It didn't take long for Republicans and their envoys to stop taking the claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh seriously.
It's a hard case.
Christine Blasey Ford is a professor and wouldn't likely make these charges lightly. She wouldn't want to risk embarrassment personally or professionally with claims that weren't true. However, she can't recall a good timeline or location for the party at which the allegwd assault occurred. In one way, it would be nice if she could produce a diary that showed she documented the alleged attack "on October 14 at Becky's house."
That evidence doesn't exist. Her honesty about those details makes some question her more, but the fact that she didn't make up details convinces others that her claims are legitimate. Not surprisingly, belief in her story is pretty proportional to partisan leanings.
Somehow, even though she can't say which party was going on when she was attacked, Judge Kavanaugh has been clear that he wasn't there and didn't do what he is accused of doing.
Now, the political fallout has begun.
Some Republican Senators seem ready to push through this incident and ensure that they get this Supreme Court Justice confirmed before midterms that seem to be leaning toward a Democratic takeover of Congress.
The most disturbing part of this process is the personal cost to the woman who claims to be the victim in this case. It's a matter of scale, certainly, but the pushback against her claims has served as a great example of why women are so cautious when it comes to reporting incidents like this.
First, they aren't believed.
No one wants to believe a "good guy" would do something like this. A true good guy would never do it. But some wolves put on sheep's clothing and commit unspeakable acts while maintaining their position and reputation. Even president Donald Trump today said he couldn't imagine Kavanaugh doing anything like what has been alleged. Trump - who has been uncharacteristically careful and measured in his handling of this issue - did say that if Ford made a credible showing during public testimony that decisions about Kavanaugh's nomination would have to be made.
Women who make accusations also face revictimization. Beyond the trauma of reliving these events under scrutiny, they also face the risk of new abuse. In local cases, that can be physical abuse by the suspect. In this ultra-heightened partisan environment, the Ford has faced death threats and had to move herself and her family away from their home.
Nothing says you support victims' rights and believe in the innocence of your allies like threatening to kill a woman for filing a complaint.
Once again FOX News found out that allowing Tucker Carlson to have a platform only more deeply confirms the perception that the organization is not a friend of any person who fails to achieve the goal of being a straight white man.
Carlson brought on conservative clown Joe Digenova. Digenova knows a thing or two about driving the public relations needle in cases like this. He represented Democratic Senator Brock Adams in 1998. Adams was charged with drugging and raping an aide. He dodged those charges with Digenova's help but he had to retire to avoid losing an election a few years later.
Digenova is a big fan of defending powerful men from charges like these. I'm certain that his ties to Donald Trump are purely coincidental.
On Carlson's nightly show, Digenova - who has no personal information on this case - called Christine Blasey Ford "a loon" and said she didn't want to testify because her lunacy would be revealed.
His claims went unchallenged. It doesn't take a lot of deep thought to see why women are leaving the Republican Party and its candidates.
Monday's hearings, if they actually come about, will be an important chance for leaders of both parties to show what they are all about.
Hopefully, both parties can leave partisanship at the door and truly focus on the claims in the case. I say "hopefully" because it really is just hope. I have no reason to believe it will happen. Democrats will try to leverage Ford's situation to score political points. Republicans will blow her off because her claims don't align with their desires.
At the end of the day, we'll have dueling press conferences with both sides accusing the others of using the situation to serve their own political motives.
In reality, they will both be right.