There's Poisoning the Well, and Then There's Borking the Well
Anita Hill is coming to Elon University.
The ol' alma mater already lost my contributions earlier this year – a consequence of Wired revealing that one of Elon's computer professors is an Antifa activist who has been compiling a massive database of anyone she deems Lebensunwertes Leben. That means "Republicans," "conservatives," "Alt-Right," "white supremacists," and pretty much everyone listing starboard of Friedrich Engels.
Megan Squire is not only still employed at Elon, but applauded. Last week Squire delivered a "Distinguished Scholar Lecture" about her work supplying the Southern Poverty Law Center with information about their common enemies. This is the same Southern Poverty Law Center whose "hate list" has been used to target innocent people for assassination. Curiously, Squire's work is totally absent any analogues from the left of the political spectrum. A "scholarly oversight," no doubt.
Once upon a time, Elon University was a place that encouraged freedom of ideas and vigorous debate. But as ideological homogeneity has prevailed upon "the most beautiful campus in America," that time is now past. The school that welcomed Margaret Thatcher to dedicate its student center in 1995 would probably have the Iron Lady arrested for trespassing were she still with us.
In good conscience, I can no longer contribute to a school that has embraced intellectual intolerance and has abandoned reason for capricious "feelings." Neither can I endorse my college when it continues to have among its staff a gleeful provider of resources for domestic terrorism. But still, I held out hope that sanity there might yet prevail.
And then it was announced that Anita Hill is coming to speak at Elon University.
She's due in January to deliver the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Address. The title of her lecture is "From Social Movement to Social Impact: Putting an End to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace."
Talk about chutzpah!
Elon's faculty could have invited Justice Clarence Thomas. I believe he would have been honored to visit. He would certainly be a more admirable choice of speaker about Dr. King's dream than could possibly be the most discredited, disreputable, and debunked witness in the history of Supreme Court confirmation hearings (until now, anyway). When one has an up-and-coming law school, celebrating Anita Hill is not how one's institution acquires street cred.
That Anita Hill is even remembered at all, when she should have been forever relegated to juristic mothballs in late Uncle Teddy's basement, is woeful evidence that the long-term strategy since those hazy, crazy days of Coke cans and "Long Dong Silver" actually worked. September 1991 did and still does cast a pall over Clarence Thomas, by all serious accounts a kind, courteous, and brilliant man.
Thomas is also, notoriously, the quietest of the justices. Those who know him in professional circles have assured me that outside hearings, Thomas is exceptionally jovial and quick with a joke. That human side is dropped completely when the nine justices file into court. The last time Thomas has been publicly loquacious is, again, from 1991:
The Supreme Court is not worth it. No job is worth it. I am not here for that. I am here for my name, my family, my life, and my integrity. I think something is dreadfully wrong with this country when any person, any person in this free country would be subjected to this.
How much wisdom and ponderance has the American people been deprived of these past twenty-seven sessions because Thomas was on some primal level intimidated by the "high-tech lynching" perpetuated by a zealous media eagerly complicit with partisan kindred?
It was inevitable that Anita Hill would come to mind now, amid the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings and the subsequent freak show that apparently few are taking seriously. Perhaps the American people are wiser today – or fatigued from the Thomas hearings, still much in living memory. Christine Ford's legitimacy has fast fallen apart and would not hold up under scrutiny in any serious courtroom. Deborah Ramirez's credibility is even worse.
But this has been the last full measure since 1987 and the Robert Bork nomination. The assault on Bork was of such viciousness that Douglas Ginsburg got out of Dodge before any shootin' commenced, his use of marijuana years earlier given as the motive for withdrawing from Supreme Court consideration before the confirmation hearings began. But it was glaringly obvious: Ginsburg knew that the anti-Bork tactics would take their toll. In the end, a squeaky-clean Anthony Kennedy went on to claim Lewis Powell's former seat.
"To Bork" among the American far left became a term for total war against any perceived threat to the left's sense of power. "We're going to Bork him. We're going to kill him politically," said National Organization for Women attorney Florence Kennedy immediately after the Thomas nomination was announced. Portending the character assassinations of decades to come, Kennedy added, "This little creep, where did he come from?" Thomas's steadfast resolve won the day against the siege. "Borking" was nonetheless made a standard weapon against any deemed too far right to have a seat at the table.
Kavanaugh's opposition and those they represent desire nothing less than total victory. If they cannot have it, they will do their damnedest to scorch the earth and salt the land. It was a cruel measure of the Roman armies: on the rare times they were successfully repelled, they would "poison the well" of the defending city. The carcasses of dead horses, cattle, even people would be tossed into the water supply as they made their retreat. It was a spiteful and cowardly tactic, absent any forward merit. Deprived of potable water, most of the victorious towns withered and died all the same.
Brett Kavanaugh's opponents are Borking the well again. Yet Kavanaugh is only the objective of this particular hour. In the long term, defeating Kavanaugh is almost immaterial to the ultimate goal of the obscene strategy: the fantasy of enforced liberty without self-restraint. Too many seem oblivious that such is not liberty at all, but a deprivation of freedom in its most hallowed sense. This isn't about Kavanaugh the man as much as it is about ideologically tainting the American landscape in attempting to seize the impossible. Leftists are willing to warp reality itself beyond repair in order to achieve it.
The machinations currently deployed against Brett Kavanaugh stem from a heart of darkest cowardice. If his detractors cannot prevail on purely rational and intellectual grounds, then they will do so playing to the basest hysteria and hate. There will be no satisfying their bloodlust until Kavanaugh's haggard, weary face is up on the telescreens, accusing himself of crimes against Big Sister that he never committed. So it is that the yet to be substantiated claims of Ford and Ramirez are now enough, we are told, to override fair and due process. Strangely, this principle never seemed applicable to Juanita Broaddrick, but I digress.
"Law is the ultimate science," wrote Frank Herbert in his classic novel Dune. There is not one justice, even the great Jay Marshall, who has been an absolutely perfect inquirer of that realm. There is, however, a profound observation that the justices of the United States Supreme Court often deviate from their initial stances over the long course of their respective tenures. They grow, we should prefer to believe. When the objective is that deeper understanding of the Constitution for its own sake and that of the people, no sincere jurist can avoid evolution into a greater scholar.
The honoring and furtherance of law isn't what those such as Brett Kavanaugh's enemies desire. The virtue of disregarding the rule of law in these proceedings is itself testimony that Kavanaugh's opponents do not want rule of law at all. They desire ideological purity and unwavering commitment to temporal politics. When they succeed in this, they drive our pursuit of the understanding of law into stagnancy, decay, and ruin. They might be attempting to diminish and destroy a philosophy or a party. They are, however, succeeding in poisoning the well from which all of us as Americans draw our civility and nobility.
They must be called out on it and opposed from every angle as reverence of law dictates.
One last thing...
Dear Elon University students manning the phone bank for the fall pledge drive: do not call me asking for more money. Because it's not coming. Not ever.
Christopher Knight would never be Supreme Court material after that "Pelvis-Shakin' Elvis" stunt in high school. He would still appreciate your visiting his blog at TheKnightShift.com and on Twitter at @theknightshift.