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In today’s Wall Street Journal, editorial board member Allysia Finley writes a powerful piece (“Will the Senate Kill a Mockingbird?”) that describes the haunting similarities between the current Kavanaugh ordeal (69% call it a national disgrace) and Tom Robinson’s sham trial in Harper Lee’s classic novel:
The novel chronicles the persecution of an innocent man by a bigoted and bloody-minded town. Amid the left’s crucible of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Lee’s enduring lessons about due process merit reflection.
“She’s mistaken in her mind”
When Atticus cross-examines “the fragile-looking” Mayella, she bawls and accuses him of bullying. She then contradicts herself: “No, I don’t recollect if [Tom] hit me. I mean yes I do, he hit me.” Asked for clarification, she replies: “Huh? Yes, he hit—I just don’t remember, I just don’t remember . . . it all happened so quick.”
Apart from the Ewells’ eyewitness accounts, the prosecutor can produce no evidence that Tom raped Mayella. He claims that a prior disorderly-conduct citation is evidence of Tom’s criminality, though people who know him well “say he kept himself clean.” In his testimony, Tom resists calling Mayella a liar. “She’s mistaken in her mind,” he says.
“This case is not a difficult one, it requires no minute sifting of complicated facts, but it does require you to be sure beyond all reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant,” Atticus tells the jury in his closing. The state is relying on hearsay from two unreliable witnesses in “the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption—the evil assumption—that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women.”
Liberals have presumed Kavanaugh guilty on the basis of his race and sex
Despite high praise from people who have known him for decades, liberals presume Judge Kavanaugh guilty on the basis of his race and sex. “Brett Kavanaugh’s indignation was the sound of privileged white male entitlement,” read one newspaper headline.” What difference does it make that after excavating his past for weeks, liberals in the Senate and the media have failed to produce a shred of corroborating evidence of any wrongdoing?
Unlike in Tom’s case, there is no physical evidence that Judge Kavanaugh’s accusers are lying. But Democratic senators assert that a woman’s testimony should not be doubted regardless of its inconsistencies.
Evidence of backlash to the new liberal “religion”
Fair Star Tribune political reporter J. Patrick Coolican delivered this encouraging news in his Morning Hot Dish column today:
The backlash to the treatment of Kavanaugh has even hit the pages of The Atlantic, the usually reliable barometer of center/center-left opinion. Emily Yoffe, who wrote a series on college students wrongly accused of sexual assault and is herself a sexual assault survivor, writes:
Even as we must treat accusers with seriousness and dignity, we must hear out the accused fairly and respectfully, and recognize the potential lifetime consequences that such an allegation can bring. If believing the woman is the beginning and the end of a search for the truth, then we have left the realm of justice for religion.
Peter Zeller is Director of Operations at Center of the American Experiment.