White House of horrors: Why Kavanaugh is the perfect nominee for Trump’s administration

21

Claudia Hanover

This July, President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, the former Bush-appointed Court of Appeals judge, to the Supreme Court — a perfect choice for his administration.

I say that because every Trump appointment or nominee throughout his current term as president has had a combination of three specific characteristics. I like to call these three qualities the ‘Trump Trifecta,’ which consists of ignorance, dishonesty and a history of abuse, particularly against women. Kavanaugh epitomizes each attribute of the trifecta.

It is surprising to some that while one of Kavanaugh’s main issues is abortion, he seems to have very little knowledge of the difference between abortion and birth control. In discussing whether or not employers should be mandated to cover birth control in their insurance plans, Kavanaugh quoted a Catholic nonprofit group when referring to birth control pills as “abortion-inducing drugs.”

Technically, Kavanaugh was quoting the group’s words, but he was using their choice of phrasing to argue against required birth control coverage on the basis that this type of contraceptive induces abortions, which violates “religious freedoms.” To be clear, birth control is very different from abortion. The latter terminates fertilized eggs, while former prevents fertilization from happening at all.

During Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, the Supreme Court nominee announced that he viewed the ruling of Roe v. Wade as “important precedent.” Roe v. Wade is the Supreme Court case that ruled it unconstitutional to criminalize or restrict access to abortions. While this seems like good news for pro-choice Americans, Kavanaugh’s earlier statements on the permanence of this ruling say otherwise.

In a 2003 memo, made public the day after this particular hearing, Kavanaugh wrote that the Supreme Court “can always overrule” Roe v. Wade, as reported by CNN. Why would Kavanaugh very clearly contradict his opinion on the jurisdiction of the court not so long after he formed it? The answer is simple. Just like the man who nominated him, Kavanaugh says what he thinks people want to hear, not actually what he believes.

Kavanaugh isn’t lying because he can, nor is he ignorant from lack of education. He is doing anything and everything to justify the government’s control of women and their bodies.

Kavanaugh seems like a good guy though, right? He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would want to oppress women, right?

Well, in sharp contrast to the good-boy persona he puts on in front of the public, Kavanaugh’s alleged history of violence against women is part of his past that is quickly being unraveled in front of the world.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, reluctantly spoke to The Washington Post recently about a party she attended in high school.

At this party, she alleges Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her while one of his friends watched. There are therapy notes dating back to 2012 where Blasey Ford spoke of this alleged event during two separate appointments, one with her husband and one alone. Her husband even recalls Blasey Ford mentioning Kavanaugh by name.

These allegations could, and should, disqualify Kavanaugh from a position in our country’s highest court. Yet, there are still many people, including our president, who would rather ignore the potential validity of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations. President Trump stated that Kavanaugh “is not a man who deserves this” — as if this was a falsely created story with the sole purpose of discrediting his nominee.

To those who agree with Trump, I must ask: what does Blasey Ford have to gain by making up these allegations? Since speaking openly with The Washington Post, after much reluctance, Blasey Ford has dealt with death threats and smear campaigns and was even forced to relocate her family into hiding.

This is a woman who suppressed awful trauma, until finally speaking about it in confidence decades later. Now, she is being pushed to speak about it with all of America’s eyes watching. Christine Blasey Ford has gained nothing from coming forward with these allegations. Rather, she is publicly fighting her demons — doing anything to prevent her abuser’s appointment to a high-ranking, high-profile position. It is clear that she is not doing this for herself, but for all of the victims who cannot.

This isn’t a criminal trial, it’s a job interview. Kavanaugh shouldn’t get the privilege of presumed innocence, but rather, he should go above and beyond to prove to our elected officials that he is fit to serve our country.

The problem with our president and the pervasive rape culture in our society is the blatant refusal to admit the possibility of a woman telling the truth. We stretch ourselves thin to find reasons why Kavanaugh would not have done something like this, rather than investigate the reasons why he might have committed the crime. 

To the Senate Judiciary Committee, and anyone keeping up with these hearings, it is time to change the way we examine sexual assault. Step one, believe the woman. Step two, investigate the reasons why the accused did what he did, not why he couldn’t.

Claudia Hanover, ’21, is a columnist for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]

Comment policy


Comments posted to The Brown and White website are reviewed by a moderator before being approved. Incendiary speech or harassing language, including comments targeted at individuals, may be deemed unacceptable and not published. Spam and other soliciting will also be declined.

The Brown and White also reserves the right to not publish entirely anonymous comments.

21 Comments

  1. Why do we have to believe this woman 36 years after the alleged incident? This woman will make millions of dollars like Anita Hill did trying to deep 6 Clarence Thomas. This was a politically motivated charge with both personal & party benefits by an avowed campaign supporter of the Democratic Party.

    Women make unverified claims regularly today about sexual abuse that are regularly rebuked by video surveillance cameras that send college Title IX officers back to the drawing boards on student allegations. So how drunk was Ford at age 15 to be certain that her 36 year old claim is valid?

    Kavanaugh has been vetted many times in his judicial career with a spotless record as an adult. Now you want to ruin the career of a model citizen over a high school or even college party where underage kids like you get blasted & don’t have a clue where you are or what you did at some off campus party?

    Give me a break!!

    • Current student on

      I was about to applaud one of my peers for speaking so openly about the issue when even I refuse to do it without a pseudonym for fear of backlash. I guess it is much easier to keep drinking that koolaid instead of critically thinking. Not sure if I should be surprised she got so much incorrect, was so biased, and didn’t understand a lot of what she talked about. On one hand, I would expect more from a fellow Lehigh student, on the other hand, there seems to be a trend that the more wealthy and “elite” a school is, the easier it is to brainwash the students.

      Anyways, 2 scoops, 2 judges, and 2 terms.

  2. Amy Charles '89 on

    Why do we have to believe her?

    Because she was entirely believable. Here’s who else wasn’t fooled: that sex-crimes prosecutor from Arizona. She recognized truth when she saw and heard it, and she had Kav sized up in about four milliseconds. That’s why those old men took the questioning away from her. She knew what she had on the other end of the line, and he was falling apart after ten minutes of her questioning. I really hadn’t thought he’d rattle so easy, but I bet she’s used to that, too.

    • Current Student on

      How’d that FBI investigation go. Seems like big success for you all. Can’t wait for BK to get confirmed this Saturday and for the Red Wave to follow, as voters are waking up to the slimy tactics the left has been trying to use.

      MFW the left’s propaganda backfires. As the great Lindsey Graham said, “I hope you all never get power again.” Seems likely if the trend of winning continues. Oh well, good night.

  3. Robert F Davenport Jr on

    “The problem with our president and the pervasive rape culture in our society is the blatant refusal to admit the possibility of a woman telling the truth.” I would rather say the problem with our country is the lack of respect for each other. You can add to that a lack of respect for other things that deserve respect such as the presidency, oneself or life itself. One thing that is respected is one’s personal desires.

    Unfortunately Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s personal suffering was brought into the political arena. Most important is her healing which Democrats seemed to ignore for political gain, predictably Republicans were more than willing to enter the political fray. Nothing is proven and nobody gains from the ongoing drama.

    Of course the reason for all this uproar is Roe vs Wade which brings to mind the Dred Scott case. In both cases the “winners” are convinced the decision should continue unassailed while the “losers” are convinced that the court made a grievous error.

    Semantics, word definitions and science are a part of the discussion as described in the article. Not mentioned is that the court kicked the can down the road when they failed to define when life begins. Science would say life begins when an egg cell and sperm cell unite. Some would say life begins at birth. The government waffles, the death of a fetus is illegal or legal dependent upon the circumstances and identity of those involved in the demise of the collection of cells The answer seems to be influenced by politics.

    Abortion: the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus (No hint as to the time of initial usage), Conception: the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both (14th century), Pregnant: containing a developing embryo, fetus, or unborn offspring within the body (14th century), Contraception: deliberate prevention of conception or impregnation (1886), Birth Control: control of the number of children or offspring born especially by preventing or lessening the frequency of conception (1876),

    “Priests for Life contested the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that all health plans cover birth control, claiming that IUDs and emergency contraception causes abortion instead of acting as birth control.” Technically, Kavanaugh was quoting the group’s (Priests for Life) words, but he was using their choice of phrasing to argue against required birth control coverage on the basis that this type of contraceptive induces abortions, which violates “religious freedoms.” To be clear, birth control is very different from abortion. The latter terminates fertilized eggs, while former prevents fertilization from happening at all. By the definitions above Contraception and Birth Control can be construed as including abortion. I think the connotation of birth control is preventing fertilization but the meaning as such is not clear.

    Producers of the IUD and emergency contraception concentrate on the idea that their products prevent conception but admit to the possibility of preventing implantation of a fertilized egg: “The Mirena IUD, Skyla IUD and the ParaGard IUD all prevent sperm from joining with an egg by interfering with the movement of the sperm toward the egg. These IUDs also change the lining of the uterus. In theory, this change to the uterine wall may keep a fertilized egg from attaching to the lining of the uterus, but there is no proof that this actually happens” (I assume that preventing or ending a pregnancy is the desired result so how it works is immaterial to the company) & https://www.planbonestep.com/about-plan-b-one-step/how-does-it-work.aspx . http://planb.ca/how-it-works.html This site states: … Prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus
    plan B® is not an abortion pill—if you take plan B®, you will not be terminating a pregnancy. This defines pregnant as when the embryo attaches to the uterus which is not in agreement with the above definitions.

    “Women and their bodies” – rights and responsibilities.

    You forgot Step Three: Hang the bastard. Really I think you are describing the French judicial system. Respect the woman, respect the accused attempt to bring justice to the case

    • Claudia Hanover on

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks so much for reading. While we disagree on many levels, much of that regarding conception and contraception, I wanted to bring attention to your last paragraph. You wrote that I am describing the French judicial system, when in reality, I am describing no judicial system at all. As I said in my column, this is a job interview, not a criminal court. If these allegations were found in background checks for any ordinary job out of the public eye, it would be almost instantly disqualifiable. We should look at these hearings through that scope, rather than a narrow view on what the purpose of the hearing was.

      • Robert F Davenport Jr on

        The question then becomes should a job interview be “fair”. Are criteria clear or can the interviewer be biased to whatever bias he/she subscribes to. Patriot2 seems to think that an exemplary adult life has redeeming value. As a job interview, someone must make the decision to hire or not. The Republicans would like to hire this man for the job, a few may not vote so; all Democrats will not want to hire this man. It’s a job interview but its not like any one that I have been associated with. It seems more like a trial

  4. Robert, you are holding your hand over Dr. Ford’s mouth. I know you didn’t mean to. But that’s what you’re doing.

    You say her healing is most important. She said, very clearly and plainly, that she was there to do her civic duty. She was there for a reason, and the reason is civic, which is political though not necessarily partisan. That’s why she’s not been home trying to find a way to move out of the US and away from a life under her rapist’s thumb. Respect that.

    I did not read your list of definitions past the question of defining when life starts, because some time ago we decided that the people who should be involved in this decision are the woman who will bear and bear responsibility for the child and her doctor. I will admit that if the people who tend to turn up in government were more likely to behave responsibly and respectfully toward women and children, I would be more open to bringing the government into that conversation. But we have a long unbroken history of public cruelty and at times savagery towards women and children, and motherhood remains an enormous risk factor for a life of abuse and poverty, so I am afraid the government will have to keep out of the decision, as far as I’m concerned.

    It’s why I expect to send my daughter abroad for college so that she can start her life in a place where women’s reproductive rights are simply taken for granted. It’s the point at which respect for women begins. I’m not happy about her and any grandchildren living so far away, but I would rather that she have unquestioned freedom to live her life and use her talents as she will.

    • Robert F Davenport Jr on

      “… because some time ago we decided that the people who should be involved in this decision are the woman who will bear and bear responsibility for the child and her doctor.” Who are the “we”? I assume it is those who are acceptable to be “we” by the woman in question.

      We disagree. “…motherhood remains an enormous risk factor for a life of abuse and poverty…”

      “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

      ― Mother Theresa of Calcutta

      • Amy Charles '89 on

        “We” means the Supreme Court and the majority of Americans, who have long believed that the decision belongs in the hands of the woman and her doctor — with “woman” listed first for a reason.

        For all your talk of respect, you ultimately have no respect for half the people on earth, and you carefully insulate yourself from recognizing that. But you have decided that your ideas about how they should live are more important than their own. And you step right around the reality I pointed out above, about what risks and costs motherhood brings to women in this society. If you would like to step to me and start explaining to me what my own life is, and what the lives of other mothers are, as though you’ve lived it yourself and your take should have priority, then by all means, be my guest.

        Once upon a time there were conservatives I respected: people who cared deeply about old social structures, but did not feel it was their place to force their beliefs on anyone else, particularly when they were not the ones who were likely to pay the price for those beliefs. We used to have a Republican congressman like that here. I miss him and actually prefer him to the Dem we have now. The man had a lot of integrity. He was actually rather seriously religious and pro-life, but he regarded these views as private (as do I) and would never have cast a vote forcing them on others.

  5. Ms Ford lost all credibility when she acted like a teenager during her testimony & failed to answer the question about who is coaching her thru the lie detector test & who paid for that. Her picture with George Soros tells it all.

    She is a seriously disturbed person who needed therapy when she wanted 2 front doors on her house. Then she claimed she couldn’t handle flying & then admitted she flies all over the world for her job. With Professors like this at our universities it is very understandable why our students today are called snowflakes!!

    • Amy Charles '89 on

      Bruce, are you the same guy who threw a tantrum at Bethlehem City Council and walked out because they wouldn’t hand you a giant tax break unless you actually dealt with their concerns?

      • Bruce Haines ‘67 on

        I threw no tantrum at all. I simply walked out after they refused to allow me to respond to their 20 concerns at that meeting. The whole purpose of the meeting was to finally get a yes or no vote on our project after 9 months of delay. When it was clear they were going to further delay any decision, I calmly packed up my papers & told them I had an alternative plan I would execute without the incentive because further delay was unacceptable.

        Hope that clarifies your misinformation & what does that have to do with the credibility of Ms Ford’s testimony?

        • Amy Charles '89 on

          Well, your recollection of your behavior’s a little different than what was reported. I’ll leave others to draw their own conclusions about who the snowflake is. Not to mention the hypocrite. Look who’s hoovering up the public subsidies for his business. And complaining about not “feeling the love” because someone wants him to be a little answerable to the taxpayers who’re donating to his business. My god.

          I hadn’t realized that going to Hotel B puts money in your pocket; I’ll be sure to avoid.

          • Bruce Haines’67 on

            Clearly your interpretation from the “fake news” report is 100% different from those at the meeting including former Mayor & Lehigh grad Ken Smith. He was aghast at the rude behavior of the Chairman of the CRIZ Board who insulted our former mayor there to speak out in favor of our project designation.

            In addition you clearly don’t understand this particular issue & your calling me a hypocrite is both insulting & disrespectful to a fellow Lehigh alum. The “feeling the love” comment was a simple way of concluding a meeting where the public officials exhibited an arrogant & demeaning attitude to a businessman who had a great project for all of downtown Bethlehem. It had nothing to do with being accountable to taxpayers but rather about my challenge of the overreaching power of the Bethlehem Parking Authority who held up our application for 9 months.

            Happy to sit down over breakfast if you want the unfiltered real story here.

            • Amy Charles '89 on

              Oh, sure thing, Bill. Let’s see: you want state and local taxpayers to put $35 million in your pocket, rather than spending the money on schools, roads, social services, things that already go to build jobs and make people happier, smarter, and more productive, rather than beefing up Bill Haines’ private wealth while he employs people in dead-end jobs at tiny hourly wages at his hotel. (Though we can’t forget bartending. I had a friend who used to make bank at Hotel B bartending. Tips, yanno. All she had to do was let the patrons harass and now and then assault her.) Because it will definitely benefit people more to be a Hotel B parking valet than it will for them to get tech training, or do well on their SATs, or be able to work fulltime because their kids have good fulltime childcare. That’s some sure-nuff ecodev right there, plus a snazzy valet uniform.

              So you go ahead and write a few checks totalling $35M to Lehigh County Community College, Bethlehem K-12 schools, and state/local childcare programs aimed at allowing parents to work fulltime jobs, and I will happily fly out there on my own dime to have breakfast with you and hear all about how you weren’t pitching a hissy about not having everything “Haines Way” and you were actually very calm.

              Just post copies of the checks and I’m there.

            • Amy Charles '89 on

              Also, Bill, I am truly sorry that you had to wait nine whole months for your delivery of $35 million worth of tax money to your private business. Hand on heart. Rough stuff, man. Free markets forever, amirite?

              • Amy,

                I’m more concerned about your previous comment where you alluded that women’s reproductive rights (aka ability to kill a fetus) are restricted here in the US.

                If you want an abortion you can go get one. Just don’t expect someone else to pay for it.

              • Bruce Haines ‘67 on

                This is not a grant & where did you come up with $35 Million? You are as confused as Dr Ford & not worth continuing dialogue. Do you have 2 front doors on your house?

Leave a Comment

More in Opinion, Top Stories
Season Preview: Women’s swim and dive adjusts to new class

The Lehigh women’s swimming and diving team looks to carry the momentum of last season’s strong finish into the 2018-2019...

Close