Eight days later—today—Kavanaugh all but secured his appointment. The question is, how did this happen? The answer is: Kavanaugh happened.

In his unprecedented speech following Ford’s testimony, Kavanaugh not only blasted the process but made no pretense when it came to those who had manipulated it—liberal groups, people angry with Donald Trump, people wanting to take revenge for the Clintons. The speech electrified the right. There is no other word for it.

It was this very speech that caused so much tut-tutting and concern about Kavanaugh’s judicial temperament among the very people who were already opposing him for any and every reason—and among those who instinctively feel the need to beg for mercy and seek absolution any time anything a conservative says or does puts liberals in high dudgeon. But everything that triggered those people turned Kavanaugh into what he had not been before—a cause.