I made it a general rule not to listen to Trump make a speech, or say much of anything. I can watch a 20-second clip on the news, which is sort of my limit. But yesterday, he actually had an unprecedentedly-rare press conference, so I watched. I made it through 10 minutes, which is far more than I thought I had it in me, but 9-1/2 minutes longer than is good for one's well-being. ("Endured" is the way a friend put it, and he only made it through five minutes.) And I was still galled by it three hours later, gnashing my teeth and wanting to punch walls. From what little I heard from the reporters, they seemed incredulous at the time. That includes the one reporter who before asking his question told the president that he hoped he would call on a couple women to ask questions, too.
What finally got me to turn off, infuriated, is when Trump said something along the lines of, “I have a lot of judicial nominees to fill, 145. I have to fill 145. Because Obama didn’t fill them. I don’t know why, he didn’t care about it. So I have 145 judges to fill. But who’s going to want the job if you have to go through this?” I almost started yelling at the TV screen – “You think President Obama didn’t care about filling those judgeships??!!!!!!! The reason you have 145 is that Republicans BLOCKED THEM ALL, to leave them open in case there was a Republican president next to fill them. Including Merrick Garland on top of it all. You think President Obama didn't care about filling a Supreme Court seat? You sick little man.”
And now there’s a fourth charge yesterday afternoon, though it’s anonymous. One of the defenses against Brett Kavanaugh after the accusation by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was that there was only that one charge, and things like what she was alleging usually are serial and have many occurrences. Well… Yeah. And now they’ve started pouring out.
By the way, someone on social made a tremendous point. The press actually got a hold of Kavanaugh’s high school calendar that he is offering into “evidence.” (And yes, how totally bizarre is that, to still have it???) But what this guy picked up on is that the 1982 calendar notes that Kavanaugh went to Ocean City for Beach Week. Fine. By itself, out of context, that's meaningless, just an empty tidbit. But keep in mind that he released this calendar to defend him against Dr. Ford. However, having presented the information, it is now available for everything – and in the official, sworn declaration made on Wednesday by Julie Swetnick (Michael Avenatti’s client), she includes mention of running into Brett Kavanaugh at numerous parties at…Ocean City!!! And she made that declaration without knowing of the existence of his calendar. Of course, that’s not “proof” of anything, but it certainly places him at the spot of the attack. By his own admission. So, while he thought he was providing evidence against Christine Ford’s charge, not only wasn’t he, but he actually was providing evidence FOR Julie Swetnick.
And more than Trump and Kavanaugh, this is – as I keep writing, all the time – all about the Republicans. They could have stopped the nomination before it occurred. From the first Mitch McConnell (R-KY) knew Kavanaugh was a tough sell and told Trump he should nominate someone else, but what he COULD have said was, “If you nominate this guy, we will make it an open hearing, we’ll release all his documents as required, and they’re damning, and he will have almost no support, and it will make you look terrible. And you’ll lose the pick because Democrats could take the Senate as a result of it, and you’ll never get anyone through.” And I think Trump migh well have backed off. And further, they could have stopped it at any point along the way, KNOWING (as I'm sure they do) how bad this guy is. And even now, even as much as they desperately want a conservative on the Supreme Court, rushing a vote for Friday – when they took a YEAR not voting on Merrick Garland – is totally, 100% meaningless. I suspect some on the Judiciary Committee may think all the women are lying, but I’m sure plenty enough know who Brett Kavanaugh is by now. And to push this ahead, to RUSH this ahead, trying to confirm a man for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court who many Republican know, or at the very least suspect, is a serial sexual abuser and likely-alcoholic is sickening. If, as some Republicans are now actually saying, “Maybe we should have taken a week at the beginning to have that FBI investigation,” well…if they really feel that, they CAN DO IT NOW. There’s no reason the vote can’t be pushed back a week or two. None, zero. There are six weeks before the mid-terms. They have plenty of time.
Honestly, I’m not convinced there will be a vote on Friday. I say that writing this before the hearing begins. So, we'll see. What I expect today is for Dr. Ford to come across well, adding detail and context to what she has alleged, as well as showing a real person, not just words we've read, and Kavanaugh can only pretty much just keep saying the same “that’s not true, I didn't do it.” Although now he’s acknowledging that he did some things that made him cringe. (I’d love her to pick up on that, and in her statement say, “He did some things that made ME cringe, too, and I haven’t gotten over it 36 years later.”) And beyond that, he will also have to answer questions from Democrats about his drinking, his blackouts, and other charges that have come to light. And with all that, and with her charges now having a face and voice to it, I think it will be hard for even these Republicans to hold a vote the next day. But if anyone can do it, these slugs can.
It's pathetic, sickening, awful. And whatever happens, this all is going to backfire on Republicans in such a HUGE way in the mid-terms. Just six weeks from now. I’m sure of it. Not just it being a case of so much of the public – and women, especially – turning against Republicans and Trump on principle, but in visceral outrage that fuels their enthusiasm to go out and vote. And voter turn-out is so small during mid-terms that any upswing is massive -- to the point that I think now the Democrats have a reasonable chance of taking the Senate. It’s still not likely, but it's far more possible than before. And I believe Republicans know that, too, because I think it's specifically why they are fighting to hard to confirm Kavanaugh...despite sensing or knowing that he is a sexual abusing drunk.
This is about the elected officials of the Republican Party.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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