Yesterday’s hearing was an utter abomination. The Senate was used by Dianne Feinstein to try to recreate another Anita Hill hearing. Like that hearing, they relied upon a witness who was only credible if you suspended your intellect and imagined you were watching a Lifetime movie. Ford couldn’t remember anything about the incident other than Brett Kavanaugh was there. She couldn’t remember her grandmother’s funeral. She gave five differing accounts of the number of people at the party. None of the named people who were at the alleged party agreed that the event even happened, in fact, Ford’s lifelong friend, Leland Keyser, says she has never met Kavanaugh. If her story is to be credited, one has to note that after narrowly evading some kind of sexual molestation, she left Keyser in the house without warning her of the danger and the two never mentioned the incident again. Not even a “hey, where did you go last night?”
Last night, the votes seemed to coalesce for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin signaled that he was a yes vote. It was also reported that Rachel Mitchell’s debrief to the GOP caucus was significant:
Rachel Mitchell, Republican’s outside questioner, privately told GOP senators tonight that based on the evidence she heard at the hearing, she would not have prosecuted or even been able to obtain a search warrant, according to three Republicans
— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) September 28, 2018
My understanding is that Rachel Mitchell, despite her lackluster performance at the hearing, was helpful at the conference meeting, explaining how there is no corroboration for Ford’s account, in fact negative corroboration
— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) September 28, 2018
And she probably brought Jeff Flake into the fold:
Full statement from Flake: pic.twitter.com/yuhAAtO1H5
— Kate Irby (@kateirby) September 28, 2018
It was also reported that Collins and Murkowski would vote to confirm. The driving force in their decision was, in my opinion, Manchin’s statement and the word that Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly would vote for Kavanaugh (this was erroneous, Donnelly will vote no). Those votes meant that Kavanaugh could lose both Collins and Murkowski and still be confirmed, he could lose Flake and be confirmed by Mike Pence’s vote. Without noble martyrdom and media adulation open to them, there was no reason for them to vote against Kavanaugh.
Here are my takeaways from the whole episode.
Brett Kavanaugh temporarily unified the GOP.
The GOP establishment fought for Kavanaugh because he was obviously innocent but they mostly fought for him because he was one of them. Kavanaugh is not a Trump person. Kavanaugh went to an elite high school and Ivy League universities. I’m not saying he isn’t smart and talented, what I am saying is that without his pedigree he would just be another smart and talented person no one cared about and he would have not been supported by many of the people who supported Kavanaugh. While many of us defended Kavanaugh on the merits and because F*** Democrats, the establishment was gravely offended that one of theirs would be treated like one of ours. This party unity is temporary and it is not sustainable. Some famous guy, I can’t remember who, once said something about a house divided against itself. That’s where we are. The GOP establishment are much as Churchill observed about the Germans, they are either at your throat or at your heel. Yesterday, they were at our heel. If the next nominee…and I predict there will be one before the 2020 election (and I further predict the GOP will not lose the US Senate)…is not a cookie cutter of Kavanaugh we will see the George Bushes and other establishment figures abandon that nominee because they loathe Trump more than they care about having a conservative on the bench.
We are surrounded by pu**ies who like to lose.
Remember this famous Peyton Manning SNL skit:
Okay, I’m sorry — do you want to lose?
Before the hearing, we had this kind of bullsh** from people who are supposed to be the Big-Brain-Thinkers on the center-right
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) September 18, 2018
To say again when I said in expectation: Kavanaugh could be innocent, memories of trauma can be wrong, but absent more dramatic exculpatory evidence than a calendar this is too credible to elevate him.
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) September 27, 2018
This morning, with a win virtually locked up, we had this:
I’ll save you a click. There is a rumor that Mark Judge will talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Let me give you a spoiler here. Judge has locked in his testimony with the statement he submitted denying everything, that statement carried the penalty of perjury. If Mark Judge says he did this, he’s just confessed to sexual battery, in Maryland this does not have a statute of limitations, and he would be arrested and probably tried and live out his life as a convicted sex offender.
I’m for a week’s delay for more inquiries, by the Committee &/or FBI, along the lines suggested by the ABA, @DouthatNYT & @asymmetricinfo. The swing senators could request this—but their leverage would have to be a commitment to vote No if forced to cast an up or down vote now.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) September 28, 2018
If I had to vote today, I think I’d be a No. This may be unfair to Kavanaugh; and it sets a bad precedent re unverified allegations. But given where we are, wouldn’t a future Court with a different constitutionalist justice be healthier for the nation—and for constitutionalism?
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) September 28, 2018
A reckoning is coming and better sooner than later.
What yesterday demonstrated is that we are two distinct nations. The Democrats abused the established process for dealing with allegations. They accused a man of being a sexual predator with no evidence. They demanded we throw away the basis of our jurisprudence–that, you know, you don’t accuse people of stuff without proof–and make our decisions solely on an emotional basis. And they did it to protect the ability of people to kill babies in utero. That gravely offends many of us, but to some, it is a reason to surrender:
I pause to implore GOP not to confirm Kavanaugh this way. It can only end in something worse to the disgraceful circus we've just endured. And to implore Democrats to offer some sort of olive branch compromise that might let them agree to a reasonably time-limited investigation.
— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) September 28, 2018
I don’t want their freakin olive branch. If they offer me one, I’m going to shove it up their butt. I don’t want to be unified with these people. I want these people driven from power. I want them afraid to show their faces in public. There is no universe in which it makes sense to let these people benefit from their contempt of our norms of behavior and our traditions. The longer we delay in bringing this political conflict to a head the stronger they become and the more difficult and dangerous it will be. The sooner we start, the sooner we’ll finish.
Both sides are not to blame. Both sides are not equally bad.
If you’re writing stories about how terrible yesterday’s hearing was for the country— without noting that yesterday ONLY happened because Democrats evaded *every* process protection that would have prevented it— you are telling an egregiously incomplete story. pic.twitter.com/dGCSzeI4Jq
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) September 28, 2018
Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed. The GOP establishment is not our ally. We need to remember the people who encouraged delay or withdrawal of the nomination and shun them. The worst is yet to come. And I’m actually going to buy and wear a MAGA hat because f*** these people.
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