The Corner

Law & the Courts

Now Even Evidence of Brett Kavanaugh’s Good Character Is Used against Him

Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 5, 2018. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

I agree with Charlie’s post below. What Dianne Feinstein has done to Brett Kavanaugh is unconscionable. She sat on a vague, anonymous accusation for months, refused to question Kavanaugh about it, refused to demand further substantiation, and then actually had the audacity to publicly refer it to law enforcement without providing a single shred of evidence that the referral was warranted. This is character assassination on a grand scale.

But it’s getting worse. Kavanaugh has unequivocally and unambiguously denied the claim, and there’s so far zero evidence supporting the accusation. So, how do you continue to smear the man? Easy. Turn even his good character against him. Now it’s somehow suspicious that he was able to quickly amass the signatures of dozens of women to vouch for his character. Here are some representative tweets:

Signatories of the letter are coming forward to say they only learned about it last night. Indeed, the idea that it’s hard to immediately gather supporting signatures from peers — in the age of Facebook and Twitter — is flat-out bizarre. Right now I have at least 293 friends from high school who are also Facebook friends. I can reach them in seconds, and they can amplify the message on their own pages in minutes. Reflecting back on the four-day nightmare also known as the “French for POTUS trial balloon,” I was simply stunned at the sheer number of people from my past who came forward to offer help and support. And I wasn’t even a tenth as prominent as Kavanaugh.

But this response is downright temperate compared to the next wave. Now the fact that Kavanaugh coached girls’ basketball and hired so many female clerks is suspicious. No, really:

It’s a simple fact that millions of partisans are primed to believe any allegation against a person on the other side, and then they’ll interpret the rest of their life against the backdrop of those claims. And no one knows the behavior of partisans better than politicians. Feinstein is achieving her intended purpose.

One does not toy with allegations of sexual assault. If there is substantial evidence that Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape a girl, then that’s disqualifying. Full stop. But an anonymous claim that the public hasn’t seen and that seems devoid of meaningful details is not how you establish guilt. It’s not how you even properly make allegations of wrongdoing. Time and again, we’ve seen courageous women stand up, endure the spotlight, and state their evidence. That courage is helping change this nation.

So far, however, these claims don’t belong in the same category. So far, we are still watching a terrible and profoundly immoral political dirty trick. It’s yet another sign of our low times that all too many partisans are willing to pile on.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Culture

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More