Kavanaugh Fight Having An Impact On The Midterms?

At least for the moment, the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court appears to be helping Republicans rally their base for November. The question is whether it will last after the fight is over.

As the Brett Kavanaugh nomination fight moves toward its end, a new poll from National Public Radio and Marist College suggests that the battle has, at least for now, caused an uptick in Republican enthusiasm for the midterm elections that could have an impact on the battle for control of Congress:

Just over a month away from critical elections across the country, the wide Democratic enthusiasm advantage that has defined the 2018 campaign up to this point has disappeared, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

In July, there was a 10-point gap between the number of Democrats and Republicans saying the November elections were “very important.” Now, that is down to 2 points, a statistical tie.

Democrats’ advantage on which party’s candidate they are more likely to support has also been cut in half since last month. Democrats still retain a 6-point edge on that question, but it was 12 points after a Marist poll conducted in mid-September.

The results come amid the pitched and hotly partisan confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Multiple women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when he was in high school and college. He categorically denies all the allegations. The FBI is conducting a supplemental investigation into the accusations that is expected to be wrapped up by the end of this week.

With Democrats already fired up for this election, the Kavanaugh confirmation fight has apparently had the effect of rousing a dormant GOP base.

“The result of hearings, at least in the short run, is the Republican base was awakened,” noted Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll.

While Democrats and Republicans are now equally enthusiastic about the midterms, the story is very different for key Democratic base groups and independents. While 82 percent of Democrats say the midterms are very important, that’s true of just 60 percent of people under 30, 61 percent of Latinos and 65 percent of independents.

Looking deeper into the poll, we find similar numbers

  • Among Democrats, the poll in July showed that 81% of women and 73% of men were enthusiastic about voting in November. The new poll shows a slight dip in enthusiasm among Democratic women to 79% while enthusiasm among Democratic men has increased to 80%;
  • Among Independents, the numbers based on gender match those for this demographic as a while. In July 64% of both self-identified Independent men and women said they were enthusiastic about voting. In the new poll, that number has increased to 65% for both groups;
  • Among Republicans, meanwhile, the July poll showed that 71% of Republican women were enthusiastic about voting. That number has jumped to 83% in the latest poll. Among Republican men, meanwhile, 66% said they were enthusiastic about voting while 78% say that today.

The change in the voter enthusiasm gap, then, reflects not so much that Democrats have become less enthusiastic, but that Republicans have become decidedly more enthusiastic. While at least part of that can likely be attributed to the fact that the election is close and people are paying more attention to races at the local and national level than they were over the summer, it seems clear that a good part of this jump can be attributed to the Kavanaugh nomination and the rallying effect it has had for Republican voters. Or, as Philip Bump puts it, the Republican defense of Kavanaugh appears to have worked, at least as far as rallying the Republican base:

President Trump succeeded remarkably in establishing the benchmark that Kavanaugh needed to surpass after the allegations emerged, and it wasn’t a full reckoning of his past behavior or fidelity in his approach to that reckoning. It was, instead, that Kavanaugh needed to withstand the anger of his Democratic opponents, no matter how manufactured or how righteous. By slotting this fight into the familiar, comfortable fight of Democrats vs. Republicans, Trump managed to dramatically shift the odds in the favor of his nominee.

It’s important to remember the context of the moment in which Kavanaugh’s nomination was presented. It’s a moment when more than half of Republicans and Democrats see members of the other party as posing a serious threat to the United States. It’s a moment in which half of Republicans and half of Democrats say that they fear those on the other side. When more than 4 in 10 see the other party as dishonest.

That’s fertile soil for an effort to shift questions about Kavanaugh from ones about the allegations he faces — which remain as robust, or now even more so, as when they were first introduced — to questions about what the Democrats are trying to do to a conservative. That the first report about Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations came from a letter leaked to the news media that had been sitting on the desk of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) didn’t help that perception, certainly, but even had Feinstein made it public in late July, when she first received it, it’s hard to believe that much of the ensuing fight would have taken a significantly different sheen.

The effort to overlay partisanship on the Kavanaugh nomination is proven as successful perhaps most obviously by a column from the New York Times’s Bret Stephens. Stephens has been a critic of Trump, but on Thursday morning offered a defense of the president.

“I’m grateful because Trump has not backed down in the face of the slipperiness, hypocrisy and dangerous standard-setting deployed by opponents of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court,” Stephens writes. “I’m grateful because ferocious and even crass obstinacy has its uses in life, and never more so than in the face of sly moral bullying.”

(…)

Stephens stands with Trump now because the president and his allies successfully made the Kavanaugh nomination about standing not with the nominee but with the political right, of which Stephens is a member. The Kavanaugh nomination was positioned in a way that was specifically meant to entice people like Stephens (or the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal) and it worked. Kavanaugh’s nomination is overwhelmingly supported by Republicans to the point that it is now the most polarizing issue of Trump’s administration. That level of polarization is going to bring people off the benches.

The Generic Congressional Ballot, meanwhile, continues to show the Democrats with an advantage, but it has stayed within the same range it has been in since the middle of the summer:

  • A new Economist/YouGov poll, for example, gives Democrats (45%) a five-point advantage over Republicans (40%), which is a dip of three points for the Democrats from the previous poll conducted by YouGov;
  • The aforementioned NPR/Marist Poll meanwhile shows Democrats (48%) with a six-point advantage over Republicans (42%), a gap that is not statistically different from where the poll stood a month ago;
  • The newest Reuters/IPSOS poll, meanwhile, put Democrats at their largest margin of any recent poll with 50% saying they would vote for a Democratic candidate in November while just 38% say they’d vote Republican. This is a twelve-point advantage for Democrats, which is significantly higher than the 7% advantage that the previous IPSOS poll gave to Democrats;
  • The newest Harvard-Harris poll, meanwhile, gives Democrats (45%) an eight-point advantage over Republicans (37%), which is not very different from the nine-point advantage that Democrats had in the previous Harris poll;
  • In the Quinnipiac poll, Democrats (49%) have a seven-point lead over Republicans (42%), which is a significant drop from the fourteen-point advantage that Democrats had in a Quinnipiac poll taken a month ago long before the Kavanaugh story began eating up the news cycle;
  • Finally, the latest Rasmussen poll, which has tended to favor Republicans over Democrats, shows Democrats (47%) a five-point lead over Republicans (42%)

The polling averages and forecasts, meanwhile, show similar numbers:

  • In the RealClearPolitics average, Democrats ( 48.7%) have a +7.7 point lead over Republicans (41%), which is slightly below where it stood just over two weeks ago;
  • In the Pollster average, Democrats (47.1%) have a +6.8 point lead over Republicans (40.3%), a slight increase in the Democratic advantage in the past two weeks;
  • In the FiveThirtyEight average, Democrats (49.3%) have a +8.0 point lead over Republicans (41,3%), a decrease in the Democratic advantage we saw two weeks ago;
  • The FiveThirtyEight House Forecast, meanwhile, gives Democrats a 74.9% chance at winning the House and gives Republicans a 25.1% chance of holding on to the House; and,
  • Finally, the FiveThirtyEight Senate Forecast gives Republicans a 76,7% chance of holding on to the Senate and Democrats just a 23,3% chance of capturing the Senate.

All of this is reflected in the RealClearPolitics chart:

All of these polls were taken in the period since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and two other women have come forward with accusations against Judge Kavanaugh, and several of them were taken during the period immediately after last Thursday’s hearing. At the same time, it’s worth noting that they may only be reflecting the leading edge of public opinion on the nomination, the accusations against Kavanaugh, and the manner in which all of that has been handled by the Senate and the White House.

Nate Silver, meanwhile, notes that the Kavanaugh fight appears to be having an impact but, so far, it appears to mostly be impacting Senate elections.

Overall, I’m inclined to conclude there’s actually something there for Republicans — that their position has genuinely improved from where it was a week ago (although, not necessarily as compared to where it was a monthago). But I’m also wary of the idea that this is necessarily a turning point, since it wouldn’t take much — a couple of good generic ballot polls for Democrats, plus a handful of good state-level results in places like North Dakota — to reverse the GOP gains in our forecast. There is truth in the idea that Republicans have had a decent week of polling, but it can also be exaggerated by cherry-picking data that’s consistent with a particular narrative.

Finally, it should go without saying that this is still a dynamic situation, and it doesn’t necessarily follow that the party that “wins” the battle over Kavanaugh will benefit electorally. The opposite could prove true. A CBS News/YouGov poll conducted earlier this week found that more voters would be angry than enthusiastic if Kavanaugh was confirmed — but also, more voters would be angry than enthusiastic if Kavanaugh was not confirmed. Whichever party doesn’t get its way on Kavanaugh will have more reason to feel aggrieved — and perhaps more motivation to turn out to vote.

Considering that it is the Senate that is dealing with the nomination fight, that’s not entirely surprising. However, if these numbers hold up and the Kavanaugh fight, however it turns out, ends up drawing more Republicans to the polls then that will have an impact on the battle for the House of Representatives. The question is whether this enthusiasm surge will keep up after the fight is over. As I said, it’s not surprising that the Kavanaugh fight has had an impact on Republican enthusiasm ahead of the midterms, what isn’t clear is what the impact of this fight will be in the closing weeks of the campaign. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, as I expect he will be, then this story will inevitably slip out of the news cycle. At that point, it’s possible that Republican enthusiasm could drop somewhat since the fate of the nomination will no longer be front and center, or that the win will cause GOP voters to become even more enthusiastic. If the nomination were to fail, obviously, this would likely cause Republicans to be more eager to vote to ensure they hold on to the Senate so that another nominee can get through. On the Democratic side, a win for the Administration on the nomination could lead Democrats to become more focused on beating Republicans, In this case, though, the important battles will be in the battleground Senate states, where Republicans seem to have a clear advantage.

Ultimately, this will all depend on the voters but right now it looks like we’re heading toward a battle of the bases and that whichever party is better at bringing their base to the polls will be the one that ends up coming out ahead.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2018, Congress, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hal_10000 says:

    If you poke your head outside of the Twitter/media bubble, it is obvious that the Kavanaugh thing has pissed off a lot of Republicans and even some moderates. The response was somewhat muted in response to the Ford allegations since a lot of people took those seriously. But the Ramirez allegation struck a lot of people as dubious (mainly because it was) and the Swetnick allegation struck a lot of people as insane (a perception bolstered by her television interview). You add in the last week where people have been trolling through his yearbook, writing ominous articles about a bar fight and quoting “witnesses” who only witnessed Kavanaugh drinking and it’s turned the fire up to 11.

    I’ve been offline a lot this week and out of the scrum. And that really has driven home the point of just how crazy this has gotten. All this stuff about yearbooks that sounds so ominous to everyone deep in the political brawl sounds crazy to anyone even remotely outside it. Ronan Farrow wrote a breathless article this morning about how Kavanaugh hung out with a crowd that bullied people. Kavanaugh himself didn’t but, you know, he knew people who did.

    I don’t know if the anger will last through the election. But to the extent it does, it will benefit the GOP because the Dem base was already fired up before Kavanaugh. They didn’t have much to gain. The GOP did.

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  2. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    You’re assuming there will be an election.
    With the Congress and the SC in Dennison’s control…there’s no reason to believe anything normal will happen again.

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  3. Franklin says:

    I agree that the overall effect has benefited Republicans. BUT, I agree with Nate Silver’s analysis which you quoted. I will repeat this key point:

    Whichever party doesn’t get its way on Kavanaugh will have more reason to feel aggrieved — and perhaps more motivation to turn out to vote.

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  4. James Pearce says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I don’t know if the anger will last through the election. But to the extent it does, it will benefit the GOP because the Dem base was already fired up before Kavanaugh.

    After the events of the last few weeks, I think the Dem base is going to be majorly deflated and I wouldn’t be surprised to actually see a drop in turn out.

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  5. Gustopher says:

    Among Republicans, meanwhile, the July poll showed that 71% of Republican women were enthusiastic about voting. That number has jumped to 83% in the latest poll. Among Republican men, meanwhile, 66% said they were enthusiastic about voting while 78% say that today.

    The jump in enthusiasm among Republican women may not be entirely good for them. The polling doesn’t take Thursday’s cringefest into account yet.

    And, if anything else comes out, a confirmed Kavanugh becomes an albatross around Republican candidates’ necks.

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  6. MBunge says:

    Here’s the impact it’s had on New York Times’ columnist, dyed-in-the-wool Establishmentarian, and confirmed NeverTrumper Bert Stephens.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/opinion/trump-kavanaugh-ford-allegations.html

    Wow. It’s as if it is possible to loath Donald Trump WITHOUT becoming oblivious to everything else that happens in the world.

    Mike

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  7. Gustopher says:

    @James Pearce: The Dem base would have been more deflated by the Democratic Senators not fighting.

    Fighting and losing makes some people sad, and some people angry. Not fighting? All sad.

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  8. An Interested Party says:

    @Franklin: Indeed…from an election perspective, it was always better for Democrats if Kavanaugh were to be seated…they then can justifiably paint him as being rushed through with only a sham FBI probe…lots of female voters will be motivated to vote against the party that doesn’t seem to care about sexual misconduct perpetrated against women and lots of Democrats will be motivated to stop the disaster in the White House from carrying out any more mischief…as for Kavanaugh himself, his impact can be lessened when the Democrats, once regaining the White House and Congress, add a couple of extra seats to SCOTUS…

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  9. James Pearce says:

    @Gustopher:

    Fighting and losing makes some people sad, and some people angry. Not fighting? All sad.

    True, but I’m not sure the Dems really were really “fighting.” So much of their approach is about avoiding the fights, either by trying to get some proxy to do all the punching or by trying to fight over something else entirely.

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  10. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Gustopher:

    The reality is that the Democrats don’t want Kavanaugh to be judge because of his legal philosophy and because they don’t want Trump making any SCOTUS picks at all. And while I agree with those points, it also means the “investigation” is to some degree being done in bad faith. It doesn’t really matter what the outcome is, they’re going to vote against him either way.

    So I have to question if whether the short term tactical gain of this circus is worth the long term strategic loss of feeding the Republican narrative that sexual assault claims are primarily a political tactic. I’m not sure we’re at that line yet, but we seem to be getting close.

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  11. grumpy realist says:

    Well, given the alt-right incels’ ideas about women and the unwillingness of a lot of young privileged idiots to curb their drinking, maybe we women should just start going around armed….In my experience having pointy things in one’s hair seems to be a useful way to dissuade gropers.

    (Even a letter opener can be useful. I use one as a hairstick.)

    (Make sure your daughters know how to defend themselves. They’re going to need it.)

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  12. SenyorDave says:

    @Hal_10000: Kavanaugh clearly lied under oath about his drinking. There are too many people who are on the record about his drinking in college, including his college roommate. That should matter, both from a credibility standpoint and the fact that a FEDERAL JUDGE lied under oath. I seem to remember a certain president who lied under oath about a consentual sexaul relationship and being impeached over it.

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  13. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @MBunge:

    It’s as if it is possible to loath Donald Trump WITHOUT becoming oblivious to everything else that happens in the world.

    You mean like the fact that he conned you into thinking he’s a self-made man?
    Seriously…don’t you feel like a fool…after everything you’ve claimed about his successes?
    He’s made you look like an idiot.
    Yet here you are…pumping him up some more…

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  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Kavanaugh clearly lied under oath about his drinking.

    He lied about a bunch of stuff.
    I guess Republicans only care if you lie about a blow job.

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  15. Kathy says:

    Both parties had more incentive to fight for the Supreme Court seat than the Senate. Elections for the latter come every two years, after all. But the real problem is this:

    It’s a moment when more than half of Republicans and Democrats see members of the other party as posing a serious threat to the United States.

    This is nothing new, of course. But it is the problem both parties seem to be the least interested in solving, addressing, or even acknowledging it’s a problem.

    Any ideas?

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  16. dennis says:

    Let the Republicans have it all. They believe that they have god on their side, and that they are morally right. When they begin to roll back all those hard-fought civil rights, they will initiate a scorched-earth fight that will see them all voted out of office. All the MBunges, Erik Floracks, TM01s, et. al., think they will be exempt from GOP overreach. But they will be wrong. Sooner or later, the self-righteous fanatics will touch something they care about. Frankly, I’m looking forward to returning to some semblance of sanity minus the religious right wing-nuttery.

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  17. just nutha says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: They don’t even care if you or I lie about a blow job. The only people that matter are named “Clinton.” You even saw that in Kavanaugh’s opening comments on the day of the hearing.

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  18. An Interested Party says:

    And while I agree with those points, it also means the “investigation” is to some degree being done in bad faith. It doesn’t really matter what the outcome is, they’re going to vote against him either way.

    Of course, that applies to Republicans as well…the “investigation” is a sham meant to sway so-called moderates like Flake, Collins, and Murkowski…at the end of the day, the Republicans really don’t give a damn what Kavanaugh may or may not have done in his youth, they just want another reliable right-wing judge on SCOTUS…

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  19. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Donnie Dennison.
    Clarence Thomas.
    Bart Kavanaugh.
    Stay classy, Republicans.

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  20. R. Dave says:

    @Hal_10000: If you poke your head outside of the Twitter/media bubble, it is obvious that the Kavanaugh thing has pissed off a lot of Republicans and even some moderates….You add in the last week where people have been trolling through his yearbook, writing ominous articles about a bar fight and quoting “witnesses” who only witnessed Kavanaugh drinking and it’s turned the fire up to 11…. All this stuff about yearbooks that sounds so ominous to everyone deep in the political brawl sounds crazy to anyone even remotely outside it.

    Agreed. I think the Dems and the activist base they’re playing to are seriously mistaken about how all of this is being perceived by the broader public and underestimating / mistiming the backlash effect. It was already starting to ramp up in response to the #MeToo campaign, and I think the Kavanaugh thing may well turn out to be the moment the pendulum swings back…just in time for the midterms.

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  21. KM says:

    @dennis:

    Sooner or later, the self-righteous fanatics will touch something they care about.

    Usually by that point the joint’s pretty much burned down and everyone’s hosed. But it’s true people who back radicals tend to forget they’re expendable as soon as power is consolidated. Every traitor, turn-coat and sell-out thinks they’ll get a great reward once the new regime is in…. and their reward is often a back to the wall and firing squads at dawn. They don’t *need* you anymore once they’re in and can force everyone to dance to their tune. They don’t need your votes, your cheers or your support once they can shape law to their will for generations.

    It’s like Kanye’s abolish the 13th rant. The MAGA crowd keeps claiming he *clearly* meant prison reform and besides, we really don’t *need* to make slavery illegal since no one will accept it in this day and age. Trouble is, if it’s not explicitly illegal then it’s legal and there will be little stopping rich people from recreating indentured slavery to finally kill off the middle class. In their heart of hearts, they think a return to slavery means at worst they personally won’t get to own another human being, not that *they* will end up being owned because they’re special or something. They think it will be the inner city slums and minorities to go first, not poor rural America or college kids who can’t pay off their loans.

    The fanatics will have lost everything but so will the rest of us. We talk about rebuilding after Trump but that assumes we’re going to be able to afterwards. Do enough damage to a system, wreck enough norms and the mess becomes the new normal. Do too much and the system is beyond saving.

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  22. restless says:

    @R. Dave: @R. Dave:

    Are we sure it’s the just the Democrats pushing the #MeToo issues? Seems to me I’ve seen a number of Republicans, include the President, play up the ‘it could be *any* guy falsely accused’.

    In my mind the most of the substantive objections to Kavanaugh come from people pointing to the perjury and conspiracy theory statements, indicating partisanship, as reasons to not confirm – but those aren’t getting nearly as much attention.

    It seems to me that the Republicans have successfully kept the most salacious and also most easily dismissed arguments in the foreground. And the media follow the controversy.

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  23. SenyorDave says:

    @R. Dave: So the MeToo movement is bad, its some liberal overreach? Considering we have a president who bragged about being a serial sexual molester, and now talks about how scary it is for boys, I’m pretty GD glad that we have MeToo. White males seem to buy into boys will be boys, other people not so much. But white males thought it was pretty funny when Trump mocked Ford.

    I keep coming back to this: why doesn’t Kavanaugh’s lies under oath bother people like you. That should be disqualifying in itself.

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  24. Stormy Dragon says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Of course, that applies to Republicans as well…

    Agreed, but the Republicans are increasingly the “pro-rape” party, so if the resulting circus makes it politically easier to ignore future victims, that’s a bonus for them.

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  25. Kathy says:

    @R. Dave:

    Agreed. I think the Dems and the activist base they’re playing to are seriously mistaken about how all of this is being perceived by the broader public and underestimating / mistiming the backlash effect.

    You’d expect women to mistrust the GOP for pushing Kavanaugh. But many women are mothers, and many have sons. Naturally they also worry about false accusations of sexual abuse.

    Here you run into perception, too. While such false accusations are rare, they are also aired out in public in full view. And so are the consequences (lost job, jail, etc.) Sexual assault usually happens out of sight, and the consequences, though much more severe, are not as easily seen. This is not to excuse the neglect of sex crimes like rape, but to highlight where the problems lie.

    Some women may fear more for false accusation against their sons (or for that matter brothers, fathers and husbands), than attacks on themselves. Of those, some undoubtedly vote Republican and favor Kavanaugh. and some will be energized by what they perceive to be false accusations.

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  26. Leonard says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: You know the election is going to happen. You’re stirring the pot by pretending otherwise.

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  27. James Pearce says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Considering we have a president who bragged about being a serial sexual molester, and now talks about how scary it is for boys, I’m pretty GD glad that we have MeToo.

    Something that occurred to me the other day, if Clinton has prevailed in 2016, #metoo probably wouldn’t have happened.

    The first ever “First Gentleman” would be an accused rapist and serial sexual molester. Al Franken would still be in the Senate. Charlie Rose still doing interviews. Harvey Weinstein still running TWC, jacking off in plants. Bill Cosby would have never been charged.

    And what’s with the “white males” crap?

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  28. KM says:

    @Kathy:

    Some women may fear more for false accusation against their sons (or for that matter brothers, fathers and husbands), than attacks on themselves.

    OK but do they fear it more then they fear for their daughters or nieces? Herein likes the rub: the GOP is pushing for a parent’s concern for their child but its *completely* ignoring that the girl child is FAR, FAR more likely to suffer from some sexual abuse then the boy child would a false accusation. It’s like comparing the chances of getting struck by lightening to catching a cold during cold and flu season. They’re crying “what about your sons” who may have a small chance of having their lives ruined when their daughters are lucky to not have that happen before they are twenty, let alone their whole lives.

    Conservatives are telling women to pick their sons over their daughters yet again. And yet again they will do it because they know damn well women are the enforcers of cultural norms and no one is harder on women then women. A house divided against itself cannot stand and when a mother is asked to let her daughters go on being disbelieved as a matter of course to protect her sons from a nebulous “maybe”….. well, you get the world we live in. #MeToo will never go “too far” as long as women are willing to sacrifice their own to keep the status quo.

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  29. wr says:

    @R. Dave: “It was already starting to ramp up in response to the #MeToo campaign”

    Damn right. How dare those uppity bitchez complain just because men want to grope, molest and rape them? I’m sure all good Republican Americans will rise up and put them in their place.

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  30. SenyorDave says:

    @James Pearce: The white male crap? White males overwhelmingly back Kavanaugh. They are the only group polled that backs him and it isn’t close. White males overwhelmingly support Trump, even on issues that everybody else doesn’t. White males believe they face more discrimination than blacks. And as far as comparing say Al Franken to Trump, c’mon even you can’t really believe that. Trump admitted to being a serial sexual molester, and 17 women have accused him of doing exactly that. Franken left the Senate over the claims against him, one of which he admitted to.

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  31. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    Conservatives are telling women to pick their sons over their daughters yet again. And yet again they will do it because they know damn well women are the enforcers of cultural norms and no one is harder on women then women.

    Unfortunately misogyny is not exclusive to men. Just look at most conservative women.

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  32. James Pearce says:

    @SenyorDave:

    White males overwhelmingly support Trump, even on issues that everybody else doesn’t.

    I see.

    So “white males” is short hand for Republican. I just wanted to make sure there was a reason why you’re exempting Latin machismo or the kind of toxic misogyny Black Twitter used to call #misogynoir.

    And there is: Politics.

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  33. Terrye Cravens says:

    @R. Dave: How do you think Trump’s attacks on Dr. Ford were seen by the larger public? Or Kavanaugh’s tantrum.

    Truth is no one comes out of this looking all that good, but it is interesting to note that one of the few things that can fire up the GOP base is humiliating women. They agree on that. And I doubt if most women fail to notice that.

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  34. wr says:

    @James Pearce: Oh, goodie. Pearce is back in self-pity mood.

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  35. Barry says:

    @MBunge: “Here’s the impact it’s had on New York Times’ columnist, dyed-in-the-wool Establishmentarian, and confirmed NeverTrumper Bert Stephens.”

    You misspelled ‘right-wing WSJ editorial page alumnus’ 🙂

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  36. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Update: Heitkamp is a no. She will not vote to confirm. One step closer to erasing this stain on the integrity of the courts.

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  37. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Kathy: Perceptions about rape and sexual assault are racialized among ideological lines. Feminists in the left love to talk about “rape culture” because they associate the typical rapist to their former boyfriends or the (mostly) White Men that they deal with in their love lives.

    But people on the right associate rape with minorities and immigrants. That’s why people in the US right are obsessed with rape in Sweden. They can’t associate “rape” with White Males like THEM and their relatives.

    Ironically, there are lots of innocent Men in jail for false or misleading accusations of rape. They just don’t happen to be people like Kavanaugh, and there is a little bit of hypocrisy from people talking about due process.

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  38. An Interested Party says:

    …and there is a little bit of hypocrisy from people talking about due process.

    Not really, in terms of their way of thinking…see, some people deserve due process…and some people don’t…

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  39. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    there are lots of innocent Men in jail for false or misleading accusations of rape

    Can you amplify on that?
    How many convicted rapists are innocent?

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  40. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    A good number of them:
    https://www.innocenceproject.org/

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  41. One American says:

    It seems those deplorable people WAY outside the beltway have opinions too.

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  42. Hal_10000 says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Kavanaugh clearly lied under oath about his drinking.

    Saying this over and over again doesn’t make it true. From the transcript:

    I spent most of my time in high school focused on academics, sports, church, and service. But I was not perfect in those days, just as I am not perfect today. I drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. Sometimes I had too many. In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now.

    This is probably sugar-coating things, but it is not lying under oath. It’s not saying, “No, I didn’t have sex with that woman.” Almost everything people say is a lie is conjecture or opinion, e.g., that he was “blackout drunk” which only Kavanaugh would be in a position to know.

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  43. charon says:

    . https://twitter.com/DanaHoule/status/1048061720021946370 .

    If Repubs really believe:

    A. Oppo to Kavanaugh is getting their base angry & ready to vote,

    & B. They have the votes to confirm him, …he wouldn’t be pleading in the WSJ, & they’d wait until the week before the election to confirm.

    So, on one or both of those, Repubs are FOS.

    Discussion at the linky.

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  44. charon says:

    @charon:

    The abuse cycle:

    . https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/10/05/never-again-baby-open-thread/ .

    Small excerpt:

    Those familiar with abuser behavior will recognize where we are in the cycle with Brett Kavanaugh, who wrote an op-ed in the WSJ reassuring us that there will never be a repeat of last week’s unpleasantness:

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  45. James Pearce says:

    @wr: I pity a political movement that is so stuck on their bizarre grievances against white men that they find themselves weak and out of power, hardly able to exert any influence at all.

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    But people on the right associate rape with minorities and immigrants.

    I think you’re onto something here, Andre.

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  46. al Ameda says:

    @One American:

    It seems those deplorable people WAY outside the beltway have opinions too.

    omg, you mean they were previously prevented from having opinions?

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  47. Eric Florack says:

    “Kavanaugh’s tantrum”

    So what you’re saying is you don’t want judges becoming angry at manifest Injustice?

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