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The Character Assassination of Brett Kavanaugh

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

When Democrats start losing an argument they typically resort to smearing and slandering their opponents. Such is the case with their eleventh-hour attempt to derail Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court.

There they were, quaking in their boots as Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote was just days away, and all of their previous efforts at sinking his nomination came fell short.

Their attempt to paint the judge as an anti-abortion extremist? It failed.

Their attempt to slander the judge as a Republican partisan? It failed too.

Senator Cory Booker’s “I am Spartacus” moment? That failed miserably.

The writing was on the wall. Brett Kavanaugh was a dedicated family man, accomplished jurist, and widely-respected member of the legal profession. His confirmation was all but a done deal.

Enter Dianne Feinstein, who in the knick of time magically produces a letter out of thin air, detailing a decades-old ancient — and unprovable — allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.

The accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, has identified two witnesses, both of whom have stated emphatically that the incident didn’t happen, along with Kavanaugh himself.

And now she is conveniently and suspiciously refusing to answer the Senate’s call to testify in either a public or private session. Ford is instead demanding an investigation by the FBI — which already passed on this matter, stating that no federal law would have been violated even if substantiated — before she is willing to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But the Senate is not a courtroom, and Democrat senators care little for the law or the truth. Their sole purpose is to prevent Kavanaugh’s confirmation or, failing that, to ensure that a cloud of uncertainty and illegitimacy hovers above his head for the rest of his career. 

This is character assassination in its purest form, an undeniable hit job. And it’s hardly the first time the Democrats have opened this page of their playbook. Indeed we’ve seen this movie before.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Arguably one of the greatest American legal minds of the 20th century, Bork was a staunch originalist and ever faithful to the Constitution.

This, of course, made Bork a direct threat to the Democrats’ radical liberal agenda, and they promptly proceeded to launch a hysterical smear campaign against the judge.

Following the nomination, Senator Ted Kennedy took to the Senate floor to blast Bork faster than he fled Chappaquiddick. “Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens,” Kennedy railed. 

Unfortunately for Judge Bork — and the Republic itself — the Democrats smear campaign against him was successful. This turn of events was in fact doubly unfortunate, as it taught the Democrats that they could successfully destroy the career of an ideological opponent through slander. 

They’ve been doing it ever since.  

In the decades since Bork was “borked,” Democrats and liberals have turned character assassination into a fine art. When their arguments fail and the truth is on their opponent’s side, they call into question his character and try to destroy his reputation.

When it was Clarence Thomas’s turn to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, the Democrats had enough foresight to know that “he’s a racist” wouldn’t work on a black man, so instead they drudged up unsubstantiated and unprovable sexual harassment allegations. Sound familiar? 

They don’t just target judicial appointments, either. Democrats and their media friends smeared John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Donald Trump as sexist and racist when each GOP nominee ran for President; and they’re still doing it to President Trump.

As for President Trump’s supporters? They’re nothing but “deplorables and irredeemables” and “the dregs of society.” Anti-illegal immigration activists? They’re just a bunch of racists. Folks who value traditional family values? Nothing more than sexists and homophobes. 

Time and time again, Democrats have resorted to smearing those with whom they disagree with baseless and crude allegations.  

They think Americans are fools who will believe their blatant deceptions. But like Clarence Thomas, Kavanaugh will still be confirmed to the Supreme Court. And as the election of President Trump proved, the Democrats’ slanderous words are losing their effect. 

Nonetheless, if the character assassination of Brett Kavanaugh is any indication, they won’t engage in civil debate and discourse any time soon.

Charlie Kirk is the founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, an advocacy group for young conservatives.

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