President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, for the third day of his confirmation to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Brett Kavanaugh has been the subject of a vile smear campaign designed to damage his reputation and to try to force the nomination of a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy into next year. Any delay is a win for the left. If the GOP retains control of the US Senate–this is the likely outcome, though we are the stupid party so we can actually muck up an election where the Democrats are defending as many as 9 vulnerable seats and we’re pretty much a lock to keep ours–then the Supreme Court is frozen for a term by a 4-4 split. This means that critical votes on the Second Amendment and free speech and protecting the integrity of your ballot and redistricting will be kicked down the road. If, as is possible, the GOP loses the Senate then we are looking at either another two years with a 4-4 court, assuming Death has taken a holiday, or putting on the court another David Souter or worse.
When Christine Ford came forward with her allegations, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein sandbagged them for two months to prevent them from being investigated, then dropped them on the last day of the hearings in order to delay the confirmation vote. At first blush, it seemed successful. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake expressed ambivalence about voting for Kavanaugh unless Ford was given a public venue to spread her calumny. And, of course, the real target here was Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski who would probably vote against confirmation unless the “victim” was heard.
While Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley scheduled the hearing that everyone seemed to demand, the Democrats began to get cold feet. Dianne Feinstein even publicly expressed ambivalence about the truthfulness of Christine Ford. Ford’s attorney is casting doubt on any testimony by Ford unless the FBI investigates (the FBI doesn’t investigate non-federal crimes and it doesn’t investigate derogatory information uncovered in a background check, it just reports it) and does so extensively. Jeff Flake was nearly in tears:
When Dr. Ford came forward, I said that her voice should be heard and asked the Judiciary Committee to delay its vote on Judge Kavanaugh. It did so. I now implore Dr. Ford to accept the invitation for Monday, in a public or private setting. The committee should hear her voice.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) September 19, 2018
They may have overplayed their hand.
Bob Corker says Ford needs to testify or there will be a vote:
After learning of the allegation, Chairman @ChuckGrassley took immediate action to ensure both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh have the opportunity to be heard, in public or private. Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote.
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) September 19, 2018
Jeff freaking Flake says Ford needs to testify or there will be a vote:
Flake called me to apologize for missing the interview. He said he would support GOP push to move forward with Kavanaugh nomination if Ford does not appear at hearing. "I think we'll have to move to the markup," he said. "I hope she does (appear). I think she needs to be heard." https://t.co/abncqr7zwI
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) September 18, 2018
And both Collins and Murkowski seem to have had enough of the emoting by Ford and her supporters:
Collins and Murkowski seem to be signalling that unless she testifies, they'll vote to confirm. I think that's the right call: an allegation that someone is unwilling to deliver under oath is substantially less credible than one they're willing to testify about.
— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) September 18, 2018
Sens. Murkowski and Collins are both telegraphing that Ford needs to follow-through with appearance before the committee, something she previously claimed to want, or they'll vote to confirm Kavanaugh. pic.twitter.com/HvuxvHiimO
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) September 18, 2018
It is looking very much like Monday is actually crap-or-get-off-the-pot time for Ford. If she testifies, fine. If she doesn’t, fine, too.
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