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Of all the contortions senators and others have exhibited in reaction to the C. B. Ford allegations of sexual assault against B. Kavanaugh, when they were both teenagers, the most ridiculous is "I believe she is telling the truth, but I believe it wasn't him."

The "truth" as C.B. Ford expressed it is that B. Kavanaugh attacked her. That was unequivocal in her testimony. There was no room in her testimony for a possibility that something bad happened to her but someone else did it.

It was equally unequivocal in Kavanaugh's testimony that he didn't do it. He didn't allow for any possibility that he could have done something and forgotten it, because it was a long time ago and he was drunk. 

If you say you believe Kavanaugh, you are calling Ford a liar. If you say you believe Ford, you are calling Kavanaugh a liar. There is no middle ground, and you don't get to have it both ways.

Nonetheless, numerous Republican senators tried, at least for awhile, to straddle this divide that cannot be straddled. They believed Dr. Ford, they said, but were sure Judge Kavanaugh was innocent. Some of them later seemed to stand more firmly on Kavanaugh's side by criticizing Ford's story as baseless, etc. Some, however, continued to embrace the possibility of the impossible.

You cannot say you believe it's Monday but express complete confidence in the truth of someone else's statement that it is Wednesday, at least not credibly.

After the testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh, one thing was clear: One story was true, one was a lie. If you were going to express an opinion, you had to pick a side.

Some senators backing Kavanaugh, desperate not to alienate a big voting bloc of women, are still trying to have it both ways. I have more respect for those like Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley, who are giving the barest lip service to Dr. Ford now than for those like Susan Collins, who are trying to claim compassion for Dr. Ford while declaring, with their actions, that they don't believe her.

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Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at will@poststar.com and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at

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