Like I said, high school isn’t the totality of a life. But here’s the point: There are plenty of ways someone as eloquent as Kavanaugh could have responded publicly to the allegation against him.

He could have said: “Like a lot of misguided teenagers, I drank irresponsibly, and I have only vague memories of that time. I am certain as I stand here today that I never attacked anyone, and I have no specific recollection of Dr. Ford. But if I or any of my friends were involved in immature behavior that was painful to anyone at the time, I regret it.”

He could have said, in effect: Judge me for my lifetime of service, not for whatever may have happened at 17 that I was too stupid and drunk to remember.

But that’s not what Kavanaugh is saying. He dismisses not only the allegation but the context around it. He says he wasn’t that kind of kid. He says he wasn’t there, in the house Ford can describe in detail.