If you’ve been watching Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, you know her appearance is nearing its completion. From my personal perspective, the exchange that stood out as the most heartbreaking was this one between Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and the professor:
LEAHY: Let’s go back to the incident [in which Brett Kavanaugh allegedly attacked Ford]. What is the strongest memory you have – strongest memory of the incident, something you cannot forget. Take whatever time you need.
FORD: Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense.
LEAHY: You’ve never forgotten that laughter. You’ve never forgotten them laughing at you.
FORD: They were laughing with each other…. I was underneath one of them while the two laughed. Two friends having a really good time with one another.
The text may not fully convey how gut-wrenching an exchange it was.
Soon after, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked the witness, “With what degree of certainty do you believe Brett Kavanaugh assaulted you?” Ford replied, “100 percent.”
There was also quite a bit of discussion this morning about the fact that Ford tried to share her story before Kavanaugh was nominated – when he was still on the short-list – which undermines the idea that this is all an 11th-hour ploy.
The question of credibility is an inherently subjective one, and I realize different people can hear the same person say the same things and come away with very different impressions.
But I am hard pressed to imagine any fair-minded observer watching the proceedings thus far and concluding that Ford is perpetrating some kind of dishonest, politically motivated scheme.
Last week, Donald Trump, referring to Ford, told reporters, “Look, if she shows up and makes a credible showing, that’ll be very interesting, and we’ll have to make a decision.”
And while there’s still a second half of the hearing to go, and the Supreme Court nominee has not yet even begun to field questions in his defense, there can be no doubt that the “show up and make a credible showing” threshold has been cleared.