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Christine Blasey Ford's Senate Testimony, In a Nutshell

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 27, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 27, 2018 |


Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has completed her testimony. Most of you probably watched it, some of you between your fingers. If you did not, here’s how it went in a nutshell: Ford was remarkable.

But I also don’t like this game we play in politics or in the legal system, where we judge the credibility of a witness based on her demeanor or on how she carries herself of what she’s wearing or how she has styled her hair on a particular day. That is both the problem with and the very essence of the jury system in America. When two people get up and tell two different stories, a jury — or in this case, the American public — determines which story is “fact” and which one is a “lie” based on subjective criteria, and for so very long, that subjective criteria has favored wealthy white men.

We haven’t seen Kavanaugh’s testimony yet, because he insisted on going second so he could rebut the allegations, but there’s no scenario in which reasonably minded people wouldn’t believe the account of Christine Blasey Ford. In all the things that matter in determinations of credibility, Christine Blasey Ford was the perfect witness, and while I hate — for the purposes of what’s going on here today — reducing her and her story to a prop in a political play, in that respect, she could not have been more perfect.

But the thing is, she didn’t need to tell her story for us to believe her. We have always believed her. She had to go through this political charade for one reason only: To give Republicans the opportunity to poke holes in her story and/or her credibility.

In that regard, they failed miserably. The female prosecutor who asked questions on behalf of the 11 old white men behind her was ineffective. She tried to discredit the story, and when that failed, she tried to suggest that Ford was politically motivated. That failed, too. After hours of testimony, this is the best that conservatives could come up with:

From a political perspective, most Republicans seem to believe that Ford was credible. Lindsay Graham is furious and feels like he was “ambushed.” Chris Wallace over on Fox News said that this was a disaster for Republicans.

But for a moment, forget the political ramifications of all this. Maybe Kavanaugh is ultimately confirmed, and maybe he is not, but if he is confirmed, it won’t be because Republicans didn’t believe her. It’ll be because they didn’t care, and that’s all we need to know about them.

Either way, for women, for MeToo, for survivors, this was a pretty fucking monumental day.