It is tempting to watch the political spectacle of
Something brutally Roman with a howling mob, blood on the sand; or something medieval, like trial by ordeal, with a mace and an axe and the might of brutes as the elements of G od's will.
Or, better yet, a drama as Spanish as the Inquisition itself.
Because what we're seeing in the Kavanaugh circus isn't American, where until very recently -- like a few months ago -- the accused was given the presumption of innocence.
All that has changed. Now the accused is forced to prove his innocence before accusers who must be believed, accusers who aren't expected to bring witnesses, accusers who must not under any circumstance be subject to rigorous cross-examination, before judges who have already made up their minds.
What we're witnessing is the symptom of an illness now deep within the very bones of our republic.
What we are seeing are founding American principles being swept -- among them the presumption of innocence and the rights of the accused -- to feed the appetites of power politics
That's what Kavanaugh is dealing with, having to testify and defend himself against uncorroborated allegations of sexual predation 36 years ago, when he was in high school and in his freshman year of college.
The short-term politics of all this is quite clear, a movement led by cynics and assisted by their handmaidens in the
It is designed to convince suburban women voters that
But look deeper and you'll see something else.
The sweeping away of traditions that have been carefully nurtured from the founding of this nation, to protect individual liberty and shield us from the passions of the mob.
Without these principles, we are no longer a republic.
To prove the point, Hawaii Democratic Sen.
But asked by
In other words, Kavanaugh's legal decisions on unrelated matters make him guilty of sexual predation, and therefore, he is disqualified.
That is the reasoning of magistrates in the trials of
A few days ago, there was that story in The
The story offered no corroborating eyewitnesses, only hearsay. And still it was published, providing cover for political operatives to peel Kavanaugh's skin.
"The New York Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week to corroborate
No firsthand knowledge? And even the alleged victim was unsure it was Kavanaugh? Then why run it?
But it was published in The
This is what happens when tradition and principle is swept away and are subjugated to politics.
As if to mitigate its sin for avoiding the
Those of us who were once high school boys may dimly recall that lust was on our minds, oh, every 30 seconds or so, in those rare moments when physics or baseball didn't intrude upon the urgent requirements of biology.
Now, I don't know what happened 36 years ago between Kavanaugh and his accuser,
Witnesses might help us understand, but as I write this, they don't exist.
And this is damning.
Somewhere in America, there must be
But they must be afraid, lest they, too, are denounced and devoured.
Theirs is a silence breaking the bones of America.
We reap what we sow.