What I’m seeing in the Kavanaugh mess is very different from what Republicans must be seeing. Because what I’m seeing is that the longer this drags out, the worse Kavanaugh looks to most voters. Yes, opinions about the candidate have hardened along partisan lines, but “swing voters” are mostly going into the opposition camp. Many people who were undecided last week are “no” this week. It also appears that opposition to Kavanaugh is stronger among Dems than support for him is among Republicans. He is, as someone might say, a loser.
Yet, rather than back off from the nomination, Republicans are doubling down. And they are doing this in spite of lots of indicators that Kavanaugh is going to hurt them more than help them in the midterms. Apparently, Republicans think otherwise.
Dylan Scott wrote a couple of days ago,
Republicans arenâ€™t being irrational. While Democrats are appalled, Republicans are listening to a different drummer: the conservative grassroots. Those voters want their Supreme Court justice confirmed, or else they are threatening to stay home on Election Day â€” and that really could put the Republican majority at risk.
Evangelicals are maybe the single cohort most loyal to Trump and therefore crucial in midterm elections, which will be a referendum on the president. They were already warning Republicans not to withdraw Kavanaugh or else risk electoral disaster before Ramirez came forward. They donâ€™t sound likely to change course now.
The nerds at FiveThirtyEight discuss this perspective and aren’t sure it holds water.Â On September 26, at least, they were saying that the Republicans might be better off withdrawing Kavanaugh and replacing him with a less controversial conservative. There was still plenty of time to get the confirmation done and off the plate before the midterms.Â They also questioned how important this Supreme Court pick is to the right-wing base, really.Â One anti-abortion judge is as good as another, and the woods are full of ’em.
However, by sticking with Kavanaugh, and making the whole confirmation about Kavanaugh, and not just about putting a conservative justice on the Court, Republicans could very well be shooting themselves in the foot. At least, it seems that way to me. But, apparently, the Right imagines it is standing on some kind of principle, or even moral higher ground, and they aren’t going to step down.
So Mitch McConnell is preparing to push Kavanaugh through, and if he doesn’t have the votes the Republicans will probably campaign on how Kavanaugh was “borked.”
Of course, a big part of the Republican’s perspective is that they don’t think sexual assault is really a wrong. Especially if it happened a long time ago and the perp is a powerful white guy.
From the perspective of not-Republicans, this issue isn’t really about what Brett Kavanaugh did to Christine Blasey Ford. It’s about a system that protects the predation of men and dismisses the damage done to those they assault. Every time someone stands up and expresses outrage about how Brett Kavanaugh and his family must be suffering, they are saying loudly and clearly that Christine Blasey Ford’s suffering is her problem and she should get over it already, and that, basically, women don’t count.
Yeah, but dude — they vote.