Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony is completed. Brett Kavanaugh comes later.

Here are some quick takes (in no particular order):

1. Republicans hiring THIS prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, to question Ford was a mistake. Hiring an outside attorney to do the questioning was fine, and hiring a women to do that was politically expedient. But Mitchell was meandering, as if she had several hours to question the witness when she had only about an hour, broken up into 5-minute segments. Mitchell elicited important information, some of which poked substantial holes in Ford’s story. For example, Ford over the last three months has given different accounts as to the year or time frame, how many people were present, and so on.

But this was a political event and Mitchell didn’t try, even respectfully, to score political points. Meanwhile, Democrats turned their 5-minute segments into made-for-TV and made-for-the-internet soundbites. This is what happens when Republicans run scared.

2. Ford believes what she is saying, and that has a lot to do with her profession of being a clinical psychologist. She volunteered a number of times that her memory is certain as to the trauma because — in her clinical assessment — such traumas are preserved by the way the brain works. That was a convenient explanation for why she remembers the minutes of the alleged assault, but very little in the time before and after the alleged assault.

I think Ford has convinced herself she experienced what she experienced, but the need to inject psychological terminology makes me conclude that it is a memory that, while believed, is not necessarily the way the rest of us remember things.

3. Ford has many anxieties that contributed to her claimed PTSD and fears, but those are off limits because she won’t share the therapist notes she showed to WaPo. She admitted there were other “contributing” factors, but fell back on her clinical psychological analysis to dismiss the other factors.

4. Every person Ford identified as being at the party has signed sworn statements that it didn’t happen, including Ford’s female friend who supposedly was there that night. Those are facts that are not dependent on what Ford subjectively believes. She happens to believe something that is not true, which is why she might avoid a polygraph result reflecting deception.

5. Ford’s lawyers and Democrats repeatedly lied to Republicans on the committee. Ford’s lawyers said she wasn’t available to testify earlier because she is afraid of flying. But the testimony was that she flew to D.C. earlier in the summer and regularly flies on airplanes, including long flights overseas. Republicans offered to travel to interview her in California, which offer was rejected, but she didn’t even know it had been offered. Just more cases of Republicans on the committee being played for fools.

6. Ford going public was much more planned than we were led to believe. She hired lawyers and took a polygraph during late July and early August. Why do that if not expecting to go public? That really wasn’t pursued.

7. Ford basically accused her best friend Leland Keyser of submitting a false statement about the party not happening. She said Leland has health problems and just wanted her lawyer to take care of it. Mitchell never followed up on this bombshell. Incompetent.

That Ford turned on her lifelong friend this way says perhaps more about Ford’s credibility than anything else that happened today.

8. Brett Kavanaugh is going to have to argue his case during his testimony, because the prosecutor Republicans hired does not appear to view that as part of her job.


9. 30,000 foot view: I don’t think Ford did any more damage on substance  to Kavanaugh than existed prior to the testimony. So if Republicans goal was to first do no harm, it might have been accomplished. I doubt many minds were changed. I can’t imagine this changed Trump’s mind. The minds that also matter are Collins, Murkowski, Flake and Corker, and probably 2-3 Republican Senators who have not been heard from. Just two minds need to be changed to sink Kavanaugh.


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