Thursday, September 20, 2018

Corey Booker: #HimToo

So it seems Senator Corey Booker, one of the folks who's been grilling Brett Kavanaugh during Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, wrote a column for the Stanford Daily, years ago, in which he freely admitted to groping a girl's breast back when he was 15. Will Booker undergo serious scrutiny for this admission? Probably not. After all, according to the column, Booker and the girl went on to become friends despite that incident.

“Our grouping [groping?] ended soon and while no ‘relationship’ ensued, a friendship did,” he wrote. “You see, the next week in school she told me she was drunk that night and didn’t really know what she was doing.”


Booker wrote about how alcohol lubricated those relations: “Another friend in high school counseled me on the importance of drinking,” he wrote, detailing the slogans he had heard from friends. Booker listed them: “‘With liquor you’ll get to bed quicker,’ … ‘What do you think happened? She invited me back to her room at 3 a.m.’ … ‘I’ve got to find a way to snatch that snatch.’ … ‘The best thing for that girl would be to be tied down and screwed.’”

The article, even though it comes from the right-leaning Daily Caller, is actually fairly sympathetic to Booker, acknowledging (again, through Booker's own written testimony) that Booker's experience in college changed him, and he changed further when he became a peer counselor. If true, if Booker really did change after learning from his own experience and the experiences of others, then he deserves credit for that. It wouldn't be hypocritical or inconsistent to apply the same logic to Brett Kavanaugh, who is doubtless a different man from whoever he was at 17. Granted, Kavanaugh has issued a strongly worded blanket denial that the incident ever occurred. He's probably safe since the accusation appears to be unprovable, but he's in a precarious position: if any hard evidence is found that corroborates Dr. Ford's accusation, Kavanaugh's denial will crumble to dust. I'd say there's less than a 5% chance of that happening.

Keep in mind that hearings aren't a necessary part of the appointment/confirmation process for a Justice of the US Supreme Court. There's really nothing stopping Congress from just brunting ahead and voting Kavanaugh in—nothing but a cowardly fear of public outrage from a liberal public that doesn't know what it wants: on the one hand, the public wants to see Kavanaugh raked over the coals in a weird search for justice for a supposed incident from decades ago; on the other hand, the public doesn't want actual due process to occur: it simply wants Kavanaugh to be rejected, and from what I understand, the FBI has already voiced an unwillingness to pursue an investigation—probably due to the commonsense realization that there's no evidence to go on. Dr. Ford's counsel is on record saying it's not her duty to corroborate anything (when that is, in fact, the very crux of her duty); this bizarre claim doesn't help her client's case at all. So this is all much ado about nothing. As Glenn Reynolds has been saying to the Senate over the past few days, Hold the vote tomorrow.

No comments: