This morning I took my Wall Street Journal and iPhone to the French Meadow restaurant in South Minneapolis. I purchased their bottomless coffee and two of their brioche pastries.
Almost as soon as I sat down a 50’s something man and college aged woman a few tables away came up to me. The man asked me if I remembered him, and explained that he had worked for the group of insurance companies which I had managed before my retirement. I told him that I did remember him and we shook hands as old colleagues.
He then introduced me to his daughter, and told me that she was going to be a Social Studies and Spanish teacher. I asked them to join me, and I put my newspaper off to the side on the table. The headline on the front page reported, “Senators Brace for Report by FBI.”
After a few minutes of small talk, his daughter pointed at my newspaper asked me if the Senators on the Judiciary Committee had decided when they would vote on the Kavanaugh nomination. I told her that I wasn’t sure, and she said, “Well, I hope that they do the right thing.” She asked if she could see it, and I handed her the newspaper. Her father and I continued to talk. After only two or three minutes she put down the paper.
Trying to include her, I asked, “Have you been following the deliberations closely?” She replied that she had, and told us that she has a girlfriend that was forced to have sex by a former boyfriend. She told us that her friend had reported him. However, apparently nobody believed that her friend had been forced, and nothing was done about it. She knew that you had to be brave to report attacks like that, and therefore, Doctor Ford’s willingness to risk doing so proves she is truthful.
Her father, began acting a little embarrassed, reminded her that they had to get going in a few minutes. Silence followed. I excused myself and went to refill my coffee cup.
When I came back and sat down again, she asked about my opinion. I paused for a minute, and then decided to pander to her. I told her that I probably knew less about the debate than she did; but I did have a question, “There are two sides in the Judiciary committee’s debate. Have you studied both sides?” She said, “Oh, yes.” I then asked, “Okay, so please help me understand. The Senators which disagree with your view don’t know your friend. If they did, they might still think your friend’s personal experience with someone other than Kavanaugh isn’t determinative. What are the best arguments of those on the other side?”
She answered quickly, “That’s easy. There are no good arguments on the other side. They think it’s just a ‘he-said, she-said’ thing.” I asked, “Perhaps, but isn’t it true that there are no witnesses or evidence which proves either side?”
She told me, “That doesn’t matter. There are thousands of people willing to be a judge. The answer is that if we don’t know who is truthful, we don’t have to take the risk of putting a rapist on the court. Kavanaugh should be rejected, and they should just nominate a different person.”
Her father stood up and repeated again that they really had to get going. He said it was nice to see me again, and hoped that I didn’t mind his daughter talking about politics. I said, “No problem,” and smiled at them both.
As they walked away his daughter turned back briefly and told me that it was nice meeting me, and added, “Even if they do vote him in, I know that I’ll never forgive him for what he did to her.”
I had difficulty reading the paper after that. I had modestly accepted but never really understood until then the extent of the actual damage which had been done to the reputation of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Kavanaugh, his wife and his family, by the Democrat members of the United States Senate Judicial Committee.