This is what happens when a political power play blows up in your face.
- Kavanaugh was Trump’s pick. He wasn’t McConnell’s, who warned against him, knowing that his long record on the bench plus his previous partisan jobs would weight against him. Ergo, in the beginning of this process, the Senate had no reason to support him over any other candidate.
- Feinstein had Ford’s letter in hand by July 30; she knew it was coming even before that, because she had already been contacted by Anna Eschoo regarding it. This is the beginning of a six week period during which DiFi had Ford’s letter, and said nothing.
- If Feinstein had raised this matter confidentially to the Judiciary Committee, honoring Dr. Ford’s request and preventing this from turning into a raw exhibition of political power, there is a very good chance that an excuse would have been drawn up that allowed Kavanaugh to withdraw and save face in the process. Nobody on the GOP side wanted this spectacle; nobody named Ford or Kavanaugh wanted their names dragged through the mud and death threats levied at their families.
- However, that’s not what happened. Feinstein held the letter until AFTER the public hearings. This is such a shocking choice, given the time delay and Ford’s request for confidentiality, questions are logically raised.
- The goal of the Dems here is rather transparent. The goal clearly was to (a) create a situation where the GOP would withdraw the nomination, whereupon the Dems would then be able to claim that (b) it was too late to replace the nominee before the election. If the Dems then took the Senate, the Dems would then just Merrick Garland any Trump nominee until 2020. (This plan went awry when, shockingly, the GOP Senators suddenly grew a pair. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)
- Ford and Feinstein spoke on the phone the week after Feinstein received the letter. During that week, Feinstein’s staff recommended that she engage Debra Katz as her legal representation. Why choose Katz, a known partisan party operative? Was it to insure that Ford was given “legal” advice that would serve the Democrat’s endgame? And also, is it even proper for a Senator to recommend an attorney that could then be advising a client at a hearing in front of that same Senator? (Rather large conflict of interest, there.)
- Obviously, Feinstein and Ford either (a) agreed that they were going to have to go public with the letter in order to stop the nomination, or (b) Feinstein told a reluctant Ford that she was taking it public no matter what Ford said. So, either Feinstein and Ford colluded to derail the nomination, (option a), OR (option b) Feinstein threw Ford under the bus for political gain. (B is most likely, in my view. But neither option is something to be proud of, if you’re Feinstein).
- The power play went into effect immediately after the hearings. Surprisingly I’m sure to the Dems, the GOP did not fold, but extended gracious invitations to Dr. Ford to testify in the place of her choice.
- Shockingly, Ford denied ever hearing about that offer under oath. Again, two possibilities. The first is that Ford lied under oath, the second being that the offer, which would have been sent to Katz, was never forwarded to her. If the first, then nothing Ford says has any credibility. If the second (more likely) that Katz did not forward the offer under directions from Feinstein, because it would have denied the Dems their Jerry Springer-like spectacle by which they intended to lynch Kavanaugh.
- After Dr. Ford gave her testimony and Judge Kavanaugh responded — in a much more temperate fashion than most people would have — this become a pure political power play. Why? Pretty obvious.
- First of all, it become quite clear to the GOP that the credibility of Dr. Ford nonwithstanding, they were getting jacked around. Ford’s lawyers were all Democrat party regulars recommended by Feinstein, they were doing a better job representing the Democrat party than they were Dr. Ford, and the constant and questionable delay tactics (such as the “fear of flying”) made it clear that they were only out to run out the clock, not represent their client.
- Secondly, to pull back the nomination would be to allow a nominee to be derailed by a nebulous, last minute accusation which could not be corroborated. If you allow that play to succeed, it will be played over and over again. But, even more importantly…….
- Pulling back the Kavanaugh nomination would essentially be admitting that the allegations against him were true. And if the allegations against him were true, then you yourself have provided the fuel the Democrats need to lay the groundwork for his later impeachment from his current position.
The crux of this entire dustup is in #4. When Dianne Feinstein held back the information in the Ford letter until after the hearing, she thought she was not only decreasing the probability of Kavanaugh being confirmed, but of ANY GOP nominee to be confirmed. That backfired; that decision actually increased the chances of Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Which is where we are today.