Flat White

How Ford denied Kavanaugh a defence

4 October 2018

8:56 PM

4 October 2018

8:56 PM

It isn’t that Dr Catherine Blasey Ford’s testimony to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee alleging attempted rape by Judge Brett Kavanaugh was unsubstantiated: it’s the way it was done that has denied Kavanaugh any defence. Even if her life-altering allegations of sexual assault some 36 years ago remain unproven, Kavanuagh is forever damaged. Never mind the extremists who believe women’s allegations no matter what, it’s middle America where his reputation will always be clouded by these events.

Why these allegations are despicable is because they cannot be fact-checked and rebutted by a genuine alibi from Kavanaugh. It’s only by proving his innocence that he could be totally relieved of the burden of the smear. But how can he prove his innocence? Which is why the civilised world operates on the presumption of innocence, whether in court or in any other context.

But in the absence of an alleged time and a place, he is denied any opportunity to offer an alibi. That is the poison in this unforgiveable political ambush, a perversion of natural justice. It could only happen with the indignant power of #MeToo underpinning it.

And the absence of those specifics raises burning questions: Is that just the fatal result of failing ancient memory? Is that perhaps the profile of the discredited process known as recovered memory, a memory manufactured from a foggy past?

Is that why it is like a shard of an event, absent of its context? And is that why it is so fragile and unreliable?

There is a nasty element of the #MeToo movement that publicly declares its reckless abandon of the rule of law, on the basis that ‘what if a few innocent men suffer … they deserve it’. So much for social justice.

Crabwalking away from this accusation in the wake of its unravelling, the Democrats now switch to a different objection to Kavanaugh: his anger at his unprecedented predicament as seen during his testimony, having to defend his innocence against blatant slander. His temperament is clearly not appropriate for a Justice of the Supreme Court, they say.

That opinion ignores the fact that Kavanaugh was not sitting as a judge on a matter of law, but as an accused sexual predator, paraded as good as guilty on the world stage. Women have to be believed, irrespective. It’s #MeToo on steroids.

But steroids can do damage, and in this case the toxicity of a cocktail made from hate-Trump activism and #MeToo hysteria is a fuming cup of bile, lies and horse manure. It is poisoning the very people who made it; the Democrats and the #MeToo movement. They have demeaned themselves, and stand covered in infamy.

Those angry young women screeching tearfully ‘believe her!’ at US politicians in the lift and the restaurant have seriously undermined the legitimacy of #MeToo by trashing the presumption of innocence – when it comes to sexual harassment allegations against men. This event will come to be seen as the moment that #MeToo shot itself in the foot. And the moment that Democrat Senators (and many grassroots Democrats, not least in Hollywood) signalled their disdain for the rule of law and abandoned all personal integrity.

The almost global interconnectedness of the #MeToo movement will ensure that the anarchic tendencies unleashed in this episode will encourage similar rushes to judgement without evidence elsewhere. Like Australia. The land of campus authoritarianism and feral feminism is fertile ground for it. But it is also self defeating, revealing the shallow and childish hysteria that has driven it.

Ford’s supporters cling to their ‘feeling’ that she was credible at the hearing. But so is Meryl Streep when playing a character, without having experienced what her character has. Credibility without evidence is just an assertion. As Christopher Hitchens famously pointed out, that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. And when the allegation is used as a socio-political weapon, democracy is damaged. Democrats may feel that such issues are mere collateral damage. But perhaps they will discover that the weapon they have made explodes in their own hands.

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