Bret Stephens, while a terrible columnist by any substantive or aesthetic measure, does provide a window into the thinking of a certain kind of “Never Trump” columnist who can generally find a path to supporting what Trump does no matter how repugnant. His Kavanaugh columns give us the process perfectly:
- Step 1: Pre-hearing, pretend to be open-minded while carefully establishing standards of evidence that would be 1)impossible to meet and are 2)ludicrously inappropriate to what is an interview for a promotion Kavanaugh has no vested right to be given, not a criminal trail
- Step 2: Describe the hearings as a simple “he said/she said”, while entirely ignoring Kavanaugh’s countless lies and his semi-deranged partisan conspiracy theorizing, both of which would be excellent grounds for denying him the nomination in themselves
- Step 3: “Hey, a lying misogynist bully like Trump really comes in handy when you need to get another lying misogynist bully put on the Supreme Court.”
Alas, it appears to be working:
Key Republican senators who have been withholding judgment on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court amid allegations of sexual assault said the supplemental inquiry by the FBI into those allegations was “thorough.” While not announcing how they would vote, they did not signal further reservations about Kavanaugh.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told reporters after reviewing the report, “It appears to be a very thorough investigation, but I am going back later today to personally read the interviews.”
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who insisted on the further investigation before allowing Kavanaugh’s nomination to advance out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said the report was thorough and indicated that no new evidence had emerged to corroborate the claims against Kavanaugh.
Meanwhile Heitkamp is a “no” on Kavanaugh. I wish this would stop the inevitable cavalcade of “perfidious Senate Dems refused to use the unspecified Magic Tricks that would have totally convinced open-minded moderate Jeff Flake to do the right thing” takes, but Murc’s Law is a harsh mistress. Anyway, it took some guts especially given the overwhelming likelihood of his confirmation, so consider kicking her a few bucks.