EDITORIAL: Cosby, Kavanaugh and #MeToo

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The two biggest news stories of the past week both fall under shade cast by the umbrella of #MeToo.

At his sentencing on Monday, Bill Cosby became the first high-profile sexual abuser to go to prison for being a criminal pervert. The 81-year-old man will do three to 10 years in a Pennsylvania state prison, which will probably end up being more like two years, for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

As a sacrifice on the altar of #MeToo, it’s pretty weak sauce.

Brett Kavanaugh, on the other hand, would make a fine trophy for the movement.

His Supreme Court confirmation hearings continue with all the twists and turns of a telenovela, with first one, then another and then a third woman coming forward with accusations of what our president might term “locker-room behavior.”

Add to that the right’s steady assault on Roe v. Wade and other women’s issues, and we can foretell a real conflict brewing in this reality show that has become our national narrative.

Can a judge with Kavanaugh’s history be named to the Supreme Court in the #MeToo era? Should he?

It’s insidious how his defenders are using the standard of proof applied to criminal proceedings. We don’t have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did it for him to not be fit to serve on the nation’s highest court. Don’t we deserve a nominee that is unblemished by even the suggestion of impropriety?

We can foretell a real conflict brewing in this reality show that has become our national narrative.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation would erode faith in yet another of our national institutions, in this case the highest court in the land. It’s already happened to the FBI, the Justice Department, the National Security Agency, the Census, the Department of Energy, the Consumer Protection Bureau, the US Congress and the entire Executive Branch. Why not SCOTUS?

And it would be seen as a blow to American women — or, at least, those women who haven’t been sexually assaulted.

The most terrifying revelation of the #MeToo era for middle-class American men of a certain age has been just how widespread this form of psycho-sexual terrorism has been among our peers.

Now what’s terrifying is how far these guys — and some women — will go to defend it.

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