This makes no sense: Why would Ford “set up” Kavanaugh when the cost of doing so is to have her name dragged through the mud and forced to flee her own home to avoid death threats? If she is setting up Kavanaugh, why would she take (and pass) a polygraph test and insist on an FBI investigation, knowing that lying to the FBI is a federal crime? If she was setting up Kavanaugh, why would she place his friend Mark Judge in the room, knowing that his testimony could contradict hers? And, why if this is a set-up, did she relay the sexual assault allegation to her marital therapist in 2012? Did she intuit years in advance that Kavanaugh would be nominated to the Supreme Court — but fail to foresee that, like every other woman who has made such allegations against a powerful man, she would be subject to character assassination?…

There are a lot of people who will believe his conspiracy theory, despite the recantation, because they are predisposed to believe it. Much of the right has taken leave of its senses. They are willing, even eager, to believe in “alternative facts,” to quote Kellyanne Conway’s infamous phrase, if by doing so it will advance their agenda. Any sin, no matter how grave — even maligning an innocent man on sexual-assault charges — is justified in the name of political expediency. And there is no higher imperative for the right than the confirmation of conservative judges.