You can understand why Republicans want to take away Donald Trump’s Twitter account. After following his minders’ advice to keep far away from the Kavanaugh affair, he couldn’t stop himself from blurting out that if the attack on Christine Blasey Ford was genuine, “charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”
This blurt of course serves to remind voters that, a) Trump knows nothing about why most such attacks go unreported, b) that he is totally unsympathetic to women, and that, c) he is himself our sexual predator-in-chief.
We are now at an unimagined inflection point in the #MeToo movement versus privileged males. This isn’t just a story of an accused attempted rapist on the verge of becoming a Supreme Court justice. It’s a bigger story of elite impunity.
You’ve heard the alibis: Wasn’t this a very long time ago? Hasn’t Kavanaugh led an unblemished life since then? As our former Prospect writing fellow, Jamelle Bouie, wrote in Slate, there are black men still in prison for having done a lot less when they were teens.
There is now a chasm separating those who insist that powerful men must be held accountable for sexual crimes from those who still say boys will be boys.
Such is the exquisite sensitivity among progressives and feminists that editor Ian Buruma apparently felt compelled to offer his resignation from his post at The New York Review of Books—not for any alleged sexual misconduct on his part, but for publishing a piece by a fired Canadian broadcaster accused of sexual misconduct complaining about his public shaming.
Meanwhile, the president of the United States, accused by at least a dozen women of sexual outrages, enjoys impunity. And Republican senators are thinking mainly of how to discredit Dr. Ford’s story. It’s harder to imagine a wider values gulf.
This saga will end only when such behavior on the part of men is a certain career destroyer. Assuming that Ford’s story is truthful, as it surely seems to be, that day will come a lot sooner if Brett Kavanaugh is kept off the high court. And this, in turn, will depend on whether a few Senate Republicans either have a shred of decency or a fear of public opinion.