Having watched Kavanaugh’s testimony and having heard the encomia on his character from the many women whose careers he has fostered as a judge and professor, as well as from his colleagues, I strongly doubt that he did what Ford alleges, and what her allegation suggests was a rape attempt was, by her own description, nothing of the kind—though, following the Hill playbook, she has already taken a lie-detector test and hired a well-known lawyer. But again, supposing it were true—as I do not suppose—he was 17 years old at the time. Do the Democrats really think that a single teenage indiscretion should have a place in confirmation hearings?

But ever since their savaging of Robert Bork, no dirty trick is too dirty for the Democrats when it comes to the Supreme Court. After all, so many of the policy victories they have won in the past half-century have been won from the Court, in its era of interpreting the fictitious “living Constitution,” with all its “emanations, formed by penumbras.” So dedicated were they to preserving what they called “settled law” during the Thomas hearings that they didn’t even blush to have committee member Edward Kennedy—responsible for the gruesome death of a young woman staffer when he was allegedly driving drunk—question Thomas about this charge of sexual harassment.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley should treat this character assassination with the contempt it deserves and hold the committee vote this week, as planned. As even Karl Marx knew, history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.