Amid negotiations on the rules for Senate hearings into the allegations of animal advance collapsed adjoin the Supreme Court appointee by Christine Blasey Ford, some of his backers are starting to advance a absolutely aberrant scenario: Yes, Ford ability accept been the victim of an attempted abduction aback she was 15, but Kavanaugh wasn’t the accusable party. Rather, it was addition boyish boy who looked like Kavanaugh, and, acknowledgment to the brume of memory, has become conflated with the adjudicator in her mind.
“Could there be a Kavanaugh doppelgänger?” Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker asked on Tuesday, acquainted that the achievability of a mix up or case of mistaken character had been aloft by both Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and The Wall Street Journal.
Doppelgänger approach accomplished its best busy flight in a Twitter cilia acquaint Thursday night by Ed Whelan, a longtime Kavanaugh accessory who is additionally admiral of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. As summed up by Vox, Whelan’s Twitter article “argued that based on Christine Blasey Ford’s statements of what happened that night aback in 1982, the perpetrator was acceptable not Kavanaugh, but a acquaintance of Kavanaugh’s at Georgetown Prep who, in Whelan’s view, looked a lot like Kavanaugh.” The capital base of Whelan’s argument, such as it is, was maps taken from the absolute acreage website Zillow and aerial academy annual photos.
Near the end of his thread, Whelan writes, “It is afflictive that clandestine citizens are actuality fatigued into this.” That’s a adventurous account to accomplish accustomed that is absolutely what he himself is doing. Whelan’s advance to comedy internet Sherlock Holmes and use amplified affirmation to apply a clandestine aborigine was, in the words of CNN’s Jake Tapper, “wildly irresponsible.”
Beyond irresponsible, doppelgänger approach is additionally badly doubtful in any form. As The Washington Post reports:
Ford absolved Whelan’s approach in a account backward Thursday: “I knew them both, and socialized with” them, Ford said, abacus that she had already visited the added acquaintance in the hospital. “There is aught adventitious that I would abash them.”
Yet as absurd as it is, doppelgänger approach makes faculty aback you apprehend it satisfies a accurate political need: Ford’s accusation creates a hurdle to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but Republicans are afraid to advance her in the address that they (and some Democrats) went afterwards Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas choice in 1991. Smearing a woman who makes a austere animal advance accusation looks bad, politically, in the era of #MeToo.
According to Post, “Kavanaugh and his allies accept been a discussing a aegis that would not catechism whether an adventure involving Ford happened, but instead would accession doubts that the antagonist was Kavanaugh, according to a being accustomed with the discussions.” Doppelganger approach provides absolutely the aegis needed: Kavanaugh’s defenders don’t accept to alarm Ford a liar, aloof a abashed victim. They can accede that she suffered animal assault, but additionally that Kavanaugh himself was not amenable for it.
Update: On Friday morning, Whelan apologized for allotment the Kavanaugh acquaintance whom he believes, after evidence, was Blasey’s absolute attacker. But he did not abjure his doppelgänger theory.
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