The conservative white washing of Robert Bork’s history of repulsive positions has only picked up speed in the wake of his death. And I’ve noticed a pattern where every single right wing tribute to him claims that he was unfairly and personally attacked without ever bothering to even mention, much less refute, any of the criticisms of him at the time of his failed nomination. The Worldnutdaily offers up pretty much exactly what one would expect:
The establishment did not know what to do with him. Friendly, compassionate and gifted with a massive intellect, Robert Bork defined the sophisticated conservative.
Friendly? Compassionate? Those qualities were about as far from Robert Bork as they could possibly be. He was brilliant, no doubt, but he had all the charm of an ebola virus and the terms arrogant and condescending might as well have been coined to describe him.
Probably because of that, progressives determined he could not be allowed on the high court, and their campaign of destruction kept him from serving as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
As explanations go, this is pretty high on the delusional scale. Yes, liberals didn’t want him on the court because he was so friendly, compassionate and sophisticated. I’m sure it was exactly that.
Bork practiced law for nearly a decade before he joined the faculty of Yale in 1962. He sensed the change that was coming. He was alarmed that the push for civil rights was giving a cover to government interference in the private decisions of the American people that had nothing to do with ending segregation or Jim Crow. He was concerned that the First Amendment was being used to protect acts that had nothing to do with speech.
Yes, he was alarmed at the ideas of freedom and equality. Those things bothered him a great deal, which is why he spent the last 25 years of his life railing against them.
It was during the Nixon administration that he first gained the animosity of progressives. When Nixon decided to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox, there was uproar on the left. The attorney general and the deputy attorney general resigned rather than comply with the president. Bork did what he saw as his duty. As the third in line at the Justice Department, he fired Cox and his staff, an event that became known by the embellished name of “Saturday Night Massacre.”
He took issue with a subordinate member of the executive branch publicly defying the constitutional chief executive. As he saw it, Cox had to go.
Let’s do a little thought experiment. Imagine that it was just discovered that the headquarters of the Republican National Committee had been broken into during the recent campaign by a group of criminals with close ties to the Obama White House. Imagine that Congress demanded the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the matter and the Department of Justice made such an appointment. Imagine that his investigation had documented that the break in had been ordered by President Obama himself and there was a huge criminal conspiracy working out of the White House. Imagine that President Obama then demanded that the special prosecutor be fired to prevent that investigation from going any further, that Attorney General Eric Holder was so outraged at the abuse of power that he resigned rather than carry out the president’s orders and that his second in command did the same. Imagine that Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, the #3 man at the DOJ, agreed to fire the special prosecutor as the president demanded. We don’t have to imagine that, of course, because that is exactly what happened during the Nixon administration shortly before he was forced to resign from office in disgrace. But imagine for a moment what the Worldnutdaily and every other conservative site in the country would say about that. Would they say that Verrilli was right to be bothered by the special prosecutor “publicly defying the constitutional chief executive”? Not a chance in hell. But that is exactly the argument being made in defense of Bork. And it’s fucking idiotic.