Jeff Flake’s Spineless Betrayal

Watching the Senate Judiciary Committee’s final vote on Friday, it was hard not to feel sorry for Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). The shrieking and obstreperous women of Hillary Clinton’s “resistance,” bussed in by Democratic Party front organizations for the express purpose of physically confronting and intimidating him, appear to have done their job admirably. Flake was left with the dazed and frightened look of a man expecting a beating from his wife after coming home early and unexpectedly interrupting her romantic rendezvous with the pool boy.

But as hard as it is to resist feeling compassion for a man unnerved in such a pathetic and unmanly manner, we are obliged to make the effort. When there are no children involved, the cuckold hurts only himself; but Jeff Flake’s cowardly and obsequious deference to the delusional mob does serious damage to another man, that man’s wife and children, and our nation.

The main thing is not to let the familiarity induced by the endless repetition of the phrase “All allegations deserve to be heard” by Flake and his GOP colleagues wear away the statement’s manifest stupidity. No matter how many times it gets repeated, there are obviously plenty of allegations that have no place in a public Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. And, indeed, Christine Blasey Ford’s charges against Brett Kavanaugh are a textbook example for demonstrating the idiocy of the mantra that Flake and so many of his colleagues were cowed into mindlessly reciting.

It’s a sorry indication of just how far we’ve regressed towards mob rule that this even needs to be said, but the only allegations that unquestionably deserve to be raised publicly in a senate committee hearing are those that are credible, serious, and made in good faith. And Blasey Ford’s allegations failed on all three counts.

Concerning his accuser’s credibility, as Judge Kavanaugh took pains to repeat to the apparently deaf ears of the committee, every single one of Ford’s own four witnesses deny that anything like the events she described occurred; and if the committee’s GOP members needed a mantra to recite, that’s the one they should have chosen.

Her four witnesses who witnessed nothing include the accuser’s life-long friend, Leland Ingham Keyser, a classmate from the all-girls school Holton-Arms. Keyser denies having any “recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where [Kavanaugh] was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” or even knowing him at all. Moreover, if Keyser has any bias, it’s definitely not toward the honorable Judge. She is, after all, former Democratic political operative and liberal pundit Bob Beckel’s ex-wife and the current executive producer of his podcast. And her only political donation, according to OpenSecrets.org, was to former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.).

On Thursday, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who once infamously and despicably lied about serving in Vietnam, gave philosophers a new version of the liar’s paradox by somehow managing to mutter, through a face so tightened by anaplasty, that one would have scarcely thought speech possible, the Latin for: false in one thing, false in all. If we didn’t know what a revolting specimen of unscrupulousness Blumenthal is, it would be puzzling why he directed his pompous remark to the accused rather than the accuser, since only Ford had been caught in any lies. The globe-trotting professor initially tried to avoid testifying before the committee by risibly pleading a fear of flying, and we can only be thankful that she didn’t blame Kavanaugh for this strange phobia, which didn’t preclude frequent flights to academic conferences and vacations to sundry tropical paradises. Besides undermining her credibility, the impossibility of maintaining such a lie in the internet age also reveals how confident the Democrats are that the corporate press will cover for Ford by making sure the passive zombies who their advertisers view as easy marks never hear about even her most obvious lies.

When the accuser’s own witnesses disconfirm her claims and she’s been caught lying about obvious matters of fact, not only do the allegations fail to have enough credibility to warrant a hearing, they don’t have any credibility whatsoever. Even without Ford’s well-known inconsistencies concerning the number of people present and her initial vagueness as to time and location, that should have been enough for committee chairman Chuck Grassley and his GOP colleagues to tell the Democratic committee members to pound sand when they demanded a hearing.

But, even were Ford’s allegations at all credible, it’s preposterous to suppose that they were serious enough to drag Judge Kavanaugh’s name through the mud at a public hearing. The Republican senators who consented to this circus ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Stripped of her Teflon histrionics and clairvoyant claims about Kavanaugh’s intentions, supposing the events she described did occur, what do we have? She was pawed by Kavanaugh 36 years ago at a teenage drinking party from which she scarcely would have escaped if the two football players, who on her own account made no attempt to pursue her whatsoever, were really out to do her harm. But, even were her charges substantially more serious as well as having more than zero credibility, the fact that the alleged events happened in high school when Kavanaugh wasn’t even 18, together with the series of spotless FBI investigations he’s undergone in his long and very public career and the testimony of hundreds of women to his impeccable character over the intervening period make it reprehensible to publicly reveal these charges and put Kavanaugh through a politically motivated show trial, in which pages from his high school yearbook are blown up as if they were evidence from a rape victim’s forensic exam.

Equally reprehensible was how the GOP’s weak-kneed capitulation kept out of bounds Ford Blasey’s high school yearbook ; which straightforwardly rather than in some secret code that only creepy porn lawyers and Democratic senators can crack, portrays her as a promiscuous drunkard hiring male strippers and preying on younger boys.

Ford’s accusations had zero credibility and weren’t serious enough to justify putting Kavanaugh, his family, and our nation through this monstrous charade. But they were also made in such bad faith that I’d be insulting my audience’s intelligence if I belabored the obvious political motivation behind them. Suffice to say that the Democrats sat on these allegations for months before releasing them to the press at the last minute in an obvious attempt to delay the vote in the hopes that November’s election will yield enough of a shift in the Senate’s balance of power to deny President Trump a pick for the Supreme Court.

Thanks to Lindsey Graham’s outrage at Kavanaugh’s reprehensible treatment and his recognition that things weren’t going well due to the GOP’s cowardly decision to hire prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to do their job—which was political, not legal—the Democrats horrendous bad faith was at least finally mentioned. Even here, though, one wishes Graham’s colleagues had followed his lead and been less mealy-mouthed about the dishonorable behavior of their Democratic colleagues. But, what’s worse is that they didn’t follow his lead on Ford.

Graham paid minimal lip-service to her honesty and suffering, and one could tell that his heart wasn’t really in it. But, rather than using his less than enthusiastic encomiums to her virtuous suffering as a bridge to begin to bring her evident complicity in the Democrats’ repulsive scheme to light, they instead backtracked, with most of them feeling obliged to assert a banal, sickening, and patently absurd moral equivalence between the professor and the judge. Adults really shouldn’t need to be told that, given that he denied what she asserted and its gravity, one of them is a despicable liar and that, given what her own witnesses say, it’s obviously Ford.

I doubt even her fellow members of Hillary Clinton’s resistance would argue that Ford would have come forward if Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy aligned with her neoliberal worldview. And if any were so shameless as to make such a claim, the names of Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Keith Ellison, and Corey Booker (who’s admitted to exactly what Kavanaugh’s been unjustifiably accused of) ought to shut them up.

Christine Blasey Ford, who will soon gain close to $1 million from online funding campaigns run in her name, is the key perpetrator without whom the Democrat’s heinous scheme couldn’t even get off the ground. She is in no way Judge Kavanaugh’s fellow victim, and it was revolting to see her portrayed as such by those who were supposed to be on his side. If they couldn’t summon up the courage to set the record straight, they ought at least to have avoided reinforcing its crookedness.

The Democrats decided to use the same disgraceful plot against Brett Kavanaugh that they tried against Clarence Thomas with the hopes that the reboot would end differently. Unbelievably, the lesson the GOP appears to have learned from Thomas’s ordeal is that successfully stopping the slanderous lies against him from depriving him a place on the Supreme Court wasn’t worth being called mean by the Democrats and their media allies. As a result, they allowed the reputation of an honorable man to be dragged through the mud and it remains to be seen whether Feinstein will manage to make up for the Democrats’ failure to destroy Clarence Thomas. In doing so, the Republican committee members not only betrayed Kavanaugh, they betrayed their voters, their country, and their president.

The Democrats may be unprincipled cretins, but you have to respect them for not lacking courage. Something, sadly, that can’t be said for many of their colleagues from the other side of the aisle.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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