Judge Robert Bork, who’s probably best known for being defeated in 1987 as a Supreme Court Nominee after Ted Kennedy launched a vicious and malicious personal attack against him, is dead at the age of 85.
By all accounts, Bork was more than qualified to take a seat on the court. He was a judge on the DC Circuit Court, Yale Law School professor, Solicitor General, and an Attorney General. But Bork’s unapologetic conservatism and view that the Constitution is the Constitution made him intolerable to the Left.
At the time, Ted Kennedy’s deeply personal and slanderous media attacks against him were so over the line that the term “borking” was added to the dictionary to describe…
to attack (a candidate or public figure) systematically, especially in the media.
Though the media will never say so, it was Ted Kennedy’s then-unprecedented public media campaign against Bork that was the beginning of the polarization that defines so much of our politics today. Kennedy opened a Pandora’s Box that launched a quarter-century of what President Bill Clinton would later call the politics of personal destruction.
Kennedy was the first to cross that line, to announce a new era in the United States Senate and the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justices. He went toxic with Bork, would do so again with Clarence Thomas, and no one’s looked back since.
That’s Ted Kennedy’s legacy, right along with Chappaquiddick.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC