We've been living with 1984 references for many years, but the current predicament we find ourselves in regarding the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh may afford the clearest parallel yet.
Victor Davis Hanson makes the comparison:
In Orwell’s world of 1984 Oceania, there is no longer a sense of due process, free inquiry, rules of evidence and cross examination, much less a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Instead, regimented ideology — the supremacy of state power to control all aspects of one’s life to enforce a fossilized idea of mandated quality — warps everything from the use of language to private life.
Democrats took the first step in eliminating the filibuster for judicial nominations, and now they are suffering from the consequences.
Are they not afraid to eliminate due process, free inquiry, and rules of evidence? They should realize that, as with the filibuster, this could come back to haunt them.
Did you watch Brett and Ashley Kavanaugh on Martha McCallum's show?
What struck me is that, while dignified, both Kavanaughs seemed an inch away from tears. They have clearly had a hellish experience.
No, that isn't evidence of anything, but Kavanaugh did make unequivocal statements about his behavior in high school. These statements, as David French points out, are easily refuted if untrue.
On cue, the New York Times combs through Kavanaugh's high school year book and leaps to lurid conclusions that I don't find justified. The Times story seems an attempt to peel away a particular Kavanaugh supporter.
Dr. Ford, the accuser, must be respectfully heard–and will be, if in fact, she appears for testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Meanwhile, the savage tactics of those who want to defeat Judge Kavanaugh's nomination will, argues Rich Lowry, remind Trump voters of why they voted they way they did in the first place. Lowry writes:
The attempted political assassination of Brett Kavanaugh is bad for the country, but good for a Trumpian attitude toward American politics.
. . .
All of this plays into Trump’s support. Surely, a reason that the president appealed to many Republicans in the first place, despite his extravagant personal failings, was that they had decided that virtuous men would get smeared and chewed up by the opposition’s meat grinder, so why be a stickler for standards?
If Trump’s attacks against the media are over-the-top and sometimes disgraceful, at least he understands the score.
Rich takes a darker view of the Trump presidency, which has given us a great economy and much improved foreign policy, than I do.
But he makes a point about the current darkness of American politics that is hard to deny.
The disgraceful Robert Bork Supreme Court hearings were a turning point in American judicial history so many ways.
But they seem positively tame compared with what is happening now.