Why senators claim to believe Ford — but still side with Kavanaugh

And finally there was Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), who told reporters Thursday afternoon, “I found no reason to find [Ford] not credible.”

.. As the strength of the year-old Me Too movement is put to its most public and crucial test yet, Republicans have the political savvy to recognize that they must pay lip service to it, even as they actively campaign against its aims. You could view these concessions as politically motivated to the point of being meaningless. But according to social science research into the complex interaction between social behaviors and privately held views, even self-interested nods at #MeToo may indicate some progress for the movement.

Recent, highly publicized cases of sexual harassment and assault have rapidly created a new norm in which it’s toxic to dismiss alleged survivors. Kavanaugh’s allies are responding to that norm, even if they don’t fully agree with its principles. Over time — and with some serious caveats — norms can influence private views, suggesting that even conservative beliefs on sexual harassment are likely to be shaped at least in the long term by #MeToo.

.. There are many, many examples of norms shifting, sometimes quite abruptly, as institutions tip in one direction or social movements come to fruition: same-sex marriage becoming broadly acceptable after the 2015 Supreme Court decision

.. people are more likely to recycle after they learn — through an article or in conversation — that many of their peers are recyclers.

.. “If we understand that the wind is changing direction, we are likely to adjust our behavior — sometimes even when we don’t personally agree.”
.. There are plenty of signs that conservative beliefs on sexual abuse have barely shifted since the Clarence Thomas hearings of 1991, such as the apparent assumption among Republicans that Ford’s story would be just a “hiccup” that they could “plow right through.
.. Indeed, it may be like similar “evolutions” on racism, which find people eschewing the n-word in public while remaining as virulent as ever in private.
.. studied how people learn prejudices based on what’s socially acceptable within a certain group — and how they change their views once the group changes.
.. Crandall and his colleagues showed how white college freshmen, entering a new setting in which prejudice against black people was less socially acceptable than in their home towns, learned over the following year to question racist thoughts. “When norms change, or when people join groups that have different norms, there is conflict — with the outside world at first, and then a more internal struggle to fit in better,”
.. The often-jarring conflicts we’re seeing between the public behavior and apparent private beliefs of those who support Kavanaugh may represent this initial, college-freshman stage of adapting to a society with changed norms on sexual assault. As #MeToo continues to shape norms around believing survivors, more conservatives could come around as well — not merely when it comes to action but also in their attitudes.

.. Unfortunately, prejudices about gender appear to be especially intractable

.. In cross-cultural work examining prejudice, she has found less sexism in more-developed countries, suggesting that sexism diminishes along with development.

.. “People have women in their families, so changing stereotypic gender roles is more disruptive than for other biases,”

Trump Mocks Christine Blasey Ford at Mississippi Rally

Michael Bromwich, one of Dr. Ford’s lawyers, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Trump’s comments were “a vicious, vile and soulless attack,” adding: “Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well? She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice.”

Last week Mr. Trump said he found Dr. Ford’s testimony was “very compelling” and that she was a “very credible witness.” His depiction on Tuesday of Dr. Ford’s testimony didn’t always keep in line with what Dr. Ford said during her Senate hearing.

Dr. Ford couldn’t recall certain details, but she testified that she clearly remembered that people were drinking beer in a small living room on the first floor of the house and that she went upstairs to use the bathroom and that she was pushed into a bedroom where the assault took place and that someone in the room turned up music. She testified that she was “100 percent” certain that Judge Kavanaugh was her attacker, an allegation he vehemently denies, and that he and a friend, Mark Judge, laughed. Mr. Judge has said in a letter submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee he has “no memory of this alleged incident.”

This Revolution, Too, Will Eat Its Children

Christine Blasey Ford’s credibility rests heavily on the fact that she vividly described details of the alleged assault, named witnesses, and told several people about them long before Kavanaugh’s nomination. It’s because she has been able to supply this level of corroboration that her claims deserve to be taken with the utmost seriousness, both by the media and the Senate.

But this is not nearly as true for Ramirez

.. Apply a presumption of guilt standard to the people you oppose, and a presumption of innocence standard to the people you favor. Hear something you like about someone you don’t — what used to be known as gossip — and repackage it as “news.”

.. Is it now fair game to draw moral inferences about a nominee because he went to an elite prep school, or was a member of a rowdy fraternity, or said something mean and dumb in his yearbook, or drank somewhat more than he would like to admit?

.. In an age in which our digital footprints are all-but unerasable, such an accounting will become increasingly easy to furnish, and hence to demand. There are advantages to this kind of radical transparency. But it’s hard to imagine who — except for the odd souls who are either morally stainless or utterly shameless — would want to be subjected to the ordeal.

.. To some, all this will be worth it if Kavanaugh is exposed as a sexual predator and stone-faced liar. That’s why today’s hearings are essential — and would have been helped by an F.B.I. investigation and sworn testimony from Mr. Judge. We need to get, as best as we can under imperfect circumstances, the truth of what happened between Kavanaugh and Blasey, two credible witnesses with stories to tell.

But this is not what the Kavanaugh nomination seems to be about anymore. To half the country, it’s about the future of a Supreme Court nominee, pure and simple. To the other half, it’s about that — as well as a paradigm shift in the culture, belated reparation for unequal treatment, and a battle in the service of a moral revolution.

.. it’s worth remembering that revolutions borne by high ideals have a habit of eating their children. If the price of this revolution is the subordination of ordinary fairness to abstract justice, the elevation of rumor over fact, the further debasement of journalism, the devaluation of the rights of the accused, and the complete toxification of public service, it will be a price too high.

Donald Trump trusted Michael Cohen for years. Now his lawyer doubts Cohen’s credibility.

On July 8, ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos asked President Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani whether he was concerned that Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, might flip on the president.

“I have no concerns that Michael Cohen is going to do anything but tell the truth, and if he does, as I said, there’s no suggestion that anything happened,” Giuliani said at the time.

Now with Cohen reportedly prepared to flip on Trump less than two weeks later, Giuliani is singing a much different tune about a man he once called an “honest, honorable lawyer.”

This guy is a proven liar,” Giuliani told CNN on Thursday. “A year ago, when I wasn’t his lawyer, people in your profession told me this guy will flip because he is an inherent, pathological liar.”

.. the investigations into Cohen and Russian election interference could come down, in part, to Cohen’s credibility. Or at least Trump’s legal team seems to think so.