The Road Not Taken
Dear Senator Collins,
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins
A good many people who waited with bated breath for your decision on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation for a Supreme Court seat are aware that you are up for re-election in 2020 as a senator from Maine. And a good many are going to do whatever they can to send you to defeat.
I am not from Maine, but I stand enthusiastically with those who wish for you to leave the U.S. Senate. It all has to do with your honesty – or rather, the lack thereof – and your deficiency in courage and patriotism. Let me go through the reasons for that assessment.
You prefaced your decision on Kavanaugh with an inordinately lengthy speech – about 45 minutes, I think. That was to make it appear that you had deliberated long and hard, and that you were anguished by what to do. Sources said you had indicated you were looking for a way to get to a yes vote. You got there – via a spurious route.
You said that after hearing Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony about Kavanaugh’s drunken sexual assault of her when he was 17 and she 15, you were inclined to believe her and reject Kavanaugh’s nomination. But then you heard Kavanaugh’s impassioned expression of innocence, his outrage at the accusation leveled against him. Such an outburst of faux, righteous indignation worked for Clarence Thomas against accuser Anita Hill in 1991, and it worked here. You changed your mind.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
Why did you do that, Senator Collins? That testimony should have confirmed, not lessened, your doubts about him. With no evidence to support his claims, Kavanaugh painted a conspiracy by Democrats to undermine him as payback for his work toward the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. George Soros had poured money into a smear campaign against the appeals court judge, he said. He laid his extreme partisanship out for all to see.
That led former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to publicly proclaim that Kavanaugh was unfit for the Court. Law professors across the country – 2,400 of them – joined in likewise affirming that his naked expression of political bias, along with his indecorous comportment and insults to Democratic senators, rendered him unqualified to sit on the Court.
President Bill Clinton
“Instead of trying to sort out with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators,” the professors’ statement read.
John Paul Stevens
A former dean of Yale Law School, Kavanaugh’s alma mater, came forth with the same opinion. Many members of the legal profession nationwide were appalled with Kavanaugh’s testimony and demeanor.
You stressed that in this country, we give the accused the presumption of innocence. Two things about that: One, are you so uninformed as to be unaware that the rule in question applies in a courtroom, not in a job interview? That’s what these questions by the Senate Judiciary Committee were. No employer would hire a job applicant who performed so abominably, regardless of whether his guilt or innocence were believable.
The Innocence Project
And you concluded he was innocent. Yes, you said, Ford truly believed she was assaulted, and you believed she was, too, but she must have confused Brett Kavanaugh with another person. But Ford said the person was on top of her. She was staring into his face as he pressed his hand over her mouth to stifle her shouts for help. She had looked Mark Judge squarely in his eyes when he jumped onto the bed.
She was so certain of what transpired and who committed the deed that she willingly took a lie detector test, and passed with flying colors. Kavanaugh was asked if he would submit to the test, and he would not agree to it. Ford asked for an FBI investigation. Kavanaugh said he would only agree to what the Senate wanted when asked if he would request the president for such an investigation.
You heard that utterly convincing testimony from Ford, and the damning testimony from Kavanaugh, Senator.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake
Senator Jeff Flake called for an FBI investigation. Nine people named by Ford as able to corroborate her accusation were interviewed. Some said they didn’t remember the party where the incident occurred. Well, except for Mark Judge, they of course would have no recollection of it. They weren’t attacked, and didn’t witness it. For them, it was an unremarkable event. It wasn’t seared into their hippocampi, as it was in Ford’s. It happened about 35 years ago, and they doubtless attended many parties at that time and later in their lives.
What made the “investigation” a sham was the people who weren’t interviewed. Forty had come forth, including some who asked that the FBI talk to them, willing to testify under oath with a penalty of perjury for lying. Among them were former Yale classmates who told the media that Kavanaugh had frequently been drunk and belligerent. If those claims could have been corroborated, Kavanaugh would have been shown to have lied. He told numerous other fibs. All of these have a name, Senator: perjury. You voted to put on the Supreme Court a man who perjured himself.
The ones excluded from the interview process included Kavanaugh and Ford. None were interviewed because Trump tied the FBI’s hands, dictating the limits of the investigation.
But you appeared before the American and people and declared that it was “a very thorough investigation.” That was a bald-faced lie, Senator. And you voted to place this unfit man unfit on the United States Supreme Court, the highest position in the land outside of the presidency, placing party politics ahead of the cause of abused women everywhere, the integrity of a great institution, and patriotism. In doing so, you betrayed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a woman of immense courage, leaving her to fend for herself against the country’s hate-mongers, who continue to make death threats that keep her out of her home. Your act was one of supreme cowardice.
In going along with all but one of your Republican colleagues in this vote, you did what was expressed metaphorically by a late, great American from a state in your … well, neck of the woods, New Hampshire. His name was Robert Frost. You will recognize this line, paraphrased, from his best-known poem:
Two roads converged in a wood, and you, Senator Collins, took the road most traveled by.
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