Do you feel like you have lived a thousand years of news since yesterday? I do, which seems a remarkable accomplishment in these times of unmitigated political insanity. Much of the responsibility for yesterday's unrelenting bombardment can be attributed to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who appeared last night on Fox News to defend his honor. His central point: I could not have done the gross and predatory things multiple women have said I did, because I did not have sex until well into my 20s.
Let's unpack, shall we?
In an exclusive interview with the conservative bullhorn's Martha MacCallum, Kavanaugh sat alongside his wife as he insisted, "What I know is the truth, and the truth is I've never sexually assaulted anyone." Repeatedly, he reiterated his demand for a "fair process" in what has turned out to be a very rocky confirmation hearing as Senators judge his fitness for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. The turbulence, of course, comes from Kavanaugh's own (alleged) actions: Two women who say that, when he was a teenager and young adult, Kavanaugh drank to wild excess and subjected them to sexually aggressive behavior, including what sounds like attempted rape.
On Monday, Kavanaugh emphasized that he remained a virgin throughout high school—when Christine Blasey Ford says he and a friend ambushed her at a house party, pinned her down, clamped a hand over her mouth, and tried to assault her—and "for many years after." That presumably covers his freshman year of college, when his former Yale classmate, Deborah Ramirez, told the New Yorker he drunkenly shoved his penis in her face at a dorm party, instructing her to "kiss it."
Without directly answering many of the questions MacCallum posed him, Kavanaugh cleaved to his unequivocal denial. "I have never sexually assaulted anyone," he insisted again and again. He had no recollection of attending any parties "resembling" those described in the allegations, nor did he really know the women who came forward.
Waving one's dick in another person's face does not amount to sex, of course, and one can still unsuccessfully attempt to force sex on another person while remaining a virgin. And in any case, no one has actually accused him of having had sex as a teenager. That is not the issue here.
literally no one has said my guy had sex https://t.co/oKhP8c99IB
— Joanna Rothkopf (@joannarothkopf) September 24, 2018
That a man not having had sex before is supposed to mean he never desperately tried to, in ways ranging from inappropriate to illegal !!
— Kate Dries (@TheSSKate) September 24, 2018
But setting all that aside, the nominee's high school yearbook contradicts the chaste picture he painted in last night's TV spot. Peppered with references to heavy drinking parties and sports, it also contains what the New York Times classifies as football players' "unsubstantiated boasting about their conquests," and one woman in particular: Renate Schroeder Dolphin, who—earlier this month—was listed among the 65 women who signed a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, vouching for Kavanaugh's character. "The insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue," she said after learning of his yearbook entries. "I pray their daughters are never treated this way."
Also on Monday, attorney Michael Avenatti (who represents Stormy Daniels in her case against President Trump) hopped on Twitter to really shake things up. Avenatti wrote that he had "significant evidence" that Kavanaugh had, at "multiple house parties in the Washington, D.C. area in the early 1980s," joined other young men "in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a 'train' of men to subsequently gang rape them." Avenatti pointed to other incriminating yearbook inscriptions, and on Monday night, promised that "at least one" of the victims he'd alluded to would go public within the following 48 hours.
In his interview, Kavanaugh stressed that the parties people keep bringing up never happened; or that if they did, he wasn't there; or that they didn't unfold the way these women remembered them. With respect to the dorm party Ramirez recalled, he said: "The other people alleged to be there don’t recall any such thing. If such as thing had a happened, it would’ve been the talk of campus. The women I knew in college and the men I knew in college said that it’s unconceivable that I could’ve done such a thing."
Yet that's not quite true. While some of Kavanaugh's peers—including those who allegedly participated in harassing Ramirez—did deny to the New Yorker that the incident occurred, a number of others independently confirmed hearing about the details exactly as Ramirez described them. And on Monday, Kavanaugh's freshman year roommate—James Roche—waded into the fray with a statement. He and Kavanaugh did not share friend groups, Roche explained, but because they lived together, he nonetheless enjoyed a front-row seat for the judge's collegiate behavior: "Although Brett was normally reserved, he was a notably heavy drinker," Roche wrote. "He became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk."
"I did not observe the specific incident in question, but I do remember Brett frequently drinking excessively and becoming incoherently drunk," he continued, vouching for Ramirez's integrity. "Based on my time with Brett, I believe that he and his social circle were capable of the actions Debbie described."
— Matthew Roche (@matthewroche) September 25, 2018
Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford are due to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and with Avenatti dangling his big reveal at some point today or tomorrow, you can bet that we will see many more turns of this screw—and quickly. See you back here soon, probably, for updates as this shitstorm continues to rage.