Should the White House pull down the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, or at least postpone further Senate action until professor Christine Blasey Ford is given a chance to tell her story under oath?
On the merits, the answer is yes, obviously yes. When the accuser was unnamed, it was possible to think otherwise. But now we know her name, know more details of what she would say, and know that she is willing to come forward and tell her story.
If she is believed – and from what we have learned of her over the last few days it seems likely that she will make a very strong witness — it seems likely that Kavanaugh could not and should not be confirmed. And if she is believed, it’s also too late for Kavanaugh to excuse what may have happened as a one-time act of a drunken teenager, because he has already compounded the problem by lying about it now.
It’s really pretty hard to come up with a reasonable excuse to deny her her chance to tell her story, under oath, and for Kavanaugh to respond, under oath, before he is granted a lifetime appointment on the highest court in the land.
But my gut still tells me President Trump will not pull it down, for fear of losing his chance of filling the Supreme Court vacancy until after the midterm elections, and for fear that Republicans could lose control of the Senate in those elections, which would colossally complicate the Republican dream of a solid five-member conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
One of the ironies of that path, of course, is that failure to give Ford a chance to tell her story, and for Kavanaugh to reply, could cause so much outrage that it will be the proximate cause of a Democratic takeover of both House of Congress in November.
Of course it’s cynical to allow such calculations into the mix, but the world in which we live suggests that such considerations will always be given tremendous weight.
Might be a good night to rewatch “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”