In deciding to go on the attack in the Kavanaugh confirmation debate by openly and publicly mocking Christine Blasey Ford at a political rally for purported “inconsistencies” in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Trump might not realize that he has created an enormous inconsistency in his own position. Actually, “contradiction” would be a better word to use. Moreover, Trump might not realize that he has left his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, hanging out on a limb all by himself.
After Ford delivered her testimony, many people, including me, found it to be powerful and credible. But such people also included Trump and Kavanaugh, something that people are likely to forget amidst the storm of the controversy.
Both Trump and Kavanaugh made it clear that they believed that Ford was telling the truth — that she was in fact sexually assaulted. With one exception, neither Trump nor Kavanaugh questioned any part of her testimony, including that part of her testimony in which she said she had been sexually assaulted in the particular house where Kavanaugh’s friends were drinking.
What was the exception? Trump and Kavanaugh maintained that it was simply a case of mistaken identity. They were essentially saying, yes, that Ford had in fact been sexually attacked but that she had simply mistaken Kavanaugh for someone who obviously looked like Kavanaugh.
We can refer to this as the Kavanaugh look-alike theory. It accepts the truthfulness of Ford’s testimony except for her identification of Kavanaugh as the attacker. It says that Ford must be mistaking him for someone who looks like Kavanaugh.
Yet, Trump has now shifted gears. He is now pointing to what he calls “inconsistencies” in Ford’s testimony. In his mocking tone, he is now insinuating that she made up the whole story — that she’s lying about the assault even having taken place at all.
Obviously, accusing Ford of making up the whole episode is a different theory from the Kavanaugh look-alike theory. In fact, the two theories contradict each other.
Meanwhile, Kavanaugh is sticking with the look-alike theory, at least as of now.
So, the question arises: Why has Trump shifted gears and embraced a position that contradicts his previous position and that now contradicts the position of his Supreme Court nominee?
I think the answer becomes clear once we analyze the look-alike theory.
In order for the look-alike theory to be viable, there has to have been a high school colleague of Kavanaugh who looked like him. Moreover, he would have had to be hanging around with the same friends that Kavanaugh had. That’s why he would have been at the party where Ford was allegedly assaulted.
Indeed, the Kavanaugh lookalike would also have had to be a good friend of Kavanaugh’s good friend Mark Judge because Ford contended that both Kavanaugh and Judge worked together to assault her. That means that Judge would have been good friends with both Kavanaugh and the Kavanaugh lookalike.
Therefore, let’s assume that the Kavanaugh lookalike story is viable. That would mean that both Kavanaugh and Judge would have to know who the lookalike was or likely was. Or even if they forgot which of their friends looked like Kavanaugh, all they would have to do is go back through the yearbook and look for which ones of their good friends looked like Kavanaugh. Given the relatively small number of boys within their circle of friends, it should not have been difficult to identify the Kavanaugh lookalike who might have committed the assault.
In fact, after Trump and Kavanaugh came up with the Kavanaugh lookalike theory, one person actually embraced it and began looking for the alleged Kavanaugh lookalike. Presumably he scoured the high school yearbook looking for the lookalike.
And guess what! He found a person who he was convinced was the Kavanaugh lookalike and actually publicly named him, no doubt thinking that he was going to be hailed as a hero by both Trump and Kavanaugh and thanked profusely for his investigative service.
Yet, no doubt to the man’s surprise, neither Trump nor Kavanaugh exclaimed, “Yes, that has to be the Kavanaugh lookalike who sexually assaulted Christine Ford. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” Instead, both Trump and Kavanaugh stayed silent about the alleged Kavanaugh lookalike.
The man soon realized that in pursuing the Kavanaugh lookalike theory, he had placed himself on a precarious limb, which was now cracking, especially given the possibility of a libel or slander case by the alleged lookalike. He scurried back down the limb and down the tree, where he acknowledged his error and apologized to the alleged lookalike.
But then where does that leave us? It leaves us without a Kavanaugh lookalike or even a suspected Kavanaugh lookalike. Yet, if the Kavanaugh lookalike theory is valid, then Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge are in the best position to tell us who the lookalike might be. To date, both of them have failed to come up with even one possible Kavanaugh lookalike who could have been the one who allegedly assaulted Christine Blasey Ford. For that matter, as far as I know, not one of Kavanaugh’s and Judge’s high school friends has come forward with a list of possible Kavanaugh lookalikes.
For her part, Ford has stated unequivocally that she knew Kavanaugh before the assault and that she is 100 percent certain that he, not a Kavanaugh lookalike, sexually assaulted her. Presumably she was able to see his face when he was allegedly on top of her, putting his hand over her mouth, and trying to rip off her clothes.
Thus, the Kavanaugh lookalike theory appears to be dead in the water, which, in my opinion, is why Trump had now decided to shift gears by now suggesting that Ford made the whole thing up, even though that now leaves his nominee Brett Kavanaugh still hewing to the Kavanaugh lookalike theory, which is the opposite of Trump’s new theory.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”—Sir Walter Scott