Senator Jeff Flake was apparently ready to vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation for a seat on the Supreme Court when he was intimidated by two anti-Kavanaugh activists in an elevator. The confrontation, which is being called "powerful" in the media, caused him to get cold feet and call for a further week of FBI investigations.
Left out of media reports is the central issue: that we judge people guilty of sexual assault (and indeed all crimes) based not on statistics or what somebody else has experienced but on evidence in the particular case before us. The experiences of the women in the elevator, however terrible, have nothing to do with weighing evidence in this case.
One of the women, Maria Gallagher, 23, said something incongruous:
"I was sexually assaulted and nobody believed me. I didn't tell anyone, and you're telling all women that they don't matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them you are going to ignore them,'" she shouted. "That's what happened to me, and that's what you are telling all women in America, that they don't matter."
If Gallagher didn't tell anyone, how can people believe her?
This was an emotional confrontation and nobody expects elegant presentation, but it is hideously unfair to Brett Kavanaugh that he must be the scapegoat for whatever happened to Maria Gallagher.
The other woman who intimidated Senator Flake in the elevator was Ana Maria Archila, executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy (to which Maria Gallagher belongs). According to an excellent article by John Fund, the group is funded by George Soros's Open Society Foundations.
Archilda is also on the board of Working Families Party (WFP), a fringe political group in New York. Working Families was founded by leaders of the now thoroughly discredited ACORN and used ACORN confrontation tactics in the elevator with Flake. I won't run through the history of ACORN but Fund has an excellent summary in the already-cited article.
So the real story in Senator Flake's elevator encounter is that he was confronted by two activists using textbook tactics of intimidation–and he fell for it. Somehow, that wasn't the angle the media pursued.
Alas, being intimidated into giving the left exactly what it wanted–a delay–did not endear the hapless Senator Flake to anybody. Joining Democratic Senator Chris Coons, who encouraged Flake to call for a delay, on the stage at the Global Citizen Festival in New York Saturday, Flake essayed a little joke ("Feel free to join me in the elevator anytime") only to be booed.
Capitulating to intimidation is never a good way to win friends and influence people.