“The case against Kavanaugh is constantly changing, but one thing has stayed the same: Democrats will make any argument, no matter how implausible or over-the-top, to try to sink him.”

The Perjury Farce
Editorial
National Review
October 2, 2018

Taking advantage of the pause forced by Jeff Flake’s change of heart last week, opponents of Brett Kavanaugh have shifted their focus from the original charge of sexual assault to the allegation that he repeatedly perjured himself before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s certainly true that Kavanaugh tried to minimize the least admirable aspects of his adolescence — understandably, given the withering fire he was under and the basic irrelevance of the matters under discussion — but there is no evidence he lied.

Much of the focus is on his drinking. There are two main lines of argument here. The first: Kavanaugh has misleadingly portrayed himself as a “squeaky clean” “choir boy,” but there is plenty of evidence that he was a heavy drinker. This begins from a false premise. Kavanaugh has said he was pious and hardworking in high school and college, but he also said in his Senate testimony that he drank excessively on occasion…

The media have pointed to testimony from high-school and college classmates who say they saw him “belligerently” or “incoherently” drunk, phrases in his high-school yearbook page that appear to imply lapses in memory (“Who won that game, anyway?”), and passages from his friend Mark Judge’s memoir involving a character named “Bart O’Kavanaugh.” None of this establishes that Kavanaugh blacked out, though, only that he drank to excess, which, again, he admitted.

The most ridiculous tranche of perjury allegations have to do with Kavanaugh’s yearbook entry. Our own Jim Geraghty christens the people obsessed with his entry “the boof sleuths,” after one of the slang terms that appears, “boof.” Also, at issue: the terms “Devil’s Triangle” and “Renate Alumnius.” It doesn’t require stepping back very far to realize how preposterous it is that teenage tomfoolery in a high-school yearbook is now deemed relevant to the ascension of a D.C. Circuit judge to the U.S. Supreme Court.

None of this comes close to rising to the level of perjury. And none of it, despite the hopes of his enemies, substitutes for the weakness of Christine Blasey Ford’s original charge.

Read the full editorial here