“They were terrified when the discussions first began, they’re terrified now, and they are praying that Dr. Ford decides to stay away, because they know and they have said that the optics of these 11 men cross examining Dr. Ford about what she says was sexual assault is a political nightmare that could actually swing the election this fall.”
There is no question that the Kavanaugh situation could hurt Republican candidates in November. Many people are afraid there is more information about the sexual assault incident which has yet to come out.
Dr. Ford is insisting that without a thorough investigation there can be no full hearing on her accusations against Kavanaugh. Senate Republicans are arguing that they have been very accommodating by offering Ford the opportunity to testify about what happened to her.
However, as Chuck Grassley has pointed out, her opportunity has an expiration date. If she doesn’t agree by 10 a.m. on Friday then the Judiciary Committee will withdraw its invitation to her, and she won’t get a chance to tell her story in public.
Republicans say that if Ford doesn’t testify Monday then she will lose all credibility, and this will allow them to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court with no negative political ramifications.
According to CNN, what Grassley and the White House are doing “represents an absolutely massive political gamble: Amid the cultural upheaval of the #MeToo moment and with an election looming in less than seven weeks’ time, Republicans are daring a woman alleging sexual assault against a nominee for the country’s highest court to either put up or shut up.”
The GOP approach is very risky because they seem to be playing a high-stakes game of poker. First, she called their bluff when her attorney went on TV and said she’d testify, with conditions. She wants and FBI investigation and she wants her other witnesses to testify also.
Then the Republican senators called her bluff, saying they wouldn’t give in to her conditions. She has to show up Monday with no FBI probe and no other witnesses, or the whole thing is off.
Now we are waiting to see what happens. The GOP is being called “the party of rape and sexual assault” for trying to force Kavanaugh’s nomination through without a hearing. Experts are predicting that Republicans will pay the price in November’s elections, but they don’t seem to care because they are so focused on adding another right-wing justice to the Supreme Court.
We are all in a “wait and see” mode. We’re waiting to see if Dr. Ford changes her mind on needing an FBI investigation before she will testify Monday. We’re waiting to see if Senate Republicans hold their risky position of forcing Ford to testify without any additional investigation or more witnesses.
And of course we’re all waiting to see if Kavanaugh is confirmed despite Ford’s accusations, and whether Republicans will pay a price at the ballot box for the giant risks they are taking.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.