September 24, 2018


Kavanaugh isn’t the doppelganger of every prep-school predator or fraternity rapist. He isn’t a stand-in for every privileged white man who ever got away with something he shouldn’t have; he is not the distilled essence of the patriarchy. He’s an individual, not a stock character, one accused of a very specific act.

In assessing whether Kavanaugh is guilty of that act, we of course consider his character. But we should not automatically ascribe to him the character of other white men, prep-school boys, high-school athletes, fraternity brothers, Catholics, pro-lifers, conservatives or lawyers we have known.

No good cause, however just, requires the ritual scapegoating of members of a despised class as an atonement for the sins of the others. Women or men, Democrats or Republicans, we’re all Americans, and I’d still like to believe America is better than that.

Well, America may be. But its political class clearly isn’t.

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