One thing I didn’t talk about when I wrote about the Kavanaugh-Ford business last week was whether I believed him.
I said I believed her. I still do. It’s entirely possible to be wrong about certain details 30-odd years later, but personally I know exactly who assaulted me on that bed back in 1987. My memory is extremely clear on that. Of course Dr. Ford isn’t me, and it may be that she’s mistaken about who it was who pinned her down at that party. But I doubt it.
Do I believe him that he remembers no such thing happening, that night or any other night? Yep. I believe he’s truthful when he swears he has no memory of such an event.
To my mind the only way this can be true - that they can both be truthful and believable despite the fact that their accounts contradict each other is that he was not sober at the time. I didn’t want to say it last week because a) I don’t know him and b) it’s not really my place to say this sort of stuff because of a). So I didn’t.
But listening to these people talk about him makes me almost sorry I didn’t say it earlier (so does this piece). I find it interesting that people who would remain silent about all those serious allegations of sexual misconduct are incensed at his portrayal of himself as a student to speak out to reporters about the young man they knew back then.
And I find myself wondering: Wouldn’t it be better to admit - like George W. Bush did - that when he was young and stupid he was real good at it but that he’s a changed and better person now that he’s all grown up? It worked for W, certainly. And I’m sure there are lots of people with lots of anecdotes about the former president who’d come out if they thought it was necessary to correct a public narrative they considered not just wrong but offensively so.
Sure, everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Kavanaugh is and was a saint. The high-school version of it, at any rate. But you know, I haven’t been to Georgetown Prep or anything, but back in my day saints were pretty rare. Still are. I was never one myself.
I do think admitting you were a party boy with the antics to match would be a better bet than trying to pretend you were only thinking about your studies and that sports team you were on. Especially if there are plenty of people around who weren’t drinking enough to forget how you behaved when you misbehaved.