A writer for the liberal news outlet Slate is not rushing to judgment when it comes to the sexual harassment allegations against Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but had quite a different attitude toward the misconduct claims against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
In a piece published on Wednesday, Dahlia Lithwick declared: “Maybe it’s a good thing Andrew Cuomo is still governor” as calls for his resignation and impeachment continue to grow.
“I am a journalist myself, and I am wholly in favor of a sober and serious probe into Cuomo’s alleged conduct,” Lithwick explained. “It’s not a terrible thing to allow an independent investigator to gather all the facts and arrive at a formal conclusion before calling for his immediate ouster.”
She continued: “To allow a formal fact-finding process to play out is neither a disparagement of his accusers — whose accounts should be taken absolutely seriously — nor a get-out-of-jail-free card for the governor. It is merely an acknowledgment of something that should have been clear from the vitally important beginnings of the #MeToo era: There is a difference between having the media surface and report predation and having something akin to a formal process investigate and determine what occurred and what should be done about it. The press has never pretended to be experts at that latter function.”
Lithwick apparently did not feel the same way about Kavanaugh, whose confirmation battle intensified after he was hit with allegations by women.
“Fear a Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” Lithwick’s headline read back in September 2018. “As his confirmation steamrolls ahead, Americans should be terrified.”
Lithwick wrote at the time, “Anita Hill once told me that, in 1991, Clarence Thomas had race and she had only gender. But now, in 2018, Brett Kavanaugh had rage and Christine Blasey Ford had only gender. With the Senate Judiciary Committee moving on Friday to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate without any further inquiry around Blasey Ford’s damning and plainly credible testimony that Kavanaugh had gleefully and drunkenly sexually assaulted her at a 1982 house party as his buddy Mark Judge watched, it appears as though his rage alone will have been enough to earn him life tenure on the highest court in the land.”
While Cuomo accusers Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett worked for the governor and Anna Ruch provided photographic evidence to back her claim, Lithwick seemed more convinced by the allegations made by Dr. Ford about Kavanaugh.
“As GOP rage gathered steam, we were told that this needed to be treated as a criminal proceeding — innocent until proven guilty — and the Republicans contended that there was no evidence of criminal conduct. But, of course there was evidence: compelling firsthand testimony and numerous supporting accounts,” the Slate writer said in 2018. “This wasn’t ultimately a hearing about whether Kavanaugh deserved to be elevated to the high court. It was a blind partisan tantrum in which he dragged the judicial branch down to a place of ugliness and rancor from which it will not soon recover.”
She continued, “While Ford offered exacting answers, Kavanaugh repeated half-truths and conspiracy theories and sneered and slammed through a fog of rage … There were two distinct moods in the Kavanaugh hearing: Ford evoked undistilled sadness and vulnerability; Kavanaugh evoked raw fear that if he were ever crossed, he would lose control. Do. Not. Make. Him. Angry. is the new judicial temperament. It is the perfect metaphorical springboard to the highest court in the land, where he will say he’s calling balls and strikes while he froths with contempt at those he believes coordinated against him: Be very afraid. This is what we will call ‘justice’ now.”