Republicans Join Call For Delay In Kavanaugh Vote Pending Investigation

Cracks are beginning to show in the previously united Republican front on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation notwithstanding what appear to be credible allegations of sexual assault.

Three Republican Senators have come forward to say that the Senate Judiciary Committee should delay its vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford against Kavanaugh regarding an alleged sexual assault when he was 17 and she was 15. As a result of this, the timetable for Kavanaugh’s nomination that would have a Judiciary Committee vote this Thursday and a probable vote on the Senate floor next week appears to be in doubt, as does the prospect that Kavanaugh will be able to join the Court when it convenes in two weeks for its first cases of the new term.

As I noted in an update to my post last night, the first Republican to speak out was retiring Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who sits on the Judiciary Committee:

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Sunday said he is “not comfortable voting yes” on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until the Senate Judiciary Committee learns more about the sexual assault allegation against him.

“We need to hear from her,” Flake told Politico hours after Kavanaugh’s accuser identified herself publicly. “And I don’t think I’m alone in this.”

Flake told The Washington Post that he does not believe the Judiciary Committee should move ahead with its Thursday vote on Kavanaugh until the senators hear more from Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who went public with her accusation against Kavanaugh in a Post investigation on Sunday.

Flake’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

“For me, we can’t vote until we hear more,” Flake, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the Post.

Flake, who is retiring in November, has displayed increasing willingness to break with his party in recent months. He is a frequent and outspoken critic of President Trump.

Flake’s comments are especially important, of course, because he is a member of the Judiciary Committee, on which Republicans currently have a  one-seat majority. If Republicans prove recalcitrant to investigate the charges against Kavanaugh further and try to push forward with a vote, Flake himself could throw a monkey wrench into the process by voting with committee Democrats against nomination and/or voting with Democrats in support of a motion to delay the vote until a further investigation can be held. If it comes to that, then it’s unlikely that Kavanaugh would be confirmed before the Supreme Court convenes on October 1st. The irony in all of this, of course, is that this essentially means that Flake, who has been on the receiving end of attacks from Trump for the better part of the past two years, and who is already being called a “traitor” for calling for a delay in the committee vote on Kavanaugh, is now in perhaps the best position of anyone to hand the President what would amount to a significant.

CNN calls it “Flake’s Revenge,” but to my mind, it is quite simply the only reasonable response to these allegations. Brett Kavanaugh is seeking an appointment to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, he could end up sitting on the Court for the next 25-30 years and have a significant influence on the ideological balance of the Court, and American law, for generations to come. As such, it is essential that whoever is confirmed for this position be someone of not only the highest qualification but the highest integrity. Even though they relate to events that occurred more than 30 years ago and there are legitimate questions regarding the circumstances under which they became public, these allegations deserve to be aired publicly to ensure that we don’t end up regretting Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the future.

In addition to Flake, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who is also retiring at the end of the current term, is also calling for a delay.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) called for the vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court to be postponed until the woman accusing him of sexual assault be allowed to speak with senators on the Judiciary Committee.

Corker, who doesn’t sit on the committee, told Politico on Sunday that the panel should wait until Christine Blasey Ford can meet with senators.

“I think that would be best for all involved, including the nominee,” Corker said of postponing the vote.

If Ford wants her side of the story to be heard, Corker said, “she should do so promptly.”

Corker’s remarks echo those of his fellow Republican colleague Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.).

Flake, who is a member of the committee, said Sunday that he is “not comfortable voting yes” until he hears from Ford.

“And I don’t think I’m alone in this,” he added.

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska meanwhile, is somewhat less equivocal than Flake and Corker but also appears to be on the side of taking the time to investigate these charges before voting:

GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) says the Judiciary Committee “might” need to consider delaying a vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a woman accusing him of sexual assault spoke publicly for the first time about the allegation.

“Well, I think that might be something they might have to consider, at least having that discussion,” Murkowski told CNN late Sunday night asked if the Judiciary Committee should delay a vote on Kavanaugh.

“This is not something that came up during the hearings. The hearings are now over, and if there is real substance to this, it demands a response. That may be something the committee needs to look into,” Murkowski continued.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Murkowski is not a member of, is currently scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday.

Republicans hold a majority on the committee and, if they could stick together, could report Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor favorably this week without help from Democrats.

But several GOP senators have indicated they are open to hearing from Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser, after she discussed the alleged incident with The Washington Post during an interview published on Sunday.

In addition to those three, Senator Lindsey Graham appears open to the idea of hearing from Ms. Ford regarding these accusations:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday voiced skepticism about the timing of fresh allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but expressed a willingness to allow the accuser to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“If [Christine Blasey] Ford wishes to provide information to the committee, I would gladly listen to what she has to say and compare that against all other information we have received about Judge Kavanaugh,” Graham said in a statement.

“If the committee is to hear from Ms. Ford, it should be done immediately so the process can continue as scheduled,” added Graham, a member of the Judiciary Committee.

Graham made this statement in a tweet last night:

One Senator that hasn’t been heard from yet is Susan Collins of Maine, who last night was critical of how Democrats had handled the allegations but didn’t reveal a position on whether or not there should be a delay:

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a key swing vote in the Supreme Court fight, is knocking Senate Democrats for their handling of a sexual assault allegation against nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Collins questioned why Democrats had waited for weeks to come forward with the allegation, arguing it wasn’t “fair” to either Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s.

“What is puzzling to me is the Democrats, by not bringing this out earlier, after having had this information for more than six weeks, have managed to cast a cloud of doubt on both the professor and the judge,” Collins told The New York Times.

Collins asked if Democrats believed Ford, “why didn’t they surface this information earlier,” and if they didn’t believe Ford, “why did they decide at the 11th hour to release it?”

“It is really not fair to either of them the way it is was handled,” Collins said.

(…)

Collins has not announced a decision on Kavanaugh and where she ultimately comes down will help determine when, and if, he gets confirmed.

Democrats need to win over two GOP senators, and keep their own caucus united, if they want to sink Kavanaugh. \

Finally, Deborah Katz, the Washington, D.C. attorney representing Ms. Ford appeared on the Today Show this morning on NBC and, among other things, said that her client is willing to testify before the Judiciary Committee:

Where this goes from here depends on how Senate Republicans choose to react to these allegations and whether they are able to push forward with Kavanaugh’s nomination notwithstanding the allegations and what seems to be growing pressure for investigation of the charges against Judge Kavanaugh. Given the fact that there now appear to be three Senators calling for a delay, and a fourth willing to let Ford’s allegations be heard by the committee before a vote, though, it’s going to be quite hard for the GOP to simply ignore the allegations and move forward. As for the timing of any potential hearings, there is no reason to rush to hold hearings this week. There is nothing sacred about the Judiciary Committee vote scheduled for Thursday. It can be delayed until the committee has had a reasonable chance to investigate this matter. This is a lifetime appointment, a delay of a few weeks is no big deal. Whatever the resolution is, though, one suspects that things will move forward quickly.

Update: Judge Kavanaugh has released a new statement:

Update #2 Senator Collins is now calling for both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh to testify before the Judiciary Committee:

Update #3: Senator Heidi Heitkamp, one of the Red State Democrats who many observers believe may vote for Kavanaugh on the floor, is caling on both parties to be heard by the Committee:

Centrist Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) on Monday called for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would require delaying the panel’s vote on the nominee scheduled for Thursday.

“This is a very serious allegation which should be thoroughly investigated, and it’s up to the Senate Judiciary Committee to do just that,” Heitkamp said in a statement. “Prof. Ford [the accuser] should be given an opportunity to testify before the committee and she is willing to do so.”

Heitkamp’s statement puts more pressure on Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to delay the committee vote.

Earlier Monday, Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), another key centrist Democrat, called on the Judiciary panel to postpone consideration of Kavanaugh to give federal investigators and Senate staff more time to review the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford, who says that Kavanaugh pinned her down and attempted to take her clothes off at a party in high school.

The pressure for hearings, and a delay in the vote, are growing.

Update #3: And the dam has broken The Judiciary Committee will meet to hear from the accuser and accused next Monday.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, Supreme Court, 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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Given the fact that there now appear to be three Senators calling for a delay, and a fourth willing to let Ford’s allegations be heard by the committee before a vote, though, it’s going to be quite hard for the GOP to simply ignore the allegations and move forward.

    Doug, you underestimate the depths McConnell will stoop to.

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  2. R. Dave says:

    To my mind, the correct outcome here would be to (i) extend the hearings to review the allegations more thoroughly and to see if anyone else comes forward and (ii) censure Feinstein for leaking this at the last minute instead of bringing it to the Committee’s attention in July.

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  3. Michael Reynolds says:

    The GOP – including McConnell – need to watch the politics on this. Who are they alienating already? Educated women. Who will they piss off still further if the all-male GOP members of the committee hammer Dr. Ford in committee? Educated women.

    Ted Cruz is on that committee and in a fight for his life already. How many votes would he add by being his usual dickish self? Zero. How many would he lose? More than zero.

    Kavanaugh is evidently a compulsive gambler, and he lied about it. You do not run up debts of $200,000 buying seats at baseball games, you run up those kinds of debt betting on baseball games. So we have a dishonest gambler whose supporting witness is an admitted black-out drunk. On the other hand, we have a doctor of psychology with a 2012 statement to her own shrink, and a lie detector test.

    McConnell can easily push Kavanaugh aside and get the next a-hole from Heritage into the on-deck circle. Just one problem: Kavanaugh is a political opportunist who’d almost certainly support Trump’s assertions of kingly powers. And the next candidate might not be quite so compliant. This is political ebola for Republicans.

    They have no winning move other than getting Kavanaugh to withdraw and promptly nominating a female replacement. But that may be a big, big loser for the Molester-in-Chief.

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  4. R. Dave says:

    NOTE TO MOD: Tried posting this with the wrong email and it was sent to moderation. Trying again with the right email to see if that works.

    To my mind, the correct outcome here would be to (i) extend the hearings to review the allegations more thoroughly and to see if anyone else comes forward and (ii) censure Feinstein for leaking this at the last minute instead of bringing it to the Committee’s attention in July.

  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    @R. Dave:
    You want to censure DiFi for honoring the wishes of a woman who did not choose at that point to face the shtstorm she knew would result? No, that’s nuts, people need to be able to speak with their representatives in confidence.

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  6. Jax says:

    @R. Dave: Do we also get to censure Republicans and the White House for hiding all of the documents regarding Kavanaugh that they won’t release? This could be the tip of the iceberg, but we just don’t know. It’s obvious they know more than we do, or that infamous “Letter from 65 women” would not have been available so fast.

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  7. Kathy says:

    This shouldn’t even be a difficult decision. the allegations are serious and credible. Kavanaugh isn’t that popular. And if America could make do without a full court for much of Obama’s last year, surely it can weather a couple of months now.

    Not that the Democrats aren’t also playing politics. The matter should have been brought up during the hearings. IMO, they waited to induce further delay.

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  8. MarkedMan says:

    There were two ways this could have played out. Kavanaugh could have said that he didn’t have a clear memory of what happened 36 years ago when he was seventeen, that he didn’t remember it that way (or didn’t remember it at all), but that given that this woman is still upset after all these years because of his behavior he is sorry and wishes he could take it back. And he apologizes to her now publicly and he would welcome the opportunity to do so privately. If he had gone that route, this really would have been a nothing burger. But he didn’t take that route, instead he insists that it never happened. With that defense he is effectively calling her a liar. Now it is he said/she said and fairness dictates she gets her chance to testify in the same forum that Kavanaugh was given, and that she be awarded the respect and deference that he received.

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  9. Voice of Reason says:

    I wonder how much Lisa Bloom paid this lady…….

    Meanwhile Keith Ellison’s accuser is ignored.

    Such a wonderful standard you leftists have developed.

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  10. R. Dave says:

    @Michael Reynolds: No, I want to censure her for noisily “referring the matter to the FBI” in order to leak the allegation to the press instead of reporting it to the committee. Anonymous allegations and last minute leaks are 100% dirty politics with a hint of Kafka and McCarthy to boot. Basic procedural justice requires that either an accuser comes forward and the matter gets fully and openly investigated by the committee as part of the ordinary process or the allegation never sees the light of day.

    And as for people being able to speak with their reps in confidence, I agree, but Feinstein’s response to the woman should have been to tell her that if she’s not willing to go public or at least share the letter with the Judicial Committee on a confidential basis (which has a high likelihood of leaking her name), there’s nothing Feinstein can do for her.

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  11. MarkedMan says:

    @Jax:

    It’s obvious they know more than we do, or that infamous “Letter from 65 women” would not have been available so fast.

    Yeah, that’s another reason I think he’s lying. Think about it. It stretches credulity to the breaking point to think that Republicans were able to get this letter signed in the couple of days they had after the accusations was made. They had to get a list of all the women he went to high school with. They had to hire investigators to interview them. Those investigators had to evaluate whether they would be favorable to him. They had to compose a letter lauding his character and hold it ready. Once the trouble started they acted like lightening to get them to sign it. Why did they go to all that prep work if they weren’t aware there was something in the pipeline?

    Or is it even worse? Do the prep work ahead of time is extremely suspicious. But it would be fascinating to find out when the letter was circulated to the women. If it was before the accusation was revealed, well, that’s pretty damning right there.

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  12. KM says:

    @Michael Reynolds :
    Yep. It’s not like Repubs aren’t going to get somebody on the court – chances are depressingly high they’ll have two seat to fill by 2020 at least. They are going to get their way so why are they so desperate to get THIS guy in when they can take virtually take their short-list and spam it till something sticks?

    Because Kavanaugh’s bought and paid for, that’s why. He’ll give them the ability to enact everything their dark little hearts desire for the low, low price of his debts and the willingness to put a lying suspected molester and gambler into a lifelong position during an election year. It’s kinda like why they’re sticking with Trump instead of going for Pence – they already paid the tab so why not get as much value out of it as possible before the house burns down? After all, if they come for Kavanaugh later on for that gambling habit or worse, he can always be replaced, right?

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  13. MarkedMan says:

    @R. Dave:

    leak the allegation to the press instead of reporting it to the committee

    You refer to “The Committee” but this is a committee in name only. In reality, it is simply the Republicans doing everything they can to push him through, including having only partisan Republicans decided what parts of his written record will be released, and of the small percentage they have allowed through, classifying anything that might be even slightly controversial “Committee Confidential”. You want to censure Feinstein for not going along with this charade?

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  14. Franklin says:

    Well, I’ll say this:

    For anybody who prevented any hearings for Garland, you can’t complain about the Democrats’ tactics in this case.

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  15. drj says:

    @MarkedMan:

    There were two ways this could have played out.

    I’m not so sure.

    Kavanaugh has already gone out of his way to take away the ability of women to control their own bodies.

    Admitting to possibly having committed sexual assault on top of that could conceivably be a bit too much even for Collins and Murkowski.

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  16. mattbernius says:

    @Voice of Reason:

    Meanwhile Keith Ellison’s accuser is ignored.

    She wasn’t ignored. As Dave Weigel and others have pointed out, the rumor had floated around for a while in Minneapolis, been investigated by the local press, and ultimately she wasn’t found to be a reliable source.

    Which happened again this time.

    There were lots of claims made about hard evidence. And somehow all of that hard evidence was apparently “lost” (in multiple and conflicting ways according to the woman in question and her sons). The texts that were released in the “dump” really didn’t support her claims. And, finally, she wasn’t willing to come forward and actually testify. All of that combined demonstrates how weak the case is.

    BTW, Republicans have the same problem with Sherrod Brown. It’s hard to push that type of story when the woman in question — Brown’s ex-wife — is actively defending him.

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  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Voice of Reason:
    Meanwhile Donald Trump’s dozen or so accusers are ignored. That bothers you, too. Right?

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  18. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    it is quite simply the only reasonable response to these allegations.

    But this is a Republican party that supports sexual assault and child molestation…reasonable responses have no place.
    Flake? Corker? Collins? Murkowski? They will blow some hot air, and then vote the way they are supposed to.
    The only remedy is to vote every single one of these amoral Republicans out of office.

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  19. Joe says:

    Unless the accuser turns out to have a long and documented history of delusion or lying, Judge Kavanaugh is toast and the rest is just shouting. MarkedMan describes the tiny little needle eye that Kavanaugh might have threaded sufficiently to give the Republicans cover, but this is now Justice Thomas circa 2018 and, as Michael pointed out, pushing back in significant way will cost Republicans way more than just letting Kavanaugh go away.

    What the Republicans need to fear now is Democrats picking up a seat or two in the Senate, thus forcing Trump to choose between an endless parade blocked justices and someone more moderate.

  20. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Flake? Corker? Collins? Murkowski? They will blow some hot air, and then vote the way they are supposed to.

    This. How many times have we heard that crowd is “on the fence”, “could be won over”, “not willing to just go along” and then, once they got the attention they wanted, went ahead and voted as they were told to.

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  21. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    pushing back in significant way will cost Republicans way more than just letting Kavanaugh go away.

    Well…I don’t know. It’s interesting political calculus.
    Yes…pushing Kavanaugh will likely cost Republicans the House and the Senate. But in exchange they will have control over women’s bodies (the holy grail of Republican dogma) for decades.

    In the meantime…who’da thunk Manafort flipping would not be the biggest story right now?

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  22. Hal_10000 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Kavanaugh is evidently a compulsive gambler, and he lied about it. You do not run up debts of $200,000 buying seats at baseball games, you run up those kinds of debt betting on baseball games.

    This is based on what? Wishful thinking? It’s this kind of silly speculation that has this thing even worse. Maybe if we’d spent the last few weeks talking about substantive thinks instead of Left Wing delusions about white power signs, perjury and quotes taken out of context, we’d have gotten somewhere.

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  23. MarkedMan says:

    @Joe: Joe, thanks for the nod, but I think you are being overly optimistic. The modern Republican Party is the party of Trump. The Party of Roy Moore. Forget what Republicans say, that’s just noise. Look at what they do. They cave to the loudest of their constituents: the people capable of writing checks with so many zeros you have to count them carefully and the Evangelicals. When Republicans felt their political futures were in doubt due to the unhappiness of these groups, they immediately turned to doing everything in their power to protect Trump, regardless of how they personally felt or how the suburban women demographic felt. When they sensed their majority was in danger, they completely backed down from their moral high ground and send money and consultants to help Roy Moore get elected. And if they don’t get Kavanaugh on the court they will be punished by the Mercers and Kochs, who control not just the campaign checkbook but also fund the so called “Conservative Think Tanks” and the Conservative speaking circuit, the things that congress critters (think aides and chiefs of staff, not just Reps and Senators) depend on to make those condo payments. And they will also incur the wrath of the Evangelical voters, who made a devil’s bargain. That’s not a figure of speech. I have seen many Evangelicals basically say it was not a sin to support a sleezebag like Trump because God whispered in their ear “Supreme Court”. If Kavanaugh doesn’t make it then that means they put their souls in jeopardy on the word of their politicians.

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000: Ask Hillary Clinton about the relative merits of going after someone over half baked conspiracy theories versus a rousing recitation of incredibly well thought out and justified policies. Just saying…

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  25. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    You can believe this woman or not.
    But look…Republicans clearly knew about this and hid it, hoping it wouldn’t come out. I mean…you cannot believe they found 65 friends from high school, to sign a letter, overnight. They knew.
    So the biggest question; what else are they hiding in the 90% of documents that haven’t been released?

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  26. mattbernius says:

    On a related note, it would be great if the “people shouldn’t be defined by actions that happened when they were a teenager” would apply the same argument towards juvenile defendants and offenders.

    It’s worth noting that when the court recently addressed the issue of juveniles being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, the conservative side of the court held the belief that such sentences *were not* unconstitutional – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_v._Alabama

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  27. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @mattbernius:

    On a related note, it would be great if the “people shouldn’t be defined by actions that happened when they were a teenager” would apply the same argument towards juvenile defendants and offenders.

    Or pregnant teenagers, to whom they would deny an abortion.

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  28. Joe says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I hear you, and you might well be right, though I would note that the Republican voters of Alabama refused to elect Roy Moore.

    You and I are on two different sides of the predicted outcome. I am gonna bet you a beer – assuming the accuser maintains her credibility – that more than 2 Republican senators are going to refuse to look American women in the eye and say they are responding to these allegations by putting this man on the Supreme Court or even going through the process that Michael articulated. Time will tell.

  29. charon says:

    @R. Dave:

    https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1041445889653530625

    / So every single aspect of the GOP statement on Ford is false: the allegation is *not* uncorroborated, it *wasn’t* brought forward on the eve of a committee vote (but in July), and the only disturbing thing here is the GOP response to Ford’s allegations so far.

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  30. charon says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    @AndrewRestuccia and I called many of Kavanaugh’s 65 female HS acquittances who signed a letter supporting him. After his accuser came out on Sunday, only TWO said they still stood by him. More than two dozen didn’t respond, and two declined to comment.

    https://twitter.com/dlippman/status/1041676217815105536

    GOP knew about this all along, they had the 65 loaded up and cocked. They probably misled the 65 women to get those statements, concealed that this was related to an attempted rape allegation.

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  31. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Voice of Reason: Keith Ellison isn’t up for a lifetime appointment. The voters of his district have a chance to recall him every two years.

  32. charon says:

    @charon:

    Probably one additional reason for haste, ramming this through, was to get the confirmation done before this stuff was all out there.

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  33. charon says:

    . @Michael Reynolds:

    The GOP – including McConnell – need to watch the politics on this. Who are they alienating already? Educated women. Who will they piss off still further if the all-male GOP members of the committee hammer Dr. Ford in committee? Educated women.

    I have encountered women, not necessarily educated women, who have a seriously vindictive attitude towards abusive men, the GOP is really playing with fire protecting this guy.

    You don’t even need to be a woman to be still p.o. about Anita Hill, and this just stirs that up also.

  34. george says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    They have no winning move other than getting Kavanaugh to withdraw and promptly nominating a female replacement. But that may be a big, big loser for the Molester-in-Chief.

    Actually another winning move is suspending the nomination for a month or two and let the accusation be investigated. If the accuser has evidence (and I suspect she does), then they can drop Kavanaugh without incurring the wrath of GOP voters. If the accuser has no evidence then they can say they investigated but no proof was brought forward. That won’t please Dem voters, but those votes were never in play for them anyway, and it’ll satisfy GOP voters who will think “innocent until proven guilty”.

    In fact its probably politically the best option they have. As has been pointed out, dropping him because of an unproven accusation will decimate their own voter base. Now if Dems can pick up a couple of seats in the mid terms (because its unlikely the investigation will be done before that) the nomination will simply fail the vote, but the GOP can still go back to their voters and say “we tried.”

  35. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: “hat he didn’t remember it that way (or didn’t remember it at all), but that given that this woman is still upset after all these years because of his behavior he is sorry and wishes he could take it back.”

    Really. How hard is it to say “when I was seventeen, I was an asshole.” I don’t think there’s a man on earth who couldn’t say that truthfully. And it would be pretty easy to add “In fact, I was such an asshole that I’ve never carried a memory of this night. Now that this woman has brought it forward, I am deeply ashamed of what I did as a boy and the damage I caused. I hope there is some way I can make it up to her in the future. But I am no longer a teenage boy. I’ve learned and grown as we all do, and while I can’t ask to be forgiven for what I did, I will ask that you examine the way I’ve lived as an adult. That’s who I am and who I have been for many years.”

    Even I might be persuaded by something like that…

  36. george says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It stretches credulity to the breaking point to think that Republicans were able to get this letter signed in the couple of days they had after the accusations was made.

    As much as I think the accuser is telling the truth, its actually pretty easy to get a letter signed in a couple of days by 65 people nowadays; the days when sign meant passing a single physical letter around are long gone.

  37. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Also…if there is one of these, there is likely to be more. Already there is a rumor of another one, when Kavanaugh was a clerk.
    Pretty sure Merrick Garland was never accused of rape. Of course he also wasn’t nominated by a serial sexual offender.
    Stay classy, Republicans.

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  38. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @george:

    its actually pretty easy to get a letter signed in a couple of days by 65 people nowadays

    Seriously?
    To save my life I couldn’t name 65 girls from my HS years…and I did not go to an all-boys school.

  39. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    Exactly. Kavanaugh is taking the worst possible tack here. His response sets up a binary decision for voters and ensures that this will not go away. They should have learned that lesson from Herman Cain.

    I’ll note too that the pressure has already ramped up on Susan Collins. Her outspoken calls for Franken to resign are being dredged up and used as a counterpoint in this scenario.

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  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:

    In 2016, Kavanaugh reported having between $60,000 to $200,000 in debt accrued over three credit cards and a personal loan. Each credit card held between $15,000 to $50,000 in debt, and a Thrift Savings Plan loan was between $15,000 to $50,000.

    In 2017, however, the Post says that the debt and loan were either “paid off or fell below the reporting requirements.” White House spokesperson Raj Shah told the Post that Kavanaugh’s friends reimbursed him for the tickets and that the judge stopped buying season tickets. (My ital.)

    Kavanaugh’s love of baseball isn’t at issue here. As the New Yorker’s Eric Lach pointed out on Twitter, it’s really what’s not on the filings that raises potential red flags: exactly how, or why, that debt got paid off in 2017.
    https://www.vox.com/2018/7/11/17562736/brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-nationals-tickets-debt

    He was 200k in the hole, explained it as purchases of seasons tickets, and was then made whole by as yet unidentified friends. Yes, gambling is speculation, but hardly silly under the circumstances.

    I could add the distinct possibility of corruption in those ‘reimbursements.’ And my record of being right about things initially dismissed as silly speculation is pretty good. That said, it is speculation, hence the qualifier, ‘evidently.’ I probably should have used a stronger qualifier, but this stinks to high heaven. I want to know who ‘repaid’ him and what their connection might be to a president already very well aware that he’d likely have a case going to SCOTUS.

    “I’ve maxed out all my credit cards and took out a personal loan and now I’m 200 large in the hole.”

    “Wow? How’d you do that?”

    “Buying baseball tickets for friends.”

    “Riiiiight.”

    The problem there is that even if you buy his explanation, something’s off. As a judge he was making 244,000 per year, figure if he had a great accountant he was netting what, 190K? Who the hell goes into debt by his annual salary to buy baseball tickets for other people? It’s a bullsht explanation. It may not be gambling, it may be simple corruption, or a serious personality defect, but it sure ain’t innocent.

    Maybe if we’d spent the last few weeks talking about substantive thinks instead of Left Wing delusions about white power signs, perjury and quotes taken out of context, we’d have gotten somewhere.

    Oh, puh-leeze, do you think Grassley was going to be moved by policy discussions? Kavanaugh lied about his positions on Roe and on executive power. The Democrats talked about the issues, the public sided with Dems, and it made no difference to Republicans because Kavanaugh is being hired to overturn Roe and absolve Trump.

    Is it silly or unfair of me to suggest a corrupt deal? Not about a guy who borrows heavily to buy stuff for friends. If you want more silly speculation, why did Anthony Kennedy suddenly resign? Anything to do with his son who worked at Deutsche Bank and was involved in funneling laundered money to Trump?

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  41. Raoul says:

    Curious if the nominee is willing to take a lie detector test or perhaps he has and the results have not been made public.

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  42. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    McConnell can easily push Kavanaugh aside and get the next a-hole from Heritage into the on-deck circle.

    He could not. That guy or gal would have to be confirmed after the midterms, and then we could either have a lame duck session confirming a Supreme Court Justice(That would be REALLY horrible optics) or we could have Dianne Feinstein as Chairwoman of Judiciary Committee saying “Remember Merrick Garland? F* this guy/woman”.

  43. MarkedMan says:

    @Joe: Joe, I hope to god you are right and my cynicism is unjustified

  44. Michael Reynolds says:

    @george:
    Yeah, I think you’re right. Yes, there are two paths you can go by, and in the long run there’s still time to change the road they’re on. It makes me wonder. . .

    (Apologies to Mssrs. Page and Plant.)

  45. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:
    I don’t think anyone in the GOP cares about the optics. They could hardly be more damning than the Great Garland robbery.

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  46. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Kavanaugh’s supplied explanation strains credulity. You’d think that an entire political apparatus well versed in concocting lies as standard operating procedure would have been able to manufacture a better one than that laughable explanation.

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  47. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    “Remember Merrick Garland? F* this guy/woman”.

    Nothing would make me happier than if Dems take the Senate and they tell Dennison that the only nominee they will give a hearing to is Garland.
    Of course, Dems don’t have those kind of balls.
    But it would make me happy.

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  48. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: A lame duck confirmation is now my most likely scenario in the case that the Republicans lose the Senate. Optics don’t matter in the lame-duck session. Voters have short memories. If the R’s retain the Senate, then they will probably pass on Kavanaugh and try again with someone else.

    So I think a delay is likely. And, they are gonna get their seat. They are not going to let this opportunity go.

  49. Michael Reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Still not as amazing as the Novichok assassins who claim with perfectly straight faces that they flew from Moscow to London to visit Salisbury Cathedral, but flew home an hour and a half later because it was snowing. I didn’t know the GRU even had a sense of humor. But close.

    See, this is why more people should hire fiction writers. We know how to lie, it’s what we do.

  50. george says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I could do it in an hour. Locating them would take me much longer, but a good team (like what the GOP could put on it) could do it in less than a day. Everyone’s digital now, for better or worse.

  51. george says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’m sure there’s a clever way of working “to be a rock and not to roll” regarding Kavanaugh being a judge but not getting onto the Supreme court, sadly I’m not good enough with words to come up with it.

  52. Joe says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I will double down on this. Within one week from today, Judge Kavanaugh will sign a letter reiterating his absolute denial, but withdrawing himself from consideration to spare his family and this country an ugly and unnecessary hearing process. Within a week of that, the White House will announce their next nominee. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Justice Amy Barrett.

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  53. MarkedMan says:

    @george: Okay, given unlimited resources you could contact that many women. But they have to make sure they screen out women who didn’t like him. Wouldn’t that take longer?

  54. Hal_10000 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Yes, you’re linking to a two-month old report. Here is the later details (emphasis mine):

    In 2016, Kavanaugh reported between $60,000 and $200,000 in debt, according to his financial disclosures, which was spread out over three credit cards and a loan. The debts were either paid off or dipped below the reporting requirements the following year.

    But Kavanaugh signaled that his debt at the time was far lower than $200,000, saying in his written responses Wednesday that his debt was “not close to the top of the ranges” he reported on the financial disclosures.

    Four season tickets at ground level plus parking will easily run tens of thousands. (The reporting is a bit unclear about whether he bought several seasons at once). Kavanaugh also said this was run up by personal expenses furnishing their home and making repairs. Do you really not think if there were something suspicious about this, it wouldn’t have come out in the hearings? He was specifically asked about this question. I realize Kamala Harris didn’t have some BS moment where she acted like a third-rate TV prosecutor asking him questions about it that went nowhere. But this was addressed.

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  55. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Kavanaugh is taking the worst possible tack here. His response sets up a binary decision for voters and ensures that this will not go away. They should have learned that lesson from Herman Cain.

    I think you’re wrong. Any form of “I was a drunk in high school, did terrible things, but nothing as bad as this” defense is just going to sound like he is minimizing having sexually assaulted someone, and make it nearly impossible for some Republican Senators to support him. Especially when ramming someone else through in a lame duck session is a reasonable alternative.

    Everyone knows of someone who did what Kavanaugh is accused of, or worse. It’s common enough to be a cliche. Very few people think that someone is acceptable.

    Kavanaugh’s only path to the Supreme Court is to go with the “this woman is crazy or lying” defense.

    I also don’t think he’s going to be successful with that defense.

    I do have some doubts about any claims of sexual assault that it takes someone 30 years to say something about, because of how people process trauma (it’s amazing how elastic memory is). But also I think it’s just as likely that she has some corroborating evidence — a diary from the time, or people who she did tell and who she has been trying to protect from the firestorm of conservative conspiracy theory media.

  56. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    A lame duck confirmation is now my most likely scenario in the case that the Republicans lose the Senate. Optics don’t matter in the lame-duck session.

    I don’t know. A lame duck confirmation would be EVEN far more blatant and anti-democratic than not holding hearings for a perfectly qualified SC nominee. And voters, that oppose Mr. Drunk Boy, would note.

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  57. Gustopher says:

    @Hal_10000: Kavanaugh ducked the questions about how he repaid this debt, in both verbal and written testimony.

    If it is all above board, it should really be pretty easy for him to clear it up rather than avoiding it.

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  58. Tyrell says:

    The Supreme Court nomination process gets worse every time. If Saint Peter was was the nominee, they would try to dig up dirt on him.
    The whole process needs to be changed.

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  59. Joe says:

    @Gustopher:

    Everyone knows of someone who did what Kavanaugh is accused of, or worse. It’s common enough to be a cliche.

    I also know a few people who suffered at the hands of people who did what Kavanaugh is accused of, or worse. It has real, lasting and painful impacts, even if he was just some drunken teenager. The fact that such behavior is cliche – see hearings for Clarence Thomas – is no reason to elevate one of its (so far, just accused) perpetrators to the Supreme Court.

  60. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    The tack to take if you want to survive this is something like

    This might have happened. I do not remember it, but if so I deeply regret it and profoundly apologize. Like many teenagers left to their own devices, I had my wild moments and may have done things I’m not proud of. Like them, I also grew up, and I’d prefer to focus on my exemplary life as an adult rather than the unfortunate mistakes of childhood

    By doing that, you muddy the waters with enough plausible denial that people won’t form especially concrete opinions on the matter, and the ones that are leaning one way or the other will 1) remember their own misspent youth and 2) walk away with the apology. It neuters the issue and the accuser. I do this for a living.

    Categorical denials only invite being challenged, and he will be challenged. When he is, he had better hope she doesn’t have evidence (I’m betting that she does), because then he’ll be a rapist AND a liar.

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  61. Kylopod says:

    @Joe:

    I hear you, and you might well be right, though I would note that the Republican voters of Alabama refused to elect Roy Moore.

    That isn’t true. Moore won an overwhelming majority of the Republican vote (91% according to WaPo’s exit polls). Jones was able to win by a hair in this very red state on the strength of Dems and indies, not Republicans.

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  62. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @TM01:

    This whole thing was planned to delay the votes, and to prevent Kavanaugh from being confirmed in time for the next SCOTUS session.

    Of course it was. It was also intended to put the GOP members of Congress facing reelection into the unenviable position of being caught between pissing off their base and defending what will be seen as a rapist.

    It’s working in that regard. Feinstein played this one like an upright bass.

    After Merrick Garland, though, your side should really just STFU, permanently, with regard to any sort of whining about the politicization of the judicial confirmation process.

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  63. Gustopher says:

    @TM01:

    Ford is criticized by all of her former students as being off her rocker, long-winded, being unclear in directions, and especially for being vengeful. Stay on her good side or else.

    You might be surprised to know that you are completely wrong. The student reviews being circulated are for an entirely different Christine Ford.

    So sorry.

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  64. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: If there is any tipping point (and I don’t think we are there yet) it will not be that HE lied, but that he called HER a liar. As I said, if I have to decide whether he did it on a he said/she said basis I would go with her for a number of reasons, but not least would be his claim of absolute certainty nothing untoward ever happened. Now, if he was teetotaler I might believe him. But more is starting to trickle out that seems to indicate he partied pretty hard. The other guy in the room turns out to be Mike Judge, who wrote a book in 1999 outlining his black-out alcoholism that started in high school. He has some pretty thinly veiled references to the guys he drank with and referred to one as “Bart O’Kavanaugh” and described how ol’ Bart had puked in a friends car and then passed out. And Kavanaugh himself gave a talk at his former law school (meant to be lighthearted and probably received that way) about the epic drinking binges that went on with a wink and a nod from their profs. Now, admittedly that was later, but in any case if he had never had a drink until college he certainly would have said that by now. So here’s a guy who partied to the point of blackout and yet he is absolutely certain that this never happened. That just doesn’t ring true.

  65. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Your proposed statement reads like a weaselly admission of guilt, and a claim that it just isn’t important — at least that’s how it reads to me.

    Are people really that stupid that they would read something like that and be fine with it?

    I guess we will never know, since he didn’t try that. I am very doubtful though.

  66. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher:

    The student reviews being circulated are for an entirely different Christine Ford.

    I await with bated breath (or maybe baited breadth) our resident Trumper to apologize for spreading misinformation and slander…

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  67. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    Are people really that stupid that they would read something like that and be fine with it?

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but yes, they are. People want to be led to what they want to believe from the outset. They don’t want facts; they want confirmation. All you have to do is give them enough of a basis on which to rationalize believing what they wanted to believe anyway, and you’re golden. That’s how it works.

  68. Tyrell says:

    @MarkedMan: @MarkedMan: Cynicism can’t be avoided in dealing with the mess in Congress and politicians like Finestein.
    Term limits!

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  69. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan:

    So here’s a guy who partied to the point of blackout and yet he is absolutely certain that this never happened. That just doesn’t ring true.

    Just to reinforce this point, I just read that he told Orrin Hatch that he is absolutely certain he was never at this party. So now he can remember all the parties he attended in high school and knows he wasn’t at this one. Hmm. I’m only 5 years older and the idea that I can remember every party I was at in high school… no, it’s not even that. He’s claiming to remember parties he wasn’t at. Which brings up another “Hmm”. If the incident never happened, why is he so sure he was never at the party where it was alleged to occur? From what I can see Ford was not overly specific about the party. So he is certain he was never at the party, but since nothing happened he’s not sure which party it is? He’s beginning to sound like the stereotypical sit-com character:
    “Hey, will you go on a date with me?”
    “I’m busy that night.”
    “But I haven’t told you which night yet”

    Orrin Hatch, of course, completely believes this obvious piece of nonsense and further states that Ms. Ford must be confused. Yeah, the Repubs are going to cover themselves in glory here…

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  70. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan:

    So here’s a guy who partied to the point of blackout and yet he is absolutely certain that this never happened. That just doesn’t ring true.

    I have gotten very, very drunk in my youth. I have no doubt that I did not hold someone down and grope them, holding a hand over their mouth while a friend, who was probably there for round two, turned up the music and locked the door.

    I’ve made unwanted advances and gotten shot down and backed off. I could see how someone might describe those advances (which I would state were made out of hope they were not unwanted, and being bad at reading people) could be described negatively.

    But, locking someone in a room, and attempting to force myself on them, while my buddy was there to watch, help out, etc? I can say with 100% certainty that never happened.

    It’s a difference between wanting someone (and being bad at it), and feeling entitled to take someone.

  71. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I kind of side with Gustopher here. Not so much that I take it as an admission of guilt but because it is 100% about him. Which makes you wonder what kind of guy he is. I actually gave this some thought and really tried to come up with what I would say if I was accused of such behavior but honestly couldn’t remember it happening.

    Kavanaugh could have said that he didn’t have a clear memory of what happened 36 years ago when he was seventeen, that he didn’t remember it that way (or didn’t remember it at all), but that given that this woman is still upset after all these years because of his behavior he is sorry and wishes he could take it back. And he apologizes to her now publicly and he would welcome the opportunity to do so privately.

  72. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    He’s beginning to sound like the stereotypical sit-com character:
    “Hey, will you go on a date with me?”
    “I’m busy that night.”
    “But I haven’t told you which night yet”

    TV Tropes calls this “Suspiciously Specific Denial.” I’ve noticed that Trump does it a lot (like when he calls Don Lemon the “dumbest man on TV” while simultaneously claiming never to watch CNN), but it’s more common in the real world than might seem obvious.

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SuspiciouslySpecificDenial

  73. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kylopod: @MarkedMan:

    There are twin goals here –

    1) you want to muddy public opinion enough to make either story (his and hers) a possibility, in order to make it possible for GOP members of Congress to do what they’re dying to do – confirm him.

    2) By doing 1, you cut the cries for an investigation off at the knees. Speaking frankly, we’re decades beyond the SOL in Maryland. Nothing will ever come of this, legally, speaking, and if you neuter the outrage by creating doubt, you neuter the one weapon that Democrats have here.

    There is no solution that completely preserves his integrity and allows him to come out fresh smelling and clean, but there is a solution that puts him on the court. They played this one entirely wrong.

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  74. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kylopod:

    Moore won an overwhelming majority of the Republican vote

    Republican turnout was depressed in that election, while Democratic / independent turnout went up. Add in that a significant number of Republicans who did show up wrote in people like Nick Saban rather than vote for Moore. It was a confluence of several factors, all centered around Roy Moore being a disaster of a candidate.

  75. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: Fair enough. I would only be willing to go so far as to say that I can’t imagine myself doing it. That never in my life did I ever think “wouldn’t it be great if I forced myself on this woman who doesn’t want to have sex with me?” But I also know, for a fact, that as an 18 year old I got so drunk I picked a fight with a friend, a genuinely nice guy who lived on my dorm floor, for the sole reason that he was a black belt in karate (I was absolutely not). I know this happened only because the people that held me down and carted me off to bed once I lost focus on that piece of stupidity told me about it the next day. This was 100% not in character for me. He was a nice guy and I embarrassed him. And if he had been as drunk as me, he could have easily killed me. And I’m just not the kind of guy who every goes looking for a fight and, past the age of 13, have not had one.

    So can I rule out that if I was in that condition I could have behaved so foully that a woman came away frightened? No? I’m 6′ 1″ tall and weigh over 200 pounds. A lurching slurring drunk of that size, no longer in control of his actions, could traumatize someone even if he wasn’t trying to rape them. So I can’t rule out that I traumatized someone. I can only say that I don’t recall ever doing so, that it is not in my character, but if a woman remembers it that way, whatever did happen I must have left her with profoundly bad memories (she was telling her analyst about it as recently as 2012). Even if she was wrong about what I was trying to do, it’s still on me. And I would be sorry and ashamed it had happened.

  76. HarvardLaw92 says:

    For what it’s worth, Trump just opened the door to delaying Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

    They’re clearly arranging things to enable them to throw him under the bus if they find they have to do so.

  77. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: supposedly the number of women on that list who are now willing to support K. has drastically dropped now that the woman’s actual name is known.

    Oops.

  78. Mister Bluster says:

    REPUBLICAN President Pud…”And I think to do that you have to go through this. If it takes a little delay it’ll take a little delay.”

    (I’m behind him 1000%!)

  79. Modulo Myself says:

    He might be toast. The Intercept is saying that several former Kosinski aides sent a letter to Feinstein and Grassley. Apparently, Kavanaugh’s claims about being totally surprised about Kosinski’s behavior might not be exactly true and there are witnesses to contradict what he said under oath.

  80. KM says:

    @MarkedMan @Gustopher:

    In vino veritas. Alcohol doesn’t make you a monster, it brings out the monster you spend all day suppressing in public. Notice how they’re not really saying he’s not “that kinda guy” but instead are saying “he can’t remember” or “he wasn’t there”. Kavanaugh’s totally that kind of creep and the more we learn about him, the more it gets cemented that Blackout Drunk Him is not the kind of person you’d want to be alone with regardless of gender. He sounds like he was a hot mess as a young man and there’s no assurances that’s really changed as an adult.

    Maybe that’s why they were pushing the clean-cut coach angle so hard. Deflection at it’s finest…..

  81. Joe says:

    Kylopod, my bad, you are correct about Moore carrying the Republican vote in Alabama. But, for the reasons HarvardLaw92 articulates, there is a point at which Republicans will pay a price for supporting the apparent perpetrators of truly bad behavior. That point is reached all too infrequently, but it’s out there.

  82. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist: Hmm. This may be a case where the Repubs are too clever by half. If they went out early and solicited a bunch of women to come forward about some guy in high school and say basically, “Well, he was a good guy whenever I was around him” that’s all well and good. But if the women find out later this generic statement is being used in a he said/she said debate between two people they know, well, it’s not surprising that some will back out. They are effectively being used to call her a liar, even if that’s not exactly what’s written on the paper. So now they start losing signatories. And the story becomes “Republicans circulate a letter but some of the signatories now say they want no part of it.” You could have predicted this would happen.

  83. george says:

    @MarkedMan:

    He might need quite a bit more than 65 initially to guarantee 65 signatures. But my guess is most of the 65 only knew him as someone who hung around with the same crowd they hung around, and assuming he’s not a particularly creepy guy they wouldn’t have strong negative memories about him and so would sign.

    Of course most also wouldn’t have known him particularly well and so would be pretty weak references, but my argument isn’t that the list of 65 is meaningful, I’m just saying it doesn’t strike me as hard for a major organization (like the national GOP) to throw together in a couple of days.

    What I’m waiting for is additional accusers to come forth. As people have rightly pointed out in the past with Bill Cosby and Roy Moore and Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, sexual abusers almost never do it just once. Postponing the decision will give plenty of time for further accusers to come forth, and if they do Kavanaugh is done. If they don’t, and it remains his word against hers, he’ll probably get in, simply because its so rare for a sexual abuser to just do it once.

  84. MarkedMan says:

    @Modulo Myself: See, this is the problem with the Modern Republicans. They have internalized the Fox News, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump message of “Just lie. The people who are for you will be pretend to believe you and the people who are against you can be ignored.” Kavanaugh did not need to tell provable lies. Elsewhere I and HL92 have both given examples of things he could say on the drunken rape attempt, things that could well have been true and at least could not have been proved false. And here you have it again. He could have said something like “The judge did send me some juvenile stuff but I thought it was just nonsense and took to throwing it in the trash without even looking closely at it. I honestly couldn’t say if it rose to an HR complaint level because I simply didn’t give it more time then it took to see it was a stupid email and toss it.” But no. The Repubs told him they could shepherd him through and shield him from everything, so go ahead and lie.

  85. george says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Of course it was. It was also intended to put the GOP members of Congress facing reelection into the unenviable position of being caught between pissing off their base and defending what will be seen as a rapist.

    Yup. The GOP, perhaps correctly, pointed out that national level politics is hardball. So good on the Dems for playing hardball in return.

  86. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: It’s the friend in the room that makes me willing to say unequivocally that I have never done this, and which might make another person (perhaps Kavanaugh) day that he never did this.

    Everything else has a potentially mildly skeevy party hookup where things can be interpreted very differently.

    It also makes any theoretical weaselly “I didn’t mean to traumatize her, and have no memory of traumatizing her, but I was a young man and I’m sorry if I did” potential statements read false.

    Friend in the room is either threatening, or advanced consent. I would claim a 15 year old girl at a party cannot give that consent — even with the “oh, they’re all around the age of consent” handwaving.

  87. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher:

    It’s the friend in the room that makes me willing to say unequivocally that I have never done this

    Why?

  88. Modulo Myself says:

    @MarkedMan:

    They’re sloppy, dumb, country club versions of Anthony Weiner. I hate the idea of wanting to get caught, but man. His buddy Mark Judge had a youtube page of weird creepy videos of young women. And it was under his own name. This is a guy who has some public presence, and he’s like whatever, why not this barely-legal greatest hits under my name? You have to wonder if this is how they live their lives.

  89. MarkedMan says:

    @Modulo Myself: That YouTube page is definitely sketchy, especially for a 55 year old man. And his hastily deleting makes it look even more sleevy. The fact that Mark Judge is publicly defending Kavanaugh is going to do the the Repubs more harm than just about anything. Because a) Mark Judge is a very shady character who wrote a whole book on how wasted he was in high school, blacking out multiple times, and b) He is defending Kavanaugh with the exact same language as Kavanaugh uses (The party never happened. And I wasn’t there.)

    And you are right about being sloppy. They spend so much time in the Fox News bubble that they have lost their ability to deal with challenges.

  90. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Whoa. I just scrolled down on that twitter feed I linked to above. Mark Judge is uber creepy. It seems that, as a 55 year old man, he thought it perfectly normal to roam around DC taking pictures of very young, buxom women and post them on his twitter feed, or facebook or wherever. Sometimes they appear consensual, such as 4 very young women in bikinis at a hotel pool (doesn’t he live in DC? What is he doing hanging around a hotel pool?) who appear to have posed for him. But there are others where it looks like he surreptitiously snaps photos of girls just sitting on the metro. Having this creepo as your friend in high school is bad enough. But my understanding is they are still friends. I can imagine what their conversations are about…

    The Dems should demand that Mark Judge testify publicly.

  91. Kylopod says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Republican turnout was depressed in that election, while Democratic / independent turnout went up.

    While I’m sure some Republicans stayed home out of disgust with Moore (as well as writing in another candidate), and that this may have been decisive in pulling Jones across the finish line in such a close election, turnout among Republicans was not unusually low for an off-year special election. You are correct, though, that Dem turnout was unusually high, because a lot of Democratic (mostly African American) voters who normally stay home were unusually motivated to come out to the polls. It was similar to Scott Brown in 2010, where Republicans who normally don’t bother to vote in the very blue state of MA came out. A lot of what reinforces the redness and blueness of states works like a self-fulfilling prophecy: because the state is already considered solid red or solid blue, voters of the other party usually just don’t bother. Then every now and then an election comes along that becomes surprisingly competitive, and that in turn creates a bandwagon effect where the other party essentially awakens from its slumber. (I think we’re already seeing some of that effect with Beto O’Rourke, but it remains to be seen whether it will be sufficient for him to win.)

    It wasn’t just turnout, it was also overall share of those groups: Moore got much less support from indies and Dems than usual for a Republican in Alabama. In 2008, for example, Jeff Sessions won 72% of the indie vote and 21% of the Dem vote, compared to 43% and 2% for Moore.

    My main point in response to Joe was that Republicans do not deserve any credit for Moore’s defeat. Moore won the GOP primary by a substantial margin, he retained the support of most Republicans in the general election, and he lost by a hair mostly on the strength of Dems and indies, not Republicans.

  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    And voters, that oppose Mr. Drunk Boy, would note.

    Yeah, but the ones that are GOP or Independent will have 2 years to forget by the time the next election comes. More than enough time.

  93. Eric Florack says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Christine Ford’s parents lost their family home to foreclosure. Who was the judge who presided over the bankruptcy case? None other than Brett Kavanaugh’s Mom. Do you think there is a personal vendetta here, and that is why she is now making this unsubstantiated claim? Just wondering.

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  94. As noted in an update, the Judiciary Committee will hold hearings in this matter next Monday.

  95. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Weak sauce. Try again …

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  96. Mistr Bluster says:

    @Tyrell:..Term limits

    AZ AR CA CO FL LA ME MI MO MT NE NV OH OK and SD are 15 of the Fifty Nifty that have term limits on members of their State Legislatures.
    If anyone can demonstrate to me that the laws enacted by these venerable assemblies are somehow more efficient and wiser than the statutes created by the remaining 35 States, I will consider term limits useful at the Federal level.

  97. MarkedMan says:

    @Eric Florack: Hmmm. You do realize that a judge doesn’t make you declare bankruptcy? You petition the judge to allow you to declare bankruptcy. You go tot he judge, not the other way around.

  98. Bruce Henry says:

    Kavanaugh’s mom ruled IN FAVOR of Ford’s parents.

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/brett-kavanaugh-foreclosure-accuser-parents/

    DAMN wingnuts are stupid.

  99. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Voice of Reason: Sucks when the other side starts punching back doesn’t it?

  100. MarkedMan says:

    @Bruce Henry: I’m sure ol’ Eric will be right back to apologize for spreading misleading information about Ford. I’m sure, like all Trumpers, he is a man of integrity.

  101. Eric Florack says:

    According to the several reports I’ve seen it’s not misinformation.

    And apologizing for spreading misinformation, this coming from Democrats? My irony meter just melted

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  102. Kylopod says:

    @Eric Florack:

    According to the several reports I’ve seen it’s not misinformation.

    Dude, it has been debunked with the actual court documents. Here is an explanation of it from the right-wing Washington Examiner:

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/no-brett-kavanaughs-mother-didnt-foreclose-on-his-accusers-parents

    We’re not talking about “my source says one thing, yours says another.” We’re talking about a known primary source making it absolutely clear that the secondhand reports you heard were untrue.

    And apologizing for spreading misinformation, this coming from Democrats? My irony meter just melted

    The Dems here have corrected themselves for errors many, many times. When have you ever apologized for spreading misinformation? You certainly aren’t doing it now.

    Your comments are very, very revealing. The reason you find the notion of Dems apologizing for spreading misinformation so absurd isn’t because it’s absurd in objective reality. It’s because you’re so completely brainwashed, you’re literally incapable of even conceptualizing the possibility that you might be wrong. So even when you’re presented with clear, concrete evidence disproving your beliefs, you not only continue to cling to those beliefs, you continue to think any other possibility is so laughably absurd it doesn’t even merit discussion. And even as I sit here explaining all this to you, you will still walk away from the discussion with the absolute, unshakable conviction that you are right and that we’re all ridiculous clowns, without the slightest scintilla of doubt ever piercing the depths of your mind. You are a walking case study in the psychology of delusion.

  103. Eric Florack says:

    But what if your primary sources are unreliable?
    They are.

    And what if your sources are biased?
    They are.

    for example, for all of the attention that you guys seem to Delight in paying to these unsubstantiated untrue charges against Cavanaugh,, you seem to ignore the much more substantial and much more proven charges against Keith Ellison

    https://dailycaller.com/2018/09/17/woman-accusing-dnc-chair-isolated/

    I find your outrage selective at best

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  104. MarkedMan says:

    I broke my rule and responded to one of the Trumpers directly. What can I say? It was stupid to give one of them any attention. I thought it important to point out that this particular right wing nut job slime machine meme was patent nonsense, but should have done it as a “for the record” post. I should have remembered that these are people who admire Donald Trump. The idea that they could ever feel even mildly sheepish about spreading lies and smearing innocent people is ridiculous on its face. They come here to “trigger the libs”, and whether the words they put down are true or false is of no consequence. In fact, I suspect that we are Pavlovian Trumpers to value patent nonsense over anything resembling facts because we react more to the nonsense. Triggered! Winning!

  105. KM says:

    @Eric Florack :

    But what if your primary sources are unreliable?
    They are.

    The COURTS are unreliable?? The actual documentation of the action itself as created by the government is unreliable but the DailyCaller is???

    Look, meds are important. I know they make you feel funny and make the dog stop talking to you but reality isn’t so scary, Eric. Take your pills and come back to sanity and I promise we won’t laugh at you when you realize how stupid you’ve been acting. We’ll get you a cake and everything!

    Cavanaugh

    Look, if you can’t even spell the name of the guy you’re trying to defend right, you’re just a disgrace of a troll. You make Donald weep with your substandard lib owning. The dog will be by soon with a message from him about how sad you are and a printout of the DailyCaller’s front page. You don’t deserve his tweets, after all – you get dead tree.

  106. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @george:

    Of course most also wouldn’t have known him particularly well and so would be pretty weak references, but my argument isn’t that the list of 65 is meaningful, I’m just saying it doesn’t strike me as hard for a major organization (like the national GOP) to throw together in a couple of days.

    That list is the swampiest thing in the world. Everyone in Washington knows each other because they use their friendships to network(And that includes people from High School), and Kavanaugh is swampiest nominee possible. If William Pryor or Don Willet(Or even Amie Barrett) were the nominees you wouldn’t see Elite Washington lawyers making the “liberal case” for them nor dozens of people of the Washington DC area writing letters of support for them.

    Kavanaugh is part of the Washington swamp, and the swamp supports him.

  107. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Eric Florack: Yeah, who do these people think they are? How can they expect you to believe a lefty source like snopes.com when you have direct links to the truth out there from Conservative Treehouse, Alex Jones, and other truly credible sources? It takes my breath way how you put up with it. Anyone else would just leave and never come back.

    Your courage and fortitude are a tribute to us all.