The Kavanaugh Mess: Act Two Instant Analysis

My earlier post illustrates the perils of instant analysis. Christine Blasey Ford (CBF) was such an outstanding witness that I let my guard down and became overly optimistic as to the fate of the Kavanaugh nomination. The situation remains fluid but committee GOPers regained their equilibrium after the second act.

It’s not that Kavanaugh was a good witness: he was not. He yelled and spent his testimony defending his resume, not his character. Initially, I thought his lack of judicial decorum meant that he expected to lose. It turned out that he was playing to an audience of one: a man with even less class than Kavanaugh exhibited today. Despite crying and refusing to blow his nose, Judge Bro seems to have held on to the president’s* support.

I’ve never seen a judicial nominee be rude to senators and act like an Insult Comedian Junior. Kavanaugh even insulted the personification of Minnesota nice; Senator Amy Klobuchar. Judge Bro realized he’d gone too far and apologized to her. Wise choice: she’s one of the best liked members of Senate on both sides of the aisle. I suspect Don McGahn pointed out that Klobuchar is fairly tight with Collins and Murkowski. The Alaska senator remains a possible no vote but I’m putting away my crystal ball. She will not be the only Republican to vote no, which only gets us to 50-50 with Pence holding the tiebreaker.

It was easy to see the belligerent drunk described by CBF and many others as Kavanaugh shouted his way through his testy tetchy testimony. Hardcore Trumpers loved his act and Republican solons seemed re-invigorated by all the nastiness. It’s hard to doze off when a red-faced bro is shouting at you, after all.

Other high points were watching Chuck Grassley lose his shit and Lindsey Graham pitch an epic hissy fit: Bless his heart. Since Republicans clearly regard women as dispensable, they dispensed with the services of prosecutor Rachel Mitchell during the second act without so much as a thank you.

Where do we stand now? Unfortunately, I think we find ourselves where we started the day despite the compelling testimony of CBF. Kavanaugh is damaged goods, but he *might* have the votes. Then, again he might not. I am no longer certain of the outcome. It depends on how Kavanaugh’s ranty testimony went over with the undecided Republican Senators. The ball is in their court:  one of them, Ben Sasse, sounded like an aye vote during the hearing. I already covered Murkowski: she needs Republican company. As to Jeff Flake, his fine words rarely translates into action but anything can happen in this political environment.

I still think the political damage to Republican candidates caused by the hearing will be severe. In any other time and place, the Kavanaugh nomination would have been pulled. But we’re in the Trump era where the shameless run the show and the majority of GOP solons simply do not care about allegations of sexual assault. You cannot shame the shameless.

While it may be an insult to kangaroos to call this hearing a kangaroo court, I asked my friend and colleague Michael F to “help a brother out” with an image:

Image by Michael F

4 thoughts on “The Kavanaugh Mess: Act Two Instant Analysis

  1. If nothing else, the midterms are an actual case of “clear choice/difference.” Kavanaugh and the GOP are all-in, and the choice is Trump…or no Trump. Obviously I’m hoping like all hell that the US isn’t, you know Trumplandia, or Trumpestan, or whatever you want to call it.

  2. We’re probably going to lean, by early 2019, after Kavanagh is confirmed, that the party was indeed on Thursday July 1 1982, and that Mark Judge was in the room. But what does it matter now? The Democrats won’t impeach him. This is trauma being inflicted on the Supreme Court, the Senate, and the Republic. Brilliant move, Lindsey Graham. Your imported prsecuir was making more progress with Kavanaugh than she was with Ford. You spotted it. You saved him.

    1. If Dems take one or both houses, it matters a great deal. They can open committee investigations, subpoena witnesses, obtain all the records about Kavanaugh’s White House tenure that were withheld. What they will find, and we know this because we already have some of it in the record, is evidence of receiving stolen property and serial perjury, at the least. They can then make a referral to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. And a sitting Supreme Court justice can indeed be indicted.

      The committee could even fully investigate the claims of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. There’s no statute of limitations in Maryland on that crime.

      But I would argue that the Dems ALSO need to reopen the Clarence Thomas investigation, given what we learned in Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson’s 1994 book “Strange Justice. Thomas, too, clearly committed perjury. He, too, should be prosecuted.

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