Clearly, the opposition to Kavanaugh hopes that the two stories — with perhaps more on the way — will support each other despite their inherent weakness. If Democrats take down Kavanaugh on the basis of these charges, they will have achieved the miraculous by stopping a Supreme Court nominee with two unproven and probably unprovable charges, in a smashing victory for garbage-pail politics.

Brett Kavanaugh is an excellent jurist who has earned his sterling reputation over decades of public service. If his career is going to be ruined and his reputation besmirched, it should require clear and convincing evidence. We are willing to follow the facts wherever they lead, but so far, they lead only to the belief that this is a disgraceful episode that makes Borking look above-board and responsible by comparison.

If Republicans surrender on the basis of what we know now, they will face the fury of their own voters — and rightly so.