In an administration so thoroughly infused with outrage-inspiring corruption and evil that each day eclipses the memory of the past day’s horrors, it can be difficult to remember the scandals of last week, much less the ones that happened six months ago.
The result, rather than the anticipated public breaking point of disgust and impeachment, has wound up being an extended desensitization, a pervasive numbness and sense of powerlessness to achieve justice and retribution for the multiple examples of flagrant wrongdoing in the Trump White House and its Republican circle of enablers.
Take, for example, one of the most polarizing and politically defining fights of the Trump administration, the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to a permanent, lifetime seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. At the time of his hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the tales of Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assaults against women transfixed the nation and pitted progressive opponents of the man benighted by the reactionary Federalist Society conservative judicial mafia against Kavanaugh’s pro-life, anti-women supporters.
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The lost battle over Kavanaugh’s nomination means that his appointment is now a fait accompli. However, the debate over the veracity of the accusations against the privileged preppie predator has not disappeared.
An article in The New York Times this weekend delves back into the controversy by focusing not on the most well known of Kavanaugh’s accusers — Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed that during high school the future SCOTUS Justice “pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes while covering her mouth” — but on Deborah Ramirez, the sheltered Catholic school girl who reportedly encountered a heavily intoxicated Kavanaugh at a Yale University dorm party where he drunkenly “pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it.”
Although Ms. Ramirez’s account of her harassment by the future member of the nation’s highest court was dismissed by the Republican majority both on the Judiciary Committee and in the Senate at the time — due to the shoddy, sham investigation conducted by the FBI and sabotaged by design by a Trump administration that refused to allow the bureau to even interview witnesses who had voluntarily stepped forward to testify about what they witnessed — two New York Times reporters found during a 10-month investigation that ‘Ms. Ramirez’s story could be more fully corroborated.”
According to the investigative reporters’ account:
“During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been “the talk of campus.” Our reporting suggests that it was.”
“At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge. Two of those people were classmates who learned of it just days after the party occurred, suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time,” the Times article relates.
“We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.)”
Offered the opportunity to give his side of the story, Justice Kavanaugh refused to speak to the newspaper’s reporters because they “could not agree on terms for an interview” and declined “to answer our questions about Mr. Stier’s account.” Kavanaugh has previously denied all allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against him.
While there was loose and bitter talk after Kavanaugh’s confirmation that once a Democratic majority took control of the house, he would be investigated after the Trump administration refused to deliver all of the requested documentation from his tenure in the Bush administration that could have proven that he perjured himself during Congressional testimony, once he was seated on the court, the world moved on and the issue was left to wither and die.
Perhaps the latest revelations from the New York Times will renew interest among Congressional Democrats in revisiting their own incomplete investigation into Kavanaugh. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait until a SCOTUS decision reversing a woman’s right to choose their own biological destiny as enshrined in Roe v. Wade for them to suddenly remember the lost opportunity they had to remove a morally unqualified justice from the bench.
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Original reporting by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly at The New York Times.