Press: Judge Kavanaugh must withdraw

It’s another one for the history books.

Thursday’s hearing, when Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, promises more drama than any congressional hearing in decades.

But, no matter what Kavanaugh and Ford tell the committee, one thing we’ve already learned: When it comes to sexual abuse, Republican senators are just as clueless today as they were in 1991, when Anita Hill raised her claims of repeated sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas.

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They didn’t get it then. They don’t get it now.

Rather than examine the substance of what Ford alleges — a serious charge of attempted rape by a drunken teenager, egged on by a male classmate — they focus instead on the timing. Just like they did with Anita Hill in 1991. Same identical questions. Why didn’t she call the police? Why’d she wait so long to come forward?

You’d think they’d have learned something by now. Especially after the recent fall of so many male celebrities — Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Les Moonves — on charges of sexual abuse. In each of those cases, charges were raised by female victims decades after the abuse occurred. 

Why’d they wait? Seriously, do we still have to ask that question? 

These women knew that if they did speak out, they’d be attacked, ridiculed and smeared, and called a slut and a liar. In other words, they’d be treated just like Anita Hill and bullied just like Christine Blasey Ford.

At first, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP braces for impeachment brawl PhRMA CEO warns Pelosi bill to lower drug prices would be 'devastating' for industry GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe MORE (R-Iowa) demanded Ford appear on the one day he selected and sit at the witness table alongside the man she accused of trying to rape her. Even before she had a chance to tell her story, Grassley said he believed Kavanaugh’s denial, Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese Trump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom MORE (R-Utah) called her “mixed up” and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham throws support behind Trump's Turkey sanctions Hillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Fury over Trump Syria decision grows MORE (R-S.C.) announced that, no matter what she says, it won’t sway his vote for Kavanaugh.

Meanwhile, the president of the United States, who has no standing to comment on sexual assault after having bragged about doing so himself, said it was all “political.”

And besides, it couldn’t be as bad as she alleges, according to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE — otherwise, as a 15-year-old, she’d have immediately contacted the FBI. 

Do you still wonder why more women don’t immediately come forward?

And now a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, has stepped forward with further accounts of sexual abuse by Kavanaugh, this time when he was a student at Yale. The new revelation suggests a pattern of behavior, not one isolated incident. But Ramirez immediately received the Ford treatment. She’s also been called a liar, a Democratic operative and part of a media-driven smear campaign. 

How many more women are Republicans willing to destroy in their desperate attempt to pack the court with another extreme conservative?

Clearly, the “Me Too” movement, which has swept most of the country — Wall Street, Hollywood, academia, professional sports, entertainment — hasn’t yet reached Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFury over Trump Syria decision grows Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe Trump: Let Assad, Russia or China protect the Kurds MORE, Chuck Grassley or most Republican members of the U.S. Senate.

There’s only one reasonable option left: To save the reputation of the Supreme Court and to spare the Republican Party any further embarrassment, Kavanaugh should withdraw his nomination. At this point, with more women coming forward every day, even holding another hearing on his nomination would be a farce.

Republicans must decide: Having put one self-professed sexual predator in the White House, do they really want to put another accused sexual predator on the Supreme Court?

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”