Monday, October 08, 2018

Cruising the Web

I'm preparing to teach the ante-bellum year and happened to reread Abraham Lincoln's 1838 Lyceum Address. He was delivering it in the context of the murder of a black man in Missouri as well as an Illinois mob trashing the newspaper offices and then murdering the abolitionist editor Elijah Lovejoy. I tell my students that lyceum lectures were rather like the ante-bellum version of TED talks that people would turn out to hear orators. As I reread Lincoln's address, it struck me how applicable his words for today.

He starts out by praising the history and government that the Founding Fathers had bequeathed to his generation and then asks how they can be worthy of this heritage while perpetuating our institutions. He asserts that no foreign army can destroy us, but the real danger comes from what we can do to ourselves.
I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny. Accounts of outrages committed by mobs, form the every-day news of the times. They have pervaded the country, from New England to Louisiana;--they are neither peculiar to the eternal snows of the former, nor the burning suns of the latter;--they are not the creature of climate-- neither are they confined to the slave-holding, or the non-slave- holding States. Alike, they spring up among the pleasure hunting masters of Southern slaves, and the order loving citizens of the land of steady habits.--Whatever, then, their cause may be, it is common to the whole country.
He goes through the murder of a mixed-race man in St.Louis and several blacks in Mississippi. He then goes on to assert that these mob actions are a danger to the preservation of our political institutions.
When men take it in their heads to day, to hang gamblers, or burn murderers, they should recollect, that, in the confusion usually attending such transactions, they will be as likely to hang or burn some one who is neither a gambler nor a murderer as one who is; and that, acting upon the example they set, the mob of to-morrow, may, and probably will, hang or burn some of them by the very same mistake. And not only so; the innocent, those who have ever set their faces against violations of law in every shape, alike with the guilty, fall victims to the ravages of mob law; and thus it goes on, step by step, till all the walls erected for the defense of the persons and property of individuals, are trodden down, and disregarded. But all this even, is not the full extent of the evil.--By such examples, by instances of the perpetrators of such acts going unpunished, the lawless in spirit, are encouraged to become lawless in practice; and having been used to no restraint, but dread of punishment, they thus become, absolutely unrestrained.--Having ever regarded Government as their deadliest bane, they make a jubilee of the suspension of its operations; and pray for nothing so much, as its total annihilation. While, on the other hand, good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws, and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country; seeing their property destroyed; their families insulted, and their lives endangered; their persons injured; and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better; become tired of, and disgusted with, a Government that offers them no protection; and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose. Thus, then, by the operation of this mobocractic spirit, which all must admit, is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any Government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectually be broken down and destroyed--I mean the attachment of the People. Whenever this effect shall be produced among us; whenever the vicious portion of population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision-stores, throw printing presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure, and with impunity; depend on it, this Government cannot last. By such things, the feelings of the best citizens will become more or less alienated from it; and thus it will be left without friends, or with too few, and those few too weak, to make their friendship effectual. At such a time and under such circumstances, men of sufficient talent and ambition will not be wanting to seize the opportunity, strike the blow, and overturn that fair fabric, which for the last half century, has been the fondest hope, of the lovers of freedom, throughout the world.
What is the answer to prevent this mobocracy leading to everyone feeling alienated from the government is that we must respect the rule of law and not allow others to violate it.
Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap--let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;--let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.
Of course, we're not facing the racial violence that Lincoln was discussing, but we are experiencing a decline in the respect for the rule of law. When people claim that an individual should be judged not by the evidence of his particular case but by our general experiences of other men and other women as if a person's race and gender are enough to accept any allegation against him, we are witnessing a degradation of the rule of law.

When mobs disrupt Senate procedures and try to storm the building the Supreme Court, we're seeing something that we haven't experienced since the 1960s. When senators and their staff are receiving death threats, there is something truly ugly stalking our country.

And the fault in this instance lies with the Democrats and the media. They were so afraid that Kavanaugh will provide the fifth vote to destroy abortion rights that they just decided to blow past all standards and norms. We saw that in the original hearings even before Dr. Ford's allegations came to light. When that didn't work, someone on their side leaked her story. It could all have been handled quietly and confidentially as other personal allegations have been handled before by the Judiciary Committee, but instead we got this spectacle. And the media played their role in furthering the attacks.


That is why Senator Collin's speech was so impressive. It's well worth reading for how she address all the wild allegations against Kavanaugh's judicial background. She went through one charge after another that the Democrats have been making. As I listened to her speech, it was so well-reasoned that anyone listening or reading with a fair mind couldn't help be impressed. She had specific evidence from his past rulings on the D.C. Circuit to support her evaluation of his record, something his critics had seemed remarkably uninterested in. She shot down the argument that many have put forth that a president under investigation shouldn't be allowed to nominate a justice by reminding us that Clinton nominated both Justices Ginsburg and Breyer while under investigation. There is no indication that Kavanaugh has been the sort of judge who would rule in favor of Trump simply because that was the president who nominated him if there were a case involving the President before the Court by giving the example of how he'd ruled in a case involving the Bush administration. Pro-life supporters of Kavanaugh might have been dismayed as she lay out the reasons why she didn't fear his overturning Roe v. Wade. Then she explained why she couldn't vote against him simply because allegations had been made. She, rather bravely in this age, asserted that we still have to apply "fundamental legal principles--about due process, the presumption of innocence, and fairness" to our evaluation of those charges. Her words there were quite eloquent and important and deserve our attention.
In evaluating any given claim of misconduct, we will be ill served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be. We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy.

The presumption of innocence is relevant to the advice and consent function when an accusation departs from a nominee’s otherwise exemplary record. I worry that departing from this presumption could lead to a lack of public faith in the judiciary and would be hugely damaging to the confirmation process moving forward.
Ah, just what Lincoln would have argued.

Collins went on to explain how some of the other stories about Kavanaugh, particularly the Avenatti claims, were so outlandish that we should all be dismayed to have heard Democratic senators even bring those allegations into the hearing.

She concludes with words that echo Lincoln's worries so long ago.
We live in a time of such great disunity, as the bitter fight over this nomination both in the Senate and among the public clearly demonstrates. It is not merely a case of different groups having different opinions. It is a case of people bearing extreme ill will toward those who disagree with them. In our intense focus on our differences, we have forgotten the common values that bind us together as Americans. When some of our best minds are seeking to develop ever more sophisticated algorithms designed to link us to websites that only reinforce and cater to our views, we can only expect our differences to intensify.

This would have alarmed the drafters of our Constitution, who were acutely aware that different values and interests could prevent Americans from becoming and remaining a single people. Indeed, of the six objectives they invoked in the preamble to the Constitution, the one that they put first was the formation of “a more perfect Union.”

Their vision of “a more perfect Union” does not exist today, and if anything, we appear to be moving farther away from it. It is particularly worrisome that the Supreme Court, the institution that most Americans see as the principal guardian of our shared constitutional heritage, is viewed as part of the problem through a political lens.
Well done, Senator Collins. I found her speech inspirational. It would have been so easy for a senator from a blue state to surrender to the pressure, to the mobs of screaming protesters, to the death and rape threats she and her staff have received and are now receiving. First they tried to bribe her through a GoFundMe account to give money to an opponent. Then they sent her 3,000 wire hangers as a not-so-subtle reminder of what they fear is at stake. Then there were the threats to rape her female staff members. Yeah, threatening rape of women to own the conservatives or something. And, of course, she's been excoriated on social media and in the hallways of the Senate.

Going along with the mob as the Democrats so shamefully did is cowardice. Going against the mob was an act of courage for Senator Collins.

And as The New York Sun writes,
Yet what strikes us about Senator Collins’ magnificent moment is that it is about more than courage — it is a profile in substance.


Someone posted somewhere that there are only 27 senators who have been in the Senate for the votes on Roberts, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh. And only two senators voted for all six - Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins. That is really rather striking. And that fact perhaps explains some of the anger that at least Graham was feeling during the hearing. He has tried to keep an open mind for all nominees and did indeed get a lot of flack for his votes for Obama's nominees. So seeing how the Democrats have behaved this time, he just was fed up. Collins may be feeling some of the same though she didn't express herself in anger, but with reason and appeals to the better angels of our nature. Sadly, I fear those appeals were in vain.


Heather Mac Donald wrote last week in response to the Harvard Law students and alumni petitioning the dean to say that his teaching a class there, as he's done since 2008, would create a “hostile environment for many students, and especially survivors.”
The Kavanaugh hysteria has provided the country with a crash course in academic victim politics. The teribal denunciations of “privileged white males,” the moral panic over fantastical accounts of sexual predation, the spectacle of Ivy League law students claiming to feel “unsafe,” the assertion that a single uncorroborated outbreak of male teen hormones should cancel a lifetime of achievement in the law—all originate in the anti-Enlightenment ethos of the academy, embodied in critical race studies, feminist legal theory, and the attacks on the Socratic teaching method as anti-female and anti-“survivor.”

The #BelieveSurvivors mantra is a cornerstone of the campus grievance industry but inimical to everything that a law school should teach. It’s a religious gesture, not a legal one: Such belief is independent of proof, arising out of a pre-existing commitment to a narrative of ubiquitous female abuse by patriarchal white males. The “survivor” label presupposes the conclusion that evidence should establish: that the accused is guilty of an offense. The fact-finder, if there even is one, regards contradictions or holes in a woman’s story as evidence of “trauma” and thus as further corroboration. According to #BelieveSurvivors logic, the Innocence Project, which exists to vacate wrongful convictions and has a presence at law schools across the country, should be disbanded.

Examples abound of student rape allegations arising out of voluntary drunken hookups, following which the self-described victim sought further sexual contact with her alleged rapist. Even if such cases weren’t so common, to presume the guilt of the accused based on an accusation alone would still be an affront to due process.

The current generation of elite law students will one day become judges themselves. If they remain committed to the circular logic of #BelieveSurvivors, the rule of law is in trouble.


Jay Cost reminds us that the mob demonstrations we've been witnessing in the past few weeks are not exactly what the First Amendment guarantees.
But the First Amendment does not grant carte blanche to assembly and petition. In fact it is the only pair of rights listed therein that contains a limitation. We have to assemble and petition peaceably. We the people have a right to come together to voice our complaints to our elected officials, but we do not have the right to behave like a mob.

And a mob was what we saw in Congress over the last ten days. Demonstrators were rude, crude, and abusive. They got in the faces of members of Congress and disrupted the business of the national assembly. Thank goodness there was no violence. Were it not for the superlative work of the Capitol Police, there probably would have been.

This is not republican government in action. In fact, it is the just the opposite.

Direct access to members of Congress is a good thing. And when controversial pieces of legislation are under consideration, there is no doubt going to be high passions. Back in 2010, conservative Tea Partiers protested vociferously when Obamacare was passed. That is all well and good, and insofar as progressives were behaving likewise, there is nothing objectionable. But look at how protesters confronted senators like Jeff Flake, Orrin Hatch, and Susan Collins on Capitol Hill, or how they got in Mitch McConnell and Sonny Perdue’s face at the airport. That is something different than 2010.

In a country of more than 330 million people, only a relative handful of us have the ability to assemble around the Congress and engage directly with members of the legislature as they go about their days. That unique privilege is reserved mainly for those who live in the metropolitan Washington area. The rest of us must rely on our duly elected representatives from afar, allowing them to serve as our agents in public affairs.

When protesters interfere with the legislative process in the reckless fashion they did this week, they are thus harassing not just members of Congress but all of us, for our interests in government cannot be realized if our members are being harried and bullied. This is the line between the benevolent rule of the majority, which the Founders thought was essential for republican government, and the clamors of the mob, which they knew was a threat to it....

What is especially concerning is that high-level liberals are encouraging this kind of behavior. As the Kavanaugh battle raged, Think Progress editor Ian Millhiser took to Twitter to encourage his followers to “confront Republicans where they eat, where they sleep, and where they work until they stop being complicit in the destruction of our democracy.” This was exactly backward: Petty harassment of legislators and mob-like behavior in the halls of government are themselves destructive to our form of government. Since ours is a representative republic, the only way that we have any power is if our members of Congress are free to act according to the wishes of their constituents. If they are getting bullied by malevolent protesters, they aren’t free. And if liberals intend to employ such bullying as a regular tactic, then they are the threat to our form of government, not the policies and people they are protesting.

As Jim Treacher writes,
Most of the media is actively working for the Democrats.

If I had any doubt about this, it was completely erased by the events of the past month. The only way any of it makes sense is if the press is eagerly doing the will of the Democrats.

Are the Dems accusing a Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault, and even gang rape? Well then, the press will proceed under that assumption. They already know the accused is guilty, no matter how insane the accusation, so they'll dig up facts to match the theory. And if they can't find facts? Any facts at all? Well then, they'll just weave together rumor and conjecture until they hit their word count.

They're team players, and if you don't like their outright dishonesty, that's what you get for refusing to join them. They're better than us, which is why they're so baffled that we don't trust them.
Check this thread for copious examples of how the media were advocating for the Democrats against Kavanaugh.


Treacher concludes with much of how I'm feeling.
Right now I'm politically homeless. I don't like or trust the Republicans any more than the Democrats. But if the Dems wanted to woo a RINO cuck NeverTrump traitor like me, they screwed up for the last time. I will never vote for another Democrat as long as I live. Not after seeing how they smeared the name of an innocent man because they saw him as a threat to their power. The Republicans were the only ones fighting for American principles here. If I'm ever tempted to vote Dem, I'll just remember what they did to Brett Kavanaugh. I'll remember how they exploited victims of sexual assault for the basest of political purposes.

I'm not going to gloat over Kavanaugh's confirmation*, but it's a relief. It's a major victory in the war for the truth. I'm glad that the Dems and their enablers didn't get away with their repulsive, dishonest behavior this time, but I don't look forward to seeing what they do next. They've all lost their minds, and the more their tactics backfire, the more reckless they become. I have no idea what's next, but we all know it ain't gonna be pretty.

It's going to be amazing to watch the 180-degree turn when Amy Coney Barrett is nominated. Then we'll see how much the Democrats really respect women.

*much...

John Podhoretz reminds us of all the other times that good people's reputations have been destroyed by hysterical partisan attacks.
For Republicans and conservatives with a long memory, this was not just about Kavanaugh. It was about Bob Bork, and the near destruction of Clarence Thomas, and the illegitimate prosecution of Reagan Labor Secretary Ray Donovan, who was left to ask how he could get his reputation back when a garbage case against him fell apart. It was about the criminalization of policy differences that saw a liberal hunger in the 1980s to throw people like my brother-in-law Elliott Abrams in jail—a person of the most unimpeachable moral character—because he was a strong advocate of a policy his enemies detested.

It was about vice presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby, who was prosecuted and convicted on the most tenuous of charges even though his prosecutor knew full well he hadn’t leaked the name of a CIA agent—the reason the prosecutor had been set on the case in the first place. It was about John Bolton, now national security adviser, whose confirmation for the post of UN ambassador went down amid preposterous charges he was somehow too mean to serve in the post.

It was about the politics of personal destruction.

Republicans and conservatives could see the same enemies arrayed against Kavanaugh they had seen over the past 35 years: liberal interest groups and the Democratic politicians whose staffs help populate those groups working hand in hand with a pliable and credulous media to create the impression of guilt and evil where there are no facts to back up that impression.


I am amused at the Democrats suddenly deciding that the Avenatti allegations hurt their case.
Senate Democrats believed they had Brett Kavanaugh on the ropes.

Christine Blasey Ford had just revealed her identity and was prepared to testify in public, detailing her allegations that Kavanaugh had tried to sexual assault her more than three decades ago. On top of that, a New Yorker article had just revealed that a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, was accusing Kavanaugh of exposing his genitals to her while they were college students.
Then came Michael Avenatti....

But the eye-popping nature of those claims suddenly gave Republicans an opportunity to shift the narrative away from Ford's allegations and make a broader case that the growing accusations of sexual misconduct amounted to an orchestrated Democratic smear campaign, something Sen. Susan Collins, the swing GOP vote, cited herself when announcing she'd be the decisive vote to support Kavanaugh's confirmation.

A host of Democratic senators and senior aides told CNN that the allegations from Avenatti's client gave the GOP an opening to conflate -- and dismiss -- all the allegations in one broad brush.
"Well you know at some point there were a lot of folks coming forward making all sorts of accusations," said Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, when asked about the allegations raised by Avenatti and his client. "It turns it into a circus atmosphere and certainly that's not where we should be."

Asked if Avenatti was helpful, Peters said: "I think we should have focused on the serious allegations that certainly appeared very credible to me that would be our best course of action."

Privately, the assessment was far more scathing.

"Democrats and the country would have been better off if Mr. Avenatti spent his time on his Iowa vanity project rather than meddling in Supreme Court fights," a senior Senate Democratic aide fumed, referring to Avenatti toying with the idea of seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. "His involvement set us back, absolutely."
First of all, the Ramirez allegations were equally uncorroborated. Even the New Yorker had to admit that the one guy who said he heard the story from someone else couldn't be corroborated because the witness he said told him the story at the time denies ever doing so.

But wait, I thought we were supposed to believe all women who make accusations against a man. Are Democrats going to blame a woman, Julie Swetnick, and assert that her story isn't credible. If they can admit that her story just didn't make sense and that she was a reliable witness, aren't they admitting that, perhaps, some women aren't to be believed?


One woman writes in USA Today why she, along with other women was so furious watching the spectacle that the Kavanaugh hearings became.
Many conservative women detest the McCarthyite tone of the proceedings; we feel sickened by the sight of crowds of college girls ripping up pro-Kavanaugh posters; we are worried as mobs chant, “We believe survivors!” (What if Ford is not truly a “survivor”? Don’t we have to establish whether she’s a survivor first?)

The theater turned us off, but it was a kind of a last straw — after years of pussy hats and #MeToo and college kangaroo courts. We don’t buy the larger message about a GOP “war on women.” We know these are crude scare tactics designed to get our votes. But Democrats are making a huge miscalculation. We don’t vote on reproductive policy alone, and many of us voted for President Donald Trump because at least he talked about taxes and regulations and eliminating government agencies — things we knew would affect the American economy, not just our own jobs but those of our husbands, sons and brothers.

In fact, the past decades have been much harder on men than women. We know that the recession of 2008 was rightly called a “man-cession” because it hit mostly men, particularly those in manufacturing jobs or who were home builders and construction workers.

We know that college campuses have been a nightmare for young men for years as unfair panels established to judge alleged sex abuse have proliferated — aided and abetted by President Barack Obama’s threat to withdraw federal funds for universities that weren’t swift enough in establishing these faux courts.

We know that popular culture created in the salons of the East Coast relentlessly portray men as bumbling idiots, as children. And we bleed for our sons and husbands and brothers who have been scarred by these relentless attacks.

Perhaps one reason we haven’t been heard up to this point is that many women who aren’t particularly electrified by the pussy hats of this wave of feminism also eschew identify politics. We don’t see everything through a lens of sex and race, so we don’t make a big noise about our desires as women....

I realized that because of what I call “the decent man syndrome” (obviously a very good thing in many ways) it is becoming impossible for men to speak up effectively in their own defense.

It’s now down to — What to call us? — how about "the women who won’t put on the pink hat"?

How about a movement called “Not In Our Name”? It’s time everybody — from lawmakers tempted to make policy that they think will placate women to our male brothers who increasingly are saying they’re afraid to hire and even date women — to know that "the women who won’t put on the pink hat" are out there in big numbers.


To demonstrate how frighteningly absurd this culture of hysteria has gotten, a Facebook executive, Joel Kaplan, who is an old friend of Brett Kavanaugh, is being attacked by Facebook employees for attending the hearing in support for his friend. They had to have a company-wide townhall to discuss this egregious act by an individual. It is quite Orwellian in the description of how he was made to express public contrition. And he dared to explain that he felt that his core values include friendship and loyalty. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg appeared to reiterate how serious everything was and how they really, wish, that Kaplan hadn't followed his core values of friendship and loyalty.
Zuckerberg said he understood a lot of Facebook employees were upset by the appearance, and expressed frustration that Kaplan had put the company in the middle of a political story, an official said.

Zuckerberg added that Facebook is a place where people can have diverse points of view.

Sandberg talked about the seriousness of sexual assault, and noted it is a pervasive issue in the country. She also expressed support for employees who did not share colleagues' concerns about Kaplan's attendance at the hearing.

Facebook management characterized Kaplan's appearance as a lapse of judgement on his part, according to one listener.

Speakers said Kaplan was there in his personal capacity on a personal day.


Glenn Reynolds looks at how the Supreme Court may and may not change with the arrival of Brett Kavanaugh. Pro-life proponents are likely to be disappointed.
With regard to Roe v. Wade — which is really what this entire, embarrassing circus was about, with all the charges and countercharges just being talking points — it’s hard to say. Kavanaugh told the senators that Roe is “settled law.” That’s true, in a sense. But Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld segregation, or Bowers v. Hardwick, which allowed states to treat gay sex as a felony, were both settled law until they were overturned. And Justice Sonia Sotomayor told senators that the Second Amendment as an individual right was settled law after District of Columbia v. Heller but then took the anti-Second Amendment side in McDonald v. Chicago the next year. Even so, overturning Roe would be a huge deal, and I don’t think the court has the stomach for it. There may be a bit of chipping around the edges, as in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but not much. It will take at least two more pro-life justices on the court before Roe is at risk.
If Trump got to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a pro-life justice, we might see some change. But I expect all we'll see is some more limiting laws on abortion such as the 20-week ban to be upheld. And the underreported secret is that the majority of Americans support such limitations even though they still want to keep abortion itself legal. So the Court might, surprise of surprises, end up just about where the American people are at.

Reynolds has some other predictions that sound exactly correct.
Strange new respect for judicial minimalism. As Harvard Law professor Adrian Vermeule remarked, “Law review editors: brace for a tidal wave of legal academic theories supporting judicial minimalism, Thayerianism, and strong — very strong — theories of precedent. Above all: the Court must do nothing without bipartisan agreement, otherwise it is illegitimate.” The past half-century’s enthusiasm for judicial activism will vanish, as legal academia turns on a dime to promote theories that will constrain the court until a left-leaning majority returns, at which point they’ll turn on a dime again.

►New disrespect for the court: The Supreme Court has not always been held in the high esteem it has enjoyed in recent decades. When it was blocking progressive legislation and frustrating President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, it was derided as “nine old men,” and schemes to evade its rulings were widespread. Roosevelt even threatened to “pack” the court with additional justices to ensure his policies were upheld. That effort failed, but a chastened Supreme Court started upholding New Deal programs immediately after, in what was called “the switch in time that saved nine.” If the court shifts right as expected, you can also expect legal academia and the news media, both of which lean very heavily to the left, to shift quite rapidly from near worship of the court to nonstop denigration. Some on the left are already talking openly of packing the court with additional seats, as Roosevelt tried to, if they get back in power. Others are talking about impeaching Kavanaugh, because, well, of course.

As George Mason University Law School’s Adam White notes, we may see a rerun of the “Impeach Earl Warren” campaigns of the 1960s, only from the left. (Though, to be fair, the move to impeach Warren was led by Democrats, too, of the segregationist variety.)
I suspect that, just as we saw with Bill Clinton, the American people don't want to go through an impeachment hearing, especially one of a sitting Supreme Court justice. And if no corroborating evidence for Ford's story appears, they're going to look extremely foolish trying to craft a perjury charge based on how much he did or did not drink while a student. Despite the repeated assertion that he downplayed his drinking and the trotting out of friends who saw him drinking, he actually did testify to drinking.
In his opening statement in the Senate hearing, Kavanaugh said, “Sometimes, I had too many beers.” This is obviously an acknowledgment of excessive drinking. He further allowed of himself and his friends, in a statement that covers a lot of misbehavior: “We sometimes did goofy or stupid things. I doubt we are alone in looking back in high school and cringing at some things.”

In the Martha MacCallum interview on Fox News the week before the hearing, he said much the same thing: “And yes, there were parties. And the drinking age was 18, and yes, the seniors were legal and had beer there. And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion.”

Kavanaugh never denied going to keg parties, or — to cite the recent reporting — enthusiastically planning his high-school friends’ excursion for beach week, or getting in a barroom scuffle at Yale. If Kavanaugh had been asked about any of these specifically and denied them, his critics would have a case for dishonesty that simply doesn’t exist.
It's hard to say that saying "sometimes, I had too many beers" is denying that he drank to excess. There is not going to be popular support for impeaching him based on perjury. And no one, except rabid leftists, wants to revisit boufing and the Devil's Triangle. And if they couldn't come up with any corroboration for Ford right now, what are the chances they will later?


And at last, Hitler found out that the Democrats' tactics against Kavanaugh have failed.