Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation battle and the sexual assault allegations against him have cleaved many Americans into enemy camps. Many critics feel certain that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford and that he would threaten women and discredit the Supreme Court if confirmed; many defenders feel as certain that he is innocent and that his defeat would encourage future character assassinations.

Observing members of these groups as they commiserate among themselves is unnerving. Confronting the same reality, they reach opposite conclusions—and they suspect that everyone in the other camp has malign or unjust motivations. Absent new evidence that adds clarity to what happened more than three decades ago, Ross Douthat writes, “this is going to be an open wound for years to come, in an already bloodied body politic.”

True. And yet, the size of the wound is still to be determined.