On Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford gave her Senate testimony regarding her sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. She came across as competent and credible, and her performance was, in parts, rather stirring. The whole scene was a win for her and a huge victory for Democrats. Unfortunately, however, it gave us no new information about the alleged incident itself, and all of the same questions, inconsistencies, and logical holes remain. If we are evaluating her testimony rationally and objectively, it was insufficient. If we are evaluating it emotionally, Kavanaugh is guilty as hell. Most people in America will undoubtedly fall into the latter camp.
Through her opening statement and her interactions with the Democrat senators on the committee, Ford retold basically the same story we already read in The Washington Post. Little additional information was provided. She says she remembers with 100% certainty that Kavanaugh assaulted her. She also remembers — and was given the opportunity to mention several times — the “laughter” of Kavanaugh and Judge as they allegedly assaulted her. She remembers the stairwell, she says, and she remembers that the house was sparsely furnished. And that’s basically it.
A number of enormous questions still remain:
1) When did this event happen?
2) Where did it happen?
3) How did she get there?
4) How did she get home?
5) Who else was there?
The last two questions are extremely important. The fourth question because she says she didn’t have a driver’s license at the time. That means someone drove her home. According to her, she rushed out of the house after just being assaulted by two boys. She was afraid she was going to die. She was terrified, traumatized, probably crying. Whoever drove her home should be able to testify to her demeanor and emotional state mere moments after this alleged incident. Yet she cannot give us that name. She remembers rushing out of the house, but, you might say conveniently, she does not remember a single detail after that. It all goes black. That means, if her story is true, there is an extremely crucial witness out there who has not come forward. Where are they? Who are they? And how did she get hold of them to pick her up, given that this was many years before cell phones existed?
The fifth question is important because all of the named people at the party deny that the party ever happened. Was there another party attendee who might remember it? Or did everyone forget it somehow? Also, she says this was a small and quiet gathering. If so, wouldn’t the other members of the party have noticed, and probably heard, the commotion upstairs while Kavanaugh and Judge were assaulting Ford? Wouldn’t they have noticed Ford rushing out of the house afterwards? Wouldn’t they have asked questions? Wouldn’t her girlfriend or girlfriends at the party have noticed that she was upstairs in the bedroom with two drunk boys? Wouldn’t they have asked her about it at school the next day?
All of these questions are unanswered. It is still just a story, sans evidence, sans witnesses, sans critical details. Of course, Republicans had the chance to at least highlight these problems, but they chose to outsource their cross examination to a sex crimes prosecutor. Oddly, the sex crimes prosecutor asked very few questions about the alleged sex crimes, spent almost no time poking holes in the story itself, and instead whittled away almost the entire hearing asking about events from the last three months. And even these lines of questioning were punctuated by five minute campaign speeches from Democrats.
The effect was that three hours of testimony answered no questions and got us no closer to the truth. But they did provide plenty of campaign fodder for Democrats.