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bork (v.)

"to discredit a candidate for some position by savaging his or her career and beliefs," 1987, from name of U.S. jurist Robert H. Bork, whose Supreme Court nomination in 1987 was rejected after an intense counter-campaign. Similar instances had happened before:

[John Quincy Adams's] printed assault upon Jonathan Russell—who had been so ill-advised as to cast doubts upon the patriotism of Adams's conduct at Ghent—was so deadly that for many years afterwards the vocabulary of America was increased, though not enriched, by the transitive verb "to Jonathan-Russell," meaning to pulverize an opponent. [George Dangerfield, "The Era of Good Feeling," 1953]

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