She had so much to lose by coming forward.
Yesterday morning, I’m sure I knew on some level that the hearings regarding Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged assault of Christine Blasey Ford were about to begin. But I pushed that out of my mind. I mowed my lawn. I vacuumed. I took a bath and got ready for work. It was a typical day for me. At least that’s what I was allowing myself to pretend.
Driving to work at 2 p.m., I could no longer maintain that comforting level of dissociation. I listen to NPR on my commute, and the hearings were still in full force. By that time, I was listening to an outraged, belligerent Brett Kavanaugh.
I tried to keep an open mind. If I were falsely accused, I’d be furious, too. If people were ruining my reputation on national TV, I’d probably show my a$$ a little, too. And guilty or innocent, I’m willing to concede that the man has been through a lot.
Here’s the thing that I couldn’t ignore. When he was asked if he’d urge the president to allow the FBI to investigate, he refused. If you’re truly innocent, what do you have to hide? Why wouldn’t you allow a bevy of professionally trained law enforcement officers look in to the situation? If you’re innocent, the FBI would help you prove that, without a shadow of a doubt, and then you could waltz into your life-long Supreme Court appointment, vindicated, with nary a bad stench wafting behind your judicial robes.
He talked about a Democratic conspiracy. He talked about the revenge of the Clintons. But he did not want an FBI investigation, which would surely expose those things. True conspiracies are rather easy to expose. Why wouldn’t he be calling for proof? I sure as heck would, if someone were trashing my good name.
As I arrived at work, I knew that I’d have to hear Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony as well. So I pulled up a Youtube video of it, and to my horror, it was more than 4 hours long. But I had to watch it all.
Okay, I admit I fast forwarded through the lunch break, in which the cameras were trained on empty chairs. Same with the 15 minute break. But still. That was a lot of testimony.
I felt obligated to listen, with a critical ear. Fair’s fair. But it was a hard thing to hear.
And after all that I heard, I believe her.
If she were lying, why would she risk exposure by urging further investigation? If she were lying, why would she risk failing a polygraph test (which apparently she cried all the way through for good measure)? She had so much to lose by coming forward. She’s lost her home and her anonymity and her safety. Even if someone were paying her off, it would never be enough.
So as the testimony wore on, I found myself imagining that I was sitting beside her, holding her hand. Because what she did was incredibly brave, and no doubt terrifying. I’m sure millions of women who watched were sitting beside her in spirit, too. Because she was speaking for all of us. #WhyIDidntReport
If the Republicans ram Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination through without further investigation, I think historians will see this as the point when our democracy officially died.
This country is standing on a very dark and ominous precipice. No matter which way this goes, we’re never going to be the same.
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