The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Trauma Queen: What Do We Know About Christine Blasey Ford?

Posted on | September 17, 2018 | 2 Comments


Did you know that “trigger warnings” are actually harmful? The trendy academic practice of alerting students to “problematic” material “reinforce the fear and compound anxiety.”

This information is highly relevant, I believe, to the claims surrounding the 11th-hour hit job on Brett Kavanaugh. We are expected to believe that the accuser, Professor Christine Ford, suffered emotional damage because she was groped by Kavanaugh at a 1982 party when they were both teenagers. The “evidence” of this alleged trauma is her therapist’s notes from when she and her husband were in couples therapy in 2012.

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection is skeptical:

If this is a “repressed memory” case, then it changes everything against the accuser’s veracity — repressed memory is of highly questionable admissibility and credibility.

Exactly. Why would 30 years elapse before the accuser mentioned this incident to anyone? Beyond that, does it comport with our common-sense understanding of human behavior to think that the alleged incident, even if it happened exactly as it is now being described in news accounts, would be so traumatic as to be relevant to whatever marital problems Christine Ford and her husband were experiencing in 1982?

David French at National Review begins his analysis of the story by hyperventilating about how “beyond the pale” and “egregious” the alleged behavior is, only to conclude:

People who were at the party may come forward with their own accounts. The news cycle is moving so fast that it seems almost absurd to speculate about the state of our knowledge even 24 hours from now, but if this is the core evidence supporting the (very serious) claim against Kavanaugh, it’s not sufficient to derail the nomination of a man with an otherwise sterling record of professional excellence and personal integrity.

In other words, according to French, the accusation is serious, but the evidence is insufficient. Well, OK, but the issue of seriousness is related to the issue of sufficiency. However “egregious” it is for a drunk teenage preppy to grope a girl at a house party, isn’t such misbehavior common enough under such circumstances as to be predictable and routine to those who hang around drunk teenage preppies? Are predictable and routine occurrences “traumatic”?

Having spent my adolescence in the company of dopeheads, hoodlums and rednecks, maybe I’ve got a high threshold for trauma. None of my erstwhile hoodlum buddies has ever been nominated for the Supreme Court, of course, but Lithia Springs (Ga.) High School isn’t Georgetown Prep. Still, if young Christine Blasey made a habit of hanging out with hard-drinking preppies during her teen years, I doubt that this alleged encounter with a drunk Kavanaugh would have been so unusual as to still be a source of emotional suffering three decades later.

What we are being told is that Brett Kavanaugh, although now a widely respected federal judge, was a dangerous drunk as a teenager.

To quote Andrew Breitbart: “And . . .?”

Breitbart was always brilliant at answering ad hominem attacks that way. Somebody accuses you of being a racist: “And . . .?”

What’s your point? How is this relevant to the policy debate?

Rather than getting down in the tall grass to argue about the credibility of Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser, we ought to think like Breitbart and reject the premise of the whole thing. Whether or not this alleged 1982 incident happened as described, how is it relevant to Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications? This partisan hit-job is on a par with the way a 1976 DUI by George W. Bush resurfaced four days before Election Day in 2000.

Going back decades to dig up allegations from the distant past like this is not journalism, it’s character assassination and, in this case, the tactic involves a deliberate attempt to confuse us as to what the #MeToo crusade was supposed to be about. Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Kevin Spacey — the allegation was not that these men had a one-time bad incident as drunk teenagers, but rather that they habitually and routinely engaged in predatory and abusive behavior as adults.

While the Democrats may have stockpiled other “bombshell” accusations to use against Judge Kavanaugh, so far no one has suggested that he had a pattern of sexual misconduct. He has categorically denied this accusation and many people have attested to his good character, so what are we to make of the accusation from Christine Blasey Ford?

It’s like how “trigger warnings,” which are supposed to protect the emotionally vulnerable from trauma, actually have the opposite effect, increasing students’ anxiety. Turns out, if you tell kids they’re going to experience “trauma” from reading about bad stuff, they might actually believe you, so that the prediction of trauma is self-fulfilling. Likewise, if you tell people their unhappiness as adults can be traced to traumatic experiences from their youth — which is what a lot of psychotherapists suggest — then you are inviting unhappy people to go digging around in their memories for some trauma to explain their current misery.

So in 2012, we are informed, an unhappy Christine Ford and her husband went to therapy together, and this story about Brett Kavanaugh (who was not named in the therapist’s notes, by the way) emerged as somehow explanatory of the problems affecting the Fords’ marriage. Isn’t that rather a far-fetched explanation? How does getting groped by a drunk preppy at a house party cause you marital problems 30 years later?

What was happening in 2012? Ask the right questions . . .



2 Responses to “Trauma Queen: What Do We Know About Christine Blasey Ford?”

  1. Animal’s Daily Recovered Memories News | Animal Magnetism
    September 18th, 2018 @ 7:04 am

    […] have heard of the latest sudden drama surrounding the Kavanaugh nomination.  Robert Stacy McCain weighed in the other day.  […]

  2. What Does ‘Credible’ Mean in 2018? : The Other McCain
    September 21st, 2018 @ 9:25 pm

    […] and a 15-year-old Miss Blasey, this was more than 35 years ago, and was probably not the sort of trauma-inducing incident it was portrayed as being. But that was a last-ditch defense — a fallback position — and the fighting on the […]