Dianne Feinstein, and also that the win by any means necessary campaign to stop Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation has done far more damage to our laws and society than Judge Kavanaugh could ever do. I hope the Dems are happy, because they will have their tactics turned against them.

    Reply

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