Dominic Green Dominic Green

Republicans must drop Kavanaugh before it’s too late

Remember how the Democrats tried to block Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court by dredging up accusations of sexual assault? You don’t, because they didn’t. The Democrats played dirty politics against Gorsuch, but there were no allegations of sexual assault about Gorsuch, because there was no smoke from which to fan a fire. So Democratic attempts to block Gorsuch’s nomination turned on his judicial record. Now consider the considerable amount of smoke summoned by Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

I reckon I might have been the first and only voice in a right-of-centre publication to say that Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Kavanaugh had enough of the ring of truth to render Kavanaugh unsuitable for the Supreme Court. I received a torrent of abuse on Twitter for saying that, almost all of it from men. Now, I expect other voices to arrive at the conclusion that I did, and to admit this in publications that have attacked Blasey Ford. But I suspect that the public will not allow them, or the Republicans, to ‘move on’, as the saying goes, as quickly as they would like to.

The Republicans and almost every other conservative commentator have publicly attacked Blasey Ford as a liar. The same politicians and pundits would have backed far less plausible claims, had they arisen against a Democratic nominee to the Supreme Court. There are legitimate concerns about the accusations against Kavanaugh — the politicising of Supreme Court appointments, the possibility of trial by media — but to only raise these concerns when your team is in trouble is a failure of responsibility. The voters, and women voters especially, will not forget this insult to their intelligence.

Conservatives who claim that her case is a Democratic ‘hit job’ are succumbing to conspiracist fantasies.

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