Tommy CarcettiTommy Carcetti's Journal
False Acquisitions was the title of Charles Dickens little-remembered, much maligned follow-up to Great Expectations. The plot centered around Pip and Estella moving to the American West, where they pull off a series of stagecoach robberies in a lead up to their ultimate goal: a madcap search for Miss Havishams hidden gold.
Critics savaged the novel, calling it nonsensical rubbish and, Why? In Gods good name, why?
In an ironic twist, however, the film adaptation starring Ethan Hawke and Gwenyth Paltrow drew surprisingly good reviews, with Roger Elbert remarking, So much better than the book. So, so, so much better. Not like that it was that hard of a feat, mind you....
Juanita Broaddrick @atensnut
How can I, as a victim, not sympathize with Dr. Ford??
Plain and simple. I do not believe her. She has cast a dark shadow on real victims. Democrats have already convicted this honorable man. What about Judge Kavanaugh and his family?
5:24 PM - 23 Sep 2018
Juanita Broaddrick @atensnut
Creepy porn lawyer, Avanatti, says he has another victim and demands to be heard. Must be one of Stormys co-workers
6:58 PM - 23 Sep 2018
First and foremost: Why exactly am I even giving an admittedly fringe figure like Juanita Broaddrick the time of day throughout the Kavanaugh drama?
My answer is simple: The right keeps on bringing her name up as a talking point in a blatant fallacious Whataboutism strategy. And because her accusations go straight to the heart of one major figure--a two-term Democratic President who admittedly had some public weaknesses when it came to members of the opposite sex--as well as involving another major figure, his wife and an individual who by all accounts also should have been President but for certain interference by certain foreign powers.
And we're faced with two possible reactions. We can either attempt to ignore it and let figures on the right keep on invoking this woman's name without rebuttal, or we can go ahead and grab the bull by the horns and address it once and for all, and let the world know that not all accusations are of the same level.
The problem with the first reaction, while tempting, is that it just becomes cumulative and repeated to the point where the mere repetition of her name gives her legitimacy. And once there is an air of legitimacy behind Broaddrick, then we fall susceptible to the same sort of well-intentioned but erroneous "zero tolerance" strategy that needlessly felled Senator Franken's career over allegations that constituted one posed photo in poor taste and a handful of allegations of dubious credibility.
And it already has happened with Broaddrick. We've been told that since MeToo, we're supposed to give a presumption of truth to all accusers of powerful individuals, that we can't let personal feelings or party identity get in the way, and we need to do all this to be honest and supportive of the movement. So there's almost a rush to guilt people into automatically believing people like Broaddrick.
We saw it with New York Times' columnist Michelle Goldberg:
We saw it with comedian Chelsea Handler:
But that's not how MeToo should work. We should never, ever simply believe someone accusing a powerful individual of sexual misconduct simply because they've made those accusations. That's asinine. Even if it's well intentioned, it's still asinine.
What we do have a duty to do is to consider all allegations of sexual misconduct in good faith and allow the facts to come out without preconceived biases. However, it is up to our own ability to consider those facts in good faith and without bias as to whether or not a person should ultimately be deemed believable.
And the fact of the matter is, Broaddrick and her claims that she was sexual assaulted by then Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton in 1978 is by no means a newcomer to the public eye. She's had plenty of opportunity to be heard.
Her accusations became public 19 years ago. Even before then, her claims were investigated by then Special Counsel Ken Starr. She filed a lawsuit based on her claims. The suit was ultimately dismissed. She's been on a large host of television and radio shows, pitched her book, and made her allegations well known.
And so, with that in mind, I can say this (at least for myself):
I don't believe her. I simply don't believe her. And I'm not going to be guilted into believing her simply by an appeal to "zero tolerance" or argument that this is merely cogitative dissonance on my part.
And the fact that I don't believe has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that her claims did not become public until 21 years after she said the assault took place. We all know that victims of sexual assault and violence frequently feel ashamed or afraid to come public with their claims, especially when the person they are accusing might be a beloved or high profile persona.
No, the reason I don't believe Broaddrick has nothing to do with her raising them in 1999, but rather everything she has done since that point, which has revealed her not only to be a partisan hypocrite, but someone who's glaring lack of empathy towards people supposedly similarly situated to her makes me honestly question how legitimate her own claims are.
Here's why I doubt Broaddrick's credibility and honesty:
1. The only time she has gone under oath, she vehemently denied being assaulted by Bill Clinton, in an affidavit filed in relation to the Paula Jones investigation. And while I understand why there are many victims of sexual assault who will shy away from the spotlight not wanting to relive horrific memories, committing perjury--which you have to believe Broaddrick was doing if you believe she was assaulted--is an entirely different matter altogether.
2. Ken Starr listened to her allegations and had absolutely no use for them. Let's be honest--a man so driven to impugn Bill Clinton's name that he took an investigation about a failed land deal and turned it into an investigation of a man's sex life would have somehow worked in an alleged sexual assault in some way or another if he found the source to be credible and believable. Starr's complete disinterest in Broaddrick's story speaks volumes as to her credibility.
3. The one woman who Broaddrick identifies as her main witness to corroborate her claims just so happens also to be someone with a very personal animosity towards Bill Clinton, as she was furious that Clinton as Governor commuted the death sentence of her father's killer.
4. The way Broaddrick has fashioned the story is, frankly, absolutely bizarre. If you read her account, it sounds like a poorly written Lifetime movie. She claims Clinton viciously attacked her in a hotel room, and then after he was done, he slyly put on sunglasses and quipped to her, "Better put some ice on that," as it related to a supposedly bloody lip. Who is this, Bill Clinton, or Detective Horatio Caine? Did he have a thin pencil moustache that he twirled while sneering? This doesn't seem like normal rapist behavior in reality at all. Then she goes on to accuse Hillary of intimidating her weeks later, claiming when she shook her hand at a fundraiser, she squeezed her hand vindictively and gave her a glare while she said, "We want to thank you for everything you've done." First of all, we're supposed to believe that Bill went around telling Hillary about how he raped a woman, and that Hillary was perfectly fine with that, and that she then wanted to engage in intimidation tactics to subvert claims of sexual assault. And that "We want to thank you for everything you've done" is somehow smoking gun proof of that.
5. Oh, and the fact that Juanita Broaddrick actually attended the political fundraiser of a man who she claims raped her just weeks after the alleged assault. What sort of victim would actually do such a thing? It's mind boggling nonsensical. Almost every woman who has ever been sexually assaulted can hardly stand to look at the perpetrator or hear his voice, and yet we're supposed to believe she had no qualms going to a political event for him just weeks after she claims he brutalized her?
6. And finally, and I think most importantly, two things about Juanita Broaddrick and her behavior since 1999 and especially since 2016:
a. That she has openly championed and appeared with Donald Trump, including just days after the Access Hollywood tapes came out where Trump bragged about kissing women against their will and wanting to "grab them by the pussy", i.e. sexual assault, not to mention other right wing figures (such as James Woods) who have also been accused of sexual misconduct, strikes of gross partisianship and grand hypocrisy; and even more,
b. That she has been so vocal to demean and disparage other women--such as Dr. Blasey Ford--who have accused high profile individuals of sexual assault and misconduct simply because the accused is a right wing figure. This includes accusers against Donald Trump as well.
Why should I believe someone like this? Why should anyone believe someone like this, especially after considering some of the other glaring flaws in her claims?
Someone so devoid of sympathy and empathy for people would be in the same position she wants you to place her in--why should we believe her?
I'm sorry, call me biased, call me suffering cognitive dissonance, but it reeks of stuntsmanship and contrived political hackery.
There should be no shame in saying that no, you don't believe this woman and you find her to be a vile hypocrite. Doing so is not demeaning the legitimate victims of sexual assault out there who have been traumatized and who would do anything to support another person in the same position as they are, without any regards to political identify or affiliation.
They're not going to stop mentioning Juanita Broaddrick's name. It's time to stop running away and to grab the bull by the horns.
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