Bork was a well-qualified constitutional scholar. His views on the constitution were – are – pretty extremely right-wing, but the attacks on him by the liberal bloc were pretty extremely hysterical. (See the Wikipedia article on him.)
Okay – if there were only one, two or three Supreme Court Justices, maybe the juggernaut of opposition that risked destroying the sense of cooperation and accommodation that had grown between the parties would have been justified. But Bork was going to be one of nine. His appointment was the prerogative of a popular conservative President. His academic and juridical qualifications were sterling.
The fact that “to bork” has entered the dictionary as to obstruct (someone, esp. a candidate for public office) through systematic defamation or vilification indicates that the Democrats really did overstep the bounds of the federal political culture in 1987.
While 99% of the blame for the current dystopian situation in Washington can be assigned to the Republicans, the source of the party’s distrust and wariness of the Democrats, which Objectivists, racists, fundamentalists, and other mindless lunatics, have been able to whip up into an irrational frenzy, can be found in the unjust and unseemly overturning of the Robert Bork nomination.