Collins told Dana Bash: “I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant. I do believe that she was assaulted. I don’t know by whom. I’m not certain when.”Senate GOPs Ludicrous Theory of the Case
Blasey Ford was sympathetic and highly credible in her testimony. She had taken and passed a lie detector test. She described an event populated by Kavanaugh’s 1982 friend set, something all but impossible to achieve if she did not at least know him fairly well at the time. Republicans knew that for Kavanaugh to be telling the truth, Blasey Ford had to be lying. Remember. She didn’t pick him out of a line up. It really can’t be a good faith misunderstanding. She knew him. She was sure it was him.
But calling her a liar was politically toxic. So they needed a theory that fit each political need. First, Kavanaugh had to be telling the truth and must in fact be innocent. Second, Blasey Ford must think she is telling the truth. (The straightforward answer is that she’s lying. But that’s bad politics.) Ideally, the theory must posit that she was in fact assaulted, just not by Kavanaugh. Otherwise, there’s no basis for the politically required notional empathy. A less plausible scenario is that she has a false memory and she was never attacked at all. But that’s also bad politics. It sounds like saying she’s crazy and not a victim at all.
Collins and her Republican colleagues settled on the one scenario which checks all the political boxes but at the cost of being ridiculously implausible. She was attacked. But even though she is certain that she was attacked by a person she knew already, Brett Kavanaugh, in fact she was mistaken about who attacked her and might well have been attacked at a totally different point in her life. The assault becomes a purely notional placeholder to hold together a bad faith argument. There is zero chance they all come to this argument independently. This is some unknown strategist’s over-clever ruse.
The real point here is that no one can really believe this. Only the most casual cynicism gets you to this argument. It is a poll-tested, built-in-a-lab argument that is driven purely by political needs and can’t possibly be the product of actual belief or reasoning based on the evidence at hand. It’s pure cynicism that too many people are taking seriously.I understand Josh's analysis. When I read this kind of analysis my activist mind engages. "What can we do with this?"
"What was it that got you to pivot from your restraint about her and to fight for Kavanaugh?" - Jeanine Pirro
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