What Kavanaugh Could Have Said That Would Have Been Honest

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by Neil Godfrey

Valerie Tarico

Valerie Tarico has posted what I consider to be a first rate essay as a psychologist, not just about Kavanaugh and Ford, but about us all.

What Kavanaugh Could Have Said That Would Have Been Honest


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Neil Godfrey

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11 thoughts on “What Kavanaugh Could Have Said That Would Have Been Honest”

  1. Valerie raises many sensible points she learned from both professional study, personal experience and clinical practice. Now I am 63 and recall my sexual exploits of when I was 18. I never assaulted anyone, jut pleaded and sweet talked my way as far as I could, sometimes to the great annoyance of the girl. If I was running for politics now there may be a lady come forward and falsely accuse me of assaulting her when I was 18. She may do it for varying reasons. Sex is a very strong drive and politics a dirty game. They produce some nasty combinations.

    1. >Now I am 63 and recall my sexual exploits of when I was 18. I never assaulted anyone, jut pleaded and sweet talked my way as far as I could, sometimes to the great annoyance of the girl. If I was running for politics now there may be a lady come forward and falsely accuse me of assaulting her when I was 18.

      What does that have to do with your “sexual exploits” from when you were 18 ? Anybody can come forward with false accusations of anything, for varying reasons as you say. If it is a false accusation, then what you actually did when you were 18 should be irrelevant.

  2. I am agreeing with Caravelle that there may have been a false accusation. I just mentioned my teenage experience to empathise with the problem of a former girlfriend coming out of the woodwork now, rightly or wrongly. It’s a man thing, but then again, it could happen to a woman too. I am interested in justice, whatever the outcome. Let’s leave it at that.

    1. “Rightly or wrongly” ? That includes “rightly”, did you actually mean that? So in a situation where person A hurt person B badly enough that person B still feels the hurt decades later, and person A sees no consequence for their action for decades, and then at some point person B goes public about what happened to them, your first reflex is to empathize with the person who hurt the other, got away with it for most their life, and decades later is threatened with the possibility of being held accountable for their actions?

      I can understand that position, and though your description of youthful sexual exploits is technically irrelevant, it is clear that the reason you bring it up is that you see your situation as more likely to parallel person A’s than to parallel person B’s. And so of course you empathize with person A, enough for it to justify two comments saying so. Insofar as it is “a man thing”, it is only so because society has long valued men and men’s sexual agency over women’s, to the point men were taught that behavior that hurt women was OK to engage in, and got away with it, much more than the other way around. And so many men, however much they themselves might or might not have hurt women in practice, find themselves in this situation of having more in common with men who committed assault than with women who suffered it, and their empathy follows.

      I would argue that it is precisely because you are in a position much more similar to person A’s, that you should make an effort to empathize with person B, because in the “rightly” scenario they are clearly the more injured party and your inadvertent bias towards person A compounds that injury. And maybe instead of worrying that a woman might falsely accuse you of assault, because politics and sex are dirty business amirite, you should try putting yourself in the shoes of those girls you “greatly annoyed”, and figure out whether they’d actually have something to accuse you of, and if so what, and if not then not pre-emptively slander them in your mind and on the internet by assuming they’ll bring a false accusation for dirty political reasons. False accusations of sexual assault are much rarer than real accusations and unreported real assaults, and those last ones are a bigger societal problem than the first.

        1. I’m sure it’s pretty clear that I misunderstood you, given both my replies to you are motivated by and highlight aspects of your comments that I am confused by and think have implications that I’m not sure were intended. But since you haven’t explained or clarified anything in either of your replies I guess we have to leave it there. As for agreeing with me, I said many things and so have no idea what exactly you’re agreeing with, but given many of the things I said were in explicit opposition to things I read in your comments, your agreement does nothing to remedy the confusion or misunderstanding.

  3. There is probably more evidence that Jesus was a real person. Ford seems to have confabulated 90% of her “memories” of this incident and two others have apparently come forward that it was themselves, not Kavanaugh and Judge, who were responsible. Sorry, #NotMeToo.

    1. That story, to put it politely, is a bunch of crap, because it doesn’t match up with other details of Dr. Ford’s account. Most notably that the timing of Judge working at a specific supermarket AFTER the attack, is all wrong.

      1. I examined this in Just the same way I examined Jesus and found even less to it. Judge Kavanaugh doesn’t appear to have been a terribly likeable teenager and I’m not surprised he would want to draw a veil over and and minimise his behaviour; but if you are going to be poe-faced about colossal dickheads your probably going to have to ostracise about 20% of your population (I’m being generous; the impression I get is being a colossal dickhead is a requirement for American citizenship) and most of your political class. I probably share very little of the chap’s politics and would disagree strenuously with some of his judgements; but I’m going to have to come out and defend him against this tawdry and malignant persecution. It probably has no basis in fact and we almost certainly have no way of getting at those facts in any case. Dr Ford has my sympathy; it is almost certain there is underlying trauma that has lead to these confabulations. That should be dealt with professionally and I wish her the best of luck in that respect; what shouldn’t be happening is her personal tragedy being latched onto and exploited as a political weapon to beat someone around the head with because… fuck knows; I can’t see anything moral or principled behind it.

        I’m English: I don’t have a dog in this fight excepting where the stupidities of American society and politics spill over into my own; so I’m not going to do anymore than the quick and dirty inquiry I’ve already done. It’s been quite entertaining but I’ve had my fill of popcorn for now. Get back to me when you are fighting in the streets maybe; but not before.

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