As the Democrats in the Senate convulsed and floundered, their activist army went to work online, circulating bizarre smears of Judge Barrett, keeping the fact-checkers working all night. (Example: Even the witless partisan hacks at Politifact felt compelled to report that the stories circulating that Judge Barrett had claimed that breastfeeding children after six months is “child molestation” are a complete fabrication.) The story that President Trump said he nominated Judge Barrett because “she is much, much better looking than the women we have had,” is the sort of thing one can imagine Trump’s having said, but, in this case, he didn’t. These claims are, of course, preposterous lies, but there was never any good reason to believe that a teenaged Brett Kavanaugh had been the mastermind behind a prep-school gang-rape cult, either.
This isn’t about Judge Barrett, really: Her nomination almost certainly is a lost cause for Democrats, and delusional though they may be, they know it. This is about the coming election, in which they are making the implicit case for themselves that, whatever their other shortcomings, they are at least a cut above Donald Trump. But the goat rodeo under way in the Senate has shown the Democrats involved to be at least as bonkers and untrustworthy as the president. The Republican Party deserves to be punished for its sins, but a Republican Senate under the wily leadership of Cocaine Mitch has proved to be a valuable brake when one was needed — which it will be in January, irrespective of who wins the presidency.