Now that all but the ugly memories of the Kavanaugh horror show are behind us, it's worth asking how such a travesty could have happened in the first place. How did Democrats lose their way and abandon long held liberal principles about due process and the presumption of innocence? History offers up some clues.
Let's start with Joseph Stalin, whose ruthless secret police chief, a monster named Lavrentiy Beria, would brag that he could convict anyone of a crime β even if the poor guy was innocent.
"Show me the man and I'll show you the crime" was Beria's infamous boast.
I couldn't help but thinking about that during the Kavanaugh hearings. Donald Trump showed Democrats the man β Democrats, true to Beria's dictum, showed us the "crime."
First he was guilty of being a strict constructionist β translation: a conservative judge. Then he was guilty of being a sexual predator. Then the crime was his lack of judicial temperament. Then he lied under oath.
Democrats — whose mindless mantra is some version of “We believe the victims” — made a lot of the serious allegations that he sexually assaulted a 15-year old girl when he was 17 at a party when they were in high school. But it was never really about that. His crime was that he was the kind of judge who they feared might β mightβ someday overturn Roe v Wade. Never mind that he said Roe was well-established law. His crime was that he wasn't an outright supporter of abortion.
Then there's another quotation that came to mind during the Kavanaugh show trial. This one was from another communist, the revolutionary the left adores — Che Guevara, a man who thought due process was an idea only sissies would take seriously.
"We don't need proof to execute a man. We only need proof that it's necessary to execute him," Guevara said.
Che believed that the legal notion of "burden of proof" amounted to nothing more than "archaic bourgeois detail."
Che was a true believer. And for true believers due process and the presumption of innocence are at times inconvenient obstacles that stand in the way of (their idea of) justice. So if it's necessary to execute an enemy — figuratively or otherwise — proof is a frivolous concept.
Even now, none of us really knows what happened at that party 36 years ago, or at Yale during his freshman year. Republicans are more likely to believe his story; Democrats, hers. (For what it's worth, I've wondered why Christine Blasey Ford couldn't remember how she got home after the supposed attack by Brett Kavanaugh. And even more troubling, to this day no one has come forward to say, I drove her home. Something's not right with that story.)
But beyond the partisanship, due process, the presumption of innocence, should matter to all of us, liberals as well as conservatives. Which brings us to the ACLU.
This is an organization that over the years has argued for due process for Nazis, the KKK, terrorists, common criminals and even pedophiles. But when it comes to Judge Kavanaugh, the ACLU has thrown its principles over the side.
Breaking from its long-held policy of not endorsing or opposing candidates for political or judicial office, the ACLU issued a statement opposing Judge Kavanaugh.
"We cannot remain silent under these extraordinary circumstances about a lifetime appointment to the highest court of the land. The standard for such an appointment should be high, and the burden is on the nominee. That burden is not met as long as there are unresolved questions regarding the credible allegations of sexual assault."
As the Weekly Standard put: "You read that correctly: βthe burden is on the nominee.' The ACLU, an organization supposedly dedicated to defending the unjustly accused, believes in this case that the accused, not the accuser, bears the burden of proof. It is, of course, an egregious betrayal of the principle of presumed innocence . .. ."
There were many victims in the freak show we've been witnessing. Judge Kavanaugh for sure, and Ms. Ford, too. She wanted anonymity. But someone, almost certainly a Democrat, leaked her name to the press, hoping that her story, with her name and face attached to it in a public forum seen by millions on TV, would be enough to bring down the judge.
But liberal principles have also taken a beating. And the damage was self-imposed. That'll happen when liberals behave like Stalinists.
He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and proprietor of BernardGoldberg.com.