Voices of Reason and Unreason

Peggy Noonan writes about the circus of the Kavanaugh confirmation. It’s mostly a tribute to Senator Susan Collins, who is worthy of tribute in this horrid affair.

She was one of two mostly reasonable voices in the Senate, the other being Jeff Flake, who tried to be somewhat objective. She even took the risk to explain her thinking when she announced her vote. After reviewing Judge Kavanaugh’s many legal opinions, and speaking with him at length, she judged him a well-qualified centrist. When speaking about the accusations of sexual misconduct, she had the clarity to say:

We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy.

I haven’t read any of Judge Kavanaugh’s legal opinions. I am in no position to make a judgement about whether he is qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. I intentionally avoided listening to the testimony of Ms. Ford and the other women who accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual assault. In my view this was a political circus on both sides of the aisle, and I had neither the stomach nor the emotional energy to engage.

But amid the anger, rancor, accusations, and brawling over the confirmation, I am reassured that there was one brave Senator who tried her best to be fair, no matter the personal political cost. Which is more than I can say for her other colleagues in the Senate.