The fate of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was effectively decided on Friday afternoon.
The Senate held a procedural vote Friday morning and three of the four undecideds (Collins, Manchin and Flake) voted to advance the nomination. The GOP lost Lisa Murkowski, but Republicans could afford that as long as Collins and Flake didn’t break ranks.
Flake, who upended things on September 28 with a dramatic last minute call for a one-week FBI probe, said Friday he would support Kavanaugh following the conclusion of that investigation which critics say was little more than a perfunctory effort on the part of the Trump administration to pacify the handful of Republican Senators who still have a conscience.
The GOP clearly wasn’t interested in getting to the bottom of the allegations against Kavanaugh. If they were, they would have subpoenaed witnesses for last week’s hearing instead of making it a “he said/she said” affair. Hilariously, Kavanaugh very nearly missed the slam dunk by launching into a bizarre, conspiratorial rant on the way to sobbing over his now infamous calendars and professing his undying love for beer. He went on to perjure himself more times than anyone could count.
Republicans didn’t seem to care about the perjury nor were they particularly concerned about the fact that Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee appears to have a shorter fuse than the President himself. Rather, the GOP was only concerned about cleaning up the sexual misconduct allegations with a farcical 5-day “investigation”, which of course turned up no corroborating evidence for the allegations, precisely because it was designed not to.
Thankfully, the New York Times spent the last week proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Kavanaugh misled Congress and the American public with regard to his drinking and also with respect to how he’s inclined to behave when drunk. In other words, when the White House wouldn’t allow the FBI to do its job, the free press went ahead and did the Bureau’s job for it.
In any event, Susan Collins sealed the deal for Kavanaugh on Friday afternoon when, following a lengthy explanation, she said she would vote “yes” on Saturday.
Fast forward 24 hours from Collins’ speech and Kavanaugh was confirmed after a final vote that found multiple protesters screaming (loudly) from the gallery and being forcibly removed. Here was the scene when Pence began:
Collins, Manchin and Flake all voted “yes” (to loud jeers).
Earlier Saturday, Trump renewed his attacks on protesters. “Women for Kavanaugh, and many others who support this very good man, are gathering all over Capitol Hill in preparation for a 3-5 PM VOTE”, the President tweeted, before tacitly maligning the anti-Kavanaugh crowd as follows:
It is a beautiful thing to see – and they are not paid professional protesters who are handed expensive signs.
On Friday, the President told his 54 million Twitter followers that “elevator screamers” (like those who confronted Jeff Flake last month), are funded by George Soros, an absurd contention that could have walked right out of an Alex Jones video.
Hundreds of people have been arrested this week protesting Kavanaugh’s nomination.
On Saturday, in an interview with the Washington Post, Mitch McConnell mocked Democrats, protesters and, implicitly, women. “I want to thank the mob, because they’ve done the one thing we were having trouble doing, which was energizing our base”, he said.