Ah, yes, “David ‘Rodham’ Gergen” only brings the best political analysis to CNN as a senior political commentator!! Oh wait — what did he say on Thursday’s AC360? Oh, nevermind.
Anyway, Gergen offered quite the malarkey on the Brett Kavanaugh fiacso, telling host Anderson Cooper that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is quite the underdog as it’s “Christine vs. Goliath” with few resources against Kavanaugh, the Republican Party, the White House, and possibly a female Republican lawyer doing the questioning in order to “impugn and discredit” her.
Gergen complained to Cooper 11 minutes into the program that Republicans aren’t bullying the FBI into investigating someone they believe to be innocent (because that’s how our justice system works, or something).
He then took aim at the possibility that the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee might select a female lawyer to question Ford, blasting this hypothetical woman as someone who’d be biased and “on their side who’s trying to impugn and to discredit” Ford.
Sadly, it appeared that a Harvard University faculty member doesn’t know how the American justice system works and specifically the goals of prosecutors and defense attorneys in trials.
“But — but what also is really striking is the disproportionate amount of power coming into this. I mean, here Kavanaugh goes into the White House every day and he has hours and hours of prepared testimony. He's got a whole — the Republicans on the Hill,” Gergen then added.
With that in mind, Gergen totally seemed unaware of how the American left, feminist movement, and news media are behind Ford.
But, wait! It got worse as Gergen brought up David and Goliath: “[Republicans] control a lot of this and in some ways it's going to be a David versus Goliath or Christine versus Goliath and that’ll be tough for her but she may be a more sympathetic character as a result.”
Former federal judge Nancy Gertner agreed, fretting that this entire process “is unequal at the start” with the focus (presumably, in her opinion, by Republicans) on “the optics” when “[w]e should be talking about getting to the truth.”
Later, Gergen warned the obviously, which is that, if there’s a hearing, “each side will introduce ideas or conspiracies about the other side that are unresolved, but that push the public in one direction or another.”
“I mean, it's extraordinarily brave of her to come in and do this because she's paid this personal price already, but the odds of winning this kind of argument, unless she can appeal to people's sense of she really is a victim here, she really is being ganged up on,” he added before a commercial break.
To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 on September 21, click “expand.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360
September 20, 2018
8:11 p.m. Eastern
ANDERSON COOPER: And David, it certainly seems there's no appetite on the part of Republicans to have an FBI investigation at this point.
DAVID GERGEN: None. Zero. I think what we do know, Anderson, is they have entered negotiations and both sides seem to want to get the yes. So I think chances are much higher tonight that she's actually going to come and testify.
COOPER: Even if it's later in the week.
GERGEN: Even if it — and I assume Chairman Grassley, as part of that, would do it later in the week. But there's no indication on any give of witnesses coming in and there’s, very importantly, no give on the idea of having a real investigation before you get there. It's just hard to know how you can put two people and conclude what's the truth, if you have no real information about what other parties say. What the — you know, you need to hear from a variety of people under oath. So I think it does come down to a he said/she said, which means they're going to vote and he's going to have it — he’s going to win. I do think also, on the outside, the outside counsel it's important to distinguish. This is someone they're bringing in who's going to be on their side —
GERGEN: — who's trying to impugn and to discredit —
COOPER: Right, this would not be a neutral —
GERGEN: — this is not a neutral arbiter. Right, they're looking for somebody who can do — so the Democrats would be advised to do that. On the other hand, they've got some people who are experienced. They've got women of their own who can ask questions, so I'm not sure they need to duplicate that. But — but what also is really striking is the disproportionate amount of power coming into this. I mean, here Kavanaugh goes into the White House every day and he has hours and hours of prepared testimony. He's got a whole — the Republicans on the Hill.
GERGEN: They control a lot of this and in some ways it's going to be a David versus Goliath or Christine versus Goliath and that’ll be tough for her but she may be a more sympathetic character as a result.
COOPER: Judge, I mean, one of the things that remains unclear tonight is whether or not any investigation — I mean, it doesn't seem like there will be any investigation into the allegations.
NANCY GERTNER: That's significant. I want to step back and say there are three choices here. One is to have an investigation and no one in any court ever gets on the stand without a private investigation, depositions, discovery. Nobody except on Judge Judy does that. So, that would be one option, which they've now rejected. The other would be to have other witnesses so that it is not just he said/she said and that's rejected. Now you're talking about sort of the classic troubling scene where yes, you're having her testify, having him testify, but as David Gergen indicated, this is unequal at the start and there's no — there’s no outside context. I can't emphasize enough how unusual it is to simply have people, you know, confront their accuser with no other evidence other than, you know, essentially their own words. Maybe there is no such evidence out there. But it seems to me we have to look at that before we proceed with this. I also have to admit that this stuff about talking about the optics. We should be talking about getting to the truth.
8:15 p.m. Eastern
GERGEN: I think there's a real chance that each side will introduce ideas or conspiracies about the other side that are unresolved, but that push the public in one direction or another and we do know that the White House forces are very clever at this.
GERGEN: And that's why I think she's — I mean, it's extraordinarily brave of her to come in and do this because she's paid this personal price already, but the odds of winning this kind of argument, unless she can appeal to people's sense of she really is a victim here, she really is being ganged up on.