September 2018 Column Winner

He said, she said: It's déjà vu all over again
Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle

He said, she said.
It’s a tale as old as time, a situation as venerable as humanity itself.
She says he did something to her, he says he didn’t. Who are we to believe?
Increasingly of late, in the midst of the burgeoning #MeToo movement, the accusations of all the she's out there are gaining more traction.
He said, she said.
It’s about sex. But it isn’t really, it’s about power, and control, and one person’s ability to hold sway over another, to force them to endure something completely against their will.
He said, she said has reached the highest echelons of corporate America, has had a profound effect upon the entertainment industry and has played out its sad scenario in the halls of government.
Now it has touched the nation’s highest court. Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the latest vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, has been accused of committing sexual assault while in high school. He denies the claim.
He said, she said.
Christine Blasey Ford, now a California college professor, alleges Kavanaugh and a friend trapped her in a bedroom during a high school house party in Maryland.
She says he pinned her to a bed and tried to pull her clothes off, then put her hand over her mouth to silence her when she attempted to yell for help.
The friend then jumped on top of the two of them, she says, knocking all three off the bed and allowing Ford to escape.
Kavanaugh says the incident never happened.
The friend, a man ironically named Mark Judge, says he never witnessed anything like the scene Ford describes.
He said, she said.
Who is telling the truth? Who is lying? Democrats say Kavanaugh’s confirmation process should be delayed to allow the FBI to investigate Ford’s claims. Republicans say Ford will be given a chance to tell her story at a hearing scheduled this week before the Senate
Judiciary Committee, likely followed shortly by a confirmation vote.
He said, she said. Say deja vu somebody. It was in the fall of 1991 that Oklahoma native
Anita Hill came forward to accuse then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment when he was her supervisor at the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Thomas denied the accusations.
He said, she said. In 1991 the tableau played out on national television, as Hill detailed Thomas bragging about his sexual prowess and details of his anatomy. She said he discussed such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape. Thomas vehemently and categorically denied any such behavior.
Nearly two dozen witnesses testified during the hearing. In the end, Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52-48, this by a Senate controlled by Democrats. To this day both Hill and Thomas stand by their positions.
He said, she said.
So here we are again.
He said, she said.
Democrats are urging the GOP Senate majority to delay a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination until Ford’s claims can be more thoroughly investigated. They also hope to delay the vote until after November’s elections, in which Dems hope to regain control of the Senate.
Republicans, on the other hand, are bound and determined to hold a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, perhaps this week, and are slamming their Democrat colleagues for their attempts at obstruction.
“They just resist,” said President Trump, “and they just obstruct.”
Obstruction is a subject with which Republicans are intimately acquainted, given their refusal to even hold a hearing on then-President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016.
One man’s obstruction, it seems, is another’s prudent consideration.
He said, she said.
So what should the Senate do now, ram through Kavanaugh’s nomination after Monday’s hearing, thus leaving unanswered questions hanging over Kavanaugh’s head as those same questions dog Thomas today, or delay the vote to give the FBI time to investigate the 36-yearold incident?
Is it more important to put the right person on the bench, or a person on the right?
You would think the U.S. Senate would want to approve a Supreme Court justice whose reputation is completely without blemish, free even of the hint of a drunken youthful indiscretion, wouldn’t you?

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