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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Collins Goes Partisan for Kavanaugh

After a tense week of uncertainty, the Kavanaugh confirmation saga came to an abrupt end, as I  discussed at New York:

In a conventionally partisan floor speech that lacked any indication of the doubt one might have expected given her long refusal to take a public position, Maine senator Susan Collins announced her support for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice. Barring something really strange, this should clinch a victory for the beer-loving conservative jurist despite allegations of sexual assault and some serious discrepanciesinvolving his own testimony. Earlier today, another possible waverer, Jeff Flake, indicated he would vote for Kavanaugh. In the unlikely event that another late decider, Joe Manchin, decides to flip after voting to cut off debate on the confirmation, Democrats would still be short a vote. Once the Senate has worked out Steven Daines’s travel itinerary (he will be home in Montana Saturday morning to attend his daughter’s wedding), the final vote will be held as quickly as possible — perhaps as early as 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday.

Collins’ speech tracked every Republican talking point in defense against charges that the highly ideological vetting process that led to his nomination would produce a highly ideological Justice. As she has done before, she suggested at great length that Kavanaugh’s respect for precedent — or to use his misleading term, ”settled law” — would keep him from tampering with reproductive rights. She cited, moreover, the pro-choice positions of past Supreme Court nominees of anti-abortion Republican presidents as evidence that Kavanaugh might similarly outrage all the people — including the 49 of her Republican Senate colleagues — who hope he will help eviscerate a right to abortion that they do not themselves support. In an expression of either naïveté or cynicism, Collins did not acknowledge that the entire Federalist Society–run vetting process Trump used to select his SCOTUS nominee was designed precisely to prevent the possibility of any more “stealth” moderate Justices like the ones she lionizes.

In what sounded very much like a flank-covering compensatory effort, Collins concluded her speech with plenty of shout-outs to the #MeToo movement and to victims of sexual assault, and lots of pious centrist tut-tutting about polarization. But what it really confirmed was that Collins made up her mind to put on the party harness some time ago. All of her well-documented equivocation about Kavanaugh, which continued to the very end, was a waste of everyone’s time.


2 comments on “Collins Goes Partisan for Kavanaugh

  1. Candace on

    Yes it was all very predictable. The Republicans which include Flake and Collins, have all the power and did what they said they were going to do. They performed some “Inconvenienced and Outraged by American Law” Theater in a cloak of GOP perception management Sorcery, and the Media dutifully kept us up to date with how Republicans were personally attacking us.
    Arent we shocked and outraged over what they say about Democrats, women and reality? Have you all noticed how no one can stop them? Republicans can say whatever they want and claim it justifies what they were going to do anyway. Sleep well and be sure to check in tomorrow.
    How will we get through the day without knowing exactly how the all powerful Republican party is trolling us and egging their followers on to attack us? Thanks for helping that along INformation.

    And then with Democrats even though they know that the support Republicans are getting from their game of being cruel and crude when they are given an opportunity to be decent is from people who cant afford an education and looking for a place to channel their rage about life, still arent willing to try to get the information out there on why what happened with Kavanaugh in all of our lives is going to matter to them or with anything Republicans are doing.. Democrats nationally dont talk directly to Americans. Democrats dont make their case to the people and always seem stunned by what Republicans do and say. Its baffling because of how predictable Republicans are.

    With all of that Republicans are somehow congratulating themselves like they won some kind of battle with Kavanaugh being confirmed.
    Everyone says that democrats dont know how to fight – even democrats will tell you that. Everyone knows that democrats dont have any power in the government, even Lindsey Graham admitted it. So what are they congratulating themselves for? Winning another battle against the United States government? A battle against decency? A battle against Law? A battle against women having a good impression of white men? This is what they’re gloating over?
    Perhaps they just like the stories they come up with. The reality they’re creating makes them feel better about how and what they’ve “won” for all of us.


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