It comes down to this: should a premeditated sexual assault by a 17 year old boy on a 15 year old girl be held against him as he aspires to be a supreme court justice?
Mr Kavanaugh tells us he was first in his class, which should translate into an awareness of the consequences of behavior.
On the other hand we can say, by way of mitigation, that at 17 he was still developing.
But regardless, to plan and carry out such an assault, with the aid of an accomplice, is a criminal act.
Dr Ford has had to live with the consequences of the assault while her attacker went on his merry way.
And yet, never, in all the intervening years, did the man make an effort to reach out to his victim.
Never, did he reach out to apologize to her.
Never, did he write a note to her saying, ‘May you allow me to speak to you, to discuss that incident, for it may help you heal’.
Why didn’t that occur to a man entrusted with deciding the fate of others?
Judge Kavanaugh has had years and years to ponder the matter.
Years and years of knowing that his victim’s suffering would be the price of his crime.
But he did nothing.
He could have chosen to make amends but did not.
I suppose he thought he could be excused, for Dr Ford was just a girl.
What kind of judge does that thinking make?
On Friday, September 28th, in front of the whole nation, he dared carry on, with the support and incitement of the Republican – male – political establishment, as when he spoke of having told his daughter to ‘pray for the woman’, as if Dr Ford were a liar, a deranged woman putting herself on the spot and baring out her personal pain, as part of a scheming ploy by the democrats to block the nomination of such an exemplar of fairness in America.
No. It won’t do.
That the simplicity of Dr Ford’s statements contrasts with the fake emotions of Mr Kavanaugh’s, is unequivocal.
That those choosing to believe the judge expose deep prejudices against women and thus devalue them, is undeniable.
Is it not the task of real leaders to confront themselves, and publicly acknowledge that they harbor such prejudices and how their holding them taint their judgments?
Should we not expect that of a judge, let alone a candidate for the supreme court of the land?
We didn’t see that on the floor of the Senate this Friday the 28th of September.
Instead, we saw angry denials by Mr Kavanaugh and over the top denunciations in his defense by Senator Graham.
Sadly, odds are that the Republican majority in a male dominated Senate will ignore the evidence and vote to confirm Mr Kavanaugh. But such action will not be forgotten.
American women, in their relentless march for acknowledgment and respect, will not be daunted. They have had to fight for the right to be educated, for the right to vote, the right to equal pay, the right for control of their bodies, and in every instance it has been men opposing them and wishing to suppress them.
But women will not be stopped.
Today they represent a mere 23 % of Senators and 19.3 % in the House of Representatives, but tomorrow will tell another story.
And when power parity is finally achieved, for it will and sooner than we think, women will then make possible the fullness of America’s potential. And our country will be healthier, more open, more thoughtful and more productive.
I cannot wait.