There’s something deeply awful about treating this as a political question rather than one of justice. But the vagueness of Ford’s allegations — neither provable nor falsifiable — always meant that, unless new evidence surfaced, it would come down to a judgment call. And the way both sides have exercised that judgment, weighing their political priorities at least as carefully as the evidence, meant that when the judgment came, it was likely to be ugly.

Kavanaugh’s name is publicly sullied, his family put through a nightmare. Progressive groups are already calling for him to be impeached from his current judgeship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Conservative rage at this state of affairs can only be assuaged by confirming him — and thereby igniting an equally livid revolt from the left at the thought of Ford’s attacker sitting on the Supreme Court.

While I still think the best course is still to leave the nomination open and launch an all-out investigation, I saw no remaining goodwill that might get us to that compromise. Leaving no way to resolve this that one side will not see as a declaration of total war on all that is decent in America. And no matter what is decided about Kavanaugh, that it has reached this point is an indictment of our entire political class.