Judge Robert Bork used to tell a prescient and darkly humorous story about watching Clarence Thomas’s Senate confirmation hearings — etched in pre-hashtag history as the “Thomas–Hill hearings,” in homage to Anita Hill’s role as the Left’s heroic accuser.
At the time, Thomas was a judge of the same eminent D.C. Circuit federal appeals court on which Bork had served. As he viewed Thomas’s “high-tech lynching” in horror, Bork recalled, a friend of his, the iconic Irving Kristol, approached and asked him what was happening.
“The end of civilization,” the judge sadly quipped.
“Of course it is,” Kristol deadpanned. “But it’ll take a long time. Meanwhile, it’s still possible to live well.”
It was a poignant story coming from Bork. A scholar of great breadth, the late judge was a man from another time: a patriot who’d enlisted in the Marines at 17 during World War II and been called back to duty when the Korean War broke out, even as he embarked on a legendary life in the law. In 1987, four years before the Thomas–Hill hearings, the slide from civilization he so lamented — the slouch toward Gomorrah — had started when he himself was mugged by Senate Democrats. This libelous character assassination, derailing Bork’s nomination by President Reagan to the Supreme Court, had been led by Ted Kennedy.
Democrats and Women
Back in 1969, Senator Kennedy had recklessly caused the death of a young woman, not his wife, by driving her off a rickety bridge on Chappaquiddick Island as they sped away from a booze-soaked bacchanal. Kennedy managed to save himself by swimming to safety. He then abandoned the scene for hours, failing to alert police and rescue workers while Mary Jo Kopechne, submerged in the car, eventually drowned.
Ms. Kopechne did not live to see “Me Too.” That “movement,” in which the Left is front and center, was not forged until long after leftists had raised the notoriously lecherous Kennedy to “Lion of the Senate” status. Indeed, it was not forged until 20 years after Democrats, prominently including women’s-rights advocates, closed ranks around President Bill Clinton, Kennedy’s equally lascivious political ally.