Allegations of sexual assault aren’t supposed to veer into the darkly comical. That’s generally a sign that things have gone terribly wrong somewhere along the line, or that whoever beholds the process as darkly comical is a twisted individual.
I think I’m on safe ground when I say those finding absurdity in the case of Christine Blasey Ford decidedly aren’t twisted.
In the most bizarre reason why the 51-year-old research psychologist accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her in high school can’t testify before Congress on Monday, Ford has said she cannot attend because she’s afraid of flying.
“The GOP has been told that Ford does not want to fly from her California home to Washington, according to the Republican senator, which means she may need to drive across the country to make the hearing,” Politico reported Friday.
Breaking: Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, says she doesn't want to attend a hearing scheduled for Monday because, in part, she doesn't want to fly. https://t.co/xlgTTlkboM
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 21, 2018
“Ford has reportedly told friends she is uncomfortable in confined spaces, indicating a physical difficulty in making the trip by plane.”
Apparently, planes qualify as “confined spaces” but cars don’t. Makes sense.
The irony here, of course, is that the Senate Judiciary Committee has expressed a willingness to come to her so that Ford doesn’t even have to come to Washington, at least according to public statements made by the committee’s chairman, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
“Five times now we hv granted extension for Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w her desire stated one wk ago that she wants to tell senate her story,” Grassley tweeted.
“Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u.”
Five times now we hv granted extension for Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w her desire stated one wk ago that she wants to tell senate her story Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018
Whether or not that’s accurate, a later Grassley tweet almost certainly was: “With all the extensions we give Dr Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor.”
With all the extensions we give Dr Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018
Grassley’s use of ungrammatical contractions may be questionable, but his appraisal of the situation is certainly sound.
Without remarking on the veracity of Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh, it’s not difficult to see that her case is being used as a blatant delay tactic by the Democrats.
In addition to constantly pushing back Ford’s testimony because making her appear on a certain day represents an “arbitrary deadline,” the Democrats keep insisting on a new FBI background check and investigation. Which raises the question: of what? Ford can’t provide a date (or even a year) or a specific location or anything beyond the vaguest details of an incident alleged to have occurred more than 35 years ago.
Are we supposed to wait for the FBI to investigate every teenage party thrown in the Maryland suburbs in the early 1980s before we hold a confirmation vote? Or is any investigation that lasts until the day after the midterms good enough for the Democrats’ purposes?
Then there are the demands being imposed by Ford’s lawyers. In particular, they seem to want Kavanaugh to testify before she does — in other words, depriving him of any ability to refute the accusations being leveled against him. That’s not just a blatant breach of due process, it’s positively Kafkaesque.
And now we’re being told that we have to wait for Ford to drive across the country because she doesn’t want to fly — even though 11 committee members who aren’t afraid of flying or confined spaces are willing to come to her.
Then again, one gets the feeling that even if all of Ford’s demands were met and the hearing was held in the middle of an open field in the midst of the rolling Northern California landscape, far away from any “confined spaces” or “arbitrary deadlines,” there would still be another reason to delay this. And that’s the entire point.
Not only do Democrats count every day of delay as a win, the time also allows them to build up more attacks against Kavanaugh. The amount of sympathetic media attention the accuser has gotten has been astonishing. MSNBC, for instance, devoted a 12-minute interview to Ford’s sister-in-law who stressed that “she should be thanked for coming forward and it should be investigated fully.”
It’s time to end this absurdity. It isn’t arbitrary to expect someone who has made an accusation to formally defend it. If she will not or cannot, then it’s time to move on to a confirmation vote.
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