As Friday’s 1:30 p.m. Judiciary Committee vote neared on advancing Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate, Republican Senator Jeff Flake announced that he had a condition for voting yes: The FBI must be given a week to further investigate sexual-assault allegations against the judge.
And yet, after that dramatic capitulation, the official Twitter account of the Women’s March—the group that organized the protest marches in January 2017—nonetheless called Flake a “rape apologist.”
If you have been following this saga—according to Nielsen, one-fifth of all U.S. households were watching Thursday’s testimony, first by Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford, then by the judge, at any given time—you’re getting used to hearing or seeing the phrase rape apologist applied so indiscriminately as to dull the accusation’s blade.
Politics ain’t beanbag, sure. But watching the political world tear itself to pieces over this particular case has been deeply dispiriting.
I find Ford’s allegation to be credible, her behavior admirable, her bravery undeniable. But I also understand that there simply isn’t enough corroborating evidence to justify the certainty we’re seeing on either side, and that the 11th-hour leaking of the allegation—Senator Dianne Feinstein had Ford’s letter in her possession through the entire process—reeked of “October surprise” politics. Still, I have advocated consistently that Kavanaugh’s nomination be withdrawn.