Ford’s Dignity Stunned Senate; Kavanaugh’s Anger Stirred It
The accuser transcended Congress’s dysfunction, while the nominee swam straight into it.
From the moment she was sworn in, Christine Blasey Ford’s strength and her vulnerability were both striking. “I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified,” she said. The terror was palpable in a quavering voice as she described the incident which “drastically altered” her life for the worse. Nonetheless, she fought through that terror to relive a harrowing story of violence in a moment of anguish she called her “civic duty.” Welcome to Rabbit Hole.
Credibility: In the days leading up to the hearing, critics of Ford and supporters of the Kavanaugh nomination cast her as a partisan torpedo aimed at sinking Republican hopes of gaining a Supreme Court majority. But time and again Ford appeared utterly guileless and divorced from the political process, testifying that she’d been unaware that she’d need a lawyer while coming forward and then unsure of how to find one. Under at times tough questioning, she wasn’t withholding or combative but rather obliging and forthcoming.
The most haunting exchange of the day came when Ford told the committee of her most vivid memory of the alleged assault. “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter from [Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge] and their having fun at my expense.” As she choked back tears, Ford described “two friends having a really good time with one another” in the midst of the horrific alleged attack that would haunt her for decades.