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To every rule there is at least one exception and I'm going to make one for Robert Bork. In the first place, he wasn't brilliant, he wasn't a legal scholar, nor did he have even a shred of the temperament required of a good judge. He was a common, garden-variety, RW hack of a polemicist and that's the best I'll say about him.
I never cease to marvel at how the "mainstream" media, particularly the inside-the-beltway tribe, will adopt a RWer from time-to-time. One is Newt Gingrich, who for no ascertainable reason is frequently identified as an "original thinker". Another was Robert Bork. And, more than buy into the notion that Bork was some kind of latter-day Learned Hand, much of the commentariat bought into the "Borking" myth, lock, stock, and barrel.
For the record. Robert Bork was not villified or trashed. He was not subjected to undue scrutiny or abuse. Indeed, he was given exactly what he and his supporters so desperately sought - a very public forum in which to hold forth on his views for as long as he wanted. The article of faith on the Right, of course, was that he would level the opposition with the sheer brilliance of his arguments. Quite the opposite happened. Two Republicans, John Warner and Arlen Specter, opposed his nomination in the Judiciary Committee. They and some southern Democrats opposed the nomination on the Senate floor and it was soundly defeated by a bipartisan majority. Afterwards, reports said that many southern Democrats just did not want to revisit the country's racist past. And then, as I said above, even the left accepted the ridiculous premise that expresses itself in the word "Borking", meaning an unfair confirmation process.
This is sheer nonsense. Bork got what he asked for and what he deserved. The country was, fortunately, spared his term on the Supreme Court, and he went on to make a decent living as a RW polemicist, which is what he had always excelled at.
I'm not sorry he's dead, but I am very, very glad the country is rid of him.