Photo: Drew Angerer Getty

Everyone on Earth is now aware that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of attempted rape. The whirlwind controversy began last week, when it was reported that Diane Feinstein had a mysterious letter pertaining to Kavanaugh’s confirmation that she’d passed on to authorities. We now know that the letter was from Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist in California, who told the story of what she alleged happened 35 years ago to the Washington Post today.

This is how the Post described the allegations:

Speaking publicly for the first time, Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

In the hours after these allegations were made public, all hell has broken loose. Political commentators across the nation are deteriorating as they try to justify confirming a judge who may have sexually abused someone. Some, like Sen. Jeff Flake, are calling for the vote on Kavanaugh to be postponed. Others, uh, have some other things on their minds.

Our good friend Megan McArdle, Washington Post columnist and noted hater of poor people, has been questioning Ford’s allegations since before they were even described. First, she questioned what kind of crime committed by Kavanaugh in high school could possibly be relevant to the FBI. Later, she wrote that sexual harassment didn’t exist when she was in high school.

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When details of the accusation did come out, McArdle said it was “hard to judge its veracity” when the woman “refuses to be interviewed by anyone.” Now, McArdle’s own employer has published an interview with the accuser, using her full name. The paper had apparently been in contact with her for weeks. Whoops!

Undeterred, McArdle doubled down, deciding that actually, everyone under the age of 18 should be allowed Purge-like freedom to do anything they want without facing consequences later in life.

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This is a truly bizarre argument for someone with McArdle’s politics. Forgiving the perpetrators of violent crimes is something usually advocated for by the left. McArdle is making an argument here that wouldn’t sound totally out of place at a meeting of prison abolitionists. But while lefties who oppose incarceration usually focus on the oppression of the poor and minorities, McArdle is making this argument out of concern for Brett fuckin’ Kavanaugh.

McArdle wasn’t the only one whose brain worms took the wheel as this story unfolded. Erick Erickson, a conservative columnist best known for shooting a copy of the New York Times with a gun, also weighed in with some deeply bizarre thoughts.

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Erick, thank you for thinking of the real victims: future judicial nominees.

If any other accusers come forward, we can expect to see dubious commenters like Erickson and McArdle finding new and inventive ways to question their credibility. This is exactly why women like Ford fear coming forward. Regardless of how believable your claims are, people will always find a reason to disbelieve you if your experience doesn’t fit neatly into how they envision the world. The only way this is going to change is if we face the reality that anyone can perpetrate sexual assault and harassment. Or we can just stick our heads in the sand and hope the world moves on.