The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday advanced Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to a full confirmation vote, but the hearings this week showed that many Vermonters are willing to believe Kavanaugh’s accuser without any evidence or corroboration of her testimony.
After a marathon session Thursday that featured the dual testimony of alleged sexual assault victim Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Vermont’s elected officials appear to be siding with Ford.
Despite no evidence, no witnesses, and vague and inconsistent details of Ford’s recollections from 35 years ago, the “we believe victims” slogan of #MeToo activism has caught on among citizens and politicians who are taking every word of the allegations with little or no questioning.
— ryanmercer1 (@ryanmercer1) September 28, 2018
Vermont politicians, one-by-one, lined up with statements in support of Ford, rejecting the legal concept of presumption of innocence.
“Like many Americans I have been closely following the nomination proceedings and information submitted about Judge Kavanaugh,” Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman wrote in a newsletter to constituents. “As the father of a young daughter I feel today may be one of the most important in our modern history. Let me be clear, I believe survivors.”
He continued, “From what I have heard I can say I am deeply appreciative for the bravery Dr. Ford has shown and the sacrifice she and her family have made on behalf of all survivors of sexual violence.”
Incidentally, other media have noted that Ford’s immediate family has been suspiciously absent from any public support for her story. That’s just one of several problems with Ford’s narrative highlighted in “Eight big problems for Christine Blasey Ford’s story,” written by New York post political commentator Paul Sperry.
Key concerns include that she can’t remember where or when the alleged event occurred, how the party where she met Kavanaugh began, or how she, as a 15-year-old, arrived to the party. Every witness she cited has subsequently refuted her story.
Other concerns include the fact that important details of her story change nearly each time she tells it. As Sperry notes, “Her shrink noted that Ford told her there were ‘four boys’ in the bedroom, not two as she now says. The notes also indicate Ford said she was in her ‘late teens’ when she was assaulted. But Ford now says she may have been only 15.”
Furthermore, sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who was appointed by the Senate to review the allegations against Kavanaugh, told the Judiciary Committee after hearing Ford and Kavanaugh testify that she could not bring this case “anywhere near a courtroom.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News that based on his extensive law experience, he is on Kavanaugh’s side.
“I don’t know what happened to Dr. Ford, but I’ve been a lawyer all my life. I used to do this for a living … (and) you couldn’t get a warrant,” he told Fox show host Sean Hannity.
“She can’t tell you where it happened, when it happened. It’s not he said, she said, it’s she said and they said. All people named said it didn’t happen. And you can’t get the date or the time,” Graham said.
Gov. Phl Scott also weighed in on Ford’s allegation, saying he supports an FBI investigation to find “facts” about a childhood event long in the past that may have no verifiable facts.
“Without those facts, the process should not move forward. And if the Senate confirms Judge Kavanaugh without them, it will cast a dark cloud over the Senate, the Court, and our nation. We are better than this as a country. It is my hope that the Senate will put the morality of our nation ahead of party or ideology,” Scott said in a statement.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, also commented in an NBC News report, calling the unsubstantiated accusations “very serious” and attacking President Trump for casting doubt on Ford’s story.
“Very serious allegations have been made by Dr. Ford and those allegations are going to have to be examined thoroughly,” Sanders said. “I regard it as outrageous, the statement of the President of the United States, dismissing those allegations.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, praised Ford.
“There are millions of victims and survivors out there who’ve been inspired by your courage. … You sharing your story is going to have a lasting, positive impact on so many survivors,” Leahy said to Ford during her testimony Thursday.
As of Friday afternoon, analysts generally said Kavanaugh is on track to be confirmed, perhaps even with some help from Democrats.
Other Vermont leaders took to social media to criticize the way their federal representatives are handling the situation. Vermont GOP Vice Chair Brady Toensing tweeted that the revelation of the allegation was intentionally held to the 11th hour for political purposes.
#vtpoli 2) Dems' intentional delay and press leak made both Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh victims of a sham process and hearing. The Dems’ behavior has been “unacceptable” and disgusting, and has already cast a “dark cloud” over Senate. System should protect both men and women.
— Brady Toensing (@BradyToensing) September 27, 2018
Regular folks also weighed in, saying they are not happy with Leahy’s handling of Judge Kavanaugh, who has served for 12 years on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
— Bert McGert (@mcgert_bert) September 27, 2018
Another Twitter user suggested the Ford debacle will have reverberating implications for the Democrat Party.
The Democratic Party of today is not the one I grew up with. Today's disgusting display by the left at the Kavanaugh hearing is proof of that.
Tribal devotion will still blind most to vote Left here in #vt. Too bad.
— Willi Waizenegger (@w_waizen) September 28, 2018