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An impossible bar

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The following is an editorial by Armstrong Williams.

Back in 1991, at the end of the confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas, I never thought I would live to again see the day when the dignity of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Supreme Court would be sullied by personal allegations against the nominee that were specifically concocted by his political enemies to demean the process and tarnish the accused.

Much has been made in the media about the price that Professor Christine Blasey Ford would have to pay, personally and professionally, by coming forward to air her grievances against Judge Brett Kavanaugh during the latest Supreme Court confirmation fight. The prognosticators on the left are right, of course. Dr. Ford almost certainly will suffer damage from this sad spectacle — perhaps irreparably, if history is any gauge. However, what they fail to mention is that it is they, the Democrats, who will destroy her.

It is nothing for them, despite Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s protestations otherwise, to use Dr. Ford as their witting political pawn and then discard her when they are finished with her. She will go back to her life, to a fate worse than obscurity, an almost untouchable world of isolation. After the glare of publicity subsides, Dr. Ford will be left more depleted of the justice she craves than when she arrived. What is so tragic about this scenario is that she ultimately will have no one to turn to. There is no Democratic pension fund for the victims of political wars.

As time goes by, they will trot Dr. Ford out to signify the Democrats’ faint allegiance to principles of justice and fairness, to women’s rights, to the plight of the sexually abused. One need to look no further than the cases of Charlie Rose, Al Franken or Matt Lauer, all darlings of the left-wing establishment sacrificed on the altar of political correctness, to realize that their glib lip-service to women’s rights and the #MeToo movement are but faux furies signifying nothing.

But don’t take my word for it. Look at what happened to Anita Hill in 1991. The Democrats used and discarded her. Then-Sen. Joe Biden, who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, played the coy and almost na├»ve inquisitor — pretending not to know it was his fellow Democrats who had decided to trot out Hill like a lamb to the slaughter. His management and conduct at the hearings constituted one of the most deplorable political performances in recent memory. Afterward, Hill, once a rising conservative legal star, found herself homeless, in Washington terms. She no longer had a home on the right, and the left would never embrace a conservative woman during that time in our history, with her politics. She receded to obscurity, all that Yale education and hard work squandered in one senseless moment.

A similar fate awaits Dr. Ford if we do not do something to address the broken political process while we still have time. For one thing, we have to address the virtual cottage industry of politicians and lawyers that exists for the sole purpose of exploiting sexual harassment allegations for partisan political gain. Not surprisingly, these same people staunchly defended President Bill Clinton when he faced much more credible and substantiated allegations of ongoing sexual impropriety with his staff and other women.

This just goes to show how deep-seated hypocrisy permeates the Democratic establishment. They trot out decades-old allegations against Judge Kavanaugh without even a scintilla of corroborating evidence, other than the word of an unvetted accuser, after staunchly defending the reputation of one of their own party and political persuasion who has been accused of far more numerous and recent incidents of misconduct.

Secondly, there is the senatorial process itself. Sen. Feinstein (D-Calif.), ironically honored in 1992’s “Year of the Woman,” in the wake of the Thomas hearings, chose to keep Dr. Ford’s allegations in her back pocket until the last minute. Feinstein says she did this to “protect” Dr. Ford. The more reasonable and likely explanation is that Feinstein’s staffers assured Dr. Ford, through her politically selected legal counsel, that she never would have to testify. They thought they could use the mere allegation as a cudgel to force the administration to withdraw Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. It is clear they badly miscalculated the administration’s response, as several of the individuals cited as witnesses have released statements saying they don’t recall the incident ever happening.

However, Democrats didn’t give up. In a new article in The New Yorker by Ronan Farrow he outlines how Senate Democrats were on the hunt for another alleged victim. To get ahead of it she gave an interview to Ronan outlying an incident with Judge Kavanaugh when they were both students at Yale. However, Ronan points out she was reluctant, “partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident.” Several of the witness cited have already come out saying they have no recollection of the incident, the same thing as those listed by Dr. Ford.

It used to be that nominees to the Supreme Court were subjected to ideological litmus tests, and that was bad enough. Their personal lives already had been vetted, long before they reached that stage of the game — when applying to law school, when applying to the bar, when applying to the various governmental and judicial appointments that preceded their candidacy for the highest court. By the time they reach the Supreme Court nomination stage, unless there is some new and credible allegation of recent disqualifying personal behavior, such past issues should have been put to bed.

What we ultimately are doing is creating a nation of hypocrites. In a world where lifelong perfection becomes the standard litmus test, we will have supposedly infallible politicians setting an impossible bar for their political adversaries to overcome.

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