Judge Robert Bork has died at age 85. A great thinker and great jurist, he ought to have been sitting in Anthony Kennedy's spot on the Supreme Court, and the history of the past 25 years would have been much different had he been confirmed. Instead, in one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the Senate -- perhaps outdone only by the same "august" body's treatment of Clarence Thomas a few years later -- he was rejected by the Senate, after one of the most scurrilous, unfair, dishonest, demogogic speeches ever given in American politics, by the disgusting Ted Kennedy (a man not worthy to shine Bork's shoes, either intellectually or morally). Here's what Kennedy said:
Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy ... President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice.
You would be hard-pressed to come up with a more ridiculous and false caricature of what Bork thought, or what conservatives actually believe. Yet Kennedy won the day. More's the pity.
Bork's death will be a test of the mainstream media's capacity for decency. Let's see what they say as they remember this great man.
UPDATE: So far, the Left is failing. Here's a typical comment from the Huffington Post:
This is what the party of "tolerance" and "openness" and "civility" is really like when they think no one is looking. An exemplary person, a man who served his country honorably as a Marine and a judge, an extraordinarily educated man who was a professor at the premier law school in the country, Yale, a father of three, a devout Catholic convert, yet because he disagrees politically with the Left he is a "loathesome individual" whose death occasions this kind of ugliness. I'm appalled, but I'm not shocked. By the way, this is not cherry-picked, there are literally hundreds of similar posts on Huffington, Democracy Underground, the Daily Kos, etc. These people have no decency.