As a matter of fact, Democrats haven't "forgotten" the rights of the accused at all; rather, they hope some day to do away with them entirely as obstacles to progress. Let's take a look at their methodology here: not what they hope to accomplish, for that is obviously to prevent Brett Kavanaugh from joining the Supreme Court, but the means they are employing against him, for those means become even more sinister in the context of criminal prosecutions. True, the current hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is not a trial, but it is now taking on the aspect of one, and what the Democrats are doing here (so far successfully, sad to say) they are also doing at colleges and universities (note Obama's weakening of the standard of proof required in sexual assault cases involving college student discipline) and hope to do eventually in the criminal courts.
Criminal prosecutions are the basic tool a dictatorship has to use against its citizens, and exactly how those prosecutions are used to keep the citizens in line is beyond the scope of this discussion. But getting convictions then becomes an important problem to the state, for if it can't convict its enemies of supposed crimes it cannot maintain its grip on power. Let's briefly list some of the things the state can do to ensure criminal convictions for political crimes and explain their relevance to the Kavanaugh case. (Kavanaugh's actual "crime" is being a judicial conservative, i.e. someone who believes the Constitution means what it says).
1. Criminalize innocent conduct. The conduct alleged here may not be as innocent as criticizing the government or possessing a firearm, but what could be considered rather inept adolescent groping has been inflated into full-bore "sexual assault". (Incidentally, Democrats should thank David French at National Review for paving their way here, for the pastor seems to believe any attempted sexual advance is tantamount to forcible rape). And vague accusations are preferable to precisely-stated ones; smears, in which a specific offense is implied but not stated, are ideal.
2. Allege misconduct from so far in the past that it can't be proved. This is of course why we have statutes on limitations on many crimes: we want living witnesses with fresh memories. The idea here is that is the charge can't be proved, then it doesn't need to be proved, which leads us to
3. Weaken the standard of proof: beyond reasonable doubt is a tough standard, so substitute a weaker one like "preponderance of the evidence" (already happening across the country with some minor offenses). Of course with Kavanaugh/Ford, the Democrats can't even meet that standard, so it must be reduced to
4. No proof required! The accuser's word is enough for conviction, according to leading Democrats. They've been pushing this one for a while now - remember Hillary Clinton's "You have the right to be heard, the right to be believed"? Sound familiar? The claim is that you don't have to prove an allegation to be true, you have the "right" to be believed (if you're a member of a favored group accusing an enemy of the state, that is).
5. Invert the burden of proof: instead of the state being required to show the accused is guilty, the accused is now required to prove his innocence. And if he can't do so because the accusation is vague and allegedly occurred so long ago there are no surviving witnesses or preserved forensic evidence, so much the better.
6. Remove the right of the accused to be informed of the nature of the charges against him and confronted by the witnesses (see the Sixth Amendment). Ford has demanded that Kavanaugh testify first (without even knowing exactly what he's supposed to have done!) and she tried to make the accusation anonymously (note that Democrats ignored her wishes as she was too useful to allow them to get in the way). And she has insisted that Kavanaugh not be present during her testimony before the committee. So far not one Democrat has objected to any of these demands. At one point, her lawyers were objecting to her testifying in public. (Also note in this connection that Herr Müller was trying to conduct part of Paul Manafort's trial in secret so that some evidence would not have to be made public).
Such is the nature of today's totalitarian Democratic Party. We always knew they wanted to erase the first two Amendments of the Bill of Rights (the most important two), but we see here they don't much care for the Sixth either. And make no mistake: conducting trials of their political opponents according to these standards is their ultimate goal. Brett Kavanaugh would almost certainly stand in their way, which is why Republicans need to get him confirmed even if it means twisting the arms of Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins.