Imagine if you’re some random guy who was friends with someone who, decades later, became a nominee for the Supreme Court and ended up in the middle of the gender war vortex. You did things back then that were unseemly and wrote a book about it, admitting that you were a drunk, that you engaged in conduct which, in retrospect, you regret. Not that anyone cared much about you. Until you ended up on the front page.
If you were Mark Judge, would you want to be in the middle of this storm? There’s no upside for Judge. If he came out smelling like a rose, he wouldn’t win any prize. He’s not being nominated for anything. He’s not going to get a talk show out of it, or be asked to give inspirational speeches to groups of kvelling women.
His position is that he has nothing to offer in support of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against him and Brett Kavanaugh. He’s not saying he remembers, and it never happened, although words to that effect appear to have been uttered.
I do not recall the events described in Dr. Ford’s testimony before the US Senate Judiciary Committee today. I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.
Let’s assume, arguendo, that Judge cooperates with the reopened FBI background check and repeats these words verbatim. It can be argued that he does not affirmatively state that Ford’s accusations did not happen, but he forecloses the possibility that they did in his second sentence.
Calls to compel Judge to testify, to repeat these words, aren’t the point. Does any modestly intelligent person believe they are, or that he will break down under the fierce examination by Kamala Harris and, sobbing, exclaim “yes, we did it, Brett did it, Brett tried to rape this poor girl”?
There is a fairly obvious reason why the Democrats on the committee demanded his testimony, beyond the mere fact that he wasn’t going to testify, leaving him an open wound to exploit without any fear that they would be taken up on their challenge and the vapidity of their demand exposed. Mark Judge could offer generalized testimony, without regard to Ford or this particular accusation, about the lifestyle of teenaged Brett Kavanaugh. Judge was the key to Kavanaugh’s drunk debauchery as a teen, if not directly (assuming Judge refuses to state that Kavanaugh was a drunk or engaged in debauchery), by association as Judge’s own book betrays any claim of his own purity.
Judge offers his own personal reasons why testimony would be traumatic, from being a recovering alcoholic to a cancer survivor, from suffering from depression and anxiety, all of which touch on issues that those concerned with progressive concerns deeply appreciate until there is someone they hate enough to ignore every claimed belief they hold dear. Destroying the poster boy for toxic masculinity is more than enough reason to sacrifice Mark Judge for the cause.
Would Judge not be put in the position of invoking his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent before the committee if he had been complicit in the sexual assault of Christine Ford? Of course, but that would be fine, as fodder to undermine Kavanaugh’s denial. After all, no innocent person invokes the Fifth, right? Sure, that used to be the case, but sides have flipped, arguments swapped and each side believes with absolute certainty the position they rejected with absolutely certainty before.
Mark Judge is a red herring in all this, a sacrificial lamb to a sacrificial lamb. If he went public, testified before the committee, his world, which apparently sucks now, would reach new depths of awfulness. Maybe even a depth from which he can’t recover. Who willingly seeks to take a crappy life and make it worse, maybe so bad that it’s no longer worth living?
It’s completely understandable why the Democrats on the committee, and their supporters, want Mark Judge to testify. He might have nothing to offer on Ford, but he could open a window to a sordid youth they could exploit to great advantage. But at least recognize that your tears for Ford come at the sacrifice of Judge, whose life you care nothing about. Wrapping it in pink ribbons doesn’t make the lie any prettier.
Judge has nothing to offer on Ford, whether you believe him or not. He has made that clear “under penalty of felony,” as has become the committee’s fashion to say. That he refuses to do your bidding to open the window into Kavanaugh’s wild childhood of misadventure, if not sexual assault, isn’t about you. It’s about a guy trying to survive who never asked to be part of your war. Not that you care.
Mark Judge will never be able to fade back into the mist. His name will always be tied to this fiasco. This won’t matter to you, as you don’t have to be him, to live his life, to suffer his misery. But to the extent he doesn’t have to cooperate in his further ruination, to elevate his profile and the hatred he’ll suffer for whatever he says short of Kavanaugh is as the rapiest rapist who ever raped, it would be insane for him to do otherwise.
Judge’s life already sucks. Don’t hate him for not allowing you to make his life suck even worse.