That, alone, is refreshing.
Now, though, the Kavanaugh nomination has turned into a nasty faction fight among the elites generally.
Here's Ross Douthat, one of the many Tories with reservations about confirming the nomination.
But people also need to recognize that the “profile” we’re being given of Kavanaugh — a creature of privilege who drank a lot in college and sometimes struck other people as a jerk — isn’t the narrow profile of a rapist, and isn’t even the somewhat more expansive profile of a particular kind of arrogant preppy. It’s a profile that fits many of the same people attacking him today — and so part of what we’re watching is one group of meritocrats returning to their undergraduate resentments and trying to pin on Georgetown Prep graduates the vices that define our entire depressing class.The good news is there are enough matriculants and graduates of the land-grants, mid-majors, and apprenticeships that the Republic would do just fine, thank you very much, if all the legacies and credential-whores went on a permanent vacation.
If I had known Brett Kavanaugh casually freshman year of college, I probably would have disliked him. But across four years at Harvard I watched the freshman-fall patterns of the preppiest students get imitated, adopted and reproduced by, well, most of us. And I often found that the worst people in that elite culture — including myself on my worst days — weren’t the most privileged kids but the hyper-ambitious ones obsessed with vaulting over them.
So if his critics want to deny Brett Kavanaugh the highest office in our meritocracy on the grounds that he’s in denial or dishonest about the person he was at 18 or 22 — well, I just hope that those critics will save some of that cup of condemnation for themselves.
Jim Geraghty, himself of the Insiders, expands.
We’ve learned over the years that high-level, white-collar Washington, D.C. — including the realms of journalism, politics, academia, and law — includes a lot of creeps. Over the past year, the city’s professional class learned that a bunch of their colleagues, mentors, role models, and industry leaders were a bunch of sexual predators or otherwise sleazy. Sure, there were the politicians such as Al Franken, and Tim Murphy, and Blake Fahrenthold, and John Conyers Jr., and Trent Franks, and Patrick Meehan.And now the falsity of their Credentials and their Preparation comes down to ... a party that may or may not have happened in Bethesda around 1982? What I mostly remember about the fall of 1982 was a pennant push by the Milwaukee Brewers. Plus some research projects begun, and some ambitious projects never finished (and never did I fake my data.)
But the media world saw one establishment, center-left to left, often self-proclaimed-feminist man after another suddenly resigning or suffering some other career consequence after horrific stories and allegations of patterns of abuse: Mark Halperin. Charlie Rose. Leon Wieseltier, formerly an editor at The New Republic. Hamilton Fish, publisher of The New Republic. Michael Oreskes, a top editor at NPR. Glenn Thrush, political reporter for the New York Times. Garrison Keillor. In each case, peers and colleagues wondered — who knew? Who witnessed something odd or weird but pretended not to notice? Who turned a blind eye to the behavior? Did anybody ever confront these guys? If not, why didn’t anybody ever confront these guys?
Even if some members of Washington’s white-collar community never encountered sexual harassment or assault, a lot of people — mostly men, but also women — look back on their teen years and their early twenties and cringe. Hopefully their youthful indiscretions never got anywhere near sexual assault. But the college scene of past decades included lots of people getting hammered, having drunken hookups, sleeping with people and then regretting it, sleeping with people whose names they don’t remember and never really learned, dumb things said, dumb reactions to things said, and macho challenges to take it outside.
Unfortunately, it often takes an existential crisis for the careerists to be pushed aside and the competent to take their place: George Marshall firing officers in the War Department, Grant coming east, Craig Counsell managing the Brewers. We're not currently in a war, and yet, Mr Geraghty would put voters on a war footing.
Almost everyone in America has been wrongfully accused of something sometime, and they’re rightfully terrified and outraged at the suggestion that the new standard should be presumed guilty until proven innocent.Perhaps that's why Our President is mocking the judge's accusers. If he won't be intimidated, Normals don't have to be, either.
But we’ve got at least three GOP senators who seem nervous. They’re used to being considered the “nice” Republicans, who are used to being praised in contrast to their colleagues, heralded as reasonable, and sensible, and centrist. They’re not used to being demonized in the press, and they’re certainly not used to activists yelling at them that they support rape.
Senators, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but there is never going to be enough political cover to stop activists from yelling at you. The only thing that will stop the Left from hating you is total capitulation. There is another option of course, which is to teach them the hard lesson that everything they tried against you did not work in its intended goal, which is to get you to vote against Kavanaugh. All of this is to sway you, frighten you, intimidate you, and bend you to their will.
Less than four weeks to the vote counts.