“Words mean things.”
Rush Limbaugh was almost certainly not the first person to say that, but his inclusion of that phrase on a list of “undeniable truths of life” in the early 1990s made it famous among conservatives.
It was a shot against Bill Clinton at the time, but the point is universal: Words hold important meaning, and when adults declare something, it’s supposed to stand. You can’t casually throw out words like you might toss crumbs to birds, temporarily distracting people just long enough to lead them on.
Words mean things. Christine Blasey Ford, however, apparently missed that memo.
A prepared statement released to the media from the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of groping her when he was only 17 years old has paragraph after paragraph of words … but a blatant contradiction near its beginning raises a huge red flag.
The statement is expected to be delivered by Ford as her opening remarks when she finally appears in front of the Senate on Thursday, but news outlets received an advance copy on Wednesday.
In the text, Kavanaugh’s accuser essentially re-tells the same story about an alleged drunken incident at a high school party some 36 years ago that has widely circulated already.
If you’ve been following the controversy, then you already know the holes in her claim. Even she has admitted that her recollection of details from so long ago is hazy at best … but that didn’t stop her from making a very bizarre declaration in her opening statement.
“(T)he details about that night that bring me here today are ones I will never forget,” Blasey Ford’s statement insisted. “They have been seared into my memory and have haunted me episodically as an adult.”
“I will never forget … seared into my memory.” By now you’ve seen the problem: That statement doesn’t match reality. If the last few weeks have revealed anything, it’s that the same woman has forgotten nearly everything about the alleged incident.
Don’t just take our word for it: Her own admissions elsewhere in the very same written statement directly contradict that claim.
“I do not remember all of the details of how that gathering came together,” Blasey Ford acknowledged in the same opening statement.
“I truly wish I could provide detailed answers to all of the questions that have been and will be asked about how I got to the party, where it took place, and so forth. I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t remember as much as I would like to,” she admitted.
Oh. So “I will never forget” has become “I don’t remember … much” in just a few short sentences.
A quick look at all of the well-publicized inconsistencies with her story strongly suggest that the latter statement is far more accurate.
She doesn’t know the location of the alleged incident, and has tossed out at most three names of people who were supposedly witnesses. These details keep changing.
She doesn’t remember when it happened with even vague accuracy. We don’t even know if the year she has named is correct, and there’s solid evidence that Kavanaugh wasn’t at any such party.
Meanwhile, her own recollections have contradicted themselves, and even people that she named as references have gone on the record to say that they don’t remember the alleged incident happening.
What we’re left with is a foggy memory of something happening in the woman’s teenage years, which nobody has been able to verify and which is all but impossible to confirm or disprove.
That by itself isn’t wrong. Ford doesn’t have to be a villain for these allegations to fall flat — she may truly have been impacted by a harsh memory from an incident in the early 1980s. She may even have convinced herself that a boy who became a man who became a well-known judge was to blame.
What is abundantly clear, however, is that she has forgotten far more than she remembers. There are more questions than answers, and that isn’t the basis of a strong case. Nothing she said can be proven, and at the end of the day we still give a presumption of innocence in our society.
Claiming that she “will never forget” details of the incident, while simultaneously forgetting nearly every key detail, does not inspire confidence.
It shows that she has no problem saying words that don’t mesh with reality … and that is the true problem with this entire controversy.
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