Good Friday Morning! I was wrong in assuming that just because the Kavanaugh hearings were over, that that would be the end of the whole ordeal. Silly me. I forgot about Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) who has made everything about himself.
That said, odds are we have a vote, if not Saturday, then Monday. I mention Monday because Senator Steve Daines of Montana is walking his daughter down the aisle on Saturday, and said he wouldn’t be available that day. I’m sure McConnell knew this well in advance, and I’m unsure how it will affect the ultimate floor vote.
Here’s what we know about any potential vote:
Flake and Collins appear to be moving in tandem. Murkowski is also involved, but she’s split off from all the others. If McConnell has all three, this is a done deal. If he gets all three of these, plus Manchin, that could pressure some others to peel off.
Among the Democrats, Manchin is likely to vote for Kavanaugh. He’s winning the race in his state, but if he votes against Kavanaugh, it would seriously hurt his chances. West Virginian’s like Kavanaugh.
Heitkamp’s early declaration that she’s not voting for Kavanaugh is a sign that she’s very likely going to lose her Senate race and the GOP will pick up North Dakota. She’s down pretty far in the polls, and if she had a puncher’s chance, she’d be voting for Kavanaugh. Her decision not to vote for him is like starting a concession speech. Now she plans to keep herself in the good graces of the left in post-Senate life.
Donnelly declared he wouldn’t vote for Kavanaugh over the sexual assault allegations unless they got investigated by the FBI. Until then, he was a no vote. Journalists are still reporting him as a no vote, but I’d keep an eye on him. The FBI investigation could give him cover to flip his vote.
McCaskill’s early declaration that she wouldn’t vote for Kavanaugh was also surprising because she’s in a dogfight in Missouri. Polls are showing a razor-thin race, and Trump won Missouri. Does she hold? I suspect yes… but that could be costly.
All that said, I still wholly trust McConnell to deliver on the votes. There’s a reason people seem upbeat about the vote. I doubt he’d hold a vote unless he knew he had all his eggs lined up. Kavanaugh’s op-ed in the WSJ does give me pause though; it’s not the sort of thing you’d write if you had the votes.
Where you can find me this week
Make sure to sign up for the Conservative Institute’s daily newsletter. You can also go to their Facebook page. You can join Ricochet here. And I do recommend their ever-growing network of podcasts, which you can find on all popular podcast platforms. They have a show for every topic you can imagine, and the list continues to grow.
I wrote a pair of columns this week talking about the loss of due process, and the loss of a societal belief in a person being innocent until proven guilty. It’s a contrast between the collective guilt we have over the #MeToo movement, and the evidence we have for specific perpetrators of sexual assault. You can’t use the collective guilt people have over all the missed #MeToo moments in our society to prove individual men sexually assaulted a woman. We should work on better believing victims when they come forward, but that doesn’t mean we destroy our foundational principles of presuming innocence.
Increasing violence on left leaves questions on what they accept as reality, and what’s next
The Babylon Bee ran one of the more intriguing satire pieces I’ve ever seen. The headline: “Senate On Lockdown After Receiving Credible Threat From Known Killers,” relies on a real tweet sent out by Planned Parenthood: “Roses are red / Violets are blue / Senators vote NO on #Kavanaugh / Or else we’re coming for you.”
Now, you could say that this is just them talking about voting Senators out. That’s the most charitable way to read that message.
And if that were a single tweet with nothing else, I’d probably ignore it. But it’s not alone. It’s a growing trend.
Democratic Representative Maxine Waters encouraged her supporters to confront Trump administration officials everywhere:
Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.
Again, you could say, she’s just a nutjob in the DNC and can get safely ignored. And generally, I’d probably agree with that. But it’s not isolated.
This week alone we’ve seen:
- The President and Pentagon were sent envelopes by a Utah man that caused a scare across the government of ricin poisoning.
- Ted Cruz’s office in Texas received mysterious envelopes with a white powder in them, sending two people to the hospital. It appears everyone is ok.
- Cruz and his wife were forced to leave a restaurant early because radical protestors spent time shouting at them at dinner.
- Anti-Kavanaugh protestors are harassing Senators like Rand Paul and David Perdue in airports and bathrooms.
- An Ex-Democratic staffer was arrested and charged with doxxing Republican Senators and posting their personal information online. He even went so far as to threaten he’d release the private information of GOP Senator’s children.
- Democrats have launched a slew of attacks undermining the Executive Branch, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the FBI this week all because those branches and agency aren’t doing what they dictate.
- A pro-life woman got physically assaulted after a man roundhouse kicked her in public.
And that’s just the past week. Rand Paul’s wife, Kelley Paul, wrote a piece for CNN describing how since their personal information got posted online, they’d received a neverending slew of death threats and harassment. She wrote, in part:
In the last 18 months, our family has experienced violence and threats of violence at a horrifying level. I will never forget the morning of the shooting at the congressional baseball practice, the pure relief and gratitude that flooded me when I realized that Rand was okay.
He was not okay last November, when a violent and unstable man attacked him from behind while he was working in our yard, breaking six ribs and leaving him with lung damage and multiple bouts of pneumonia. Kentucky’s secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, recently joked about it in a speech. MSNBC commentator Kasie Hunt laughingly said on air that Rand’s assault was one of her “favorite stories.” Cher, Bette Midler, and others have lauded his attacker on Twitter. I hope that these women never have to watch someone they love struggle to move or even breathe for months on end.
Her piece reminds us of the Congressional baseball field shooting of Republican Congressional members (conveniently forgotten by the media), Rand Paul getting assaulted by a neighbor and incidents like FoxNews reporter Shannon Bream being forced to leave locations like the Supreme Court because protestors made it unsafe.
Don’t forget the Antifa movement.
And this is just me pulling the highlights. Over people have documented this same trend at other times.
It’s increasingly becoming clear that Democrats, and more specifically their far-left progressive base, are resorting to violence to release their political frustration. In Kavanaugh, the actions are ramping up because the left faces the distinct possibility of losing power in all branches of government.
And yes, I know they’re talking about a midterm wave. But what if they don’t get that wave?
Democratic operatives are terrified right now that they’ve overplayed their hand on the Kavanaugh hearings. Those operatives are telling their candidates to get off the Kavanaugh talking points ASAP. And on the right, campaigns on the right are saying the Kavanaugh fight is helping them galvanize their base to offset Democrat enthusiasm.
We’re still far out from the election and seeing whatever October surprise will pop up between then and now to steer the election. But while the electoral fundamentals are entirely on the Democrats side, it’s undeniable Republicans are gaining ground.
So I ask, what happens if Democrats lose the midterms?
The violence we see now is already troubling enough. The #Resistance believes their living in 1939 Nazi Germany, and that they’re the only people who know the truth. This level of fantasy is also driven by social media, which means they get to live out their fantasies and close themselves up to an echo chamber where no one can tell them: YOU’VE LOST YOUR MINDS.
They ratchet up the rhetoric on how each of the Republican branches of government is somehow illegitimate, that in turn gives them the moral imperative to act out physically. They’re rationalizing their misbehavior and calling it civil disobedience.
I listened and read for years from liberals and progressives about how the Tea Party movement and all the rallies were signs of the Republican Party losing its mind. They charged the right with dangerous rhetoric pushing violence.
That was overblown (though the tea party is not without faults).
What the left is doing right now is real. These aren’t words; these are actions. They’re openly assaulting government officials to drive their points home. If they lose the midterms, they’re going to go farther.
I’ll end with a question I posted several weeks ago: Where are the guardrails on the left that prevent this sort of thing? They accuse the right of running off the tracks into crazy land, but I can point to people who shouted stop on the right. I can’t find anyone trying to stop the increasing assaults from the left. That’s troubling and telling.
Links of the week
I Am an Independent, Impartial Judge – Brett Kavanaugh
Satire piece of the week
CHAPPAQUA, NY — Brushing aside insinuations that she had anything to do with the rancorous confirmation process, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laughed off Wednesday the idea that she was politically savvy enough to run a revenge campaign against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. “It’s utterly ridiculous to think that I, of all people, would have the political acumen to take down Judge Kavanaugh,” said Clinton, who pointed to her squandering what amounted to a sure bet to be elected president in 2016 as proof that she was far too inept to perpetrate the kind of elaborate political hit job on Kavanaugh that others had accused her of. “Come on, did you see the way I bungled all those allegations about my emails during the race? Or my totally pathetic efforts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania? I haven’t even been able to shed false accusations of murder from 25 years ago. If I had tried to derail his confirmation, the whole scheme would have backfired and he’d be sitting on the Supreme Court by now.” Clinton also scoffed at the notion that she would have any impulse to do anything about the Supreme Court pick other than play up his right-wing views while soliciting donations from her base.
Thanks for reading!