If you think the debate over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court feels like an ominous turning point for the nation, you're not alone.
We have certainly had bitter and partisan debates over judicial nominations before. There was Robert Bork in '87, Clarence Thomas, four years later many others. Even further back, in 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt tried to take over the entire judicial branch of government by packing the court with extra Democrats so he could impose his program on Congress by force. Thankfully, FDR failed.
But never in our lifetimes have sitting members of Congress attacked our justice system as they now are. Lawmakers had never mocked the idea of due process, called for the collective punishment of American citizens or declared that the burden of proof is on the accused.
If the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to Brett Kavanaugh, it probably doesn't apply to you, either.
All of that is happening right now in Washington.
It's not just Kavanaugh under assault. Elected officials have announced they no longer believe in our Western understanding of justice. There's no precedent for that. It's stunning.
“I just want to say to the men in this country, 'Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change,'" said Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Ha. "Not only do women, like Dr. Ford, who bravely comes forward, need to be heard, but they need to be believed.”
Read her words carefully. She is saying all men are guilty, not because they've been proven guilty, but because they are men. They are inherently guilty, by their nature. All women must be believed, not because we can show they're telling the truth, but because they are female.
Evidence is suddenly irrelevant. All that matters is gender. All of us are condemned or redeemed at birth and there's nothing any of us can do to change that. It's baked in the cake.
That's what she said.
No living U.S. senator has ever said anything like that in public. Yet, none of Hirono's Democratic colleagues recoiled or even scolded her or suggested she was wrong. Their silence suggests they agree.
And Hirono doubled down, in subsequent interviews.
"I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his case," she told CNN's Jake Tapper.
"Look, we're not in a court of law, she told MSNBC's Hallie Marie Jackson. "We're actually in a Court of Credibility at this point."
Court of Credibility?
Remember, if the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to Brett Kavanaugh, it probably doesn't apply to you, either. It would seem to all depend on what Mazie Hirono thinks of your political views. If she agrees with you, you'll be fine. If not, you won't be fine.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., graduated from Yale Law School. Apparently, he skipped the class on the Constitution.
“We have a constitutional duty to get to the bottom of these allegations," he said. "They are serious, and credible. And now, the person with the most knowledge about them, namely, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, has a responsibility to come forward with evidence to rebut them.”
Got that? We accuse you of a felony. Your job is to show you're innocent. You're a sex criminal, prove you're not.
We have tried to get to the bottom of Christina Ford's claims regarding Judge Kavanaugh. We would like to know if something terrible happened to her and who was responsible. But there are key questions that must be answered.
When did this alleged assault take place? Ford can't say. When did it happen? She doesn't know. Where are the witnesses to this? Well there aren't any. The few people Ford has named deny it happened. When was this first reported to authorities? Well, it never really was.
The story came out in stages. It was a recovered memory, apparently summoned by a psychotherapist 30 years after the fact. And even then, it was another six years before Ford named Brett Kavanaugh specifically - at exactly the point he was being nominated for the Supreme Court.
That's not our analysis of the case. It's the position of Ford's lawyers, nearly all of whom double as Democratic Party activists and operatives and some of whom defended Bill Clinton from far graver sexual assault claims when he was accused.
That doesn't mean Ford is lying, but it does raise legitimate questions. Especially in a new place called the Court of Credibility.
Last week, Senate Republicans declared in effect that all allegations against Brett Kavanaugh must be heard no matter how frivolous or obviously fraudulent they are. We can't control the Senate Republicans, obviously. They exist in their own world. But we can remind them what is at stake here.
If Brett Kavanaugh, who is a mainstream, moderate judge, a man who's literally married to George W. Bush's assistant, can't get confirmed to Supreme Court, then no Republican can.
But it's worse than that. There's a mid-term election just weeks from now. If you're a Republican, you may be wondering why you should bother to vote. You backed Trump two years ago, your brother-in-law from Brooklyn, your neighbor and people at work mocked you for it, but you did it anyway.
You wanted secure borders. You wanted an end to ObamaCare and you wanted non-crazy people on the Supreme Court of the United States.
You didn't get the first two. You're starting to realize you probably never will, because Republicans in the Senate don't care enough to protect you.
Don't feel too bad: They don't care enough about Brett Kavanaugh or our Constitution to protect them, either.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Sept. 24, 2018.