When it comes to the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavinaugh, it’s just one thing after another.
After wavering Judiciary Committee member Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announced that he would vote in support of Kavanaugh, the drama escalated, with a group of angry women confronting him in an elevator. Ana Maria Achila of the nonprofit Center for Popular Democracy Action told him, “What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court. That is not tolerable.”
Another woman said through her tears, “You’re telling all women they don’t matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them, you’re going to ignore them.”
When I hear statements like these, I want to cry, too, but for very different reasons.
Just before the committee vote was to be taken, a group of Sen. Flake’s Democratic colleages that included Delaware Sen. Chris Coons cornered him in the anteroom to beg him not to vote for Kavanaugh without an FBI investigation. And though he ended up voting for him, it was with a huge caveat.
He said he would vote for Kavanaugh on the final floor vote only if the FBI were first brought in for a “limited” (a week at most, and just on the claim before them) FBI investigation, just to show that due diligence had been exercised. Chairman Grassley pointed out that the committee did not have the power to order that –- they could only take it to Senate leadership to delay the full floor vote and appeal to President Trump to initiate an investigation –- but that’s where they are now.
At this writing, it looks as though the Democrats are getting themselves another delay. God knows what they will try to do with it. It’s bound to involve more unfounded accusations and more calls for more investigation. They are not going to let this end, even if/when Kavanaugh is confirmed.
But Sen. Lindsay Graham, who strongly supports Kavanaugh and distinguished himself in Thursday’s hearing by leveling at the Democrats a richly deserved public shaming, took this good-naturedly, at least in public, saying to reporters, “This is called democracy...this is Jeff Flake being very sincere, and what he’s trying to do –- I respect the hell out of this –- (is) trying to get some Democrats to buy in. Will a week matter? And some of them said it would. Some of ‘em want to just go on and on and on, but if he can get a few of ‘em to say a week longer would make it a better process...”
It’s not known how the FBI could add to our understanding of an allegation that’s 36 years old; probably the most they could do is gather some testimony from the others who claim not to remember even being at such a party. (In breaking news, Mark Judge has said he will cooperate, if his testimony can be given privately rather than in an open hearing. And Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana has announced that there is agreement now on how to proceed with a further background check. Details to come.) There are a few Senators still on the fence who might decide in favor of Kavanaugh if they were more confident about the process –- a process the Democrats deliberately messed with by holding Dr. Ford’s letter as a political ace in the hole when they’d had since the end of July to call for an investigation. It’s far too late for this to be considered a good process, for anyone.