Christine Blasey Ford, the courageous woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her when they were in high school, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations today.
To anyone who has been paying attention to the GOP’s shameful behavior in recent days, it’s been abundantly clear from the start that Republicans intended to use today as nothing more than an opportunity to discredit and intimidate Ford. They want to ram Kavanaugh through the confirmation process, regardless of whether or not he’s a sexual predator.
The right-wing media machine was waiting in the wings, fangs glistening, as Ford recounted her story, looking for any minor discrepancy or sign of weakness to pounce upon. What they got instead was a brave woman confident in her claims and collected in her demeanor.
Denied the easy target they were hoping for, conservatives have been forced to instead focus on one of the most trivial aspects of this entire scandal and ensuing media circus: Ford’s fear of flying.
Previously, while involved parties were trying to figure out how, when, and if Ford would testify, her lawyers mentioned that she doesn’t like to fly on airplanes and requested a short delay so that she could possibly drive to Washington D.C. In the end, she conquered her fears and decided to fly.
Today, Rachel Mitchell, the Chief of Phoenix’s Special Victims Unit and sex crimes prosecutor in Maricopa County who was brought in to question Ford, zeroed in on Ford’s fear of flying. It was a strange line of question, given that it has nothing to do with the actual allegations against Kavanaugh.
Ford told Mitchell that she was originally hoping the interviewers would come to her for her to give her testimony but realized that was an “unrealistic request.” She said while she had been hoping to avoid getting on an airplane, she was able to overcome her reservations with “the help of some friends.”
Mitchell wasn’t quite done there yet and asked Ford about other times she traveled by plane, including for work and pleasure. Mitchell had a list of Ford’s hobbies, which included surf travel and oceanography, and asked her if she had been to specific destinations. Ford said she had been, and added that it’s easy for her to travel when she knows she’s going on vacation.
If anything Ford’s fear of flying makes her a more credible witness, not less. So important was it her that the world hear her story that she forced herself to face her fear of flying, a fear that was almost certainly exacerbated by the anxiety of knowing that she was traveling in order to share and relive a deeply painful memory.
Right-wing rag The Daily Caller shared a clip of the testimony, perhaps because they think it will provide their rabid readers with one more excuse for attacking Ford.
Despite Dr. Ford's reported fear of flying (which was her excuse for not being able to testify in a timely manner before the Senate Judiciary) she admits she traveled to DC in a plane. pic.twitter.com/suaLy4yguD
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 27, 2018
Donald Trump Jr., a creature pathologically incapable of acting in a manner even vaguely suggesting of empathy or class, took to Twitter to say it was “weird” that Ford has a “selective fear of flying.”
I’m no psychology professor but it does seem weird to me that someone could have a selective fear of flying.
Can’t do it to testify but for vacation, well it’s not a problem at all.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 27, 2018
Of course, little Donny Jr. is not a psychology professor and has no idea what he’s talking about. For that matter, he’s hardly even a man. Twitter rushed to knock him down a peg.
You know how on certain days you found the strength not to cheat on your wife, and on other days you didn’t? It’s like that.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) September 27, 2018
There’s a lot of things you’re not…
A professor. A man. Smart. Honest.
Take a f***ing seat, L’il Mushroom.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) September 27, 2018
I’m no scatologist but I know a piece of shit when I see one.
— Woke Jim Varney (@wokejimvarney) September 27, 2018
I am a psychology professor jackass. It doesn't seem strange at all that putting two fears together (flying+testifying before Congress) makes it overwhelming to do both.
Speaking of phobias, isn't your dad mysophobic & yet still willing to have unprotected sex with porn stars?
— Timothy Verstynen (@tdverstynen) September 27, 2018
Your father is afraid of germs and also paid to have unprotected sex with a porn star. See? Not so hard. https://t.co/QbNAgo1tPQ
— Zach Wahls (@ZachWahls) September 27, 2018
what's great about that Don Jr. tweet is that he meant "I'm no psychology professor" as a dig at Ford but everyone's like "yeah no shit man you're a mushroom with teeth"
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) September 27, 2018
Don Jr is no psychology professor, but he is a chapter in the textbook.
— Alex Baze (@bazecraze) September 27, 2018
Don Jr, you may want to sit this one out. As a reminder, your dad is famous for the "grab em by the pussy" saying and he has been known to peek on teenage beauty contestants, cheat on wives, etc. Your family is definitely not the right family to be defending Kavanauh on this. https://t.co/ztDSLTGp2K
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 27, 2018
Follow Rob Haffey on Twitter.