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Time for our country to take a deep breath

 

 “We do not honor ourselves or this institution by handling this nominee like this and this nomination and these witnesses, including Dr. Ford, like this.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas

The continuing national tantrum over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and possible confirmation to the Supreme Court has done no one honor in this country. Not the Senate, nor the people who elect them, nor the people who have shown excesses of every emotion over the past two weeks.

It has exposed muddled thinking; an erstwhile disregard for facts, proof and democratic processes; a decided lack of leadership; and a widening, national immaturity.

A pack of howling protesters, seeking to block U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, from getting on an elevator this week were outraged — outraged! — when he told one shrieking participant to grow up. He was wasting his breath; she won’t.

“That hand motion alone makes me want to kick his teeth in,” wrote one woman who viewed the confrontation on Twitter. Another suggested he should be raped in prison. Nice, from women who seemingly oppose rape and violence. Others suggested Hatch himself is a rapist, or an enabler.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, was stopped by a woman outside an elevator who asked, “How is it you’re not listening to us?” He was listening, he said, but thinking it over. Perhaps she confused “listening to us” with “agreeing with us.” Lawmakers have a duty to listen, but not necessarily to agree. They owe us their good judgment, not their vote. Ask Edmund Burke, if you can revive him.

Mostly, protesters seemed unable to accept that Christine Blasey Ford, who testified that a drunken Kavanaugh at 17 had attacked and groped her at a teen party, has no corroboration for her account, which bears holes. While she testified credibly, she pointed to four witnesses, one a close friend — none of whom could verify or recollect the incidents she testified about.

Far less credible accusations by two other women, one a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s and the other a metro D.C. woman with no apparent link to Kavanaugh, also included accounts that fizzled for lack of verification. Yet the protesters persist in calling them “survivors.” Of what? Not Kavanaugh.

The blame doesn’t lie entirely with a population gone mad. It rests at least in part on elected senators and representatives who flouted Senate rules and laws, who urged the distressed to physically confront opposing lawmakers. Let’s all take a breath.

No matter the Kavanaugh nomination outcome, this country must move forward. We can agree, as Cornyn said, a lot of women have suffered from bad behavior by men. None of those men were necessarily Kavanaugh, who ought not be a punching bag for anybody’s cause.