September 20, 2019

PEGGY NOONAN: Why They’ll Never Stop Targeting Kavanaugh: The continuing assault reflects both a fixation and an effort to deprive the court of its legitimacy.

Here are the reasons, in no certain order, that the accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh will never stop and his foes on the progressive left never let up.

Because progressives have to prove they were right to advance the sexual-assault accusations of Christine Blasey Ford. They lost that battle; Justice Kavanaugh sits on the court. They won’t stop the assault until they can prove they were right to launch it.

Because people become fixated on their targets. Because #MeToo continues as a potent cultural force. Because as the court assumes an ever more powerful role in American life, confirmation hearings and their aftermath will become more brutal and never-ending.

Because the authority and legitimacy of future rulings that are not pleasing to progressives (most prominently, perhaps, on Roe v. Wade) can be undermined through footnotes that say “the 5-4 decision was joined by a justice credibly accused of sexual assault.”

Because the steady drum of allegations diminishes not only Justice Kavanaugh’s stature but that of the court itself, which will be helpful when Democrats attempt to pack it.

Because the crazier parts of the progressive left increasingly see politics as public theater, with heroes and villains, cheers and hisses from the audience, and costumes, such as outfits from “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Because modern politics is, for the lonely and strange on all sides, entertainment and diversion. And one’s people must be entertained.

Because many progressives believe deep in their hearts that conservative men are both sexually obsessed and repressed, that conservatism is a way of looking at the world in which women are lesser, mere prey. They think this is behind everything, including conservative reservations about or opposition to abortion. In this view, conservative jurists who say things like “60% of my clerks were women” and “I coach the girls’ soccer and debate teams” are engaged in an elaborate cover. They hate the modern world. Behind closed doors they’re always swinging caveman’s clubs.

Because where there’s smoke there must be fire. There was Ms. Ford, then the Yale rumors. There’s no way there isn’t something to it.

So it will never end.

For Democrats, it is not “good politics,” and most of them know it. What was done to Justice Kavanaugh had a positive impact on 2018 Senate outcomes—for Republicans. There was a backlash. Women worried their sons and husbands would be targeted in a prosecutorial atmosphere that had abandoned due process.

But they can’t help themselves. Because all they had to do was not be crazy, and they couldn’t manage that.

Bottom line: “The charges will probably never stop, but at this point many of us, having seen what Justice Kavanaugh was put through because of ideology and politics, will never find them believable.”

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