Brett Kavanaugh’s Righteous Anger

Brett Kavanaugh’s Righteous Anger, by Orin Hatch, a Utah Republican, president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, and a member of the Judiciary Committee.

A notable shift occurred in the left’s anti-Kavanaugh campaign over the weekend. Attention has turned away from Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault — the entire reason for last week’s hearing and the ensuing delay in Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote — and toward his behavior at the hearing.

We’re starting to see arguments like the following: Even if Judge Kavanaugh is innocent, what he said at the hearing, and how he said it, is disqualifying.

This is rich. The hearing occurred in the first place only because of Democratic duplicity. It occurred only because Senate Democrats sat on Ms. Ford’s allegations for six weeks rather than referring them to committee investigators, as they should have done immediately. It occurred only because Ms. Ford’s lawyers — recommended to Ms. Ford by Senate Democrats — refused to tell their client of our invitation to testify privately in California, as she said she preferred.

Strike one:

That Judge Kavanaugh had the temerity to defend himself vigorously is now being counted as a strike against him. …

You’ve got to be kidding me. Do the people making this argument really expect a man who until five seconds ago had an unblemished reputation to sit passively while his reputation is viciously and permanently destroyed? While he is accused of the most horrific and obscene acts imaginable? Judge Kavanaugh’s critics seem to be aghast that he is a human being who is unwilling to take slander lying down. …

Strike two:

Then there’s the matter of Judge Kavanaugh’s alcohol consumption. Not since Prohibition have so many news outlets reported on drinking habits with such interest.

Countless articles have been written about how Judge Kavanaugh “lied” about his high-school and college drinking at the hearing, thereby calling into question his honesty. These articles claim the judge portrayed himself as a “choirboy” who, in the words of the New York Times, enjoyed “a beer or two as a high school and college student.” Then they hit back with quotes from college acquaintances who say they saw the judge drink quite a lot.

This is known in the business as a straw man. Judge Kavanaugh never claimed he always drank in moderation. To the contrary, he admitted, “Sometimes I had too many beers.” If Judge Kavanaugh’s opponents want to claim he lied about his drinking when he was younger, perhaps they should stop lying about what he actually said.

A slightly different straw man concerns Judge Kavanaugh’s statements at the hearing that he never blacked out from drinking. The Times and others have gathered testimonials from classmates who say they heard the judge “slur his words” and saw him “staggering” from alcohol consumption, as if this were proof that he blacked out from drinking. But of course Judge Kavanaugh never denied that he slurred his words or staggered. He said he never blacked out. Even a teetotaling Mormon knows the difference.

The Republican establishment gets a clue? Maybe it’s just a scam? Just maybe?

What’s going on here is obvious. Having failed to bring down Judge Kavanaugh with unsubstantiated allegations of sexual abuse, his opponents are now trying to call into question his character in defending himself from those allegations. It’s the ultimate set-up job. If the initial charges don’t work, we’ll destroy him when he defends himself. …

This is further evidence that this whole sordid saga was never about the truth. It was never about justice for Ms. Ford. It was always and only about defeating Judge Kavanaugh by any means necessary.

David Bernstein:

Seen on Facebook: “I’m amazed at the progressives who argue that Kavanaugh should not have expressed anger that he has been accused of being a rapist, and that he shouldn’t have lashed out at such accusations even if they are entirely false.

If being accused of being a rapist isn’t a big deal, then rape isn’t a big deal.”