The Republican story about Brett Kavanaugh is morphing as the battle over his confirmation unfolds. First pass, he didn’t do it. Then, he doesn’t remember doing it. Then, what difference does it make if he did do it but was only seventeen? Then, somebody who looked like him must have done it. Then, an actual classmate gets proposed as the perp by a pro-Kavanaugh Republican consultant trying to divert attention away from Kavanaugh toward a living, breathing alternative. Then, maybe it happened but it was only really rough horseplay.
Honestly, this is what Supreme Court nominations have come to.
Naming someone randomly as a possible culprit is really low politics. But equally low is Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino’s assertion that what Dr. Blasey describes could just be rough horseplay or boorishness, or The American Conservative editor Rod Dreher’s assertion that what happened at 17 has no relevance today.
That latter argument seems to boil down to the idea that affluent white boys get one or more freebies for attempted rape if they later lead upstanding lives — as far as we know. We certainly don’t treat young men of color that way. They get charged, arrested, sent to prison and then wind up on sex offender registries for the rest of their lives. In the not too distant past, they were lynched at merely the suspicion of looking with lust at a white woman.
I might be willing to give Kavanaugh more understanding if he’d acknowledge his hard drinking high school years, and owned up to all that happened during them before he jumped at the Supreme Court nomination. In her Atlantic article, Caitlin Flanagan talked about what it meant to her for a high school classmate to apologize for his attempt to rape her during those years. With remorse can come forgiveness.
Not much remorse evident in anything Kavanaugh or his supporters are saying. So no forgiveness.