If Kavanaugh is a good man who has been wronged here, he should be able to understand that serving on the high court was not some birthright being denied him by Democrats. Even if the most lurid conspiracy theorists among his supporters are correct — i.e., the whole thing is a fabrication and the psychiatrist’s notes made 12 years ago have been dug up at random and interpreted ex post facto to refer to a man who just happened to have moved in the same circles at the same time — he is a victim of partisanship and nothing worse. Maybe he and Merrick Garland can start a Simon and Garfunkel cover band. When precedent, procedure, civility, and a basic sense of fair play are abandoned in favor of an all-or-nothing pro-your-own-party realpolitik, things like this are bound to happen. Too bad, so sad.

There is a very straightforward solution to this problem. Trump should retract his nomination of Kavanaugh and replace him with another candidate. Why not the apparent runner-up, Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals? It is difficult to imagine her being implicated in anything like the present scandal. She was in every imaginable sense a better candidate in the first place. I for one do not relish the prospect of the fifth vote to uphold Roe v. Wade being cast by a would-be rapist appointed by our twice-divorced serial philanderer-in-chief. My sense of humor just isn’t that bleak.