Brett Kavanaugh may have saved his Supreme Court confirmation with one of the most memorable statements in modern congressional history.

After his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, delivered a compelling, sympathetic performance earlier in the day, Kavanaugh entered the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with his chances hanging by a thread. Commentators speculated about how he’d inevitably be dumped by the GOP. Instead, he transformed his situation with a sustained exercise in righteous indignation as forceful and compelling, in its way, as Clarence Thomas’s attack on a “high-tech lynching” that saved his nomination in 1991.

Kavanaugh had been stilted and overly programmed prior to Thursday, including in his initial round of Senate hearings and in an interview with Fox News earlier in the week. But, after days of enduring a process of unprecedented nastiness, Kavanaugh didn’t hold anything back.