Blasey Ford's Curious Omission

There was something curiously missing from Christine Blasey Ford’s Thursday Senate testimony, something quite relevant to her basic claims. Consider the following segment from her testimony about the alleged (circa) 1982 sexual assault by SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh:

Both Brett and Mark [Judge] were drunkenly laughing during the attack… During this assault, Mark came over and jumped on the bed twice while Brett was on top of me. And the last time that he did this, we toppled over and Brett was no longer on top of me. I was able to get up and run out of the room.

Now please read the corresponding segment from her original letter, sent months ago to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.):

Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with Judge… At one point when Judge jumped onto the bed, the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other.

After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom.

What jumps out at you? “[T]he two scrapped with each other.” “Scrapped.”

I related this aspect of Ford’s story to a woman close to me at a Saturday affair and asked, “What does that tell you?”

She responded, “That they weren’t that interested in her.”

Now, don’t misunderstand me. The incident Ford describes would be sexual misconduct and surely morally wrong. But assuming it happened -- and let’s for argument’s sake say that Ford was assaulted by a boy (whether Kavanaugh or someone else) in the manner she describes -- it’s quite understandable why she omitted mention of the "scrapping" from her Senate testimony.

It severely weakens her case.

Question: Would a boy intent upon raping a girl begin “scrapping” with a friend in the midst of passionate attack?

Were I to take Ford’s Senate testimony at face value, I’d have to say that, yes, probability dictates it very well could have been an attempted rape. But reading her original letter, I’d say that the incident sounds like something else: drunken high-school hijinks where two guys did, admittedly, cross a serious line -- but not one on whose far side lies rape. That’s how significant the “scrapping” omission is.

To reiterate, the boys’ alleged actions would be wrong regardless. The point, however, is that there’s a lot of moral real estate between inappropriate, alcohol-fueled, sexually aggressive physicality and the heinous crime of rape.

Based on Ford’s original letter, a very logical interpretation of the alleged incident is that it did in fact involve drunken horseplay gone wrong. Note that boys are very physical (which is why they wrestle with each other so much); even more so when they’re inebriated. So the boys in question, inhibitions released by booze, slip into testosterone-goofing mode. This is evidenced by their hysterical laughter. One of them then gets inappropriately physical with Ford before they get physical with each other -- they were getting physical, period.

The only difference is that since Ford was a girl and teen boys have sky-high libidos, the drunken horseplay with her assumed a sexual tone.

Of course, again, this is just an interpretation. But it’s one strongly suggested by the boys’ laughing and scrapping.

Ford and her handlers surely agree, too, more or less. Why else would they have omitted mention of the scrapping from the Senate testimony? After all, the professor doesn’t remember much from that allegedly known incident in that unknown house in that unknown neighborhood in that uncertain year. But that the boys “scrapped” is something that, her original letter informs, she did recall.

It’s entirely implausible that the omission could have been a mere oversight. Remember that Ford’s testimony was written out, and she, her lawyer and perhaps even some handlers undoubtedly scoured it with a fine-tooth comb. They wanted to maximize its impact and ensure she didn’t perjure herself. The only reasonable explanation is that they purposely, tactically omitted part of the story.

There would only be a strong case that Kavanaugh (again, assuming it happened and he was the perpetrator) was attempting rape if the scrapping were the result of white-knight intervention by Judge. But Ford never even implied that this was a possibility. Rather, she painted a horseplay scenario, where Judge twice jumped on the bed, with the second leap resulting in a toppling of all three.

Of course, Ford could also claim that, on second thought, she wasn’t sure if the boys actually did scrap. But then we’d have to ask: If she imagined that, what else did she imagine?

Ford’s Senate omission was strikingly significant, and Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who questioned both the professor and Kavanaugh, should have asked about it. After all, attempting to commit the heinous crime of rape, even as an older minor, would certainly reflect damningly upon a person’s character. But it would be completely unfair to epitomize a man’s whole life based on one incident of lewd, aggressive, drunken high-school horseplay.

So Christine Ford didn’t reveal anything new in her Thursday testimony -- except, perhaps, in what she failed to say.

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