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.