Kavanaugh conservatives vs. Booker Democrats

That means the country itself. The general Democratic view that has hardened since the 1960s is the one expressed on many occasions by Barack Obama. The United States is not a country bound by a common history or a common ethnicity—it is a set of values. That is an open, welcoming thing to build a country around. But it has a dark side, and we have seen the dark side during the hearings. If a country is only a set of values, then the person who does not share what elites “know” to be the country’s values is not really a member of the national community and is not deserving of its basic protections, nice guy though he might otherwise be. Such people “belong” to the country in the way some think illegal immigrants do—provisionally…

The grounds for rejecting Kavanaugh have shifted steadily. First it was the incident alleged by Ford. Then, second, as the evidence proved underwhelming, it was whether the taint of having been accused of such an incident compromised the perception that he would be a fair judge. Then, third, it was the question of whether Kavanaugh’s minimizing the seriousness of his drinking had constituted perjury. Fourth and finally, it was whether his outburst at the committee showed a partisanship that was evidence he lacked the “judicial temperament” to serve on the Court. Whether Kavanaugh’s attacks on the Democratic members of the Senate panel constituted partisanship is a trickier factual determination than it appears at first. Is an accusation of partisanship partisanship? Such accusations are often leveled by people who distrust both political parties.

Kavanaugh’s foes were comfortable voting against him on the basis of temperament. The question is not “whether he’s innocent or guilty,” said Cory Booker. “I am emphatically not saying that Kavanaugh did what Ford says he did,” says Wittes. “The evidence is not within 100 yards of adequate to convict him. But whether he did it is not the question at hand.”