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In a few weeks, possibly, many Americans and especially females will look upon the nine robed justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and see two sex offenders.

They'll see smug men--Clarence Thomas and now Brett Kavanaugh--who got away with abuse of women because of the protection of Republican senators, nearly all male.

They'll understand that those Republican senators wanted the two men on the Supreme Court to placate evangelical "Christians" whose whole agenda is to deny women control of their bodies.

In a few weeks, possibly, many other Americans and particularly conservative Republicans will look upon the Supreme Court and see those same two members as having heroically endured disgraceful smearing from evil Democrats.

Either way, it all serves to represent a widely metastasized cancer for our vital American institutions--our highest court, some of our religion, our U.S. Senate, and our political systems and processes.

Prominent evangelical preachers began fuming by midweek that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegation of teenage sexual assault by Kavanaugh threatened confirmation.

Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, and one of those Trumpian "Two Corinthians" Christians, put it this way: He doesn't know what if anything happened years ago with Kavanaugh and the woman, but what he does know is that Democrats don't care and merely exploit the matter for delay.

Translation: Even if a pro-life judge drunkenly assaulted a girl sexually when they were in high school more than 30 years ago, and lies about it today, that wouldn't be as bad as being a Democrat.

When I was a boy enduring an evangelical upbringing, we lived by the biblical charge to go into all the world and teach the Gospel. Now the evangelicals live by, "Go into the American political system and install pro-life politicians and judges, no matter what kind of wretched human beings they might be."

It may be that Democrats use the matter merely for delay, though far less a delay than Republicans imposed on Merrick Garland and Barack Obama.

Partisan politics today is thoroughly and purely tit-for-tat. The only way that cycle ever gets broken is if one party unilaterally withdraws, which seems unlikelier than ever with a vindictive man-child as president.

It is true that, no matter what happened or didn't with Kavanaugh and Ford amid near-toxic preppy drunkenness in the '80s, the allegation is being judged today by standards entirely different from those in effect when the alleged event happened.

But no one is proposing to put Kavanaugh in jail. Instead, he is presuming to offer himself for our most-eminent court. No one has a right to that. One must measure up to it.

It is entirely defensible to hold the view that such a stain in one's background and dishonesty about it now bring one up short.

Kavanaugh is due no punishment. At most, he simply is not due installation on the rarefied U.S. Supreme Court.

On Friday morning, your disgraceful excuse for a president posted the cluelessly malignant tweet that, if the assault had been as bad as Dr. Ford says now, she'd have told her parents and they would have told law enforcement.

So I thought I'd relate a call I got from a woman last week. She believed her story might give me needed perspective. She said I could do what I wanted with the story.

What I want is to share it for reader contemplation but without any remote identification, even by town or era.

She said she'd told the story to her husband years ago and to her mother only the day before, owing to the Kavanaugh affair's bringing the experience tearfully back to her.

She was 15 or 16, and a boy 17 or 18 had taken a seeming liking to her, which thrilled her. The boy had taken her out a time or two. They hadn't even held hands, much less kissed or caressed.

One day he called and wanted to take her to a movie, and she was delighted. But the movie turned out to be at a drive-in. All of a sudden, he had her down in the car seat and was "doing things to me I had never had done to me and knew nothing about."

He climaxed while clothed; otherwise, she wonders if she'd have been raped.

He drove her home in silence and didn't walk her to the door, as he had before.

She told no one because she didn't understand what had happened. She somehow thought maybe she was to blame or shamed in some way.

When a girlfriend mentioned her experience with the same boy and called him aggressive, she kept quiet, somehow illogically guilt-ridden.

She sees the respected man now at public events. She leaves.

She thinks it's entirely possible he doesn't remember.

There is a reason, she said, that a girl can't bring herself to tell what a woman might bring herself in special circumstances to tell decades later.


John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a member of the Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame. Email him at Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.

Editorial on 09/23/2018

Print Headline: A cancer on the court


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Archived Comments

  • Delta2
    September 23, 2018 at 7:56 a.m.

    No fan of Kavanaugh nor Thomas, here, but there have also been alleged sex offenders in the White House. If the Democrats need to have their turn at hitting the piñata, so be it, but some of us are getting bored and are ready to change the channel (again).

    Broken two-party system.

  • mozarky2
    September 23, 2018 at 8:38 a.m.

    I doubt she'll testify. It's becoming increasingly obvious she's lying. She got caught in her own trap, and she can't find her way out.

  • TheAntiBrummett
    September 23, 2018 at 8:39 a.m.

    You have publicly and in a professional manner called a United States Supreme Court Nominee a sex offender without knowing the facts of the case and without legally proven status as a sex offender. That is beyond what is acceptable of an intelligent man and a respected journalist, and could be construed as libel at worst, and bad joirnalism at best. Think about your words; think about a career spent doing what Kavanaugh thought was best, despite the political leanings diametrically opposed to yours, and do the right thng. Post a retraction.

  • Rightside
    September 23, 2018 at 8:51 a.m.

    Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton who sexual assaulted women are heroes to the Democrats and media. Ted the "Lion of the Senate" let a young girl drown. The drunk Ted walked away from the death scene. Clinton has become a beloved party elder, trotted out every campaign cycle while the women he assulted are dismissed by the left.

    Brummett is saying with deceitful words Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh "got away with abuse of women" and are sex offenders, with no proof but easy to say. I could say Brummett abused women. I have no proof but it would be easy to say. Even if a pro-abortion columnist drunkenly assaulted a girl sexually when they were in high school more than 45 years ago, and lies about it today, that wouldn't be as bad as being a Republican.
    In written testimony sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a third named witness has rejected the allegations made by Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser. Ms. Keyer, whom CNN confirms is “a lifelong friend of Ford’s,” is the third named witness to deny any knowledge of the allegations. The other two, Mark Judge and Patrick Smyth, issued written statements to that effect earlier in the week. Thus far, nobody has backed up the account advanced by Kavanaugh’s accuser, while Kavanaugh and three other named witnesses have rejected it outright.

  • mozarky2
    September 23, 2018 at 8:52 a.m.

    She's in too deep. She's even hired Mike Bromwich, an attorney who's made a career of representing serial perjurers.
    I just wonder who's paying for her legal team...

  • pcrasehotmailcom
    September 23, 2018 at 8:55 a.m.

    JB, have you no shame sir?

  • GeneralMac
    September 23, 2018 at 10:15 a.m.

    John Brummett has sunk to a new low !

  • Skeptic1
    September 23, 2018 at 10:43 a.m.

    You might have credibility if you pointed out that Democrats embrace sexual predators if they are members of their party or support their agenda. I speak of Bill Clinton and Hillary who viciously went after her husbands accusers, and then there's all those photos with she and Bill and Harvey Weinstein. How about Congressman Ellison who beat up his mistress then set the dogs to destroy her? Your party has lost its mind over Trump and has become the very things they once stood against.

  • NHGoodrich
    September 23, 2018 at 10:48 a.m.

    Someone show this to Brummett; Never mind, he wouldn't understand...

    Fourth Supposed Witness To Kavanaugh Accuser’s Alleged Assault Says It Didn’t Happen
    September 23, 2018 By Margot Cleveland

    Christine Blasey Ford’s charge that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago crumpled late Saturday when the final witness Ford identified failed to back her story.

    In a Saturday evening email, an attorney representing Ford’s former classmate, Leland Ingham Keyser, stated that his client “does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without Dr. Ford.”

    Keyser is now the fourth person to refute Ford’s story. Kavanaugh immediately and unequivocally denied Ford’s charge that, while intoxicated, he pushed her into a bedroom, pinned her to a bed, and attempted to rip off her clothing. Kavanaugh also implored the Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing the following day so he could clear himself.

    In addition to Kavanaugh, Ford claimed that three other teens were at the party that occurred circa 1982, although she is not sure of the year or location. Ford also said Mark Judge, a friend and Georgetown Preparatory classmate of Kavanaugh, was in the room with her and Kavanaugh at the time of the assault.

    Judge refuted Ford’s claim in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, writing “I have no memory of this alleged incident.” “Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described” by Ford, Judge continued. Judge ended his statement by stressing that, while he did not remember the supposed party, he “never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.”

    Ford also identified another Georgetown Prep student by his initials “PJ,” and later Patrick J. Smyth, a fellow 1983 grad of the North Bethesda, Maryland all-boys school, came forward to respond to Ford’s charge. In a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Smyth said he wrote “to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”

  • DEE672
    September 23, 2018 at 11:11 a.m.

    You are right , John, but these drunken trumpies will continue to cling to the liar in chief. I suffered through every minute of the Anita Hill abuse by some of these same Repug senators and I taped the whole thing , but cannot bear to watch it again. No one was there to defend her but her and she did a valiant job. Which of them, Hill or Thomas, is held in higher esteem today?