{{featured_button_text}}

A year ago this week, the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings got under way. They dropped a bomb on American social psychology and created a tectonic divide. And, as a book published last week suggests, their controversies were the result of a politically motivated hit campaign.

I have to admit that when President Trump picked Brett Kavanaugh to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the high court, I wasn’t doing cartwheels.

My choice was Amy Coney Barrett, the Notre Dame Law professor and federal judge who in 2017 had been accused of letting Catholic dogma “live loudly” in her.

Christine Flowers mug

Flowers

The way Judge Barrett handled that incredibly offensive line of questioning from California Senator Dianne Feinstein was a reflection of how she’d deal with people who think conservative female judges can’t separate their personal ideology from their constitutional obligations.

But if I couldn’t have Amy, Brett was a good substitute. As I watched the process unfold over a few weeks, my tepid support became rabid advocacy. I wrote articles in support of Kavanaugh’s nomination. I championed him on the radio. I wrote social post after social post arguing in favor of his confirmation. I did everything but try and unseat one of our Pennsylvania senators so I could cast a “yea” vote on his behalf.

It wasn’t because I became convinced overnight that Brett Kavanaugh was the finest person to be nominated to the Supreme Court since the late, great Antonin Scalia.

It was because of my profound belief that if his nomination was derailed by what I saw as the #MeToo witch hunt and by allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, who struck me as confused, manipulated and wholly out of her element, the concept of due process would become a sorry charade.

You have free articles remaining.

Become a Member

Register for more free articles.
Stay logged in to skip the surveys.

As part of that charade, two women confronted Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator to demand that he vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation. I couldn’t bear, as a woman, to see these hysterical theatrics become the modus operandi of my gender.

I did not want the hashtag “#BelieveHer,” used to show solidarity with Blasey Ford, to justify claims about orgies, rape and youthful bacchanals without further supporting evidence. As a woman who believes in the strength and resilience of my sisters, I did not want hazy allegations of incidents that might have occurred decades ago — two other women followed Blasey Ford in alleging acts of sexual misconduct dating back to the ‘80s — to derail the nomination of a highly qualified judge.

I did not want any of this, because it would mean that society had yielded to the pressures of some very loud women with an agenda. That agenda is outlined by the National Law Journal’s Ryan Lovelace in his book “Search and Destroy: Inside the Campaign Against Brett Kavanaugh,” which was published Sept. 3.

According to Lovelace, the women who orchestrated the attack on the nominee were motivated by a desire to undermine his ability to overturn Roe v. Wade. While they might have legitimately been concerned about sexual assault and harassment, Lovelace argues that their primary goal was to taint a pro-life judge, the fifth Catholic who would sit on the bench if confirmed. According to Lovelace, “(Christine Blasey Ford’s) audience was not the Senate...but the American people.

If they could be persuaded that Justice Kavanaugh was a predator, then they might not accept a future ruling by the five Republican-appointed justices altering the right to obtain an abortion established by Roe v. Wade.” After the election of Donald Trump, progressive women knitted their hats and started marching.

They harnessed the anger they felt and turned it into movements like #Metoo and #TimesUp. But the irony is that the campaign was not based on strength but, rather, on a sense of victimization, of fear, and of retribution.

We saw that chillingly in the death threats GOP Senator Susan Collins received after she, a self-described pro-choice woman, voted in favor of Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

That alone obligates us to remember the Great Witch Hunt of 2018, if only to make sure it never happens again.

Be the first to know - Sign up for Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. Readers may send her email at cflowers1961@gmail.com.

0
3
0
0
1

(14) comments

johnnybragatti

Flowers... not exactly a "Woman"s Woman. A Supreme court judge is "top shelf", in the American justice system. It is no wonder the Repubics, took massive exception to the Dems so-called "backlash',. It merely took some of the heat off the fact that Kavernaugh was,in no way, shape or form.... qualified.His appointment will come back to haunt.

oldhomey

I address this to our esteemed crack HR man, new2. Ms. Flowers repeatedly cites Mr. Lovelace, the right-wing Trump propagandist, and his new book about the Kavanaugh hearings, but I did not hear a thing about this video tape you are alleging exists according to Mr. Lovelace. What gives, new2? Are you man enough to respond to this?

new2Lax

If it’s. not to much of an imposition, just google Debra Katz who represented Ford and you will find what she said during her speech at the University of Baltimore. She admits Fords reason for the accusations were partly based on her concern over Kavanaugh’s supposed position on Roe vs Wade a political issue for sure.

oldhomey

Well, pull up a chair, new2, and let's break this down a little more specifically. First, Ms. Flowers never specifically says what Deborah Katz said in her speech that would buttress Mr. Lovelace's argument that Blasey Ford's testimony against Kavanaugh in the Senate hearings was from the get-go a feminist conspiracy to keep Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court.



So let us turn our attention to what Katz actually said in that speech to see if it buttresses Lovelace's allegation: "



DEBRA KATZ: "In the aftermath of these hearings, I believe that Christine’s testimony brought about more good than the harm misogynist Republicans caused by allowing Kavanaugh on the court. We're gonna have a conservative. Elections have consequences. But he [Kavanaugh] will always have an asterisk next to his name, When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important; it is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine."



No wonder Ms. Flowers neglected to quote what Katz actually said. It says nothing about a conspiratorial effort by feminists planning out Blasey Ford's appearance in the Senate committee hearing. And, in fact, Blasey Ford was quite specific that she went before the committee because she had grave concerns about the morals and the character of Kavanaugh because of her encounter with him. She did not want him on the Supreme Court. No more. No less. Character counts, as an old crack HR man for a Fortune 300 company should know, unless he thinks money counts even more than character.


new2Lax

I bet your wondering why the left wing media missed this and the phone call from fords father to Kavanaugh’s father saying he supported his sons confirmation. The fact the family did not sign a letter of support for his own daughter, must be a terrible family or they just didn’t believe her and you know the answer to that as well as I. Where is the proof of anything she charged, there is none, the man is a decent man and not guilty. This crack HR guy would not have found him guilty as well and I suspect she is a liar as I assume her family feels or actually knows.

oldhomey

I see this new wrinkle on Blasey Ford's father giving his support to Kavanaugh through Kavanaugh's father is all over the right-wing internet, a report that comes out of the right-wing internet site, The Federalist. Is it true? Beats me, but clearly the Federalist didn't nail it down (the ALL CAPS are my editing to emphasize the fuzziness of the allegation:



"The Federalist reports that privately, 'IT APPEARS the Blasey family had significant doubts about what Ford was trying to accomplish by coming forward and making unsubstantiated allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. Within days of Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, a fascinating encounter took place. Brett Kavanaugh’s father was approached by Ford’s father at the golf club where they are both members."



'Ford’s father went out of his way to offer to Ed Kavanaugh his support of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, ACCORDING TO MULTIPLE PEOPLE FAMILIAR WITH THE CONVERSATION that took place at Burning Tree Club in Bethesda, Maryland,' The Federalist continued. '"I’m glad Brett was confirmed," Ralph Blasey told Ed Kavanaugh, shaking his hand. ... '"



Gosh, if we are to believe The Federalist, numerous people were right there alongside the elders Kavanaugh and Blasey in this "fascinating" encounter". It's one thing to listen to a passel of self-serving White House apparatchiks leaking stuff, or well-placed government workers upset by executive policy leaking stuff. But a bunch of Republican country club nabobs? Thanks, but no thanks.

new2Lax

Did you think one one moment this would somehow show up on CNN or MSNBC or any other liberal news outlet. The speech at the University of Baltimore was entitled Applied Feminism and #MeTo, something like that, not hard to find unless your not looking. This type of information is rarely covered as you should know by now, the left would have crumbled long ago if it was.

oldhomey

I just read an interesting piece in the NYTimes about an Hispanic woman who, as a virginal girl in her first year at Yale says she was accosted at a party by a drunken fellow student, Brett Kavanaugh, who dropped his pants in front of her and waved his manhood at her. It was the talk of the dormitory set at the time. When she stepped forward during the same hearings as Blasey Ford, she was largely ignored, and in the so-called follow-up FBI investigation, FBI agents who questioned her found her credible, but they were not permitted to talk to others who witnessed the encounter, many of who called the FBI and volunteered to testify to her telling the truth. So that was the end of it. Except that now it is part of a new book about to be published, so Justice Kavanaugh is going to have to perhaps endure some more scrutiny. Let's hope that it is full-fledged scrutiny this time.

oldhomey

We get it. Christine M. Flowers is in favor of putting extreme right-wing ideologues on the federal bench because they are intent on forcing their personal agendas on the nation rather than trying to remain neutral when cases come before them. That may be her passionate belief. My passionate belief is to work for highly qualified, open-minded jurists, not ideologues. And while I, too, like beer, I cannot imagine why Blasey Ford would go before an entire nation to lie. I found her extremely credible, not confused. I think Ms. Flowers' passion confused the columnist's understanding of what Blasey Ford testimony represented. Badly.

martian2

well said homey. Ms Flowers wants a theocracy instead of a democracy. She never heard of the separation of church and state apparently.

new2Lax

You found her credible and yet not one person had a shred of evidence that would hold water. She couldn’t remember what year, where it was, not a thing but an accusation and you found her credible. She is and was a liar from the get go, her motives were political and her attorney said so. There is no court in the world that would have believed what she said, her testimony was full of lies and that should have been proof enough for any jurists hearing her testimony. The Democrats in the Senate are proof positive we need a solid conservative to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The liberals on the court vote as a unit not as a impartial judge, check out the numbers and you will clearly see the l real justices have a bias.

new2Lax

I always questioned why Ford didn’t have the support publicly of her immediate family, as a matter of fact Ralph Blasey supported Kavanaugh publicly. I guess the family didn’t find her to be as credible as say Homey does but of someone asked me who would be a more credibility source, I would say, the immediate family and we all know father knows best. They refused to sign a letter of support for their own daughter. If you didn’t question something like this and the fact everyone rejected what she was saying and that included her friends and acquaintances. The lack of basic information from such a traumatic event was shocking, year, date place and who was there, nothing, and Homey found her extremely credible, not just credible. The not confused part I definitely do not understand.

oldhomey

Right, new2. How could I have been so blind that "everyone rejected what she was saying and that included her friends and acquaintances"? You have access to far more information than I and the mainstream media. Tell us more how Mr. Lovelace nailed it down that Blasey Ford was a cog in a vast feminist conspiracy to bring down Judge Kavanaugh. We have SO much to learn from you.

new2Lax

For sure you have much to learn, you seem to be so unaware of anything but your talking points. You didn’t know about the comments from the Baltimore speech, the letter written by Ford’s father to Brett Kavanaugh’s father supporting his confirmation, the fact the family did not sign the letter of support of Ford, why. I believe you can’t stand the true on issues if they are counter to yours. The fact you found Ford to be extremely credible with the complete contradiction of her story by her own witnesses, lack of support from family, a complete absence of pertinent facts, who, where, when, in fact wittinesses actually countered many of her statements and her own attorney’s statements, as much as to say, she did the lesser harm by lying than having Kavanaugh confirmed. Well after thinking about it, I will tell you, you remain a partisan hack.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.