For now, Trump is trying to run roughshod over election law. In California, Republicans have been installing private drop boxes to harvest ballots. They’ve been told to desist by Attorney General Xavier Becerra. They face prosecution. But Trump is exhorting the GOP to ‘fight on’. In a tweet, he declared, ‘You mean only Democrats are allowed to do this? But haven’t the Dems been doing this for years? See you in court. Fight hard Republicans!’ With his customary eloquence, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes stated on a local radio show, ‘Screw you! You created the law, we’re going to ballot harvest.’

To listen to Barrett, however, these are all abstractions. She takes refuge in the lofty language of the law. Still, in confronting Barrett, the Democrats are showing that they have learned a thing or two since the Brett Kavanaugh hearing. Put bluntly, they’ve wised up. Gone is any focus on Barrett’s personal life. Discussion of her fervent religious beliefs are verboten. It’s Republican senators who are pointing to her impeccable family life.

The Democrats are after bigger game than Barrett. Nothing is to be permitted to impede Joe Biden’s smooth ascent to the presidency, not to mention winning a Senate majority in November. They may not be able to prevent Barrett from becoming a justice, but it may well be the GOP’s last hurrah.