Well, here’s where we are, folks: Christine Blasey Ford will testify in an open hearing on Thursday, if Brett Kavanaugh makes it to Thursday. Last night, in the New Yorker, Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow published the account of Deborah Ramirez, detailing an experience in which Kavanaugh allegedly stuck his penis in her face at a dorm party during his college years at Yale. It’s a very well sourced piece from Mayer and Farrow. However, there is no corroboration from anyone in the dorm room at the time, though it is noteworthy that they were the 1) men who were there, and therefore have a reason not to want to admit to it, and 2) some are now the very people who are trying to push Kavanaugh’s confirmation through. Mayer and Farrow did, however, talk to people who specifically remember hearing about the account the night it happened or the day after.
Moreover, it’s becoming ever more clear from the accounts of Kavanaugh’s close friend Mark Judge — who was there during the incident with Christine Blasey Ford — that Kavanaugh was certainly involved in a culture of drinking and sexual assault. According to an ex-girlfriend of Mark Judge, Judge gang raped a drunk girl, though he claims it was consensual (ahem). From the New Yorker:
After seeing Judge’s denial, Elizabeth Rasor, who met Judge at Catholic University and was in a relationship with him for about three years, said that she felt morally obligated to challenge his account that ” ‘no horseplay’ took place at Georgetown Prep with women.” Rasor stressed that “under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t reveal information that was told in confidence,” but, she said, “I can’t stand by and watch him lie.” In an interview with The New Yorker, she said, “Mark told me a very different story.” Rasor recalled that Judge had told her ashamedly of an incident that involved him and other boys taking turns having sex with a drunk woman. Rasor said that Judge seemed to regard it as fully consensual. She said that Judge did not name others involved in the incident, and she has no knowledge that Kavanaugh participated. But Rasor was disturbed by the story and noted that it undercut Judge’s protestations about the sexual innocence of Georgetown Prep.
Meanwhile, Michael Avenatti claims he is representing a third woman who was sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh, who himself has admitted to binge drinking at Yale).
The Republicans, according to Mayer and Farrow’s story, knew of the Ramirez story last week, and nevertheless tried to force the confirmation through as fast as possible (and while Chuck Grassley denies this, it is worth noting that several other outlets apparently had this story, too, but could not find a corroborating witness, though I will note again that the Times was basically asking those in the room to implicate themselves in an incident that would not reflect well on them).
Trump is standing by his man this morning, while other Republicans are casting doubt on her account, calling it politically motivated, as evidenced by the fact that she works for … human rights?
Republicans tearing into Judge Kavanaugh’s latest accuser, noting that while the New Yorker quotes her as “not politically motivated,” she’s a registered Democrat who also “works toward human rights, social justice, and social change.”— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) September 24, 2018
I think this is certainly worth highlighting:
Ramirez spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. And Blasey Ford researched the connection between trauma and depression. That's what these women did with their abuse: turned it into their life's work, to help others. My god.— Sarah Wine-Thyre 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@SarahThyre) September 24, 2018
For what it’s worth, we can add this into the mix: Democrats have taken a 12-point advantage in the latest generic ballot poll, and none of this is going to help the GOP, which is why they’re so adamant about pushing Kavanaugh — the least popular Supreme Court candidate in 30 years — through now, because Democrats may have the votes to block after the midterms. Maybe. And while you might want to cast doubt on the poll results given the outcome of the 2016 election, please do remember that the polls only had Clinton up by 2 points, which is by about how much she won the popular vote.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen this yet, it’s going to make you so fucking angry.
We have since learned, however, that all five women in that panel are Republican operatives, so I don’t know what the hell CNN was thinking, and Anderson Cooper has got some explaining to do.
In unrelated news, the Patriots lost to the Detroit Lions last night, and they are now 1-2.