It’s another one for the history books.
Thursday’s hearing, when Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, promises more drama than any congressional hearing in decades.
But, no matter what Kavanaugh and Ford tell the committee, one thing we’ve already learned: When it comes to sexual abuse, Republican senators are just as clueless today as they were in 1991, when Anita Hill raised her claims of repeated sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas.
They didn’t get it then. They don’t get it now.
Rather than examine the substance of what Ford alleges — a serious charge of attempted rape by a drunken teenager, egged on by a male classmate — they focus instead on the timing. Just like they did with Anita Hill in 1991. Same identical questions. Why didn’t she call the police? Why’d she wait so long to come forward?
You’d think they’d have learned something by now. Especially after the recent fall of so many male celebrities — Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Les Moonves — on charges of sexual abuse. In each of those cases, charges were raised by female victims decades after the abuse occurred.
Why’d they wait? Seriously, do we still have to ask that question?
These women knew that if they did speak out, they’d be attacked, ridiculed and smeared, and called a slut and a liar. In other words, they’d be treated just like Anita Hill and bullied just like Christine Blasey Ford.
At first, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) demanded Ford appear on the one day he selected and sit at the witness table alongside the man she accused of trying to rape her. Even before she had a chance to tell her story, Grassley said he believed Kavanaugh’s denial, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called her “mixed up” and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced that, no matter what she says, it won’t sway his vote for Kavanaugh.
Meanwhile, the president of the United States, who has no standing to comment on sexual assault after having bragged about doing so himself, said it was all “political.”
And besides, it couldn’t be as bad as she alleges, according to President Trump — otherwise, as a 15-year-old, she’d have immediately contacted the FBI.
Do you still wonder why more women don’t immediately come forward?
And now a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, has stepped forward with further accounts of sexual abuse by Kavanaugh, this time when he was a student at Yale. The new revelation suggests a pattern of behavior, not one isolated incident. But Ramirez immediately received the Ford treatment. She’s also been called a liar, a Democratic operative and part of a media-driven smear campaign.
How many more women are Republicans willing to destroy in their desperate attempt to pack the court with another extreme conservative?
Clearly, the “Me Too” movement, which has swept most of the country — Wall Street, Hollywood, academia, professional sports, entertainment — hasn’t yet reached Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley or most Republican members of the U.S. Senate.
There’s only one reasonable option left: To save the reputation of the Supreme Court and to spare the Republican Party any further embarrassment, Kavanaugh should withdraw his nomination. At this point, with more women coming forward every day, even holding another hearing on his nomination would be a farce.
Republicans must decide: Having put one self-professed sexual predator in the White House, do they really want to put another accused sexual predator on the Supreme Court?
Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”