CNN / YouTube Collins to vote 39 no 39 1539020039.jpg...
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While Republican Senators whine endlessly about constituents trying to talk to them, Dr. Ford and her family cannot return home because they continue to be harassed. Dr. Ford is still receiving death threats from Kavanaugh supporters.

One of Ford’s attorneys, Debra Katz, told NBC’s Kasie Hunt that it’s going to be “quite some time” before Ford and her family can return home.

“Her family has been through a lot,” Katz said. “They are not living at home. It’s going to be quite some time before they’re able to live at home. The threats have been unending. It’s deplorable.”

“It’s been very frightening,” Katz added.

—… The interview is on video as well.

Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham continue to enable and abet the harassment of Dr. Ford. They offer a genteel criticism, claiming that Dr. Ford has somehow mistaken Brett Kavanaugh for someone else.

“I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant,” the Maine Republican [Susan Collins] told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” in an interview slated to air on Sunday. “I do believe that she was assaulted. I don’t know by whom. I’m not certain when.” —…

“Everything I believed I knew about Brett Kavanaugh, I am now more convinced than ever that he didn’t do it, that he’s the right guy to be on the court, that Ms. Ford has got a problem, and destroying Judge Kavanaugh’s life won’t fix her problem,” he [Lindsey Graham] added. —…

Of course, Kavanaugh’s supporters are not nearly as genteel as Collins and Graham here. They have called Dr. Ford crazy, hysterical and worse. The smears on Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick are even worse, and senior Republicans have directly enabled those.  By questioning the sanity and memory of these survivors, they’re furthering the lies and gaslighting that Trump’s followers engage in every day.

While Dr. Ford’s been chased from her home without a single tear shed by Collins or Graham, we’ve seen an endless parade of elected Republican politicians whine and complain about being inconvenienced by protesters. They’ve also stonewalled any attempts to examing Brett Kavanaugh’s behavior in high-school and college. They don’t want to “ruin” the facade he cultivated in public life, or pierce the “what happened at Georgetown prep stays at Georgetown prep” ethos. A neater expression of coddled privilege could not be found.

Meanwhile, scientists who specialize in the field of memory universally condemn the Republican attack on Dr. Ford.

“I watched all the hearings that took place last week and was just floored at the number of people who offered that as an explanation,” said Ira Hyman, a cognitive psychologist who specializes in traumatic memories at Western Washington University. […]

“The person lying on top of you — who she’d previously met — you’re not going to forget that,” said Richard Huganir, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “There’s a total consensus in the field of memory … If anything, fear and trauma enhances the encoding of the memory at a molecular level.” […]

Lila Davachi, a cognitive neuroscientist at Columbia University, analogized the traumatic memory formation process to cranking up the contrast on a photo — central details get heightened, while those in the background get washed out.


Republicans have marshaled all the resources of their party to destroy the lives of ordinary citizens who tried to shed light on a nominee’s past. From Donald Trump mocking Dr. Ford, to Chuck Grassley using his Senate Judiciary committee chair to shame Ms. Swetnick.

McConnell, Grassley, Graham, and Collins know exactly what they’re doing. The message they’re sending to survivors is that if your abuser is a Republican, you’d best stay quiet or we’ll destroy your life. We’ll send our mob to terrorize you and chase you from your home.

There are different rules when the accused abuser is a Democrat, as Collins showed us by immediately calling for Senator Franken’s resignation.

Our job is not to let this crap slide.

When Clarence Thomas was confirmed, Byron White reportedly told him:

“It doesn’t matter how you got here. All that matters now is what you do here.” —…

Ginsburg and Kagan attended Kavanaugh’s swearing-in ceremony because they know they will have to work with him. This is the decision millions of women have to make every day, continuing to work with unrepentant abusers who have been elevated to positions of power because the patriarchy protects them.

Ginsburg and Kagan have to do this because they know they might be working with Kavanaugh for decades. We, as ordinary Americans do not have to stand for it. Let’s make sure the assault allegations against Kavanaugh are fully investigated. Let’s make sure his tenure on the court is short, and a lesson to every other abuser who tries to get away with it.


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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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