Brett Kavanaugh: “It Depends on What the Meaning of the Phrase ‘Sexual Assault’ Is”

When I was a freshman at Amherst, an older guy denied he had sexually assaulted me because he hadn’t ejaculated. He went on to become a prosecutor, though not one promoted to the Supreme Court.

I was reminded of that detail this morning on Democracy Now. As Amy Goodman and I noted there were two striking aspects of Brett Kavanaugh’s interview with Fox News last night. Many people have noted the way Kavanaugh interrupted his wife, Ashley, when Martha MacCallum asked her whether the FBI should investigate.

I was struck more by how Kavanaugh, who believed Bill Clinton should be impeached because he denied having sex because he had not had vaginal intercourse, denied he had sexually assaulted anyone.

KAVANAUGH: We’re talking about an allegation of sexual assault. I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone. I did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years there after. And the girls from the schools I went to and I were friends —

MACCALLUM: So you’re saying that through all these years that are in question, you were a virgin?

KAVANAUGH: That’s correct.

MACCALLUM: Never had sexual intercourse with anyone in high school –


MACCALLUM: – and through what years in college since we’re probing into your personally life here?

KAVANAUGH: Many years after. I’ll leave it at that. [my emphasis]

That is, the man who helped impeach Bill Clinton for a blowjob says he couldn’t have sexually assaulted any of the now-four women who allege he did because he remained a virgin through that entire period.

And having defined vaginal intercourse to be necessary in any sexual assault, Kavanaugh kept repeating the term, sexual assault sexual assault sexual assault sexual assault sexual assault sexual assault sexual assault sexual assault, eight times in the interview.

KAVANAUGH: No. I had never sexually assaulted anyone, not in high school, not ever. I’ve always treated women with dignity and respect.


KAVANAUGH: Correct. I – I never had any sexual or physical activity with Dr, Ford. I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or otherwise—

MACCALLUM: So, where do you think this is coming from? Why would she make this up?

KAVANAUGH: What I know is the truth. And the truth is, I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or otherwise. I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone in some place. But what I know is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or at any time in my life —


KAVANAUGH: I have never sexually assaulted anyone. I was not at the party described. [my emphasis]

Either Brett Kavanaugh is, after all these years, admitting he shouldn’t have impeached Bill Clinton.

Or he’s realizing how convenient word games can be when faced with your own past actions.

146 replies
    • klynn says:

      Just a note…my  “thank you” was from the standpoint of a sexual assault victim appreciating your being willing to go public as a victim. I am so sorry you went through such an awful experience, especially during your first year of college.

      We all deserve to know what his legal and personal understandings and definitions of sexual assault happen to be. Both viewpoints would have him deciding law about women from harmful contexts he may consider normal and acceptable. More importantly, he’s the one going on TV for an interview putting his formative years into a “church” and “virgin”context which now demands the answer to the question, “Please define legally what is sexual assault?”

      BTW, your closing is perfect!
      “Either Brett Kavanaugh is, after all these years, admitting he shouldn’t have impeached Bill Clinton.
      Or he’s realizing how convenient word games can be when faced with your own past actions.”

  1. ApacheTrout says:

    I keep going back to his first statement “This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone” and the use of the qualifier “like that.” My son (15 yr old) and I were talking about this defense and compared it to an allegation by a landowner against a logger:

    land owner: you chopped down my favorite tree with an axe
    logger: This is a completely false allegation. I would never chop down a tree with an axe.

    I think you are on to something with his fixation of the term sexual assault.

  2. Peterr says:

    I agree that the use of “sexual assault” in a way that limits it to intercourse is both wrong as a factual matter and also typical for how far too many (especially on the right) men and women think about both sex and assault.

    I also think Kavanaugh was trying to use this  refrain to preemptively shut down the “Renate Alumni” stuff that is emerging from the darker recesses of the minds of the young men of Georgetown Prep as captured in Kavanaugh’s yearbook. It’s K’s way of saying “I never had sex with Renate” without having to use words that would make casual listeners ask “Who’s Renate and what did they accuse you of doing?”

  3. Drew says:

    There are three elements to Kavanaugh’s mendacity: 1) Straight up lies & misleading evasions when he knows the truth is what he doesn’t want to admit 2) the blindness of the entitlement of upper-class white male privilege, in which he looks past others (in this case female persons) & assumes the typical behaviors of him & his narrow group of peers are right (and therefore “just ordinary stuff guys do” or “not sexual–not assault–not anything anyone should mention”) because it is impertinent for women, poor, or people of color to take exception to their social superiors and 3) Things he cannot recall because of acting during alcoholic blackouts (which he avoids admitting to, but for which significant evidence exists)–for that kind of thing he could easily pass a lie detector test and truthfully say he has no memory. Of course, note that he doesn’t say, “I can’t remember anything about that night, day, week…semester.” but rather “Nothing like that ever happened.”

    • Peterr says:

      In Stassa Edwards’ writeup of this interview at Jezebel, she says this (with emphasis added):

      As with the Ford allegation, Kavanaugh denied the Ramirez allegation reported by the New Yorker this weekend. “I never did any such thing,” Kavanaugh said, characterizing the allegation as “inconceivable.” He again reiterated fairness and character, telling MacCallum, that he wanted a “fair process where I can be heard and defend my integrity.”

      Inconceivable? Paging Inigo Montoya.

  4. rg says:

    ” And the girls from the schools I went to and I were friends-“. I noticed here that Mr K insisted that the allegation is of sexual assault, not attempted rape, which seems perhaps less offensive. But what caught my eye was that the allegation does not come from a girl from one of the schools he attended, but from an all-girls school, while he was attending an all-boys prep school (if I recall correctly). Thus his statement is utterly cunning disinformation and irrelevant.

    • Frank Probst says:

      He’s relying on the fact that he said “schools”, which probably means both Georgetown Prep and Yale.  The fact that there aren’t any girls he went to high school with seems to have gone over the interviewer’s head.  He also kept mentioning the “65 women” who signed the letter supporting him, even though many of them have asked to have their name taken off that letter.  I think he was far too weaselly for his own good, but it doesn’t look like many people have noticed.

  5. AGoodEsq says:

    Longtime reader who finally registered to comment. I greatly appreciate the level and consistency of the content and comments going back so many years.

    Just wanted to say that I would donate good money to any senator who told Kavanaugh that his lack of candor made voting for him “abhorrent to me.” Petard meet hoist.

  6. viget says:

    Speaking of odd behavior that may be a window into his character vis a vis interrupting his wife during the interview — I remember when he was first announced as the nominee by Trump. He was just SO happy for himself, and was all hugging his family and his wife and rubbing their shoulders with a little TOO much enthusiasm, and kept encouraging his daughters to keep smiling. The look on his girls’ faces (especially the eldest) was priceless, it said “OK Dad, great that you’re getting your major award, but honestly I’d rather be any place but here.” I mean, maybe it’s just kids being bored, but I almost though I saw a hint of contempt on her face. I really wonder what it’s like in the Kavenaugh household. Especially since he always touts coaching his girls’ sports teams as his “regular guy credentials.”

    I don’t know, he just doesn’t pass any kind of behavior test. I honestly think he might be worse than Alito on the court.

    • posaune says:

      If K is coaching girls basketball, he needs a Child Protective Clearance.  His clearance should be rescinded.

    • Eureka says:

      I don’t know, he just doesn’t pass any kind of behavior test. I honestly think he might be worse than Alito on the court.

      Agree.  And when he is challenged on apparent lies and responds, whether to SJC or Fox, his face gets this whorl of ~ about to cry/vomit/reactive disgust.  Raises alarms.

  7. seeker says:

    Recently Kavanaugh stated that he was a virgin in high school and for many years afterward. Kavanaugh was clearly speaking to the “base”, whom he and the other Trump conservative republicans have continued to treat as if they are irreparable gullible and inferior beings. Trump, Kavanaugh and the like “know” that they can tell this “base” of supporters that water is naturally purple and they will immediately and into the foreseeable future “know” and respond that, yes water is naturally purple.  “You can believe him (Trump), it’s them others that don’t tell us the truth”. It is shameful how the “Right” plays on the severe naivete of its “followers”. However, it remains the responsibility of everyone who would deserve citizenship in this Republic, to search out facts and truth on all matters that pertain to the health and continued existence of our Democracy.  I would humbly suggest that this begins by turning away from the Fox “news” channel, for your news.

    • Are we really united? says:

      Here what’s puzzling me.

      How a PhD Professor will decide to come forward knowing, if it was proven (either now or later) that she was making the story up, she will risk her life, career, and may be subjected to criminal consequences? Yes, it is hard to remember everything that transpire when you experience a tragedy like that but you remember for sure what remain sculpted in your brain causing your deepest inner sufferings.

      Dr. Ford at some point, way before there was even a hint that Brett K will be considered for the SC, confessed to a professional trying to get help. I don’t know what the circumstances were but she did. She also passed a polygraph test later on. Few witnesses come forward to corroborate her story (the pattern back then), including two additional possible victims. Mark Judge’s ex-girlfriend confessed to statements made by MJ regarding his past taking turns with the boys in high school. All leads point that, at least the lawmakers and representatives of the people, should look into this.

      Of course it’s a credibility test but when you test credibility, you don’t limit yourself to she said/he said. In this case, no matter what the narrative is, your alienation will prevail as it’s showing through the analysis pushed through that this not true and it’s only a tactic to delay BK confirmation and we will plow through it and BK will be confirmed no matter what. That’s not what people elected you to do. People elected you to do the right things. They trusted you making decisions on their behalf under the assumption that you will work for them not for your own political interests.

      The credibility test will require you to interview both and listen to their testimonies with a neutral ear. The credibility test will also require you to:

      1- listen to the new accusers/victims. 2- listen to the witnesses. 3- listen to the health professional Dr. Ford consulted with. 4- listen to the polygraph administrators. 5- Do some home work to track down students of their classes and compile a solid background of the cultural, social and legal environment at the time.

      When you have the complete set of facts and information, then you can run your credibility test. You can’t just hold a hearing to listen to two parties and come back saying: I believe only one of them. Background checks go only as far as your adulthood. Depending on what position you are considered for, some juvenile crime and violations are sometimes excused or not even required to report. Background checks don’t dig for every single person you come across and ask them questions about you. They limit the inquiries to neighbors, close friends and sometimes random people that informally know you and can answer no if you are a criminal but have no knowledge that you were stealing jewelry from your Grand mom’s drawers.

      To be fair in this process, the credibility test should be done to the satisfaction of what a fair person would wanted it to be. There is no rush to overlook your people’s desire for the truth to score a political win. Your decision will affect their life for a lifetime appointment. The decision is theirs not your. If they trust you to make it for them, make is right, fair and square. There is no room for political bias in this one.

      By the way, I am a victim of rape. I may not have an answer for every single question you will ask me from an investigative standpoint but trust me I remember (38 years ago) what happened to this day. I was 11-12. Still weighting on me to this day and still keeping it inside. Never told anyone. Even my parents.

  8. Vern says:

    I think there’s a better than even chance he’s more worried about the “purity cult” lies he’s told his conservative Catholic wife all these years.

  9. Rick says:

    It’s pretty amazing how so many people just have no bullshit radar at all.

    The guy has probably been lying to everyone around him for his entire life. He certainly gambles, and gets very drunk, and (of course) likes women. He just happens to be highly functional, and can maintain a good life despite.

    And these qualities are almost certainly why he was chosen for the job. He has a giant blackmail + bribe target on his back.

  10. Tracy says:

    Hi, Marcy, thanks for that chat on Democracy Now – I enjoyed it! Helps put into perspective the crazy day and the times we are having.

    I wish we had a crystal ball, it would do my nervous system a lot of good – too many hours, in which too much can happen, till Thursday – and then there’s Thursday!! :-O

  11. Thomas M says:

    I would like to wonder out loud…. according to Dr. Ford, before the attempted rape took place, she was forcefully abducted by two young men and thrown into a bedroom, the doors were then locked.

    Where I come from, forcefully abducting a child, is considered serious.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Oh, my.  Lord Jeffery Amherst’s eponymous college in mid-Massachusetts.  Its athletic teams are referred to as the Lord Jeffs.  The commentator obviously favors that less well-regarded liberal arts college in Williamstown, western Massachusetts.

        No access to the likker cabinet for the rest of the day.  Not even if Trump and Pence resign (well, maybe).

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Ms. Wheel rather famously graduated from Amherst, where she played rugby.  (She then eschewed graduate studies at the Ann Arbor of Massachusetts and graduated from the real thing in Michigan.)

          I suspect that bmaz is steeped in that history, and may just have had a long day.

  12. Manqueman says:

    Insofar as there’s anything funny here, it’s funny Kavanaugh’s behavior’s almost the least of things. His record as a jurist is pretty bad, certainly not SCOTUS worthy. Of course, his work as a party hack is something else and apparently no one serves a court of law better than someone who would always put party over the law.

  13. Tracy says:

    Stephen Kantrowitz, who attended Yale w/ Kavanaugh, said on Twitter Tues morning that K had lied about being an virgin in HS and into college (picked up by Philadelphia Inquirer).

    Also, reported yesterday, James Roche, a Yale roommate, said he “was a notably heavy drinker, even by the standards of the time, and that he became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk.”

    Also, Murkowski told CNN’s Manu Raju that she backs an FBI investigation.

    • Tracy says:

      Kantrowitz on Twitter: “Perhaps Brett Kavanaugh was a virgin for many years after high school. But he claimed otherwise in a conversation with me during our freshman year in Lawrence Hall at Yale, in the living room of my suite.”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Lying about sex and alcohol is as common as rain in Spring.  But it begs the question, to paraphrase Sir Wilfrid Robarts, was Mr. Kavanaugh lying then, is he lying now, or is he not a chronic and habitual LIAR?

      From the perspective of appointing him to the Supreme Court, casual and habitual Trumpian lying ought to make his nomination a dead letter.  And unless the Dems acquire overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress, Mr. Kavanaugh can look forward to decades of sitting on the second most powerful court in America.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      ‘Boots and shoes under the sea,’ the Gryphon went on in a deep voice, ‘are done with a whiting. Now you know.’

      ‘And what are they made of?’ Alice asked in a tone of great curiosity.

      ‘Soles and eels, of course,’ the Gryphon replied rather impatiently: ‘any shrimp could have told you that.’

      ‘If I’d been the whiting,’ said Alice, whose thoughts were still running on the song, ‘I’d have said to the porpoise, “Keep back, please: we don’t want you with us!”‘

      ‘They were obliged to have him with them,’ the Mock Turtle said: ‘no wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.’

      ‘Wouldn’t it really?’ said Alice in a tone of great surprise.

      ‘Of course not,’ said the Mock Turtle: ‘why, if a fish came to me, and told me he was going a journey, I should say “With what porpoise?”‘

      ‘Don’t you mean “purpose”?’ said Alice.

      ‘I mean what I say,’ the Mock Turtle replied in an offended tone. And the Gryphon added ‘Come, let’s hear some of your adventures.’

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mr. Kavanaugh says to the media, not under oath, before Congress or a federal investigator, that he never sexually assaulted anyone, and that he did not have “sex” in high school or for “many years” thereafter.  (“Many” being “a large but indefinite number.”)

    Let’s look at the context.  This is a well-to-do high flying Catholic boy, living in one of America’s richest suburbs.  An only child to ambitious overachieving parents.  A big guy, a high school football letterman and captain of his basketball team.  A top student, bound for the Ivy League, attending a small elite school, where he would have socialized with girls from other private high schools.

    It was the 1980s greed-is-good, bonfire of the vanities era, where Bob Clark’s American teen sex film, Porky’s, was the fifth highest grossing film of 1982, the year Brett Kavanaugh was a high school senior.

    It was a post-antibiotic America, on the cusp of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  Rumor still had it that having an STD was not fatal, only embarrassing, and generally something that happened to someone else, like getting pregnant, because having sex, however defined, was an expected rite of passage, but birth control was right out.

    I’ll bet Brett’s favorite pet is his Babe the Blue Ox.

    • Peterr says:

      If you want to talk about films in this context, 1978 (right before K’s freshman year) saw the release of Animal House.

      Kavanaugh and his classmates seem to have tried to emulate the alcohol consumption and attitude toward women of the Deltas, but in their entitled little hearts they know they are truly the rightful heirs of Greg Marmalard, Douglas Niedermeyer, and Dean Wormer.

  15. oldoilfieldhand says:

    I’m sorry that you too were a victim of sexual assault. I am sorry that men all over this country and the rest of the world were not taught to respect women, children and the elderly, or have ignored their teachers.
    Men, especially the religiously educated, must know that they are the introductory model in the Judeau-Christian belief system espoused in the Bible, and are, therefore, logically inferior to women, the finished product in that same Judeau-Christian belief system.
    Thank you for your thoughtful insight and blistering humor! Keep up the good work Doc!

    • Bob Conyers says:

      That opening was unhappy news. I have heard from a couple of women I knew at prestigous NE colleges about cases of sexual assault involving other students, and as I think back, there are at least a couple of others I suspect happened. The colleges were evidently not supportive, and the women were largely left on their own to deal with what happened. It’s a really rotten part of our history.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        And still very much with us.  Colleges go to great lengths to have good numbers on all fronts in order to compete for the best students.  A high rate of rape would be a definite financial and academic rating liability.  And so it goes.

  16. Shangela Merkel says:

    Longtime lurker, first-time commenter… I’m completely convinced now that this whole saga goes right through Mark Judge. If he’s compelled to testify, all of the Georgetown Perps’ hijinks become matters of public record, and it will become impossible for Kavanaugh to deny his complicity in the predatory culture of this group, whether or not Republican senators can profess to be convinced that he wasn’t at a particular party. The spectacle of Judge admitting to (or evading) a laundry list of the grotesque abuses that were considered laughing matters in 1982 will play just as badly as Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley teeing off on an obviously-credible Dr. Ford would.

  17. AitchD says:

    “… an older guy denied he had sexually assaulted me because he hadn’t ejaculated.” Is that mansplaining or no harm/no foul?

    GENERAL JACK D. RIPPER: I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women uh… women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I, uh… I do not avoid women, Mandrake.


    GENERAL JACK D. RIPPER: But I… I do deny them my essence.

  18. bk says:

    In the real world, a person like Kavanaugh would be denied appointment to the Supreme Court, removed from the bench, disbarred, prosecuted for perjury, convicted, and given a long stiff penal sentence.  But we are not in the real world anymore.

  19. Philip Rhodes says:

    My favorite part of the interview was when McCollum asked the Kavanaughs if they had ever (paraphrasing) looked at each other and asked whether going through this was worth it. Brett, without pausing to LOOK at his wife, answered I this, I that, etc.
    nothing about we. As he was answering, she had a facial expression that seemed to me to indicate some displeasure but who knows …

    • Trip says:

      It’s hard to tell with her. I noticed her resting position looks like a side-eye. So when she’s giving an actual side-eye, who knows?

        • Trip says:

          I actually didn’t intend to insult her, on any level. I was making an observation because initially I saw a photo where I thought she was side-eyeing. But then I looked at other photos and it could be the angle and whatnot, but she persistently appears to be doing it. (maybe she is).

          At any rate, I have sympathy for her, but especially for their daughters. The Mrs might have been unaware of this past, but the little girls are losing innocence in the blink of an eye, and with the entire world watching. That makes me deeply saddened for them.

  20. thund3rbolt says:

    Just the mere fact that anyone in today’s day and age would place the emphasis on intercourse as being a description of sex is incredulous to me. Sex by nature is many things to many different people but to simplify; ANY act between one or more people for the purpose of sexual pleasure is considered sex. I’m not only positive that pushing someone to a bed and dry humping them fits the definition of a sexual act but in doing so without their consent is in fact a sexual assault. His claims about not having actual penetration during his high school years could very well be true …but it has noting to do whatsoever with the question of wether he sexually assaulted anyone during those years. It’s just smoke and mirrors. 

  21. Watson says:

    I gotta think that if Jesuit-run Georgetown Prep had been a Muslim school, we’d be hearing a lot of I-told-you-so’s about the inherent evil of the Islamic faith, people, and institutions.

    • posaune says:

      Can’t help but wonder if there could be an investigation of Georgetown Prep.  Or if MD has initiated any investigations in response to PA’s grand jury findings.    I’ll bet Cardinal Wuerl would make a few calls to the SJC to suggest finding another candidate.

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Regarding Kavanaugh’s hypocrisy, at least he learned from the best.

    Regarding that older man around Amherst, virtual apologies.

  23. Frank Probst says:

    I know I keep harping on this, but it happened again last night.  Dr Blasey Ford has said she doesn’t remember when or where the party occurred.  Last night, Kavanaugh gave the approximate location of the house where it happened.  This is now the 3rd time he’s implied that he knows the time or location of this particular party, even though Blasey Ford cannot recall that information.

  24. Bill Durbin says:

    I appreciate our intense preoccupation with the Supreme Court nomination, but I’m puzzled that there has been no reference to Jane Meyer’s lengthy piece in The New Yorker detailing the fact that Russia handed the election to Trump. I can’t wait for your reaction, Marcy.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Mayer’s story about Prof. Jamieson, the Penn researcher who concludes by a preponderance of the evidence that the Russians in fact conspired to and did throw the election to Trump is a good one. It is not without its critics, but Mayer’s is a solid piece of work. It bolsters a similar conclusion from the Senate.

      But I don’t think any other site can hold a candle to this one in its coverage of the Russian election interference story, whether it be ConFraud US, obstruction, or the many financial crimes that might be independent of or associated with either.

  25. cwradio says:

    It must be hard on an old jock/fratboy like el Barto to admit he was a virgin all through college; he must be getting a lot snarky e-mails from his buds in the T&C club these days.

    I believe he’s, for once, telling the truth about being a virgin, given his drunken social skills, although certainly not for a lack of trying.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bragging is often a substitute for experience, especially regarding matters of sex.  But to go back to the basic point, virginity is irrelevant to all manner of sex crimes.

    • Peterr says:

      For that matter, EoH, sex is virtually irrelevant to all manner of sex crimes. They’re not so much about sex as about power and imposing your will on someone in the most intimately manner possible.

      Power? Imposing your will?

      Which brings us back to the basic point indeed.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Indeed.  Power, dominance, and ambition, with a thin veneer of saintly sheen, pursued, like Dick Cheney, through promoting one’s patron.  The odds he was born, bred, and wed inside the Beltway bubble seem pretty good.

  27. joejoejoe says:

    Somebody (crowdsource, open thread?) should build timelines of the relevant Maryland and Massachusetts sex crime laws and terms.

    What Kavanagaugh is accused of (a violent sexual act, not vaginal intercourse, without consent) by Prof. Ford would be called “first degree sexual offense” under current Maryland law. I don’t know what it was called in the 1980s.

  28. Kim Kaufman says:

    “Many people have noted the way Kavanaugh interrupted his wife, Ashley, when Martha MacCallum asked her whether the FBI should investigate.” Well, Marcy’s the only one I’ve heard say it. I would like to see that section but cannot bear to watch the whole thing. But it is a super tell – although not surprising.

    I think it is completely bizarre that he was a virgin into at least his 20s, maybe longer. He never had a girlfriend? Not one woman has stepped up to say that. How much of a freak is this guy?

    • Rayne says:

      Not the only person who noted Kavanaugh shutting down his wife. I’ve seen many women comment on it in my Twitter timeline this morning and they were universally offended. If he’ll do that to his partner in life, what would he do to Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor?

      I can’t bring myself to watch that lying asshole — as if I needed more evidence of white male patriarchy’s entitlement and rape culture.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Another Ross Douthat wannabe.  Mr. Kavanaugh appears to be a serial liar.  That does not make me want to believe his description of his early sex/romantic life, let alone when he claims it became more than unilateral.

      But he does seem self-obsessed, obsessively and narrowly driven, and lacking in respect for women.  That suggests that there might once have been a big difference for him between having sex and having a relationship.

  29. Curveball says:

    The virginity claim was a particularly bold and curious gambit. He and his crews lived to get drunk and get laid, high school and college. Of course getting beer was easier, but I can’t imagine Kavanaugh never getting laid in a willing, consensual situation (never mind, for now, strong-arm sex) during all those years of sexually charged braggadocio and posturing. So what he did yesterday was bank on some credible woman not coming forward to say, “Hey, wait a minute. I did him during beach week 1981 in the outdoor shower. I forget if it was Thursday or Friday. ” Very risky.

    • cwradio says:

      I doubt he ever had consensual sex until after college; in a small community everyone knows the reputations of the jock assholes who like to brag about their sexual exploits. No woman who had the brains to go to college would risk being called a “slut” for associating with a gropey frat boy.

      Barto didn’t get laid until he became a corporate insider in a big city.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I don’t think your comment accurately reflects the variety of experiences to be found in campus life in America.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      More precisely, “I did not attempt to force her/them to have sexual relations with me, assuming that my voluminous intake of alcohol did not prevent that from taking place.”

      While it’s fun to point out the obvious holes in the Swiss cheese of Kavanaugh’s claims, we might keep our eyes on the job he wants, and on what Trump’s minders will do to put someone in that slot who will be as or more committed to their cause than Brett Kavanaugh.  Even if he fails the confirmation process, K could still have two or three decades to bend the jurisprudence of the second most powerful court in America, bending a lot of lives in the process.

      • Eureka says:

        Even if he fails the confirmation process, K could still have two or three decades to bend the jurisprudence of the second most powerful court in America, bending a lot of lives in the process.

        Would nothing come of these allegations as regards his current job?  Period, or because of the current officeholders?  I had been wondering if they were just going hard in the face of the allegations so as to not help point to a problem with him that needs follow-up.

  30. JD12 says:

    Either Brett Kavanaugh is, after all these years, admitting he shouldn’t have impeached Bill Clinton.
    Or he’s realizing how convenient word games can be when faced with your own past actions.

    It’s probably the latter. People rationalize things and lie to themselves as a defense mechanism. As a judge, Kavanaugh isn’t thinking in terms of right or wrong; he’s thinking of innocence and guilt as legal concepts and is defending himself in those terms. (Not all judges would do this, but he is.)

    He wants the people judging him to be the Senators, but he wants courtroom standards to be applied. He also wants any evidence to be approved by the GOP majority. That’s what he means by “fair process.”

  31. Erin McJ says:

    The claim that he was a virgin through high school struck me as such a non sequitur. Perhaps it should be taken as a reminder that Christian sexual morality mostly ignores the consent of the participants and privileges the consent of the community.

  32. joejoejoe says:

    Below is the sexual offense definition in Maryland law today. If you parse Kavanaugh’s “I never sexually assaulted anyone” using current Maryland law — there is no crime of sexual assault in Maryland. In Maryland, they have Rape and Sexual Offense in the state code.

    (a) A person may not:
    (1) engage in a sexual act with another by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other; and
    (2) (i) employ or display a dangerous weapon, or a physical object that the victim reasonably believes is a dangerous weapon;
    (ii) suffocate, strangle, disfigure, or inflict serious physical injury on the victim or another in the course of committing the crime;
    (iii) threaten, or place the victim in fear, that the victim, or an individual known to the victim, imminently will be subject to death, suffocation, strangulation, disfigurement, serious physical injury, or kidnapping;
    (iv) commit the crime while aided and abetted by another; or
    (v) commit the crime in connection with a burglary in the first, second, or third degree.
    (b) A person may not violate subsection (a) of this section while also violating § 3–503(a)(2) of this title involving a victim who is a child under the age of 16 years.
    (c) A person 18 years of age or older may not violate subsection (a) of this section involving a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years.
    (d) (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of the felony of sexual offense in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life.
    (2) A person who violates subsection (b) of this section is guilty of the felony of sexual offense in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life without the possibility of parole.
    (3) A person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section is guilty of the felony of sexual offense in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life without the possibility of parole if the defendant was previously convicted of violating this section or § 3–303 of this subtitle.

    • Frank Probst says:

      Not clear on the statue of limitations.  Right now, there isn’t one in Maryland for sex crimes.  The Montgomery County Sentinel has reported that an anonymous witness (not a victim) has come to the Montgomery County PD to report a crime, but the Montgomery County PD has said that they will only investigate if there is a formal complaint from a victim.  The Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney has also said he’d direct the MCPD to investigate if there was a formal complaint from a victim, which seems to imply that a sex crime in the early 1980s would still be prosecutable.  The Sentinel has updated its original article at least twice, and they aren’t backing down from their original report, so my WAG is that the witness came forward, identified a victim by name, and the MCPD are trying to determine–as discreetly as possible–whether or not this person wants to file a formal complaint.  (IANAL, YMMV, etc, etc, etc)

  33. Sagittarian says:

    Off topic a bit — the whole matter of Brett K’s long running relationship to the fallen from grace Judge Kozinski, whose computer was full of pornographic material that he shared with female subordinates and pals in person and via email. Kavanaugh’s denied any knowledge of his mentor’s activities. I believe this will come back to haunt him, bigly.

  34. Frank Probst says:

    Um, you’ve hired a female attorney to question Dr Blasey Ford, but you won’t reveal her identity? Sorry, Mitch, but Blasey Ford’s attorneys should tell you to shove that idea up your ass. If the committee wants to question her, then the committee should question her. If you want some unknown attorney to do it, you should have asked Trump to bring in the FBI.

    • Wm. Boyce says:

      I’m not an attorney, but I couldn’t agree more w/the poster. If I were her attorney, I’d have her announce to the panel that she will only take questions from senators. Fuck their “procedure.”

  35. Peterr says:

    This is probably not the kind of support Brett Kavanaugh was looking for:

    Shortly after Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for sexual assault and taken away in handcuffs, his spokesperson Andrew Wyatt told reporters that Cosby — along with embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — was the victim of a “sex war.”

    “What is going on in Washington today with Judge Kavanaugh is part of that sex war that Judge [Steven] O’Neill and his wife are a part of,” Wyatt said, referring to the judge who oversaw Cosby’s trial. . . .

    • Eureka says:

      Yes, I laughed at that press conference because Coz’ PR guy had next included the persecution of Jesus, then walked it back.  Leaving behind the perfect pair.

      • Eureka says:

        For the record, less amusing was the part before all this where he called up white women persecuting black men, never mind that Cosby picked his victims, many of whom are black, and that Constand herself identifies as black.

  36. Tracy says:

    Bmaz, what can you tell us about Rachel Mitchell, and do you believe that Ford should go ahead and testify if Mitchell will be the prosecutor?

    • Frank Probst says:

      She should walk away.  Schedule a press conference for the time that she was supposed to testify, and then explain that she decided not to testify to the committee because the committee wouldn’t be asking the questions.  Or have a mock hearing in another room where only members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (or even the whole Senate) can ask questions, and get the Dem Senators to question her.  Invite Susan Collins, Bob Corker, and Lisa Murkowski to ask her any lingering questions that they’re pretending to have.  McConnell and Grassley don’t have as much leverage as they seem to think they do here. The committee is already refusing to hear from the second victim.  There is reportedly a third one coming out tomorrow.  Let them all sit together and answer any questions that the Senators–and only the Senators–have to ask of them.  And say that if the Senate wants outside investigators to question them, they’d be happy to speak to the FBI, not some random prosecutor who was probably pals Joe Arpaio.

    • Peterr says:

      His tweets are rather . . . prickly.

      You Have To Be Fucking Kidding Me?!?! This is insane. There could not be a further insult and dump to be taken on putative Kavanaugh victims. Unbelievable.


      Rachel Mitchell is just shit on prosecutorial wheels. Hiring her to cut up victims like Dr. Ford is one of the grossest things imaginable. This is just beyond sick.


      This is actually being extremely charitable as to Mitchell

      HENTOFF LAW OFFICE@Nick_Hentoff

      Replying to @PhilPerspective @BuffyBlogs @bmaz

      I knew her when she was a brand new prosecutor 20 years ago. Prosecutors in AZ have limited trial skills and can barely get past “So, what happened next, officer.” They have lousy training, no imagination and rely on mandatory sentencing to avoid trial.

      Ouch. And finally (at least for the moment):

      Who in the GOP SJC picked Rachel Mitchell? Seriously, this is nuts and geometrically beyond cynical. It is cruel, asinine and insulting affront to the putative victim, Dr. Ford. It’s hard to see this as anything more than the most heinous FU to Dr. Ford imaginable. True sickness

  37. orionATL says:

    i am so sorry you had that experience, emptywheel. what a hurtful thing to have happen in a freshman year full of excitement about a new learning and living experience.


  38. Trip says:

    Can the Democrats designate one single person to ask questions of Kavanaugh, since the Republicans are doing that with Ford? It seems to me that pooling questions would limit repeats, and also allow for continuity and immediate follow-up by that one person. Giving the senators only 5 minutes each while, in essence, the Republicans will get an uninterrupted 55 minutes straight of what will probably be like cross examination of Dr Ford just appears radically stilted.

    Can they pick one (ex-prosecutor) senator on their side (rather than an outside hire) to do this?

    • Eureka says:

      I think the SJC dems must so the questioning.  First, to show what is normal (and abnormal in the GOP-side behavior).  Second, we are all here for Harris and Hirono vs Brett Kavanaugh.

      • Trip says:

        Aren’t they permitted to “yield time”. It doesn’t mean they have to announce any particular strategy ahead of time, I’d think.

        On another note, from what the pundits and some reporters are saying, it appears that the Republicans are running scared that they may not have the votes. The rush to vote (on Friday AM) may not simply be complete disregard for Ford testimony (which of course it is), but also to get it over with, cut losses, and move on to the next candidate as rapidly as possible.

  39. DJ says:

    Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder/fear that Brett may be a bit on the verbally/emotionally abusive side of things at home? Call it male intuition.

  40. Peacerme says:

    If it quacks like a duck??? What I keep wondering….because of my vocation, I suppose, is if the alcohol abuse was as has been reported, that’s a kid, drinking to dull some pain/shame. It makes me wonder about his childhood. His drinking was not normal. Throwing up is way different than blacking out. These distinctions matter. A black out is serious drinking. More than one black out, more serious. It makes me wonder if the drinking continues (read or heard that he doesn’t drink today??) or has it been replaced with some other escape mechanism. Religiosity and self righteousness are compelling replacements. Kavanaugh is a man running from himself. He may not even know what the truth is.

  41. Charles says:

    I agree with NYC Southpaw that the GOP is going to use Rachel Mitchell to do all questions, refusing to let Democrats ask any because they want to be “non-political.” See

    Me, my dream is that Avenatti files a criminal complaint in Maryland on Wednesday and announces it about 10AM. And then, when the Republicans realize there is going to be a real investigation with real subpoena power and real criminal penalties and no way to bail their boy out except with a presidential pardon, they will realize how well and truly f–ked they are.

    I remember once sparring with Marcy over Grassley, with her saying he was good with whistleblowers, and me saying something to the effect that he is possibly the worst hypocrite and liar in the Senate, which would be amazing considering that Orrin Hatch is still there. In any case, I withdraw that as being insufficiently harsh. The man is just.plain.evil.

      • Frank Probst says:

        I have yet to see Avenatti get punked, and I hope he continues his streak.  I’ve said before that I don’t think he’s ever had to make a serious retraction.  (I can’t even think of a minor retraction.)  Based on things he said, it sounds like he vets his clients very carefully, and he’s rejected individuals in the past because they didn’t pass his vetting.  But I’m still like you:  I hope to god that he’s got the goods this time.

        • Trip says:

          No doubt @Frank. But there are obvious disinformation campaigns, all of the time, everywhere, and of course, ratfuckers. I am cautiously optimistic, because you never know the extent some people will go to try to seriously discredit any opposition.

          If any of the accusers end up being ruses, the GOP will treat them all as same, under one umbrella. Which is what they are attempting to do now anyway.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I’d prefer a new complaint coming from someone with a different attorney.  It’s not clear to me if Avenatti’s client is the person that The Montgomery County Sentinel reported on, or if it’s someone else entirely.  But both the prosecuting attorney and the police in Montgomery County have been pretty clear that they’d investigate a complaint.  That could end up being a dud (most likely scenario) or it could explode into a major investigation of a lot of old men for sex crimes committed when they were in high school (very doubtful, but not impossible).

      • posaune says:

        The MD state atty general just opened an investigation into the RC church abuse.   The AG should look at Georgetown Prep!   And, if MoCo opens an investigation into Kavanaugh, he should lose his child protective clearance for coaching girls’ basketball, at least until the investigation is closed.

      • Rayne says:

        You can prefer all you want but a victim who has already been through decades of anguish, who is watching the harassment, vilification, threats, additional personal losses Dr. Ford and her family have suffered, is going to pick whomever they think will protect their interests best and the process in which they have the most faith. Even if that person is a blowhard like Avenatti and no prosecution.

        Think about it: how much of this kind of sexual assault went on in Montgomery County for decades and nobody in law enforcement did anything about it. It’s not because they didn’t know this shit happened. It’s #WhyIDidntReport exists — victims didn’t get justice.

        Men need to stop projecting any wishes on female victims. I’m holding back right now on going all Maizie Hirono right now about this.

      • Trip says:

        It’s truly disingenuous how they (GOP and Trump, especially) have treated Ramirez’s claim. She has corroborating witnesses, according to Mayer and Farrow (her lawyer, as well). The NYT couldn’t verify the story only because Ramirez was being inundated by the press and decided to speak only with The New Yorker. The NYT even admitted as much, that they didn’t discount the allegations, only that they were unable to confirm. Of course, the GOP used that as a method of disqualifying her account. It’s so rich how they love using the (failing) NYT, when it suits their agenda, eh?

        Trump said her allegations were “falling apart”, and of course, that isn’t anywhere near truth.

  42. new-radical says:

    The hearing will be a farce, only five minutes each for the senators to ask questions. Presumably Rachel Mitchell will aggregate the 55 minutes for the Republicans to grill Blasey-Ford and soft-pedel Kavanaugh.
    The Dems should aggregate too, they have a total of 50 mins, enough time to expose the exposer. 30 mins for female prosecutor Kamala Devi[L], gotta love that, Harris to ask only a few key questions. Make Kavanaugh answer them. If each senator only gets five minutes Kav will prevaricate each time and nothing will be revealed. Grill him over and over with the same questions until he is backed up in a corner. Then female prosecutor Amy Klobuchar does the follow up. Bang, Bang!
    Snake in the Grass will throw a fit, but Dems must show smart and fight. Beat them at their own game, they must persist.
    “She was warned,” McConnell said referring to Warren. “She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Snake will have to be really careful shutting up the women this time.

    • Frank Probst says:

      Rachel Mitchell looks like a die-hard right-winger, but it doesn’t look like she has much skill in questioning witnesses, despite her current position and the length of time she’s had it.  She could still end up being a train wreck of an interviewer.  They’ve only got 24 hours left to prep her with Kavanaugh.  I think they can probably get her to throw softball questions with him, but I think that it’s possible that she’ll look far too ruthless against Blasey Ford.  She a prosecutor, and she knows that her job is to destroy Blasey Ford, and if she does it well, she may have a brighter future outside of Maricopa County.  This is a high-stakes moment for her, which means it’s also a high-pressure moment.  This MIGHT backfire.

      • bmaz says:

        Oh, Rachel can question witnesses. She is supervisor of the sex crimes unit now, but spent years as a line level crusader sex crimes prosecutor. And, yes, she is very much an overbearing zealot.

  43. Tracy says:

    Wow! Reading everyone’s comments, I have one word:


    The underlying issues are the same (unequal gender power structure/ the patriarchy). So is the silencing of women: in Salem, the accused did not have a voice (often female outcasts, accused by young girls who had their first taste of power and being listened to by men), and here, Kavanaugh’s credibly alleged victims.

    Note that the SJC GOP are so circumscribing Ford’s chance to receive a fair hearing that they are controlling her story and, to an extent, silencing the full range of expression of her case.

    Note that the SJC GOP won’t even TALK to Ramirez’s lawyer so that they can come to terms on her testimony, i.e. shutting her out of the hearing, thus trying to silence her.

    I am an advocate for these women and their very competent lawyers to take matters into their own hands and take their stories, with corroborating testimony, outside of the stilted space of the SJC, which has proven under GOP “rule” to be as bad as in Salem in 1693!!!

    • Rayne says:

      Toss the witch in the water. If she sinks and drowns, she’s not a witch. If she floats and lives, burn her to ash because she’s a witch.

      Either way, a silenced witch/not-witch.

      In contrast it’s amazing how noisy he is, the one man who screams “Witch hunt!”

      • Tracy says:

        I know, an accused “witch” literally would not live to tell her story.

        White male privilege, doncha know… the title, the platform, the prestige, the audience…

        I can’t wait for a woman to own that bully pulpit!!

  44. Jenny says:


    The Senate voted in 2013 on Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). Passed 78 – 22 on 12 February 2013 & signed into law by President Obama.

    Of the twenty-two were opposed, six Republicans currently sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee: Cornyn, Cruz, Graham, Grassley, Hatch & Lee.

    Do they not believe there is violence against women? Obviously not.

  45. klynn says:

    Somewhat OT:

    I would be coming up with a hearing question to see how Kav would rule on Gamble vs US.

    Is there any good post on the legal analysis of the filing and all the possible impacts?

    Would the GOP use a positive outcome on Gamble vs US not only to protect Trump and the GOP but impact past law on many state vs federal issues dating back to the founding of the nation?

    Orrin Hatch needs to be put under pressure to answer for this filing.

  46. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The idea that the “unprofessionals” on the Senate Judiciary Committee are incapable of interviewing a single witness against an applicant for public employment is laughable. These men, and a few Democratic women, are tough professionals and political animals, with decades of hard experience each. But like Pilate, they want a scapegoat for what they will do to that witness.

    This process is about winning a culture war against women, people of color, non-heterosexual citizens, and any group that might claim rights and privileges from their government. It is about controlling the federal judiciary, and about closing the courthouse doors to those average Americans. It is about freeing executive branch and corporate power from badly needed government restraint.

    Mitch McConnell might as well be engaged in another Harlan County war against the miners. His job is to win, not to get at facts upon which sober judgment might rest. Winning is the only claim to legitimacy he and Donald Trump have.

    The GOP doesn’t care if Brett Kavanaugh lies like Donald Trump – it doesn’t care if Donald Trump lies like Donald Trump – so long as he follows the path his patrons set. It will crucify any witness against Brett Kavanaugh they need to. And it expects Mr. Kavanaugh to return the favor, whether on the Supreme Court of the DC Circuit. He always has.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Choosing Supreme Court justices is an inherently political act.  That’s one reason the Constitution gives the Senate advice and consent authority over a president’s nominees.  And one reason a nominee’s politics are as important as her understanding and commitment to the law.

      In that context, Mitch McConnell has chosen a zealot.  Rachel Mitchell will not be bound by the rules of evidence or the rules of court: she will not be in court.  She will not primarily be seeking facts or the truth.  She will be trying to win – and to make Dr. Blasey Ford lose.

      Dr. Blasey Ford can expect the same propriety from McConnell and Mitchell they would show had they called out the Kentucky National Guard and sent it to Harlan County to restore mine owners’ order.

  47. Frank Probst says:

    A condensed version of my various replies above:  This is still a very fluid situation with a LOT of X-factors.  Bottom line is that all 49 Dems will probably end up with enough cover to vote against Kavanaugh.  Lisa Murkowski is the most likely Republican to vote no, for reasons that have nothing to do with Kavanaugh.  If she feels like she has enough cover, it’s 50-50, with Pence breaking the tie.  That situation just isn’t going to happen.  It means that every Senator who votes yes could’ve stopped this, and they’ll be reminded of this with every controversial 5-4 decision that comes out.  They don’t have the backbone for that, and they’ll desperately want one or two of the retiring Senators to vote no just so it ends up being something like 48-52.  And as long as his vote doesn’t matter, Heller might flip, because he’s not going to want to defend this in his upcoming election in Nevada.  But it’ll be VERY close, no matter which way it goes.  Unless Avenatti really has the goods (today’s big X-factor), in which case this could be over by tonight, but I don’t think that’ll happen, no matter how strong his evidence is.  We’ll see.

  48. Wm. Boyce says:

    I appreciated the two women’s analysis (Ms. Wheeler and Ms. Barana? (spelling?) on Democracy Now yesterday. And Marcy’s final comment summed the game up neatly: “I think it’s a game of chicken between McConnell and the two women senators.” (Collins and Murkowski) (This is my paraphrase.)

    • skua says:

      I am looking forward to an expert analysis of Swetnick’s declaration. Looks like dynamite to me,  but what do I know?  If it is dynamite then K might now be fighting a battle to remain a judge?

      • Rayne says:

        He’s already pushing it with his prevarications from 2006. I’ll be surprised if somebody doesn’t pursue some sort of punitive action, perhaps with bar association.

  49. Fran of the North says:

    The Avenatti witness comes forward, with recollections of multiple parties, multiple events, interesting details such as Kav & Judge spiking punch, and specific behaviors. The plot thickens and the stakes grow ever higher.

    Looks like 4Chan pwnd GOPers. :)

  50. klynn says:

    A note about the calendars:

    Unused 1982 calendars are available on Ebay and at used book stores. Many corp freebie advertising calendars are included.

    A handwriting analyst weighing in on the calendar notes would be interesting.

  51. SteveB says:

    Norm Eisen argues Avenatti set a libel trap for K who has walked in to it:


    Statement from Kavanaugh (via WH pool) on Avenatti accuser claims: “This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened

    Another unforced error. If I know Avenatti, and I do, Kavanaugh’s going to get sued for libel. He would have been better advised to wait until he was at the hearing and had the immunity attending to congressional testimony.

  52. Frank Probst says:

    I’m still trying to process all that this women–and a lot of other women–have gone through. And it’s worth noting that Grassley scheduled the Judiciary Committee’s vote on Kavanaugh AFTER Avenatti told them that something like this was coming.

  53. klynn says:

    Today’s events timeline is a story on its’ own. However, I would start the story timeline with the “5 PM Wed” presser announcement from Tues. evening.

  54. Peacerme says:

    I did a story at my college in 1983 about gang rape used as initiation at frat parties. At that time I interviewed 2 girls who were raped and one male who was black balled for refusing to participate. I also witnessed my dorm mate, a 375 lb straight A accounting student, get dragged upstairs, and raped my freshmen year. She was my ride to one of the very first frat parties I ever attended. I did not know until afterwards whether she was willing (and just making out with a guy she liked??) or not. I suspected she was not willing. And for years felt guilty because I froze. Because I had been victim of a gang rape at 12, I was very triggered that night. The guys in the frat offered to take me up to see that she was safe but I knew better than to go upstairs and I was not drunk. It was a god awful night because I didn’t know how to get home to my dorm except lots of guys offered a ride I did not feel safe to accept. I finally left the party alone with out my dorm mate on foot, running home alone. (Also dangerous) I wasn’t sure what was going on but I thought I knew and I was sickened. I didn’t feel sure enough to call the police. Later I was told that this fraternity would have “ugly” parties where they would invite vulnerable women and get them drunk. It always happened during or near the end of Rush. Her story was why I wrote the article fall of my senior year. My prof encourage me to submit it to several magazines as the school newspaper would not print the article. She and I became friends but she was so damaged by what they did to her, that her self destruction was hard to watch. She told me they “pulled a train” and that every new initiate and the president, Vice President and several graduated alumni raped her. She described that many of the initiates were horrified at what they were being forced to do. She stated that they had son]meone in the room to witness. It disgusts me to tell the story, and brings back that horrible night. But I have no trouble imagining this situation reported by Avenatti to be true. I have often wondered what happened to all the men who were black balled or refused. I knew the one, and he became an alcoholic. He never felt good about being black balled. Instead he had tremendous shame, which I did not fully understand.

    This whole two years of trump is digging up every horrible triggers I have.

    • Trip says:

      That’s disgusting and horrible. I’m sorry.

      I never understood the draw toward Frats, even before knowing this.

  55. Trip says:

    Why did anyone vote for Graham and why do they continue to?

    Chad Pergram‏Verified account @ChadPergram
    Graham on Avenatti allegations: Why would any reasonable person continue to hang around people like this? Why would any person continue to put their friends and themselves in danger? Isn’t there some duty to warn others?

    Why doesn’t he ask why a civilized reasonable person would incapacitate and rape girls?

  56. Mulder says:

    I am exhausted and deeply dispirited from reading the posts, comments, and links re the truly venal behavior of so many. The price of power is apparently just a soul or two.  Or maybe it’s cheaper by the dozen.

  57. DJ says:

    Here’s what I don’t (facetiously) get.

    If we were to assume the 3 women who have stepped forward were making up stuff whole cloth, then the GOP should WANT an investigation… right?

    Wouldn’t an investigation just allow GOP males to say, “See, see, see, I told you. I told you the women were crazy, vindictive, manipulative liars. So typical. Me too is bogus. Evil daughters of Eve.” Blah. Blah. Hate women. Blah.

    In other words, it’s in the “best interest” of white male GOPers to have an investigation… right?

    Unless… unless… hmmm… yeah…


  58. Michael Keenan says:

    Hi Emptywheel. Apparently I am blocked from viewing and following your tweets. They were working for a few minutes then the block? A huge fan of yours. Can you let me know what is up.

  59. Michael Keenan says:

    I wanted to post that the FBI can close a Solar Observatory for 8 days over child porn and yet is MIA at this nomination hearing.

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