On Sept. 27 the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an unusual second hearing on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been loudly accused of sexual abuse in two instances — neither with any corroborating evidence — that took place over 30 years ago when he was a teenager.
The hearing is the result of the workings of the determined “resistance” by Democrats, liberal media outlets and the middle-class left to Trump’s presidency, and, more importantly, against the workers who either voted for him or were too disgusted to vote at all.
There are substantial stakes for the working class and oppressed in fighting this attack on rights won in struggle over decades — the right to the presumption of innocence, reasonable doubt and more. The “resisters” throw all this aside in their twin furor to depose Trump and to restrict the rights and franchise for the “deplorable” working class.
Workers have no interest in Kavanaugh or anyone else the rulers put on their Supreme Court. They are all black-robed robbers for the ruling class, defending their class rule to the end.
But we do have an interest in jealously defending our rights and our ability to organize and win allies in struggle.
Democrats and their promoters in the liberal press have seized on an unverified allegation by Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago. Sen. Dianne Feinstein had received an anonymous letter with Ford’s allegations in July. She sat on it until it became clear that Kavanaugh was set to be confirmed. Then she released it and Trump-hating media and politicians went to work. Judge Kavanaugh categorically denies Ford’s claim.
The Democrats cynical operation has nothing to do with fighting sexual assault, nor advancing the struggle for women’s rights. It has everything to do with stepping up their war on the administration. Their eyes are on the midterm elections, and hopes they could win a majority in the House and go for impeachment, or try to find a way to use the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to have Trump declared mentally unfit to remain in office.
Ford says the decades-old assault occurred at a party, at a time and place she can’t remember and in the presence of another person, Mark Judge, who has denied any knowledge of the attack. Neither of the two other people Ford says were present recall being there, and say they have no knowledge of what Ford alleges.
Despite the lack of any evidence corroborating Ford’s claim, Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono says Ford needs “to be believed.” When asked if Kavanaugh deserves the presumption of innocence, Hirono said, “I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches cases.” In simple English, if I don’t like his politics, his rights mean nothing.
Turning basic rights of due process on their head, Ross Douthat argues in the New York Times that the burden of proof doesn’t lie with Ford, the accuser, but with Kavanaugh. “He may be innocent but his nomination deserves to fail,” Douthat says, because he has been “credibly accused.”
When all else fails, they turn to smears and guilt by association, as in Michelle Goldberg’s Sept. 24 Times column, headlined “Pigs All the Way Down.”
Fearing that Ford’s uncorroborated accusations may not be enough, the New Yorker magazine rushed to print a second claim, by Deborah Ramirez.
Ramirez says Kavanaugh exposed his genitals at a Yale University social when she was intoxicated 35 years ago. The Times, desperate to dig up dirt to tarnish the nomination, fervently but unsuccessfully scrambled to find anyone to corroborate the claim. It admitted that even Ramirez herself “could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one.”
The left piles in
The International Socialist Organization, a group that says it speaks for workers and the oppressed, has jumped on the anti-Trump, anti-Kavanaugh bandwagon. “This is a golden opportunity to not only stop a reactionary judge, but galvanize opposition to the whole Trump regime,” the group’s paper editorialized Sept. 24. “Nothing could be more important” than stopping Kavanaugh, they argue.
To do so, they agree critical political rights must be tossed aside. They cry in horror that Kavanaugh — the accused — might have the chance to confront his accuser. They say, “She speaks for us” and everyone must “believe” Ford, regardless of lack of evidence. And they glorify the #MeToo “uprising” that emerged out of accusations of sexual abuse by Hollywood actors that promote attacks on due process.
Workers need presumption of innocence
Workers know the right to the presumption of innocence is under assault. When Rasmussen Reports did a poll this week, 56 percent said they believe its more likely the media will paint a public figure as guilty until proven innocent.
The “resistance” by the liberals and the left is dangerous for workers. The courts and cops do not act impartially, they defend the class interests of the exploiters. They spy and frame up workers, run us through their plea-bargain criminal “justice” system, disproportionately hitting those who are Black, as well as targeting those involved in working-class struggles.
Anyone facing allegations by the bosses at work or legal charges by the cops needs the right to confront their accuser. The statute of limitations is a basic protection from dredging up very old allegations, when it is no longer possible to ascertain the facts..
Workers live in a very different world from the liberals waging the anti-Trump witch hunt. More workers today see that both capitalist parties, and all the little “independent” pro-capitalist reformers, are in on the bosses’ ongoing assault on our jobs, wages, working and living conditions. This is what motivated workers who voted for Trump, seeking to “drain the swamp” and get more attention to working-class problems. It was not a working-class turn to reaction and racism.
Fighting for women’s liberation, the right to choose abortion, for equal treatment on the job and against violence against women are crucial questions for uniting and strengthening the working-class movement.
The #MeToo “movement” is no example in this fight. Posing the goal as “shaming men” or demanding everyone must assume anyone accused by a woman must be guilty, with no right to presumption of innocence, undermines the fight for women’s emancipation. It is possible today to win co-workers and others, female and male, to understand how the rulers use of women’s oppression to divide and weaken working people and the unions can be fought.