“Until this moment, Senators, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness . . . . It is, I regret to say, . . . true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty, I would do so. I like to think I’m a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me . . . . You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
-Joseph N. Welch to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, June 9, 1954
To the Democrats in the United States Senate:
The words above at the famous Army-McCarthy hearings by the attorney of a man who had been dishonestly and maliciously smeared by Senator Joseph McCarthy and his colleagues led to the end of the McCarthy era of using the power of the Senate to smear, defame, and destroy the lives of innocent people.
These words ring equally true today with regard to your treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
As was the case in 1954, every American today should deplore the despicable smear campaign that you and your allies have waged against one of the most universally respected and admired jurists in the country today.
Your smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh joins the McCarthy witch hunt as a low point in the history of the United States Senate and in American history writ large.
The deviousness of your scheme combined with the dishonesty of your current arguments against him reflect a lack of any moral center. To do what you have done, you had to first forfeit your souls in the pursuit of power.
Here are the facts:
You Democrats – and only you Democrats – knew about Dr. Ford’s allegation for seven weeks without taking any action.
You could have referred it to the FBI at any time during those 7 weeks. You didn’t.
You could have turned it over to the president who nominated him for further consideration. You didn’t.
You could have reported it to the Judiciary Committee for investigation. You didn’t.
You could have investigated it yourselves. You didn’t.
You could have asked Judge Kavanaugh about the allegation during your dozens of private meetings with him before the confirmation hearing. Not one of you did.
You could have questioned him about it during his confirmation hearing. You didn’t.
Instead, after making no secret of your strategy to try to delay a vote on his nomination until after the election, you deliberately waited until after the confirmation hearing to take action.
And even then, what action did you take?
Did you then turn it over to the FBI? No.
To the president? No.
To the Committee? No.
No, what you did was set the accuser up with a lawyer who is the vice president of an organization funded by George Soros to oppose the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh.
Then you surreptitiously leaked her allegation to the news media in order to ensure that Judge Kavanaugh was blindsided with it in the most publicly humiliating manner.
Only then did you demand an FBI investigation – after sitting on it for seven weeks until after the confirmation hearing was over.
But that wasn’t enough.
You then insisted that the burden was not on Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser to substantiate her claims. No, you turned our most fundamental principles of justice on their head by insisting that it was Judge Kavanaugh’s burden to disprove the allegation.
You knew when you were making these specious assertions that it is impossible to disprove a negative. But you also knew that most Americans are not sophisticated in principles of logic and don’t necessarily understand that fact.
So you demanded that Judge Kavanaugh disprove vague allegations of an alleged incident that happened at an unspecified time and place, and you did that knowing that every single person that the accuser listed as a witness refuted her allegations and said that they never witnessed any such incident.
And you made that demand knowing that the accusation was utterly contradictory to this man’s entire life’s history of decency and integrity and contrary to the findings of six FBI background investigations.
You nevertheless insisted that this utterly unsubstantiated accusation be accepted on its face as true and that the burden was on Judge Kavanaugh to disprove it.
Let me tell you about FBI background checks. I had one done on me in the course of receiving a top-secret security clearance for my work in military intelligence in the Army.
The FBI went and spoke to all of my high school teachers and friends. They asked each of those people for a list of 5-10 other people who knew me, and they went and talked to each one of them, and they asked each of them for 5-10 more names. They did that until they had spoken with just about anyone who ever knew me in any capacity.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is impossible that Judge Kavanaugh could have been the sexual predator that you and your allies have painted him to be without the FBI discovering it.
But in six background investigations, not one mention was ever made of any such conduct.
But nevertheless, as more and more accusers – each of whom had a history of being leftist activists – came out with more and more outrageous allegations, you insisted that every single one of those ludicrous allegations be accepted as true and that Kavanaugh had the burden to disprove them.
Imagine living your life with impeccable honor, decency, and integrity, only to have your reputation utterly smeared and destroyed as part of an effort to advance a political agenda.
Imagine being told that despite your lifetime of honorable conduct, all those allegations were being presumed to be true and that it was up to you to disprove them.
Imagine sitting in front of a committee of the United States Senate in a televised proceeding being watched by millions of people around the world and being asked if you are a “gang rapist.”
Imagine your children seeing these disgusting and depraved allegations being made against you and having to explain it all to them. Imagine what other children must be saying to your kids.
Imagine your spouse and kids being subjected to threats of rape and murder to the point that you and your family have to leave your home and be under armed protection 24 hours a day.
Imagine that despite a lifetime of impeccable honor and decency you suddenly found your reputation irreparably smeared simply because you accepted the honor of an appointment to a high public office.
Not one of you would ever stand for it.
But that is what you did to him.
Then, to pour salt in the wounds that you had already maliciously inflicted on him and his family, you sanctimoniously declared that his indignation and outrage at having been submitted to such an unconscionable smear campaign demonstrated that he lacks the “judicial temperament” to serve on the Supreme Court.
You made this assertion despite knowing that the left-wing American Bar Association had given him their highest recommendation based primarily on his impeccable judicial temperament, character, and fairness.
Many of you are angry that when President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, the Republican-led Senate did not give him a confirmation process. Frankly, while I don’t agree with you, I believe your anger about that matter is fair, and I respect it.
But one thing you cannot truthfully say is that the Republicans ever smeared or defamed Judge Garland.
In fact, the Republicans have never (at least in my lifetime) smeared and defamed the reputation of any nominee of any party to the Supreme Court.
It. Has. Never. Happened.
But this is the third time in my lifetime that you have used these despicable tactics against Republican nominees to the nation’s highest court.
So, like Joseph Welch asked Joe McCarthy on that fateful day 64 years ago, I ask you: Have you no sense of decency, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?
Author: Ken Falkenstein
Ken Falkenstein is the Managing Editor of Committed Conservative and brings a wealth of experience and expertise in public affairs to the job. Ken served in the U.S. Army in the last years of the Cold War as a Russian linguist for military intelligence and the NSA. After leaving the Army, he earned his degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University, where he also wrote a popular column in the student newspaper.
Upon graduation, Ken worked as a Legislative Aide to two Republican members of the Virginia House of Delegates. Ken also served as Corresponding Secretary of the Young Republican Federation of Virginia, managed several successful political campaigns, and managed governmental affairs operations for a local Realtor association.
In 1995, Ken moved to Washington, DC to serve as a Legislative Assistant to Sen. John Warner (R-VA). While working for Sen. Warner, Ken attended law school at night, earning his J.D. with honors from the George Mason University School of Law (n/k/a The Antonin Scalia Law School). Since that time, Ken has practiced as a civil litigation attorney, including serving for three years as an Associate City Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Ken previously was a contributor to the highly-regarded political blog Bearing Drift and was a weekly co-host of The Steve Batton Radio Program. In 2016, Ken ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia Beach School Board. Ken is also a former President of the Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads.
Ken now lives outside of Denver, Colorado with his wife, Kim, and three sons, Adam, Dylan, and Joshua, who has Down syndrome. Ken’s writing is motivated and informed primarily by his concern for his kids’ future.