OK, show of hands: Who had Friday in the office pool as the day that President Donald J. Trumpet would finally lose it over Christine Blasey Ford?
With El Presidente, it’s not a case of if but when, because with narcissists, there must always be an audience and someone to blame. So, for the moment, take a seat Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, Michael Cohen, Robert Mueller, Stormy Daniels and kneeling NFL players. FBI, you may want to remain standing – even thought it’s Christine Blasey Ford’s turn in the doghouse.
“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local law enforcement authorities by either her or her loving parents,” Trump tweeted. “I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time and place.”
This angered Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican swing voter who has managed to walk a fine line between her moderate politics and Trumpet, thus far.
OK, another show of hands: Who thinks Trump is one tweet away from losing his Supreme Court appointee?
The smart money still holds that Brett Kavanaugh – who stands accused by Ford of attacking her when she was 15 and he, 17 – will get the job, as Sen Majority Leader “Mitchie” McConnell promised the cons, because when it comes to sexual assault, America – and no doubt the world – has a number of blind spots.
First, most assaulted females – and I would imagine this holds for assaulted males, too – don’t report the crime, for the very reason that they are greeted with Trumpian skepticism – to add to their shame, confusion, guilt and fear. Why didn’t you report it sooner? Why don’t you have physical evidence, like a bashed in face or a dangling arm? Why were you at that event? Why did you go alone? And the famous, what were you wearing?
It’s always the victim’s fault, because it’s easier to quash the victim than confront the attacker. And because women have less power than men. Let’s understand this: Sexual assault, as Susan Brownmiller wrote in 1993 in her groundbreaking book “Against Our Will,” is not about sex, it is about power – the physical power to overwhelm a child or a woman or another man and the sociopolitical power to game the system and get away with it.
Of course, not all assault – sexual or otherwise – is equal. We’ve heard lots from Trump about the Iowa murder of Mollie Tibbetts allegedly by an undocumented immigrant – so much so that her family asked for people to stop using her as the brush to tar all immigrants – but nothing from Trump about another Iowa murder, that of immigrant champion golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena allegedly by a white, homeless, drug-addicted American citizen.
Question, people: Is Celia any less dead? Was she any less a person?
As long as white men are abusing women and, at the same time, controlling their reproductive rights so they can get raped and pregnant, that’s all right. It’s only when it’s the dark, foreign “other” who threatens white male hegemony that we all have to worry. Got it.
That’s also why there’s a great deal of sympathy for Kavanaugh’s 17-year-old self possibly doing a very wrong thing and skepticism for Ford’s 15-year-old self not speaking up about the very wrong thing.
So here’s the really true thing: If Kavanaugh had killed someone in a drunk driving accident and crippled himself, that person would be no less dead and Kavanaugh no less crippled just because it happened when he was 17.
Age doesn’t mitigate certain actions. If it did there would be a statute of limitations on felonies in states like Maryland – where this alleged attack took place – and teenagers wouldn’t be tried as adults in cases of serious crimes.
“The past is the present, isn’t it?” Mary Tyrone says in Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” “It’s the future, too. We all try to lie out of that but life won’t let us.”
“Who we are is who we were,” John Quincy Adams says in the film “Amistad.”
“Fellow citizens,” Abraham Lincoln said, “we cannot escape history.”
We owe it to ourselves to confront what happened between two teenagers in Maryland 36 years ago.
And we owe it to ourselves to confront at long last our ignorance and fear of and contempt for minorities, including the only majority that is treated like a minority – women.
Tags: sexual assault, rape, Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh, Donald J. Trump, Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, Michael Cohen, Bob Mueller, Stormy Daniels, kneeling NFL players. FBI, Mollie Tibbetts, Celia Barquin Arozamena, Susan Brownmiller, “Against Our Will,” “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” Eugene O’Neill, John Quincy Adams, “Amistad,” Abraham Lincoln