Judge Kavanaugh and the weaponization of #MeToo
For far too long, women who brought forward allegations of sexual assault feared retribution and were not heard. But since the #MeToo movement started less than a year ago, we have seen an overcorrection in society that is dangerous and inarguably anti-men. And now Democrats are weaponizing that environment and the movement to railroad the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the name of politics.
In the era of #MeToo, we have been coerced as a society to believe a woman’s allegations on the basis of her gender alone. The political party that invented the term “Borking” is using uncorroborated and unverified sexual misconduct charges made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez as a battering ram against Kavanaugh.
The idea of ruining a potentially innocent man’s life seems to be OK with some supporters of the #MeToo movement. Teen Vogue columnist Emily Lindin wrote, “If some innocent men's reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said Kavanaugh doesn’t deserve a presumption of innocence because of his judicial philosophy. She has also quipped that men should just “shut up and step up.”
As dangerous of a society as it is for women to feel unable to speak up, it is equally as dangerous for an innocent man to be taken down. In the era of #MeToo, a man is no longer innocent until proven guilty; he is guilty until proven innocent. And proving innocence is a difficult task — perhaps even an impossible one.
What recourse in the court of pubic opinion does someone like Brett Kavanaugh have to clear his name? There is no due process. There will be no fair hearing. He will forever be tainted by the allegations that have been made against him.
Many in the media have been complicit in the smearing of Kavanaugh. The veracity of Ford’s allegations have barely been questioned despite the fact she can’t recall key details about the high school party she says took place 36 years ago. She can’t remember where the incident took place, when it happened, how she got there or how she got home.
Every witness she has named has denied her allegation under penalty of felony, even her lifelong friend Leland Keyser. There also have been inconsistencies. Her therapist’s notes from a 2012 session state there were four teenage boys involved in the incident; Ford says that was a mistake and there were only two. Both she and her attorneys have given conflicting information about how many people attended the party in question.
A New Yorker piece that broke Deborah Ramirez’s allegations underscores the lengths to which Democrats are willing to go in order to create enough smoke that the public reflexively assumes there must be a fire. Ronan Farrow, one of the authors, has said that Senate Democrats sought Ramirez out. The article also demonstrates that evidence often doesn't matter in the #MeToo era.
Ramirez admits there are gaps in her memory about an alleged party at Yale University decades ago, due to the amount of alcohol she consumed. The New Yorker could not confirm with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party. One of her best friends from college said Ramirez never mentioned the incident to her, and two alleged witnesses deny it. Other publications like The New York Times tried to track down the story but could not corroborate it after interviewing several dozen people.
Judge Kavanaugh has denied the allegations that have been made against him under penalty of felony. He has also been through six background checks before, and was vetted in the confirmation process for the United States Court of Appeals. His character and commitment to the law has been lauded by people on both sides of the aisle. Sixty-five women who have known him since high school signed a letter vouching for his character, and 87 held a press conference to defend him.
In America, the presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of our criminal justice system. But Democrats and some in the mainstream media are depriving Judge Kavanaugh of that right in the name of political retribution.
Brett Kavanaugh’s life matters, and his future is hanging in the balance. He deserves the presumption of innocence and to be treated fairly.
Lisa Boothe is a senior fellow of Independent Women's Voice, a conservative policy organization, and a Fox News contributor. She has worked for multiple Republican members of Congress and political campaigns. She previously was a vice president of WPA Research (now WPAIntel), a Republican polling firm. Follow her on Twitter@LisaMarieBoothe