I admit it. I was spellbound throughout the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing September 27.
I listened to Professor Ford as I was driving, which turns out was a good thing; otherwise, I’d’ve been tempted to turn all of the times she said “I don’t know” or “I didn’t know that” or “I didn’t know how” into a drinking game. A sip of beer every time those phrases passed her lips and I’d’ve been blotto. She made one of those responses, in no particular order, when asked who paid for her lie detector test. When asked why she turned down the committee’s offer to meet with her in California. When explaining why she sent her letter to her congressional representative. And on and on. Surely a woman with two master’s degrees and a PhD who teaches study methodologies has better research skills than the ones she demonstrated to Rachel Mitchell. Academics pride themselves on their “critical thinking” ability to put their little grey cells to work on all manner of subject matter. I guess Professor Ford skipped the part on critical thinking in the faculty handbook.
Professor Ford’s inability to use her research skills, finely honed by years of study and practice, when acting upon something she gravely described as her “civic duty” suggests, at a minimum, she is incurious to the point of stupidity. I doubt a woman of her impeccable academic credentials is stupid. So we’re left to ponder why Professor Ford let the world see just how intellectually lazy she apparently is. We’re left to wonder whether she ever questions her own assumptions, or if she simply assumes she “knows” something to be true or “doesn’t know,” without question or thought. Interesting.
So, no, I do not think Professor Ford was a “credible witness,” nor did I find her testimony “compelling.” I did find her pointed infomercial for her Go Fund Me Page tacky and unworthy of someone committed to doing her civic duty. Such shilling has to be a first in those august Senate chambers. I was appalled by the giggling way she confessed that nah, she really wasn’t all that afraid of flying, after all. How else would she be expected to get to Tahiti or Hawaii? And, yes, she did giggle. Hers was not the demeanor of a “terrified” woman. Far from it.
Professor Ford’s logical acumen: “Five hours in the air to Hawaii? Too scary! Let’s go to Tahiti instead!! Tee-hee!”
Her Valley Girl voice, high-pitched and ending every sentence with a question, was not infused with veracity. It did not convey a sense that we were listening to a woman capable of deep thought. Consider what she said to Prosecutor Mitchell when describing the grocery store encounter with Mark Judge. The two teens hadn’t seen each other since the alleged party with Brett Kavanaugh and two (?) other boys and one (?) other girl. Professor Ford asserts with one hundred percent certitude that Judge’s behavior as he corralled grocery carts was peculiar–he didn’t smile, he looked sick, he wasn’t friendly. Proof, says the PhD in psychology, that Judge was witness to some terrible thing that happened to her at the party. Oh, really? Maybe he was sick of wrangling carts. It was summer, and this is hot and sweaty work.
Carts waiting to be corralled–the kind of work that always brings a smile to a boy’s face.
Maybe he was thinking about something or someone other than Christine Blasey. Maybe he didn’t even see her. But let’s assume he did. Maybe he decided he didn’t like her. Maybe she’d said something unkind to him. Maybe, maybe, maybe…since the two never actually (so far as we know from Professor Blasey’s testimony) talked during this fleeting encounter, Professor Blasey has no way of knowing what was in Judge’s mind. That doesn’t stop her from reading it, though, and asserting that she did know. At this point anyone listening to the professor’s testimony with the faintest semblance of fairness is compelled to ask herself just how accurate Professor Ford’s memory is and just how much of her memory is affected by assumptions she made either at the time or in the intervening years.
Credible? Gag me with a spoon.