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Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing early this month

Will Brett Kavanaugh Even Last Through Thursday?

Christine Blasey Ford, Who’s Accusing Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Of Sexual Assault, Is Set To Appear Before The Senate Judiciary Committee This Thursday Morning…

In the end, a combination of ultimatums and flexibility on the part of committee chair Republican Chuck Grassley led to the agreement for Ford to testify about the alleged attack by Kavanaugh when both were in high school.

Meanwhile, Kavanaugh’s backers this weekend let slip that he’s dug up calendars from 1982, which he plans to present, that do not show he jotted down attendance at any parties of the kind described by his accuser, with the other people she says were also there. Which very much seems like grasping at straws.

Still, Republicans seemed to close ranks around Kavanaugh late last week, including Trump who offered high praise at several rallies, and after refraining for the better part of a week, criticized Ford (and her family) in a Tweet. And it looked for a while like their strategy was going to be to bull him through, hearing or not.

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But then this happened: a story by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer late Sunday in the New Yorker, detailing another incident involving Kavanaugh. This time at Yale where Kavanaugh allegedly exposed himself to a woman at a party. While the details related here do not seem to involve the same type of physical force on Kavanaugh’s part as in Ford’s account, it could be enough for Republicans to start thinking enough is enough.

Because from a political perspective, we don’t see any way Kavanaugh’s nomination goes through anymore without Republicans doing a lot of damage to themselves. How’s it going to look now for the nominee to pass out of committee on a vote led by octogenarian white men (plus Lindsey Graham, who’s in his 60s)? Maybe we just can’t see the value that they can. Maybe they’ll stick behind the argument Graham made this weekend that “I’m not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life because of this”.

On the other hand, if Kavanaugh drops his quest for the nomination, Republicans might be able to make some hay. Because if Kavanaugh’s out of the picture, there’s no hearing. Christine Blasey Ford never appears. She never tells her side of the story. Even if she chooses to do a sit down interview of some kind, it’ll receive far less attention at that point.

Then Republicans can say they and their nominee got railroaded by hysterical Democrats who thought nothing of destroying the life of a candidate President Trump calls “truly spectacular”. And this morning asserted the allegations are one of the “single most unfair, unjust things to happen for a candidate for anything”.

There’s also the question of the dire need for Republicans to get a Supreme Court Justice through by the end of the year because they don’t want to take any chances they lose control of the Senate in the midterms (which seems right now like a longshot, but so was Trump’s chance to win the Presidency and they played those odds and came up big). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has several Conservative judges he’d probably rather see in there right now. The only problem is none of the names at the top of his list attended Harvard or Yale which is something that seems to be a prerequisite for the President to the point at which he seems really hung up on it. As we mentioned last week, several times when Trump’s defended Kavanaugh he’s brought up “went to Yale; top student”. As if Harvard and Yale are synonymous with unassailable and make a candidate beyond reproach. But maybe the President will rethink that now.

Of course we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. At least at time of publication of this newsletter, Kavanaugh is still the nominee. The hearing is still scheduled for Thursday. And there’s a lot more that needs to play out before this important moment in American history is done.

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