Vice President Joe Biden participated, as a senator, in an attack unprecedented and unfair attack on a Supreme Court nominee, and now he's using the tactic against Mitt Romney.
Biden compared Romney to Judge Robert Bork at a campaign fundraiser tonight. "Biden said if someone had told him during the Bork confirmation hearings that the country would be revisiting the issue of contraception, he would have thought they were crazy," the pool reporter says. "What else will we be revisiting if there’s a Romney presidency and a Republican Congress?" Biden continued.(Of course, Romney says it's "silly" to think of "revisiting" contraception, and no one but George Stephanopoulos is worried about it.)
Biden's allusion to Bork reflects a campaign effort to portray Romney as a radical, the way Democrats portrayed Bork as a radical. As The New York Times' Joe Nocera recently explained, "The Ugliness Started with Bork," when Democrats poisoned the Supreme Court nomination process and with it, American politics.
As Nocera recalls, liberals feared that Bork would give the Supreme Court a conservative majority, which would then overturn Roe vs. Wade. Senate Democratcs such as Biden, led by Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., portrayed Bork as a "right-wing loony" and "an extreme ideological activist" even though the recognized that he was no worse than "at the borderline of respectability." The attacks were so unfair that Bork's last name entered the English language as a verb that means "to destroy a nominee by whatever means necessary." (The Clarence Thomas nomination hearings witnessed the Democrats next attempt "to bork" a Republican nominee.)
Biden is now trying "to bork" Romney. He knows that Romney says it's "silly" to think of "revisiting" contraception, and he might even recall that no one discussed the issue until ABC's George Stephanopolous' unwarranted and lengthy questioning of Romney during a presidential debate.
"The ends were used to justify some truly despicable means" in the Bork hearings, Nocera says. Biden doesn't seem remorseful at all.