If the acuity of anyone’s memory should be subject to questioning, it would surely be that belonging to two teenage boys who were described as being, at the time, “stumbling drunk.” Forget about how much each remembers years later; how much did they remember the next day?
Mark Judge says he has no recollection of the events now clearly described by the victim, Christine Blasey Ford, while Brett M. Kavanaugh emphatically denies he has ever engaged in a sexual assault.
Traumatic experiences have the power to imprint themselves in memory in such a way that the past becomes enduringly present. Conversely, alcohol has the power to erase memory, release inhibitions, and incapacitate good judgement.
Before answering more pointed questions about the event that Ford recounts, Kavanaugh should be asked under oath whether and if so, how often, he was as a teenager “stumbling drunk”; whether he ever drank until he passed out; and how he thinks alcohol may have affected his memory.
An anonymous editorialist, writing for the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal claims:
This is a case of an alleged teenage encounter, partially recalled 30 years later without corroboration, and brought forward to ruin Mr. Kavanaugh’s reputation for partisan purposes.
To refer to Ford’s account as having been “partially recalled 30 years later” is to promote a disingenuous narrative revolving around the frailty of memory.
Who can clearly remember anything that happened 30 years ago?
And yet we do indeed all know that memory is not like a fading photograph. What we remember and what we forget has everything to do with what each experience signifies and which did or did not have an emotional impact.
The question about Ford is not how could she remember? It is a question for those who would sow doubt: how could she forget?
A girl at an age where she is just beginning to learn how to navigate in the treacherous waters of adolescence gets assaulted, denigrated, and humiliated.
Her injury is then compounded and gets locked inside by the knowledge that her assailant is almost certain to never own up — least of all when he is right on the brink of becoming a Supreme Court justice.
The 15-year-old was too afraid to speak up at the time of the assault and as a 51-year-old she had every reason to expect that by taking a stand she would once again be attacked.
But if the appointment of a judge on the highest court perpetuates an injustice — as it has in the past — how can confidence in the rule of law be maintained?
Law will be seen as nothing more than already too often it is: an instrument used for the protection of power.
While Kavanaugh has repeatedly taken oaths to protect the constitution, the evidence suggests he has a greater concern about protecting himself.
#MeToo now challenges #MeFirst.