Compromise can be a great idea, the averaging of demands and agreeing in good faith to make a half-measure work. Like many theories, it doesn’t always work in practice. The man with one foot in a fire and the other in a bucket of ice water is, on average, warm. But he’s usually not very comfortable.
The aptly named Jeff Flake, the senator from Arizona, is on a compromise kick, trying to make averaging work with Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware. Mr. Coons is not necessarily trying to find a compromise because he doesn’t have to when he has a partner like Mr. Flake. He can concentrate on getting everything.
It’s impossible to see how Solomon himself could settle the stalemate between Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford with a “compromise.” She says the judge tried to rape her, an exceedingly serious crime that not so long was punished at the end of a rope. That ideally required at least a show of evidence. He says he didn’t touch her because he wasn’t even there, and makes a pretty good case that he is a victim of false witness, which has been a felony nearly everywhere in the West since Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ninth Commandment.
How could an honest compromise square such a stalemate? A woman can’t be only a little bit pregnant, and neither can an allegation of attempted rape be partly true or half a lie. Either the man did what “Dr.” Ford said he did, or he didn’t.
The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have made their complaints against Judge Kavanaugh a moving indictment; he hardly knows when he wakes up in the morning which pile-on he must deal with that day. His qualifications for the job have not changed, or indeed, even questioned. The American Bar Association looked at his qualifications and pronounced him “highly qualified,” its highest accolade, and the American Civil Liberties Union, though not the organization it once was, endorsed him. The president of the bar association, eager to placate the mob, tried to take back “highly qualified” but the governing board of the association said nothing doing. The ACLU, which usually stands against mob rule, took back its endorsement.
The mob of elites and those who would like to be thought elite have now concentrated on Judge Kavanaugh’s “judicial temperament.” His angry outburst of outrage at what the mob is trying to do to him offends the more delicate members of the mob. They can’t understand why anyone would be angry about the attempted destruction of a reputation forged over the years, or the ravishing of the love, respect, honor, esteem and even reverence in which he is held by his wife and his two daughters. What man worthy of being called a man would not react as Judge Kavanaugh has done?
Jeff Flake, determined to leave the Senate with his own reputation for soberly assessing facts in shreds and tatters, continued to snipe at Judge Kavanaugh at a public forum Tuesday, calling the judge’s “interactions” with senators “sharp and partisan.” Indeed, his “interactions” were very sharp and necessarily partisan, expressed with the righteous anger in dealing with false witness the nation once expected of senators.
Mr. Flake was run to ground by reporters later who asked him whether his new sharp and partisan criticism of the judge meant that he would not vote to confirm. He appeared flustered by the question, as if he had not thought about it. “I didn’t say that,” he said as aides tried to hustle him away from questions and into a stairwell. “I wasn’t referring to him.” Mr. Flake, who said he dreamed up the seventh FBI background investigation to relieve pressure on himself after he was confronted by angry women in an elevator, does not deal well with close places.
For his part, Chris Coons says the Senate must “reduce the frequency with which we describe judges as wearing red or blue jerseys.” Senators must “commit to reviving the practice of confirming nominees based on their qualifications, not ideology.” This will require a number of conversions on the Damascus road, but we’re happy to hear that Sen. Coons is willing to lead the revival in his party caucus.