The Kavanaugh affair will make it much harder. This whole sorry saga has laid bare the reality that even the “respectable” remnant of the party has gone full Trump. Graham’s furious meltdown was like the 2016 campaign in miniature, a farrago of insinuated conspiracies, a spittle-flecked tantrum masquerading as righteousness. The obsession with how Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation was handled by Democrats is interesting perhaps from a forensic perspective. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the truth of her claim, about which I can be no more certain than the next mortal. But for the last two weeks I’ve read with increasing frustration the pedantic parsing of her story from conservative writers I had become accustomed to seeking out for their measured perspective in this era of sharp divisions. But this much is clear: owever much they may dislike Trump, they salivate over that fifth Supreme Court seat. Trump will be gone in two or six years. Kavanaugh could be there for 30 or more.

And so they overlook or minimize his obvious lies and misleading testimony before the Senate panel. Some of the lying was over comparatively trivial matters, like what “boof” means (I’m sorry, but “Did you [fart] yet” does not pass the, er, smell test). And “Devil’s Triangle”? No, it’s not another name for the drinking game involving the flipping of quarters into cups. That’s called … Quarters. He lied about the legal drinking age in Maryland. He lied about the obvious meaning of “Renate Alumnus.” As I say, these are comparatively trivial matters. But the ability to lie and obfuscate so breezily — should it not at least give you pause that he might be lying, too, about more serious matters?