How great and powerful a moment it would be for Americans if his Honor Brett Kavanaugh opened his Senate testimony today with the following statement or one very similar to it.
“Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, distinguished members of the Senate Judicial Committee, and Dr. Ford,
I thank you today for allowing me to come before you and offer my defense of myself and my esteemed character by sharing with you my version of the events on the sad and life-altering day in the summer of 1982 that Dr. Ford articulated so eloquently and at such obviously painful expense.
I am not eager to give offense, so I apologize, Senators, if what I have to say today causes some of you pain, anger, or disappointment, as I suspect it will in some measure for most or all of you. But after copious self-reflection, soul-searching, and much tearful consultation with my wife and my young daughters, I have come to feel compelled to offer nothing but the truth of that horrible day, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (Clears throat)
On that– (voice cracks, clears throat). I’m sorry. (Sips water) Dr. Ford, I am sorry that you were made–that I made you to suffer on that beer-soaked, testosterone-fueled, regrettable summer day. I apologize to you, Dr. Ford. I apologize with no expectation of forgiveness or understanding. Your courage speaking out today inspires me and should serve as inspiration for women and victims of sexual assault everywhere.
(Sips water, clears throat) I’m sorry. Since that summer day in 1982, I have lived in a closet of fear and regret and self-loathing. I have cloaked myself, literally, in robes of respectability in a lifelong and, I now realize, misguided and ultimately fruitless attempt to convince myself of my own self-worth and essential goodness.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the Committee, Dr. Ford, the version of events that Dr. Ford recounted before you a few short hours ago, to the best of my foggy recollection, is accurate. On that day, as on so many other days at that time and so many more in the future, I had consumed staggering amounts of beer and liquor. It’s quite possible that I had smoked a great deal of marijuana as well. It was common at that time and among my peer group to partake of both and in amounts that would beggar the imagination of many observing these proceedings. And I have sought, with every fiber of my being and from the depths of my tortured, convicted soul, to eradicate my memories of that day and of several others on which I engaged in similar and sometimes even, I am very sad to say, worse assaults.
Sadly, it was also common then, as it continues to be today in high schools, colleges, businesses, and organizations across the United States, to objectify young women and seek relentlessly to harass, harangue, and indeed to have sex with them, whether they’re willing or not, whether they’re capable of giving consent or not.
It is past time that this behavior is exposed and condemned, loudly, repeatedly, forcefully. It is long past time that boys, young men, all men, are taught to treat all women with respect and honor and dignity. It is far past time that we begin teaching our sons, from a young age, that their sexual nee– (embarrassed chuckle) I almost said needs, desires, do not take priority over any woman’s or young woman’s objections.
I realize that by this admission I am ending my career and opening myself up to criminal prosecution. It has taken me these decades to make this admission. It has taken me months to realize that I am prepared to accept the consequences of this admission, but I swear and avow that I am fully prepared to do so now. I further swear and avow that, after I have faced my consequences, however long that may take, I will spend the remainder of my life doing whatever is in my power to spread the message of the unacceptability of sexual assault and of the necessity to treat all women, all people, with dignity, kindness, compassion, and respect. All the time. All the time.
Dr. Ford, again, I apologize to you. There is no reason or excuse for what I did to you. To my wife, to my–(voice cracks). Ahem (sips water). To my beloved wife, to my beloved daughters, I apologize. I pray daily that you are never subjected to such reprehensible, horrifying treatment.
And Senators, I apologize to you. For failing to be honest with you from the start. For allowing you to believe that I was worthy of your support, worthy of your public defense of my character. Respectfully but with great shame, I humbly withdraw my name for consideration of appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Via Fandango’s One-Word Challenge “eager“.
Via Ragtag Community’s Ragtag Daily Prompt for 9/26/18 “inspire“.