No matter what happens, Kavanaugh is being punished

Kavanaugh is unlikely ever to resume anything resembling his former life. He has withdrawn from teaching at Harvard Law School, endured death threats and undergone a humiliating public inquiry into his high school years. And if Democrats regain control of Congress in November, there may be more and worse to come; progressive activists are calling for his impeachment.

That’s clearly a form of punishment, however informal or extrajudicial. But the punishment seems far from swift, certain or fair, based on decades-old accusations without contemporaneous corroboration, aired solely due to political contingencies, urged on by a left avid to convict him of something.

Which may explain Kavanaugh’s rage during last Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing — and why furious conservatives rallied around him rather than tossing him to the wolves and substituting another nominee. The left may still be arguing about the standards for putting someone on the Supreme Court, but the right is now conducting a public referendum on the rules for agreeing to wreck a man’s life over accusations that cannot be corroborated or conclusively disproven.